Post I.T. - Washington Post Technology Blog Frank Ahrens Sara Goo Sam Diaz Mike Musgrove Alan Sipress Yuki Noguchi Post I.T.
Tech Podcast
The Bloggers
Subscribe to this Blog

Archive: Sam Diaz

Posted at 10:03 AM ET, 08/10/2007

More Space For Gmail

A few months back, I wrote a story about storage limits on free Web mail. The story focused around Google's Gmail, which offered an "Archive, Don't Delete" message when it launched service with a whopping 1-gigabyte capacity back in 2004. Today, Google offers 2.8 gigabytes of storage but some power users - those whose inbox archives were filled with space-hungry attachments - were running out of space, with no way to add more storage.

Today, Google is announcing an optional add-on storage bank for Gmail and its Picasa Web Albums - $20 per year for 6 gigabytes, and plans that will take you all the way up to 250 GB. This still doesn't beat Yahoo's unlimited-storage inbox but it's a good price compared to Microsoft's Live Hotmail, which offers 2 GB free and double that for $20-per-year premium customers. AOL offers 5 GB for free.

(Not sure how much storage you're using on Gmail or Picasa Web? Log in to your Google account and go to

The ability to add storage to Picasa Web Albums (which includes 1 GB of space) comes at a good time. Yahoo is shutting down its Photo site on Sept. 20, transitioning users to other Web albums such as its Flickr service. Flickr only allows 100 MB of uploads per month - they call it a bandwidth limitation, not a storage issue. But for $24.95 a year, you get unlimited uploads.

Coming soon from Google: add-on storage packages for Google Docs and Spreadsheets.

Posted by Sam Diaz | Permalink | Comments (0)
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in | Digg This

Posted at 2:21 PM ET, 08/ 9/2007

Making Room For HD Recordings

Anyone who's ever recorded a sporting event on a DVR knows that the four or five hours of a game can eat up quite a bit of hard drive space. Record that game in high-definition and you'll quickly realize how valuable the space on that internal hard drive can be.

Now, satellite TV provider Dish Network is getting ready to pull the trigger on an upgrade that will allow external hard drives up to 750 gigabytes to connect to the DVR's USB port, increasing the storage to a capacity that would ease the worries that the season premiere of Lost won't be wiped out just because you haven't had a chance to watch Monday Night Football yet. According to, the upgrade will occur next week and Dish Network will charge a one-time $40 fee to set it up.

Posted by Sam Diaz | Permalink | Comments (0)
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in | Digg This

Posted at 6:01 AM ET, 08/ 9/2007

Google Gives Voice to the Quoted

Being a blogger in this digital age of citizen journalism and social networking, I've become thick-skinned about criticism some of you post. Anyway, I like that many of you challenge what I have to say.

Google has taken it a step further yesterday by introducing a feature that allows comments on news stories - from the people who are mentioned in those stories. News stories and blog entries on, as well as many other blogs and sources of news, have long offered a chance for readers to chime in.

In a test that begins this week, Google will allow comments only from the people in the story and will post those comments along side entries on Google News. As a journalist, I welcome this feedback. Often, our sources have been less than happy with stories we've written about them. And I can't tell you how many times I've heard from sources who were disappointed that some detail that came up during an interview didn't make the story.

In a blog entry, the Google News team wrote, "We're hoping that by adding this feature, we can help enhance the news experience for readers, testing the hypothesis that -- whether they're penguin researchers or presidential candidates-- a personal view can sometimes add a whole new dimension to the story."

Posted by Sam Diaz | Permalink | Comments (0)
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in | Digg This

Posted at 1:59 PM ET, 08/ 8/2007

Summer News Diversions

The dog days of summer have arrived - people are on vacation, the heat index is on the rise, Congress has gone on summer recess and generally, all seems to be quiet. Sure, there's news - but nothing that's really rising to the level of debates over wireless spectrum auctions, decisions on the XM-Sirius merger or an iPhone-like frenzy.

