August 2nd, 2012
02:53 PM ET

Openness and the Opening Ceremony

"This is for everyone."

That was the tweet from Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee which was displayed to the world during the London Olympics opening ceremony.

I spoke to Berners-Lee about his commitment to a World Wide Web that is both open and accessible. Although he defended the removal of unauthorized online video by the International Olympics Committee, he didn't mince words about countries where active online censorship takes place.

Berners-Lee said, "Censorship is generally a bad thing. Weak governments worry they need to control information."

July 17th, 2012
10:36 AM ET

Open letter to Marissa Mayer

Getty Images

Dear Marissa Mayer:

First off - congrats on a double dose of incredible life-changing news!

I know you're incredibly busy adjusting to life after Google, cranking up your new CEO gig at Yahoo!, and finalizing your go-bag for the birth of your son in October. But please consider a few thoughts from a well-intended geek mom and journalist.


March 25th, 2012
10:24 PM ET

Kickstarter: Crowdsourcing cash

Behind every great product is... money. Yes, you need a good idea. But without the cash to turn it into reality, it's just an idea.

That's where Kickstarter comes in.


March 7th, 2012
02:23 PM ET

Did a Chinese blogger leak the next Apple tablet?


Well ahead of today's expected launch of the latest iPad, one Chinese tech blog claims to already know what it looks like.

Over the weekend, Hong Kong-based MIC Gadget released this video of what it says are authentic supplier parts of the new Apple device. The blog's 21-year-old founder Chris Chang says the components reveal a bigger camera, thicker case and more tapered edges for the next-generation tablet.

But how did a young Chinese blogger apparently scoop Apple with an early exposé of the new tablet?

Chang tells me he scored the alleged leak by working his supplier contacts in Shenzhen, China.

October 24th, 2011
02:17 PM ET

Steve Jobs: new biography, new video, new revelations

For Apple watchers and fans of Steve Jobs, there's a lot to digest today.

There's the just-released official biography by Walter Isaacson, new audio recordings of Steve Jobs on "60 Minutes," and and a video of Apple's memorial for the late co-founder.

Apple has released the video of its company-wide service. Available on Apple.com, it's simply called "A Celebration of Steve's Life."

In it, Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals Jobs' parting advice to him: "Don't ask what I would do. Don't ask what I would want. Just do what's right."

The official biography is now available for download via iTunes and Kindle. And already, some juicy highlights are getting posted online.

Here is an excerpt (h/t Danny Sullivan) about a shouting match between Steve Jobs and Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Jobs tried to dissuade them from developing the Android operating system.

In fact, he offered Google guaranteed iPhone access and home screen icons to NOT develop Android.

And finally, there's the "60 Minutes" interview with Jobs' official biographer Walter Isaacson (a former chief of CNN). He conducted over 40 interviews with Steve Jobs over two years, and has just released some of the audio recordings from those interviews.

One remarkable story is how Steve Jobs accidentally met his biological father at a Mediterranean restaurant in Silicon Valley. Not knowing the tech titan was his own son, Abdulfattah John Jandali had boasted that Jobs "was a great tipper."

Steve Jobs said he shook hands with Mr. Jandali and that was it. The two men never spoke again.

October 24th, 2011
11:10 AM ET

AsiaD & Start-up Saturday: the News Stream download!

I am never an early riser.

Well, except for special occasions, and last Thursday was indeed a very special occasion.


Because the first-ever “All Things D” conference – AsiaD – kicked off in Hong Kong from Oct 19th to 21st, marking a significant milestone in the region’s digital history. For the non-geeks out there, “All Things D” conference is one of the largest and most prestigious technology conventions in the world. Organized by two of the most respected tech columnists, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, the conference brings together top-tier innovative and successful business pioneers as well as technology titans with an exclusive preview of industry trends.

Enough adjectives there?

Past conference speakers have included Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, and AsiaD’s line-up featured a mix of Asian and Western tech luminaries including Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey and hometown hero Jack Ma from Alibaba Group.

Even though I didn’t get to sit through the entire programme (of course work comes first! Disclaimer: my boss reads this), I was fortunate enough to tweet-spam the first few sessions when Walt spoke to Yahoo Co-Founder Jerry Yang, ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih, among other guests. You can review all the conference-related tweets at “#AsiaD”.

For me, one noteworthy highlight from last Thursday’s morning session was the amazing “light field camera” demo by Lytro Chairman Charles Chi. The team unveiled the product in California only six hours before rushing to Hong Kong, and many reports have already coined it the “revolutionary new camera” for its ability to refocus images. Check out the company’s Living Pictures Gallery to grasp the concept.

