Weekly output: WiFi refrigerator, social media and government agencies, cord-cutting, QAM encryption, CableWiFi

My workweek had better scenery than usual, courtesy of the drive to and from Shepherdstown, West Virginia for my Thursday appointment.

USAT fridge photo4/8/2013: A refrigerator that thinks?, USA Today

I didn’t write this piece, but a photo I took at CES of Samsung’s WiFi-linked, Evernote-enabled T9000 refrigerator ran with it in print. This is the first time an image I’ve uploaded to Flickr has attracted the notice of a paying customer–which reminds me, I should upload more of the gadget-porn pictures I have cluttering iPhoto.

4/10/2013: Using Social Media to Communicate with the News Media, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

I made that trip to speak on a panel with NBC 4 editor Natasha Copeland and Washington Association of Black Journalists president Donna Walker at the Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center–a beautiful campus a few miles uphill from town–about how government agencies can tell their story to the press in social media. My key point: Be prepared for the conversation with the general public, even if that means your Twitter presence becomes a tech-support channel. I don’t think they’ve posted video of our chat yet, but I’ll update this if they do. Update, 4/17: The organizers have posted an Adobe Connect recording of our panel.

4/11/2013: Who’s Going To Crack The Cord-Cutting Conundrum?, Disruptive Competition Project

Last weekend’s panel about cord cutting at Free Press’s conference in Denver yielded some useful insights about potential disruptions to the multichannel-TV business that I thought would be worth sharing with a wider audience.

4/14/2013: Tip: Why you need a box for basic cable, USA Today

RCN’s decision to encrypt its entire cable feed–then not offer any cheap way for owners of HDTVs to watch just local channels in high-def–gave me an excuse to revisit a topic I’d last covered for USAT a year earlier. The piece also includes something more positive about the cable industry, a tip about five major services’ initiative to provide free WiFi to all their subscribers.

Sulia highlights for the week: a negative review of WordPress.com’s implementation of two-step verification, a rant about two long-broken features on Intuit’s Mint.com, a note about inexplicable bugginess with Bluetooth file transfer from my Android phone, and an item about how a review phone’s number had come to be included in a long, intensive group-texting thread. (Since I sent my “can you take me off this list?” reply, I haven’t gotten any more messages from that chat.)

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2 thoughts on “Weekly output: WiFi refrigerator, social media and government agencies, cord-cutting, QAM encryption, CableWiFi

  1. On tax prep software: I used TurboTax back in January once I had all my paperwork in place. Since the only income I have is W-2, and the only deductions were mortgage interest, a couple hundred to PBS stations, and some donations to goodwill, it only took an hour. Had my refund in early February. Really like the Canon T4I. Not going to comment at Sulia as I don’t log in anywhere using my FB ID. Why make it easier for them?

    Am I the only person who sees the wifi setups for Cox and other cable companies as a massive security fail? I’m supposed to use the same login that I use for e-mail to log in to a wifi hotspot? When all anyone has to do to spoof it is name their hotspot “CoxWiFi”? If they allowed an alternate login that was only used for WiFi I would do it.

    • You are not the only person to wonder about the exploit possibilities with CableWiFi–I thought about that myself. The companies do have hotspot-finder apps you can put on your phone to locate the real ones, but still…

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