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Staying Charged at CES

CES-2014

I went to CES last week. Unlike last year when we descended on Las Vegas for the full six days required for journalists to fully exhaust themselves among a flurry of PR pitches and devices that won’t make it out of January, I decided it was a good idea to get everything done in one day.

To accomplish this, I would need to assemble a setup that could survive 9 hours of flights, 11 hours on the ground with no extended outlet access (more than 10 minutes), and that was light and small enough to carry around in one bag. This wasn’t going to be your typical journo-mega-conference bag — I had to narrow my choices down to five devices. An iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, 13” Macbook Pro with Retina Display (late-2013), Anker Astro Mini, and a ChargeKey.

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All Posts, Editorials, Interviews, Reviews

Evomail+ for iPhone arrives as a rebuilt, redesigned email client for iOS 7

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I think it’s safe to say we all have a love/hate relationship with our email. We either get too much of it to deal with, we hate the way it works, or we hate the app we are forced to use to get it. Personally, I don’t hate email itself, and I usually don’t get very much of it. But like many people, I hate the apps I have to use to get my email. Apple’s Mail.app on iOS and OS X is barebones, tired, and does not support modern email features like labels and stars. I don’t like web apps, so I refuse to use Gmail, Hotmail, or IMAP in a browser. Google’s Gmail app for Android is pretty good, but their stock “other” Mail app leaves much to be desired. And don’t even get me started on Microsoft Outlook.

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All Posts, Editorials

Design Thoughts: The Edit Menu

A few weeks go, it was brought to my attention again, through a conversation with my grandmother, that editing contacts or other items such as mail messages seem to be an odd practice at first and not intuitive. Even in the previous iOS 6 interface, this button always appeared to be an odd concept. Odd in the sense that new users, the thousands I’ve worked with, have a difficult time distinguishing what its purpose is. It may sound obvious to a common computer user, because the edit menu is where we go to cut, copy, and paste such as in word processing. However, many newborn users of iOS, even after reading the edit button, exploring for options, reading a manual, etc., do not know what the word means on a mobile device or why they should edit in the first place.

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Bound to a Tainted Public Perception

YeThe one thing Kanye wouldn’t say — Jay Z doesn’t deserve nine Grammy nominations.

It’s clearly evident that many people these days don’t like Kanye West. But for all the things people proclaim they hate West for, most of the time it has little to do with his music. So when the Grammy nominations were released on Friday and voters gave West only two nominations in token categories (Best Rap Song for “New Slaves” and Best Rap Album for “Yeezus”) it came as a surprise, but not a shock. Couple that with the announcement that Jay Z received nine nominations, it’s clear that Grammy voters don’t focus solely on music, at least when it comes to hip hop artists.

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“No, You’re just sensitive. You’re crazy. You’re acting like a baby.”

I’ve written a lot of pieces over the last few years. I’ve written about technology, music, and culture with relative ease. But there is one topic that I couldn’t honestly cover. One topic that my emotions wouldn’t let me tackle. Thankfully, Cord Jefferson of Gawker beautifully and eloquently wrote about the plausible deniability of today’s racism.

The biggest example being Kanye West’s recent spat with Jimmy Kimmel.  That was wrong for a number of reasons, but the worst offense was the dulling of the passionate words Kanye uttered during his BBC interview with Zane Lowe. Kanye using his own circumstances spoke to what many people of color too often go through. Too often we feel something is racist, but maybe we are overreacting? Too often a slight is given, but maybe I’m the only one that sees it this way. Too often, nothing is said by the offending party, but a look is given that could hurt more than the words themselves. Racism has evolved, and in some cases, the offenders don’t even believe they are part of the problem.

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Bangerz: A Defining Moment

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Image Credit: Tyrone Lebon

Very rarely do we get an album that will make or break the career of an artist who is already a worldwide superstar. And yet, this is where we find ourselves with Miley Cyrus’ latest album Bangerz. Right in the middle of the musical climax of 2013, one of the best years of music in recent memory, with releases from Drake, Justin Timberlake, Elton John, Cher, Lorde, and Kings of Leon — all in the last two weeks — the reception of Bangerz will plot the course for the future of Miley’s career.

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All Posts, Editorials, Logic Board

Logic Board: Bye, Bye, BlackBerry

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Photo by Eric Leamen

Logic Board is a recurring column that examines the biggest news stories and controversies in the technology industry with a rational, logical eye.

Earlier this week, BlackBerry announced that it had accepted a conditional buyout offer from Toronto-based Fairfax Financial, valuing the company at $4.7 billion and effectively putting an end to one of the longest and hardest falls any tech company has ever taken.

I’ve seen a number of different sentiments expressed over this news. Those in the tech industry are none too surprised that BlackBerry as we once knew it is going away. Some users are disappointed at the news that BlackBerry will retreat from the consumer market, instead choosing to focus on the only markets it has left: enterprise and government. Others are curious what value Fairfax Chief Executive Prem Watsa sees in BlackBerry, which reported an operating loss of nearly $1 billion in the last quarter Continue reading

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