Technologizer

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

Comcast's DreamWorks Deal Reflects Shifting Bets on Media

Two weeks ago, Comcast Corp. executives got a tip that DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., the studio behind “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda” and the focus of perpetual takeover rumors, was about to be sold.<p>The cable giant’s chief executive, Brian Roberts, and the head of its NBCUniversal media unit, Steve …

DreamWorks

The Killer Inside Me

I can't hate Ted Cruz — we have too much in common<p>This is my dark secret: I don’t hate Ted Cruz.<p>I’m not being fully honest: I sort of like Ted …

Ted Cruz

The unwelcome return of brain-dead Apple gloom-and-doomism

For years, as Apple only grew more and more successful, much of the punditry about it—which treated the company's success as illusory and its customers as religious fanatics—was badly out of whack with reality. And then the worst of the worst largely went away. After all, it's hard to paint a …

Apple News

Huffington Post killed story pitch critical of Uber

Uber yesterday announced that Huffington Post Editor in Chief Arianna Huffington would be joining its board of directors, a move that put the site’s reporters in an instant bind. To fight the notion that Huffington Post would somehow take it easy on Uber because of these ties, Huffington’s folks …

Arianna Huffington

Twitter doesn't want to be a 'Social Networking' app anymore

It's very tempting to read into this: on the iOS App Store, Twitter is now categorizing itself as a "News" app instead of a "Social Networking" app. So excuse me while I give in to temptation. Sarah Perez over at <i>TechCrunch</i> has a very cogent and level-headed analysis of why this should help …

Facebook

Apple's First CareKit Apps Are Here

Developers can use CareKit to build apps that track patients' health between doctor's visits.<p>How often do you visit your doctor’s office? Three, four times per year? For most of us, our health is really about what happens between these visits: It’s the medications we take, our changing moods, or …

Health Care

Why Comcast Buying DreamWorks Animation Is A Major Threat To Disney

With Illumination Entertainment and DreamWorks Animation under one roof, Comcast would have an animation powerhouse to rival Disney.<p>News that Comcast, the parent company of Universal Pictures, is in talks to purchase DreamWorks Animation sent ripples through Hollywood when it was reported by the</i> …

Walt Disney Company

Why I Blame TV for Trump

A former cable host says the industry utterly caved to the candidate.<p>May/June 2016<p><b>My friends in the TV news business are in a state</b> of despair about Donald Trump, even as their bosses in the boardroom are giddy over what he’s doing for their once sagging ratings.<p>“It feels like it’s over,” one old …

Entertainment

The Kremlin’s Candidate

In the 2016 election, Putin’s propaganda network is picking sides.<p>May/June 2016<p><b>Back when he hosted a prime-time talk show on</b> MSNBC, Ed Schultz divided the world into heroes and villains. The heroes usually included Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The villains were most Republicans, …

Elections

iPhone 7 Plus Design Drawings Depict Dimensions Identical to iPhone 6s Plus

Schematics featuring the dual-camera 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus or "Pro" that's set to launch in the fall of 2016 have been published in the June issue of Japanese magazine <i>MacFan</i>, reiterating many of the design details that have been previously rumored for the device.<p>Japanese site <i>Mac Otakara</i> has shared …

iPhone

F*** You, I Quit — Hiring Is Broken

<b>Disclaimer</b>: This is a story about my interview experience in the tech industry. No personal names will be used to preserve anonymity. The title …

Recruitment

“Isn’t This Funnier?” New Girl Creator Liz Meriwether Recalls the Making of the Prince Episode

<i>This article originally appeared in</i> <b>Vulture</b><i>.</i><p>On December 4, 2013, I was sitting around a conference table on the Fox lot getting notes on the table …

Zooey Deschanel

Nothing Twitter is doing is working

Twitter reported its first-quarter earnings today, and they came in under expectations: the company's haul of $595 million was less than the $607.8 million that analysts expected, and so is the $590 million to $610 million it expects to make in the current quarter. The company added 5 million …

Advertising

Apple Q2 2016 results: Going down!

