Weekly output: Nokia Lumia 520, Pierre Omidyar and news, Demo (x2), MyTechHelp, @MicrosoftHelps and user groups

In an alternate universe, the two posts I filed from the Demo conference in Santa Clara would have been replaced by one or more from the Online News Association’s annual conference in Atlanta. If only the two events had not been scheduled right on top of each other

Nokia Lumia 520 review10/16/2013: Nokia Lumia 520 (AT&T), PCMag.com

I first checked out this phone at Mobile World Congress in February and thought the world could use more budget-priced smartphones. The $99.99 price does entail some compromises–like no front camera, and no flash on the back camera–but as a starter smartphone it seems fine.

10/17/2013: So Nice To See People With Money Regard Journalism As Not Doomed, Disruptive Competition Project

I wrote a quick reaction to the news that eBay founder Pierre Omidyar plans to invest $250 million in a full-spectrum news startup, which I see as something materially different from the splashy funding rounds that a few more specialized news sites have  racked up lately.

10/18/2013: Heads-Up Helmet, Rolling Camera Are an Eyeful, Discovery News

My first report from the Demo conference focused on the more interesting, sci-fi-esque gadgets and apps introduced there. The post has received about 1,400 Facebook likes so far–and I don’t know why, since it didn’t pick up any at my Facebook page and didn’t get a mention at Discovery’s.

10/18/2013: DEMO Debuts Plumb Privacy Frontiers, Disruptive Competition Project

Here, I looked at the privacy propositions of several apps and services launched at Demo, most of which will probably get labeled by some, fairly or not, as “creepy.” Look for an update to this post correcting a mistake I made: contrary to what People+’s demo suggested, this Google Glass app does not do facial recognition.

10/20/2013: Tip: Be cautious when calling ‘tech support’, USA Today

I got an e-mail from a longtime Post reader reporting a horrible tech-support experience at a company that had led him to believe he’d been talking to Apple. That sounded odd, but the story quickly checked out.

On Sulia, I posted several reports from Demo (for instance, Bounce Imaging’s Imperial interrogation droid camera- and sensor-stuffed ball, EmoVu’s emotion-detecting webcam system, HueTunes’ synesthetic software, and Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman’s onstage interview), reviewed my initial, glitchy experience with United’s inflight WiFi; correctly predicted that coverage of Facebook’s new privacy policy for teens would focus on its option of public posting instead of its increase in teens’ default privacy; and reported on my introduction to Windows 8.1 on my ThinkPad.

Weekly output: Demo, satellite Internet access, page speed

I wrote a lot less this week than last, unless you count all the tweeting I did at the Demo Fall conference from Monday through Wednesday. Which, I suppose, may not count for much in two months, when a query for the #demo2012 hashtag won’t yield anything on Twitter’s own site, although that should still work on an archive like Topsy. Yet I don’t know of a better way to share my notes in real time and get instant feedback from a wide audience–and, most of the time, come away with a bunch of new followers.

(I was too lazy to archive my tweets about the conference here when I wrote Thursday’s post. Should I do that now?)

10/4/2012: Home Automation On The Cheap Wins Demo, Discovery News

As I did after TechCrunch Disrupt, I picked a few of the dozens of presenting companies to spotlight for Discovery. That audience tends to gravitate towards more sci-fi-ish news, so this list favored Demo debuts that made interesting uses of networked sensors instead of those that relied on mere Web services to make existing tasks easier and faster (though I liked a few of those Demo presenters too). This post also features a breathtakingly dorky photo of me.

10/7/2012: Rural options for speedy Internet still tough, USA Today

I got the reader e-mail paraphrased in this column three weeks ago; two weeks ago, I attended a briefing by Dish Network about its new DishNet satellite service; one week ago, the guy I buy cheese from at my farmer’s market complained about his malfunctioning satellite Internet. That was enough for me to write this column, revisiting the limits of rural Internet access–and why satellite, despite the issues I outline here, looks to be the only option out there for a while. The column also suggests using Google’s Page Speed Insights tool to check a site’s responsiveness; if you were curious, it gives this blog a score of 92 out of a possible 100.

Go Nats!