Technologizer

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

The Inside Story Of Donald Trump's Only High-Tech Venture

The Republican nominee's foray into interactive TV was an "early version of Netflix" but it didn't catch on.<p>A federal appeals court judge held a hearing in D.C. to criticize independent counsel Kenneth Starr for news leaks about his investigation into President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica …

Donald Trump

Silicon Valley Needs a Valleywag. Peter Thiel Just Proved It.

Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist and Facebook board member who co-founded PayPal and Palantir, has plenty of reasons to hate Gawker …

Silicon Valley

Hackers Claim to Have a Stunning 427 Million Myspace Passwords | Motherboard

There’s an oft-repeated adage in the world of cybersecurity: There are two types of companies, those that have been hacked, and those that don’t yet know they have been hacked.<p>MySpace, the social media behemoth that was, is apparently in the second category. The same hacker who was selling the data …

Myspace

The fall of Salon.com

How a digital trailblazer and progressive powerhouse lost its way.<p>A Facebook page dedicated to celebrating the 20th anniversary of digital media pioneer Salon is functioning as a crowdsourced eulogy.<p>Dozens of Salon alumni have, over the past several months, posted their favorite stories from and …

Liberal News

Google is making the same mistake now that Microsoft did in the 90s

In so many ways, Google is the modern equivalent of Microsoft. It makes a operating system used by the majority of the market, running on an array of …

CD-ROMs were the training wheels for the internet, but no one remembers them now

Believe it or not, back in the 1990s, a lot of people thought CD-ROMs were going to the change the world.<p>I was one of them. I was absolutely …

An Open Letter to Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel,<p>Nearly a decade ago, after you had opened up to friends and colleagues, a gay writer for Gawker shared an item with the readers of …

Peter Thiel

A quick list of the nefarious influences within 1,000 feet of the Daily Caller

The conservative news web site the Daily Caller did America a great service on Thursday, revealing the nefarious secret that underpins President Obama's choice of housing once he leaves the White House. His "fancy new mansion," the Caller's Eric Owens reports, is "located 1,000 feet from the …

Human Rights

What does Facebook think about board member Peter Thiel secretly funding lawsuits against a publisher? No comment (for now).

And there will also likely be no action, either.<p>Here's a very good question swirling around Silicon Valley and the media universe today after investor Peter Thiel proudly took financial credit for a series of aggressive legal assaults on Gawker Media:<p>What does Facebook, which has been trying …

Peter Thiel

Oops: Time Inc. Probably Just Made a Six-Figure Mistake

A grammatical error in the Wall Street Journal cost the publisher a pretty penny.<p>The publishers over at Time Inc. had a bright idea. They would create a new site, Motto, aimed at attracting young women with stories like “Ivanka Trump’s 9 Rules for How to Negotiate—and Win” and “Body-Positive …

Ivanka Trump

Peter Thiel’s dangerous campaign against Gawker

Funding Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker? That’s not cool. Actively going out to find potential plaintiffs who might have cases against Gawker and …

How Can We Make You Happy Today, Peter Thiel?

What can we say about Peter Thiel? Nothing—except that he's absolutely, totally, thoroughly the best. The post How Can We Make You Happy Today, Peter …

Peter Thiel, Tech Billionaire, Reveals Secret War With Gawker

A billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur was outed as being gay by a media organization. His friends suffered at the hands of the same gossip site. Nearly a decade later, the entrepreneur secretly financed a lawsuit to try to put the media company out of business.<p>That is the bizarre and astounding …

Pebble Makes a Run for It — Backchannel

Not on My Watch<p>The Pebble Core lives on your keychain. It plays music and tracks your run. But it won’t give you the time of day.<p>L<b>ast year, Eric</b> …

The Do Not Call List Used to Be Magical. Now Robocalls Are Out of Control. What Happened?

