Our devices do a lot of things for us, but they also do things to us. This is a controversial idea not everyone accepts, but it’s just plain true. The devices we use tend to rework our norms, expectations and behaviors, for better or worse, sometimes without our even noticing (or, without our thinking it’s a…More
Category: Reactions & Resources
“Do you have to be enlightened just to get by these days?” I ended my Sunday column two weeks ago on popular blogger David Roberts’ year off-mic with that question — his — because it echoed in my head long after our interview. It’s still in there now. Roberts — who’s most of the way through…More
Emmett Shear had no idea whether his idea to focus his video site around gaming would actually work when he persuaded his cofounders to try it in 2011. Then he saw the response. “Our first bar to pass was 25 percent growth a month for the first three months,” Shear said, “and we crushed that.” Shear, who…More
“Seriously, is life intended to be led on fast-forward? Is there a winner to this race in the end?” That was one of the more provocative comments you left on my Sunday column on speedwatching, the little-known trick that for a few avid TV watchers has become a habit: Why watch a long TV…More
Sometimes the best way to understand something is just to ask. My latest column was by far my nosiest. Every sentence was a question about your — yes, your — attitudes toward technology. It was inspired by “The Interrogative Mood,” a novel written entirely in questions that, though I can only read a few…More
Tonia Buell of the Washington State Department of Transportation told me last week that more than 500 Teslas were on Washington roads, an estimate I included in my Sunday column about electric vehicles’ popularity in Washington. Her figures were preliminary, still being collected by state trackers. On Monday, she let me know her estimate was…More
Maybe you’ve seen the video of the Seattle Metro bus riders who wrestle a gunman to the ground less than a second after he’s pointed a gun at the wrong man’s face.
That man — sitting at the right of the frame in glasses — is looking at his smartphone, ear buds in, when the video starts. The gun appears in front of him and whoa — in one swoop he juts back, reaches for the gun and gets up to shove the gunman back down the aisle.
A reader pointed out a fascinating detail: As he shoves the man back with one hand — and you can imagine this is about the point when the man wakes up to what he’s doing and that his life is at stake — he uses his other hand to put away his smartphone.More
Well this is a first. Elliott Bay Book Company has put up small signs around its store to remind people not to showroom — as many local stores are doing to stave off the threat of online retail — and it’s linked to my column on the controversial consumer habit to do it. Seattle…More
Tech never stops. As we near the end of 2013, I thought I’d give you an update on some of the stories and habits we talked about this year.
Are you “showrooming”?
“It makes you feel kind of used,” Patti Harriman of Ravenna Third Place Books told me in May about showrooming. That’s the term for a behavior that’s putting local businesses at risk — finding something you want at a store but ordering it from someone else online, usually for less money, and sometimes right there, right from your smartphone.
It presents a conundrum: Do you buy a product at the best price, hurting the store, or do you buy from the store, hurting your wallet?More
I got this email last week from George Hickey, who told me he’s a recently retired bus driver. Hickey read my column calling for a more honest conversation about texting and driving. Hickey’s message opened with a link to comedian Louis C.K.’s takedown of the practice on a recent episode of “Conan.” C.K. has a…More