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World O’ Gizmos 2014 (2)

As I see it, with every new device and every new app that I incorporate into this setup I challenge Murphy’s Law to bring it on. And while little can go wrong with a stovetop espresso maker or a pair of jeans, or a vintage crockpot or clock-radio, even the simplest digital device has both hardware and software vulnerabilities. If it participates in the much-touted “internet of things” then add the possibility of hacking to the list of “whatever can go wrong.” […]

World o’ Gizmos 2014 (1)

Make no mistake about it: The people involved in inventing, developing, and marketing these devices and apps consider no single area of your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual existence sacrosanct. There is no corner of your conscious or unconscious life that they do not feel free to invade and colonize. They want to own you as a digital consumer, waking and sleeping, 24/7/365, leap years included, cradle to grave. Coming soon: subcutaneous digital implants. You read it here first. […]

After the Kodak Century (2)

The irony, of course, is that instead of getting devastated by the digital evolution the Eastman Kodak Corporation could have owned it. The very first digital camera, after all, got born in one of Kodak’s own labs, the invention of one of its engineers, Steven Sasson, in 1975. […]

After the Kodak Century (1)

In September 2013, just months before I wrote this, Kodak emerged from bankruptcy, much diminished as a consequence of having sold off most of its patents, downsized and reconfigured now as a new-tech company concentrating on developing commercial and consumer digital printers and inks for the publishing, packaging, and advertising sectors. An enterprise that for almost a hundred years ruled as the undisputed alpha dog of its industry has fallen abruptly back into the pack. […]

Still More Ends and Odds

Among the things I cherish about print as a communication medium, irrevocability ranks very high indeed. I love that, because it keeps me honest. The habits I acquired as a writer publishing in print media have carried over to my writing online. So I want to assure my readers that whatever they read with my byline on it, in any medium, going all the way back to 1964 — I wrote and published that. That was me, at least at that time. I own it, warts and all. […]