Tech bloggers tried to build a bit of excitement around a super-secret Apple announcement at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters this week. The big news: Apple introduced a redesigned iMac computer and an upgrade to the iLife software suite. Yes, that was interesting - but it also kind of got overshadowed by the outing of the Fake Steve Jobs, an anonymous blogger who'd taken on the online persona of Jobs and ranted in a way that some might expect the real Jobs to rant. For some time, the blogs have been abuzz over the the true identity of the Fake Steve Jobs. Turns out it was Daniel Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes magazine.

Meanwhile, over at the Googleplex, they're still stringing together some of the 10-second "m-velope" videos for a massive video chain. Here's how it works: Make a video in which the "M-velope" (Google's icon for G-Mail) enters the screen from the left, passes thru, and exits on the right. 10 seconds or less. Have fun with it. Be creative, be unique and you'll be in their video chain, which stops accepting entries on Aug 13. Kinda hokey, I know, until you see some of the clips. Some of them are actually pretty good. (It makes sense to watch Google's video first to gain a better understanding.) Some of my favorite submissions, so far, include the sleeping dad, the three ladies on the bench, and even one where users take a jab at Yahoo Mail. Click here for details on how to submit your entry.

Sure, there are other headlines out there - but as the temperature in DC starts to cross the century mark, staying in the office for lunch and watching fun videos sounds like a nice summer diversion, dontcha think?

Posted by Sam Diaz | Permalink | Comments (0)
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in | Digg This

Posted at 9:25 AM ET, 08/ 3/2007

Black Is The New "Green"

Earlier this year, a blogger from Boston mixed some science with some math and came up with a theory that a black background on the main Google search engine page could save 3,000 megawatt-hours every year, assuming Google gets 200 million queries a day and its page is displayed for 10 seconds per visit. I'm no scientist - though I once did get a lesson on LCD-screen technology from some engineers back in Silicon Valley - but the theory, whether or not you believe the numbers, seems to makes sense. And it sounds to me like a lot of energy saved, seeing how the usage at my home for a month is measured in the smaller kilowatts per hour.

An Australian company called Heap Media also bought into the idea and developed a black-back Google search page, called Blackle. It's still Google-powered - I ran it through a few quick search checks and came back with the same results as a Google search. The company has launched a viral marketing campaign - trying to get people to switch to Blackle and help make a difference. "We believe that there is value in the concept because even if the energy savings are small, they all add up," read a statement on the company's black-background site. "Secondly we feel that seeing Blackle every time we load our web browser reminds us that we need to keep taking small steps to save energy."

I'm willing to bookmark the page - but I can't commit to making it my home page. I have a customized iGoogle page where I get news feeds and manage some widgets. But, wait... Just for laughs, I typed an "i" in front of Blackle in the Web address to see what would happen and found what looks like the beginnings of an iGoogle version, complete with (still broken) links to "Images, Videos, News, Maps, More" in the top left corner. It'd be nice to minimize damage to the environment. But I also stumbled upon one other added bonus - after a while, I noticed that the black background was much easier on the eyes.

Posted by Sam Diaz | Permalink | Comments (8)
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in | Digg This

A Startup Hits Reality TV

Internet startups are back in the spotlight - and as proof, I point no further than reality television. The up-and-coming MOJO Network - which is available on a number of cable TV systems - today announced plans for a new high-definition show called "Startup Junkies." Scheduled to premiere in January,...

By | August 1, 2007; 03:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

Investing In Twitter's Future

Last month, I wrote about Twitter, a Web start-up company that allows users to post an answer to the question "What Are You Doing" across the Internet in 140 characters or less. It was a tough story to write because it's still somewhat unclear what the exact business model is...

By | July 31, 2007; 07:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

File-Sharing: A National Security Threat?

The makers of peer-to-peer file sharing software such as Limewire are no strangers to controversy. Hollywood has been battling file-sharing over the Internet for years as a way to curb music and video piracy. But now, Congress is back in the debate, alleging that P2P software can pose a "national...

By | July 25, 2007; 12:35 PM ET | Comments (16)

XM-Sirius Announce a la carte Pricing - Pending Merger Approval

It's the one thing that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin has been sweet on: a la carte pricing to give the consumers ultimate control over what they pay for. The cable companies have resisted - but Sirius chief executive Mel Karmazin has announced intentions to offer a la carte...

