Stories by Mike Elgan

While Windows sleeps

Dell, Intel and their partners announced this week new technologies that represent major leaps forward for mobility. The companies seem to have discovered the secret to making such bold leaps: Cut Microsoft out of the deal.

Man vs. not-so-wild

Survivalist TV shows like Man vs. Wild and Survivorman pit man against nature in harsh environments around the world. The hosts of these programs demonstrate how to survive in the wilderness with nothing but a knife and a lot of know-how about finding food, shelter and a way out.

Is your mobile phone trying to kill you?

Don't look now, but your mobile phone is out to get you. This deadly device can cause accidents, give you cancer or even kill you, according to a rising chorus of alarmist reports.

Elgan: Why expensive mobile phones are worth it

The price of the new iPhone 3G dropped by $200 in the US. Although the phone bills necessary to take advantage of the phone's faster data speeds rose beyond handset savings, many hailed the lower price as an important development. Finally, the price is within the range of what people are willing to pay.

You can be Batman, too

Batman: The Dark Knight, the most highly anticipated of the series yet, hit cinemas on Thursday.

Independence Day (from the grid, that is)

I was wrapping up my weekly column this evening, when suddenly the power went out. I had bought a nice uninterruptible power supply (UPC) for my desktop PC recently, but hadn't gotten around to plugging it in, so my system just went dark and the fan was silenced in an instant.

Control your BlackBerry with voice commands

The BlackBerry from Research In Motion is the most popular line of mobile phones in part because they tend to be easier to type on than most other phones. We e-mail addicts love them.

Will gadgets make knowledge obsolete?

In the 1984 cyberpunk novel, Neuromancer , author William Gibson describes a future in which people can acquire knowledge by buying special chips called "microsofts" that plug into a surgically installed jack behind the ear. Once you plug in the chip, your brain can access its database and - voila! Knowledge!

Here comes the mobile phone ad disaster

I recently visited the Greek island of Santorini. The island is best known as a sunny destination for jet-setting holiday makers who lounge in idyllic hotel rooms perched on the sides of steep and majestic cliffs. But historians, geologists and archaeologists know Santorini as the site of one of the most horrible disasters in human history.

The '$100 laptop' may be a glimpse of the future

You've no doubt heard of the "$100 laptop" project. The idea is to help poor kids around the world by providing them with simple, durable, usable and wireless laptops for downloading and using textbooks and educational software, playing games and communicating.

In search of the super easy super phone

MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte railed against complexity in mobile phones, recently, and said that "simplicity is the biggest challenge that handset makers face."

Adventures in 'extreme telecommuting'

Thanks to advances in mobile computing, telecommunications and the Internet, it's possible for some lucky professionals to enjoy what has become known as the "extreme telecommuting" lifestyle.

Sweet new service backs up while it syncs

A company called Sharpcast last week rolled out a new service that syncs your data across PCs, Macs and phones. That sounds simple enough, but the service, called SugarSync, and it's believed to be the first of its kind.

[]