Weekly output: WebKit, Mobile World Congress (x3), Tech Night Owl, Facebook scams, e-mail nags

This has been a really good week. Tiring (courtesy of a few days of walking around Barcelona for Mobile World Congress and well over 24 hours spent in airplanes and airports), but good.

2/25/2013: In Mobile, It’s A WebKit World And We Just Browse In It. Is That Okay?, Disruptive Competition Project

I wrote a long, wonky piece on the state of competition in mobile-browser layout engines, in which the open-source WebKit code used by Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome has pretty much locked up the market. Is an open-source monopoly okay? At first, I thought it might be–then I changed my mind.

USAT MWC report2/27/2013: Plus-sized phones dominate wireless trade show, USA Today

I like filing from a new dateline. Here, circumstances found me writing this Android-centric overview of Mobile World Congress for USAT’s site. Note the inevitable Android-versus-iPhone flame war in the comments–and a couple of futile attempts by me to restore some perspective there.

2/27/2013: My Fellow Americans, We Really Do Have A Strange Wireless Market, Disruptive Competition Project

Ten years ago, I was tired of hearing people yammer on about how the U.S. should have called it a day and adopted the same GSM wireless standard as Europe and most of the rest of the world. Here, I explain how I got that wrong–and how the peculiarly carrier-driven market here does not serve customers well. Big oversight in the piece: not mentioning the controversy over the recriminalization of phone unlocking in the States.

2/28/2013: The Wide, Wild World Of Phones, Discovery News

A higher-level recap of MWC for Discovery News that objects to some of the more dubious trends the show spotlighted in the wireless industry. I really don’t know where some Android vendors are coming from these days.

3/2/2013: March 2, 2013 — Chrysta Olson, Rob Griffiths, Jeff Erwin, Lysa Myers, and Rob Pegoraro Tech Night Owl Live

Tune in to hear me discuss the state of the wireless business as seen before, during and after MWC. Bonus: host Gene Steinberg’s confused silence after my lame attempt at dropping a comedic reference to the Gadsden Purchase.

3/3/2013: Q&A: How to avoid Facebook scams? Be a skeptic, USA Today

A friend fell for an old Facebook scam, then made up for spamming me with a bogus ad by documenting how it seemed to work. My column wraps up with a tip about minimizing noisy notifications from social networks that I might have credited to Clay Johnson’s book The Information Diet, except that my own info-diet has not yet granted me the time to read it.

I used most of this week’s updates on Sulia to share observations from MWC, many of which wound up being ingredients in later stories about the show–for instance, first impressions of the enormous Asus Fonepad and the open-source Firefox and Ubuntu mobile operating systems. I also related PayPal president David Marcus’s skeptical view of Near Field Communication smartphone payments and how the Washington Nationals are blowing off NFC with their new electronic season-ticketing system.

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Weekly output: CES (x8), Java, Flash, browser crashes

CES week has usually been the single busiest workweek of the year, and this time around did not disappoint. It also featured perhaps my shortest and certainly my highest-profile TV appearance yet.

1/9/2013: Wild West Show: What’s Happening At CES?, The Motley Fool

About eight hours into what became a 14-hour workday, I chatted briefly with the Fool’s Rex Moore for a show-opening video segment about some of the trends I’d seen thus far.

1/9/2013: Live @ CES – Erik Fisher & Rob Pegoraro, Panasonic

As it did last year, Panasonic ran a series of interviews with tech-industry types, journalists,  athletes, politicians and various other guests from its CES exhibit. Here, I discussed the intersection of sports and digital media with the Sports Business Journal’s Eric Fisher and host Jordan Burchette. I trust nobody was surprised to see me rant yet again about the idiocy of regional blackouts for live game coverage.

1/10/2013: CES 2013, Part 1: Tech To Open Or Close Markets, Disruptive Competition Project

I evaluated some of the more talked-about CES appearances in terms of whether they might entrench incumbents in a market or offer an opening to their challengers.

PBS NewsHour CES recap1/10/2013: At Consumer Electronics Show, Sorting the Go-Go Gadgets from the No-Go, PBS NewsHour

This show assessment for the NewsHour’s Rundown blog got a shout-out on that night’s NewsHour broadcast, right after an interview of my old Post cubicle-mate Cecilia Kang. Which makes a certain amount of sense, since the piece’s length and tone made it the closest thing to the CES-recap columns I wrote for the Post for… wow, 14 years in a row.

Note that the first version of this posted had a stupid mistake in the description of 4K resolution; when I was trimming a paragraph on the technology, “million” wound up where “thousand” should have been, and it took a reader’s comment to bring that to my attention. (That’s only one of the reasons why I try to read every comment.)

1/11/2013: Tech Talk: 01/11, CBS News Tech Talk

Larry Magid, a longtime tech journalist I enjoy running into at events like this, saw fit to include a sound bite from me in that day’s one-minute tech update.

1/11/2013: CES 2013: Three Ups, Three Downs, Discovery News

My CES recap for Discovery–also, my first in the site’s new design–covered the same trends I tackled in the NewsHour piece but benefited from another day’s worth of soaking in the show.

1/11/2013: CES 2013, Part 2: The Gadgets That Weren’t There, Disruptive Competition Project

I did a post like this back in 2011 that critiqued the absence of non-TiVo video recorders (among other things), didn’t think to return to the theme last year, but realized it would fit in well with DisCo’s focus on the ways outside factors distort and limit what the tech business can do.

1/11/2013: Earnings Surprises, Motley Fool Money

The Fool’s Chris Hill interviewed me about the show for the Fool’s weekly podcast. He had me on as a guest pretty regularly when I was at the Post; it was good to be back.

NBC Nightly News spot1/12/2013: Feds: Your Internet browser could be at risk, NBC Nightly News

An editor at NBC noticed the column I wrote for USA Today about Java security last spring and e-mailed to ask if they could interview me for that evening’s show. They recorded something like 30 minutes’ worth of footage; they asked good questions, didn’t cut off my answers and finished by asking if there was anything else I wanted this piece to say. Maybe 10 seconds of that wound up on the air, with me identified as a “USA Today Technology Writer.”

(I was worried they wouldn’t use any of it. Between the heat from the studio lights in NBC’s Nebraska Avenue offices and my own don’t-screw-this-up anxiety, I started getting a little flustered and began fumbling some of my answers.)

Anyway, now I can cross “be interviewed as an expert on a national nightly-news show” off the bucket list. And in yet another weird coincidence, that night’s broadcast also featured my friend Daniel Greenberg, one of my best freelance contributors at the Post, talking about video-game violence.

1/13/2013: How long will Flash survive?, USA Today

This week’s column looks at the persistence of Adobe Flash on the desktop and recants some of my earlier optimism about a quick sunset for that format. (Though I have to note that Discovery’s new design finally does away with Flash for slide shows, even older ones; I no longer feel guilty about linking out to those.) It also shares a few tips about talking crash-prone browsers out of their sulk.

Update, 10:37 a.m. In the midst of looking up all those audio and video appearances, I forgot to note my too-long-for-Twitter updates on Sulia: a rant about Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs’ chaotic keynote, my experience trying “brainwave cat ears,” a note about the relative absence of 3-D TV from the show floor, a micro-essay about CES’s continued gender gap, and a report of a prototype screen that can raise and lower individual buttons, and many more.

(With 15 of these 500-to-1,000-character posts a week, I can’t see adding them all to the weekly roundup, any more than I’d inventory my tweets. But maybe calling out a few highlights will work.)