Technologizer

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

Internet Archive Successfully Fends Off Secret FBI Order

Internet Archive Win Is a “Tiny Peek” at NSL Process<p>Kahle told The Intercept that the incident should encourage others to challenge NSLs and gag …

Gag Orders

The 3D Printing Revolution That Wasn’t

MakerBot made a bold bet that 3D printers would become as common as microwaves. Just one problem: no one else shared that dream.<p>It <b>was October 2009</b> …

3D Printing

Redesigning Waxy, 2016 edition

“Redesigning your blog” in 2016 is an anachronism. Like tweaking your Gopher presence or upgrading your ham radio, even <i>talking</i> about blogging feels …

Blogging

AT&T just declared war on an open internet (and us)

‘Mobilizing Your World’ sounds like a threat now<p>Last year we won the open internet back, but the new regulations had one big weakness: they didn’t explicitly ban a scheme called “zero rating.” Zero rating is a poison pill wrapped in a piece of cheese; it <i>looks</i> like a good thing for consumers (free …

Internet

How to Deal With the Lies of Donald Trump: Guidelines for the Media

A man who will literally have life and death power over much of humanity seems not to understand or care about the difference between truth and lies. Is there any way for democratic institutions to cope? This is our topic in the post-Thanksgiving week.<p>***<p>Being back in China in the U.S.-election …

Donald Trump

Facebook Shouldn’t Fact-Check

We finally got a grudging mea culpa from Mark Zuckerberg: an admission that fake news is a significant problem that his social network must help solve.<p>But as a journalist who has been covering the inner workings of the technology industry for more than a decade, I find the calls for Facebook to …

Facebook

Facebook Said to Create Censorship Tool to Get Back Into China

SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has cultivated relationships with China’s leaders, including President Xi Jinping. He has paid multiple visits to the country to meet its top internet executives. He has made an effort to learn Mandarin.<p>Inside Facebook, the work to enter …

Facebook

MiNT Unveils the Slick SLR670-S Noir, a Polaroid Camera Worth Drooling Over

If you’re a Polaroid camera lover, you definitely need to check out MiNT’s latest creation. The classic camera purveyor just unveiled the special …

Polaroid Photography

Some Users Experiencing 'Three Finger Drag' Issues on New MacBook Pro

A small but growing number of users have reported issues using the "three finger drag" gesture on the new MacBook Pro's trackpad.<p>Affected users say the gesture either works only intermittently or does not work whatsoever on both 13-inch and 15-inch late 2016 models.<p><i>MacRumors</i> reader Luke said the …

Apple News

Snap’s Spectacles Are the Beginning of a Camera-First Future

The story of Spectacles, the new camera-filled sunglasses from Snap, goes back further than you think. It begins probably well before you were using …

Eyeglasses

Airbnb's Next Act: Tours, Classes, And Restaurant Reservations

Ahead of a rumored IPO, Airbnb's making some big changes to its business model.<p>Every year, Airbnb hosts Airbnb Open, a multi-day "festival of hosting" that’s equal parts corporate pep rally, trade show, and gesture of public goodwill. This year’s event is in Los Angeles, a city where they recently …

Airbnb

Charles Harder, the Lawyer Who Killed Gawker, Isn’t Done Yet

Have a score to settle with the press? Charles Harder, the media lawyer who ground Gawker.com to dust, is your man. As the legal attack dog for Melania Trump, Roger Ailes (reportedly), and possibly even President-Elect Donald Trump, Harder wants us to know he doesn’t hate journalists—he just wants …

Melania Trump

The Analog Spaces in Digital Companies

Primo Orpilla, the co-founder of the architecture and design firm Studio O+A, has been designing offices for digital-technology companies for more than thirty years, basically since the start of the PC era. His clients have included Cisco and Microsoft, PayPal and Facebook, Uber and Yelp. I met …

Analog

Here’s how Facebook plans to fix its fake-news problem

It’s a rough plan, but a plan nonetheless.<p>Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t think fake news influenced last week’s presidential election. But it turns out he <i>does</i> think fake news is a problem on Facebook, and late Friday night he laid out a few details about a number of “projects we already have …

Facebook

Twitter's Misbegotten Censorship

The right way to deal with social media’s neo-Nazis is not by taking away their platforms, but by taking away their audiences.<p>The very last tweet from the now-suspended Twitter account of the alt-right leader Richard B. Spencer was directed at me.<p>On Tuesday afternoon, I tweeted a link to a <i>BuzzFeed</i> …

