By Lance Ulanoff

Stuff that matters.

Stuff that matters.

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LanceLetter - Webb Telescope Triumph; Meta Monopoly; Watch Stuff; MLK

Webb's TriumphThere were literally hundreds of things that had to go right for the James Webb Telescope to reach its current status, which is nearly a million miles away from earth and fully deployed (solar array and intricate mirror system).Now it just has t…


LanceLetter - Bye BlackBerry; iPhone mistake; CES redux

Dismantling BlackberryIt's been well over a decade since I regularly carried a BlackBerry but to this day, I miss the classic QWERTY keyboard design and my 9000's little rollerball that I used to occasionally take apart for cleaning.The BlackBerry OS was uniq…


LanceLetter - CES 2022; LED Questions; Internet Time Machine

CES half-lifeCES kicks off this week in Las Vegas and virtually but the balance between those two entities has shifted dramatically in recent weeks. The Omicron surge led to dozens of companies pulling out of in-person booths and meetings and CES shortening t…


LanceLetter - Assessing Elon Musk; Weird Gen Z; Pandemic Tech; CES Worries

Elon TimeThe selection of Elon Musk as Time's Person of the Year sparked consternation, adulation, and even outrage. The latter was clear on virtually all my channels. I get it. Musk can be hard to like, which I think has a lot to do with him not caring all t…


LanceLetter - AWS Out; Snap AR Glasses; Instagram Grilling

AWS goes whoopsLast week, huge chunks of the internet and some major services like Coinbase, Disney+, Netflix, even Tinder, got a little wonky or in accessible thanks to a huge Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage.There was no hack or denial of service attack (DN…


LanceLetter - Omicron Bubble; Space Drama; Crazy Robot; An Update

The Omicron BubbleHere's what we know. Omnicron is a fast-spreading COVID-19 variant that, naturally, is traveling around the world at rapid-fire speed.Here's what we don't know: Is Omnicron more dangerous and likely to cause breakthrough infections that coul…


LanceLetter - Silicon Squeeze; AR Thanksgiving; No License to Drive

Ending the Silicon SqueezeOver the past 12 months, technology manufacturers have sounded the alarm over chip shortages. The issue has grown so dire that President Joe Biden signed an executive order in February to review the issue.The shortage, however, is no…


LanceLetter - Xbox at 20; Making See-Through Objects; Are NFTs Special?

20 Years of XboxI arrived late to the Xbox party. It was 2005, roughly 4 years after the launch, and just in time for Halo 2, the second edition of the hugely popular Xbox franchise that's going strong to this day.To help get me inculcated, Microsoft sent me …


LanceLetter - Ending Robocalls; Space Story; Reconsidering CES

Hanging upIt's been nearly six months since I disconnected my landline. I didn't cancel the service (I don't want to lose the home number I've had for almost 30 years) but stepping away from those seven digits has been a bit of a life-changer. I'd say we cut …


LanceLetter - A Fragile Internet; 2FA Safe-ish; Crazy Crypto; Build Back

Our fragile InternetA few weeks ago, Facebook and Instagram went on an unintended, extended hiatus. Some flipped out. Others rediscovered their lives without Facebook. Last week, another segment of the highly engaged internet experienced its own outage when R…


LanceLetter - Facebook's Meta Moment; New Space Station; Concerning Tech

Facebook, Facebook, MetaWhat do you do when people won't stop badmouthing your brand? Change the name into something so meta, they'll have no choice but to talk about the name and little else.That's what Facebook did last week when it announced that it would …


LanceLetter - Claw Game; Robot Chef; Webb Telescope Controversy; Facebook

Claw Game GodI was never good at the claw game. You know, those arcade machines that tantalize you with piles of awesome prizes you collect simply by maneuvering a claw and dropping it on top of what you want. The claw closes, rises up, and, if you're lucky, …


LanceLetter - Age of the Drone; Shatner Makes History; VR Goggles

Doctor DroneLately, I've been watching some stunning drone video footage on TikTok where small drones are expertly navigating through buildings, rooms, near people, and out over gorgeous landscapes. These clips are reminders of the power of drones and the exp…


LanceLetter - Facebook Fallout; Twitch Troubles; Shatner in Space

Facebook falloutLast week, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram went offline for over 6 hours, and yet that wasn't the week's biggest Facebook news. Former Facebook employee and current whistleblower Frances Haugen unloaded for hours and hours in front of Senato…


LanceLetter - Amazon Product Explosion; JLo Gaming; Facebook Under Fire

Amazon Product ExplosionIt's New Product Season and few companies take that more seriously than Amazon. The company released more than half a dozen new products last week, including a robot.I was intrigued by Amazon's first attempt to take on Google Nest Lear…


LanceLetter: New Microsoft Surfaces; Tiny Flying Chip; EU vs Lightning; Sears

Microsoft Re SurfacesEveryone knew Microsoft was preparing an upgraded Surface Pro, a new Surface Go, and the second generation of The Surface Duo.The company didn't disappoint last week, with a new Surface Pro 8 that borrows its design language and technolog…


LanceLetter - Bitcoin Blues; Smart Toilets; Facebook Smart Glasses; Apple vs. Epic

Bitcoin bluesIs El Salvador designating Bitcoin as its official currency a good thing? Initially, I thought so. Sure, it's a small country with very little global, economic pull. On the other hand, it snapped up, I think, 400 bitcoins prior to the switch. Tha…


LanceLetter: NFT, A Love Story; Robo-Arm; Apple Pauses CSAM; 20 Years

Yes, I know, I'm a day late with this one. My apologies. I had always planned to take Labor Day off but somehow, I forgot to warn you. 🤷‍♀️NFT, I love youIs it cool to give an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) in place of an engagement ring? What if, someday, it might…


LanceLetter - Security First; Almost Apple Season; Tim Cook; Cloud Wins

It's enough to make you screamHere's the rule: If you're building applications, make privacy the default. It's the same rule I offer to consumers: Spend time turning off access to your information in all your favorite apps and platforms.Microsoft, it seems, m…


LanceLetter - Vax Pass; Tesla Safety; Space Vision; Facebook Workrooms

Smartphone Vaccination PassWhich do you care about more, your health or your privacy? I'm not sure we can still choose both.A new plan by the major phone manufacturers (mostly phone platform guys) to build in Vaccine Confirmation technology inside their platf…