Weekly output: Google location-privacy lawsuit, Mozilla privacy-minded gift guide, Artemis I launch, Astranis, Mark Vena podcast, Qualcomm “Always-Sensing Camera,” FCC broadband moves

My trip to Hawaii this week was less enjoyable than the phrase “my trip to Hawaii” (and event host Qualcomm covering airfare and lodging expenses) would suggest, thanks to my laptop suffering a screen and maybe motherboard-level malfunction that left it unusable from Wednesday on.

11/15/2022: Google to Pay Almost $392M to Settle 40-State Lawsuit Over Location Tracking, PCMag

I wrote this from my hotel room during the lightly-scheduled first day of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit.

11/16/2022: If You Care About Your Privacy, Don’t Buy These Tech Gifts, PCMag

I got an advance copy of Mozilla’s announcement of this update to its Privacy Not Included gift guide, making it easy to write this as well in conference idle time.

Screenshot of story as seen in Chrome for an Android, illustrated with a NASA photograph of the Space Launch System liftoff.11/16/2022: NASA Successfully Launches Artemis I, PCMag

I assumed somebody else would cover the long-awaited debut of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket, but seeing nobody claim that in my client’s Slack workspace led me to raise my hand–and then writing this from Hawaii made it easier to follow a post-launch press conference that started around 5 a.m. Eastern.

11/17/2022: Astranis’s MicroGEO is a high-flying new take on satellite broadband, Fast Company

I wrote about one of the companies spotlighted in Fast Company’s Next Big Things in Tech awards.

11/17/2022: S02 E40 – SmartTechCheck Podcast, Mark Vena

I joined this podcast by positioning my phone on a travel tripod parked atop a trash can atop a table on the balcony of my room. And then somebody had to fire up a circular saw on the ground floor of the hotel…

11/18/2022: How Qualcomm’s ‘Always-On Camera’ Became Its ‘Always-Sensing Camera’, PCMag

With my laptop inoperable, I wrote this on a Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered Lenovo Thinkpad x13s that a company rep had handy. Writing this post in Chrome on a laptop with a processor architecture not supported in that Windows x86-only browser was a bit of an adventure, and now I want to do a longer-term test of a Snapdragon laptop–not just because my own laptop is on the fritz.

11/18/2022: FCC Publishes New Broadband Map, Votes to Require ISP ‘Nutrition Labels’, PCMag

I wound up writing this post in the Google Docs app on my phone, a dreadful experience that left me wanting to ice my thumb.

Weekly output: Russia’s tech-hostage law, Mark Vena podcast, Qualcomm’s always-on camera, T-Mobile 5G plans,

This week featured exponentially more air travel than a typical post-Thanksgiving week–about 9.570 miles’ worth–thanks to my attending Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Tech Summit on the Big Island of Hawaii. And with that trip in the books, 2021’s business travel is done.

11/30/2021: Russia to Top US Tech Firms: Set Up Shop Here or Get Out, PCMag

Russia now requires that large U.S. tech companies establish a physical presence in the country–which I must read as a demand that these firms name hostages that Putin’s authoritarian regime can threaten if they don’t comply with its demands.

12/3/2021: S01 E20 – SmartTechCheck Podcast, Mark Vena

I joined this podcast from my hotel room in some downtime at Qualcomm’s event, which gave me an excuse to wear a Hawaiian shirt to the proceedings; my setup for the recording, however, also somehow resulted in repeated audio glitches.

Screenshot of story as seen in Firefox for Windows 1012/3/2021: Are you ready for Qualcomm’s new “always-on” smartphone camera?, Fast Company

It appears that Qualcomm did not expect that announcing an “always-on camera” feature as a privacy upgrade would yield much blowback. Hours after this post was published, a publicist with that firm e-mailed to provide some useful details–for example, this locked-down sub-system only captures 640-by-480-pixel images–that company executives had not through to mention in prior briefings.

12/3/2021: T-Mobile debuts new 5G layer cake, Light Reading

I spent half an hour at Qualcomm’s event quizzing two T-Mobile executives about the carrier’s plans for building out its 5G network. For another take on T-Mo’s 5G agenda, see this writeup from PCMag’s Sascha Segan, who talked to the same execs not long after I did.