Why Is It Called "Rebooting"?

You hear the phrase all the time when you’re working with computers, especially on customer service calls: “Please reboot your computer.” Why do we use the word reboot to mean “turn it off and on again”? It all goes back to tech history — and to one of the most revolutionary aspects of these computing machines. » 4/24/15 11:20am Yesterday 11:20am

New Hookup App Promises Terrifying Dates with Free Travel


I have never seen an ad for a product that so completely sums up all the reasons why you would never, ever want to use it. The MissTravel app helps “attractive females” score free vacations from “generous males” who just want a first date. And this insanely creepy video is supposed to sell you on it. » 4/23/15 9:35pm Thursday 9:35pm

Homeland Security Secretary Begs Silicon Valley to Stop the Encryption

Today at massive security tech conference RSA in San Francisco, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson told a packed audience that DHS would be forging alliances with Silicon Valley. He described plans to build an office here, in order to work directly with tech companies on key issues for the DHS. » 4/21/15 6:30pm Tuesday 6:30pm

Twitter's Inexplicable New Settings Highlight Problems with Abuse

So Twitter created a rather obscure new setting in its privacy menu called “Receive Direct Messages from Anyone.” Now, people you don’t follow can send you a direct message, or DM, in private. Here’s why this setting got people’s knickers in a bunch — for some pretty good reasons. » 4/20/15 6:40pm Monday 6:40pm

Girl Scout Cookies, or California's Most Notorious Strain of Cannabis

I first heard of Girl Scout Cookies a few years ago, shortly after I got my prescription for cannabis in California. I went into my local dispensary and asked for whatever buds they had that smelled the nicest. “Have you tried Girl Scout Cookies?” the woman behind the counter asked. “It’s famous.” » 4/20/15 3:44pm Monday 3:44pm

Want the Best App for Your Daily Commute? Take a Public Bus.

I take buses and trains everywhere in the San Francisco area, and I know the city’s bus routes better than I know the UX on my phone. So I had to try Leap, the city’s new private bus service. It was a nice experience in many ways, but I wouldn’t recommend it – and not just because of the $6 price tag. » 4/17/15 11:00am 4/17/15 11:00am

Poll: Which Ports Do You Want on Your Dream Machine?

The new MacBook is out this week, and its most famous attribute — other than its heroin-addicted model skinniness — is its single USB-C port for power and everything else. Yep, you can’t power your machine and use an external monitor or USB drive at the same time. So let’s build a crazy multi-port dream machine… » 4/16/15 5:05pm 4/16/15 5:05pm

Now You Can See How Close to Perfect the SpaceX Landing Was

Yes, it’s true that yesterday SpaceX failed to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone barge in the ocean. But it wasn’t exactly a crash landing, like last year’s attempt. In fact, it was a nearly perfect landing — until the rocket began to tilt and fall over. This video shows you how close they came.
» 4/15/15 6:10pm 4/15/15 6:10pm

HBO Now Review: It Passed the Game of Thrones Test, But Is That Enough?

I still remember that terrible night in 2011 when millions of fans screamed in agony as Game of Thrones started, stuttered, and died on HBO Go. We all felt burned by HBO’s crappy internet service. But HBO Now, launched just in time for last night’s GOT premiere, promised to be better. Was it? Yes. » 4/13/15 5:00pm 4/13/15 5:00pm

Wearables Are All About Giving You a "Rich Person Experience"

Over the weekend, economist Paul Krugman wrote an interesting column for the New York Times that explains why Apple is emphasizing wealth and luxury in its Apple Watch campaigns. Krugman believes that’s because all wearables are aimed at giving you an experience that only super rich people can have. » 4/13/15 1:35pm 4/13/15 1:35pm

Why the Hell Can't I Watch Murphy Brown Online?

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer says that without the 1990s TV series Murphy Brown to inspire her, she wouldn’t have gotten where she is today. The show was so influential that Vice President Dan Quayle turned the main character, played by Candice Bergen, into a political meme. And yet this series isn’t available anywhere… » 4/10/15 3:04pm 4/10/15 3:04pm

Edward Snowden Tells John Oliver How to Generate the Best Passphrases


On Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, a long conversation with Edward Snowden wound up turning into advice on coming up with good passwords. The upshot? Passwords of 8 characters or less are basically crackable in seconds. And the best (memorable) password that Snowden could come up with was… » 4/09/15 1:44pm 4/09/15 1:44pm