Weekly output: Firefox update, 6G, Google Messages updates, Mudge speaks in D.C.

This afternoon’s exciting plot twist: I successfully replaced the shattered screen of my Pixel 5a, using a Google-authorized iFixit replacement kit. Detaching the old screen was a lot more work than I expected, but everything after that was surprisingly easy.

10/18/2022: Mozilla Makes Private Browsing in Firefox Easier, Adds PDF Editing, ‘Firefox View’, PCMag

Five days into using this update, I can confirm that the new “Firefox View” start page represents a real improvement–while the other additions in Firefox 106 have essentially escaped my notice.

Screenshot of the story as seen in Chrome on a Pixel 5a.10/19/2022: 6G advocates mash up a metaverse-centric sales pitch, Light Reading

Yes, 6G. I spent Wednesday and Thursday of the previous week at a conference in downtown D.C. devoted to talking up the notional next generation of wireless broadband and, as you see, did not come away too sold on the concept.

10/20/2022: Google Messages App Finally Lets Android Users Send Tapback Emoji to iPhones, PCMag

The Q&A period during the press pre-briefing Tuesday was more informative than I expected, yielding a reasonably coherent explanation for why Google hasn’t published an API for the RCS messaging standard that such third-party messaging apps as Signal could use instead of falling back to unencrypted SMS and MMS.

10/21/2022: Twitter Whistleblower: Stop Treating Cybersecurity Like Folklore, PCMag

CyberScoop’s CyberTalks conference Thursday closed out with an onstage Q&A featuring veteran security researcher Peiter “Mudge” Zatko. He didn’t discuss his experience as Twitter’s head of security (and subsequently Twitter’s highest-profile whistleblower) but had some insightful observations about how infosec types can fail to communicate with their corporate overlords.

Weekly output: browser choices, OurStreets for groceries, browser choices and sports-network fees, coronavirus effects on tech

In a fit of optimism two weeks ago, I put together a panel proposal for this fall’s Online News Association conference–which, at the rate things are going, could be my next business trip if I even go anywhere for work over the rest of this year. Over at Patreon, I wrote a post Tuesday for subscribers about how I put together this pitch and recruited two other panelists for it.

4/27/2020: Browsers: Chrome, Safari or Edge?, Talking Tech

My USA Today colleague Jefferson Graham interviewed me for his podcast about my recent column on browser choices.

4/28/2020: Can’t find toilet paper, eggs, or flour? This app knows where to go, Fast Company

I wrote about the reincarnation of an app that I’d covered first in January as a tool to report bad behavior by drivers. OurStreets now delivers crowd-sourced intelligence about the availability of such staples as toilet paper, bread, milk, eggs and flour. It’s done that impressively well around D.C. in my own experience, but in other cities it’s yet to see the same shopper pickup. (I have to credit my editor Harry McCracken for asking me to go into more detail about this app’s slower adoption outside its launch market of the greater Washington area.)

4/28/2020: This Morning with Gordon Deal April 28, 2020, This Morning With Gordon Deal

I was on this business-news radio show to talk about my USA Today columns on desktop browser choices and sports-network fees on pay TV.

4/30/2020: Moor Insights & Strategy Podcast (4-30-20), Mark Vena

I joined my analyst pal’s podcast with fellow tech freelancers John Quain and Stewart Wolpin to talk about working from home and when we’ll ever get to meet in person again at some tech event. Appropriately enough, our conversation about using collaborative tools to work remotely got interrupted when Stewart mysteriously dropped off the Zoom call.

Updated 6/21/2020 to add a link to Jefferson Graham’s podcast, which I’d missed before because he misspelled my last name in the writeup. Yes, this happens fairly often.