Tag: context

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Toshiba Chromebook 2 First Impressions

This afternoon, I received the Toshiba Chromebook 2, purchased 24 hours earlier from Amazon. The computer tests my taste for the contextual cloud, as I contemplate moving back to the Google lifestyle abandoned in early summer 2014. While in some ways my creativity flourishes on Apple products, I also feel encumbered. Synchronization still stumbles across Apple devices; informational utility of Siri sucks; fumbling around with apps across the user interface is distracting and time-wasting.

While having used Toshiba laptops in the distance past, this is the first I paid for. I chose the Chromebook for what it has that nearly no other does, 1080p IPS panel. The screen type offers bright and bountiful viewing angles. Most other Chromebooks rely on TN panels that are typically 200- or 250-nit brightness, or likely less than your smartphone. There is one, good viewing angle—straight on! The Toshiba tops 300-nits, which is similar to my 13.3-inch MacBook Pro (late-2013 model). The published numbers I’ve seen vary, with the most consistent 339 and 320 nits, respectively.

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Photo Credit: Julia Folsom

What 2014 Life-Changing Tech Means to 2015

Three weeks ago, at BetaNews, I asked “What tech changed your life in 2014?” Readers answered there and on Google+. As the new year starts, I wonder what will make all our lives better. Apple Watch? I doubt it. Shake me awake from the nightmare if the wearable isn’t the most successful flop of 2015. Windows 10? Skipping nine is a good sign, but is giving users more of what they don’t want to let go life changing? Eh, no.

At the precipice of looking ahead, this is a last look behind. Once Consumer Electronics Show leaks and early announcements rush the InterWebs, all eyes will turn forward—blind to what many people have, focusing on what they want instead. That’s because “aspiration” is the defining word of the technology era, and the promise if you buy newfangled This or That your life will be better for it. Sometimes the promise is true, but too often not, which is why I asked the important question three weeks ago. 

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Five Tech Products Changed My Digital Lifestyle in 2014

Looking back on this last day of the year, I wonder how my daily tech changed so much since the first. On Jan. 1, 2014, my core computing comprised Chromebook, Nexus tablet, and Nexus smartphone. Midyear, I switched out to all Microsoft—buying Surface Pro 3 and Nokia Lumia Icon. While commendable the effort, Windows poorly fit my lifestyle. Today, I’m all Apple—13-inch MacBook Pro Retina Display with 512GB SSD, iPhone 6 128GB, and iPad Air 128GB. I can’t imagine using anything else.

I abandoned my Google lifestyle for numerous reasons, with my desire to create more content rather than consume it being primary. Google gives great contextual computing, with respect to information that is relevant to where you are and even what you want. But Android and Chrome OS, and their supporting apps, aren’t mature enough platforms for consistent content creation. 

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What's Behind the 'Wall Street Journal' Paywall?

The other day, I investigated current Wall Street Journal subscription pricing, as part of broader research about paywalls. The Journal still charges more than I want to pay but I am relieved to find one price for online, smartphone, and tablet.

People consume information contextually, so paid content should be available wherever they want to get it. What follows is my chat with a Journal sales rep, with full pricing.

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I Told You So

Sony selling its PC business rocks techdom today. I am in process of writing an analysis for BetaNews and decided to excerpt a portion here, posted sooner, that hopefully will help anyone looking for context.

Additionally, because I work on a book about writing well and responsibly online, there is opportunity to refute long-time accusations leveled by aggressive BetaNews commenters. Yeah, the two are related. With that introduction…

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My first Kindle ebook gets a Face Lift

Last night I republished This Book is not a Kindle Single [The Rejected Essay] with the originally-intended title (The Principles of Disruptive Design) and major content updates. The preface and afterword are gone (as they pertained to the gimmick title) and there are updates throughout, the most considerable to the first section.

The updates deal directly with Apple iPhone 5s and 5c nd questions about Apple innovations, or lack of them.

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Wall Street Journal's Pay-more Paywall demands Too Much

Do you pay Rupert Murdoch 18 bucks a month for a Wall Street Journal iPad subscription? I dare you to confess. Today, during News Corporation’s earnings call, CEO Murdoch claims that the Journal has 64,000 active users on iPad. Presumably one of them is you.

I ask because I see the Journal as having gone too far with its paywall approach. I’m testing iPhone 3GS again, and I downloaded the WSJ app last week. I logged in with my web subscription account, and the Journal let me read for a couple days. Then came the demand for more cash. Not much, just a buck a week. But I already pay for the web subscription, for which the Journal charges about $150 a year. So Murdoch wants another 52 bucks a year for iPhone and about another $215 for iPad, which I also am testing? OK, it’s only $207 a year for iPad if taking advantage of the $3.99-a-week promotion.