It was a tough quarter for Apple, at least as tough as a quarter can be for a company that made $10.5 billion in profit on $50.6 billion in …

Apple News

Ex- Politico CEO Loses the Morning with His Vapid, Deranged Call for a Third-Party Candidate

In Tuesday’s edition of the <i>Wall Street Journal</i>, Jim VandeHei, the former CEO of <i>Politico</i> who left to start a still-mysterious new venture, has written …

C-suite Leadership

C.S. Lewis’ Greatest Fiction: Convincing American Kids That They Would Like Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight, or <i>lokum</i>, is a popular dessert sweet throughout Europe, especially in Greece, the Balkans, and of course Turkey. But most Americans, …

Weird

Your Media Business Will Not Be Saved

Video will not save your media business. Nor will bots, newsletters, a “morning briefing” app, a “lean back” iPad experience, Slack integration, a …

Media

Leaked Postmates financials suggest company might be doing better than everyone thought

Postmates, the delivery app, has almost become the poster child for struggling on-demand businesses. Countless venture capitalists have told TechCrunch that the company, despite its popularity with consumers, is doomed because its unit economics don’t add up.<p>The costs of paying the couriers is …

Startups

What Cyberwar Against ISIS Should Look Like

Upperclass cadets in Basic Cyber Operations at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado in 2011.U.S. Air Force/Raymond McCoy Pentagon officials have …

Liberal News

Facebook May Have Peaked as a Social Network. But It’s Reinventing Itself as Something Bigger.

Even before it was the title of a movie, the phrase “the social network” was synonymous with Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s startup snatched the title …

Facebook

My God-Awful Year With the Apple Watch

All Images: Sean Hollister/GizmodoI bought the Apple Watch a year ago. I stopped wearing it two months ago, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever wear it …

Apple Watch

San Francisco Torn as Some See ‘Street Behavior’ Worsen

SAN FRANCISCO — From her apartment at the foot of the celebrated zigzags of Lombard Street, Judith Calson has twice peered out her window as thieves smashed their way into cars and snatched whatever they could. She has seen foreign tourists cry after cash and passports were stolen. She shudders …

San Francisco Bay Area

Bots won't replace apps. Better apps will replace apps.

Lately, everyone’s talking about “conversational UI.” It’s the next big thing. But the more articles I read on the topic, the more annoyed I get. …

WeChat

Bot Wars: Why Big Tech Companies Want Apps To Talk Back To You

Can a new wave of chatbots from Facebook and Microsoft upend apps as we know them, or is that just wishful thinking?<p>The rise of conversational "chatbots" begins with a claim you might initially dismiss as preposterous. "Bots are the new apps," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella declared during the …

Software

We read Bill Gurley’s big warning about Silicon Valley’s big money troubles so you don’t have to

Last night, Benchmark VC Bill Gurley posted a 5,700-word piece sounding the alarm about the state of over-funded Silicon Valley companies and the investors who over-funded them. It’s going to be the talk of the tech world today, so if you haven’t read it yet, you’d better get started ASAP.<p>What’s …

Silicon Valley

Prince had a legendary love/hate relationship with technology

Prince was not a luddite.<p>As the world mourns the purple Prince of Funk, who was found dead in his home on Thursday, some may be moved to recall his sometimes-rocky relationship with the Internet — and surmise that he never really got it, or much of technology at all.<p>They would be wrong.<p>Granted, …

Music Industry

Amazon Doesn’t Consider the Race of Its Customers. Should It?

Yet as Amazon rolls out its upgrade to the Prime service, Prime Free Same-Day Delivery, that promise is proving harder to deliver on. The ambitious …

Amazon

"Smart Homes?" Not Until They're Less Dependent On The Internet

Connecting your appliances to the Internet seems like a great idea, until their servers go down and they don’t work anymore.<p>Buying into a smart home ecosystem is sort of like selecting a holy grail in the <i>Temple of the Sun</i>. Choose poorly, and everything crumbles.<p>Just look at the Revolv hub, which …

Internet

E.U. Charges Dispute Google’s Claims That Android Is Open to All

Google has long stressed that Android, its popular mobile software, is open for anyone to use, including its rivals.<p>But the company’s claims are now under threat after Europe’s antitrust authorities on Wednesday charged the company with unfairly using Android to promote its own services — like …

Google