I lost track of how many tech columns I wrote for the Post sometime after my 500th (back in September of 2008), and the Post’s switch to a new content-management system made it impossible for me to keep track of how many blog posts I’d written after the 1,300 or so I’d authored in the old CMS. It’s not easy to pick out a top-10 list from all that, so I’ve selected 10 blog posts and 10 columns that I like–plus a handful of pieces I’d like to take back.
As Copyright Gets a Starring Role, We’re Cast as the Villains: This 2002 column represented one of the first times I got radicalized about the problem of copyright absolutism.
Firefox Leaves No Reason to Endure Internet Explorer: Still one of my favorite ledes–”Internet Explorer, you’re fired.” I was glad to write that well before some of my competitors.
Friend? Not? It’s One or the Other: One of the first stories I wrote about Facebook (“which hit the 30 million-user mark last week”) identified such persistent issues as the unwillingness of most users to change the site’s default settings and a confusing array of privacy options.
To wit: Twittering: An early look at Twitter and the broader digital culture of status updates, almost entirely written in paragraphs of 140 characters or fewer. My editor sent it to the copy desk with instructions along the lines of “this has been written in a very particular format. Do not edit.”
Web radio hits the road: What listening to satellite radio on a drive out to the Shenandoah Valley suggested about the future of radio, on the Web and over the air.
As Cable TV Goes Digital, It’s Still Stuck Inside the Box: To get a grasp on why cable boxes are so mediocre, it helps to consider the broken market behind them.
For now, there’s little to do about a bad Internet provider: Why so many people complain about their Internet access, and why that’s not likely to change anytime soon. This led to one of my favorite reader reactions–a publicist for a regulatory agency who called to say “I [bleeping] loved that story.”
App rejections fall far from tree: What I hope is my definitive indictment of the way Apple has run the App Store for its mobile devices.
Beatles finally allowing digital downloads on Apple’s iTunes: I started writing this two years before the actual announcement, because I was already sick of the topic. Debuted as a post on my blog.
Facebook and Google aren’t the only ones who need to reexamine online privacy: My sole award-winning article to date arose after I got tired of being told to freak out over the latest alleged privacy outrage. (News flash: The biggest threat to your privacy online is your own actions on sites like Facebook, followed by unintentional, incompetence-fueled breaches at third-party data-warehousing sites.)
Internet Explorer 6 Support Ends Here: I was fed up with IE 6 before it was cool.
The Associated Press Is Angry At The Web: Traditional-media types whining about the Web annoy me.
Apple rejects Pulitzer winner’s iPhone app because it ‘ridicules public figures’: I enjoyed taking Apple’s App Store “curation” to task when the company took it to a ludicrous extreme.
Facebook meets the “Unlike” button: One of many rants about Facebook privacy that I’ve had occasion to write.
Prince only the latest rock star to confess Internet cluelessness: I started with a trending news topic, then realized I could use that to discuss some wider issues (and see how many references to Prince songs I could pack into one paragraph).
Don’t read too much into Steve Jobs’ e-mails (updated): My reality-check on the danger of relying too much on second-hand reports of Steve Jobs’ one-sentence e-mails got more interesting when Jobs (or somebody with access to his e-mail account) sent me a one-word e-mail.
Microsoft sues Motorola. Forgive me if I’m unimpressed: One of many rants about tech patents that I’ve had occasion to write.
Sony ejects the Walkman (the tape kind, that is): An obit for the iPod of the ’80s.
Liveblog: Steve Ballmer’s CES keynote: Real-time reporting on a speech that demonstrated how Microsoft’s tech leadership has eroded.
Movie-industry study: Unauthorized video sharing shrinks if viewers have legal options: It’s interesting what you can learn from a study if you read the whole thing–not just a headline that focuses on one aspect of it–and talk to the guy who ran it.
Going to Town With WiFi: I glowingly sketched out how a few local jurisdictions would soon set up their own municipal WiFi networks with the help of… noted broadband pioneer EarthLink. I must have been waiting for my skepticism to download over one of EarthLink’s dial-up connections.
Sorting through the many options for photo and video editing: I still like Apple’s iLife suite, but why didn’t I bash iPhoto ’11 for screwing up the basic job of transferring captions to Facebook? (Tip: Write them in iPhoto’s Name field, not its Description field, to have them upload properly.)
Amazon Enlarges the Kindle, And Maybe Its Prospects Too: Did I seriously predict that selling the Kindle DX at a discount when bundled with a Kindle-edition newspaper subscription was going to boost Amazon’s e-reader? I’m afraid so.
With iPad, Apple aims for sweet spot between laptops, smartphones: In retrospect, I was way too optimistic about manufacturers of e-readers, netbooks and other tablets catching up with Apple–and too pessimistic about the coming selection of iPad-optimized apps.