Yahoo recently bought Summly, a news-summarizing app, for $30 million. But the company is ditching the app and only keeping the small team and the algorithm that drive it. So could this signal a change in companies buying fewer actual products and services and instead taking gambles on algorithms?
All Tech Considered posts about Commentary
Your email box is always full. You're never fully present with your family. And even when you know you should be taking a break, you feel the vibrating phone in your pocket. Ironically, the instinct is to use technology to deal with these problems. But the solution can be as simple as you let it be.
As we become more mobile and connected, we want our cars to do the same. MyFord Touch is Ford's big gambit to entice tech-savvy drivers.
Wedding DJ Mary Nisi tries out Songza, an app that offers users ready-made playlists for almost any mood or situation. Nisi has one word of warning: Once you log in, she says, you may never put your phone down again.
We ask the pros: Is it bad manners to have technology at the dinner table? Well, as with most things, it depends.
The latest iPhone Siri ads, featuring actors Samuel L. Jackson, John Malkovich and Zooey Deschanel, are entertaining enough — if you enjoy watching people talking to themselves. Sure, Apple seems to be pushing its smartphone, but the subtler message may be about something else.
The Draw Something app works a lot like Pictionary: You pick a word, draw clues and wait for opponents to guess the answer. But cartoonist Matthew Diffee says the app's name is a bit misleading: "It would be more accurate to call it ... 'Draw Something With Your Foot While Bull Riding On A Boat.' "
Powerful and potentially damaging tools, including those that take advantage of communications networks, have become much more widely spread. They could be used to disrupt everything from factory valves to chips used to track cattle.
Science fiction's job is to give us a map of where we're headed. From Jules Verne to William Gibson, sci-fi authors describe their visions of the future, and how people might live in it. We ask Intel's futurist for his list of favorite sci-fi books.
Who's watching you? Commentator Dave Pell says just about everyone — at least if, by everyone, you mean businesses looking to sell you something. Should you be worried?
A family argument at a Burger King becomes national news when a patron live tweets the fight. Commentator Dave Pell sees an ethical lapse in broadcasting the incident. But he doesn't expect disgust will protect the public from similar events in the future.
Commentator Dave Pell looks back on his long, devoted relationship with the Apple Mac. It's the device that got him to do away with pen and paper. It's the device that allows him to create new things, the most significant tribute he can make to Steve Jobs.
The secret to Apple's success, in part, lies in our own DNA.
It's a modern quandry: How do I get in touch with my friends? Some like a call, others a text, others want you to use this email, but not that one. Some just live on Facebook? Landline? What's that? And everyone expects you to know what their preference is.
Commentator Dave Pell totes up the plusses and minuses of the always connected life. It's a wash, with the advantages and drawbacks roughly canceling each other out. Yet there is the nagging suspicion that he has lost contact with himself, even as he has become constantly connected to others.