Technologizer

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

The Untold Story Of Facebook Live

The behind-the-scenes tale of how a seemingly obscure service turned into the future of Facebook.<p>On Monday night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump went head-to-head to make their case for why they should be America’s next leader. The stage also doubled as Facebook Live’s coronation.<p>The social giant …

Facebook

Defending Against Hackers Took a Back Seat at Yahoo, Insiders Say

SAN FRANCISCO — Six years ago, Yahoo’s computer systems and customer email accounts were penetrated by Chinese military hackers. Google and a number of other technology companies were also hit.<p>The Google co-founder Sergey Brin regarded the attack on his company’s systems as a personal affront and …

Yahoo

Satya Nadella On Microsoft's New Age Of Intelligence

How the software giant aims to tie everything from Cortana to Office to HoloLens to Azure servers into one AI experience.<p>"Microsoft was born to do a certain set of things. We're about empowering people in organizations all over the world to achieve more. In today's world, we want to use AI to …

Microsoft

Warehouse On Demand

Creators making physical stuff still need to package it up and ship it out. These companies remove most of the hassle at a fair price.<p>The designers of the Exploding Kittens card game originally thought they might need to print about 500 decks, and could handle fulfillment with help at a launch …

Cards Against Humanity

What the Hacking at Yahoo Means for Verizon

It was the kind of phone call no chief executive wants to make — or receive — in the middle of a multibillion-dollar deal.<p>On Tuesday, Lowell McAdam, the head of Verizon Communications, was on the road. Marissa Mayer, the chief executive of Yahoo, was at work in Silicon Valley. Executives at both …

Yahoo

How LG uses fuzzy math to label some of its LCD TVs as 4K

By replacing every fourth red, green, or blue subpixel with a white one, LG boosts the brightness of its 6100-, 6500-, and 6800-series models. The …

LG Electronics

Inside Apple And IBM's App Making Machine

This is how the (unlikely) partnership actually works, as told by the people from both companies who manage it every day.<p>On a July day in 2014 some people from IBM and Apple got together in a room at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California to start work on their recently announced business app …

IBM

Inside The Making Of Allo, Google’s AI-Powered Messaging App

Google's plan for beating Apple and Facebook in the messaging wars.<p>Let the Great Messaging War of 2017 begin. Today, Google is launching Allo, a revamped messaging app meant to compete with the likes of Apple Messages and Facebook Messenger—two products that in recent months have steadily unveiled …

Google

Doppler Labs And The Quest To Build A Computer For Your Ears

Leveraging everything from advanced hardware engineering to AI, this startup wants to give you control over your world's sounds.<p>I’m trying to listen as Doppler Labs cofounder and CEO Noah Kraft walks me through his company’s new smart earbuds over the din of a crowded restaurant, but the cacophony …

Audio Quality

AT&T's New San Francisco Flagship Is Rather Grandiose For A Phone Store

A little bit of San Francisco history becomes a setting to get people to think of AT&T as something more than a phone company.<p>There's absolutely nothing remarkable about the AT&T store near my office in San Francicso. Once you're inside, it could be any neighborhood AT&T shop, anywhere in the …

Northern California

Microsoft accidentally sent an Xbox One to a random guy months before it was announced

In March 2013, a 25-year-old Miami resident named Jia Li ordered a new laptop. Nothing fancy — just a $400 to $500 notebook.<p>He ordered it from Microsoft's website, which has a store.<p>When the package arrived a few days later, it looked strange.<p>"The box had a lot of security tape over it," Li told …

Microsoft

The iPhone 7 Plus's Dual-Lens Camera, Tested By An Award-Winning Photojournalist

International Photographer of the Year Brooks Kraft says new lens improvements and better image resolution represent a great leap forward.<p>The new dual-lens camera of the new iPhone 7 Plus is possibly the most significant upgrade to an iPhone camera ever.<p>The iPhone 7 camera's 28mm wide angle lens …

Apple News

She Found Her Biological Father On Ancestry And 23andMe

DNA services are revealing relationships that once were cloaked in anonymity. And the world is still figuring out how to deal with that.<p>When she was 22, Jordon Goulder lost her dad to the neurodegenerative disease called ALS. That same year, she discovered that he wasn't her biological …

Genetics

YouTube Is Building Community—And It's Not Just About Video

Text, still images, and GIFs are now part of the mix that the service gives creators to keep their fans engaged.<p>Last March, half a dozen people met for breakfast at Hugo’s, a restaurant in Los Angeles. Two of them were John and Hank Green, the brothers who are among YouTube’s most popular content …

