Weekly output: Huawei concerns, talking about 5G, states v. Google, Amazon Sidewalk, Russian hacking

I may not have the usual deluge of CES pitches to remind that the year is almost done, but it’s still comforting to think that the number of stories I still owe to various editors in 2020 is now under five.

12/15/2020: Huawei concerns, Al Jazeera

My appearance on the Arabic-language news channel to discuss concerns over the reliability of Huawei’s hardware and software was cut short when my laptop dropped off my home WiFi. Awkward!

12/15/2020: Top 2020 questions: “Why all the hype about 5G?”, Talking Tech with Jefferson Graham

My USAT colleague is taking a buyout at the end of this year, so I joined his podcast for one last time to discuss–what else?–5G wireless, how far it’s fallen short of the hype, and how it might get better in a year or so.

12/18/2020: Here’s What Google Should Worry About Now That Most States Are Suing It, Forbes

I wrote an explainer about the two multi-state antitrust lawsuits filed against Google this week, both of which allege some disturbing misconduct by Google in its advertising businesses.

12/19/2020: Amazon wants your devices to talk to each other. Should you take a walk on Sidewalk?, USA Today

I talked to a few experts–two briefed by Amazon, one a longstanding expert in Internet-of-Things security–about the peer-to-peer network that Amazon is now activating on its smart-home gadgets.

12/19/2020: Russian hacking allegations, Al Jazeera

My producer in AJ’s D.C. bureau evidently had no hard feelings about my WiFi dropout on Tuesday, since he had me back on Saturday evening to discuss revelations of a massive hacking carried out by Russian intelligence.

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).