Technologizer

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

Inciting a new future

S<p>wati Mylavarapu and Matt Rogers are the definitive Silicon Valley power couple. Rogers, a cheerful, be-fuzzed technologist, co-founded Nest Labs. Swati, a sharp visionary, was at Square for four years before joining legendary investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a partner.<p>Now …

Venture Capital

How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You've Ever Met

In real life, in the natural course of conversation, it is not uncommon to talk about a person you may know. You meet someone and say, “I’m from …

Facebook

Tony Fadell, Coinventor of the iPod, Gets Back at Silicon Valley

Tony Fadell is at the Grove, a spectacularly beautiful country estate outside of London. The event is Founders Forum: the ultra ­exclusive …

Mark Zuckerberg’s Fake News Problem Isn’t Going Away

Technically speaking, Mark Zuckerberg has been on paternity leave. In late August his wife, Priscilla Chan, gave birth to their second child, a girl. …

Facebook

Satya Nadella Rewrites Microsoft’s Code

Microsoft’s CEO has stopped infighting, restored morale, and created more than $250 billion in market value. All it took was focusing on what matters most.<p>Satya Nadella’s corner office, on the fifth floor of Building 34 at Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, headquarters, features a can’t-miss 84-inch …

Polaroid is back in the instant photography business it created and abandoned

When Polaroid stopped making instant film cameras in 2007 and ceased instant-film production the following year, it was sad—but also, in the era of digital photography, perfectly understandable. Left with little other than a famous name it could license out, the company kept going bankrupt and …

15 Questions I Still Have After Apple’s Big Event

What we don’t yet know about Apple’s new product lineup is at least as interesting as what became official on Tuesday.<p>If you were paying attention to the pre-event scuttlebutt, Apple’s product launch on Tuesday carried few surprises when it came to specs, features, prices, and names. That removed …

WhatsApp’s Cofounder On How It Reached 1.3 Billion Users Without Losing Its Focus

Even under Facebook ownership, Jan Koum says that the simplicity and efficiency that made WhatsApp a hit in the first place remain all-important.<p>Three and a half years ago, Facebook announced its plan to acquire messaging phenom WhatsApp for $19 billion—a price tag that was a head-snapper at the …

Encryption

How Apple Plans to Change the Way You Use the Next iPhone

Apple Inc. plans to transform the way people use its next high-end iPhone by eliminating the concept of a home button and making other adjustments to …

iOS

Google Critic Ousted From Think Tank Funded by the Tech Giant

WASHINGTON — In the hours after European antitrust regulators levied a record $2.7 billion fine against Google in late June, an influential Washington think tank learned what can happen when a wealthy tech giant is criticized.<p>The New America Foundation has received more than $21 million from …

Eric Schmidt

Uber’s New CEO

In the last seven months, Uber has endured:<p>The #DeleteUber campaign<br>• The fallout from Susan Fowler Rigetti’s blog post, including the Holder …

Dara Khosrowshahi

FOIA: Internal Emails Show Government Officials Scrambling to Explain Why Climate Scientist’s Meeting With Mark Zuckerberg Was Canceled

Unpublished documents reveal new details about the circumstances behind the high-profile Facebook event.<p>On a sunny Saturday afternoon, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg dropped into Montana's famed Glacier National Park. He was supposed to rendezvous with Dan Fagre, a research ecologist at the US …

Samsung Heir Is Found Guilty of Corruption in Blockbuster Trial

SEOUL, South Korea — A South Korean court on Friday convicted Lee Jae-yong, the heir to the Samsung business empire, of bribery and embezzlement and sentenced him to five years in prison, in a dramatic break with the country’s history of dealing light penalties to major business figures.<p>The verdict …

Korean Peninsula

What’s New in the iPhone X

Better Late Than Never<p>While Apple invented the modern smartphone, it has since mostly played catch-up with competitors. A few times it got there …

Samsung

What The End Of 32-Bit Support In iOS 11 Really Means

Most iOS apps are ready for the end of 32-bit support, but some beloved ones are falling through the cracks.<p>For years, Eddy Boxerman thought his company’s critically acclaimed iOS game <i>Osmos</i> would never need another update. He wasn’t even sure if a new version would be feasible, because the game’s …

