Author Archives: Philip Berne

By day, Philip Berne works for a major mobile technology manufacturer. At night, he dons his Batman cape and cowl, pours himself a dram, and sits in a dark room contemplating the intersection of culture and technology. His opinions were originally his own, but have since been digitally enhanced by George Lucas.

The Desktop OS Will Never Die – Just Multiply

The Desktop OS Will Never Die – Just Multiply

More and more people are traveling without a laptop these days, who otherwise might have been laden with a heavy machine. Some of them are realizing that their email, Web browsing and even basic document needs are better met by a smartphone. Some have even taken the plunge to buy a tablet like an iPad, and find that it does the trick just fine. In fact, with its light weight, great casual gaming and top-notch multimedia capabilities, the iPad or a similar tablet might be a better choice than a laptop for many travelers.

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Leave Mark Zuckerberg Alone

Leave Mark Zuckerberg Alone

The discussion around Mark Zuckerberg's supposed "meltdown" at the D8 conference has been disgusting. Here's the CEO and controller of the board for the most popular site on the Internet, a site with more users than there are citizens in the United States, and almost every headline reads the same.

"Zuckerberg . . . Sweats"

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What I Learned From Working at the Apple Store

What I Learned From Working at the Apple Store

At the turn of this century, I worked for a few Web sites that you haven't heard of because they collapsed in the great tech bubble. I became a High School teacher and stuck with it for five years before I got back into tech journalism. But while I was teaching, I took on some extra jobs, one of which was working at an Apple store at a very expensive mall. I learned a lot in my time there.

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Fanboys Are Crazy, Not Brand Loyal

Fanboys Are Crazy, Not Brand Loyal

The Internet has been abuzz this week with a column on the psychology of Fanboys. The piece, by David McRaney, basically dives into cognitive dissonance and its conflict with self-perception theory. These are two fairly well established principles, and McRaney is right to apply them here.

The logic is thus: our minds want to reinforce decisions we make, even when we're wrong. Our mind make a posteriori judgments, that is, we explain ourselves to ourselves after the fact. Are you upset that your Alienware laptop only gets 2 hours of battery life, while a MacBook Pro can go hours and hours without a charge? This emotion causes cognitive dissonance. That is, our minds drive us to think that our decisions are good and rational, so when we make a wrong decision, it creates a gap in our logic, a crevasse that must be filled. So, we fill it with illogical thinking.

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The Next Great Tech Rivalry

The Next Great Tech Rivalry

The consumer electronics industry has had its share of great rivalries. Apple vs. Microsoft; Microsoft vs. Google; Google vs. Yahoo; and though these companies surely remain in competition, the intense rivalries that drive product development and benefit the consumer have mostly faded. Apple and Microsoft may jockey for position in measurements of market capitalization, but they're both successful with dramatically different product categories now. Microsoft may want a piece of Google's search pie, but Google holds a commanding lead that seems unlikely to falter. And do I have to even explain how Yahoo is no longer competitive with Google?

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