By | July 23, 2007; 10:52 AM ET | Comments (53)

Trying to Save A Magazine Through Facebook

Can the power of online social networking save a magazine from the history books? The fast growing membership of a Facebook group called "I read Business 2.0 - and I want to keep reading" is trying to send a message to parent company Time Inc., which is considering halting publication...

By | July 19, 2007; 12:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Has Anyone Heard From Sony Lately?

As a tech geek, I love killing time in electronics stores or even just the electronics department at a Target or Wal-Mart. Knowing this, my wife offered to duck into the Sony Style store at Tysons Corner Center over the weekend, as we killed time waiting for a movie. Imagine...

By | July 18, 2007; 06:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Avoiding the Beltway on Online Maps

I love stumbling upon new features on the Web, especially when they're enhancements to online services I already use regularly - like online maps. I had been mapping out a route for my wife to from our home in Montgomery County to downtown Washington. But all of the routes were...

By | July 17, 2007; 10:53 AM ET | Comments (0)

Newspapering in the 21st Century

The Washington Post today launched My colleague Frank Ahrens wrote about it, quoting publisher Caroline Little, who called it part of the Post's online hyperlocal journalism. The site will be a combination of traditional and new-age news reporting, including blogging, video storytelling and extensive databases on community institutions...

By | July 16, 2007; 11:38 AM ET | Comments (0)

Web Radio: 48 Hours to Black Sunday

I must admit that I'm kind of anxious to know what's going to happen to my favorite Internet radio streams on Sunday. Yesterday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to halt an increase in royalty and broadcasting fees that are scheduled to take effect on Sunday. The buzz among...

By | July 13, 2007; 01:32 PM ET | Comments (22)

Is the iPhone Really a Threat?

I stumbled upon the headline, "iPhone a True Threat to Windows Mobile" on the blogosphere the other day and couldn't help but chuckle a bit. How can the iPhone be a threat when millions of us can't even use it because we're not AT&T Wireless customers? Personally, I'm not in...

By | July 12, 2007; 05:00 PM ET | Comments (34)

The Future of Television Has Arrived

The news this morning that TiVo and Amazon have teamed to allow a direct download of Amazon Unbox movies to TiVo units - eliminating the computer as part of the transaction - marks a step toward the future of television. The days of a signal coming in to the living...

By | July 10, 2007; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (9)

Facebook Popularity Soars

Facebook is all the rage, according to Web traffic numbers that were released by Comscore this week. The number of unique visitors rose 89 percent in May, compared to the same month a year earlier, a result largely attributed to the opening of the site to anyone, not just students,...

By | July 6, 2007; 01:47 PM ET | Comments (4)

Is Your Boss A Pirate?

The Business Software Alliance, an organization representing the nation's software manufacturers, is calling on employees to turn in employers who are using unlicensed software. They're even dangling a $1 million reward as an incentive. The alliance launched its rewards program back in the fall of 2005 and said it has...

By | July 5, 2007; 02:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

iPhone. Worth It or Not?

OK - I know you're probably growing tired of iPhone coverage. But I just had to share the news. I finally had a few minutes to play with one. Ooooh. Our own technology columnist Rob Pegoraro brought his demo unit into the office this week that he used to hammer...

By | July 5, 2007; 09:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Teen Cell Phone Usage Soars in Summer

Hey parents, be sure to keep a close eye on your cellphone bills this summer. A Disney Mobile "Cell and Tell" survey released this week found that cellphone usage among 10-17 year-olds jumps by more than an hour a day in the summer, to more than three hours and 45...

By | July 2, 2007; 02:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

iPhone Fever Lights Up Blogs

The iPhone is here! The iPhone is here! In case you missed it, today is the day that Apple's iPhone arrives. If you're like me -- a daily reader of way too many blogs -- you know there was no way you could miss this news. Over at Valleywag, a...

By | June 29, 2007; 03:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

How Do You Use Your Phone?

The way you use your cellphone is changing rapidly. Now, Nielsen, the company that analyzes how we watch television, is getting into the business of tracking how we use our mobile phones. Yesterday, the company announced plans to acquire Telephia, a private San Francisco company that tracks just about everything...

