Weekly output: data breaches, triple-play bills

I hear there’s some sort of football game scheduled for this evening that many Americans will watch to the exclusion of other things, so I’d better post this while it still has a potential audience.

Yahoo Tech data-breach politics1/27/2014: Weak Data-Breach Laws Leave Us All In A Compromised Position, Yahoo Tech

This critique of Congressional inaction and ill-thought action on data-breach issues wound up running on Data Privacy Day, basically due to dumb luck. In another bit of unintentional timing, three days later Yahoo reported a breach of some Yahoo Mail credentials from “a third-party database compromise.”

2/2/2014: Q&A: How can I lower my cable, Internet, phone bills?, USA Today

To judge from the number of times this post has been shared on Facebook and Twitter–not to mention the 43 comments it’s racked up as of this writing–I should cover telecom costs every week.

On Sulia, I decried a ridiculous argument against cities launching their own municipally-owned broadband networks, shared a recipe for looking up service costs at telecom sites that insist you cough up a street address before they’ll display a price, shared my first impressions of Cove’s low-cost co-working space in Logan Circle, denounced the way Patch sacked most of its underpaid and overworked local-news journalists while leaving its sites up as if nothing had happened, and wondered when enough phone thieves will realize that iOS 7’s Activation Lock reduces the resale value of stolen iPhones to zero.

 

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Weekly output: tech PR, cybersecurity and wiretapping, 1776, Tech Night Owl, unlimited data, charging cables

According to this list, I spent more time talking about my job than actually doing it (and it’s not even counting the roughly three hours I spent talking to local startups at Day of Fosterly Saturday). That’s not actually true, but it’s not far from the truth either.

4/30/2013: Meet the Tech Media, BusinessWire

I talked about the intersections of technology, the media and public relations with Washington Technology editor Nick Wakeman, freelance writer Andrew Feinberg, Washington Business Journal reporter Bill Flook and Potomac Tech Wire editor Paul Sherman at the Tysons Corner Marriott.

DisCo cybersecurity wiretapping post5/1/2013: Government To Industry: Secure Your Systems, But Also Make Them Easy To Wiretap, Disruptive Competition Project

This post started when I read my old Post colleague Ellen Nakashima’s front-page story about a campaign to compel Internet services to provide real-time decryption of their encrypted communications services for law-enforcement inquiries. Then I thought about how that effort might square with the last two years of debate over what the Feds can do to get private industry to strengthen its cybersecurity defenses–and realized how that paralleled mid-1990s arguments over the government’s “Clipper chip” scheme.

5/3/2013: Media outreach breakfast, 1776

Déjà vu set in as I once again found myself onstage with Paul Sherman to talk about how the media covers tech startups–this time at the 1776 incubator on 15th Street downtown, almost directly across from the Post.

5/4/2013: May 4, 2013 —Tim Angel, Rob Pegoraro and Daniel Eran Dilger, Tech Night Owl Live

I returned to Gene Steinberg’s podcast to talk about Apple’s cliff-diving stock price (and what that says about Wall Street’s short-term judgment), Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 and the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s latest report on how well some major tech companies protect your data from government inquiries.

5/5/2013: Why hang on to your unlimited data plan?, USA Today

The post I wrote here about how much data people actually use on their phones led to this column questioning the value of unlimited-data wireless plans. It has not won universal applause so far. Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin astutely pointed out that if you signed up for Verizon’s old unlimited plan long enough  ago, you could well save money by sticking with that, even if you have to pay an unsubsidized price for a phone; I was less persuaded by people saying they plow through 15 or 20 gigabytes a month without citing what apps chew up that much data.

On Sulia, I assessed the iOS version of Google Now, shared some quick reactions to my Fosterly Media Match experience, related how much my Nexus 4’s battery seems to like being on WiFi and 3G at the same time, and asked Web admins to make sure that site addresses don’t require users to type in a “www” prefix.

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.)