Every few years, the feds and the courts change direction or fail to answer important questions. And every day, the Internet becomes more of a platform for lousy ads, for increasing the power of a few rich companies, and for intrusive tracking. It's too important to leave unprotected.
In the tech world, you can reel off great products in several ways. You can have the once-in-a-lifetime gut instincts of a Steve Jobs. You can have the brainiac coding skills of a Bill Gates, Larry Page, or Sergey Brin. Or, I learned, you can have the deep intellectual curiosity and stubbornness of a Jeff Bezos.
Streaming TV shows, movies, and other types of video over the Internet to all manner of devices, once a fringe habit, is now a squarely mainstream practice. Even people still paying for cable or satellite service often also have Netflix or Hulu accounts.
Apple's iTunes program was once the envy of the world. A combined digital music store and player, it could also sync your iPod. And it worked on both Mac and Windows. It was reasonably fast and very sure-footed.
In August of 2011, Steve Jobs, the tech icon who disrupted a string of traditional industries, called me and told me he thought he'd figured out a way to revolutionize TV. He invited me to come see it at Apple in a few months, but he died just six weeks later, and that meeting never came to pass.
Samsung has drastically altered the rule that big screens mean huge phones. Even this smaller of the new Galaxy S models has a larger screen than the biggest iPhone, but it's much narrower and easier to hold and to slip into a pocket.
No computer or smartphone can ever be considered 100 percent 'safe.' We're all engaged in a perpetual battle with criminals and hostile governments trying to use computers and the Internet to steal information and identities.
The next time you're driving from New York to Boston on I-95, you should make a little detour in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to visit the Old Slater Mill national historic landmark. It's the site of what is considered to be the first successful water-powered textile spinning mill in America.
I wrote a lot about the need for an information appliance. I think we've pretty much arrived at one: the iPad. A child could figure out how to use it quickly. Compare it to a DOS computer or even an Apple II; it's no longer nearly as much of a hassle or a mystery.
It was a June day when I began my career as a national journalist. I stepped into the Detroit Bureau of the 'Wall Street Journal' and started on what would be a long, varied, rewarding career. I was 23 years old, and the year was 1970.
Apple very deliberately - and this was very much Steve Jobs' point of view - Apple has concentrated its cloud efforts on being invisible. So in other words, stuff just would sync and appear. You change your contacts on one of your devices, and it would appear on all your devices changed.
We need a wireless mobile device ecosystem that mirrors the PC/Internet ecosystem, one where the consumers' purchase of network capacity is separate from their purchase of the hardware and software they use on that network. It will take government action, or some disruptive technology or business innovation, to get us there.
It's called the Samsung Chromebook Plus, and it runs on an ARM processor, the same type of processor that powers the vast majority of smartphones and tablets. It was designed in close cooperation with Google.
Big screens helped propel Samsung to top-tier prominence and helped iPhone sales explode a few years later. But for many, including myself, the biggest-screen models just weren't practical, because their overall size made them too large, too bulky, and too heavy.
I've been on the Web from the beginning of the Web. The good part about writing about technology is that you never run out of ideas, because it's changing so fast. The bad part is that it's changing so fast that there's a million new products and ideas every day and every week.
When I first reviewed the iPad, I wrote that, to succeed, 'It will have to prove that it really can replace the laptop or netbook for enough common tasks, enough of the time, to make it a viable alternative.'
There are lots of reasons email persists, even as faster and simpler forms of communication proliferate and your personal communications likely have mostly migrated elsewhere. But one big one is that new types of media channels rarely totally kill off old ones, even though everyone predicts they will.
For those still outside the cult of Slack, it's a service - available as a desktop or mobile app, or a website - which is essentially a series of public chat rooms (called channels) on topics relevant to a company or to teams within a company.
Man, he could sell. As he liked to say, he lived at the intersection of technology and liberal arts. But there was a more personal side of Steve Jobs, of course, and I was fortunate enough to see a bit of it because I spent hours in conversation with him over the 14 years he ran Apple.
Email is a senior citizen. It's been around since at least the 1960s in one form or another. In the 1990s and early 2000s, there was a hot competition among consumer email services like Yahoo Mail, Hotmail and Gmail.