Uncategorized

The Ai Pin is worse than most imagined

The Ai Pin device that created so much buzz last year when its company, Humane, previewed it at a TED conference, has now reached the hands of tech reviewers and the their verdict is universally a thumbs down. As I wrote in my column at the time, the product was destined to be a failure, […]

Uncategorized

The state of sound quality in 2024

(Note: This article about the state of sound quality was co-written with Neil Young and originally appeared at NeilYoungArchives.com.) There’s a lot of happening in the world of music that bodes well for better audio quality. We’ve come a long way from the days of MP3 files and low quality streaming as we enter 2024. […]

Uncategorized

Loyalty programs off the rails

I received an email from a local celebrity chef who operates four restaurants in the San Diego area. They’re pricey, have generally good food, although not the best in the area. At first I had thought the email was an April Fools joke, but it was only March 27. Hi Phil BakerWhile many of you […]

Uncategorized

What’s happening with electric cars? It’s not what you think.

If you read some of the press you’d might think the interest in electric cars has waned. Some of the press, especially from the right (Wall St. Journal, The Hill), are already predicting the failure of EVs. But that’s all mostly political opinion and is more wishful thinking than factual. It’s fostered by their opposition […]

Uncategorized

Apple sued by DOJ on antitrust charges

The world loves Apple products. They’re some of the best designed consumer devices ever produced. They look great, work great, and are easier to use than the alternatives. Their customers also love Apple’s support system that makes it easy to get help by phone or in one of their stores, and get products quickly serviced. […]

Uncategorized

A cautionary tale for travelers

I received an email from my brother Andrew this week from Cape Town, South Africa, his first stop of a two-week vacation, telling me his iPhone was stolen. He was pickpocketed in downtown Cape Town. It was the second day of his visit to the city, so he was accustomed to people coming up to […]

Uncategorized

Kara Swisher’s Burn Book

Kara Swisher has covered consumer technology as a journalist for decades and has developed a reputation of being tough but fair, and usually smarter than the tech executives she covers. I’ve followed and admired her work for a few decades, ever since she reported on consumer tech for the Wall St. Journal, along with her […]

Uncategorized

Apple kills their EV

This week Apple killed their Titan electric car project. It was effort that began ten years ago and became the biggest development project in the history of the company, measured both by the investment and size of the organization: billions of dollars spent and two thousand employees hired. When they began, the EV market was […]

Uncategorized

Phones can’t go to POT(s) anymore!

With the outage of AT&T’s cellular service across a sizeable part of the country, we may reminisce about our old landline service, often called POTS (plain old telephone service). But it’s gone and will never come back. POTS was based on a pair of low voltage copper wires coming into our homes. When we experienced […]

Uncategorized

First impressions of the Apple Vision Pro

I just tried out the new Apple Vision Pro. It’s easy for anyone to do – just sign up for a demo at your Apple Store on apple.com. The demo lasts about 30 minutes, including time to customize to your eyesight and head size. I sat at a table with an Apple employee at my […]

Uncategorized

The future of search

Google search has become a real pain to use. What was once a stellar product is now a polluted mess. It takes too long to get your answers, requires too many clicks, makes us sort through ads and misleading results, and often leads us to a dead end. It’s the singular fault of Google and […]

Uncategorized

Medicine gets a tech boost

The quality of medical care in this country has many faults, but it’s finally taking advantage of technology to bring some new benefits to us. But it’s been a long time coming. While email has been around for almost thirty years, trying to reach a doctor often required calling and anxiously waiting for a call […]

Uncategorized

Should you buy an EV or PHEV?

The debate about which EV to buy has become a simplistic discussion just about range. Most reviewers seem to focus only on how many miles you can drive between charging, as if that’s all that matters or is more important than anything else. What’s missing in all of these reviews is that we don’t all […]

Uncategorized

Thank technology for making travel a bit better

While airline service has deteriorated over the years with tighter seats, new fees, lost bags, higher prices, and unexpected cancelations, technology has helped make traveling a bit better or at least a little less bad. There’s an array of electronic gadgets and products that we now take for granted, but help offset the pains of […]

Uncategorized

New CES products for the traveler

I’ve attended the CES show, the annual showcase of consumer electronic products from around the world, for over 30 years. But I gave it up a few years ago when I tired of the terrible traffic jams, the miles of walking each day, and the inefficiency of back-to-back meetings held in different hotels miles apart. […]

Uncategorized

Hertz unloads its Teslas

Hertz announced today that they’re selling 20,000 Tesla EVs from their fleet and replacing them with internal-combustion engine vehicles, taking a $245 million loss. As noted in my earlier column, Hertz’s original decision to purchase 100,000 Tesla’s was a really idiotic move that was never clearly thought through: ….Owning an EV as a personal car […]

Uncategorized

Dissecting the UAG Monarch iPhone case

I’ve used the Urban Armor Gear Monarch iPhone case on my last several phones. I’ve liked its ruggedness, design language, and feel in my hand. The details and finish are impressive, even the screws on the four corners that look like they could be used to bolt the case together. I especially like the layer […]

Uncategorized

Time to review your subscriptions

This is a good time to review your digital subscriptions and recurring monthly charges. It’s likely to save a sizable amount of money, especially if you subscribe to a number of digital publication. In a space of a few hours I was able to save about $400 by making a couple of phone calls and […]

Uncategorized

Favorite tech stuff of 2023

As the year closes I look back at some of my favorite discoveries of new products and services ffor 2023. iPhone cases iPhone cases are now a billion dollar plus business with an enormous selection of all types -from clear to leather to wallets to waterproof. Amazon alone offers more than 2000 models! But my […]

Uncategorized

A bargain airfare. What could go wrong?

I cringed when my friend Larry told me that he was flying from San Francisco to Newark during the holidays. Then I shuddered when he said he was flying Frontier Airlines to Phoenix connecting to a Spirit Airlines flight to Newark. I jokingly told him to take good notes because this could make for an […]