This week I’m joined in the podcave by a Macworld alumnus, Wired’s Brian X. Chen. Brian’s the author of a new book, “Always On: How the iPhone Unlocked the Anything-Anytime-Anywhere Future… And Locked Us In,” which comes out next week. The book is about how the iPhone, and more generally the prospect of always having a connected device with you, has changed our culture and society and threatens to create even more change in the years ahead.

Brian and I talk about Apple’s (and Starbucks’s) tendency toward a “vertical integration” philosophy and how it creates great products and great profits; we discuss the debate about whether all this technology makes us smarter or dumber; and muse about the implications of Apple and other companies gating Apps, content, and more.

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In addition to Brian’s book, I mention the article he wrote for us about how testing printers was killing him.

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This episode is sponsored by Many Tricks.

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