Commentary

On Technology

By Phil Baker

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.

A PC in your pocket

This past week I traveled out of town for a few days without lugging a notebook computer for the first time in years. While I normally spend hours each day using my MacBook or my ultra-compact Sony Vaio TX notebook, this time I just took the new OQO model 02 pocket computer (www.oqo.com). I thought this would be a good test to see if the tiny product, which I could carry with me everywhere, could satisfy my needs for a PC and what compromises I'd need to make.

Traffic reporting for the digital highway

One of my summer jobs during college was measuring traffic data for the Port Authority of New York. I drove up and down New York City's avenues recording the starts and stops to help its mathematicians better predict traffic flow.

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