Mike Elgan2013-10-27 22:50:38
What if Google made WiFi routers?

One of the great things about Google is that their goal is to get people to use the Internet more. http://goo.gl/8kV0kJ

A better Internet that I use more is my goal, too — and yours. So there’s an alignment of interests with Google that makes them a user-friendly company, generally speaking.

Google wants people to use the Internet so badly that they are actually digging trenches and laying fiber citywide in multiple cities. They pay the wireless bills for some users in the third world (as long as they’re using Google services). And that’s ultimately why they sell Chromebooks and give away Android.

It’s all about getting people to exchange more bits with the Internet.

However, there’s another project Google could do that would literally enable hundreds of millions of people to “use the Internet more.”


(Photo courtesy of Ruckus Wireless)
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  • Mike Elgan2013-02-10 20:37:42
    Report: Apple is working on a wristwatch.

    I've been talking about my expectation that Apple would release a wristwatch for a long time (see the links below). Now, a new report in The New York Times says the company is doing exactly that. The report said, in part: 

    "In its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, according to people familiar with the company’s explorations."

    (The picture on this post is not the watch -- it's a concept dreamed up by a user.) 






    (Props: http://www.cultofmac.com/215198/apple-working-on-iwatch-with-curved-glass-display-report/ )

    _(Pic props to Yrving Torrealba: http://www.kontain.com/irv1ng/entries/64830/iphone-wrist/)_
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  • Mike Elgan2013-09-03 07:14:19
    Why Microsoft buying Nokia is pretty insignificant.

    (Props: https://twitter.com/amir/status/374789309531840512 )
  • 2288 plusses - 299 comments - 1156 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-13 13:05:28
    How to send a message in a bottle in the digital age.

    If you're ever marooned on a desert island, send a help message in a bottle. But where are you going to find pen or paper on an island?

    That's why the USB message in a bottle is the perfect way to send for help. Just fire up your solar powered Chromebook, type out the message and put it into the drive. 


    (Props: http://www.redferret.net/?p=37472 )
  • 2972 plusses - 268 comments - 707 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-04-10 13:35:35
    Google+ dominates poll despite stacked deck!

    Lifehacker is running a poll, asking "What’s Your Social Network of Choice?"

    But they give Facebook and Twitter an unfair advantage: At the bottom are "Like" buttons for Facebook and Twitter. They're giving a tool to virally promote the poll on two of the social networks, but not the others. As a result, Facebook and Twitter have WAY more votes than Linkedin, Pinterest, MySpace and Instagram.

    But Google+ is dominating the poll anyway, with (at the time I write this) twice as many votes as Facebook.

    That's not enough.

    Since Lifehacker decided to favor Facebook and Twitter, let's send them some Google+ love in the form of MASSIVE votes for Google+:

    1. Share this post with all your circles.

    2. Go here and vote for your social network of choice:


    (Props to +Jeff Schultz)
  • 2083 plusses - 398 comments - 1156 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-10 11:40:45
    Yeah, it's called the 'iPotty.'

    A special iPad-holding toilet (complete with a "splash guard" for the iPad) is designed to help toilet-train toddlers. Parents are invited to choose from the variety of toilet-training apps already available in the iOS app store. 

    In other news, there is a variety of toilet-training apps already available in the iOS app store. 

  • 2192 plusses - 459 comments - 1053 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-06 02:46:41
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  • Mike Elgan2014-01-17 05:25:39
    The problem with Facebook. 

    You'll never look at Facebook the same again after watching this video.
  • 1766 plusses - 170 comments - 1184 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-07 19:03:34
    US gun deaths way down. Most think it's gone up. Thanks, alarmist media!

    A new Pew study found US gun homicide rates have dropped by half since 1993, yet a majority of Americans think gun deaths have gone up. 

    I think that's generally true of many things -- life keeps getting safer, better and generally more awesome, yet everyone thinks it's getting worse. 

    ("Everything is amazing and nobody is happy." - Louis C.K.)

    Maybe the solution is to shoot our TVs.

  • 2374 plusses - 469 comments - 612 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-31 10:11:23
    Watch the New Year unfold on Google+.

    It's 2013 already on Christmas Island -- the new year has begun! Use this search stream to watch the New Year happen around the planet: 

    1. Click here: https://plus.google.com/s/%22new%20year%22

    2. Keep this running for the next 24 hours!

    3. Click "Are you still there?" when it pops up. 
  • 2379 plusses - 467 comments - 534 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-22 03:13:16
    New Superman Man of Steel trailer hits.
  • 2250 plusses - 222 comments - 677 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-07 18:18:04
    If you had to choose, would you choose Twitter, Facebook or Google+?

    Social Media Insider is running an online poll asking: If you could use only one, would you choose Twitter, Facebook, or Google+?


    (Also please share this post with your circles!)
  • 1823 plusses - 447 comments - 806 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-09 18:14:04
    Why I suspect China of leaking Prism.

    Did the Prism presentation leak at exactly the perfect moment for maximum benefit for the Chinese government, or was that just an amazing coincidence?

    Momentum and moral outrage about Chinese government hacking has been building up for years. Finally, this weekend, President Obama was scheduled to call China's new President President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) out on the carpet, take him to the woodshed and do other cliches to him about China's intense hacking.

    But after years of being kept secret, facts about the Prism program leaked just days before Obama was going to lecture Xi on hacking, which resulted in domestic US outrage over Prismgate reaching a crescendo just as the leaders met.

    Whenever China is accused of hacking, they always deny it, and follow the denial up with the charge that the US is the world's biggest hacker.

    Everybody assumes that China knew about Prism (one benefit of all that hacking). If they didn't leak it in order to undermine Obama's moral authority and political juice, why didn't they? It all turned out beautifully for China.

    The error on Obama's part was to emphasize hacking, rather than IP theft. On the accusation of government hacking to steal trade secrets, the US does have the moral high ground. But on the area of "hacking"? Forget it. The US government probably IS the world's biggest hacker.

    UPDATE #1: The "whistleblower" who uncovered all this fled to China, and says he expects to never return.


    (Pic props to _ _ _ +Dan Gillmor _ _ _ and Nerdcore: _http://www.crackajack.de/2013/06/08/i-fixed-shepard-faires-obama-poster-to-fit-prism-also-happy-64th-george-orwells-1984/__ )_
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  • Mike Elgan2013-05-03 16:07:59
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  • Mike Elgan2013-01-15 19:12:24
    This is the last picture a photographer took before telling them to 'stand just a little bit closer' to the rhino.

    They did stand closer. Then the rhino attacked, penetrating the woman's chest with its horn, breaking ribs and collapsing one of her lungs. 

    My advice: No matter what the photographer says, this is already about 100 feet too close. You don't want to $#@! with rhinos. 

  • 1986 plusses - 457 comments - 563 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-23 15:14:29
    Why you'll be wearing a wristwatch again by this time next year.

    People don't wear wristwatches like they used to. And the reason is clear: Since everybody's got a mobile phone, and the phone tells the time, a watch is unnecessary.

    But the mobile phone has always been an insatiably greedy platform -- it needs more features, more power, more convenience and, above all, more pixels.

