Commentary

On Technology

By Phil Baker

What to expect from the Internet of Things

One of the major themes at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was the Internet of Things or IoT. Many of the speakers — including CEOs of major corporations, industry analysts and investors — discussed the topic.

Improving your odds for picking the right wine

I’ve tried and even paid for wine apps that promised to help me select a great bottle or glass of wine, yet have been consistently disappointed. The Wine Spectator app, for example, charges $5 per month to access its wine ratings, but more often than not a search for a particular wine brings up a not-found message. Other apps let you take a picture of the label to access a review, but the results are much the same: wine not found.

What I saw at CES 2015

I spent last week in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) along with 170,000 others, making this the biggest show ever. Tens of thousands of new products were displayed by 3,600 exhibitors spread over 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space, primarily at two huge convention centers, Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands.

The year of the smartwatch

Prepare yourself for the onslaught of smartwatches. Not since the introduction of the tablet has there been so much excitement and promise of a new product category.

Trends and predictions for 2015

What can we expect in the world of consumer technology in 2015? Here’s my annual assessment and predictions.

Best tech products of the year

Here are my picks for some of the best products of 2014. They’re based on my personal use of these items, among the several hundred I examine throughout the year.

A look at some new accessories

Accessory companies live or die according to the products Apple introduces. So with the recent introduction of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and Air 2 tablet, lots of innovative accessories have been hitting store shelves. Here are some of my favorites.

Inbox: A step forward in email organization

I signed up for Gmail in 2004 when it was first announced and have been using it ever since. I’ve stuck with it in spite of it not being particularly intuitive, and with an interface only a techie could love. But because of its inexpensive storage and excellent search capabilities, it’s possible to find emails I wrote years ago in just a few minutes.

Annual holiday tech gift guide

Now that Thanksgiving is a recent memory (and a few added pounds ago), it’s that time of the year to offer some recommendations for holiday gifts.

What the S+ has to say

Here are sample messages that the S+ delivered:

A sleep tracker that lives up to its name

ResMed is a well-regarded San Diego company that makes medical devices to help those with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. When I learned the company had developed a sleep monitor for consumer use, it piqued my interest. After all, ResMed probably knows more about sleep disorders than any other products company.

HP Sprout: A new kind of computer

When you think of innovation in personal computers, it’s usually Apple that comes to mind. But you might be surprised to learn that one of the most innovative computers in recent years has come from Hewlett-Packard’s printer division in San Diego. In fact, Apple’s innovations can’t compare, as the company is mostly focusing on increasing display resolution, using faster processors and making thinner housings.

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