Digital Deliverance

Last Friday’s Asian WSJ, and the online edition (subscription only, I’m afraid), published a feature I’d been working on for a while: The digital divide. I focused on Newmont’s mine in Sumbawa, in eastern Indonesia, and the company’s limited success in introducing e-business to the locals: Newmont’s supply-system project is typical of many around Asia — …

Continue reading ‘Digital Deliverance’ »

The Gadget Gap

This week’s WSJ.com column (subscription only, I’m afraid) is about what I call The Hole — the absence of decent devices in terms of size, weight and functionality between the smartphone and the notebook. To me it’s not just about cramming everything you can into a smaller device, it’s about making something that people enjoying having with them …

Continue reading ‘The Gadget Gap’ »

“How’s the Review Going?” Spam

At a conference I have been attending I was asked to explain to PR folk there what journalists want. Apparently, by the time my session came around, the PR folk had been put off by several previous journalists who had presumably used clear language to express what they want because most didn’t turn up. Wisely, since …

Continue reading ‘“How’s the Review Going?” Spam’ »

Getting Ecards from Worshippers

You got to give scammers credit where credit is due. This latest wave of e-card spam at least exhibits some imagination on the part of the sender: At first it was from a friend, then a colleague, then a classmate; now it’s neighbors and worshippers sending you ecards. Good on them. I must confess I don’t …

Continue reading ‘Getting Ecards from Worshippers’ »

The Gecko in the Machine

 (This is the text of my weekly Loose Wire Service column, syndicated to newspapers like The Jakarta Post. If you’re an editor interested in subscribing to the service, drop me a line. Regular readers of the blog, meanwhile, will be familiar with some of the themes here) I found myself reading the words of one …

Continue reading ‘The Gecko in the Machine’ »

Working in the Brain I

I know I’ve written a lot about PersonalBrain of late, and I apologize for that if it doesn’t interest you. But partly in response to comments on an earlier post, and partly just because I think it might help, I wanted to give an example of how I use the program, in the hope it …

Continue reading ‘Working in the Brain I’ »

How to Flatter 100 Bloggers

Do portraits of them as ASCII art. Amit Agarwal, an India-based blogger of impeccable test and refinement, does some very cool pictures of 100 bloggers. Including that picture of me looking smarmy in the middle of the kampung: ASCII Art: Colored Text Paintings of Your Favorite Bloggers – Digital Inspiration

Bluetooth’s Missing Suitcase

Remember when Samsonite launched the Bluetooth suitcase? No, well, that’s not surprising, because they didn’t. This week’s WSJ.com column is (subscription only, I’m afraid) the first in a series about finding stuff in the real world. I started with a hunt for the Bluetooth suitcase, first announced in 2002 (and weirdly, still up on the Samsonite …

Continue reading ‘Bluetooth’s Missing Suitcase’ »

Brain Withdrawal

I’m really getting into using PersonalBrain, the newly launched version of a decade-old program that should have swept the world by now. But there’s a downside to relying on one piece of software so much: When it goes wrong, you’re adrift. Luckily the guys at PersonalBrain are looking into it, but I had to stop …

Continue reading ‘Brain Withdrawal’ »