Columns

Evernote’s apology changes nothing

Evernote’s apology changes nothing

This morning Evernote CEO Chris O'Neill sent an email to apologize for and clarify this week's Privacy Update blunder. This apology suggests that two factors make what they're doing OK in their eyes. One of these factors is the user's ability to opt-out. The other is the idea that "select" Evernote employees may see "random content" from Evernote users. This is not good enough.

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Privacy should never be sacrificed for the sake of free

Privacy should never be sacrificed for the sake of free

Yesterday was not a very good day for privacy. First was the revelation that Evernote’s new privacy policy will basically allow its engineers to take a peek at any of your notes. Then there’s Google’s lawsuit settlement, which involves still scanning your (and non-Gmail users’) e-mails. And to top it all off, Yahoo has admitted that an even more massive breach happened in 2013, affecting no less than 1 billion accounts. All this should send chills down your spine, and yet most people will probably react to the news with a shrug. Have we become accustomed, even numb, to intrusions of privacy in exchange for service? Common sense tells us we shouldn’t, and yet that might not be the case.

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Microsoft Surface: what Redmond finally got right

Microsoft Surface: what Redmond finally got right

Microsoft, unsurprisingly, made a rather bold boast this week. It attributed the strong sales of its Surface devices to a growing dissatisfaction among MacBook Pro users. While many will definitely call BS on that, it's futile to deny facts. The Surface Pro tablets and the Surface Book laptop has done quite well. An achievement for a company that has traditionally sucked at devices (save for the Xbox). That success is definitely surprising and unexpected, which makes us ask, "how the hell did Microsoft pull it off?"

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The big, frustrating thing Google Wifi is missing

The big, frustrating thing Google Wifi is missing

Google Wifi may look like a shorter, squatter version of Google Home, but while the two smart home devices might share DNA, there's oddly little overlap. The mesh router, which began shipping earlier this month, doesn't stint on features to go with its boosted range. Despite that, there's still one big thing missing.

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Net Neutrality – Why it should matter to you

Net Neutrality – Why it should matter to you

Before this year’s presidential elections became the major factor dividing the US tech industry, it was “net neutrality” that split camps along lines of for or against. And if you thought the (legal) battle is over, you are definitely wrong. Although the FCC already ruled in favor of net neutrality last year, the changing of the guards opens up the real possibility, nay an explicit objective even, of undoing all that. The net neutrality debates are about to be reignited and, whichever side of the camp you stand on, the results will inevitably affect everyone.

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Fake News is old news but here’s what we can do to stop it

Fake News is old news but here’s what we can do to stop it

The Internet is without a doubt one of the most powerful things man has ever invented. It has made the world a smaller place, at least digitally, and has made it easy for any voice to be heard. Almost too easy. It has made spreading false or inaccurate information as easy as clicking “Retweet” or “Re-post”. Coupled with a culture of instant gratification, that has become a recipe for disaster. That disaster has a new name this year, and it’s called “Fake News”. Sadly, Fake news is actually nothing new, aside from the now more severe geopolitical implications. The good news, it can be beaten. The bad news is, it requires undoing the fortunately still young culture of mindless reading and sharing on the Web.

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4 reasons Windows 10 on Snapdragon should excite you

4 reasons Windows 10 on Snapdragon should excite you

The gulf between Apple and Microsoft's strategies for desktop and mobile continues to spread. On the one hand, Apple has iOS on its own ARM-based mobile chips, and macOS on Intel x86 processors. Taking the complete opposite approach, Microsoft is forging ahead with the same Windows 10 across both ecosystems. While there's no single "right answer" there are plenty of reasons why Microsoft's announcement with Qualcomm that full Windows 10 is coming to Snapdragon should get you excited.

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Why smartwatches have failed and how companies can save them

Why smartwatches have failed and how companies can save them

If there were a poster boy for smartwatches, it would probably be Pebble, in no small part thanks to its always successful Kickstarters, dirt cheap prices, and media hype. So when Fitbit practically killed off Pebble by buying it, it’s unsurprising that some would be led to ask if smartwatches, as a whole, are an endangered species. With Apple Watch sales doing “just OK”, and Android Wear devices descending into obsolescence, it is perhaps time to look back again to see why smartwatches have failed to become as widespread as our smartphones and perhaps come up with solutions on how they can still be saved. That is, if they’re worth saving at all.

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The Pebble Post-Mortem: The Wisdom of the Crowd

The Pebble Post-Mortem: The Wisdom of the Crowd

You don't have to be writing about the tech industry long to see a company go from bright and shiny startup to bankruptcy; Pebble lasted longer than many. Then again, the wearables firm was always being predicted for imminent death, even as it was raising millions of dollars in crowdfunding cash for the original Pebble back in 2012. "The Apple Watch will crush Pebble," we were told, even though Apple's wearable didn't break cover until more than two years later, and then take more than six months to make it to store shelves.

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The Best Games of 2016: Stardew Valley

The Best Games of 2016: Stardew Valley

To someone who has never played Stardew Valley, it may seem a little strange to have it rank among the best games of the year. After all, it's a game about building up a successful farm from nothing and all of the manual labor that entails. When you're not farming, you're left to develop relationships with the other people who live in your town. How fun can it be? Quite a bit, as it turns out.

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The Best Games of 2016: Overwatch

The Best Games of 2016: Overwatch

It's late in the game and my team is defending the delivery point for the opposing team's payload. Things are hot around the payload, which is where I'm positioned, playing as an old, war-weary solider who's sick of fighting but nevertheless finds himself here. Bullets zoom by as I step out from behind cover, emboldened by my team's success in pushing the other team back. Then I hear it: "it's high noon," and realizing that there's no time to find cover, I accept my fate. Defeated, I decide to switch characters from the grizzled war veteran to the talking gorilla with a jet pack and a Tesla cannon, and it becomes clear that Overwatch is something special.

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Why the Dakota Access Pipeline fight isn’t over (and Standing Rock knows it)

Why the Dakota Access Pipeline fight isn’t over (and Standing Rock knows it)

This week the US Army CoE said they'd stopped the DAPL oil pipeline the same day authorities' Protester Evacuation Deadline was up - quite a coincidence. It should therefore come as no surprise that the thousands of water protectors (or protestors, if you prefer) have not left their camp after a brief celebration in halting construction. If this pipeline does, indeed, remain stopped and incomplete, it'll strike a major blow for both native rights and a future for electric vehicles taking the place of fossil fuel-hungry automobiles.

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