By Harry McCracken | What Harry McCracken is writing--and reading--on the web

Netflix Shuts Down Final Bits of Own Data Center Infrastructure

It’s done and dusted. Since someday last month, everything Netflix does runs on Amazon Web Services, from streaming video to managing its employee …

Zenefits Software Helped Brokers Cheat On Licensing Process

A secret software program inside Zenefits made it seem that brokers were completing a legally required 52-hour online training course and led them to certify under penalty of perjury that they had actually done so.

Zenefits, the $4.5 billion startup whose CEO resigned this week, created a secret …


Pandora Is Said to Have Held Talks About Selling Itself

Pandora Media, the largest Internet radio service, has held discussions about selling the company, according to people briefed on the talks.

Pandora is working with Morgan Stanley to meet with potential buyers, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing private …


Why The Internet Of Things Hasn’t Gone Cellular Yet

Particle CEO Zach Supalla on putting ordinary objects online from anywhere.

In the future that Particle CEO Zach Supalla envisions, you’ll never lose your luggage, or find out too late that your basement is flooded. Production lines will recognize exactly when a single piece of equipment is about to …


Inside The Facebook Group Of Undecideds Asking Questions At Tonight's Debate

PBS formed a group of carefully chosen voters from across the country to discuss key election issues.

In recent election cycles, it's become common for debates to tap the power of social media, with questions posed by Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook users. But tonight's Democratic debate in …


Pacific Content’s podcasts are all sponsored by companies — but at least there aren’t any ads

To Steve Pratt, one of the biggest benefits of branded podcasts is that they don’t contain advertising.

Of course, branded podcasts are, by definition, a form of advertising in and of themselves. But Pratt, who leads what he believes is the only company dedicated solely to producing podcasts for …


Twitter, to Save Itself, Must Scale Back World-Swallowing Ambitions

Twitter is the world’s most important social network.

That might sound like the ravings of an addict, but look at the headlines in every morning’s newspaper and the obsessions of every evening’s cable news broadcast. Just about anything you encounter in the news media these days has some foot in the …

New York Times Company

Marc Andreessen Offends India Defending Facebook’s Free Basics. (Yes, the Country.)

Venture capitalist and well-known Twitter philosopher Marc Andreessen made a few enemies Tuesday night. Okay, a lot of enemies.

That’s because Andreessen, a Facebook board member, took to Twitter to defend the company’s Free Basics service, which offers users some free Internet services. It was …


HBO NOW, The Network’s Streaming Service For Cord Cutters, Has Just 800,000 Subscribers

HBO NOW may have scored as one of last year’s top streaming apps in terms of revenue, but its subscriber count is falling short of analyst projections. Industry observers had expected the service, which allows consumers to stream HBO programming over the internet without a cable TV subscription, to …


Opera gets $1.2 billion buyout offer from mix of Chinese firms, board recommends deal

There is "strong strategic and industrial logic to the acquisition," according to the software maker's CEO.

Opera (Browser)

It’s Official: Moore's Law Is Nearing Its End

The 51-year-old computing principle is now butting heads with the realities of physics and economics.

In 1965 Gordon Moore, who would go on to co-found Intel, wrote a paper in which he described what has become known as "Moore’s law." It stated that the number of transistors on a microprocessor will …

Moore's Law

Feds declare that Google's self-driving car is its own driver

US regulations detail much of how cars are designed, from steering wheel placement to headlight brightness, all based on the idea of having a human …


Carnegie Deli Reopens After a 10-Month Shutdown

Ten months after being caught stealing gas for cooking, the Carnegie Deli, renowned for its massive meat sandwiches named for famous New Yorkers, reopened on Tuesday morning.

By midday, customers were again filing into the 79-year-old restaurant on Seventh Avenue to order pastrami, corned beef and …

Corned Beef

Funny or Die Made a Trump Biopic, Starring Johnny Depp

LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp has played a loopy pirate, a mad hatter and a demon barber. But will he be a convincing Donald J. Trump?

