Weekly output: Open RAN, 5G marketing, Google’s display-ads business, tech and journalism

We’re down to the last full week before Election Day–a point that seemed painfully distant just under four years ago. Note that for myself and more than 59 million other Americans (per the University of Florida’s United States Elections Project), the voting’s already happened.

Patreon readers got an extra post this week: a recap of things I’ve done to give a little less business to Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.

10/21/2020: Can OpenRAN Hit its Stride?, CCA Convention

Last year, the opportunity to moderate a panel at the Competitive Carriers Association’s conference got me a free trip to Providence. This year, it got me some free time in front of my computer’s webcam to speak remotely with Dish Network executive vice president Jeff Blum, Mavenir senior vice president for business development John Baker, and OpenRAN Policy Coalition executive director Diane Rinaldo about the prospects for building next-generation radio access networks off open standards (aka, OpenRAN) instead of proprietary stacks.

10/22/2020: Why the 5G Pushiness? Because $$$, The New York Times

Shira Ovide, author of the NYT’s On Tech newsletter, quizzed me over e-mail about a reader’s concerns over possibly needing a 5G smartphone. My advice: no need to worry just yet.

10/23/2020: The Lucrative Google Business That The Justice Department’s Antitrust Suit Doesn’t Touch, Forbes

I took a little extra time to cover the Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against Google–by which I meant, write about the Google chokehold on display advertising that goes unaddressed in the DoJ complaint.

10/25/2020: Emerging Media Platforms, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

After interviewing my long-ago Post colleague Dan Pacheco, now a professor at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, for an upcoming story about augmented-reality interfaces, he asked if I could make a remote guest appearance for one of his classes. I talked a little bit about the state of freelance journalism about heard out his students’ pitches for upcoming projects (most frequent elements: drones, chatbots and voice assistants).

Weekly output: encryption explained, OS X autocorrect, DoubleClick dialog

Yes, I did get your CES PR pitch.

Yahoo Tech crypto FAQ12/7/2015: FAQ: How Encryption Works And Why People Are So Freaked Out About It, Yahoo Tech

The 1.0 version of this column was a detailed look at how encryption works in Pretty Good Privacy and in iOS 8; not for the first time, an editor said I’d gotten too far into the weeds and asked for a rewrite. After this 2.0 version ran, I was pleasantly surprised to have several readers send me PGP-encrypted messages.

If you’d like to know more about this issue, including some of the history behind this debate, see Andrea Peterson’s longer FAQ in the Washington Post.

12/11/2015: Tip: Best Way to Fix OS X’s Autocorrect? Turn It Off, Yahoo Tech

With my USA Today column no longer including a weekly tip at the end, Yahoo was happy to run this tip… which was really more of a rant.

12/13/2015: DoubleClick message should have prompted double take, USA Today

A brief snafu at Google’s advertising subsidiary may not have been sufficient material for a column, but I’d like to think that using it to remind people to be wary of strange requests from even familiar Web sites was a worthwhile exercise.