Weekly output: ISP guidance, Florida social-media law meets court setback, digital-platform antitrust bill updated, WiFi hotspots guide, Mark Vena podcast

I returned Monday from one work trip and have (ulp) four more coming up before the end of June. But at least they’re all separated by at least two days!

5/23/2022: Internet Service Providers, U.S. News & World Report

My contribution to this update of U.S. News’ guide consisted of three comparisons (Fios vs. XfinitySpectrum vs. AT&T, Xfinity vs. AT&T), advice about cheaper ISPs, and a DSL explainer that I hope you don’t need.

Screenshot of PCMag story, illustrated with a photo of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking in front of an "Awake Not Woke" banner5/24/2022: US Appeals Court Tosses Most Provisions of Florida Social-Media Law, PCMag

The ruling from a three-judge panel at the 11th Circuit overturning a Florida law essentially banning content moderation of posts from or about officially-filed political candidates is uncommonly clear in explaining why those judges found this statute to be unconstitutional garbage.

5/26/2022: Senators Update Antitrust Bill to Focus More Narrowly on Big Tech Firms, PCMag

PCMag had somehow not previously covered this bill from Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), so I used an incremental update to the bill’s text to get readers up to speed.

5/26/2022: The Best Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wirecutter

This is an incremental update to the hotspot guide I’ve been maintaining since early 2015–because while speeds and rates have changed, I haven’t yet had a chance to try a new set of 5G hotspots now available from AT&T and Verizon.

5/27/2022: S02 E22 – SmartTechCheck Podcast, Mark Vena

I joined the usual podcast crew to talk about electric cars, the dumb Texas social-media law that somehow survived a different federal circuit court’s scrutiny, and a few other topics; as usual, the podcast is also available on YouTube.

Weekly output: FCC chair at MWC, Rocket Lab in Virginia, Verizon’s fixed-wireless 5G ambitions, Russia bans Facebook, U.S. tech companies fire Russia

I got home from MWC Thursday afternoon and finally got a Flickr album uploaded Sunday night. I’m blaming not just jet lag and a busy schedule, but a weird bug in the Flickr Android app that strips out geotags from photos automatically backed up. My workaround for this has been to select the pictures I want to share in Google Photos, download them to my Mac, and then upload them to Flickr. I would very much like to see this bug get fixed already.

Screenshot of the story as I viewed it in my Android phone's copy of Chrome on the way to MWC3/1/2022: Rosenworcel’s MWC appearance hints at shifting spectrum policy, Light Reading

My first MWC dateline came from me covering a speech by somebody whose office sits less than five miles from my house–Federal Communications Commission chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, who came to Barcelona to suggest two changes in the FCC’s spectrum-policy priorities.

3/1/2022: Rocket Lab to Build, Launch, and Land Reusable Rockets in Virginia, PCMag

The second story I filed from Barcelona also had a back-home component–the news that Rocket Lab USA would build a factory for its partially-reusable Neutron rocket on Wallops Island, Va.

3/3/2022: Verizon’s Sowmyanarayan on how FWA supports edge computing, private wireless, Light Reading

Story number three from Barcelona involved me interviewing a Verizon executive who works 200+ miles northeast of me.

3/4/2022: Russia Blocks Facebook for Not Giving State Media Free Rein, PCMag

The day after I got back from Barcelona, I covered Russia’s latest temper tantrum over American social networks not obliging its authoritarian streak.

3/5/2022: American tech sanctions against Russia, Al Jazeera

Saturday, I joined the Arabic-language news network (overdubbed live) to talk about the trend of U.S. tech companies cutting off Russia. As I noted, the likes of Apple and Intel can afford to fire Russia as a customer–it’s not a Japan, a U.K. or even a Canada.

Weekly output: Joe Rogan apology, Pozio Cradle, C-Band 5G and air safety (x2), broadband and real estate, foreign-app risks, Amazon earnings, competitiveness bill

One of this week’s stories is not like the others.

1/31/2022: Joe Rogan Apologizes (Sort Of) for Hosting Guests Who Spout Pandemic Misinformation, PCMag

I did a quick writeup of the podcast host’s quasi-apology and had to think about the complete absence of any such contrition at other places with a history of providing a platform for anti-vaccine quacks–like Substack and Fox News.

2/2/2022: What a phone-jamming cradle says about our privacy fears, Fast Company

After seeing the Pozio Cradle’s ability to jam a smartphone’s microphone demoed at CES, I had to put this thing through my own tests.

2/2/2022: More C-band uncertainties show up in 5G’s radar, Light Reading

One surprise in reporting this story about what might come next in the inter-industry dispute over possible interference with radio altimeters from C-Band 5G: Nobody I talked to could point to any confirmed cases of such interference happening.

2/2/2022: Resolving C-Band 5G Mess Will Take at Least Another Year, FAA Says, PCMag

Federal Aviation Administration administrator Steve Dickson’s two-hour appearance at a House hearing yielded one bit of news: He doesn’t think we’ll have standards for C-Band-resistant altimeters until early 2023.

Photo of the story as it appeared in the Post's print edition Saturday2/3/2022: Does the home you want to buy have good high-speed Internet? You may have to do some sleuthing to find out., The Washington Post

After years of writing about the problem of inadequate rural broadband for other outlets, I finally thought to pitch my old shop on a feature unpacking this situation and offering advice to home shoppers. I’m glad I did: The piece ran as the cover story in Saturday’s Real Estate section, a few days after being published on the Post’s site.

2/3/2022: Commerce Department’s foreign-apps study, Al Jazeera

The Arabic-language news network had me to discuss a Commerce initiative focused on the risks posed by apps that could be subverted by foreign adversaries–by which I mean, the hosts mostly asked me about TikTok.

2/3/2022: A limited media message in Amazon Q4 earnings: be content with our content, FierceVideo

I filled in at my trade-pub video client to cover Amazon’s latest earnings, which reminded me of how much effort Amazon is putting into original video and how little time I’ve been able to devote to watching that output.

2/4/2022: House OKs Sprawling Competition Bill That Aims to Boost US Chip Manufacturing, PCMag

The House passed a Christmas tree of a tech-competitiveness bill months after the Senate voted by larger margins for a narrower competition bill; this post noted one problematic component of the House bill that isn’t in the Senate legislation.