    Get used to the idea of the big platform companies selling or supporting wristwatches that serve as additional screens for and controllers of the phones in our pockets. I believe that Apple and Google will do so, and a large number of small companies -- including Pebble (which shipped it's long-awaited smart watch today).

    Five strong trends are all converging to make smartphone wristwatches a near certainty. Here are those trends:

  • 1843 plusses - 471 comments - 534 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-14 01:05:00
    The Joy of Tech on what happens when you post.

  • 1733 plusses - 122 comments - 751 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-25 15:51:06
    How to store your phone and tablet like a boss cop.

    The $70 TechSling holster lets you stash your tablet on one side and your phone on the other, with some extra room for your wallet and papers.

    Too much?

  • 1806 plusses - 457 comments - 556 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-15 11:35:39
    Who's ready for a smartphone-controlled toilet?

    A Japanese company called INAX is working on a $4,500 Bluetooth-enabled INAX Satis model toilet you control with your smartphone.

    Their MySatis Android app (and in the future, an iOS app) gives you the power to rise or lower the toilet set or turn on the bidet feature. It even has built-in speakers that play music streamed from your phone.

    The toilet is expected to make a big splash when it drops in February, 2013.

    Who wants one? 

  • 1830 plusses - 431 comments - 531 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-04 23:09:35
    I'm sure the irony of an ice cream sandwich case for the iPhone 5 isn't lost on this crowd.

    $18.99 on Etsy.

  • 2165 plusses - 409 comments - 334 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-06-28 05:02:34
    On Apple CEO Tim Cook's alleged homosexuality.

    Reports are circulating that Apple CEO Time Cook was "outed" as gay by a CNBC co-anchor: http://dlvr.it/686dn3 

    I've heard this rumor before and I have to make the following points: 

    1. People's private lives should be private. Tim Cook and every other business leader should be judged on the performance of their companies and not on what happens in their minds or bedrooms, and therefore: 

    2. Whether Tim Cook is straight or gay shouldn't matter to the press or the public, and we should respect his and everyone's right to choose whether to talk about their sexual identity, gender identification and so on, and: 

    3. The bottom line is that we shouldn't care about or discuss any aspect of Tim Cook's or Larry Page's or Larry Ellison's or Jeff Bezos' or Marissa Mayer's sex lives. It doesn't and shouldn't matter. And exploiting the prurient whispers about business leaders to get viewers and readers is shameful and tawdry and that's what needs to be outed. 
    Just my $0.02.
  • 2277 plusses - 498 comments - 198 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-02-18 22:48:10
    Jet replaces windows with a massive, real-time video screens.

    Spike Aerospace is building the first supersonic private jet. When its S-512 is ready for sale in 2018, it won't have windows. Instead, the plane will have massive HD screens showing live feeds from tiny cameras built into the outside. 

    The goal is an "unbroken panoramic view" of what's outside the airplane.

    Its not just about aesthetics. The absence of windows means that the normal engineer work-arounds needed to build windows into planes won't be necessary. 

    I want one. 

  • 1939 plusses - 176 comments - 507 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-26 14:38:50
    Will Apple, Google and Samsung lose the smartphone market?

    Four Linux-based mobile OS platforms are gunning for iOS and Android. And 100 Chinese companies want to price the iPhone and the Galaxy S line out of the market.

    Is the smartphone world about to be turned upside down?

  • 1956 plusses - 462 comments - 360 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-05 10:37:58
    Microsoft offices burglarized; only Apple products stolen.

    Thieves decided to steal computer equipment from Microsoft's Silicon Valley offices. They took five iPads from three different offices. “No Microsoft products were reported stolen.”

  • 1642 plusses - 327 comments - 593 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-16 19:59:48
    Why an Apple iCar is actually a great idea.

    The New York Times’ Nick Bilton reminded everyone recently what we previously learned from longtime Apple board member Mickey Drexler: Steve Jobs wanted to build an Apple iCar.

    People tend to dismiss the idea as a goofy pipe dream. In fact, not only is an Apple iCar a great idea, it’s perfectly aligned with Apple’s history and mission.

    Here’s how they should do it.

  • 1703 plusses - 463 comments - 487 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-04 13:47:53
    Facebook still owns your personal photos and information even after you delete your account.

    The truth is that nearly all users have no idea what they're legally agreeing to when they sign up for social networks. 

    The UK's Telegraph has a nice, super simple summary of some aspects of each network's terms of service. 

    For example, Facebook's 14,000-word terms of service gives Facebook the legal right to "use your content in any way it sees fit... Facebook can transfer or sub-license its rights over a user’s content to another company or organisation if needed. Facebook’s license does not end upon the deactivation or deletion of a user’s account."

  • 1429 plusses - 444 comments - 658 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-06-06 03:20:04
    Apple executives had a lot of kind words for the products they announced this week.

    And here they are, cobbled together by a +TWiT editor.
  • 1698 plusses - 489 comments - 467 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-08 15:55:02
    Worst USB thumb drive ever (but perfect for shovelware!)

    These images have started flying around on Chinese and Russian social networks.

    This is easily the worst idea for a USB thumb drive ever.

  • 1545 plusses - 468 comments - 562 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-26 16:31:28
    How we have systematically bred the nutrition out of our food.

    The ancestor of corn had ten times more protein than the corn we eat today. That's just one example. 

    Over the millennia, farmers have selectively bread food crops for better taste. In the industrial era, we got really efficient at it and bred food that worked best in the industrial food system and contributed to better "food products." 

    Nutrition took a back seat to all this selective breeding. As a result, our food is nearly devoid of nutrition compared with what our ancestors ate. 

  • 1530 plusses - 293 comments - 645 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-22 18:51:27
    Why Apple needs a really expensive iPhone.

    Some pundits are predicting, and others are advocating, that Apple launch an iPhone that's much cheaper than the current iPhone in order to keep up with Android phone sales.

    This is crazy talk.

    Apple doesn't need a cheaper iPhone. They need a more expensive one -- much more expensive. Here's why. 

  • 1915 plusses - 466 comments - 317 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-27 23:57:05
    What it's like to climb the Great Pyramids.

    It's illegal to climb Egypt's Great Pyramids, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison.

    But some Russian guys did it anyway, and took some amazing pictures.

  • 1562 plusses - 186 comments - 637 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-10-29 22:20:33
    Google's Magic Picture Machine goes beyond science fiction.

    Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke said that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." But even Clarke never envisioned Google’s Magic Picture Machine.

    The new Google+ photo and video features announced today by +Vic Gundotra are obviously an incredible benefit to users, unlike anything else out there. 

    But can we take a moment to marvel at the technology behind it?

    Let's start with a magic trick: 


    (Picture courtesy of +Paul Moody: http://goo.gl/vrH7aO )
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  • Mike Elgan2013-02-08 20:42:06
    Why China may not be the world's factory for much longer.

    Because robots can do this. (And, no, the video is not sped up.)

  • 1426 plusses - 381 comments - 603 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-04 12:19:52
    How I view Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

    Some of my friends in the tech press have got that Google+ fever, and are running wild with it. But others don't get it. They come to Google+, look around and wonder what all the fuss is about. 