YouTube

Jack Dorsey On The New Twitter: "We're Not A Social Network As People Think About It"

The company's CEO talks about focusing on news, ramping up video, incorporating AI, balancing safety with freedom of speech, and more.<p>In a tech industry full of executives prone to loudly proclaiming their intention to transform the world in multiple ways all at once, Twitter cofounder and CEO Jack …

Twitter

The Internet’s Own Instigator

On <b>August 8,</b> Carl Malamud wakes up early. He usually does. Most days, from the moment his eyes open, he is fixated on the mission. Early morning …

Tim O'Reilly

Game Time For Twitter: Jack Dorsey's Big Bet On Live Events

Can the company’s move to stream major events right inside its app, including Thursday night NFL games, woo the masses?<p>Once upon a time, there was an ocean that surged with a billion and one stories. Every one was different, and they combined in unexpected ways to create new stories. Fishing one …

Twitter

It’s Tough Being Over 40 in Silicon Valley

After Andrea Rodriguez lost her job last fall, she put away her suits. Not because she didn’t plan to keep working—she just had to seem younger. …

Employment

Apple Is Said to Be Rethinking Strategy on Self-Driving Cars

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is rethinking what it plans to do about self-driving cars, just as other big tech companies appear ready to plow ahead with competing efforts.<p>In a retrenchment of one of its most ambitious initiatives, Apple has shuttered parts of its self-driving car project and laid off …

Automotive

8 Big Questions I Hope Get Answered At Apple's September Event

The news on September 7 won't just involve product specs, prices, and availability dates.<p>Apple is holding its big product launch for 2016 on September 7.<p>Unless the company has managed to keep something wholly unexpected under wraps—which would be great!—the key news will involve new iPhones and the …

Apple News

Ed Smith And The Imagination Machine: The Untold Story Of A Black Video Game Pioneer

At APF in the 1970s, as the second-known African-American video game engineer, he helped create an industry.<p>Thirty-seven years ago, New York-based APF Electronics, Inc. released The Imagination Machine, a hybrid video game console and personal computer designed to make a consumer's first experience …

Gaming

Marvel, Jack Kirby, and the Comic-Book Artist’s Plight

A decades-old legal battle is a reminder of how hard many creators have to fight to get credit and compensation for their own work.<p>One week ago, Marvel put out a press release announcing something special: a five-day celebration of the life and work of Jack Kirby, the spectacularly talented and …

Comics

Rewriting the tablet

How Lenovo brought a dream design to life<p><b>Tablets were supposed</b> to be the future. They were supposed to get us off the desk and away from the laptop, and usher us into a touch-enabled world of productivity and entertainment. A dream of computing where our devices seamlessly blend between activities …

Tablets

The end of Nexus: This year's Google phones to forge new path

The 'Nexus' brand is going away, but the biggest deal here is the large change in software experience that will accompany the new branding.<p>This …

Google

At The Heart Of Fitbit's New Features: Your Heart

With its Charge 2 band's cardio and breathing offerings, Fitbit is putting its years-in-the-making PurePulse sensor to work in new ways.<p>Behind a wall of privacy dividers in a common space at Fitbit's San Francisco headquarters, a young man in a surfing T-shirt and shorts—and an oxygen mask—is …

Running

How the Clinton Campaign Is Foiling the Kremlin

Staffers are now using a “Snowden-approved” app to hide Trump-related e-mails from hackers, in Russia and elsewhere.<p>On May 17, as dusk was setting over Brooklyn, around a dozen employees from <b>Hillary Clinton’s</b> campaign, and a consultant who worked with the Democratic National Committee, walked …

Russia

Welcome To 1986: Inside "Halt And Catch Fire's" High-Tech Time Machine

In its third season, the show takes on the Silicon Valley of the '80s—and gets the details right, from plot points to on-set clutter.<p>Tech executive John Bosworth is ready to take my questions. As I fire up a note-taking app on my iPad, he leans back behind a desk at his San Francisco-based startup, …

Halt and Catch Fire

How Microsoft built a computer so good, even Apple wanted to copy it

On May 20, 2014, Satya Nadella — the recently appointed CEO of Microsoft — sat down next to Microsoft Surface boss Panos Panay in a packed New York City auditorium.<p>They were there to launch the Surface Pro 3, the newest version of Microsoft's tablet.<p>"This is a big day," Nadella told Panay. "Let's …

Microsoft

GAME OVER

VERYTHING CHANGED for Fujioka the day<p>GAME OVER<p>Tablet maker Fuhu was No. 1 on the Inc. 500 two years in a row. Then it went bankrupt. Inside the …