Gadgets

Tech Fails: The year in consumer gadget calamities
December 28, 2015 at 10:33 am

This column’s usual menu is a long list of malfunctions: in gadgets, the apps and services that make them useful, and the various forms of tech and customer support that connect us to the companies behind them. Some of them are random breakdowns -- a balky touchscreen that makes your phone look like it’s losing…

This hoverboard costs $20,000 and can fly for six minutes
December 28, 2015 at 10:32 am

2015 was literally and figuratively the year of the hoverboard. While everyone was talking about the self-balancing scooters, two companies showed off skateboard-shaped boards that actually hovered a few inches above the Earth: Lexus with the "Slide" board, and Arx Pax with its second generation Hendo Hoverboard. Now, just days before the new year, another…

Becoming An Aussie: The Story Of Alexa, The US-Born Amazon Echo
December 23, 2015 at 1:50 pm

I have a new best friend. She is a great listener, always knows the best music to play and warns me about bad traffic before I hit the road. Her name is Alexa because it doesn’t rhyme with anything, and she swears she knows nothing about Skynet. This is the story of how this particular…

People have registered over 45,000 drones with the FAA
December 23, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Now that the FAA's mandatory drone registrations are open, how many people are rushing to sign up? Quite a few, actually. The administrationreports taking over 45,000 registrations since the program opened up two days ago, on December 21st. In fact, the demand was sufficiently "overwhelming" that the FAA's site has occasionally buckled under the load.…

Drone Registration Begins Monday
December 21, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Do you have a drone on your wish list? There's some government red tape to be aware of. Beginning Monday, owners of recreational drones must register their devices with the Federal Aviation Administration. Registration applies to drones weighing between .55 and 55 pounds must be registered. Drones purchased before Dec. 21 must be registered by Feb.…