I had a fantastic spring break in Florence, Italy, where my parents were renting an apartment. It was a huge treat to spend eight straight days in the city of Leonardo and Michelangelo and to have time to explore corners of the city tourists don't usually get to see. I had the opportunity to walk the Vasari Corridor, meet with Paolo Galluzzi, the director of the Museo Galileo, and travel to Vinci, the hill town where Leonardo was born. You can check out the Flick photoset from my trip here. Inspired by the Florence trip, and especially the Hall of Maps in the Palazzo Vecchio, I wrote a column about the Medici effect in modern-day Silicon Valley. There's no Duomo in Mountain View, but the money being spread around by today's super-rich technology companies and their CEOs will...Read more
My last update was back on October 12. My life got pretty busy right after that, with trips to Boston and San Diego and a couple of half-marathons. Then, sadly, my old pal Rhody fell ill and died on Nov. 25. He was 16 1/2 years old, and had been with me since he was a 12-week-old pup. He is desperately missed; I posted his obituary on my Facebook page. Writing was a useful respite from all that, so the wheels kept turning at Xconomy San Francisco. Here's a rundown of the most interesting stuff I've been working on these last few months: I visited Anki, the robotics company behind the smartphone-driven robotic racing cars that made such a splash at...Read more
Hope your fall is off to a good start. Here's what I've been writing about since my August 25 update: The big buzz in the mobile-computing world this month is about the arrival of the iPhone 5C and 5S and the release of iOS 7. But Apple's iPhone announcement on September 10 was greeted by an unusual amount of carping and complaining---almost all of it wrong-headed, in my opinion. To quote Louis CK, everything is amazing and nobody is happy...Read more
Hello friends! I hope you've been well -- I know we're all breathing a little easier now that the drama in Boston, Xconomy's home city, is over. My heart goes out to all of the victims of the week's senseless attacks. In my last update in late March, I hinted that something big was on the way. Now I can tell you all about it. It's called Xperience, and it's the new consumer section of Xconomy. It's a place where we'll bring readers stories about the users of today's latest technologies, rather than just the creators. Xperience will feature the same kinds of thoughtful, in-depth stories that have always been Xconomy's hallmark. But in contrast to our usual focus on the nuts and bolts of high-tech entrepreneurship, the goal is to help orient readers to the changes going on in the world of consumer technology and...Read more
It's been a busy month at Xconomy San Francisco. Some of my favorite stories included: An in-depth profile of Menlo Ventures and its decision to start investing more aggressively in consumer startups; a visit with John Tayman, founder of the innovative long-form digital publishing company Byliner; an update on California's crazy retroactive tax on investors (the short version: it's on hold); a video report from the debut of the amazing Bay Lights LED installation on the Bay Bridge; a look at HealthTap's vision for helping doctors and hospitals cope with Obamacare; a detailed analysis of a Craiglist app that sets a new standard in iOS design; a profile of Gracenote, the company you probably know for...Read more
Time for a summary of the latest stories from Xconomy San Francisco. My big feature story for February was a look at Facebook's big data analytics infrastructure and how the company uses it to support innovation. See Facebook Doesn't Have Big Data. It Has Ginormous Data. (Alongside that feature, we also published a glossary of Big Data projects at Facebook.) My other big job this month has been organizing our upcoming April 11 forum, Robots Remake the Workplace, to be held at SRI International in Menlo Park. There's a relentless media meme arguing that...
(Flickr photo: Peyri Herrera)Read more