Weekly output: car connectivity, business models, virtual voting, LTE fragmentation, Google Keyboard

I hope you all enjoyed your more-or-less four-day weekend. I did–and managed to spend enough time away from my various keyboards that I’m now posting this after midnight Sunday. Oh well…

7/1/2013: Car Connectivity Nears A Fork In The Road, Discovery News

My last report from CE Week covered the philosophical split I saw between companies vying to make car dashboards smarter by essentially turning them into smartphones, and those looking to provide easier and more powerful phone-to-dashboard links. I’m hoping the second contingent wins out, but I see a lot of ways they might not.

7/3/2013: Transparency About Your Business Model Ought To Be A Competitive Advantage, Disruptive Competition Project

First I saw the popular Google Reader replacement Feedly get criticized for not having a  business model (it does but has been weirdly quiet about it). Then I read blogger Andrew Sullivan’s impressive transparency about his venture into reader-supported publishing. Then I decided it was time to call out dot-commers who don’t think they need to tell their users how they plan to make money.

KTVU virtual-voting spot7/3/2013: Bill would allow virtual voting in Congress, Cox Media Group

A House resolution would let representatives attend committee hearings via videconferencing and even cast some non-controversial votes remotely, so it seemed  appropriate to have Cox correspondent Jacqueline Fell interview me about the bill via Skype. And so viewers in such places as Atlanta, the Bay Area (linked above), Palm BeachPittsburgh and Reno could have seen me briefly identified as a “Technology Expert.”

7/7/2013: Carriers have different ways to spell ‘LTE’, USA Today

A reader asked Sprint customer support a simple question–can your LTE phones roam on Verizon–and got a wrong answer, and things got more complicated from there as I dove into the tangled universe of LTE bands here and overseas. The tip part of the column is a lot simpler: If you hate your (new-ish) Android phone’s keyboard, install Google Keyboard today.

On Sulia, I poured one out for the now-officially-defunct Nextel, noted a documentary profiling five D.C. tech startups I’ve covered, griped about TiVo’s dismissive, “sorry”-free response to a friend’s perfectly reasonable query, and called out glib, alarmist rewriting of a mobile-security company’s report of a partially-addressed Android vulnerability.

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Weekly output: WebKit, Mobile World Congress (x3), Tech Night Owl, Facebook scams, e-mail nags

This has been a really good week. Tiring (courtesy of a few days of walking around Barcelona for Mobile World Congress and well over 24 hours spent in airplanes and airports), but good.

2/25/2013: In Mobile, It’s A WebKit World And We Just Browse In It. Is That Okay?, Disruptive Competition Project

I wrote a long, wonky piece on the state of competition in mobile-browser layout engines, in which the open-source WebKit code used by Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome has pretty much locked up the market. Is an open-source monopoly okay? At first, I thought it might be–then I changed my mind.

USAT MWC report2/27/2013: Plus-sized phones dominate wireless trade show, USA Today

I like filing from a new dateline. Here, circumstances found me writing this Android-centric overview of Mobile World Congress for USAT’s site. Note the inevitable Android-versus-iPhone flame war in the comments–and a couple of futile attempts by me to restore some perspective there.

2/27/2013: My Fellow Americans, We Really Do Have A Strange Wireless Market, Disruptive Competition Project

Ten years ago, I was tired of hearing people yammer on about how the U.S. should have called it a day and adopted the same GSM wireless standard as Europe and most of the rest of the world. Here, I explain how I got that wrong–and how the peculiarly carrier-driven market here does not serve customers well. Big oversight in the piece: not mentioning the controversy over the recriminalization of phone unlocking in the States.

2/28/2013: The Wide, Wild World Of Phones, Discovery News

A higher-level recap of MWC for Discovery News that objects to some of the more dubious trends the show spotlighted in the wireless industry. I really don’t know where some Android vendors are coming from these days.

3/2/2013: March 2, 2013 — Chrysta Olson, Rob Griffiths, Jeff Erwin, Lysa Myers, and Rob Pegoraro Tech Night Owl Live

Tune in to hear me discuss the state of the wireless business as seen before, during and after MWC. Bonus: host Gene Steinberg’s confused silence after my lame attempt at dropping a comedic reference to the Gadsden Purchase.

3/3/2013: Q&A: How to avoid Facebook scams? Be a skeptic, USA Today

A friend fell for an old Facebook scam, then made up for spamming me with a bogus ad by documenting how it seemed to work. My column wraps up with a tip about minimizing noisy notifications from social networks that I might have credited to Clay Johnson’s book The Information Diet, except that my own info-diet has not yet granted me the time to read it.

I used most of this week’s updates on Sulia to share observations from MWC, many of which wound up being ingredients in later stories about the show–for instance, first impressions of the enormous Asus Fonepad and the open-source Firefox and Ubuntu mobile operating systems. I also related PayPal president David Marcus’s skeptical view of Near Field Communication smartphone payments and how the Washington Nationals are blowing off NFC with their new electronic season-ticketing system.