The Week: Most Recent the-digital-age recent posts.en-usMon, 13 May 2013 13:43:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent the-digital-age from THE WEEKMon, 13 May 2013 13:43:00 -04009 suspected criminals who got themselves caught via social media [Updated]<img src="" /></P><p>The "stupid criminal" story has long been a staple of local crime reporting, late-night talk shows, and comedy-news programs such as NPR's <em>Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!</em> And now, the magic of social networking is giving ne'er-do-wells a new venue to thwart themselves, often in front of large audiences. Call it "cops-and-robbers 2.0," says Winston Ross at&nbsp;<em>The Daily Beast</em>. Driven by "a self-destructive combination of ignorance, narcissism, and generation-specific disregard for their own privacy," social-media (un-)savvy crooks are making life much easier for cops. Here, nine suspected crimes uncovered...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/lauren-hansen" ><span class="byline">Lauren Hansen</span></a> and <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Mon, 13 May 2013 13:43:00 -04004 things we'd like to see from Sony's PlayStation 4<img src="" /></P><p>It's tough out there for game consoles.</p><p>At the end of January, Nintendo lowered sales forecasts for the Wii U from 5.5 million to 4 million through March.&nbsp;The problems are many: Today's consoles are expensive, with launch prices sandwiched somewhere between $300 and $500. Secondly, it's easier than ever to access games from the gadgets we already use everyday. Computer games? Not going anywhere. Neither are 99 cent downloads for <em>Angry Birds</em> or <em>Temple Run</em>. If we can play great games on the devices we already have, why do we need gaming consoles? It's not an easy question to answer.</p><p>That's...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Wed, 20 Feb 2013 15:52:00 -0500'We've been hacked!': @MTV and @BET's annoying Twitter stunt<img src="" /></P><p>After a string of hacks over the last few days&nbsp;littered the major corporate Twitter accounts of @BurgerKing and @Jeep with unprintable expletives, shoutouts to competitors like McDonald's and Cadillac, and references to Chicago rapper Chief Keef, someone at Viacom decided to have a little fun with the handles belonging to @MTV and @BET.</p><p><br /> <br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /></p><p>The hacks turned out to be fake.</p><p>Naturally, the stunt provoked a collective groan across the Twittersphere, with everyone from&nbsp;<em>BuzzFeed&nbsp;</em>to&nbsp;<em>ABC News&nbsp;</em>initially reporting the hacks as the real thing. (And understandably so.)</p><p>And not...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Tue, 19 Feb 2013 17:00:00 -0500Everything you need to know about the new HTC One<img src="" /></P><p>For HTC, 2012 wasn't a pretty year. In January, the Taiwanese phone maker posted a 90 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit as it struggled to build an identity alongside the mass appeal of Apple's iPhone 5 or the glitzy engine humming inside Samsung's Galaxy S III. The figures spoke loud and clear: Something needed to change.</p><p>On Tuesday, the company pulled the curtains off the HTC One, its new flagship Android smartphone that, according to <em>The Verge</em>, "sticks closely to the company's tradition of wowing fans with lofty specs," but also "innovates dramatically in a couple of key areas." Tech...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Tue, 19 Feb 2013 13:00:00 -0500Cyber is a fraudulent weapon in a nonexistent war<img src="" /></P><p class="Body">Just as the war on terror is winding down, a so-called cyber war is spinning up. How very fortunate for government contractors like BAE Systems.</p><p class="Body">Historically, we would call attempts by foreign countries to acquire information from American government and industry "espionage." The problem is that spies aren't all that scary. But cyber war? It's a perfectly meaningless phrase to frighten a perfectly credulous government. When contractors really want to tighten their coils, they make "cyber" the prefix to "terror."&nbsp;</p><p class="Body">In Richard Clarke's transcendently self-serving <em>Cyber War</em>, he offers up horror...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/david-w-brown" ><span class="byline">David W. Brown</span></a>Tue, 19 Feb 2013 12:01:00 -0500The rumored Apple smartwatch is probably happening after all<img src="" /></P><p>First,&nbsp;<em>The New York Times</em> reported&nbsp;that Apple was working on some sort of curved-glass smartwatch, a wearable computer that would presumably do a lot of the things iPhones and iPads&nbsp;do. Then <em>The Wall Street Journal</em>'s sources said the same thing. Now a third confirmation has arrived, with <em>Bloomberg</em> reporting that, yes, Apple is working on a sparkly new gadget you can wear around your wrist.</p><p><em>Bloomberg</em> says that 100 product designers are already working on the not-so-secret project, which suggests the device is pretty far along in its development cycle. Rumors suggest the electronic...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Wed, 13 Feb 2013 10:07:00 -05006 things we learned from Tim Cook's Goldman Sachs keynote<img src="" /></P><p>Charged with the keynote address at the Goldman Sachs investor conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook used the opportunity to talk about the world's most valuable technology company with the usual platitudes. "Magic," "experience," and "innovation" were common refrains for the 52-year-old Apple chief, whose first full year at the helm saw the company reach record-setting peaks, and, more recently, chart worrying slides downward. But if you cut through all the marketing jargon, a few markers in the speech give a pretty good sense of where Apple and its products are headed in...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Tue, 12 Feb 2013 14:10:00 -0500Twitter's weird, bold plan to become an online shopping mall<img src="" /></P><p>Twitter, in its seemingly endless quest to effectively monetize itself, is looking across the internet to Amazon for a little inspiration. The social-messaging network now wants to become something of an e-tailer, and is partnering with American Express to let consumers purchase products by &mdash; you guessed it &mdash; tweeting.</p><p>The project is still in the experimental phase, but so far, here's what we know about how&nbsp;Amex Sync would work: Retailers would make deals with Twitter to sell specific products and services at a discount to Twitter users. Then on the consumer end, you'd link your...