Apple’s spring event was packed with colorful products and a lot of M1

Yes, these are Macs. The new M1-running iMac, to be precise. Photo: Apple

Not since Apple’s late-1990s cotton-candy computer world vision have I seen such a joyous color explosion from Cupertino. The new slim, tall, 24-inch iMacs (starting at $1,299) should be imposing, but thanks to the Apple silicon M1 heart and a stunning array of colors that run from white to green with pink in between, they’re a cheerful bunch of macOS Big Sur–running confections.

According to my informal Twitter poll, these radically redesigned iMacs were an Apple Spring Event highlight, falling right behind the M1-running iPad Pro.

For those who missed Tuesday’s event, I counted a total of four major…

Facebook Data Portability Is a False Promise

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Well over a decade’s worth of posts, photos, likes, groups, and comments. That’s my Facebook data, which, as of today, I have even more options for collecting and transferring to other platforms.

I imagine myself downloading it all, piling it onto a rickety wooden cart, hitching it to my trusty donkey IO, and then pulling it across the digital terrain to Google Docs. Once there, I dump it all in, and then, taking one rueful look back at the massive, disorganized pile, I slam the shed doors on it and walk away.

Facebook’s acceleration of data transfer tools and options…

Instagram’s latest like-hiding experiment has me reassessing my social media obsession

Illustration: Lance Ulanoff

I’m addicted to likes. The daily approbations from friends, family, and strangers that dot my social media like so much pepper in my fettuccini nourish me in conscious and subconscious ways. When my numbers are high, I smile to myself, content that I’ve connected with the world in some meaningful way. When the likes are low or nonexistent, I grow anxious and wonder where my audience has gone.

This relationship is probably unhealthy, but I’m not sure I’d want it any other way.

Across all of my social media — Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook — I have what might…

Tablets, laptops, M1, oh my

Apple CEO Tim Cook at a product launch in 2018. (Credit: Lance Ulanoff)

Apple will hold this year’s highly anticipated spring product event on April 20, 1 p.m. ET, entirely online. As anticipated as spring blooms themselves, this year’s event promises to be one of Apple’s richest in terms of product strategy and device number.

Among the categories on the table are:

  • Laptops
  • Desktops
  • Tablets
  • Custom Silicon
  • Tracking Tiles
  • Content

The surest bet is tablets. Most people expect Apple to update its iPad Pro line, which last saw a major update in March 2020 that added trackpad support, LiDAR, and the peppy A12Z Bionic CPU.

That silicon is now a few paces out…

Roku’s newest remote is ready to listen, hands-free

Roku’s new Roku Voice Remote Pro (Credit: Roku)

Roku just released a bunch of products and, I promise, I’m going to get to them but what I really want to talk about is remotes.

Our relationships with our television and streaming boxes are defined not so much by the interfaces, content, or even the big screens but by the remote controls. Our eyes see, but it’s our hands that touch these small pieces of plastic, metal, glass, and rubberized buttons. That tactile relationship isn’t fleeting. Raise your hand if you binge with the remote in or near your hand (how else can you go back 30 seconds to…

Neuralink’s latest breakthrough is a very big deal

Pager the monkey learns to play video games. (Credit Neuralink)

Pigs with implants (not as fun or tasty as Pigs in Blankets) was probably, in hindsight, the wrong way, last summer, to introduce the public to real-world brain implant technology applications.

The pigs were uncooperative, and Neuralink founder and real-world Tony Stark Elon Musk struggled to explain the real-world applications of a brain implant in a way that didn’t freak people out.

The most recent breach is a stark reminder of the sorry state of our data

Illustration: Lance Ulanoff

I’ve been pwned. You’ve been pwned. We’ve all been pwned. Somewhere, somehow, some digital bit of our persona has appeared in one of countless data breaches that happen across the internet with alarming regularity.

The most recent breach—an exploitation of what may be an old and now closed Facebook vulnerability—means that records from more than 500 million users are free-floating out in the wild.

I tend to be blasé about such hacks. These companies are bad at protecting our data, and to be fair, we’ve also freely shared insane amounts of our personal information on public and only semiprivate platforms…

Apple CEO Tim Cook lays it all out

Apple CEO Tim Cook (Credit: Lance Ulanoff)

With a market cap of over $2T, Apple is a country-sized company and, unsurprisingly, its impact is felt around the world. What the company develops and sells matters to billions of people, as does what the company’s leadership believes in, invests in, and actively fights against.

Companies like Apple, however, can be secretive and private. Access to leaders like Apple CEO Tim Cook is, rightfully, treated like a precious commodity. New York Times columnists, podcaster, and iconoclast Kara Swisher netted a rare and extended one-on-one with Cook and revealed much about the current state of Apple’s core philosophies. …

Recent updates to Microsoft Edge have sealed the browser deal

I’m going with the Edge. Images courtesy of the author

It’s not even on my current desktop. After more than a decade of using what is inarguably the world’s most popular web browser, Google’s Chrome doesn’t even have a spot on my taskbar. I switched to Microsoft Edge and I’m not looking back.

What started as a flirtation with Microsoft’s Edge browser and its meme-inducing name has turned into a rock-solid relationship, one that solidified when Microsoft swapped its proprietary engine for Chromium.

The truth is, I’d been looking for years to get out of what I considered a demanding browser relationship. Google’s Chrome is smart, compliant with virtually every…

Your new job might be managing those that took your old one

Robot Wrangler by Lance Ulanoff

Robots that can dance, run, jump, turn in mid-air, and land on their feet are, obviously, amazing. But it turns out that the eye-popping, mind-boggling bots, those that a decade or more from now might achieve C-3PO-like sentience, are not the ones we have to worry about.

Instead, let’s freak out for a moment about Boston Dynamics Stretch.

The famously secretive Boston Dynamics robotics first unveiled its new warehouse robot Sunday on 60 Minutes.

Lance Ulanoff

Tech expert, journalist, social media commentator, amateur cartoonist and robotics fan.

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