By Larry Magid | [email protected] | PUBLISHED: July 4, 2018 at 6:23 am | UPDATED: July 4, 2018 at 6:22 pm Sunday July 3, 1983, was an exciting day for me. I picked up a copy of the Los Angeles Times and there, in the business section, was my very first column about personal computers. I remember calling up a friend and telling him I had good news and bad news. The good news was that I just signed-up to write a column for one of America’s largest newspapers, but the bad news was that I had to write about computers rather than important stories like politics. Little did I know that technology would evolve into one of the most important stories of our times and that, in addition to getting to review hardware and software, a career as a tech journalist would eventually allow me to weigh-in on much broader issues such as privacy, personal safety and even political stories, including, of course, Russia’s interference with our 2016 election. The column was syndicated to … [Read more...] about Magid: Looking back on 35 years of writing about tech
Basic units of measurement
source Samantha Lee / Business Insider Starting this week, chain restaurants are required to post calorie counts on their menus as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The measure is designed to help people eat healthier, but it’s important to remember where calories come from in the first place – and to know that they’re not the end-all, be-all when it comes to nutrition. In 1918, a Los Angeles physician played a major role in popularizing the calorie as a way of losing weight. It was the first mention of the word in popular culture – and the world’s first viral diet book. Standing before a room of women in Los Angeles, Lulu Hunt Peters wrote a word on a blackboard that she said held the keys to empowerment. It was a word most of her audience had never heard before. Peters insisted it was just as important as terms like “foot” … [Read more...] about Restaurant chains now put calorie counts on their menus — and it’s part of a 100-year-old American obsession that started with a California doctor
Google’s home automation unit, Nest, did not play a role at Google I/O last month, but that could be due to the company had its own plans, like introducing an all-new line-up of products, and a new single app to run them all.Nest’s cornerstone products, the Nest Learning Thermostat, and Nest Protect smoke detectors, are the same form factor (the new Protect is a little smaller now), but the software has been updated to provide safety temperature alerts if your house gets too hot or cold. That will help you keep your pipes from freezing, or prevent a pet from overheating while you are away. The new software will also allow the Nest Thermostat to support a multi-zoned home. Up to 20 thermostats can be connected, and they will share data to conserve energy costs around the house. The thermostat will also connect to Nest Protect smoke detectors so you can see notifications on the dial. With that connectivity comes the emergency shutoff feature. Some CO leaks can originate from … [Read more...] about Nest introduces new generation of products and all new mobile app to control everything
Just like there were experiments before the Internet really took off, with people locked in apartments ordering all necessities online, or recently people living entirely off Craigslist, there should be an experiment of personal transportation done only via car-hire and sharing apps, just to prove a point. Those who have tried the convenience of services like Zipcar swear by it, especially in large metropolitan cities, where car ownership and parking costs way too much. There are also a number of on-demand car hure apps like Uber, Lyft or SideCar that hook you up with vetted drivers, sometimes people using their own cars for the purpose, or services with their own shared fleets. Some of them work as a small "donation" fee goes towards your driver, and they collect a certain percentage to maintain the app and the database, like what a traditional dispatcher would do. These voluntary "donations" are often half of what you'd pay for a cab fare, and it's like you get driven … [Read more...] about Hitch that ride: can the rise of car-hire and sharing apps continue unregulated?
Being a fan is a matter of life and death. The day of Ticketmaster’s presale for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Reputation tour, one fan wrote on Tumblr, “When I die[,] I want Ticketmaster Verified Fan to lower me into my grave so they can let me down one last time.” It’s a sentiment that was liked or reblogged by more than 1,000 others. Verified Fan is a major piece of fandom outreach by Ticketmaster, once one of the most maligned corporations in the world, and this isn’t exactly the sentiment it’s meant to engender. It’s a recent innovation by the ticket-selling giant, and David Marcus, an executive vice president and the head of music for Ticketmaster, explained it to The Verge in a phone call as “a very simple platform.” Fans register with their email address well in advance of a presale and wait to be offered a code that they can use to get into the sale during a special fans-only window. He calls the engine behind the platform … [Read more...] about How Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program toys with the passions of fandom