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

Amazon Shows Off New Prime Air Drone With Hybrid Design

Amazon delivered a lovely update on its ‘Prime Air’ project today — almost exactly two years after it showed the first iteration of its drone. You know, the flying delivery drone that some thought was a massive joke meant for April 1st. Included are some high-res shots and two new videos.

The video, …


This tiny chip could charge your iPhone much faster

A professor in Singapore has invented a tiny chip that he claims could speed up how quickly batteries charge — while also making them safer.

Rachid Yazami at Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) has developed a chip that will monitor potential faults in batteries and alert the user if …

Apple News

This 3-D Printed Haiku Is Invisible Until You Put It In Water

Inspired by the shadows created by water striders, Drzach & Suchy have figured out a way to "paint" words in water shadows.

Water striders are a family of insects that are able to transfer their body weight so they can run on top of the water's surface. Upon seeing them for the first time at the …


Cortana for iPhone is rolling out now to beta testers

As expected, Microsoft has begun to roll out a beta version of Cortana for iOS. The digital assistant app is being distributed via Apple's TestFlight, according to TechCrunch, which potentially means the pool of testers is limited to just 2,000 participants.

While Cortana's trademark sass is still …


Free App Friday: 5 Ways To Make Your Next Flight Less Boring

Catch up on your reading, listen to some podcasts, and learn some new skills.

Wheels up! Here are a handful of apps to keep you entertained on your next flight, all of which feature offline modes, just in case your plane isn’t equipped with Wi-Fi.

1. Catch Up On Your Longreads

Pocket (Android, iOS) is …


Sony’s PlayStation 4 Scores More Than 30 Million Sales

Console has sold at a faster pace than any other PlayStations, says Sony


TOKYO— Sony Corp. SNE -0.08 % said Wednesday that it has sold more …


Dead again: Another Apple Watch killer

The Macalope should have gotten that clicker app for the Apple Watch so he could keep track of the number of Apple Watch killers that have been run …

Wearable Tech

Accused Mastermind of J.P. Morgan Hack a Product of Israel’s Internet Underbelly

Gery Shalon is alleged to have run a ‘criminal conglomerate’ that reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal profits


To many in Tel …

Middle East

How Facebook Keeps Scaling Its Culture

The company Mark Zuckerberg created now has 12,000 employees. But it's doing its best to keep on acting like a scrappy startup.

The most interesting thing about Facebook’s new headquarters in Menlo Park, California—humbly known as "Building 20," and connected to the nearby, ex-Sun Microsystems …


Security Manual Reveals the OPSEC Advice ISIS Gives Recruits

Documents obtained by US researchers detail security measures ISIS advises recruits to use to avoid surveillance, though not all of them follow the …


Why Rdio died

It’s easy to forget now, but the first modern music streaming service to arrive in America was Rdio. Like its founders, Skype billionaires Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, Rdio was awkwardly spelled and a little hard to pronounce. When it arrived in August 2010, the smartphone era was young enough …



There is a lot of talk lately about the contrasting positions taken by Apple and Microsoft over operating system convergence. Microsoft, which was …


The iPad Pro's keyboard problems could use a little work

With the announcement of iOS 9 and the subsequent release of the Smart Keyboard, this has been a good year for fans of using iPads with physical …


Amazon wants your movie ideas so badly it’s offering a free screenwriting app

Amazon has unveiled Storywriter, a free cloud-based tool for writing movie and TV screenplays in standard format that’s suitable for users of all skill levels.

Storywriter includes a number of useful features such as automatically formatting your text while you type, auto-saving and …


Reddit Updates Privacy Policy, CEO Steve Huffman Details Dedication To Protecting User Anonymity

It’s been a busy last few months since Steve Huffman returned to Reddit in July to become its CEO. The company had an eventful summer (to put it lightly), but now as much of the controversy subsides, Huffman and the rest of his team are looking to reduce overall stress and “bring a sense of …


CNN Punished Its Own Journalist for Fulfilling a Core Duty of Journalism

CNN yesterday suspended its global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, for two weeks for the crime of posting a tweet critical of the House vote to …


How Modern Art And Design Influenced The Beloved Cartoon Tintin

The evolution of Hergé's work—from simple comic strips to sophisticated graphics—was influenced by a fascination with fine art and design.

