Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast: Welcome to the Post-Nerd Era

Don’t try to be smarter than a smart device. That’s the main lesson I learned from an otherwise flawless first Google Chromecast experience. Chromecast is Google’s new entry into a dizzying array of options to cut (or at least seriously fray) the cable television cord. And like many things Googley, it’s very different from most… Read More

edu

5 steps to prepare your geek child for college

As caps and gowns are returned for deposits while freshmen are readying to be deposited this fall in the college of their parents’ choice, it’s time to do some preparation. Not just for any new college student. For the geek college student. When I was preparing to send my geek son to college, I didn’t… Read More

travelapps

The Geek’s Guide to International Travel

On my recent vacation to Europe, I traveled without folded maps, paper guidebooks and journals, or physical backup copies of my passport, rail pass and other critical documents. Instead, I relied only on my smartphone – even though it was disconnected from cellular voice and data service for the full ten days. Think of it as the… Read More

Bill Gates

Bill Gates at SXSWedu: The future of education is data

If there was a single nerdy subtext that Bill Gates brought to his closing keynote at the SXSWedu conference in Austin, it was the importance of data. Useful data. Education data. Gates, as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was the headliner to a standing-room only crowd of roughly 2,500 at SXSWedu, the… Read More

Public Information Kiosk's book vending machine.

Paper trumps tech at national library conference

I went looking for the digital future of libraries at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting this week. Conveniently, the conference was held in Seattle, near a couple of very forward-looking library systems that make eBooks, mobile apps and digital downloads expected, almost routine. But if the exhibit hall represented the near future for libraries,… Read More

FurtherPeterRabbit

3 ways digital media is turning us into 2nd graders

We are all regressing. And I have proof from an authoritative source: the state of children’s books. The underlying reasons lie in the digital means by which we communicate, forcing increased — and often unreasonable — expectations of speed and brevity, no matter how complicated the concept. My evidence for declaring this probable cause and… Read More

gatesspeech

Bill Gates to keynote SXSWedu conference

While much of the tech world’s attention is focused on Las Vegas and the Consumer Electronics Show (and Microsoft’s lack of a keynote or exhibit space), the upcoming SXSWedu conference has announced its first keynote: Bill Gates. SXSWedu is the newest in the family of SXSW (“South by Southwest”) events, which include the popular nine-day conference in… Read More

Flickr photo via Justin D. Miller

Here comes another tech bubble — in education

I’m the kind of guy who worries when something gets too popular. I looked askance at novels (especially science fiction) that made it to mainstream bestseller lists when written by otherwise mediocre authors. I avoided buying any footwear or polo shirt that was named for, or sported images of, long-jawed fast-crawling reptiles. When anything rapidly… Read More

ipadbooks

Why eBooks won’t rule the Earth

The certainty in the headlines is almost palpable. “eBooks Now ‘Dominant Single Format’ in Adult Fiction Sales,” shouted book publishing site GalleyCat. “Kindle ebook sales have overtaken Amazon print sales,” trumpeted UK’s The Guardian. “E-book revenue outstrips hardbacks in first quarter,” trembled The Bookseller. But if these stories led to you to believe that the… Read More

piggy-bank-throu-16554407

Banks behaving badly: Dealing with a divisive digital divide

When a company providing financial services emphasizes digital convenience, you’d think that also applies to its customer service. After all, nearly every major bank and credit union pushes online banking, mobile banking, text and email alerts and electronic bill payment. But there seems to be a digital divide between financial institutions promoting digital and thinking… Read More

David Brin

10 questions: ‘Existence’ author David Brin on science fiction, science and geeks

One could successfully argue that modern geek culture wouldn’t exist in its current form without 20th century science fiction and its fan culture, the true Ancient Geeks. Tech’s unconferences have their roots in PowerPoint-free, volunteer-organized, fan-driven science-fiction conventions run by organizations such as the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS), which go back nearly eight… Read More

geeksguideairtravel

The Geek’s Guide to Air Travel

You say you know what it’s like to live like a geek. But do you know how to fly like one? I do. And not like the annoyingly self-important “look at these cool-expensive-huge headphones that I just bought with the red light that make me look like a Star Wars Cloud City administrative aide” road warriors…. Read More

geekwiretumbles

Two GeekWire weeks, three entrepreneurial lessons

Twice in the span of one month I did something I hadn’t done for a decade — worked in a newsroom. Those two partial weeks that I spent enfolded, tauntaun like, in the guts of GeekWire taught me more about the current state of journalism and entrepreneurship than a year of reading armchair opinions ever… Read More

Kickstarter-Eyebat

Magic: The Gathering creator to crowd-fund mobile game

The designer of the iconic collectible physical card game Magic: The Gathering has a new venture in the virtual mobile game world — and has launched a crowd-funding initiative to make it happen. The game business site Gamasutra writes that Richard Garfield is preparing a new location-based mobile game, Map Monsters. Garfield has teamed with Seattle-based independent… Read More

uw-logo-small

Hacking Edu: tech’s role in the future of higher education

Call it a noble experiment: only a month to re-imagine institutions with centuries of tradition and, some might say, baggage. But that’s exactly what the University of Washington’s Master of Communication in Digital Media program pursued as it re-thought higher education in April. Hacking Edu wrapped up this week, and MCDM Director Hanson Hosein said it… Read More

Klouchebaglogosmall

The latest influence score to obsess over: Klouchebag

If you say nothing else about social media, you can at least say it’s developing a sense of humor. Mean? Maybe. Self-deprecating? Definitely. But it’s a sense of humor. The latest evidence is Klouchebag, a parody of Klout’s influence score that launched earlier today. And if the name of the site isn’t enough to clue… Read More

benhuh

Ben Huh news startup Circa raises $750K seed funding

Cheezburger Network founder Ben Huh has been uncharacteristically quiet about Circa, his online journalism startup. Now word is out that Circa has raised $750,000 in seed funding. TechCrunch reports that the seed money comes from eonCapital, Quotidian Ventures, TechStars’ David Cohen and David Tisch, Tumblr’s David Karp, Eric Norlin’s SK Ventures, Manesh Arora, Pedro Torres-Picon,… Read More

expedia-app

Expedia sees room nights rocket 24% year-over-year

That hotel room you booked in Cabo may have just helped pay for office space in Bellevue. Expedia has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2012. And perhaps in an indication of how the broader travel industry is recovering from the depths of the recession, the Bellevue-based company highlighted that room nights booked… Read More