Weekly output: 4K UHD TV, Tech Night Owl, stolen phones

This week was a lot less productive than I’d hoped, even factoring in Monday being a holiday and most of Tuesday’s schedule getting canceled out by snow and sub-freezing temperatures. I’m going to be paying for that this week.

1/20/2014: All of the Potential Problems with 4K TV, Yahoo Tech

This was set to be last week’s column until the net-neutrality ruling upended my schedule. Considering that nobody’s rushing out to buy UHD sets before the Super Bowl, I don’t think the delay hurt this post too much.

1/25/2014: January 25, 2014 — Adam Engst and Rob Pegoraro, Tech Night Owl

I returned to Gene Steinberg’s podcast to talk about my new role at Yahoo Tech, net neutrality, the Mac’s 30th birthday and more.

USAT stolen-phones update1/26/2014: Tip: Serial number can’t recover stolen smartphone, USA Today

Barely a year has elapsed since I’d last covered find-my-phone apps in my USAT column, but two major changes have come around since that piece: Google offering its own, free phone-finder app for Android, and increased attention to the lack of a persistent kill-switch feature for smartphones beyond iOS 7’s capability and Absolute Software’s aftermarket Lojack app for some Samsung Android devices. Besides, the reader asked for help nicely.

On Sulia, I noted my old Washington Post colleague Ezra Klein’s departure from the paper, voiced some anger about a Kafkaesque overreaction by law enforcement and the MPAA to somebody wearing Google Glass to a movie, griped about bad USB-port placement and the stubborn survival of obsolete music formats in cars shown off at the Washington Auto Show (yes, you’ve read those two rants before), and reported about my experience using Absolute’s software to wipe and lock a Galaxy Note 3.

Weekly output: flash storage pricing, Tech Night Owl, uninstalling Windows 8.1, Win 8 recovery drives

One of the highlights of my week was not having to write a single story about Twitter’s IPO–a financial story I’m not especially qualified to report, and a financial opportunity in which I can’t ethically participate anyway. I had meant to use some of the time freed up by not blogging obsessively about $TWTR to get another post done… and that didn’t happen.

DisCo flash-memory pricing post11/5/2013: In A Flash, You’ve Overpaid For A Storage Upgrade, Disruptive Competition Project

This post started with some lingering frustration of my own and then seemed confirmed by a Facebook thread about friends about the same topic–but then I had to give the draft another run through the typewriter when it came out as too simplistic and repetitive. (I hope that’s not still the case.)

11/9/2013: Bryan Chaffin, Rob Pegoraro, and Kirk McElhearn, Tech Night Owl

I was one of the guests on Gene Steinberg’s podcast. We talked about Microsoft’s future, OS X Mavericks and its Gmail-sync issues, and the state of the Web-mail market.

11/10/2013: How to uninstall Windows 8.1, USA Today

Reader e-mail after an earlier USAT column about Win 8.1 led to this one. I enjoyed borrowing some insight for this post from my friend Ed Bott, ZDNet’s longtime Windows expert.

On Sulia, I complained yet again about the WinVote electronic voting machines that apparently refuse to die in my county, complimented Apple for posting a detailed transparency report, noted the unexpected emergence of Google+ as Googlers’ favorite place to rant about the NSA, confirmed that an Apple update fixes Gmail synchronization in Mavericks, and revisited HealthCare.gov with unsatisfying results.

Weekly output: new iPhones (x3), Kyocera Hydro Edge, Samsung Gravity Q, Motley Fool Money, Tech Night Owl, saved WiFi passwords, Outlook.com IMAP

Apple’s introduction of two new iPhone models (one of which isn’t all that new) had me in front of microphones more often than usual this week. That’s less likely to happen next week, when I’ll be out of town for the Privacy Identity Innovation conference in Seattle and then the XOXO festival in Portland.

9/10/2013: The new iPhone, WTOP

For the first time, I did a WTOP interview not over the phone but in person at its studio–er, glass-enclosed nerve center–in Northwest D.C. Radio is easier when you can see from a host’s facial expressions that it’s your turn to talk.

Fox 5 new-iPhones spot9/10/2013: iPhone 5s And iPhone 5c Revealed, Fox 5 News

Then I drove a little farther north to talk about the new iPhone’s with Fox 5’s Laura Evens Evans on the 5 o’clock evening news. Hopping from one studio to another to talk about the same breaking-news subject was kind of a new thing for me.

