Weekly output: WiFi, Mac or PC, Web chat, QAM, HD or SD

I did not review a single product or service this week. Don’t worry; that streak won’t last long.

4/10/2012: Passpoint: A Recipe for Wider Wi-Fi, CEA Digital Dialogue

I got a little wonky with this post explaining a new standard for automatic WiFi roaming–first for smartphones, later for other devices. The idea behind WiFi Certified Passpoint (also referred to by the names of related efforts, Hotspot 2.0 or Next Generation Hotspot) is to ensure that people can stay online when the cellular airwaves get crowded. I got an example of the need for such a thing when I couldn’t upload a photo to Twitter from the Washington Nationals’ home opener.

4/12/2012: We’re All Macs And PCs (Unless We’re iPhones), Discovery News

My editors at Discovery asked if I’d be interested in writing an essay on the fading Mac-PC divide, and I said that sounded like a good topic–especially coming after a week that had seen Apple hit with an antitrust suit and the Mac get hit with a massive malware attack. I enjoyed writing this piece, although I’m a little puzzled that it didn’t draw any comments beyond a reader e-mail calling the piece “misleading, incorrect, and mischievous” (the writer has not responded to my request for specific examples of same).

I also enjoyed coming up with the no-Photoshop-involved illustration you see on the post. To take that photo, I held a Kindle Fire with its browser open to the Windows 7 logo in just the right spot to have that Microsoft graphic reflected in the Apple logo below an iMac’s screen–while holding a camera in the other hand.

4/13/2012: The Widening Wireless World (Web chat), CEA Digital Dialogue

My monthly Web chat covered a variety of mobile and wireless topics and a few related to desktop and laptop computing: LTE and WiMax 4G, WiFi roaming, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports and–of course!–the possible timing of the next iPhone.

4/15/2012: Do you need a box for digital cable? USA Today

This column started out with a Twitter inquiry from a Comcast subscriber outside of Charlottesville, Va., about tuning into just local channels without a box–a subject I’d covered at length for CEA a couple of months back. (Look, synergy!) The rest of the column outlines which cable and satellite providers offer ways to avoid watching the SD versions of channels you pay to watch in HD. (Speaking of synergy, from now on I’m going to try to have some thread connecting the Q&A part of each column with the tip.)