Stories by Mike Elgan

How to automate Google+

Google+ is different things to different people. For some, it's a gallery for displaying artwork or photography. For others, it's a powerful way to promote my -- I mean their -- columns, books and blog posts. For most, it's a wordy <a href="http://twitter.com/">Twitter</a> replacement where posts are often followed by the highest quality conversations anywhere.

Even Google hates its own 'names' policy

Google's only big blunder in the creation of its otherwise excellent Google+ social network has been a flawed policy on what users are allowed to call themselves. Everybody hates the policy. Even Google hates it.

Rise of the planet of the tablets

The Planet of the Apes series of sci-fi thrillers in the late 1960s and early '70s depicted a world in which intelligent apes are the dominant species and humans have been subordinated.

10 things I hate about Google+

I have a love-hate relationship with Google+. Because I love it and use it so much, I really hate its current limitations.

Why Chromebooks will fail

Everyone wants what Microsoft's got, namely control of the most widely used computing platform. Or, more accurately, everyone wants the billions and billions of dollars that flow in from the dominance of desktop computing.

How to build a time machine

Search the Internet for a time machine and you may end up with an empty wallet and painful injuries, if the movie Napoleon Dynamite is accurate.

Why Nokia is toast

It's hard to remember now, but there was a time when Finland was at the center of the cell phone universe. As cell phones overtook pagers, then smartphones overtook cell phones, Nokia was the hottest company in the industry.

Why there's no such thing as an Internet kill switch

My iPhone rang yesterday evening. It was my 22-year-old son calling from his iPhone to ask me how to do something on iTunes. It was a pretty unremarkable call, and the kind of conversation we used to have when he lived at home, except that he was on the other side of the world in Mumbai, India.

How Apple and Google will kill the password

Imagine sitting down at a public PC, surfing the Web, visiting Facebook, checking your online bank account and buying something on Amazon.com -- all without entering passwords or credit card information.

Big Business is watching you

In the 1949 novel 1984, George Orwell imagined a brilliant but depressing future in which the government, a.k.a. "Big Brother," broadcast propaganda while simultaneously watching every citizen via ubiquitous "telescreens" in every home and in public places. Video feeds are monitored by the "Thought Police," who are constantly on the lookout for facial expressions and body language that reveal "thought crimes." They wanted to know what you were thinking.

Five solar gadgets that charge themselves

I believe that someday most buildings, vehicles and devices will be solar-powered. And that includes our personal gadgets -- phones, laptops and digital cameras.

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