Stories by Mike Elgan

This is why Amazon will open physical bookstores

Opening physical bookstores is the best idea Amazon has had since the creation of Amazon Prime.

Virtual assistants: They're made out of people

The responses from virtual assistants are far more human than most of us assume. In fact, every response is carefully crafted by a person or a team of people.

Photographic memory made easy

Lifelogging used to be an obscure area of geek research. Now you're doing it every day. Here's how to lifelog even better.

How Google's Project Tango will change your life

Project Tango is a Google platform for giving phones and tablets a sense of space, and it's going to radically change how people use their mobile devices.

Here comes 'Desktopgeddon'

The public believes the desktop Internet is better, but in reality the opposite is now true.

Social media addiction is a bigger problem than you think

Social networks are massively addictive -- by design -- which makes it really hard for users to break their online habits.

This is why tech toys are dangerous

Toys are dangerous. I'm not talking about toys with sharp edges, toxic materials or parts that constitute a choking hazard. I'm talking about hacking -- a new threat to the safety of children. Last week, the risk got real.

6 nerd words everybody gets wrong

The language of technology is a moving target. As the technology changes, so do the usage models, business models and behaviors associated with it. So do the words.

Google+ gets the pivot of the year

Google transforms its everything-for-everyone social network into a site that does one thing really well -- connecting supernerds.

Facebook turned your lock screen into the new Twitter

Facebook's new app uses notifications on your lock screen as a 'newspaper.' And so the war over lock screen real estate begins.

Why email is a better virtual assistant

Google is inventing something better than Siri, Cortana, Alexa or even Google Now. It's email with a virtual assistant that uses artificial intelligence to help you out.

Why virtual reality is the next social network

The first mainstream social virtual world came into existence last week. Oculus VR, the virtual reality company owned by Facebook, released an app called the Oculus Social alpha. But even as we gather and interact in virtual worlds, will VR really bring us together or just isolate us more?

You are your smartphone

Welcome to the new identity. An increasing number of services don't care about your password, your signature or even your mailing address. If you've got the authenticated phone, you're you.

Why your gadgets sound so good

Have you noticed how great technology sounds these days? There's a reason for that.

10 new words you need to know in Silicon Valley

As mobile and consumer technology alters our lives, new coinages bubble up in the social networks to capture and express how people live. Here are 10 new words you need to know in order to describe the culture of Silicon Valley as well as the culture changes the valley is bringing into existence.