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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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    Why Does Every PC Notebook’s Trackpad Suck? (Or Why Microsoft Is Building its Own Hardware)

    There’s something magical about the touchpad on a MacBook. Out of the box, the first time you use it, it just works. Built out of a big slab of glass, the surface offers just enough friction for optimal finger sliding. Whether on the MacBook Pro or the Air, the trackpad is masterful at figuring out multiple finger inputs, it’s brilliant at disregarding errant touches, and it’s got a knack for multitouch gestures. The best thing about the Mac’s touchpad is…
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    RIP, Nokia (1865 – 2014)

    Nokia is entering its death spiral. It’s running out of cash, it’s running out of time, and it’s running out of options. A year ago, incoming CEO Stephen Elop made a brave decision to break with the past. He ditched Nokia’s Symbian operating system and decided to focus all of the company’s high-end development on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. At the time, it looked like a risky but potentially high-yielding bet. If Nokia had gone with Android, the best that…
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    HBO’s Future is in Standalone Streaming, It Just Doesn’t Know It Yet

    One morning during the next five years, you’ll wake up to news that HBO has seen the light. The cable network will announce that it has decided to take your money — maybe $12, $15, or $20 a month — and from that moment on, you’ll be able to watch its shows without a cable subscription. Execs at the network and the rest of the TV industry will hail the news as momentous. But don’t be surprised by it. I’m…
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    Can You Handle the Truth? Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs Movie is Going to be a Disaster

    Here’s a prediction: Aaron Sorkin’s film adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography is going to be a disaster. It will likely be a good-looking, entertaining disaster, full of fast-talking geniuses who deliciously get their comeuppance at the hand of the even smarter, faster-talking Jobs. When it opens at a theater near you in a few years’ time, the film will become the toast of Hollywood and an instant blockbuster, and not long after it will attain the status of…
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    The Best Thing About Facebook’s IPO: The Tech “Bubble” is Over

    A bit more than a week after Facebook’s IPO, two different theories are emerging about the monster offering. The big story is that it was a colossal failure, so bad that it’s hard to think of enough ways properly describe it—a disaster, debacle, catastrophe, maybe even a terrorist attack. The pushback story is that Facebook’s IPO was actually the most quietly successful public offering of recent memory. Proponents of this theory point out that the only party that matters…
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    Why (I Hope) Facebook’s IPO Will Improve (or Kill) Craigslist

    I moved to San Francisco in the summer of 2000, the beginning of the end of the last tech boom. After telling me I was hired, my first boss broke the bad news: She wanted me to start in a month’s time, and finding an apartment in the city so quickly—while I was stuck in college across the country—was going to be hell. When I asked my new boss if she had any tips for navigating the apartment market, she…
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    What Eduardo Saverin Owes America (Hint: Nearly Everything)

    When Eduardo Saverin was 13, his family discovered that his name had turned up on a list of victims to be kidnapped by Brazilian gangs. Saverin’s father was a wealthy businessman in São Paulo, and it was inevitable that he’d attract this kind of unwanted attention. Now the family had to make a permanent decision. They hastily arranged a move out of the country. And of all the places in the world they could move to, the Saverin family…
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    Nobody Seems to Understand What Jeff Bezos is Doing. Does He?

    A couple months ago, realizing it would be futile to hold out any longer against the tsunami of pop cultural peer pressure, I decided to go ahead and read The Hunger Games. I jumped over to Amazon, searched for the Kindle edition, and I was presented, as usual, with a page infested with ugly strikethroughs. This is Amazon’s way: Jeff Bezos will never just show what you’re going to pay when you buy something from his site. He also…
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    How HelloFax, FreshBooks, and Expensify Map the Hidden Networks of Small Businesses

    About a year ago, I stumbled upon a tiny new Web app that changed my life. It wasn’t Instagram. It wasn’t Pinterest. Unlike so many hot apps these days, this one didn’t have anything to do with local commerce, it wasn’t mobile, and while it was “social,” it was only surreptitiously so. Over time, the app might help me uncover the invisible social network that surrounds much of my work life—but I’m getting ahead of the story. What attracted me…
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    Everybody Chill Out: Apple is a Long-Term Goldmine

    When I left the country–and much of the Internet–to go on vacation three weeks ago, the tech world still seemed halfway sane. Instagram was just a super-cool dozen-or-so-person start-up, not a billion-dollar behemoth. Google’s augmented reality glasses were only a zany rumor, not a confessed roadmap. And beneath it all, Apple was still the surest bet in tech: On the strength of monster sales of the iPhone, the new iPad, and the news that it would begin offering a tiny…

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