Weekly output: Google location-privacy lawsuit, C-Band 5G and aviation safety, Neil Young vs. Spotify, broadband nutrition labels, C-Band 5G explained

The traffic stats for my post about where I should move my home e-mail account once Google will start charging for it suggest I’m not alone in this confusion. Readers: story assignment received.

1/24/2022: Lawsuits Accuse Google of Surveilling Customers, Profiting From Their Data, PCMag

For once, a request for comment from a giant tech company accused of misconduct by multiple states yielded a data point I didn’t know before: At some recent point (Google hasn’t told me when), the company began limiting the accuracy of its location estimates for Web searches to a “general area” no smaller than one square mile.

Screenshot of Arirang's Global Insight page listing recent episodes, as seen on an Pixel 5a on T-Mobile 5G1/26/2022: What’s going on with 5G and flights?, Arirang TV

In what I’m pretty sure was my debut on Korean TV, this English-language news network had me on its Global Insight show to talk about the intersection of C-Band 5G wireless and aviation safety, as well as the broader picture for 5G in the U.S.

1/26/2022: Neil Young to Spotify: Since You Won’t Dump Joe Rogan, I’m Dumping You, PCMag

I would have written this faster if I hadn’t made a point of stuffing multiple references to Neil Young’s work into the post.

1/27/2022: FCC to Require ISPs to Post Broadband ‘Nutrition Labels’, PCMag

Almost six years after I wrote about an earlier attempt by the Federal Communications Commission to encourage Internet providers to list the basic parameters of their service in a nutrition-label format, the FCC voted to write rules making such a thing mandatory.

1/30/2022: What is C-Band? Here’s what a new 5G flavor means for AT&T and Verizon users, USA Today

This explainer about C-Band 5G offered advice about how to read Verizon’s 5G coverage map. It also shared some hope, possibly foolish hope, that these mid-band 5G frequencies can lead to a meaningful expansion of Americans’ choices in home broadband.

Weekly output: FAA vs. C-Band 5G, CES cancellations, Mark Vena podcast

For all of the stress 2021 has inflicted, its final days still represent a vast improvement over what the end of 2020 felt like.
 

Screenshot of USA Today column as seen on a Pixel 5a's copy of Chrome12/21/2021: How 5G could make a mess of your next flight, USA Today

The latest in a very long series of 5G explainers was more of an aviation-safety story than a mobile-broadband item, so I talked to a different set of sources. And they convinced me that there’s more to this than the Federal Aviation Administration getting persnickety at the last minute. 

12/22/2021: Some Tech Companies (and Tech Journalists) Scrap Plans for In-Person CES 2022 Visit, PCMag

I wrote about the cast of characters–mostly side-stage exhibitors so far, but also a lot of my tech-journalism friends–that had decided to sit out CES 2022 due to concern over the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus. After this ran, Lenovo announced that it, too, was canceling plans to show up in Vegas.  

12/23/2021: S01 E23 – SmartTechCheck Podcast, Mark Vena

I joined this podcast for one last time this year to discuss some Apple-shareholder activism, the log4j server vulnerability, the C-Band 5G fracas, and the status of CES.

Weekly output: 5G frequency farming, delivery robots, Blacklight privacy assessment of Forbes, pay-TV apps

My major non-work accomplishment this week: voting. The ballot I filled out Monday represented my earliest ever vote in a presidential election. And my easiest choice ever.

9/21/2020: Faster 5G is on its way, and here’s how we’ll get it, Fast Company

This explainer about the Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to free up more mid-band 5G spectrum kicked off a useful Twitter conversation about phone compatibility when PCMag’s Sascha Segan questioned the willingness of the carriers to certify existing phones to use on these upcoming 5G bands.

9/22/2020: Contactless delivery robots may soon hit a sidewalk near you, Fast Company

Writing this piece allowed me to circle back to some of the same experts I’d consulted for two earlier features on smart cities for the Urban Land Institute’s magazine.

9/23/2020: A Privacy Watchdog Built A Tool To Show How Sites Track You. Here’s What It Says About Us., Forbes

When the privacy-focused news site The Markup released a Web tool called Blacklight to inspect the tracking practices at news sites, I had to point it at the site where I do most of my writing about media issues these days. The results were not flattering for Forbes. As for this blog, Blacklight found 12 ad trackers and 23 third-party cookies just now but no other tracking–thanks in part to my removing Facebook widgets from here.

9/27/2020: Do you really need to rent a cable box? No, there’s an app for that, USA Today

I revisited an issue I’d last covered in 2017 and was pleased to find serious progress among major TV providers in providing apps that can take the place of rented boxes–especially Comcast, the biggest of them all.

Updated 9/28/2020 to fix a broken link.