Weekly output: Microsoft, Kleos, finding exoplanets, Firefox tracking protection, Hollywood-style storytelling, fighting wildfires, NRO, Kitware, NSA, NGA

This week’s list has a pronounced military-industrial-complex look, thanks to the four days I spent covering the Geoint 2019 conference in San Antonio on a contract gig for my occasional client the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. I now know much more about the business of geospatial intelligence, which can only help the next time I write about topics like location privacy for a consumer audience.

This coming week will also have me out of town, this time to NYC to speak on a panel about 5G and smart cities at the CE Week conference, attend a one-day event about 8K television, and meet up with a few friends. And that should put a cap on my work travel until at least early July, maybe all the way to early August.

6/3/2019: Better Tools for ISR Management, Trajectory Magazine

As part of the work USGIF paid for, I wrote a series of profiles of Geoint 2019 exhibitors. This one covered a software firm in Redmond, Wash., that you may have heard of before.

6/3/2019: ISR for Maritime Security, Trajectory Magazine

This exhibitor profile covered a far smaller company, Luxembourg-based Kleos Space.

6/3/2019: The Search for Exoplanets, Trajectory Magazine

I wrote up an interesting talk by SETI Institute data scientist Jeffrey R. Smith about the challenges involved in processing the imagery collected by the exoplanet-detecting satellite TESS.

6/4/2019: Firefox browser blocks sites and advertisers from tracking you online by default, USA Today

Mozilla gave me an advance on the Tuesday-morning introduction of a version of the Firefox browser with tracking-protection capabilities on a par with those in Apple’s Safari. Note that if you’re upgrading from an existing installation, you may not have this new default active; to change that, adjust your settings as I outlined in a tweet.

6/4/2019: What the Intelligence Community Can Learn from Hollywood, Trajectory Magazine

This panel got closer to a CES keynote than anything else I saw in San Antonio, thanks to a presentation by The Third Floor CEO Chris Edwards about how that virtualization studio uses 3D-rendering tools and augmented-reality interfaces to create worlds for movie and TV productions. The takeaway: The intelligence community needs to learn these techniques too, not least because our adversaries will use them against us.

6/4/2019: The Power of Real-Time Data for Firefighting, Trajectory Magazine

This otherwise-fascinating panel about using geospatial data to fight wildfires such as last year’s Camp Fire in California featured a glaring example of failed clock management: CalFire research data scientist Rachael Brody and Clark University graduate student Jaclyn Guz didn’t get to speak at all.

6/4/2019: Government Pavilion Stage Highlights, Trajectory Magazine

My part in this roundup was a recap of a talk by Troy Meink, geospatial intelligence systems acquisition director at the National Reconnaissance Office, about that black-budget agency’s increasing openness to working with smaller private-sector companies.

6/5/2019: From Sensors to Answers, Trajectory Magazine

My last exhibitor profile covered the imagery-analysis firm Kitware.

6/5/2019: Teamwork and a Talent Pipeline are Key to NSA’s Future, Trajectory Magazine

I didn’t know before this week that the National Security Agency helps run cybersecurity camps for K-12 students, but this talk by U.S. Cyber Command executive director David Luber got me up to speed on that.

6/5/2019: Government Pavilion Stage Highlights, Trajectory Magazine

My coverage wrapped up with a recap of a panel featuring National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency associate directors Jennifer Daniels and Maj. Gen. Charles Cleveland. My lesson learned from writing this: If you’re going to record audio of a panel, don’t do that from halfway back in the audience.

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Weekly output: customer satisfaction, net neutrality, Facebook interest-based ads

Having a holiday shorten this work week was much appreciated. So was the chance to catch up with some of my college-newspaper friends Saturday; my unpaid, no-course-credits-granted time at the Georgetown Voice remains the most career-relevant thing I did in college.

Yahoo Finance ACSI post6/1/2016: New customer service survey says Comcast is no longer the worst, Yahoo Finance

This was the first story I’ve written in an actual newsroom in quite some time, thanks to me visiting Yahoo Finance’s NYC offices for the day.

6/5/2016: The FCC’s ‘power grab’ on net neutrality still hasn’t burned your broadband provider, Yahoo Finance

I was working on another story when I saw that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit had yet again failed to cough up a ruling on the suit challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s net-neutrality regulations. I decided that I was tired of waiting on that court to write my next post about the net-neutrality argument and cranked out this over a couple of hours.

6/5/2016: Status with Facebook ‘interest-based’ ads is complicated, USA Today

This was yet another piece that I didn’t have on my list of story ideas at the start of the week. My summary to my editor after spending two hours bouncing e-mails back and forth with Facebook PR to discern the privacy models behind two of the social network’s ad systems: “This was one of the bigger reporting hairballs I’ve had to eat.”