Nick Summers

Instant Apple iPad Reaction: Disappointment

 Steve Jobs is unveiling the Apple iPad, the company's feverishly anticipated tablet device, in San Francisco at this minute. NEWSWEEK Technology Editor Daniel Lyons is on the scene—and says the audience's reaction is surprisingly tepid. "I haven't been this let down since Snooki hooked up with The Situation," Lyons e-mails.On to some serious observations.

Conan's Enemy Isn't the 11:35 Slot, It's Any Time Slot

Of all the choice lines in Conan O'Brien's statement about the late-night mess at NBC─and there are plenty, from "terrible difficulties in prime-time" to "what I honestly believe is its destruction"─one of the most interesting concerns technology. "Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn't matter," Conan wrote. "But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more." Conan's right, and he's wrong.

Antivirus Under Attack From Polymorphic Threats -- and You

For cybersecurity geeks, it was a moment to celebrate. In May, as President Obama announced a new federal office to oversee America's digital infrastructure, he used language rarely heard in the White House. "We've had to learn a whole new vocabulary just to stay ahead of the cybercriminals who would do us harm: spyware and malware and spoofing and phishing and botnets," Obama said. (Today, he named his pick for the post.) Obama also reminded the audience that he knew of what he spoke: in 2008...

Microsoft's Finally Got Game

After Atari popularized the joystick in 1977, videogame developers spent years cramming more buttons onto the controller. Then along came Nintendo, with a motion-sensing controller for its Wii console that was less complicated, and more fun.

Envy: The Apple of HP's Eye

In design, imitation is a funny thing. When Thing A looks like Thing B, it can be homage─or plagiarism. Tribute─or theft. The message from the imitator to the imitated might be, "Yep, you nailed it, the platonic ideal of this category, and I can't help but follow your lead"─or a more brazen "You did all the hard work of creation, and now I will shamelessly copy."But a lot of that is just academic banter for the design teams that work at Thing A and Thing B's companies.

Worth It: Common Craft's "In Plain Language"

I have simple needs. I like cold drinks, hot pizza and difficult things explained to me like I'm a drooling half-wit. Just because I'm familiar with a technology doesn't mean I get it—a distinction addressed by CommonCraft.com, whose In Plain English series of videos takes complicated, tech-forward topics, such as wikis, CFL bulbs and phishing, and explains how they work using disarmingly crummy paper-cutout animations.

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