Good night and good luck, Walt Mossberg

Walt Mossberg’s final weekly column. He started out in 1991 with “computers are just too hard to use”, and ends with the dangers of ambient computing and its power resting in a few companies: …if we are really going to turn over our homes, our cars, our health and more to private tech companies, on a scale never imagined, we need much, much stronger standards for security and privacy than now exist. Especially in the U.S., it’s time to stop dancing around the privacy and security issues and pass real, binding laws. But, as tectonic shifts like this occur in technology,

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When storage becomes as cheap as chips

If you’re looking for signs that there’s another revolution on the way, then the price of storage is an interesting figure. In the last twelve months the cost of one gigabyte of data has dropped from a dollar to fifteen cents, according to interviews conducted by Robert Scoble: Another guy who is still stealth told me his company will build something like a shoebox with eight petabytes of solid state memory. When I worked at Microsoft it took a semi trailer stuffed with hard drives to get to six petabytes. The times they are a changin’

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Planning A New Kind Of UK General Election Results Show – Can You Help?

Tuesday’s announcement of a General Election in the UK for June 8th caught me a little by surprise and set off a riot of emotions. I tend not to talk about politics too much online, so many of the thoughts I had yesterday are mine, or for friends and family. But I’ll happily tell you my very first thought, because it’s one you can all help with. “I need to get behind a microphone to do the results show from 10pm on June 8th.” I’ve anchored a number of overnight election shows on community radio here in Edinburgh since 2010. These

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Microsoft Bob, the spiritual great-grandfather of Siri?

The Guardian’s Ben Beaumont-Thomas talks to the team inside Microsoft who developed Comic Sans, and while the big takeaway is that the font was inspired by ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ is this little gem to rewrite history: My job was to match products to fonts, sort of like a marriage broker. Comic Sans was designed for Microsoft Bob, which in many ways was a precursor to Cortana or Siri – for people who had problems with computers. Presumably the Office Paperclip heralded Alexa?

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The one lesson I learned that The Nightly Show needs to understand

After the first year of hosting my daily chat show at the Edinburgh Fringe (which is still running thirteen years later), Brian Luff gave me one of the best pieces of advice I have had in my broadcast career. It went something like this: “I listened to the Fringe podcasts, but now I’ve met you I have to ask… why is the ‘you’ that I see in front of me not in the podcast? I want to spend time with that person.” You can have the latest names, the greatest guests, and the biggest world-changing ideas, but these will only get people

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SXSW Breakfast, Anyone?

I’ve been a regular at Austin’s SXSW for far longer than I care to remember. It’s a heady mix of music, film, and ‘interactive’ stuff and I’ve always met many old friends, made new ones, and had my creative batteries refilled from spending a week or two in Texas. This year is no different, and I’m flying out today. The other thing that happens every year at SXSW is Saturday morning breakfast at Magnolia Cafe on South Congress. As usual I’ll be there a little bit ahead of 8am to grab a table and see who else turns up. A few of you have already

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