The humor website Funny or Die on Wednesday began streaming a 50-minute comedy that finds Mr. Depp portraying the businessman turned politician, full-blown comb-over and …

Johnny Depp

This Is How Hillary Clinton Gets the Coverage She Wants

Hillary Clinton’s supporters often argue that mainstream political reporters are incapable of covering her positively—or even fairly. While it may be …


BART admits 77 percent of train cameras are fake or don’t work

Fewer than a quarter of what appear to be surveillance cameras inside BART train cars are real and functional, transit agency officials said Tuesday.

BART detailed exactly how many of its train cameras actually record footage in response to a public records request that The Chronicle filed after …

Train Stations

The Next Tesla Will Start At $35,000, But Don’t Expect To Pay That Price

Tesla has yet to unveil the Model 3, but the company just confirmed that it will be available starting at $35,000. The Model 3 has long been rumored to cost about this price, and today, Bloomberg is quoting a Tesla spokesperson who confirmed the starting price.

At that price, the car will retail at …


Andy Rubin Unleashed Android on the World. Now Watch Him Do the Same With AI

Rubin’s ambitions go beyond building gadgets or companies. He wants Playground to be the factory that creates the building blocks for an AI-infused …

Ted Cruz's National Security Advisor Has Zero National Security Experience

In fact, she's an art historian.​

After listening to Ted Cruz talk about his ISIS strategy during the December 15 Republican debate—"making the sand glow" and "carpet bombing" Syria—I asked, somewhat rhetorically, who could possibly be filling his head with such ridiculous notions. But now that Cruz …

Ted Cruz

Timing Is Everything: Twitter Unveils First View Ads, Videos At The Top Of Your Timeline

Twitter has been in the spotlight for the past several days over allegedly imminent (longstanding) plans to change the order of Tweets in your timeline. But while its CEO has confirmed there are no such plans for this week, Twitter is adding a new product in its advertising business that does …


Behold The Grammycam!

When artists win awards at next week's Grammys, a camera built into the trophy will capture the big moment from an all-new perspective.

Back in 1959, when the music industry's Recording Academy presented Grammy awards for the first time, it chose to bestow a trophy that depicted a gramophone—one of …

The Oscars

Kickstarter just hit 100,000 successfully funded campaigns

Kickstarter hit a big milestone overnight: the successful funding of a 100,000th campaign. It's taken Kickstarter nearly seven years to reach 100,000 funded projects, but the rate at which projects are being funded is much faster than it used to be. In a blog post, Kickstarter says that it took 121 …


Adorable Dog-Sized Rescue Rabbit Is Looking For New Home

But be warned: He'll grow even larger.

Atlas isn't your typical bunny.

He's only 7 months old but is already as large as a dog, and still has plenty more growing to do.

The continental giant rabbit from Scotland is now looking for a new home after his previous owner couldn't keep him anymore.

The …


Tempest in a Tweetpot — 500ish Words

There’s a general rule with social networking services: early in their lives, the vast majority of what the service itself wants to talk about is the …

Obama To The Next First Family: We're Working On Fixing The WiFi

President Barack Obama said Sunday in a very lighthearted interview that he's working on improving the White House's wireless Internet connection for …


Here's why Peyton Manning embarrassed everyone with his Budweiser marketing

At this point in American history — saturated with brands as we are, savvy about all the advertising tricks — there is no product placement that can surprise us as a nation.

Except, maybe, when Peyton Manning takes a bow for leading his team to a Super Bowl win — at 39 years old, ancient in football …

Peyton Manning

Old-school reply to advertiser’s threat

Meg Whitman’s lieutenant was ‘disappointed’ with what I’d written. Here is my considered response

Why Verizon’s Free Go90 Net Neutrality Argument Is Weak

Word that Verizon was exempting its own Go90 video service from data caps for Verizon users understandably raised immediate red flags among net neutrality advocates.

After all, Verizon is essentially saying you can use our data service for free while all other video services count against your data …