Social Media

At Sundar Pichai's Google, AI Is Everything—And Everywhere

A year into his tenure as CEO of Google, the low-key leader talks about what the company is, where it’s going, and how it gets things done.<p>Sundar Pichai is huddling with five Google staffers in a room next to his office that’s known—appropriately enough—as "Sundar’s Huddle." The employees are …

Google

Facebook Won Trump the Election, and Not Just With Fake News

Mark Zuckerberg is trying hard to convince voters that Facebook had no nefarious role in this election. But according to President-elect Donald …

Facebook

MacBook Pro Review: Apple Sticks To Its Priorities, And Nails Most Of Them

It's sleeker. It's ready for the brave new world of USB-C connectivity. And the Touch Bar is cool right now, with potential to spare.<p>There’s a famous story about an Apple meeting that occurred soon after Steve Jobs returned in 1997. As the company's cofounder rationalized its product line—which at …

Apple News

Facebook Is Said to Question Its Influence in Election

SAN FRANCISCO — Late on Tuesday night, as it became clear that Donald J. Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton to win the presidential election, a private chat sprang up on Facebook among several vice presidents and executives of the social network.<p>What role, they asked each other, had their company …

Facebook

The Lost Civilization of Dial-Up Bulletin Board Systems

A former systems operator logs back in to the original computer-based social network.<p>I have a vivid, recurring dream. I climb the stairs in my parents’ house to see my old bedroom. In the back corner, I hear a faint humming.<p>It’s my old computer, still running my 1990s-era bulletin board system …

Texas A&M

Facebook admits it must do more to stop the spread of misinformation on its platform

Facebook has responded to widespread criticism of how its Newsfeed algorithm disseminates and amplifies misinformation in the wake of the Trump victory in the US presidential election yesterday.<p>Multiple commentators were quick to point a finger of blame at Facebook’s role in the election campaign, …

Facebook

Instagram Stories Is Giving You New Ways To Tell Your Tales

Shoot a video loop, mention a pal, or link out to the web.<p>When Instagram debuted its "Stories" feature last August, much of the gut reaction focused on the fact that it was remarkably similar to Snapchat's identically named feature. But a sizable chunk of Instagram users have embraced the ability …

Snapchat

Explaining Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, and Everything In Between

The first Mac with Thunderbolt 3 is now available, the non-Touch Bar 13-inch model from Apple’s new series of MacBook Pro laptops (see “New MacBook …

Thunderbolt

How Hillary Clinton Became An Unlikely Fashion Icon On Instagram, Facebook, And Beyond

The Democratic nominee's look has inspired social media posts, flash mobs, and even at least one new business.<p>Scroll through the Instagram account hillarystreetstyle, and you’ll find more than 100 colorful collages of Hillary Clinton. The feed puts her next to best-dressed regulars like Rihanna and …

Fashion

Echo And Alexa Are Two Years Old. Here's What Amazon Has Learned So Far

With its smart speaker and voice service, Amazon has gained new areas of expertise—and, in some cases, been surprised by its own customers.<p>On November 6 2014, Amazon announced Echo, a smart speaker featuring a voice-controlled assistant service called Alexa. The company didn't exactly go out of its …

Amazon

How 25-year-old Prodigy screenshots got rescued

When I decided to write about the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign and how it was waged, in part, <b>on online services such as CompuServe and Prodigy</b>, I had a basic problem: I wasn't sure if I could show what I was talking about. The services I was referencing are long gone, and screenshots that depict …

Online Life

1992: The Year Presidential Campaigning Went Online

When candidates courted voters on CompuServe, Prodigy, and GEnie, it was known as "modemocracy"—and it presaged the era we live in today.<p>If you don't recall Larry Agran's run for the Democratic nomination for president in 1992, I can't blame you—I'd forgotten about it myself. Even at the time, the …

Politics

An Email History of the 2001 iPod Launch

<b>From:</b> <i>Lynn Fox[SMTP:LFOX@</i><i>APPLE.COM</i><i>]</i><b><br>Sent:</b> <i>Friday, October 19, 2001 6:45:30 PM</i><b><br>To:</b><i>slevy@newsweek.com</i><b>Subject:</b> <i>Update</i><p><i>Hi Steven,</i><p><i>Since we haven’t hooked up via</i> …

Email

Microsoft Hits Pause On Its Mobile Device Strategy

At a product launch focused on Windows as a creation tool, Microsoft didn't reveal much about the future of its mobile hardware efforts.<p>Last week's Microsoft’s announcements, which were expected to include new hardware, fulfilled their promise in quality if not quantity. The Surface Studio desktop …

Mobile