What will become of empathy in a world of smart machines?

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Samsung (and Facebook) raise the mobile game

The smartphone market continues to rapidly evolve. Who thinks about a smartphone these days as simply a device to make phone calls and send text messages? I don’t – a smartphone is a powerful computer that also makes phone calls and sends text messages. That thought came to me more than once or twice while I watched and listened to Samsung’s press event via live video stream from the Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona on Sunday evening. The company announced their next smartphones in the Galaxy model line – the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge – held aloft by DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics, in the photo above. While both devices look pretty similar to […]

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Still waiting for the smartwatch tipping point

If I left my smartwatch at home one day, I wouldn’t drive back to get it, says Walt Mossberg in his weekly column in Re/code. It’s a statement that I’m sure would be reflected by many smartwatch owners, me included. Why? Because all the things that current smartwatches can do – messages from Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, for instance; or monitoring your heart rate and how many steps you’ve done today; perhaps streaming music from your phone; taking and making phone calls; and even showing the time – are great but hardly compelling on such a device. I mean, is any of that so essential that you’d turn right around and head home to get the watch if you forgot […]

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Small is the new big with the Raspberry Pi Zero

Do you remember the days when computer magazines came with cover disks? And then with CDs that progressed to DVDs? All with must-have utilities and often free programs that were part and parcel of the PC enthusiast experience from the 80s through to the early 00s. That fell by the wayside with the advent of the modern internet and growing broadband connectivity along with worries about malware and viruses and greater knowledge and sophistication in using computers. Among many other things. But imagine if you could get an actual computer on the front cover of a magazine. That’s just what you can right now with the launch this week of the Raspberry Pi Zero, a tiny but powerful computer that […]

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Apple Watch: How desirable and disruptive will it be?

For the past six months, I’ve been wearing a smartwatch, the Samsung Gear 2 Neo you see pictured here. As I have a number of Samsung mobile devices, this smartwatch is ideal for me as it’s geared, so to speak, to work with a wide range of Samsung smartphones including all the ones I have. Currently it’s paired with my Galaxy S4. The Gear 2 Neo does everything I expect a device like this to do as I mentioned in my initial review of its features and functionality last November. Things like: Shows me the current time. Gives me content on things I’m interested in, such as meeting reminders, updates from social networks (I’ve set it to show me updates from Twitter, […]

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