On Technology

By Phil Baker

Fantastical calendar app adds flexible functions

Over the course of a business day I spend lots of time using iCal, Apple’s default calendar program. I use it to plan, to keep track of my schedule, create alerts for appointments and import my travel schedule from TripIt.

Comcastís campaign to undermine net neutrality

Net neutrality means that the Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all data that travels over their networks in exactly the same way. It’s the way the Internet has worked since its inception and has transformed our lives in nearly everything we do. It’s also spawned innovation to create products and services we never imagined.

Big Brother is watching ó and itís not just the government

Collecting and analyzing our personal data continues to grow exponentially. It’s not just the NSA, but businesses such as Google and Facebook, whose growth depends on learning more and more about us and everything we do.

Product developers get advice for their companies

I was on a panel last week at Stanford University that was part of an educational program put on by True Ventures, an early-stage venture company. It a program for founders of their companies involved in developing new products. Each of us on the panel was asked to offer three pieces of advice involving the development of new products.

After eight months, Volt keeps plugging along fine

When I bought a Chevy Volt in October, I promised an occasional update on the vehicle. As you may recall, the Volt is an “extended range electric car” that runs off batteries and then switches to gasoline after the batteries are depleted.

EcoATM pays cash for discarded cellphones

San Diego-based ecoATM wants to pay you for your old phone or tablet. A retired iPhone, Nokia or Samsung smartphone could be worth a couple of hundred dollars. And if you’re near any of its 900 ecoATM kiosks, you can get your money on the spot.

How GM, Toyota responded to massive recalls

Having been among the first to accuse Toyota of covering up its unintended acceleration problem, I thought it appropriate to look into GM’s recall for faulty ignition switches. Each is an example of corporate malfeasance, each caused deaths that could have been prevented and each company handled the issue differently.

Fatherís Day gifts for the tech-loving dad

Here’s my selection for 2014 Father’s Day tech gifts. I’ve tried each of these items and can highly recommend them.

A further look at T-Mobileís international calling plan

Last week I wrote about my experiences with T-Mobile in China, and said I would get back with more details.

Making traveling easier with the right phone plan

I just returned from a business trip to Shenzhen, China, which gave me a chance to try out some technology services.

Samsung and HTC introduce new Android phones

Samsung and HTC each have introduced, as they’ve done in years past, contenders for the best new Android phone. Samsung’s new model is the Galaxy S5 replacing the S4. HTC has introduced the HTC One (M8) that replaces the HTC One (M7).

The first dual machine from Nespresso

Nespresso and Keurig have revolutionized the coffeemaker and coffee drink market by creating systems that package ground coffee into sealed capsules that make a single drink at a time. The advantages are being able to make a cup of coffee quickly, without the waste and cleanup of a large pot. And when serving a small group, each person can choose caf or decaf, flavored or not.

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