    Most of these friends really like Twitter, or really get Facebook. So by way of analogy, I'd like to share with them (and you) how I view Twitter, Facebook and Google+. 

    Here's the analogy: 

    Twitter is Penn Station. 

    If you're using social media for content discovery (and who isn't these days), you will find very little of that content on Twitter itself. Nearly all the content you get from Twitter is through links on Twitter to content posted elsewhere. 

    In that sense, Twitter is a hub for people coming from one place and headed to some other place. 

    Yes, there is some content on Twitter, just as there is "content" at Penn Station (restaurants, Madison Square Garden, etc.), but it's lightweight content designed for people in a hurry. 

    Like Penn Station, Twitter is useful, valuable and necessary, but mostly as a conveyer of minds from one place that isn't Twitter to another place that isn't Twitter. 

    Facebook is Long Island. 

    Unlike Twitter, Facebook is a destination or a place to "live." There's massive content there -- all the content some people really need. 

    Like Long Island, Facebook is a great place to live if you want to spend your time with family and friends. 

    And like Long Island, Facebook is an island.

    It's not a walled garden anymore. There are no physical walls or barriers that prevent people from posting publicly and sharing the links to those individual posts, but hardly anyone does that. Most of the content on Facebook is either personal content for family and friends, or it's Twitter-like links to outside content. Hardly anybody blogs on Facebook, for example. 

    Facebook is not about Big Ideas. It's about little league games, drinks with friends, backyard barbecues and cultivating relationships with family and old friends. 

    If you grew up on Long Island, it doesn't matter that the Island doesn't have the best restaurants in the world, the best theater, the best night-clubs or that Long Island isn't the best place in the world to publish something. It's where your peeps are, and that's why you love it. 

    Google+ is New York City.

    Like New York City, Google+ is a huge, beautiful, vibrant, multi-cultural engine of ideas.

    New York City is an industrial city, and its main industries are about information and creative content (the stock exchange, book and magazine publishing, fashion, etc.) and in that sense Google+ is analogous. 

    Like New York City, Google+ is a great destination and a great place to live for people who want to meet interesting new people all the time, create and publish content and be intellectually stimulated. 

    It's got vibrant theater (YouTube), the very best places to mingle and interact with people (Hangouts), awesome places for curation (Picasa, YouTube and regular posts) and more. 

    Just as New York City has Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, Google+ has everything that Twitter has. And just as New York exists on the physical Long Island with Brooklyn and Queens, Google+ does the same stuff Facebook does. 

    If you've lived on Long Island as I did for ten years, you know a lot more people on Long Island than you do in New York City, but that doesn't make it a better place to live, necessarily. 

    The difference between visiting and living in New York.

    Here's the thing: If you're an occasional visitor, a tourist in New York City, spend most of your time in Midtown, take the open-top bus tour, go to the top of the Empire State Building, eat at Original Ray's Pizza and see The Lion King on Broadway, you will not experience New York City and you will have no idea what the place is all about. You won't understand why and how people live there and what they love about it. 

    You won't understand New York City unless you move there, cultivate a community and actually live and work there. 

    Like Penn Station, you can understand what Twitter is all about in an hour. Like Long Island, you can understand what Facebook is (if your family and friends live there) in a three-day weekend -- it's about family and friends. 

    But like New York City, you can't understand Google+ with a casual, occasional and superficial visit. 

    And if you're a content creator -- writer, photographer, blogger, film-maker, restauranteur, etc. -- hoping to benefit from New York City or Google+ -- you will get no benefit if you visit as a tourist. 

    But as a resident, the rewards are astronomical in the way of contacts, stimulation, inspiration and opportunities to publish and publicize your work. 

    In order to "get" Google+, you've got to actually leave Long Island and move to the Big City. (And once you arrive, you've got to leave Penn Station...) 

    I don't know if these analogies make sense to anyone else, but this is how I view the differences between Twitter, Facebook and Google+. 
  • 1469 plusses - 265 comments - 624 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-27 22:38:30
    Company sells cider by mocking Apple.

    This wonderful ad for Somersby Apple Cider sells their beverage the Apple way. 
  • 1469 plusses - 138 comments - 666 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-15 08:40:24
    Are people getting dumber?

    A new paper by Stanford University researcher Gerald Crabtree finds that now that humans no longer have the selective pressures of a hunter-gatherer existence, we no longer need intelligence to survive and, as a result, we're getting dumber. 

    Separate from that study, I also wonder whether a similar process is happening culturally. Are dumber people about to "survive" culturally, and remain famous and influential no matter how unintelligent they are? 

  • 1620 plusses - 459 comments - 373 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-04-02 22:06:27

    This stop-motion animation, a tribute to Ms. Pac Man and Donkey Kong, is made out of 4,800 Post-It notes!

    It took +Michael Birken 11 months working on weekends and holidays.
  • 1305 plusses - 281 comments - 573 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-20 17:14:25
    Is Apple really failing?

    Apple has “stumbled lately.” That’s the overwhelming consensus coming from the press, blogosphere and Wall Street recently.

    Demand for the iPad and iPhone is dropping, we’re told, and Apple isn’t doing interesting or exciting things anymore.

    Here’s my column on what’s going on:

  • 1673 plusses - 440 comments - 275 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-24 11:29:44
    The bacon people must be stopped.
  • 1420 plusses - 446 comments - 427 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-27 14:03:46
    Wait, so you're saying Kim Jong Un isn't the 'Sexiest Man Alive'?

    The online version of China's official commie rag, the People's Daily fell for an Onion story that said North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is the "Sexiest Man Alive." 

    The People's Daily web site today ran a -- wait for it! -- 55-page photo spread as part of its coverage of Un being named "The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012."

    They even quoted +The Onion: "With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman's dream come true."

  • 1305 plusses - 459 comments - 487 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-05-30 02:59:12
    Google StreetView shows Detroit being reclaimed by nature over time.

    Wow -- a stunning decline for a once-great city: http://goobingdetroit.tumblr.com/

    Props to +Mathew Ingram
  • 1416 plusses - 121 comments - 563 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-31 08:08:59
    Solution to Beijing's horrible 'airpocalypse' air pollution crisis: Show 'em pictures of clean air!

    In other news: Wow! That is a big-ass screen!

  • 1586 plusses - 344 comments - 354 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-18 09:38:19
    BREAKING: Mississippi bans slavery.

    An immigrant from India, inspired by the movie Lincoln, did some research and discovered that the state of Mississippi never officially ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which bans slavery. 

    Ranjan Batra, who is an associate professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, went home after seeing the movie and went to the site USConstitution.net. There, he discovered a footnote on ratification of the amendment that said: "Mississippi ratified the amendment in 1995, but because the state never officially notified the US Archivist, the ratification is not official."

    Wait, 1995?

    It turns out that Mississippi refused to ratify the amendment in the 1860s, then forgot all about it until 1995. When lawmakers in the 1990s realized that the state still hadn't ratified it, they voted to do so. But for reasons unknown, the state never filed their ratification with the federal government, which is the final step in the process. 