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Tue, 12 Feb 2013 10:18:00 -0500Why Apple's rumored curved-glass smartwatch would be a hit<img src="" /></P><p>Would you rather wear a computer over your face, &agrave;&nbsp;la Google's Project Glass, or a little do-anything gadget on your wrist?</p><p>Soon enough, you'll probably have your pick. According to Nick Bilton at <em>The</em> <em>New York Times</em>, Apple is reportedly developing a curved-glass smartwatch that presumably probably does a lot more than tell time. Picture "a watch that doubled as a computer, two-way radio, mapping device, or television," says Bilton. "Dick Tracy had one. As did Inspector Gadget and James Bond." (Physically, the device would look a lot like a glass bracelet wrapped around your entire...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Mon, 11 Feb 2013 10:53:00 -0500America's embarrassingly redundant and entangled cyber security complex<img src="" /></P><p class="Body">The cyber security capabilities of the United States have come under scrutiny in light of recent high-profile Chinese penetrations of American corporate networks. In many ways, cyber has become the <em>handwavium</em> of warfare &mdash; step two in a three-step process, sandwiched between "Meet the enemy in battle" and "Victory!"</p><p class="Body">Before the relatively new interest in cyber security, the fastest way for public agencies to increase their share of a budget was to build a special operations capability. That's why such noted demilitarized zones as Bloomington, Minn., have their own special operations forces...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/david-w-brown" ><span class="byline">David W. Brown</span></a>Mon, 11 Feb 2013 06:50:00 -0500The powerful new Microsoft Surface Pro: Is it worth the $900 price tag?<img src="" /></P><p>When Microsoft unveiled two Surface models last year, tech bloggers were&nbsp;momentarily befuddled. Was it a tablet? A laptop? Or some sort of new category altogether? Either way, when reviewers got their hands on the $500 Surface RT, which employs less-powerful ARM processors and runs a stripped down version of Windows, they were less than dazzled by its performance. It was new, yes, but buggy software and an identity crisis kept it from being everything it could be.</p><p>So now: Enter the Surface Pro, a beefy, powerful piece of hardware that runs any Windows 8 app imaginable. It goes on sale Saturday...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Wed, 06 Feb 2013 10:51:00 -0500Amazon coins: The online retailer's brilliant first stab at digital currency<img src="" /></P><p>Meet the Amazon coin.&nbsp;You won't be able to throw it in a piggy bank, but Amazon hopes its newly minted digital currency will be a hit with users.</p><p>Essentially, the coin is the online retailer's first whack at proprietary digital currency. Come April 25, Kindle Fire users will be able to spend Amazon coins on games, apps, and other in-app incentives. &nbsp;</p><p>To jumpstart the initiative, the company plans to give "tens of millions" of these virtual coins away for free in May so that people can buy real, fully functioning apps from the Amazon&nbsp;Appstore. Customers will still be able to use...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Tue, 05 Feb 2013 14:55:00 -0500Why Facebook is developing a location-tracking app<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Facebook is developing a new location-tracking app that will silently follow where your phone (and thus you) are at all times, reports <em>Bloomberg</em>. The social network already records GPS coordinates whenever a user posts new status updates or photos, but this new application would apparently hum along in the background at all times, a lot like Apple's Find My Friends app or Google Latitude.</p><p class="p2">Details of this initiative remain sketchy, and Facebook declined to comment on&nbsp;<em>Bloomberg</em>'s report. Still, in the past two years, Facebook has acquired&nbsp;Glancee&nbsp;and&nbsp;Gowalla, two location-based...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Tue, 05 Feb 2013 10:05:00 -0500The best lines from Nokia's absurdly positive review of its own Windows Phone<img src="" /></P><p>Here's how tech blogs typically review new gadgets: Writers catch wind of a new product, like the&nbsp;BlackBerry Z10, months before it launches and request a test. The hardware-maker's PR arm then sends over a sample device with its own phone number, the writer uses it for a few days, scribbles a review, and the story is published whenever the company lifts the embargo. When all is said and done, the phone is packed up and shipped back to the manufacturer. <br /> <br />Sometimes it works out differently. To wit: Recently, Nokia decided to cut out the middle man altogether and publish a sparkling review of...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Mon, 04 Feb 2013 16:33:00 -0500Should Apple make a bigger, bolder 'iPhone Plus'?<img src="" /></P><p>Big phones are a hit. Samsung, despite the prognostications of some tech bloggers, is on track to sell&nbsp;10 million of its Galaxy Note II globally since it launched last fall, leaving little doubt that a market for 5-inch phone-tablet hybrids is out there.&nbsp;</p><p>Now Apple wants in on the big-phone<strong>*</strong> action, according to a recent report from the <em>China Times</em>, and could be plotting a larger iPhone to complement its existing line of iOS products. Insiders say that&nbsp;a new "iPhone Math" &mdash; which Instapaper inventor and technology writer Marco Arment has re-christened the "iPhone Plus" (more...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Fri, 01 Feb 2013 12:00:00 -0500How I learned to stop worrying and love Twitter<img src="" /></P><p>Twitter is <em>dead</em>, you guys. Writers used to send pithy tweets across cyberspace, borne on the golden wings of Hermes. Now, as T.S. Eliot would say, "Our dried voices, when we whisper together are quiet and meaningless." Twitter is so uncool, that even if we resurrected the spirits of Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix and got them to tweet never-before-heard song lyrics from the grave, they would have like, 20 followers, tops. And most of them would be spambots. Do you know what else is dead? Rock and roll. When I put on the Dead Weather or Jay-Z, my parents inform me that music used to be all about...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/dana-liebelson" ><span class="byline">Dana Liebelson</span></a>Fri, 01 Feb 2013 08:55:00 -0500