HP Unveils An All-Touch, Projector-Controlled PC


HP has announced something truly new and novel, a desktop PC that is entirely touch-based, but not by reaching out in front of you to touch the screen (which you can also do), but via an overhead projection onto a giant touchpad where a keyboard would normally be. Questions of practicality aside, it looks at first glance to be both a logical step in the direction technology is going, and a refreshingly new take on the desktop PC. It's called the Sprout.Skepticism is of course warranted. … [Read more...]

The Attack, Four Years Later

Taken a month after the attack, holding my boy on his first birthday, arm in a purple cast, shirt covered in drool.

As you might know, a ways back two thugs beat the shit out of me outside my home Metro station when I lived in DC, and it was really, really bad, and it changed a lot of things for me. Of course, right? Well, last night marked four years since that event, and I thought it might merit some brief reflection here, because it's impacted so much of my life, my thinking and, of course, my writing here.To start, here's my first telling of the event itself, a few weeks after it happened, around my 33 … [Read more...]

Thou Shalt Upgrade At All Costs


The tech revolution is exciting! Advances in consumer technology are happening so rapidly, the individual strides are so long, I sometimes can’t believe most people aren’t watching for each development with bated breath. I bet it’s how many zealous religious believers feel when they think about how many people don’t share their ecstatic feelings about their particular theology. It's the good news of technology!Now, take an existing fascination with contemporary tech, and add to that the stead … [Read more...]

Death by a Thousand Emotional Microtransactions


How much do you care what people think of you? How much do you care what people you’ve never met think of you? How much do you care what people you’ve never met think about any individual choice you make or opinion you share? How much do you care what people you’ve never met think of the specifics of the format, timing, wording, tone, or technological means of the opinion you’ve shared?If you use Twitter, or social media in general, you already kind of know the answer, or at least you’re lear … [Read more...]

The Real People Who Serve As the Internet’s Depravity Filter

An incredible investigative piece in Wired by Adrian Chen reports on the lives of contract content moderators, folks whose job it is to go through content posted to online platforms (such as Facebook, YouTube, Whisper, etc.), and deal with the content that violates a platform’s policies or the law. And yes, we’re talking about the really bad stuff: Not just run-of-the-mill pornography or lewd images, but examples of humanity at its worst, from torture, sexual assault (involving adults, children, … [Read more...]

Jekyll and Hyde: Forefathers of Internet Trolls


There is a degree of serendipity to my first reading of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I downloaded it to my iPad mostly on a whim, thinking it might be a good idea to dip into some of the 19th-century science fiction to which I am almost entirely unread, save for Frankenstein. (Next up, War of the Worlds!) I expected, similarly to Frankenstein, a book-length recounting of Dr. Jekyll’s agony as he is compelled to rent himself in two. I presumed it’d be chapter after chapter of his t … [Read more...]

The iMortal Show, Episode 5: Where the Puck Really Should Be


Apple gives me feelings. You know this, surely. And after its October 16 event, in which the Infinite Loopers unveiled new iPads, showed off a Retina iMac, and tried their hand at “skits,” those feelings swung a little bit into negative territory. In this special, needlessly-long edition of the iMortal Show, I express some of those feelings. Chris Sawyer and Ken Kennedy join me to dissect the event, overthink the new products, and ponder the entire consumer tech industry. We pretty much solve ev … [Read more...]

The iMortal Show, Episode 4: Unprecedented Parenting

Image by Shutterstock.

Kids these days, with their pixels and their googles and their tweeters. But seriously, folks. Parents around my own age are among those straddling the line between the pre- and post-Internet world, the last generation of moms and dads who grew up without ubiquitous connectivity. With no preexisting template for how to raise a kid in a world of smartphones and social media, we’re left to make it up as we go along, to try and make wise choices for our kids while still figuring out how all of t … [Read more...]

Computers, Coats, and Chainsaws: Longevity and Turnover for Technology

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In an upcoming episode of the iMortal Show (which I promise is coming back soon – a new episode is being recorded this week), we’re going to discuss something that is often missed on websites like my own: products with longevity, objects and devices that are well-made and not intended to be changed over frequently in the way that smartphones are.I was inspired by a post at Tools and Toys, in which Chris Bowler explains the thinking behind his site, which features high-quality items that he be … [Read more...]

The Quest for Peace, Through Headphones

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I am told that I am poor at being “in the moment,” and I confess it to be the case. I am nothing if not riddled with anxieties, large and small. At my worst, I am engulfed in worries, drenched in waves of stomach-sickening dread, doubt, and guilt. But normally, just going about my day, I maintain a manageable baseline of unease; the quiet hum of preoccupation with Other Things always resonating, if just barely. I am told this is bad for my health, to say the least.I come by it all honestly, w … [Read more...]