    Now, thanks to Batra, the state of Mississippi has notified the US Archivist, thereby officially banning slavery. 

  • 1407 plusses - 282 comments - 446 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-15 20:44:30
    +Gizmodo's +Leslie Horn says YOU are nobody. Show her you are somebody!

    Every once in a while, a tech writer who doesn't use Google+ confuses their own lack of use with non-activity on G+ generally, then embarrasses themselves by suggesting that Google+ is a "ghost town" or something like that. 

    Today, some Gizmodo blogger named +Leslie Horn, who hasn't posted on G+ since July of 2011 -- before it even launched publicly and who has completely missed the boat -- joked today on Gizmodo that maybe the site's outage today was due to "neglect." 

    She wrote: "If a social network falls on the internet and nobody's on it, has it actually fallen at all?"

    You hear that? She says nobody is on Google+. Are YOU nobody? Let's all go to the Gizmodo site by clicking the link below and leave a comment for Leslie. Let her know how crazy active Google+ is!!

    (Also please share and plus-one this message!)

  • 1438 plusses - 468 comments - 336 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-11 23:06:21
    Worst iPhone app ever: It makes your icons do the Harlem Shake.

    An irresponsible iOS developer created a tweak for jailbroken iPhones that enables the icons to do the Harlem Shake. Why, I have no idea. 

  • 1206 plusses - 298 comments - 486 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-02 14:31:13
    US meat supply massively contaminated with superbugs.

    Consumer Reports says 90% of US supermarket ground turkey is contaminated with superbugs -- antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    Earlier this month, a government monitoring group found more than half of samples of ground turkey, pork chops and ground beef bought in US supermarkets contained antibiotic-resistant superbugs. 

    The contamination of the food supply with superbugs is caused by the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock to make them bigger and also enable them to survive in cramped, unhealthy conditions without dying of the diseases that spread in such an environment. 

    Bottom line: Antibiotics makes meat cheaper. But is it worth the lower price? 

  • 1063 plusses - 464 comments - 498 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-05-21 23:47:51
    Game graphics have gotten a little more high-rez in the past 22 years.

    Wolfenstein game graphics: 1992 on the left, 2014 on the right. 

    Props: https://twitter.com/codinghorror/status/469254554282766336
  • 1569 plusses - 89 comments - 326 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-08 23:44:45
    I wonder if the threat of mass starvation might get people to consider organic agriculture.

    Bees are being wiped out by a long list of issues. One major issue is pesticides and fungicides, which not only kill bees, but weaken their immune systems and make them vulnerable to various diseases another issue. 

    Food companies and consumers use these chemicals because they make food cheaper. But now they're on the brink of making food VERY expensive due to shortages. 

    What will it take for us to reject industrial agriculture? Will the threat of starvation and massively high food prices do it? 

    What do you think? 



  • 1332 plusses - 266 comments - 373 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-29 17:57:02
    What If the Next iPad, iMac, Business PC and Apple TV Are All One Device?

    How would you radically improve the iPad? You’d give it more powerful processing, enabling more powerful apps.

    How would you improve the 27-inch iMac? You’d make it 37 inches.

    How would you create an Apple desktop computer for business? You’d make it work like an iPad, but double as a boardroom device for presentations and video conferencing.

    And how would you improve TV and make it Applish? You’d build in a computer, Apple TV-like functions and give it a remote.

    If you think about it, these obvious improvements are not moving these four product lines away from each other, but toward each other — resulting in a single super product that does it all.

    What if Apple’s next iPad, iMac, business PC and TV set are all one iDevice?

  • 1367 plusses - 440 comments - 242 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-08 19:40:51
    OK, NOW tell me Ashton Kutcher doesn't look like Steve Jobs.

    You may have seen the picture of Ashton Kutcher on the left floating around. But you should also know that he was posing for a re-creation of a photo of the real Steve Jobs on the right. 

    How amazing is their resemblance? 

  • 1391 plusses - 277 comments - 297 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-01-19 18:33:40
    What I learned on the way to 3 million Google+ circles.

    I crossed the 3-million Google+ circles line this morning. http://goo.gl/mdil3m

    It’s weird and thrilling to have so many “followers,” and to be sandwiched in circle counts between Paris Hilton, who has a couple hundred thousand more circles than I do, and Rihanna, who will probably catch up to me and pass me at some point in the future. (One of the great things about Google+ is that the geeks hold their own against entertainers in popularity.)

    But mostly, it’s been an eye-opening adventure for me. Here’s what I learned along the way. 


  • 1249 plusses - 251 comments - 383 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-08 14:56:15
    What's so great about Google+ Communities?

    Here's my column about why Google+ Communities represents the most highly evolved public communications medium ever devised.

    Before, Google+ was a great place for a certain kind of person, but it wasn't for everyone. The feature transforms Google's social network a supremely relevant and friendly place for everyone and anyone to talk about the things they care about. It's a whole new G+ now.

    The new Google+ Communities feature is better than you think. Here's why:


    (Pic props: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2006573/Thousands-yoga-enthusiasts-tranquillity-Times-Square-longest-day-year.html )
  • 1333 plusses - 319 comments - 299 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-11 23:21:52
    How wearable computing will change everything (even for those not wearing computing!)

    Listen, you tech-savvy, trend-resisting cynic you. I want you to stop dismissing wearable computing as a pointless, narcissistic fad.

    Wearable computing is not for people too lazy to look at their phones. It’s not a trendy toy for wealthy yuppies. And it’s not about joining +Robert Scoble in the shower.

    What you need to know is this: Wearable computing is the next evolution of consumer electronics. And it changes everything for everyone and not just the people actually wearing the computing. (It will even change Apple!)

    Here's why: 

  • 1369 plusses - 230 comments - 315 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-15 23:23:01
    Facebook not only paid zero taxes for 2012 -- they were actually paid money by the government -- i.e., your tax dollars!

    According to this article on AllFacebook.com, Facebook not only paid zero taxes for the 2012 tax year, they were given $429 million in net tax refunds. 

    That's right: You paid more taxes than Facebook did, and some of your taxes went to Facebook!

  • 961 plusses - 426 comments - 441 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-12-01 02:42:19
    BREAKING: 'Fast and the Furious' star Paul Walker dies in car accident.

  • 1254 plusses - 360 comments - 275 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-06 19:00:14
    Now there's a TV show about bacon.

    A TV show called "The United States of Bacon" premiers December 30 on the Destination America channel. 

    It's about a guy who travels around the country to try different kinds of bacon.

    Does this sound like salty, greasy good fun to you, or yet another descent into the portrayal of consumerist gluttony as a harmless pursuit in the midst of an obesity-driven health crisis? 

  • 1032 plusses - 437 comments - 371 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-04-11 14:02:31
    My son's killer startup!

    I'm really happy to be talking about this -- finally!

    My son, +Kevin Elgan, has been working at a really cool Silicon Valley startup for about a year. They've been in "stealth mode," so he's banned me from blogging about it. 

    Well, their official public launch is today at 7am Pacific (as in right now), so finally I get to tell you about it!

