Weekly output: Devin Nunes, Mark Vena podast, tech journalists about tech PR, Instagram and kid safety, your data for sale, Charter CEO

As I wrote on my Patreon page Thursday, I continue to be happy to be off the gadget-gift-guide treadmill.

12/7/2021: Devin Nunes Quits Congress to Run Trump’s Social Media Venture, PCMag

I enjoyed noting how this famously litigious representative will now get to square his dislike of online mockery with running a social platform that touts its opposition to censorship.

12/8/2021: S01 E21 – SmartTechCheck Podcast, Mark Vena

My contribution to this week’s episode was unpacking Qualcomm’s attempts to sell an “always-on camera” as a privacy upgrade for smartphones.

12/8/2021: NPC Lunch & Learn: Meet the Technology Media, National Press Club

I joined fellow panelists Musadiq Bidar of CBS News and CIO Dive and Cybersecurity Dive editor Naomi Eide in this Zoom panel, in which we discussed our interactions with tech-PR types.

12/8/2021: Instagram kid-safety moves, Al Jazeera

I joined the Arabic-language news network via Skype to discuss the Facebook-owned app’s moves to tamp down overindulgence by teenage users. One early thought: I’d like to see more like that from YouTube.

12/9/2021: Guess What? The Cops Can Buy Your Data Instead of Going to Court for It, PCMag

I wrote up a new report from the Center for Democracy & Technology about how often and easily government agencies can get the information they want by buying it from data brokers instead of getting a search warrant. The piece closes with a reminder that Android and iOS include useful tools to limit how an app can get your location; if you haven’t looked at those settings, please do so now.

12/9/2021: Charter CEO: Wireless is the future, video is not yet the past, FierceVideo

I’m getting tired of seeing cable CEOs profess that they’ve moved past from relying on video subscriptions even as their pricing continues to favor TV subscribers.

Weekly output: Google Drive, CISPA, DNSChanger, app data usage, podcast, TV antennas, HDMI CEC

Television played a larger role than usual in my work this week, both as a subject and as a stage.

4/24/2012: Google Drive: Late to the Game and It Shows, Discovery News

You’ll note that this review didn’t get into Google Drive’s search features. I don’t think they matter much in the context of selling this service; if you have so many documents stored on Drive that Google’s search talents become necessary to manage them, the company’s already closed the deal.

4/26/2012: CISPA: What’s the worst that could happen?, CEA Digital Dialogue

This story became a moving target–I had to revise it twice after filing it, once to incorporate the White House’s threat to veto this cybersecurity bill, again to reflect CDT’s withdrawal of its own support. The House passed the bill anyway on Thursday, so I guess I need to work on my blog’s influence in Congress.

4/26/2012: The Virus That Really Will Kill Your PC July 9, Discovery News

First an editor suggested I cover the DNSChanger malware and how it could result in hundreds of thousands of computers being unable to navigate online after July 9. Then maybe 48 hours later, as I had begun writing the post, I got this e-mail from a reader: “Are the stories I’ve been reading about FBI shutting down a safety net that will cause many users to loose internet access true?”

4/26/2012: Where’s all my data going?, CNN Newsource

I did a short interview with CNN Newsource, a subsidiary of the news network that provides content for local stations, about which smartphone apps and services can use the most data. It’s since shown up on the sites of several broadcasters (for instance, WCCT in Hartford, Conn.; WALA in Pensacola, Fla.; KOLR in Springfield, Mo.; and KYTX in Beaumont, Texas), but the CBS affiliate in Birmingham, Ala., seems to have been first, so it gets the link.

In other news, I apologize for the slovenly state of my home office.

4/29/2012: Yes, you can put up that antenna, USA Today

This began with a reader’s query in response to my item two weeks ago about tuning into digital cable without a box–her homeowners association apparently had no idea that the FCC overruled its ban on rooftop antennas 18 years ago. The column then shares a tip about using a feature called HDMI CEC to cut down on the number of taps of a remote control it takes to start watching TV. (But after the post was edited, an executive with one of the major electronics firms confessed that he’d turned CEC off on his own set because it kept forgetting which device it was supposed to control.)