Happy 100th Birthday, Consumer Technology Business

Celebrating the 100th birthday of the consumer technology industry with the story behind how and why our business came to be and of those responsible for creating it, in five parts:

Part 1: The Wireless Age

Part 2: A National Priority

Part 3: A Pittsburgh Radio Sensation

Part 4: The Birth of a Business

Part 5: “When The Public Is Ready For Mass Demand”

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How the Consumer Technology Industry Was Born

What we now call the consumer technology industry was born November 30, 1920, when the first consumer electronics product, the two-piece RA-DA, the first commercially produced radio designed for the mass market, rolled off the Westinghouse assembly line in East Pittsburgh. After a two-year period of hectic technological, business and legislative/regulatory developments following the end of World War I, the Westinghouse RA-DA and the entire radio industry emerged, becoming the dominant consumer technology product for three decades. On the centennial of our industry, let’s take a look at the events of 1919-1920 that cleared the way for the future.

Part 1: The Day Radio Died

Part 2: How the Consumer Technology Industry Was Almost Never Born

Part 3: How President Wilson Shaped the Airways

Part 4: Happy 100th Birthday To The Consumer Technology Industry

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The Best New iOS 15 Features

Under normal circumstances, I’d advise waiting before downloading Apple’s latest operating system until after its first update – there’s always something that goes a little bit haywire in the first release that needs patching. But there haven’t been any reports of problems with the first release of iOS 15, so feel free to dive right in.

Read the rest of this report at Techlicious.com here.

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10 Reasons to Upgrade to iPhone 13 (and 5 Reasons Not to Bother)

Once more, iPhone owners face their annual dilemma: to upgrade or not to upgrade to one of this year’s four new iPhone 13 models – the Pro Max (starting at $1,099), the Pro ($999), the plain iPhone 13 ($799), or the Mini ($699). While there’s no one must-have feature that will drive you to upgrade, there are ten good reasons to consider upgrading to an iPhone 13 from your current iPhone, even an iPhone 12.  There are also five reasons NOT to trade up to an iPhone 13 and just wait a year until the iPhone 14 is announced.

Rear the rest of this report at Techlicious.com here.

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Your 2025 Smartphone

With apologies to Zager and Evans (look ’em up), in 2025, I will surely be supremely embarrassed. Someone—maybe even me—will dig up this column, read my fearless predictions of what smartphones will look like and how they will function in that year, and find them to be (hysterically) wrong. Or—maybe I’ll be hailed a genius, a modern Nostradamus sans quatrains. Who knows? Regardless, here goes nothing.

Rear the rest of this prognostication here at Digital Tech Consulting.

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Can/Should the Internet Be Regulated?

Trolling. Phishing. Online scams. Dark web. Identity theft. Click bait. Ransomware. Spyware. Adware. Malware. Cyber attacks. Zero day attacks. Trojan horses. User data tracking, collection and selling. Algorithm amplification and manipulation. Election hacking. Deep fakes. Anonymity.

The growing misuse and outright lawlessness of the internet makes the wild west look like an unruly kindergarten class.

But what to do?

Read the rest of this rumination here at Digital Technology Consulting’s Weekly Riff.

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Face-Off: Noise-Canceling True Wireless Earbuds

What the world needs now is active noise-canceling (ANC) true wireless earbuds. ANC buds meet the needs of the moment by providing a way to boost audio quality during Zoom calls while simultaneously isolating us against intrusive environmental factors (remote-schooled kids, other work-from-home adults, etc.). And fortunately for us all, they are getting better-sounding, more feature-packed, and less expensive.

Read the rest of this review roundup here at Sound & Vision.

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11 New Features that Will Make Your Apple Devices More Useful

Enhanced security and privacy, increased interoperability between Apple devices, and more intelligent apps are coming to all Apple devices this fall. Many of these new features and capabilities will work across iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and macOS Monterey (macOS 12) when the new operating systems roll out this fall. Here are our 11 favorite new features.

Read the complete list here at Techlicious.com.

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Echo and Ring Owners Need to Opt Out of Amazon’s Invasive WiFi Sharing

Starting June 8, 2021, Amazon Echo and Ring video doorbell owners will automatically begin sharing their WiFi home network with other Amazon device owners as part of a new “feature” called Amazon Sidewalk. Sidewalk, which was first announced in September 2019, apportions a small piece of all Amazon Echo or Ring device’s wireless connections and pools them together “to create a network that benefits all Sidewalk-enabled devices in a community.”

Read the rest of this report here at Techlicious.

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The 9 Best Inkjet Printers for Business in 2021

Inkjet printers are ideal for businesses with less demanding printing work but have photo and other heavy color art and graphics reproduction needs. Inkjet photo-printing superiority, an aspect even the best laser printers find challenging, is handy for operations such as for real estate agencies, car dealerships, galleries, and more. 

Read the rest of this review roundup here at Investopedia.

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The 9 Best Laser Printers for Business in 2021

There’s a perception that laser printers are conspicuously more expensive than their inkjet counterparts and are, therefore, unaffordable for thrifty small and mid-sized businesses. On the contrary, however, laser printers not only represent a huge price premium over inkjets, but they are also better for many businesses on a budget with heavy printing needs. Laser printers produce more professional-looking documents and are cheaper to operate long term thanks to far lower per-page costs than inkjet models.  

Read the rest of this review roundup here at Investopedia.

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9 Features to Try in iOS 14.5

Usually, the significant upgrades to iOS and iPadOS roll out in the fall, like with iOS 14 and iPad OS 14. However, iOS and iPadOS 14.5 became available yesterday and include fixes to some major annoyances. Here are the top 9 features to take advantage of in iOS and iPadOS 14.5.

See this list of features here at Techlicious.com.

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