    The company is +Tynker ( http://www.Tynker.com ), and their mission is awesome. They want to make software programming a standard part of the curriculum for children in elementary and middle schools.

    Tynker's software enables kids to build games and animated stories using something like electronic LEGO -- building blocks of environments, objects and actions that kids have fun playing and creating with. It all happens in the cloud. Once kids build projects, they can share them with friends to be played on Android phones, iPhones, laptops, Chromebooks -- whatever. 

    But while the kids are playing, they're actually learning programming skills, critical thinking and gaining a foundation for science and engineering education. 

    Tynker has been running pilot programs at over 20 schools, and apparently the kids are building some amazing things. 

    Teachers are apparently loving Tynker because it's a comprehensive, turn-key package of software, instruction and everything they need to teach these critical skills. Plus, it's easy for them to teach because the kids love using it. 

    The company was founded by the same geniuses who created Plusmo a few years back (which they sold to AT&T). 

    Anyway, you're going to be hearing a LOT about Tynker, but wanted you to hear it first from me. : ) 


    * * * 
  • 1167 plusses - 205 comments - 378 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-28 11:54:08
    Worst keyboard concept ever? Or best?

    Do you eat at your desk? (Oh, shut up -- you know you do!) If so, maybe you need Dutch designer Hella Jongerius' keyboard concept, which has a plate right in the middle where your face is as you hunch over your keyboard and eat junk food.

  • 1010 plusses - 375 comments - 365 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-03-23 20:19:11
    Why Android Wear will rule the smartwatch!

    The announcement of Android Wear, and smartwatches from LG and Motorola, was greeted by the public as: “Oh, look — a new kind of gadget!”

    But the wearable revolution in general and Google’s Android Wear initiative in particular, is barely even about gadgets.

    The smartwatch revolution is about three things: devices, smartphone apps and cloud services.

    You’ll note, however, that these are listed in order from least to most important. Here’s why Google’s total dominance of the third aspect of the smartwatch revolution will make them unbeatable: 


  • 1332 plusses - 115 comments - 276 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-31 21:43:06
    Microsoft's Surface tablet is failing hard - report.

    Way back in October, when everyone was giddy about the Microsoft Surface RT tablet, I predicted that the iPad Mini would sell at least ten times as many units as the Microsoft Surface RT. 


    It looks like that was accurate, but an understatement. A new report from IDC says Apple shipped about 22.9 million iPads of both Mini and Maxi varieties. Various reports say that the Mini outsold the Maxi. 

    Meanwhile, Microsoft sold fewer than 1 million Surface tablets, according to IDC. 

  • 1107 plusses - 474 comments - 243 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-10-23 13:16:48
    This is just makeup, but should be a tattoo.
  • 1258 plusses - 107 comments - 287 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-13 20:54:43
    It's time to decriminalize nature and legalize food.

    A dairy farmer in Wisconsin is facing two and a half years in prison for selling raw milk. 

    Even the charge is legally false. The "buyers" of the milk were actually part of a "buyer's club" who bought shares in the cows. 

    But let's be honest: The dairy farmer's crime was offering people an alternative to the massive and politically powerful US dairy industry. 

    The problem with raw milk production is that it cannot be industrialized. So it's not a product that giant companies can produce at scale. Therefore, they want it to be unsafe and illegal and they press government to make sure that happens. 

    How dangerous is raw milk? Between 1998 and 2011 there have been two fatalities nationwide. That's being used to justify the jailing of a farmer who sells raw milk to people who know the so-called risks and choose to buy and drink it anyway. 

    Meanwhile, Harvard researchers say that 25,000 US deaths each year are linked to sodas and other "sugary drinks." 

    Two deaths in 13 years = prison for selling a dangerous beverage. 

    25,000 deaths each year = massive subsidy from the government to encourage lower prices and higher consumption. 

    Raw milk is controversial and people aren't going to agree about it. But that's not what this is about. This is about whether corporations should be able to criminalize food -- any food -- because they don't want competition.

    And it's about whether the government for any reason should ban food that people want to eat, weather it's trans fats and Big Gulp sodas in New York (illegal), raw almonds in California (illegal) or raw milk anywhere. 

    I think the health food people and the junk food people should unite to end food fascism and legalize all food. 

    Don't you agree? 

    Hey, US government: The queen of England drinks raw milk. Maybe next time she's on a good will tour of the United States she should be bagged, tagged and shipped off to Guantanamo for her crimes against bovinity!



  • 1135 plusses - 290 comments - 265 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-31 17:33:45
    The transparent iPad design fiction is much newer than the transparent iPhone design fiction.

    Weird. +Interesting Engineering ► posted an ancient piece of design fiction (from last summer) of a transparent iPhone. (It's neither interesting, nor "engineering" -- it's a picture.) 



    The irony is that this stale meme hit the What's Hot list on the very day when Yanko Design published pictures of a transparent iPad design fiction. 

    Why publish the old thing when the new thing is... new? 


    Here comes the video! http://youtu.be/lEBS0s3kXqg
  • 1216 plusses - 335 comments - 193 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-28 08:37:07
    Why my next phone might not be a phone.

    About a month ago, I wrote a column called: Wait, so why do we need phones again? My point was that the "phone" inside smartphones is the most unnecessary part of the phone. After all, there are dozens of really good apps and connected services that replace nearly all aspects of phone-call making and text messaging.


    To me, the most important features of a phone are the camera, and also the ability to run all kinds of apps.

    So what's the downside of buying something like the Samsung Galaxy Camera EK-GC100, which is an Android-based, Android-app running, mobile broadband and Wi-Fi connecting digital camera that does not have a "phone" built into it. (Besides the bulk.)

    Am I missing something? Why not use this device, plus Google+, Google Voice and Skype to replace the phone feature?

  • 1276 plusses - 218 comments - 202 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-17 20:37:47
    Why I'm looking forward to the end of the world Friday.

    The world ends Friday, according to idiots. 

    I love it when this happens. The first doomsday I remember was when I was a kid -- probably in the 4th grade or so -- and some Nostradamus-inspired hysteria gripped the nation. Two or three families left the street where I lived to head to higher ground (that end of the world involved flooding of some kind). 

    Since then, every few years or so, certain kinds of people get all worked up about some historical misinformation and convince each other that the world is going to end. 

    The most recent and the best apocalypse of my lifetime was last year. Radio preacher Harold Camping said he was absolutely certain that the Bible says the world was to end May 21. After realizing that the world didn't get the memo, he retreated into prayer and reflection and came back convinced he was wrong. In fact, he said, the world would end October 11. Again, the world stubbornly refused to end.

    Camping's cult headquarters were in the Bay Area, and there were dozens of billboards all over the place promising the end of the world. It was really funny to watch them take the billboards down after October 11th. 

    That doomsday was the best because the hysteria was spread by a single man, who genuinely seem to believe his own biblical numerology. Some of his followers quit school or gave away all their money, and were left undereducated and broke after their faith-based catastrophe failed to materialize. 

