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Jeff Porten

Jeff Porten

Jeff Porten provides consulting services on Mac, IT, and productivity, and is a freelance writer in Philadelphia. His most recent book is Take Control of Your Productivity.

Jeff Porten 1 comment

CES 2013: Cases, Chargers, Docks, and Houseplant Monitors?

CES started with a press preview event, and once again, Jeff Porten was on the ground for TidBITS, nosing out products that are both weird and wonderful.

Jeff Porten 2 comments

Good (And Not So Good) Old Games Now on the Mac

Do you want newfangled video games to get off your lawn? Join Jeff Porten as he revisits some of the games of yesteryear, now available on the Mac thanks to

Jeff Porten 28 comments

“What Makes a Technology Cool,” According to Neil deGrasse Tyson

Jeff Porten shares an interesting insight from a talk by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson — we can identify abandoned or stagnating technologies when examples of that technology remain cool decades later. How might this inform our view of today’s cutting edge devices?

Jeff Porten 6 comments

Pondering Cybersecurity in the Real World

After listening to a speech by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to a roomful security professionals, Jeff Porten muses about just how we should react to Napolitano’s statement that cyber attacks are the biggest threat we face.

Jeff Porten 26 comments

The Amazing Meeting 2011: Richard Dawkins vs. Chuck Norris

What happens when you put 1,600 skeptics and Richard Dawkins into the same hotel as Chuck Norris and the United Fighting Arts Federation? What happens is that the skeptics, including our correspondent Jeff Porten, are treated to an extra-long Q&A session with the noted author. Dawkins, not Norris.

Jeff Porten 3 comments

The Amazing Meeting 2011: Skeptic Podcasts

Continuing his reports from The Amazing Meeting, our roving correspondent Jeff Porten interviews the people behind a pair of popular podcasts: Skeptoid and the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe.

Jeff Porten 1 comment

The Amazing Meeting 2011: What is the JREF?

Roving correspondent Jeff Porten heads to The Amazing Meeting, an annual conference organized by the James Randi Educational Foundation. In his first report, Jeff interviews JREF president D.J. Grothe about the organization’s mission and how it is using iOS devices to help people think critically.

Jeff Porten No comments

CFP 2011: Shine On, You Crazy Senator!

At the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2011 conference, Jeff Porten describes and comments upon the keynote delivered by Senator Pat Leahy.

Jeff Porten 6 comments

CFP 2011: Arab Spring or Twitter Revolution?

From the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2011 conference, Jeff Porten reports on a panel that discussed the role online media played in the Arab Spring revolutions.

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CFP 2011: Teens and Data Retention

At the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2011 conference, Jeff Porten passes on details of two additional talks, one on how teens view online privacy, and the other about data retention policies and their possible effects.

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CFP 2011: “Do Not Track” Debate

At the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2011 conference, Jeff Porten listens in on the debate about the proposed Do Not Track header that would theoretically prevent companies from tracking your online activities.

Jeff Porten 7 comments

Should We Care about New Top-Level Domains?

Playing the press fly on the wall, Jeff Porten listens in on the .nxt conference, where there’s much discussion of the wonderful future where .com, .edu, .org, and the many country top-level domains are joined by hundreds of others. But who still cares?

Jeff Porten 8 comments

iOS Hearing Aids… or, How to Buy Superman’s Ears

In which Jeff Porten realizes that he can turn an iPhone or iPod touch into a poor man’s hearing aid for two bucks, and then discovers that he can hear more than he bargained for.

Jeff Porten 7 comments

CES 2011: More Exhausting News from the Future

Jeff Porten braved the miles of vendors at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to report on items of interest to Mac users (and score some discount codes for TidBITS readers in the process).

Jeff Porten 6 comments

(Not) Getting Things Done with Bumptop for Mac

Frustrated by the way the Desktop doesn't work with Spaces for organizing files and folders used in different projects, Jeff Porten takes the desktop replacement Bumptop for a spin. Alas, its representation of the physical world ends up being more trouble than it's worth.