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CalendarApril 1, 2014

Twitter Reaches Maximum Tweet Capacity

Twitter Max Tweetsl Twitter announced today it unexpectedly reached the maximum number of tweets. The popular social networking service can no longer accept new posts from its users. Twitter's technical team has issued an official statement saying, "The system is full."

When asked how this happened, Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey said they vastly underestimated how often people would post updates on Twitter. "We designed Twitter as a platform for sharing profound thoughts and ideas," stated Dorsey. "We had no idea people would publish updates about the sandwiches they are eating or their dog's half birthdays." Williams said unimportant tweets now make up 99.98% of updates published on Twitter.

"Based on our original estimates, we expected to run out of tweet space in the year 2134. We were off by 120 years," stated co-founder Biz Stone. "In retrospect, we should have made Twitter more scalable." Co-founder Noah Glass also expressed remorse in their oversight. "Several consultants suggested we design the service to be flexible, scalable, and extensible. However, those all sounded like buzzwords, so we dismissed them."

Shocked analysts are trying to figure out what to make of Twitter's future. "This sure is a darned thing to happen just a few months after the company went public, said Piper Jaffray analyst Craig Johnson. "Clearly Twitter will need to find other ways to grow outside social media, which happens to be their only industry." He maintained a Strong Buy rating of Twitter (TWTR) in light of the recent news.

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CalendarMarch 31, 2014

Free Wi-Fi in Japan

Akihabara, Tokyo I had a chance to visit Japan during the past two weeks and got to experience Japanese culture in both Tokyo and northern Japan. I also got to see technology in Japan firsthand and found out just how well-connected Japan is.

Based on my experience, Internet speeds are quite a bit faster on average compared to the U.S. However, free Wi-Fi is non-existent. Throughout my entire trip, I was unable to find a free Wi-Fi location in Japan. No coffee shops or restaurants offered free Wi-Fi. I visited several Starbucks and not one of them offered a Wi-Fi connection.

A few times, open Wi-Fi networks would show up on my iPhone, but I could never establish a successful connection. There were a few wireless networks that offered free Wi-Fi for a few minutes, but I had to register with my email address and other personal information. The ones I tried were so slow, I didn't even bother finishing the registration process.

Thankfully, I purchased the 120 MB International Data Plan from AT&T before my trip, so I could use cellular data when I needed it. This was a lifesaver, since I was able to use the local 4G connection to load local maps and check my email while I was moving between locations.

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CalendarMarch 15, 2014

Apple (Finally) Releases a Performance Update for iOS

iOS 7.1 iPhone Update Has your iPhone gotten faster this past week? You must have updated to iOS 7.1.

The recent iOS update the best one I've seen from Apple in a long time. After the disappointing iOS 7 release, this incremental update is a welcome improvement. When you upgrade to iOS 7.1, you'll notice a few minor interface tweaks, such as circular answer/decline call buttons and a bolder keyboard. These are nice changes, but they pale in comparison to the biggest improvement in iOS 7.1 – speed.

Everything is noticeably faster in iOS 7.1. I've noticed improved speeds in loading the home screen, opening applications, taking pictures, and browsing email messages. Even small things like swiping between screens and modifying settings seem to be snappier. My iPhone feels so much more responsive with iOS 7.1, it's almost like I upgraded the hardware.

I'm using an iPhone 5 (not a 5s), so your experience may be different than mine. From what I've read, iPhone 4 users will notice the biggest improvement (though they were also hit with the biggest slowdown after upgrading to iOS 7.0). Whatever the case, it's great to see Apple's engineers set aside fancy new features for a change and focus on performance.

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CalendarFebruary 28, 2014

Review: Comcast X1

Comcast X1 Platform For the past several years, I have not been too fond of Comcast. I have ranted about the way Comcast hinders rather than advances technology and have even called Comcast the worst company in the world.

A few months ago, I heard about Comcast's brand new X1 cable TV service. I was intrigued but skeptical. My last Comcast "upgrade" was more of a downgrade and didn't offer any new features. However, from what I read and heard about X1, it seemed pretty revolutionary, which is not a word I have ever used to describe anything from Comcast. I had nothing to lose, so I switched to the new service.

When I used X1 the first time, I was blown away. The improvement is analogous to a friend of mine who owned a 1986 Saab 900 and then bought a brand new 2007 Infiniti G35. It's hard to even compare X1 to Comcast's previous cable TV interface. X1 is that much better.

Instead of another incremental change to a guide system designed in the 1970s, X1 brings Comcast's cable service to the modern age. It provides a completely new user interface with large icons, strong visual appeal, and believe it or not, intuitive navigation. Simply press the "xfinity" button and you can jump to the Guide, view saved recordings, browse On Demand shows, search for content, or access built-in apps. The interface is highly responsive and allows you to browse through any of these categories with ease, similar to how you would navigate a tablet.

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CalendarFebruary 25, 2014

Microsoft OneDrive Brings Cloud Storage to the Masses

I received the following email from Microsoft a few days ago inviting me to try OneDrive, their free online storage service.

Microsoft OneDrive Email

OneDrive appears to be a replacement for SkyDrive, their first cloud storage attempt, which was not too successful. So is this just another renamed Microsoft product doomed to fail or does it have potential?

I'm happy to say that, based on my experience, the OneDrive service looks very promising. Unlike, Apple's iCloud, OneDrive allows you to store all types of documents online, not just specific file types like images and videos. It can also be used with just about any device, including Macs, Windows PCs, and Android devices (the hardware choices in the picture above were not accidental).

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