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Farhad Manjoo

Columnist

Farhad Manjoo graduated from Cornell University in 2000. In 2008, he was hired as a staff writer for Slate magazine, covering technology, journalism and politics.

Farhad is a paid contributor to PandoDaily.

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  • HousesAAA

    San Francisco can become a world capital. First it needs to get over itself

    When San Francisco’s planners recently considered a proposal to build tiny apartments in the city, opponents of the plan began calling the spaces “Twitter apartments.” The name was a reference to their micro size — these apartments will be as small as 220 square feet, about the size of a parking space — but it was also a knock on their presumed techie tenants. The micro apartments will rent for $1,300 to $1,500 a month…
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    If you care about the tech industry, vote for Obama

    The presidential election doesn’t come up often in Silicon Valley, and Silicon Valley doesn’t come up often in the election. Throughout this campaign year, I haven’t had a single conversation with anyone in these parts about the presidential race—not a friendly chat about the horserace, not a serious conversation about the issues. Meanwhile, to the extent that the candidates think of the tech industry, it’s as…

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    Why the fall of 2012 will determine Microsoft’s fate

    Eric Schmidt sure has become fun since he stopped running Google. I’m not sure what the guy does, exactly, but he looks like he’s really having a good time doing it. (Look, there he is dancing Gangnam Style!) Schmidt has always been an interesting interview—he’s more thoughtful than ruthless, which was one of his shortcomings as Google’s CEO—but as chairman, he’s been able to really put his rational, expansive side on display. Schmidt’s role gives him enough inside access…
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    Mapgate Is Over. Apple Won. Customers Won. Google, Not So Much.

    In a single succinct, sincere, and brilliant note, Tim Cook has put Apple’s Maps fiasco to bed. It was a beautiful thing. He offered a clear assessment of the problem (“we fell short”), and took full responsibility for it. He put forward a heartfelt apology (“we are extremely sorry”), and gave customers an easy, pretty-good short-term solution to the problem—they could get one of many rival maps apps from the App Store. Finally, not only did he explain how…
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    The Royal Nokia Screw-Up That Shouldn’t Have Been

    Anyone who cares about fostering a dynamic, competitive tech industry should be rooting for Nokia. Even if you’re not as gaga for Windows Phone as I am—I think it’s the best-designed mobile OS on the market—you’ve got to concede that the Finnish phonemaker has the capacity to be a genuine force for innovation in phone and tablet hardware. Indeed, Nokia may be the only company capable of playing at Apple’s level. Who else is there? Google may one day…
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    Copying Works: How Samsung’s Decision to Mimic Apple Paid Off in Spades

    In the fall of 2008, just a year after it released the iPhone, Apple became the most profitable phone maker in the world. The milestone wasn’t much remarked upon by the press. At the time, Apple was still selling only a tiny number of phones compared to its rivals, and it wasn’t clear that it could ever become a global juggernaut in the phone business. Still, because rivals couldn’t match Apple’s average sales price and profit margins, they were falling…
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    Stick a Fork In It: Dell Is Done

    Sometimes when life gets too stressful, I try to remind myself that things could be rougher. Sure, I’ve got a raucous toddler and three deadlines in two days, but at least I’m not a coal miner. At least I don’t toil in a factory that renders pink slime. And best of all, at least I’m not running a large American personal computer company that has no conceivable way of combating an existential threat to its business. I highly recommend…
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    What If the Next iPhone Is A Miss? A Deep Dive Into Apple’s High-Wire Act

    Let’s stipulate that only an idiot would panic over Apple’s third-quarter earnings “miss.” The company surpassed its own expectations for the quarter, and though it didn’t hit analysts’ predictions, the reasons it fell short are easy to understand. As MG Siegler points out, Apple’s numbers are now largely a function of the release schedule of a single product—the iPhone. When Apple puts out a new iPhone, its numbers soar beyond all reason. As the phone gets older, people in…
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    Don’t Root for Aereo, the World’s Most Ridiculous Start-up

    Aereo, the controversial television streaming company backed by Barry Diller, may be the stupidest high-profile tech start-up ever launched. In my years of covering the tech business, I certainly can’t remember coming across many other ideas that were as ridiculous on so many levels. Webvan squandered $1.2 billion, but at least it was trying to create something useful. Pets.com lacked all business sense, but it did give us that sock puppet. You can’t say anything nearly as kind…
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    Don’t Laugh at Google Glass: They’re Goofy, but They Will Save Us from Ourselves

    So Google’s heads-up-display glasses are goofy. So what? A lot of technologies are goofy until they become ubiquitous. Television is a box of moving pictures showing people doing things somewhere else. You’re watching a piece of glass instead of the real world. And those people on the screen? You don’t even know them. And the things they’re saying? They’re just reciting a script. You’re spending four hours a day watching strangers—some of whom may be dead—in your living room,…

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