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.

How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Cloud

How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Cloud

After sixteen years of using portable computers, I'm more convinced than ever that cloud computing, especially cloud based storage, will save us all. It's not without problems and caveats, but I've been betrayed by storage solutions I thought were reliable, and I'm ready to bury the hard drive in favor of the great gigabyte in the sky.

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How to Save the E-Reader

How to Save the E-Reader

Does the e-reader need saving? If Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the like have sold plenty of units, the category is still facing some tough competition and it lacks a compelling reason to exist. Apple has fired the first shots in the consumer tablet war, but I think e-reader devices can easily survive if they avoid that fight altogether.

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E-mail Must Die

E-mail Must Die

E-mail doesn't make sense. Text messaging doesn't make sense. Neither does instant messaging. Phone calls don't make any sense. These systems are all outdated and its time to scrap them for a much smarter system.

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One Console to Rule Them All

One Console to Rule Them All

Competition is usually great for consumers, especially in the gadget world. Competition among phone makers is the most obvious example, but even digital cameras, laptops and netbooks, and HDTVs are all part of a highly competitive electronics landscape. Buyers can now find these products at lower prices with more features than ever before. It's tough, perhaps even un-American, to argue against competition, but in the video games industry, a little less competition would do gamers a lot of good.

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Stop Twiddling Your Thumbs and Stand Up

Stop Twiddling Your Thumbs and Stand Up

Originally, I wanted to title this story "Why Women Hate Consoles," but I'm sure there are many women who would take exception to that complaint. I'm not married to one of those women. My wife hates console gaming. She doesn't just hate playing games on my Xbox or Playstation, she hates when I play them, too. For a while, I couldn't figure out why.

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Taking a Tech Time Out

Taking a Tech Time Out

My son is a biter. He's a toddler, and he has a bad habit of biting the other children in his class. We have him at a Montessori pre-school, so instead of day care he has teachers and a principal, even though he's not yet two years old. It's a great experience for him, but every day or so we have to sign a form at the end of the day when we pick him up acknowledging the fact that he has bitten some other toddler.

The school is kind enough to keep things anonymous. They don't tell us who he bit, and presumably they don't tell the other parents which child bit theirs. Sometimes I pick him up and the form I have to sign says that another child bit him instead, and it's gotten to the point where that's a relief. At first my snarky attitude was that it's better to be the biter than the one getting bitten; now I just hope it wasn't my son doing the biting.

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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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