As smartphones and social platforms become more and more ubiquitous, debate continues over whether being connected all the time — even in a small way — is good for us, and that debate is probably never going to be settled. But even though I wrestle with the difficulties of ubiquitous connectivity and the “always on” social web, I believe that the vast majority of us are better off than we were before the internet came along.
What got me thinking about this again was a piece that Scottish novelist Andrew O’Hagen wrote in the New York Times‘ style magazine a few weeks ago, entitled “In Defense of Technology.” In it, the author talks about trying to convince his children that things were better when he was younger, before technology came along. But he admits that his heart isn’t really in it:
[blockquote person=”” attribution=””]”One is supposed to stare into…
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A few weeks ago at a ribbon cutting in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Microsoft officially announced that biogas was flowing to fuel cells to power its experimental data center there. The data center is located by the Dry Creek water treatment plant and has direct access to biogas harvested from the facility to power the fuel cells that are in turn powering its data center. The whole system is completely renewable.
“We’re cutting the cord from the electrical grid. That doesn’t mean that we are never going to connect another data center to the electrical grid. The point is now we have another option,” says Microsoft’s Data Center Research Manager Sean James. “It’s also a very clean option.”
Fuel cells have been around for decades and in many ways have been a technology in search of an application and a market. We’ve seen them tested and deployed in transportation, and megawatt scale…
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Waterloo, Ontario is a quiet sort of suburban college town, far removed from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley. Although it’s positioned in Canada’s Tech Triangle, it’s not the sort of place you’d expect America’s next social media powerhouse to come from.
That is both the promise and the challenge of Kik, a messaging app built by Waterloo students in 2009. As a chatting app launched early amid a relatively quiet app landscape, Kik saw an initial explosion of viral adoption, albeit through slightly spammy techniques, and has been growing ever since.
Now, four years since its launch, Kik is positioning itself as America’s version of WeChat, the messaging behemoth of China. It believes it has the right product (text messaging, the old-fashioned kind) and the right audience (almost half of U.S. youth) to become a proper mobile first platform.
If it succeeds, it stands…
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At the Intersection of Words and Life
I’ve noticed a theme emerging in my last few weekend edition posts. For whatever reason – where I am in my own writing journey, the usual end-of-year reflections, the muted desperation that seems to pervade the news these days – I find myself wanting to better understand how this writing thing fits into my life. I want to explore the “why” as much as the “how” and the “what.”
I am not questioning whether or not I should write. No matter what happens, I will always write. It is too much a part of who I am and too deeply embedded in how I experience the world. I may as well lose my sense of sight or hearing as lose my ability to write. Putting words down is how I give…
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