By | June 28, 2007; 09:33 AM ET | Comments (0)

Look Out For The Street View Camera

If you're out on the streets, be on the lookout for Google's Street View camera. You might recall that Google launched a Street View perspective in Google maps a couple of weeks ago, a version of the map that gives you a sense of actually physically being there. That's literally...

By | June 12, 2007; 09:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

AOL's New Web Mail

Our neighbors over at AOL stopped by the other day to demonstrate the new look of its Web mail service, which recently went through a facelift. It's a nice look - but not terribly different from what Yahoo and Microsoft have done with their revamped versions of free Web mail....

By | June 11, 2007; 02:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Calendar Add-ons

I'm hardly the diehard NBA fan. For me, there are far too many games to track during the season. (Football. 17 weeks. One game per team per week. That's my speed.) But now that the NBA Finals are here - it's time to start paying attention. (Yeah, I'm one of...

By | June 8, 2007; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Bowie, McCartney and Now Prince

Maybe the recording industry finally is getting hip to the idea that music lovers want to listen and buy on their terms. This week, the first single off Prince's new "Planet Earth" album, due out this summer, was made available through the Song ID service for Verizon Wireless VCast customers....

By | June 6, 2007; 05:32 PM ET | Comments (2)

Apple iPhone. June 29.

The TV ads make it official. Just as Apple promised - June. There's been a lot of excitement around it and it appears to be something of a breakthrough, a touch-screen phone and iPod. Reminder that it's available only through AT&T (remember that multi-year agreement between the Apple and then-Cingular.)...

By | June 4, 2007; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (16)

Mobile Quake Warnings

I've often joked with folks on the East Coast that, as a native Californian who recently transplanted to D.C., I'd rather not know when a natural disaster is heading my way. It's like the moment right before a car accident - you tense up and try to prepare yourself but...

By | May 31, 2007; 11:54 AM ET | Comments (0)

Facebook Traffic Jam

Apparently, the highway out to the beach wasn't the only big traffic jam this weekend - a number of companies who developed new applications for Facebook Platform, which was announced late last week and got quite a lot of coverage, also got slammed with users wanting to download and install...

By | May 29, 2007; 03:17 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Rough May for XM Radio

May was a pretty rough month for XM Satellite Radio, given the reasons it was put under the spotlight. Of course, there's the proposed merger with Sirius and the scrutiny that Congress is putting on it. This week, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis), who heads the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, urged...

By | May 25, 2007; 05:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

American Idol + FOX + TiVo = Rage

FURIOUS is the only way to express how my wife felt at the end of last night's "American Idol" - and it had nothing to do with who won and who lost. She sat down to watch the show on our DirecTV TiVo DVR last night - not when the...

By | May 24, 2007; 02:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

The New Technorati

Technorati, which made a name for itself as the Google of the blogosphere, introduced a new look today. Why? As Technorati founder and CEO Dave Sifry noted on his own blog entry this morning, "The world has changed." It used to be that we'd go to a sites like Technorati...

By | May 23, 2007; 02:30 PM ET | Comments (1)

Hey, XM. Problem Solved Yet?

Like many of you, I found an e-mail from XM Radio in my inbox this morning. The company wanted to tell me - the subscriber, not the reporter at the Post - that there were some problems with service. Um, yeah, thanks. I already knew that... Here's what I know...

By | May 22, 2007; 11:55 AM ET | Comments (28)

Who's to Blame - XM or O&A?

Radio shock jocks Opie & Anthony could have left well enough alone when they apologized for making inappropriate comments about Queen Elizabeth II, First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice on their XM Satellite Radio show last week. XM, after all, is a satellite radio service that...

By | May 18, 2007; 05:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Amazon to Sell DRM-Free Music

Amazon this morning announced plans to launch an online music store filled with mp3 tracks that are free of anti-piracy software. The store won't launch until later this year and, as of now, it looks as if only one of the big record labels - EMI - will make its...

By | May 16, 2007; 12:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cuban Wants Your HD Ideas. But Just the Good Ones.

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban wants your ideas for a new HD show - just don't let them have anything to do with poker, sports or reality talent shows, a la American Idol. The founder of HDNet (and owner of the Dallas Mavericks) said on his blog yesterday that he's tired...

