Category: Opinion

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Devil-on-the-Shoulder Look at the WWDC 2014 Keynote

[Updated in places thanks to feedback from readers, and a fresh round of caffeine since I wrote this post late last night.] I almost titled this post “The Pessimist’s Look at WWDC,” but I’m not a pessimist. I think most of what was announced by Apple at the Worldwide Developer Conference keynote is exciting and ...

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Why Is Brad Bird Awesome?

Is it because he created The Incredibles, one of the best superhero movies of all time? Or is it because his foray into live-action filmmaking, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, is the best of the series and perpetually re-watchable? Or maybe it’s because he took the tale of a rat that wanted to be a ...

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Oculus and the Facebook of Tomorrow

A few quick caveats up front: I’ve not used an Oculus Rift VR headset, and I’m not even much of a gamer anymore. I’m working on multiple projects right now and I’m sleep deprived. I’m highly caffeinated. Still, the news that Facebook is buying Oculus for $2 billion ($1.6 billion of which is Facebook stock), ...

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Why Do Big Magazines Hire Hacks for Big Tech Stories?

Given the many little flubs in this exclusive interview of Jonathan Ive for Time Magazine (originally published in The Sunday Times Magazine), I figured an over-the-top headline for this post was warranted. Let me set up a couple guideposts. First, getting an exclusive interview with Apple’s Vice President of Design Jonathan Ive, especially one that ...

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Greg Knauss on The Empathy Vacuum

Greg Knauss created a fun little iOS app called Romantimatic that reminds you to text your significant other just to say things like “Hello,” “I’m thinking about you,” or “I love you.” It’s clever and appeals to people who are, in Greg’s words, “distracted or forgetful.” We all know someone like that (and I’m sure ...

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Twenty. Laughing.

Twenty-three years ago, I waited in a sparsely-populated building on the campus of Whitworth College for the other members of a leadership retreat to arrive. I was the editor of the campus newspaper, but more important at that point, I owned a car. A beautiful redhead sat down in a tattered stuffed chair nearby, and ...

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Hear Me on Macworld Pundit Showdown XXIV

I was invited to participate in the last Macworld Pundit Showdown episode of 2013, and it was a lot of fun. Host Philip Michaels asks questions about the tech industry (such as, “Who will we be making fun of this time next year as the CEO of Microsoft?”), and the participants all vie for points ...

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Great Things

Verbatim exchange between me and my daughter this morning. Her reply was immediate: Me: "What is the world coming to?" 5yo: "Great things." Wow I love this kid. — Jeff Carlson (@jeffcarlson) August 8, 2013

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(A Father’s) Course Corrections

What I’m learning as a father is that parenting involves hundreds of little behavioral course corrections. Sometimes it’s something direct and forceful—don’t pound on the glass door; be careful, that pot on the stove is very hot—but usually it’s a lot of little nudges. “Try this.” “You might want to consider that instead.” “Please say ...

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Kickstarting the Veronica Mars Movie

Thanks to 39,000 (and counting) people today, there’s going to be a Veronica Mars movie in spring of 2014. The project, by show creator Rob Thomas, was set to fund if the Kickstarter campaign raised $2 million within 30 days. It actually took only ten hours to reach the goal. As I write this, late ...