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Rick Robinson

Rick Robinson

Writer
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I am a freelance writer with interests ranging from the tech industry to transportation, space travel, and science fiction and fantasy writing.

Articles by Rick Robinson

Microsoft Surface Pro Price Lower Than Expected

Microsoft has announced the official pricing of its Microsoft Surface Pro tablet device, which unlike its Surface RT cousin, runs a full version of Windows 8. And starting at $899, the price is not cheap, but it is less than ...

Google Play Picking Up App Traction

Google's online app store has a long ways to go to catch up to the Apple App store, but it is gaining ground. While iOS app sales still outpace Android apps by four to one, Google Play sales expanded fourfold ...

Google Play Just Says "No" to Anonymous Reviews

Google's online store, Google Play, is putting an end to anonymous reviews. Going forward, reviews will be linked to Google+ accounts, thus attaching a user identity to each review. For small and midsize businesses - and their prospective customers - ...

Facebook Policy Changes Trigger Another Privacy Controversy

One thing that Facebook's IPO earlier this year has not changed is the company's ability to generate controversy. Once again, changes in Facebook policy are stirring up the hornets' nest of privacy advocates. Facebook is ending users' right to vote ...

Gmail Attachments Get a Boost From Google Drive

Gmail users who want to send large attachments - as in up to 10 gigabytes - are getting some help from the cloud. To be specific, such giga-attachments are supported by the integration of Google's cloud storage service, Google Drive, ...

Mozilla Firefox 18 Claims IonMonkey Boosts JavaScript Speed

Mozilla Firefox 18, the latest version of the browser, features a just-in-time (JIT) JavaScript compiler, IonMonkey, that is supposed to boost JavaScript speed by more than a quarter. It also provides support for Apple's Retina screen. And it has a ...

Red Hat Takes on PaaS Market

Red Hat has thrown its hat into the ring of the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) market. It claims that its OpenShift PaaS service is equally suitable for private clouds running on a firm's own premises or for a cloud provider's data center.From ...

Google Hoax: When Rumors Go Viral

It was a news story that got the tech world's attention: Google was going to buy Wi-Fi provider ICOA for $400 million. It was a story all right, but it wasn't news, because as it turned out, it wasn't happening. ...

iPhone 5 Sales Power Apple Past Android

Over the summer, Apple sales lagged as consumers waited for the newest Latest and Greatest. But now Apple is enjoying the fruits of patience. iPhone 5 sales have pushed Apple ahead of Android in the U.S. smartphone market.For the IT ...

Supercomputer Resilience and the Challenge of Complexity

The good news is that supercomputers are faster and more powerful than ever. The bad news is that they are more prone to hardware failures. And, unfortunately, the good news and bad news are directly related to one another. Top-end ...

Apple versus Android: A Contrast in Usage Patterns

Android has blasted past Apple to become the dominant mobile technology in terms of total devices sold. Even in the tablet segment, Android is at the point of surpassing the iPad. But when it comes to actual online activity, the ...

Windows 8 Patch Problem Emerges

Microsoft Windows 8 may well be the future of basic business computing. But it is having its share of teething problems, many of which center around an unfamiliar user interface (UI). A buggy Windows 8 patch is the latest problem ...

Microsoft Store Draws Mixed Black Friday Results

The headlines make it sound like Redmond is taking yet another beating: On Black Friday, a Microsoft store had 47-percent less foot traffic than a nearby Apple Store. But that could be better news for Microsoft than meets the eye.And ...

Ubuntu 12.10 Takes on Windows 8

The Windows 8 debut - the thrills, chills, and spills - has been dominating the tech news. But Canonical, which released Ubuntu 12.10 "Quantal Quetzal" just a week earlier, is not standing still. Instead, Canonical is pushing back, brashly taking ...

BlackBerry Crashes With National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has become the latest federal agency to abandon the RIM BlackBerry as its standard mobile device. It is shifting over to the iPhone instead. The move is the latest incident in what seems to ...

Windows 8 UI: The Empire Strikes Back

The Windows 8 UI (user interface) has taken a beating from some analysts, who criticize it for imposing a steep learning curve even on experienced Windows users. But other industry observers have stepped up to argue that this is the ...

Linux Users Face Rootkit Threat

Open source technology offers some important advantages for the IT community at midsize firms. It means freedom from large vendors and full access to the tools you are working with. But one thing open source does not provide is immunity ...

Mozilla Firefox Ditches 64-bit Development

With a (natural) minimum of fanfare, Mozilla has abandoned development of a 64-bit version of its popular Mozilla Firefox browser. Nightly builds of the 64-bit version were apparently adding headaches for Firefox developers. But for the IT community at midsize ...

Email Security: Warrantless Surveillance Bid Dropped

Chalk up one small win for email security and privacy. A proposal to expand warrantless email surveillance has been abandoned by the senator who proposed it. For the IT community at midsize firms (and other email users), this is a ...

US Cyber-War Against France?

Cyber-war is a fact of the contemporary world. It has had its most dramatic expression in the Stuxnet worm attack against Iranian nuclear centrifuges. But cyber-conflict remains exceptionally murky, as demonstrated by claims in a French magazine that the US ...