Last updateFri, 18 Jan 2019 11am

Google blocks Spanish news in response to laws targeted at ‘aggregators’

Happy New Year 2015 is not starting out as such a Feliz Año Nuevo for many Spanish speakers around the world.  Two weeks ago Google announced the shutdown of news reporting in Spain due to a new law that went into into effect January 1 in the Iberian nation.  Google now omits news reports originating from Spanish publishers from appearing in more than 70 Google News international editions due to the new law requiring aggregators to pay if they link content.

Dropping laptops on the floor: bargain-basement vs. more costly products

The column appearing here a few weeks ago brought several email responses to my inbox.  I hesitate to refer to them as hostile, but it is clear to see that some readers of the Reporter do not agree with my assessment of the quality of computer hardware being sold today.  Obviously there are some people who are kidding themselves into believing they can pay as little as US$300 for a new laptop computer and that it will be equal in quality to one costing US$5,000.  In the real world that kind of wishful thinking only leads to disappointment.  Since one reader went so far as to question my sources I would like to take this opportunity to provide some specific attribution.

Making headlines in 2014: internet growth, streaming video & machines taking over

It has become an end-of-year tradition for me to devote this column to a look back at the year just past to recap some of the noteworthy happenings in the world of Information Technology.  2014 failed to record any seismic events equaling the magnitude of last year’s revelations of government eavesdropping, yet there were a few stories that made headlines on those tech news sites followed by so many techies like me in the IT industry.

Getting the most from your Mac keyboard

While more than 90 percent of the world’s personal computers run on Microsoft Windows Operating Systems, Mac computers have more than doubled in popularity over the last decade.

Buying computers: Can you pay little and get a lot?

A quote often attributed to John Ruskin says, “There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.  The person who buys on price alone is this man’s lawful prey.”  It astounds me to realize this far-sighted 19th century English author, poet, art and social critic knew so much about the 21st century computer industry.

Datacenters: the heart of the Internet that Google et al prefer to keep secret

I really do love some of the questions thrown at me by friends, clients, and readers of this column.  A good one I recently fielded is “Where is the Internet actually located?”  Some people might be inclined to respond to that with a religious analogy, because it seems like the internet is everywhere at once; but that answer really does not work for me.  The internet is a physical reality made up of computer hardware in our world.

Facebook & death: ‘memorialized profiles’

This is the week Mexico celebrates Day of the Dead, that most colorful of all holidays.  And every year about this time I always seem to notice some news article reported on the computer/technical news sites I follow that is at least tangentially related to death and dying. This year will be no exception.