Once upon a time, way back in 2003, the federal government set up a list where Americans could register their phone numbers, and telemarketers could …

Privacy

On the urban legend that Marissa Mayer is a cupcake freak

05.24.16 | 43 minutes ago<p>In Part I of our ongoing coverage of <i>Variety</i>'s big story on Marissa Mayer and Yahoo, Ainsley O'Connell said that the famously fashion-conscious Mayer would never wear the suit she's depicted in on the magazine's cover. In Part II, our colleague Cale Weissman reported on …

Marissa Mayer

Is Donald Trump’s Hair a $60,000 Weave? A Gawker Investigation

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has generated an unceasing torrent of press attention that some estimate to be worth roughly $2 …

Donald Trump

A Brief History Of Twitter's 140-Character Limit

Whether you love it, hate it, or are simply inspired to riff on it, Twitter's maximum character count matters. And seems to be here to stay.<p>When Twitter was born in 2006, it was designed to be used via wireless carriers' text-messaging services. They were (and are) limited to 160 characters. So …

Biz Stone

Twitter's New Tweaks Make The 140-Character Limit Less Limiting

At long last, Twitter is eliminating a bunch of things that got in the way of expressing yourself in the space it supposedly gave you.<p>In a move that people have suggested for years—and that Bloomberg's Sarah Frier got wind of last week—Twitter is about to open up some elbow room in its …

Jack Dorsey

How Russia's New Facial Recognition App Could End Anonymity

FindFace's technology may one day allow anyone to identify you with their phone.<p>Imagine you’re sitting in a coffee shop. Out of the corner of your eye, you see a stranger pointing his phone in your direction. The next day, you get an email from someone claiming to have seen you at the coffee shop. …

Anonymity

The Dangerous Acceptance of Donald Trump

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, / As, to be hated, needs but to be seen,” the poet Alexander Pope wrote, in lines that were once, as they said back in the day, imprinted on the mind of every schoolboy. Pope continued, “Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, / we first endure, then pity, …

Donald Trump

Amazon stopped giving refunds when an item's price drops after you purchase it

Except for TVs.<p>The company that prides itself on customer centricity may have just alienated some customers.<p>Amazon has been known to give refunds if the price of an item drops after a purchase and the customer notifies customer service. But it appears that Amazon stopped providing these refunds …

Amazon

Turns Out The History Of The Virtual Boy Is More Interesting Than The Console Itself

While the dismal commercial performance of the Wii U has made headlines recently, it's a long way from being Nintendo's most famous failure - that …

Virtual Reality

Machine Bias: There’s Software Used Across the Country to Predict Future Criminals. And it’s Biased Against Blacks.

On a spring afternoon in 2014, Brisha Borden was running late to pick up her god-sister from school when she spotted an unlocked kid’s blue Huffy …

Predictions

Wenner Media to Launch Gaming Site ‘Glixel’

Wenner Media is betting that video game culture is here to stay with the launch of Glixel, a site that will cover the world of gaming. When Glixel …

Advertising

The beauty of old, cheap Soviet watches

This is an old “Wostok”, made in the Soviet Union back in — probably — the 80s. I got it off Ebay for about $25, which has become one of my new …

Russia

Morley Safer, Mainstay of ‘60 Minutes,’ Is Dead at 84

Morley Safer, a CBS television correspondent who brought the horrors of the Vietnam War into the living rooms of America in the 1960s and was a mainstay of the network’s newsmagazine “60 Minutes” for almost five decades, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 84.<p>His wife, Jane Safer, …

Journalism

At Apple's New San Francisco Store, The Indoors Feels Like Outdoors

The big new flagship store isn't just located in Union Square—it feels like it's part of it.<p>Long before I visited the new "global flagship" Apple Store in San Francisco's Union Square, I was reasonably sure of some of the elements it would feature. Such as long tables displaying Apple devices, …

San Francisco Bay Area

Amazon's Echo Created The Smart Speaker Category. Google's Home Could Own It

Google can bring a powerful set of data tools to the home assistant category that Amazon will have a hard time matching.<p>Someday soon we’ll sit Amazon’s Echo and Google Home side by side on the kitchen counter and do the Pepsi Challenge to see which smart speaker is smarter and most helpful.<p>We’ll …

Amazon