    I had stumbled across Brother Camping's program many times over the years while driving around, and sometimes gave it a listen out of morbid fascination. Pretty much everything I ever heard him say was wrong or at least misguided, though he gained millions of followers all over the world. How wonderful for him to be actually proved wrong so publicly. 

    And now another end of the world is upon us. According to believers, the Mayans predicted that the world would end on December 21, 2012. 

    In reality, their calendar ended. It had to end. There isn't enough stone in the whole of Guatemala to chisel a calendar that never ends. 

    Nevertheless, the ignoramuses are coming out in force. 

    The Chinese government has arrested nearly 100 people for spreading rumors about the Mayan apocalypse. (That nutjob who knifed 23 school-children in China last week was reportedly "influenced" by the doomsday.) 

    Russians are buying up all the candles, matches, salt and torches to ward off the end somehow. 

    People all over the world are buying or building bunkers or survival pods. 

    And, of course, Twitter won't shut up about it: http://goo.gl/pw7gB

    The reason I love the end of the world so much is this: People preach stupid, ignorant, emotional, ill-informed nonsense all the time, and you can never convince them otherwise. You can argue, persuade, use logic -- nothing works. 

    But in this one case, the small-minded, superstitious, anti-science, demon-haunted world believers actually get proved totally and utterly wrong, and even they have to accept it. 

    So point and laugh at the believers. Make the most of it. The end of the world only happens every few years, on average. 

    I always look forward to the next apocalypse, and I've been looking forward to the Mayan end of the world for a long time. 

    Thank God it's Friday. 





    (Pic props to the Mayans for this irrefutable proof that the world will end Friday.)
  • 1040 plusses - 455 comments - 231 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-09-30 15:41:23
    Why Google+ is the best social anything ever.

    Google + is my favorite site on the Internet: http://goo.gl/aZECeb 

    I probably spend between six and 12 hours per day actively using it. I’m a certifiable Google+ nut and have been for two years.

    But why?

    The answer to that question is self-evident to anyone who really uses the site. Critics tend to be dabblers, non-users or people with some gripe against Google. To use Google+ is to love Google+, for most people. 

    In my first column for aNewDomain, I tell why I'm such a Google+ fan:

  • 1227 plusses - 99 comments - 272 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-07 20:56:24
    What the next four years is going to do to the president.

    Bloomberg BusinessWeek has done some unhelpful Photoshop aging of President Obama, predicting what the ravages of presidential stress will do to the First Face over the next four years. 


  • 1057 plusses - 432 comments - 223 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-10 13:56:05
    The Supreme Court to decide if it's legal for a farmer to buy seeds and plant them.

    A farmer named Hugh Bowman bought soybean seeds not from the seed store but from the feed store -- soybeans being sold for feeding to livestock. He planted them.

    Most of those feed soybeans were GMOs created by Monsanto. So Monsanto sued Bowman, saying they own the DNA in those soybeans, and therefore can tell farmers like Bowman what to do with the soybeans they buy.

    To over-simplify, farmer Bowman's argument is that when he buys something, he should have the right to do whatever he wants with it.

    Monsanto's argument is that when Bowman plants seeds developed by Monsanto, he is making an illegal copy of their invention.

    The case is headed for the Supreme Court later this month.

    What's YOUR opinion?


    UPDATE #1: Supreme court rules in favor of Monsanto. (May 14, 2013)

    The Supreme court ruled in the case this week in favor of Monsanto. They agreed with Monsanto's position that their patented GMO seeds are an "invention" and when a farmer plants them they are copying Monsanto's intellectual property and therefor may only do so according Monsanto's contract (which requires that new seeds be purchased for each planting). 

    They ruled that their decision affects only this case and not other "self-replicating products." 

  • 683 plusses - 428 comments - 443 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-04-03 23:23:31
    Wow. Photographer takes pictures from the exact place as famous photos, then superimposes the historical details into the photos.

    Photographer Seth Taras made a series of pictures for a History Channel ad campaign.

    I've seen this kind of thing before, but never this well done.

  • 1183 plusses - 108 comments - 280 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-05-28 02:26:15
    I wonder where Google got the inspiration for their self-driving car...

  • 1333 plusses - 96 comments - 185 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-03-02 23:25:22
    How Google Hangouts could rule the world.

    A dark cloud hangs over the future of mobile communication: the spectre of Facebook controlling it all.

    It’s not likely, actually. But Facebook’s intention to purchase WhatsApp for $16 billion or $19 billion dollars (depending on whether you factor in the stock-based bonuses for WhatsApp employees) involved some scary-big numbers.

    The biggest of these numbers happens when you add Facebook’s current user count plus WhatsApp’s projected user count (how many users Facebook believes the service will have if current growth rates continue). The number is: 2.3 billion users.

    Of course, the number is pure B.S.

    WhatsApp’s current growth probably won’t continue. Facebook’s current numbers are padded with duplicate users, fake users and non-active users. And there’s always going to be big overlap between WhatsApp and Facebook users — a dude who uses both is still just one dude.

    Still, when I ponder the number of people likely to be using Facebook-owned services (WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) for messaging compared to those using Google-owned Hangouts, I find myself astonished and confused.

    How did this happen? And what can be done about it? 


    #Hangouts   #WhatsApp  
  • 1129 plusses - 207 comments - 254 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-16 08:00:50
    Australian students learn about the battle bots of the Russian Revolution.

    Australian high school students were surprised recently to learn that BattleTech Marauder robots were deployed in the Russian Revolution of 1917. 

    A major history exam included a picture of a painting called Storming the Winter palace on 25th October 1917 by Nikolai Kochergin, which included said robot joining the people in the uprising. 

    And this is why you shouldn't grab images from the Internet. 



    Posted first on Google+ by +Michael Kalus. 
  • 1051 plusses - 249 comments - 282 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-28 20:56:04
    Is this iPhone 5 case worth $200?

    It's tactical! And it has an anti-glare privacy screen overlay, and other features. But is it worth the money?

  • 1001 plusses - 445 comments - 208 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-10-25 20:42:47
    Google rumored to be building a floating seawater-cooled data center in San Francisco Bay.

    +CNET is reporting that this structure is "likely" a Google project and possibly a floating barge data center being built by Google just off Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. 

    "Google did not respond to multiple requests for comment. But after going through lease agreements, tracking a contact tied to the project on LinkedIn, talking to locals on Treasure Island, and consulting with experts, it's all but certain that Google is the entity that is building the massive structure that's in plain sight, but behind tight security."


    This picture was today's Mystery Pic. Props to +Anthony Schaef for being first with a generally right answer and +Lauren Egan for being first with a specifically right one. 

  • 1293 plusses - 151 comments - 159 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-10 21:53:27
    1 World Trade Center now the tallest tower in the US.

    The building constructed on the site of the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks today became the tallest tower in the United States. They finished putting the top on, which makes it 1,776 feet high.

  • 1199 plusses - 185 comments - 182 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-19 12:47:48
  • 1118 plusses - 444 comments - 111 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-07 21:33:00
    Is Microsoft 2.0 going to be a kick-ass hardware company?

    Microsoft just might be evolving into a killer consumer electronics company.

