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.

3-D TV Is Cable's Last Chance to Fight Off Internet Video

ESPN announced this week that it is launching a 3-D sports channel. If other cable networks know what's good for them, they'll follow suit as soon as possible.Everyone knows that over the last decade or so, a digital tidal wave has replaced postal mail with e-mail, landlines with cell phones, and home newspaper delivery with news Web sites.

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.

Building a Better Password

From this week's magazine:My password is gr8199. I've been using it for more than a decade, ever since a Web site first required me to create a string of six to 12 characters, with a mixture of letters and numbers.

Blowing Your Freaking Mind: There's an App for That

 The only force equal to the pace of innovation is our ability to become blasé about it. The first time a little box on my rental car's dashboard talked to a geosynchronous satellite and then told me where to turn left, I was amazed.

Touch Yourself: Read Smarter With Instapaper

Here's the first installment of Touch Yourself, the Techtonic Shifts iPhone app review column:Some iPhone apps, like Urinal Test, you download as a gag. Others meet some temporary need, like the U.S. Open scoreboard app.

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.

Things That Suck: iPhone Voice Control

 Part of the deal when you fall in love with the iPhone is that you clammer and coo every time Apple rolls out features that have been standard on other devices for years.

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, 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.

How Facebook Keeps Things Clean

It's just before lunchtime in the sunny, high-tech headquarters of Facebook in Palo Alto, California, and Simon Axten is cuing up some porn. A photo of a young couple sloppily making out pops onscreen.