By | May 15, 2007; 02:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

Driving While Texting Crackdown

Who among us hasn't hammered out a quick "stuck in traffic, be there asap" on the BlackBerry or cell phone while sitting behind the wheel? In Washington state, that's a $101 DWT - Driving While Texting - starting Jan. 1. The state's governor signed the ban into law on Friday,...

By | May 14, 2007; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Web Radio Debate Continues

When it comes to Internet radio, everyone agrees on one point - the idea has grown quite a bit in recent years. An estimated 52 million people listened to Internet radio at least once a month in 2006 and it's predicted that that number will double within three years and...

By | May 11, 2007; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

Hill-icon Valley

Some of the hottest companies in Silicon Valley made the trek up to Capitol Hill this morning to tell the members of the House subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet about what they're doing with cutting-edge technology and where they see the future. The hearing was a fifth in a...

By | May 10, 2007; 02:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

Protect Kids or Protect Identities?

Here's the dilemma: In a virtual world, where a 14-year-old can pretend to be 40 or, worse yet, a 40-year-old can pretend to be 14, how do you protect the innocent? That's an issue that could be facing Second Life, the popular adults-only virtual world that has a growing number...

By | May 7, 2007; 06:40 PM ET | Comments (6)

Farewell Yahoo Photos

Yahoo has announced that it will be closing its Yahoo Photo service, opting to devote its resources to the Web 2.0-ish photo-sharing site Flickr instead, which the company acquired two years ago. From a business perspective, the numbers make sense - Yahoo Photos has seen a steady decline in usage...

By | May 4, 2007; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (14)

Chatting Less; Texting More

A study by a British research company released this week found that the number of calls being placed on mobile phones is down, according to London's Daily Mail. At the same time, the number of text messages and emails being sent by mobile phone are up. The study found that...

By | May 3, 2007; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (1)

A Race to Personalize the Web

Google quietly put an "i" in front of its personalized home page yesterday, a subtle little move that sparked a buzz in the blogosphere. This, of course, is not to be confused with the clean and simple Google home page - which remains a simple design. This was a change...

By | May 1, 2007; 01:17 PM ET | Comments (9)

Neighborhood Blogging

I wrote a little story about the Shaw neighborhood of Washington over the weekend - a suddenly Web-famous section of the District because of the bloggers there who take pride in where they live. Last week, a Brooklyn company called named Shaw as one of the "bloggiest" neighborhoods in...

By | April 30, 2007; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Who's Watching HD?

Many of you may not realize that having a high-definition TV set doesn't mean you're watching High-Def TV.You need an HD antenna (or an HD receiver from your cable or satellite company) to pick up that crystal clear picture. The Consumer Electronics Association reports 28 million U.S. homes with HD...

By | April 27, 2007; 11:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Global Blackberry

It's always a little confusing when companies play Technology Alphabet Soup. So allow me to translate the importance of an announcement from Research In Motion this week about the new Blackberry for Verizon Wireless and Sprint-Nextel. In the U.S., Verizon and Sprint phones operate on a technology known as CDMA....

By | April 26, 2007; 03:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

For A Serious iPod Workout

It's no secret that the right set of tunes can make a workout feel less like work and more like fun. The iPod armband, which keeps your music player strapped to your arm during a run, was a handy little accessory that kept the iPod in place. Then came the...

By | April 25, 2007; 03:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

FON Cuts A Cable Deal

Competition in the public WiFi business appears to be heating up now that cities across the nation are creating public areas (downtown districts, areas around convention centers and, in some cases, whole cities) where people can wirelessly Web surf free of charge. My colleague, Tech Columnist Rob Pegoraro, points out...

By | April 24, 2007; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

When Is A Blackberry Not A Blackberry?

Could it be that the software that runs the Blackberry - the e-mail application, synchronization software and other tools - be more valuable that the device itself? Research in Motion, the maker of the popular Blackberry smartphone, said today that it will introduce software later this year for devices running...

By | April 23, 2007; 11:21 AM ET | Comments (7)

Forgive and Forget for RIM?

When you love someone, it's easier to forgive. Looking around Washington yesterday, as people were once again tapping out messages on their Blackberrys, it seems that many have moved on and forgiven Research In Motion for an all-night outage earlier this week. The company has taken some heat in the...

