The Growing Luddite Cacophany

The Luddite movement in the 19th century was targeted specifically against creeping industrialization and the effect it was seen to be having on society. The concern was legitimate because the Industrial Revolution did massively change things  and particularly in the short term there were negative consequences. But the Luddite response was narrow minded, short sighted and a classic mob mentality. Welcome to the 21st century. And on the internet (somewhat ironically) it's becoming… Continue reading...

Google Unveils Self-Driving Car Prototype

Obviously Google has been working at the whole self-driving car thing for some time now. But the vehicles they've had on the road previously have simply been existing cars that have been modified as needed. What they are unveiling here is a car that has been designed from the ground up with the idea that it's going to drive itself. So no steering wheel and no pedals. Which, it turns out, gives you a lot of extra leg room. As someone who spends about 2 hours (and 80 miles) a day driving,… Continue reading...

Celebrating BASIC's 50th Anniversary

Over at Technologizer, Harry McCracken has written a great piece about the creation and evolution of the programming language BASIC. For people like me who were introduced to computers back in the early 80s this is a wonderful trip down memory lane. Admittedly over the years I went on to learn much more sophisticated languages and programming techniques that BASIC would never support, but still my interest in computers and programming really wouldn't exist at all without BASIC. Like McCracken I also think the lack of a simple language like… Continue reading...

Google+ Is Walking Dead (Or How To Troll For Clicks If You're A Tech Blog)

In that past I have been... critical... of the standards of technology journalism on the web. There's a reason for that. It's shit. It's so bad it's an insult to my and your intelligence. It panders to partisan fanboys and trades in gossip. It passes off opinion as fact and flashy emotional language for actual content. It is the very definition of hackwork. And that's a criticism that applies broadly across many websites many of whom are supposedly "big" names in the industry. The… Continue reading...

Do Consumers Actually Want Modular Phones?

The Verge has an excellent article on Google's Project Ara. The concept of a truly modular phone sounds like the holy grail to many tech enthusiasts. Instead of having to pay $600 an replace your entire phone every 6 months to keep up with the latest and greatest, you will be able to just swap out a module (CPU or screen or something else) and update your existing phone. Project Ara isn't a hack either. They're thinking through all the elements quite carefully including the ability to hot… Continue reading...