    In the wake of two serial Apple announcements, the rumor mill has become an alien landscape. Instead of the usual chatter about amazing new Apple gadgets, everyone is now talking about even more amazing Microsoft hardware.

    Yes, they're rumors. But most of them originate with credible sources or plausible guesstimates.

    And these rumors are bolstered by hot hardware products known to be coming soon.

    Here's my column about what could, should and probably will be coming soon from Microsoft: 


    * * * 
  • 1025 plusses - 308 comments - 221 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-07 16:59:31
    Why are US media ignoring GMO mosquitos in Florida?

    Officials in Florida intend to release hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes as soon as they get permission from the federal government. The mosquitoes are (literally) designed to reduce dengue fever in Key West. 

    The mosquitos have been engineered by the British company Oxitec to pass along a birth defect that kills their offspring before they can reproduce, thus reducing mosquito populations.

    The initiative carries all the normal controversy over GMO anything -- some fearing ignorant meddling with nature and the unintended consequences that could result, and others believing that genetic modification is better than, in this case, the horrible consequences of dengue fever. 

    What's interesting to me is that the story is being covered heavily by media in Canada, India, Russia, the UK and elsewhere, but coverage is practically non-existant in the US press, except for the New York Times, a couple of Florida papers and a smattering of natural-foods hippy blogs and rags. 

    WTF is the matter with the media in the US?

  • 828 plusses - 379 comments - 286 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-13 12:54:19
    Jackie Chan calls America the most corrupt country in the world. 

    Action star Jackie Chan reportedly said on a Hong Kong TV talk show that the United States is the most corrupt country in the world, far more corrupt than China. He also called on Chinese people to stop criticizing China. 

    Interestingly, Chinese Internet users pounced on Chan for acting as an apologist for Chinese corruption. One wrote: "Please, if you want to tell a good lie, tell an educated one. Go learn some knowledge before you contribute to Chinese Communist Party's corruption."

    Other commenters supported Chan's views. 

  • 965 plusses - 461 comments - 149 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-11 16:27:07
    Facebook charges you $100 to send a message on Facebook to a famous person.

    If you're sending a message to a random person on Facebook, they'll charge you $1 to skip the spam filter and actually have the email delivered into the inbox.

    But if the recipient has a lot of followers, Facebook will charge you $100.

    Facebook says they're just testing the service to see if they can get away with it.

    No, the recipient doesn't get a penny. The recipient gets the spam and Facebook gets the money.
  • 724 plusses - 387 comments - 326 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-02 14:42:24
    Are transparent displays dumb or brilliant?

    A see-through iPhone hit the Google+ "What's Hot" list this week. One day later, a transparent-display iPad hit the list as well.

    Transparent-display iPhones and clear iPads don't exist, of course. They're "design fiction" -- drawings and videos created with the help of software to create the illusion of reality.

    But do transparent displays have a future in real life?

    Here's my column about see-through displays, where I say they're terrible for mobile devices, but fantastic for just about every other application. Plus, you can buy one now from Samsung!

  • 1108 plusses - 355 comments - 103 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-16 00:18:18
    The NSA says the Constitution does not apply to the agency.

    President Obama last week: "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls."

    +CNET headline today: "NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants."

    The National Security Agency told Congress in a secret meeting that the NSA does not need court authorization to tap phones and that "an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required." 

    Holy. Shit. 



    #prismgate   #nsa   #obama  
  • 550 plusses - 176 comments - 522 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-21 15:22:58
    What you really want for Christmas: A video arcade cabinet with a beer tap!

    The Arkeg Drink n Game combines video arcade game play with beer on tap. From the front it looks like a pretty standard two-player arcade cabinet. But on the left side, you'll find a beer tap. Inside is a powerful computer in one compartment and a refrigerated beer dispensing system in another. 

    The console comes with 69 games installed, including Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Missile Command, Paperboy — and even the original video game, Pong! 

    The system is PC based, so you can add more games from the Internet or get them on disc. The system can play up to 15,000 games, according to the company.

  • 914 plusses - 158 comments - 299 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-04-12 11:52:56
    Chinese pickpocket caught stealing iPhone. From a moving bicycle. With chopsticks.

    Someone snapped pictures of the (admittedly impressive) act. It ended upon the news. He later turned himself in.

  • 888 plusses - 215 comments - 280 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-02 10:29:20
    Samsung's Super Bowl Ad is not about Apple.

    Samsung's funny Super Bowl social viral campaign (on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) shows Samsung advertising executives (played by Bob Odenkirk, Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd) trying to think of ideas for a Super Bowl ad, but without saying "Super Bowl" or the names of the teams playing, for fear of getting sued. 

    Many publications and blogs have said the ad is a slam at Apple and patent disputes: http://goo.gl/4RDRF

    The ad definitely makes fun of trademark litigation about the Super Bowl itself, which is real. 

    But it can't be about Apple for three reasons: 

    1. In court and in the press, Samsung has strongly said that they don't copy Apple, and instead invent their own designs and technologies. 

    But If this were an allegory about Apple, it would say that Samsung should be able to copy Apple, but ridiculous Apple lawsuits prevent them from being able to. That's not Samsung's position. 

    2. Referring to something is not the same as copying something. Apple has not sued Samsung for saying the words "Apple" or "iPhone." It's about copying designs and technology (or not doing so) -- it's not about referring to something with words. 

    3. Samsung is not at all against patent litigation, and sues other companies all the time over the same thing, including Apple, LG and others. So if this ad were about patent litigation, Samsung would be criticizing itself. 

    This ad makes fun of trademark litigation, not patent litigation. It's about the Super Bowl. Not Apple. 

  • 1052 plusses - 199 comments - 170 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-10-20 21:08:58
    What’s holding back Google’s iPhone-killer?

    Google is in the smartphone business, obviously. But are they in it to win it, or just f**king around?

    Sometimes I wonder.

    Google is obviously a visionary company with incredible technology and the capacity to build some of the greatest stuff out there.

    In fact, Google already has created all the elements of a monster, iPhone-killing super-phone. Yet some invisible, internal company flaw seems to be stopping the company from putting all those elements into an actual phone.

    The iPhone-killing elements are scattered all over different phones that Google sells, and some of the elements aren’t in the phones at all.

    As a result, Google’s fans are faced with an artificial choice between this feature or that feature — or just giving up and buying either a non-Google Android phone or an iPhone for a more compelling mobile experience.

    Here are the four actions Google needs to take to use what it’s got to create the ultimate iPhone killer superphone.


    #Google   #GoogleNow   #Android   #Aviatelauncher   #Motorola  
  • 994 plusses - 246 comments - 180 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-16 16:06:49
    The trouble with Facebook's Graph Search.

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new feature yesterday called Graph Search.

    Graph Search magnifies everything good and bad about Facebook. It's Facebook on steroids.

    To the extent that Facebook is good for connecting with family and friends, Graph Search makes Facebook great for that purpose. To the extent that Facebook is an invasion of privacy, a playground for stalkers, snoops, spammers and scammers, Graph Search makes Facebook great for those purposes also.