By | April 20, 2007; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (2)

A Friday Afternoon Laugh

Those zany folks at Google Maps sure do have a sense of humor. Ask for driving directions from New York (or Washington) to Paris, France and the detailed map will pop-up with basic turn-by-turn directions. Merge on to Atlantic Ave for 0.8 mi Turn right on Central St. for 0.1...

By | April 13, 2007; 04:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Gadget That Offers Less

It's not often that you see a new version of a tech gadget that markets itself as offering LESS. But T-Mobile is doing just that, stripping away the mp3 player, 1.3 megapixel camera and Bluetooth functionality in the new, lower-priced Sidekick iD. The Sidekick device is already popular among the...

By | April 13, 2007; 01:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Future of 9-1-1

There's a certain expectation that comes with dialing 9-1-1. It's the nation's panic button, a hotline to a helping hand when we need it most. But the system is aging or, rather, telecommunications technology is surpassing it quickly. A growing number of households have dropped the landline phone in favor...

By | April 12, 2007; 12:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

A New Way To Juice Up Your Mobile Phone

One of the reasons I have thousands - instead of just hundreds - of digital photos in my personal library is because my camera can be powered by standard, easy-to-find AA batteries. When the primary battery starts to lose juice, a couple of AA's in the camera bag is all...

By Sara Goo | March 30, 2007; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (2)

Tune Into Our Podcast On Thursdays

The inaugural Washington Post Technology Podcast launches today -- and our goal is to provide listeners with a closer look at the news and columns that you find in the Washington Post and on Download the podcast here. Fast Forward columnist Rob Pegoraro, left, and deputy technology editor Sam...

By | March 29, 2007; 01:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

When Candidates Ask, People Answer

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a story with Jose Antonio Vargas about the different ways technology and the Internet were impacting the way candidates in the 2008 President election were interacting with voters. Yahoo told me about the use of its Answers service becoming a popular way for...

By | March 28, 2007; 01:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Winners of the You Tube Awards

This morning, YouTube announced the winners of their inaugural YouTube Awards - and, as expected, these are mostly just ordinary people (who have since gained some celebrity status) doing wacky and creative things with the Webcams and camcorders rolling. Last week, when NBC and News Corp. announced an online video...

By | March 26, 2007; 11:59 AM ET | Comments (0)

The World of Widgets

If you've ever checked out a page on MySpace or Facebook or one of the other customizable Internet hot spots where teenagers and college students hang out, you've likely seen "the widgets." These are the little add-on items that litter Web pages. YouTube videos are among the most easy to...

By | March 22, 2007; 08:37 AM ET | Comments (2)

You've Got Voice Mail

For many people - myself included - there's something intriguing about automatically sending voice mail messages to my inbox and then clicking a mouse to listen, instead of going through the "Press 1 to do this," "Press 2 to do that" commands. Voice mail is one of those things you...

By | March 20, 2007; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (4)

Snail Mail E-Mail

It was deja vu for me the other day when I received a pitch from a company called Document Command about a service called Remote Control Mail. Years ago, I used a service called Paytrust, which basically converted my paper bills into a digital format so I could view them...

By | March 19, 2007; 12:08 PM ET | Comments (3)

Playing The Election Game

I spent most of yesterday at George Washington University for the Politics Online Conference, co-sponsored by Google and Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive - the Web site of the Washington Post that is a separate company from the newspaper. The focus of the two-day conference, which continues today, is about the influence of...

By | March 16, 2007; 03:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Play Fetch or PlayStation?

It's easy to point a finger at video games when we're looking for a scapegoat to some of society's woes - obesity, violent tendencies, lack of social interaction. But can we really blame the GameBoy or the Wii for a decline in pet ownership? When the Australian Companion Animals Council...

By | March 8, 2007; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Blogs, Blogs, Everywhere

Could Web logs be headed for a slowdown - even when there's still 99 million of them that I haven't had a chance to read? I remember first reading a while back that the number of blogs was set to peak sometime in the middle of 2007 but was reminded...

