Friday

Friday Poll: What will the Web be like in 25 more years?

The Web turned 25 this week and the birthday celebrations have been full of memories and musings. Crave's Eric Mack put together a four-part series tracing his life through the Web, from his days as a teenage dial-up addict, through the dot-com boom and bust, to how the Web looks today.

It's been a wild ride so far, but where will the roller coaster take us next? There's been plenty of speculation on the future of the Web. Even though "Minority Report" came out back in 2002, it's still mentioned constantly as a model for immersive interactions with computers. Perhaps we'll all be flailing our hands about in the air as we interface with a Web that has pretty much the whole world under surveillance.… Read more

Friday Poll: Should Bitcoin be banned?

It's been a strange couple weeks in the realm of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that defies government regulation. The first US Bitcoin ATMs went into service, popular exchange Mt. Gox seized up, and Joe Manchin, a Democratic senator representing West Virginia, called for a US ban on Bitcoin.

In a letter sent to the Treasury Department and other federal regulators, the senator characterized Bitcoin as "highly unstable and disruptive to our economy." He calls for a complete ban in the US. The letter is more about drawing attention to Manchin's view of the issue, rather than anything that will result in regulatory action.… Read more

Friday Poll: Will you buy a Samsung Galaxy S5?

Few things in the smartphone realm can rival the madness around a new iPhone announcement, but the arrival of a new Galaxy definitely is a contender. Samsung has invited journalists to a Monday shindig at Mobile World Congress at which it's expected to spill the details on the upcoming Galaxy S5.

You can follow the proceedings on CNET's live blog and expect to get answers to pressing questions like whether it will have a fingerprint sensor and if it will come with a premium metal case option.… Read more

Friday Poll: How loyal are you to your phone brand?

Apple fans in the UK recently came out and admitted to having "blind loyalty" to their iPhones. Devotees of particular brands love to throw names at enthusiasts of other brands. You get terms like "Fandroids" and "Apple fanboys" tossed around as intended insults.

All that name-calling plays off the idea that some people are completely dedicated to a particular phone brand. For instance, this guy is already waiting in line for an iPhone 6, before he even knows the first thing about it...like whether or not it's a good buy for his … Read more

Friday Poll: Do you still use a desktop computer?

Sometimes it seems the death knell of the desktop computer has been getting louder and louder for years, yet the devices still hang around. They just won't be hanging around Sony any longer. The electronics giant announced that it's unloading the PC part of its business.

Sony's move is just the latest sign that the personal computing business has changed significantly in recent years as more and more customers spend more and more time on small mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.… Read more

Friday Poll: Which Samsung Galaxy S5 rumor do you most hope is real?

We appear to be ticking down to the inevitable release of the next Samsung flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5. That means we first have to wade through a froth of rumors well before the actual product ever gets announced (likely in March or April). When it comes to the S5, there are some fun possibilities on the table.

One suggestion is that there will be two versions, a plastic-body version and a premium metal-body version. That's potentially good news for fans of metal phones who like the durability.

Another interesting upgrade would be the rumored rapid-charging battery. Smartphone battery life is a big recurring complaint these days. If this rumor pans out, the S5 would have a 20 percent greater capacity in the same footprint as its predecessor, and it would also charge up in less than two hours.… Read more

Friday Poll: How careful are you about passwords?

It seems like everybody knows better about passwords, but not everybody behaves better. SplashData's list of the worst passwords of 2013 has given the easy-to-crack "123456" the crown as the most common bad password of last year. It took out rival (and equally bad) "password" to claim the throne.

The fact that this list exists is thanks to all those people who still use simple, hackable passwords despite repeated warnings to shape up and get complicated with those valuable strings of letters and numerals. It's not just a few people using passwords like "… Read more

Friday Poll: How concerned are you about Net neutrality?

Net neutrality took a punch to the gut this past week when a federal appeals court in Washington struck down the Federal Communication Commission's rules related to how broadband providers manage network traffic. The rules notably prevented providers from discriminating against certain types of traffic. For example, the rules would keep a provider from throttling Netflix speeds in order to promote its own competing streaming video service.

This could potentially create a bit of a Wild West feel on the Internet, with providers charging access fees or priority fees to insure companies like Netflix or Amazon can reach their customers seamlessly. There are a lot of "ifs" here, but mostly we'll have to wait and see what the broadband providers choose to do with their new-found power.… Read more

Friday Poll: What brought the heat at CES 2014?

CES 2014 is winding down, and it's been full of strange moments, celebrity appearances, and an unrelenting march of new Ultra HD and/or curved televisions.

Over the course of the week, some clear trends emerged at this annual tech takeover of Las Vegas -- some we expected, while others were a bit more surprising. Wearable technologies like new smartwatches and activity trackers dominated the show (they must be able to multiply as quickly as rabbits... or Bluetooth speakers, which appeared this year with a level of ubiquity previously met only by iPhone cases).

Unsurprisingly, 4K televisions could also … Read more

Friday Poll: What's your most-anticipated tech item of 2014?

Forget 2013. Forget about the iPhone 5S and the Galaxy S4. What have you done for me lately, tech world? 2014 could be the year when expected products like the consumer edition of Google Glass and the long-rumored (but so far invisible) Apple iWatch could very well appear.

We also expect to get hot, new versions of vaunted smartphones. There should be no more added letters after a "5" on the next iPhone; we're expecting to get a full-on iPhone 6 this year, and it may come with a bigger screen. Samsung will have something to say … Read more