    Here's my column that tells why if you love Facebook, you're going to love Graph Search. But if you hate Facebook -- oh, boy, are you going to hate Graph Search. 


    (Pic props to DC Comics)
  • 930 plusses - 208 comments - 226 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-22 21:23:20
    Extreme bike guy Danny MacAskill becomes the action figure of a boy's imagination.

    This is the coolest video you'll see all weekend. 
  • 625 plusses - 47 comments - 482 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-21 00:29:34
    Who else is enjoying Elementary?

    I'm a huge fan of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series, and have read every story several times. As a result of my fandom, I've found the old black-and-white movies boring as f**k, and have a reaction of generalized nausea for Guy Richie's hideous kung fu fantasy supposedly related in some way to the Sherlock Holmes stories.

    As both a geek and a Holmes fan, I enjoyed the BBC series (of which far too few episodes were produced) staring the annoying but vaguely appealing Benedict Cumberbatch set in modern-day London.

    But the CBS version of Sherlock Holmes, called Elementary, is the best ever, in my opinion. It's based in modern New York City and Watson is a woman played appealingly by Lucy Liu.

    Holmes, played brilliantly by Jonny Lee Miller, is a recovering drug addict recently moved from London to New York, who plays the part with an incredible lack of self consciousness. (Note that the original Sherlock Holmes was a drug addict.) They dispense with all the superficial stuff about Sherlock Holmes (the funny hat, the pipe, etc.) but really nail the essential character -- his mind, his personality and his obsessions. The general temperament, attitudes and personalities of the original Holmes and Watson characters are faithfully reproduced in the modern era.

    Anyway, I'm really enjoying this show, and am wondering if anyone else is.

  • 1076 plusses - 320 comments - 80 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-21 13:50:20
    Apple patents the iPhone parachute.

    An Apple patent application published today reveals several methods for protecting electronic devices, such as iPhones, iPods and iPads, from falls.

    One of them is basically a parachute. When accelerometers in the device sense that it has been dropped, it deploys an airfoil to slow the descent.

    The patent application says: "The protective mechanism may activate an air foil to change the aerodynamics of the mobile electronic device. The air foil may help to reduce a velocity of the free-fall of the device by producing a lift force. In this example, the air foil may help to reduce the force of impact as the device hits the surface, as the momentum of the device may be reduced (as the velocity of the fall may be reduced)."

    The other method involves a compressed gas jet to flip the phone over like a cat so it doesn't land on its screen.

    You can't make this stuff up, people.


    (Props: http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/03/21/apple-looks-to-protect-dropped-iphones-by-shifting-their-orientation-mid-flight )
  • 775 plusses - 312 comments - 268 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-12-13 14:46:33
    It actually snowed in Cairo, Egypt!

    Snow fell in Cairo, Egypt, today for the first time in 112 years. 

  • 919 plusses - 133 comments - 251 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-06-26 15:44:51
    Motorola releases a demo video of the Moto 360.

    Who's getting this? 
  • 972 plusses - 163 comments - 201 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-02-08 06:15:48
    Wow. That was fast.

    There's already a t-shirt!
  • 911 plusses - 106 comments - 251 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-05-16 23:25:40
    Crazy Google+ growth continues, unabated.

    All the FUD about Google being neglected, neutered or killed hasn't apparently slowed down the rate at which Google+ grows. 

    This is just one data point, but for the past couple of years I've averaged a circle-count growth rate of about 2,000 additional circles per day. 

    One major reason is that I'm on Google's Suggested Users List, which is presented to people who sign up to use Google+. Some small minority of new Google+ users happen to select the "Technology" category of people to follow. And when they do that, I get added to their circle. 

    Note that these are not "accidental" Google+ members, but those who sign up, then take action to select groups of people to circle. 

    Here's the thing: Since all the rumors and speculation about Google+ hit, my circle count has continued at an average of 2,000 per day. (Since last week, I've gained 14,447 followers.) 
  • 1138 plusses - 79 comments - 123 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-07-18 23:04:16
    Picture of the day.

    Props: http://instagram.com/p/bPFJLqKune/
  • 999 plusses - 62 comments - 213 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-17 19:42:11
    Amazon loses control of another set of reviews.

    Every once in a while, a loony product on Amazon attracts the attention of the Internet's hecklers and sarcasm enthusiasts, resulting in hilarious Customer Reviews for the product.

    The latest victim is Amazon's page for the BIC Cristal For Her Ball Pen, the ballpoint pen for ladies.

    Here's one example:

    "I love BIC Cristal for Her! The delicate shape and pretty pastel colors make it perfect for writing recipe cards, checks to my psychologist (I'm seeing him for a case of the hysterics), and tracking my monthly cycle. Obviously, I don't use it for vulgar endeavors like math or filling out a voter application, but BIC Cristal for Her is a lovely little writing utensil all the same. Ask your husband for some extra pocket money so you can buy one today!"

  • 934 plusses - 126 comments - 222 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-23 08:37:58
    The Phone that could turn me into an Android fanboy.

    A rumor is now circulating that a "Google Edition" of the HTC One could be announced in a few weeks. 

    Google announced at Google I/O that the Samsung Galaxy S4 would soon ship with a Google install (like the Nexus 4) instead of the shitty Samsung-generated UI. 

    Now, a rumor is circulating that the HTC One would also ship as a "Google Edition" phone. 

    This would be an Android phone I could not resist. If this rumor is true, I will likely throw my iPhone in the trash and buy this phone as soon as I can. 


    UPDATE 1: The rumor was true. HTC announced it will ship HTC One with Nexus User Experience June 26 for $599.

  • 853 plusses - 201 comments - 234 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-27 11:22:53
    Hollywood has gotten so dumb they now know and use only one adjective.

    This video is amazing: 
  • 872 plusses - 240 comments - 203 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-10 11:49:11
    Nearly four-fifths of the antibiotics sold in the US are now given to meat animals.

    Animals can't survive the cramped, unhealthy conditions of factory farms, so the industrial meat industry gives animals antibiotics to keep them alive until they can be slaughtered.

    While the amount of antibiotics administered to humans by doctors is steady, the amount consumed by the livestock industry grows every year. 

    Antibiotic-resistant pathogens. It's what's for dinner. 

  • 706 plusses - 186 comments - 328 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-07-14 20:29:30
    An Open Letter to Handset Makers: Why Your Phone Is a Loser. 

    Dear Handset Maker:

    Your company and hundreds of others are engaged in an epic battle for the smartphone handset market, which within a year or two will exceed a billion customers and $150 billion a year in revenue.

    Don’t you want a big piece of that? Because if you do, you’re not acting like it.

    Samsung gets most of the market share and some of the profits. Apple gets most of the profits and some of the market share. But Samsung fears with justification that its lead is slipping away to lower-cost and more aggressive vendors. Apple’s momentum has slowed horribly with the onslaught of Android phones.

    The rest of you handset makers — let’s face it — are scrambling for crumbs on the floor.

    Instead of taking one of the known-bad losing strategies, why don’t you try the obvious winning strategy?

    I’m going to describe the losing strategies, then spell out the winning one.

  • 727 plusses - 153 comments - 329 shares | Read in G+