Steven Levy

LIVING BY GOOGLE RULES

A couple of weeks ago, a prominent dot-com warrior gave me a hot tip about Google: the next big move of the search phenom would be an assault on eBay. Think about it.

A VERY DANGEROUS SUPREMES RERUN

According to Cary Sherman and Dan Glickman, the last thing that the record labels (for whom Sherman lobbies) and movie studios (for whom Glickman lobbies) want is to stifle the development of awesome new gadgets that make life worth living in couch-potato land.

BLOGGING BEYOND THE MEN'S CLUB

At a recent Harvard conference on bloggers and the media, the most pungent statement came from cyberspace. Rebecca MacKinnon, writing about the conference as it happened, got a response on the "comments" space of her blog from someone concerned that if the voices of bloggers overwhelm those of traditional media, "we will throw out some of the best...

A GOOGLE TO GO

What with Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, Hotels.com and every airline, hotel chain and car-rental place hosting its own site, you would think that the last thing the world needs is another travel destination on the Web.

A GOOD KNIGHT FOR SONY

Howard stringer was about to embark on a round of Oscar weekend partygoing when he got the call from Japan: Sony's chairman and CEO Nobuyuki Idei was stepping down and vice chairman Stringer, who is based in New York, was the pick as his successor.

HISTORY IS GOING, GOING, GONE

Almost 30 years ago I came to possess a little piece of computer history. At the time, it seemed to me a fairly straightforward handwritten letter acknowledging my request to terminate an apartment lease, with instructions on how I could recover my security deposit.

The Zen of Fighting iPod

Most customers of creative Technologies don't even know it. They're the millions who have the Sound Blaster circuit boards in their PCs that process the audio boomed through the speakers.

TECHNOLOGY: PRICE DIP FOR PODS

iPods may be the gold standard in portable digital music, but Apple has consistently cut prices to make sure that it won't take too much gold to buy one. To the frustration of competitors and the delight of the cost-conscious, CEO Steve Jobs did it again last week.

MA BELL'S KIDS WILL LIVE ON THE NET

Have telephone companies gone off the hook? In the last few weeks, AT&T has been gobbled by SBC and MCI snapped up by Verizon. It's like some toddler upchucked his alphabet soup.

STEAMROLLERED BY THE DELL MACHINE

Of all the cards dealt to Carly Fiorina, the now departed HP diva, there was one that just couldn't be played. Dell. She fought like a tiger to merge her company with Compaq, hoping that two of the more innovative-minded computer makers might bring on some agita for Michael Dell and his CEO Kevin Rollins.

THE ZEN OF FIGHTING IPOD

Most customers of creative Technologies don't even know it. They're the millions who have the Sound Blaster circuit boards in their PCs that process the audio boomed through the speakers.

HOW TO HOOK THE ELUSIVE PHISHER

Ann Chapman thought it was strange that MSN, Microsoft's online service, was asking her to go to a Web site and re-enter her credit-card number. So she mentioned it to her son-in-law.

A STEP FORWARD IN THE VOTING WARS

The polling places in Iraq are front-and-center this week, but the jagged scars of our own election are still far from healed. Part of the problem is that, no matter what the count, many people do not trust results from electronic voting machines.

YELLOW PAGES WITH EYES ON THE PRIZE

Amazon.com's search company A9 uses Google to comb the Web, but keeps innovating in other areas. The latest is the A9.com Yellow Pages. The company sent out specially equipped trucks with cameras and GPS receivers to take thousands of street-level pictures in 10 cities.

DOWNLOAD: THE KIDS STAY IN THE PICTURE

In the flurry of activity around Google last summer (something about an IPO), you might have missed the search firm's acquisition of a company called Picasa, whose eponymous software was the closest thing Windows users had to the slick photo-organization tool Apple-oids had in iPhoto.

A FOX IN BILL'S HENHOUSE

Microsoft's nightmare--well, one of them--is tucked away in the back of a Mountain View, Calif., office park. Decorated in "Mad Max" style (exposed wires, weird equipment lying around and a huge model of a suspension bridge built from soda cans on which a plastic Godzilla rages), the Mozilla Foundation employs only a dozen or so programmers.

TECHNOLOGY: APPLE DOES SOME DOWNSIZING

What makes an iPod an iPod? That's the question evoked by Apple's latest member of its wildly popular digital-music-player family. To compete in the low-cost "flash memory" arena (using a memory chip on the device as opposed to a larger-capacity hard drive), Apple did away with such well-known features as the "click wheel" and the display screen--in fact, the sleek, white iPod Shuffle, which is barely the size of a pack of gum, has but two ways to play the 120 or 240 songs it carries.

GETTING THE WHOLE WORLD IN YOUR HAND

What struck me about last week's Consumer Electronics Show--the huge annual gadget bacchanalia convening, naturally, in Las Vegas--is the buzzword people don't say anymore.

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING?

When people encounter Craig Newmark they can't believe they're meeting the Craig. It seems that the founder of craigslist.org--the wildly popular Internet site that's becoming the world's bulletin board--has reached the single-name status of Arnold, Cher and Madonna.

GOOGLE'S TWO REVOLUTIONS

If it weren't for the war, and the terrorism and the election, 2004 might well be remembered as the Year of Search. Maybe it will anyway. If we get through these rocky times with civilization's underpinnings intact, our descendants, swimming in total information, might be required to memorize the date of last August's Google IPO as a cultural milestone.

THE ALPHA BLOGGERS

A few months ago no one had heard of "podcasting," because it didn't exist. Last summer an MTV veejay turned technophile named Adam Curry wanted to do an Internet-based radio show, distributing it through his Weblog. (A Weblog, or blog, is a personal Web site where somebody self-publishes an electronic journal, often linking to other things on the Web that strike the author's fancy.) With the help of fellow bloggers, he created special software that allowed digital audio content to be...

FOR SOFTIES, SEARCH IS THE NEW BLACK

Bill Gates has a Google thing. When I asked him about the search competition last summer, he turned on the sarcasm. "We'll never be as cool as them. Every conference you go to, there they are dressed in black, and no one is cooler!" Clearly Gates's dander was up, not only because the Google upstarts were eating his lunch, but they were press darlings as well.

FOUR MORE YEARS TO FINALLY GET IT RIGHT

Almost a month after the presidential election, I'm still getting missives from people who insist that things don't smell right. They draw on a litany of irregularities that are well-circulated in the blogosphere, the Blue States and maybe even subterranean corners of the Red nation.

THE ALPHA BLOGGERS

A few months ago no one had heard of "podcasting" because it didn't exist. Last summer an MTV veejay turned technophile named Adam Curry wanted to do an Internet-based radio show, distributing it through his Weblog. (A Weblog, or blog, is a personal Web site where somebody self-publishes an electronic journal, often linking to other things on the Web that strike the author's fancy.) With the help of fellow bloggers, he created spe-cial software that allowed digital audio content to be...

WHY TOM HANKS IS LESS THAN HUMAN

A few weeks ago, some of us at NEWSWEEK got an advance screening of "The Polar Express" with the best possible host--Bob Zemeckis, the director of the $165 million film based on the popular children's book.

THE PODS JUST KEEP ON COMING

Steve Jobs is feeling rather vindicated these days. "The iPod is three years old," says the Apple CEO. "When we started this, nobody knew what it was, or they didn't believe it would be a big hit." But last week at San Jose's vintage California Theatre, Apple's CEO, apparently at full strength after cancer surgery last summer, was triumphantly unveiling the newest twists on his megahit digital music player--with the extra oomph of a performance by U2's singer Bono and guitarist The Edge.

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