Weekly output: post-derecho communications tips, Galaxy S III, Flash failures, smartphone screenshots

I don’t have much to show for myself on a workweek bogged down by the aftermath of a storm and bisected by a national holiday. (The following inventory leaves out Discovery reposting my explainer about DNSChanger malware that I wrote back in April.) I am okay with that.

7/3/2012: Staying Online After a Storm, CEA Digital Dialogue

After seeing how many neighbors were struggling after last weekend’s derecho, I decided to scrap my plan to write about what your next desktop operating system should and should not borrow from your current mobile operating system. (That should happen next week.) Instead, I shared a few tips about how to get back online, informed by lessons from friends and my own experience battling unreliable bandwidth and dwindling batteries at tech events like CES and SXSW.

7/6/2012: Galaxy S III: Good Phone, Troubled Android, Discovery News

Apparently, I’m one of the only tech reviewers not to rave about this Android smartphone. Ars Technica’s Casey Johnston liked it; the Verge’s Vlad Savov really liked it; Eric Zeman at PhoneScoop loved it. It’s quite possible that I’m placing too much stress on the differences between this phone’s tweaked Android interface and Google’s standard front-end… but, damn, the pushy keyboard Samsung felt compelled to load on this thing in place of Google’s is outright infuriating. (Its auto-correct dictionary alone seems to beg for a HUAC hearing; on my loaner phone, it knew “Xinhua” but not “iOS,” “BBC” but not “BBQ.”)

7/8/2012: How Flash failed JetBlue, and you, USA Today

I could have written this years ago, but I didn’t get my introduction to JetBlue’s broken boarding-pass system until May. The column discusses how a foolish use of Adobe Flash kept Mac users from being able to print their passes and notes another example of Flash misuse wrecking a site’s login page. (If you read that as a general critique of Flash, you read it right; one of the things I aim to do in this column is look beyond each week’s bug to explain the conditions that fostered that issue.) The piece also offers a refresher course about taking screenshots in iOS and Android.

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