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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

Topic: Google

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December 9, 2013 at 11:59 AM

NSA phone spying: Back off or open up?

Perhaps it’s time to look at the NSA spying scandal from another angle, now that we know the agency is tracking hundreds of millions of cellphones, slurping up 5 billion phone records a day.

Yes, it’s an outrage. But maybe it’s also an opportunity.

The NSA's Utah datacenter. AP Photo by Rick Bowmer.

The NSA’s Utah datacenter. AP Photo by Rick Bowmer.

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Comments | Topics: Apple, big data, cellphone

October 7, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Review: Amazon.com’s Kindle Fire HDX tablet, with Mayday

It’s a little odd when a company selling a new gadget says one of the most exciting features is its “help” button.

How many carmakers talk up their new models’ emergency brakes? Do airplane makers call out  state-of-the-art oxygen masks?

But Amazon.com tries to think differently about the Kindle tablets  it began selling five years ago. It may be on to something with the “Mayday” button that’s a highlight of its new Kindle HDX tablets.

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Comments | Topics: Amazon.com, Apple, e-readers

August 8, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Bill Gates on his big goals, Google balloons and rockets

Don’t look for Bill Gates to join the other tech tycoons building spacecraft as an avocation.

“In terms of improving the state of humanity, I don’t see the direct connection,” he told BusinessWeek in an interview published today. “I guess it’s fun, because you shoot rockets up in the air. But it’s not an area that I’ll be putting money into.”

mug bill gates

Ellen Banner/The Seattle Times

That sass may make things awkward at the next neighborhood potluck in Medina, especially if Jeff Bezos shows up.

But it’s hard to argue with the priorities Gates has chosen. The world’s richest man is putting most of his energy into battling polio, malaria and childhood mortality rates.

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Comments | Topics: Bill Gates, Billionaire techies, Google

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