By | March 6, 2007; 12:05 PM ET | Comments (7)

Best Buy's Pricing Problems

Best Buy is answering questions from the Connecticut Attorney General because of its alleged use of an internal Web site that lists higher prices for electronics than advertised on the World Wide Web. Consumers complained that the lower prices they saw on the Web site were suddenly higher when employees...

By | March 6, 2007; 08:04 AM ET | Comments (25)

A FON way to challenge Starbucks

A European tech company called FON thinks it's only fair that you should be able to use your home Internet connection in places other than, well, your home. The company sells a special WiFi router that has two "channels" - a private one for your personal home use and a...

By | February 22, 2007; 11:08 AM ET | Comments (9)

Should Microsoft Be Scared?

A report from Nielsen//NetRatings this week found that Google Docs and Spreadsheets is leading the market in the online productivity tools space - which so far isn't saying much, given how these Web-based programs are still in their infancy. From October to December, the number of unique visitors remained mostly...

By | February 21, 2007; 10:37 AM ET | Comments (9)

What is the RIAA's take on DRM?

Shortly after Steve Jobs put out the call for record labels to eliminate the need for Digital Rights Management software, the Recording Industry Association of America sent us a statement, reacting to the essay. First, a quick recap: In Jobs essay, he also noted an alternative idea where Apple would...

By | February 7, 2007; 11:27 AM ET | Comments (14)

RIP LifeDrive

Palm quietly pulled the plug on the LifeDrive last week, in case you missed it. It went away quietly, upstaged by its sturdy cousin, the Treo Smartphone. I remember seeing a demo of Lifedrive over at the PalmOne offices back in Silicon Valley. It had an impressive lineup of features...

By | February 6, 2007; 02:09 AM ET | Comments (1)

Apple's Advisory - Part II

WOW. I think that last posting, the one about Apple's advisory against upgrading to Windows Vista, hit a nerve. Thanks so much for your input. I'm thrilled that so many of you are reading the blog. A couple of quick thoughts, if I may: I use both Windows and Mac...

By | February 5, 2007; 06:34 PM ET | Comments (86)

Apple knows how to use the news

Some companies seem to be wise to the PR game. Consider the Apple "advisory" that went out late last week. The company is telling consumers that use its iTunes software that they should hold off on buying a new Windows Vista computer because the iTunes software might not be compatible...

By | February 5, 2007; 08:48 AM ET | Comments (77)

Mobilizing Google Calendar

A while back, I jumped into the Google Calendar world - and brought a handful of people with me. Of course, I have my own calendar, where I note various meetings, lunch dates and birthdays. My wife and I share a separate calendar where we mostly note activties for the...

By | January 31, 2007; 12:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

A WTWP Recap of Tech Week

I spoke with Washington Post Radio this morning to talk about some of the hottest topics to come out of Tech Week, including the short-lived honeymoon of the new iPhone announced by Apple this week. Listen to the clip by clicking here....

By | January 11, 2007; 04:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Welcome to Tech Week

This week, the Post I.T. blog becomes home to continuous news updates from Las Vegas, where the International Consumer Electronics Show is getting ready to open. Along the way, we'll be keeping you posted on announcements out of Macworld in San Francisco, as well. The Post's Yuki Noguchi and Rob...

By | January 7, 2007; 03:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Shopping for Techies

Things have been relatively quiet in tech news this week -- hey, it's Thanksgiving week, what did you expect? The biggest job on my plate this week is putting together the annual technology gift guide, which will appear in this Sunday's Post. A self-described gadget geek, I'm always leery of...

By | November 21, 2006; 05:38 PM ET | Comments (17)

How Smart is This Phone?

I picked up a Treo 700p the other day - a used one I found on Craigslist, no less, because Verizon was slightly ridiculous about the amount of money I had to pay for an upgrade. But that's a story for another time. Palm's Treo 700p (Courtesy Palm) I resisted...

By | October 25, 2006; 03:30 PM ET | Comments (10)

Blogger Profile: Sam Diaz

Sam Diaz has been The Washington Post's Assistant Technology Editor since August 2005. He is new to the Washington region, relocating from Silicon Valley, where he spent eight years as a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News. For five years, he covered consumer technology writing about companies such as...

By Editors | October 18, 2006; 12:45 PM ET | Comments (0)


© 2009 The Washington Post Company