Philip Berne

How to Save Mobile TV

How to Save Mobile TV

Honestly, it might be too late to save mobile TV, at least in the U.S., where the broadcast network for mobile devices has yet to catch on like it has in Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea. The competition is fierce, and growing almost daily, and mobile broadcast TV service offers few benefits over its competitors.

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Early Retirement

Early Retirement

Over dinner my father looks at me and says, with a straight face: "I hear Google might start building its own phone." I'm trying to figure out which direction to take the conversation. Condescension would be too aggressive, no matter how much my inner troll wants to bait him. Do I explain that Google is not only making a phone OS, but that they will soon rival Microsoft in the netbook space with a new desktop OS? Too technical.

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3D or not 3D, that is the question

3D or not 3D, that is the question

I like 3D movies. Actually, I should say I like some 3D movies. But if I had to make the choice between making all movies 3D or doing away with the technology altogether, I would gladly kick 3D to the curb and declare it no great loss for art and entertainment.

I remember the first 3D movie I saw in a theater. It was "Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone." It was a cheesy, throw-away sci-fi movie, the biggest claim to fame of which is that it was the movie Molly Ringwald did before "Sixteen Candles." I loved it. I was 8.

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Longing for Boredom

Longing for Boredom

Working as a High School teacher in a Charter school, my job wasn't simply to teach and follow the curriculum. I was also a student advisor for a group of kids. It's sort of like a guidance counselor role. I help them get along with each other, and with other teachers. I would help them get psyched about going to college, then help them through the application process. We had guidance counselors, but they were really more like social workers and psychologists. I gave advice, and filled the more traditional guidance counselor role.

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You Get What You Pay For

You Get What You Pay For

Gourmet magazine is relaunching itself as a free iPad app. The New York Times' Jenna Wortham previews the new app and asks whether a repackaging of the magazine's decades of content will be enough for Gourmet fans. Home cooks, she says, "are now used to interacting with others by sharing and commenting on recipes online." Pardon the pun, but what a crock.

I've spent plenty of time reading online food and recipe sites, and I can tell you they exemplify the biggest problems of the so-called Web 2.0 movement. When I read a recipe on Epicurious, for instance, I usually check the comments to see how the recipe turns out. Instead, what I always find are comments like: "I hated this dish. I followed the recipe exactly, except that I didn't have fish sauce so I substituted Heinz ketchup, and I didn't have fresh chicken, so I used broken glass instead."

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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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