These texts show Uber’s Travis Kalanick and Otto’s Anthony Levandowski plotting a press blitz

“We should have a undertone of scorched earth.”<p>You’re not supposed to see how the news gets made, the saying goes. For the same reason that you’re not supposed to watch how sausage gets made.<p>But here’s a slight glimpse of some newsmaking involving Uber.<p>Don’t worry! It’s not really unpleasant.<p>This …

Uber

Google Has Paid Thousands to Academics Writing About Google

Over the last ten years, Google (er, um, Alphabet) has paid thousands of dollars to people in the academic community working on research that …

Google

Susan Wojcicki Has Transformed YouTube—But She Isn’t Done Yet

To outmaneuver traditional TV—and secure Google’s future—YouTube’s CEO must satisfy homegrown creators, risk-averse advertisers, Hollywood celebs, and a billion-plus viewers.<p>Outside of the Jacob Javits Convention Center on New York’s far West Side—where YouTube is hosting the Brandcast, its annual …

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 review: digital downer

A new kind of instant camera that’s not quite there yet<p>Do you want to keep your photos for a long time, and make some of them widely available? Or do you want them to be more ephemeral, something you can give to a friend and maybe never see again?<p>Consciously or not, we ask these questions a lot …

Cameras

Snap’s Spectacles hit Europe, complete with funky vending machine dispensers

Snap Inc. has introduced its camera-equipped smart glasses, known as Spectacles, to Europe. The wearable has been made available online as well as via its Snapbot pop-up vending machine — the same way in which they were introduced to the US last November.<p>The first place you’ll find the Spectacles …

Andy Rubin

Google confirms Chrome ad blocker coming ‘in early 2018’

Over the past six weeks, multiple reports and rumors have hinted that Google is building an ad blocker into its Chrome browser. The company today set the record straight regarding its plans, which are not quite what the speculation suggested.<p>Google has joined the Coalition for Better Ads, a group …

Google

Apple WWDC 2017: What to expect

A decade ago, the late Steve Jobs stood and sat at a desk on stage at Apple’s 2007 Worldwide Developer’s Conference for an hour and a half, master of …

Wwdc

The Eve V came from nowhere to challenge the Surface Pro

The Eve V convertible has become something of a media darling lately, mostly because it claims to be the first PC to be developed by consumers, not a massive corporation. The idea of the populist PC was intriguing enough that Microsoft and Intel both worked with Eve to make the V happen, but c'mon …

Tablets

Hacker Leaks Stolen ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Season 5 Episodes to Piracy Network

An anonymous hacker has carried through on a threat to release “Orange Is the New Black” season five episodes online — after Netflix allegedly failed …

Amazon Echo Look Ushers In A New, Disturbing Era Of Privacy Concerns

The best way to approach this is with blunt aplomb. Why in the hell would you want to put the Amazon Echo Look internet-of-things camera device in your bathroom or bedroom? Weren’t we just talking about the camera on your laptop being hacked? How is Alexa visually giving you the once over …

Amazon

Nintendo's hardware visionary is calling it a day

Alongside today's impressive earnings report, Nintendo announced that long-serving employee Genyo Takeda is stepping down as company director this June. Holding the title of representative director and also sitting alongside Miyamoto as "Technology Fellow", Takeda has played a key role in defining …

Gaming

Jack Dorsey on Donald Trump | Backchannel

<b>It was only 11 years ago</b> that Jack Dorsey first sent a message via the experimental messaging platform that would be known as Twitter. He thought of …

Social Media

Bridgestone's Airless Tires Will Soon Let Cyclists Abandon Their Bike Pumps

First revealed way back in 2011, Bridgestone’s airless tires use a series of rigid plastic resin spokes to help a wheel keep its shape as it rolls, …

Cool Stuff

Google's Dueling Neural Networks Spar to Get Smarter, No Humans Required

The day Richard Feynman died, the blackboard in his classroom read: "What I cannot create, I do not understand."<p>When Ian Goodfellow explains the …

Artificial Intelligence