Stories by Mike Elgan

15 iPad mysteries remain

Steve Jobs is such a great salesman that he can actually give us a sense of familiarity with something we don't know anything about.

How Buzz, Facebook, Twitter create 'social insecurity'

An insurance expert told the Britain's Telegraph newspaper that using location-centric mobile social services like Google Buzz, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare could raise your home insurance premiums, or even result in the denial of insurance claims.

How Google Buzz for mobile will change your life

Everybody's talking about Google Buzz. Most of that chatter is centered on how to use it, and whether it's better or worse than Twitter or Facebook. Almost all the talk is about using Buzz from a PC.

Dark clouds gather over online security

Google may have threatened to leave China to keep us all from concluding that "the cloud" cannot be secured. If that's true, isn't that precisely what we should conclude?

Is that the Library of Congress in your pocket?

I used to own a copy of National Geographic magazine from 1911. It was packed with black-and-white photographs of "natives" and village ethnic minorities in various countries posing awkwardly in ceremonial costumes. The issue was part of a larger collection that included most copies of National Geographic published in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, and several dozen copies from the 1920s through the 1950s. It took up two rows on my bookshelf.

Why 3D will fail in 2010

James Cameron's hotly anticipated 3D movie, "Avatar," hits theaters across the U.S. today. Besides stunning computer generated imagery and a predictable-but-appealing storyline, the movie will become well known for high-quality 3D.

Hello, tablets. Good-bye, netbooks!

Look, I know you like the netbook idea -- and you love netbook prices. If you're like most people, you think tablets are expensive, slow, heavy and a pain to use. But if you've bought one, you know that netbooks aren't as great as they sound. And next year's tablets will be way better than you think.

How to fix the keyboard crisis

Everything gets better, right? Cheaper. Faster. Smaller. This is especially true for the smallest devices -- cell phones, netbooks and e-book readers.

7 reasons e-book readers make lousy gifts this year

Two years ago, the best holiday gift was an Amazon Kindle -- if you could get your hands on one. They were hot, new and sold out hours after going on sale. Last year, the Kindle made an awesome gift as well.

Online publishing for the cheap and lazy

I'm a lazy cheapskate. And I'm often on the move. But as a columnist, I'm also interested in exposing as many readers as possible to my brilliant insights - which means I should engage in social media and online publishing.

Why every child needs a GPS cell phone

The root of America's health crisis is bad habits formed in childhood. To protect children from harm, parents are keeping kids indoors, where they get sick, watch TV and form lifelong habits of screen addiction, inactivity and junk-food overeating.

How tech is changing banks

It wasn't long ago that bank customers judged the quality of their local financial institutions by the sturdiness of their columns and vault doors. That idea is a throwback to an era when money was physical, and so was security.

Is digital nomad living going mainstream?

Sell the house and the car. Put up all your possessions on eBay. Pack your bags and buy a one-way ticket to some exotic location. The plan? "Telecommute" from wherever you happen to be. Earn an American salary, but pay Third-World prices for food and shelter.

Haptics: The feel-good technology of the year

The touch screen is taking over cell phones, and soon mobile computing and even desktop computing. Both Apple and Microsoft are working on a transition to touch-enabled versions of OS X and Windows. Touch screens are coming in, and keyboards and mice are on their way out.

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