9/11/2013: Kyocera Hydro Edge (Boost Mobile), PCMag.com

I first inspected this waterproof phone at the CTIA trade show in May. It seemed more impressive before I’d had a chance to study its slow 3G connection and lack of storage space.

9/11/2013: Samsung Gravity Q (T-Mobile), PCMag.com

My other contribution to PCMag was a review an old-school feature phone–a “cellular coelacanth,” as I put in a lede that the editors were kind enough to keep–that didn’t do much to argue for the relevance of that market segment.

9/11/2013: “Cheap iPhone” Coverage Shows The Pernicious Persistence of Price Shifting, Disruptive Competition Project

I returned to Apple’s news in this post unpacking press coverage that failed to indicate that the iPhone 5c doesn’t actually offer much of a discount from the iPhone 5 or the 5s.

9/13/2013: Apple’s Weak Reception, Motley Fool Money

I talked about Topic A on the Motley Fool’s podcast but also revisited some of the gadgets I saw at IFA.

9/14/2013: September 14, 2014 — Daniel Eran Dilger, Leith Speights, and Rob Pegoraro, Tech Night Owl

Gene Steinberg and I chatted about you-know-what but also Samsung’s recent announcements, the potential for NFC wireless and a few other items.

9/15/2013: How to find a Wi-Fi network password on your device, USA Today

This column started with a question from another reporter in the IFA pressroom. Looking up saved WiFi passwords isn’t quite a new-iPhone story in terms of grabbing readers’ attention, but it’s also the kind of topic that should draw steady search traffic over time.

On Sulia, I recounted my experience using Lufthansa’s satellite-based WiFi over the Arctic Ocean, tried out the “what cheap iPhone?” thesis that became Wednesday’s DisCo column, forecast an unpleasant future for activity-tracking gadgets based on what’s coming in Android and on the iPhone 5c, reported on my initial experiences with Outlook.com’s new IMAP synchronization option and called out author Jonathan Franzen for being a bit of hypocrite about Amazon.

Weekly output: Aereo, 4K TV, Tech Night Owl, public WiFi, personalized Google search

I did a lot more writing from the Consumer Electronics Association’s CE Week conference in New York than I’d expected, considering its small size and attendance. (I posted a few photos on Flickr.) The list below leaves out one other post reported from there, which should be up sometime Monday.

6/27/2013: Notes From An Enlightening Interview Of Aereo’s Chet Kanojia, Disruptive Competition Project

To my considerable surprise, an onstage interview of a tech CEO by a trade-association CEO yielded some useful insights about how we view copyright disputes and challenges to entrenched incumbents–thanks also to some unintentionally revealing questions from the audience.

DisCo 4K post6/28/2013: 4K, 3D and How Perfectionism Can Crowd Out Practicality, Disruptive Competition Project

Most of the last day at CE Week was taken up by a series of panels and presentations about “4K” television, so called for its almost four thousand pixels of horizontal resolution. I was a skeptic about 4K’s prospects before getting on the train to NYC Tuesday afternoon, and this show didn’t make me more optimistic.

6/29/2013: June 29, 2013 — Jim Dalrymple, Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, Gabriel Weinberg, and Rob Pegoraro, Tech Night Owl Live

I returned to Gene Steinberg’s podcast to talk about 4K but also tech companies’ attempts to push back against NSA surveillance and my recent review of Republic Wireless (which, I should note, was reposted by Mashable a week ago as part of a Discovery content-sharing deal).

6/30/2013: Public Wi-Fi can alarm your browser, don’t let it alarm you, USA Today

Explaining why connecting to a public WiFi network with a Web login initially yields errors for every encrypted page open in your browser seemed like it would be a pretty straightforward job. That was not the case. The tip part of this week’s column covers a simpler topic: having Google show you search results that it hasn’t customized to suit its perception of your interests.

On Sulia, I posted a round of short reports from CE Week (for instance, relatively cheaper prices for 4K sets from Sharp and Toshiba). I also kvetched about the apparent uselessness of a new link-sharing site called Potluck, reminded readers that Big Music’s protests about Pandora shouldn’t ring true, and noted a successful resolution to a complication with repairs to an iPad 2’s cracked screen.

Weekly output: tech PR, cybersecurity and wiretapping, 1776, Tech Night Owl, unlimited data, charging cables

According to this list, I spent more time talking about my job than actually doing it (and it’s not even counting the roughly three hours I spent talking to local startups at Day of Fosterly Saturday). That’s not actually true, but it’s not far from the truth either.

