Commentary

On Technology

By Phil Baker

Manage your information visually

The computer is a wondrous invention, but sometimes it forces us to do things the way its programmed to, rather than in a way that's more natural to us.

Don't overlook the BlackBerry in mobile market frenzy

With all the attention being paid to Apple's iPhone, it's easy to overlook other new mobile phones. One company, Research In Motion, has been on a tear, introducing numerous new BlackBerrys during the past few months. The phones are some of RIM's best new products ever. They're slimmer, have gorgeous high-resolution screens, excellent keyboards, memory-card slots and use the new trackball, a feature first seen on the Pearl. Each of these new models is available for about $200, with a new two-year contract.

The technology behind Miniland isn't child's play

Even technology correspondents need a vacation day. Over Fourth of July, I visited Legoland California with my family.

iPhone: The follow up

I bet you thought the iPhone stories were over! Not just yet. As units get into the hands of tens of thousands this week, expect to see a lot more feedback on how the iPhone works now that it's under the scrutiny of the masses.

Creating business charts in minutes

Have you ever had to create an organizational chart, flow chart or timeline with only minutes to spare before a big presentation? Do a Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) search for flow or organizational charts and SmartDraw software is likely to pop up at the top of the page, offering a free download that lets you make your chart on the spot.

Input: The next frontier

One of the most exciting areas of innovation in computers and personal electronics is the way we interact with them. There's still a lot of inventive territory remaining for designers to explore, whether it's new ways to enter data or improvements to existing technology such as keyboards and touch screens. It's an area that's becoming particularly important as devices become smaller and filled with features that are difficult to access.

Ideas for Father's Day

When my wife, Jane, asked me what I wanted for Father's Day this year, I looked back at some of the products I've reviewed and others I've been eyeing and then assembled this list. You'll notice I picked pairs of products, one with its price being no object and the other an alternative budget choice. And Jane, if you read this column, my hint is "Fuego."

D5 conference brings technology leaders to San Diego

The D5 conference held last week at the Four Seasons Aviara in Carlsbad was by all accounts one of the most exciting technology conferences in years. While the highlight of the conference was Steve Jobs and Bill Gates on stage together for the first time in decades, other guests included many top executives from technology and the media: John Chambers (CEO, Cisco); Les Moonves (CEO, CBS); Steve Ballmer (CEO, Microsoft); Jeff Hawkins (CTO, Palm); Steve Case (founder, AOL); Ann Moore (CEO, Time) and Eric Schmidt (Google). The youngest guests were the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who recently sold their company to Google for $1.7 billion.

The blogging revolution

Blogs have become a phenomenon of the Internet age, with millions of people creating their own and millions more reading them.

Lowering the cost of printing

By industry estimates, only a fraction of all digital images we take end up on paper. For the most part they're stored, viewed and exchanged electronically, or just discarded. Most of us are content to view them on our computers, and an increasing percentage of those that are printed are done using photo labs, not our own printers.

Managing your random information

Do you ever have information that you'd like to store on your computer for future use? It could be a shopping list, a random note, passwords, an e-mail or perhaps a Web page.

Gifts for moms, dads and grads

With three gift-giving holidays approaching, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Graduation, here are five widely varying products that make interesting and unique gifts.

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