Since its first appearance in a Belgian newspaper in 1929, The Adventures of Tintin—the beloved comic that follows the escapades of an intrepid boy reporter and …


Jawbone Lays Off 60, 15% Of Staff Globally, Closes NY Office

Some difficult news this week for Jawbone, maker of fitness trackers, speakers and Bluetooth headsets. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that the company yesterday laid off around 60 employees, or 15% of staff. It’s a global round of layoffs affecting all areas of the business; and as part of it …


It Was Never Going to Be Easy for Yahoo to Make Money on ‘Community’

Rescued TV sitcom contributed to Yahoo’s $42 million write-down

Yahoo Inc., YHOO 0.00 % on its third-quarter earnings call, disclosed that it was …


5 Great Free Apps To Make You A Better Boss

Get organized, take care of business, give dynamite presentations, and more.

El Jefe. Head Honcho. Fearless Leader. Those are all nicknames for you, my friend.

With great power comes great responsibility (and cool nicknames). Make sure you’re inspiring and motivating your team on a daily basis. Here …


The Last Days Of Marissa Mayer?

This story appears in the December 14, 2015 issue of FORBES.

The late October offsite meeting for more than 120 of Yahoo’s top executives at the Park Central Hotel in San Francisco started well enough. The first day jumped from strategy sessions to upcoming product discussions. But on day two, when …

Marissa Mayer

Zite will shut down on December 7, asks users to migrate data to Flipboard

If you’re a user of the personal news aggregator Zite, you’re going to want to pay attention. The app is being shuttered and all data should be migrated over to Flipboard before December 7. The move should not come as a surprise, since Flipboard has been appropriating features from Zite since …


Google Search Now Surfaces App-Only Content, Streams Apps From The Cloud When Not Installed On Your Phone

Google today is making a big change in terms of its ability to surface the content found in mobile applications through Google search: it’s no longer requiring that apps have matching web content in order to be indexed through Google’s search engine. In addition, when Google finds in-app content …


The Silicon Valley Suicides

Why are so many kids with bright prospects killing themselves in Palo Alto?

The air shrieks, and life stops. First, from far away, comes a high whine like angry insects swarming, and then a trampling, like a herd moving through. The kids on their bikes who pass by the Caltrain crossing are eager to

Silicon Valley

Carmen Sandiego is back to her old tricks on iOS

Well she sneaks around the world, from your iPhone to your iPad...

The geography-obsessed supervillain Carmen Sandiego is coming back to video games, 30 years after her original debut. Carmen Sandiego Returns brings Carmen and her V.I.L.E lackeys to iOS devices, as kids (and nostalgic adults) chase …


Mark Zuckerberg donates $20 million to give kids faster internet at schools

Mark Zuckerberg is on a mission to bring internet to the world, but that includes increasing internet access in the US, too.

In a Facebook post, the social network's founder announced that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are donating $20 million to Education Super Highway, a nonprofit group that …

Mark Zuckerberg

iFixit Apple Pencil teardown reveals twin emitters to measure angle & orientation, logic board folded in half

No new Apple tech survives long without being taken apart by iFixit, and the Apple Pencil is no exception. Apple didn’t make it easy, however, with iFixit having to resort to a small circular saw to open up the device and needing to break a flex cable along the way.

Inside, it found that the plastic …

Apple News

A Big Investor is Telling Yahoo to Hold on to Alibaba

It’s changed its mind.

It’s no secret that Yahoo’s long-planned spinoff of its valuable Alibaba stake comes with the risk of a hefty tax bill, but now an activist investor says the risk is too high and is urging CEO Marissa Mayer to reconsider the sale.

Starboard Value, which previously pushed for …


Report: Apple now at over 100 million iPhones in use in the US

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) is out with a new report today claiming Apple is now at over 100 million iPhones in use in the US. That means Apple has crossed 100 million active iPhone units since CIRP reported 97 million iPhones in use back in August, according to the research …