Needless to say, a digital convention deserves a digitalized coverage, and without doubt, the team of talented and professional editors at All Things D truly defined the meaning of real-time, seamless online reporting. For more on the talks, speakers and demo at AsiaD, visit AllThingsD.

Although AsiaD concluded Friday afternoon as I obsessively refreshed my Twitter feed at work for updates, I slapped myself awake again on Saturday for another digital meet-up in Hong Kong – Startup Saturday 2011.

While D conferences occurred at the top level, local entrepreneurs are also organizing similar meet-ups in a growing grassroots movement. “Startup Saturday 2011” is a perfect testament for the booming entrepreneur community in Asia.

Co-organized by StartupsHK and BootHK, the one-day event attracted hundreds of startups, investors, developers and tech enthusiasts, including the “super angel investor” Dave McClure from 500 Startups.

AsiaD speaker AirBnB CEO Brain Chesky also made an appearance on stage as he shared his outlandish yet ingenious startup journey including selling “Obama-O” and “Captain McCains” cereals, and paying a personal visit to every single one of the early AirBnB users in New York.

Through roundtable discussions of both HK and US startups as well as an investor panel, I had quite an interactive crash course on the entrepreneurial scene in Asia. Take a look at the Twitter feed #SUS2011 for a detailed recap, and check out Jason Li’s live art notes of the entire conference.

August 26th, 2011
08:51 PM ET

Can Apple stay sweet beyond Jobs?

Getty Images


It's hard to imagine Apple without the iconic turtleneck-clad figure of Steve Jobs at the helm. It's a future that will soon be upon us.

I've spent the last day crossing Silicon Valley, balancing my iPhone and iPad, trying to get as clear a picture as possible as to what Apple will be like under Tim Cook. And the answer is: it won't change much ... at first.


August 25th, 2011
02:22 PM ET

"Stay hungry. Stay foolish." The impact of Steve Jobs on a CNN news team

Rarely is news of a CEO stepping down a worldwide trending, all-caps-making event. But it is when it's Steve Jobs.He led a company that transformed a vast array of businesses - personal computing, portable and online music, smarter mobile telephony and post-PC computing. He delivered a string of products that appealed to our emotions by focusing on the user experience and consumer happiness.

He even pioneered a retail experience that was shanzhai'd in China.

Anyone who's held an iPod has no doubt pressed a mental pause button today to consider an Apple without Steve Jobs. And yet, Steve Jobs has made an impact not only on consumers the world over, but producers as well - producers of business plans, even producers of one hour news bulletins.

In 2009, a colleague and I threw out a question. "If Steve Jobs produced a news show, what would it look like?"


March 29th, 2011
06:23 PM ET

Examining Baidu's unique culture

There was a time, maybe four or five years ago, where I thought to myself, "If I read another article about the Google cafeteria, I may have to throw my laptop across the room."  I admit we have an odd obsession with work life at the elite tech companies. Perhaps it is the fantasy that some day my office's mediocre vending machine that is filled with instant noodles and potato chips will metamorphosize into free, fresh salads and quesadillas for all.

When planning New Stream's week-long focus on the  internet in China, I realized that I had no idea what working at a Chinese  internet company was like. Did young college graduates in China dream of a job at Baidu or Tencent? Did the creativity that permeates places like Facebook apply to China's tech giants as well?

Well, CNN's Eunice Yoon went inside Baidu to find out. Check out her refreshing look at life as a worker-bee at a Chinese internet giant. By the way, she told me the canteen there was excellent.Try the hot pot.

[cnn-video url="http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/business/2011/03/29/yoon.china.baidu.workers.cnn"%5D
March 28th, 2011
01:55 PM ET

Behind the Great Firewall: China's 'first blogger' speaks out

The battle of Chinese censors to block political commentary on the internet is akin to "a snake swallowing its own tail," said Isaac Mao, an influential Chinese blogger.
[cnn-video url="http://cnn.com/video/?/video/tech/2011/03/28/issac.mao.intv.cnn"%5D

"I think the problem to the whole country is that if we censor more and more keywords, we will be stopping the country from more and more innovations," said Mao, considered China's "first blogger" and outspoken critic of his country's online censorship. "I described it as a snake swallowing its own tail because the snake is trying to find the food and attack, but eventually he found his own tail."


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