4/30/2013: Meet the Tech Media, BusinessWire

I talked about the intersections of technology, the media and public relations with Washington Technology editor Nick Wakeman, freelance writer Andrew Feinberg, Washington Business Journal reporter Bill Flook and Potomac Tech Wire editor Paul Sherman at the Tysons Corner Marriott.

DisCo cybersecurity wiretapping post5/1/2013: Government To Industry: Secure Your Systems, But Also Make Them Easy To Wiretap, Disruptive Competition Project

This post started when I read my old Post colleague Ellen Nakashima’s front-page story about a campaign to compel Internet services to provide real-time decryption of their encrypted communications services for law-enforcement inquiries. Then I thought about how that effort might square with the last two years of debate over what the Feds can do to get private industry to strengthen its cybersecurity defenses–and realized how that paralleled mid-1990s arguments over the government’s “Clipper chip” scheme.

5/3/2013: Media outreach breakfast, 1776

Déjà vu set in as I once again found myself onstage with Paul Sherman to talk about how the media covers tech startups–this time at the 1776 incubator on 15th Street downtown, almost directly across from the Post.

5/4/2013: May 4, 2013 —Tim Angel, Rob Pegoraro and Daniel Eran Dilger, Tech Night Owl Live

I returned to Gene Steinberg’s podcast to talk about Apple’s cliff-diving stock price (and what that says about Wall Street’s short-term judgment), Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 and the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s latest report on how well some major tech companies protect your data from government inquiries.

5/5/2013: Why hang on to your unlimited data plan?, USA Today

The post I wrote here about how much data people actually use on their phones led to this column questioning the value of unlimited-data wireless plans. It has not won universal applause so far. Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin astutely pointed out that if you signed up for Verizon’s old unlimited plan long enough  ago, you could well save money by sticking with that, even if you have to pay an unsubsidized price for a phone; I was less persuaded by people saying they plow through 15 or 20 gigabytes a month without citing what apps chew up that much data.

On Sulia, I assessed the iOS version of Google Now, shared some quick reactions to my Fosterly Media Match experience, related how much my Nexus 4’s battery seems to like being on WiFi and 3G at the same time, and asked Web admins to make sure that site addresses don’t require users to type in a “www” prefix.

Weekly output: CNET and CBS, Internet Freedom Day, Tech Night Owl, Java, Yahoo Mail

For once, I did not come home from CES with a cold. Instead, I picked up one from our toddler a few days later.

CBS CNET post1/15/2013: CBS, CNET And How To Kill Tech Journalism Through Big-Media Denial, Disruptive Competition Project

This is a story I kind of missed during the show, but it also took me a day or two to realize how dangerous CBS’s rationales for interfering with CNET’s editorial decisions would be for tech journalism in the traditional (read: media conglomerate-owned) media. I was glad this little rant got as much attention as it did; I wish that had been followed by accountability for the twit or twits in CBS’s executive suite who thought this stunt would work.

1/18/2013: Internet Freedom Day’s Unfinished Business, Disruptive Competition Project

Friday marked the first anniversary of the Internet rearing up and kicking Big Copyright in the hindquarters during the battle to quash the Stop Online Piracy Act. That’s worth celebrating, but a week after the death of net-freedom advocate Aaron Swartz I also thought it necessary to point out all the items remaining on the tech-policy to-do list if you value a more open Internet and technology economy. I hope the results doesn’t make me sound like a total Eeyore.

1/19/2013: January 19, 2013 – Kirk McElhearn and Rob Pegoraro, Tech Night Owl Live

I discussed the things I saw at CES, Apple’s stock price and other tech-news topics on Gene Steinberg’s podcast. I haven’t heard Kirk McElhearn‘s segment yet, but I’m sure that Macworld and TidBITS contributor had insightful things to say too.

1/20/2013: Q&A: Is Java safe to use?, USA Today

I returned to the topic I covered in my USAT column last spring, this time with more context about what Java was supposed to do and how it became the nuisance it is–plus a few remaining, non-Web uses for this software I hadn’t addressed in detail in that earlier piece. There’s also a tip about enabling a security feature Yahoo finally added to its Yahoo Mail service, some five years after Google had provided the same option to Gmail users.

I also held forth on the mini-blogging site Sulia, as my experiment with that site continues. Among this week’s posts: a review of Facebook’s new, airtime-free voice-calling service (and one of an Android app that does the same thing through Google Voice); documentation of some new Twitter features; a call for editors and publishers to post those newsroom-wide memos that always wind up getting published elsewhere.