Weekly output: Qualcomm’s automotive ambitions, MEF Connects USA, corporate America’s tech ideas, Verizon 5G home and gaming news, Halo car sharing

I went to my last Nats game of the year Saturday–a 13-4 trouncing of the Phillies that reminded me of better days in the past and, I trust, the future. We also had tickets for Sunday, but with rain forecast all day I declined the opportunity to participate in the sunk-cost fallacy.

9/27/2022: Qualcomm sells a story of in-car inevitability, Light Reading

I wrote this recap of Qualcomm’s pitch to the auto industry at an event in New York the previous Thursday. Note that Qualcomm’s pitch to invited attendees included comped travel; I already had my train fare to and from NYC covered by the Back Market conference at which I spoke earlier that week but did accept two nights in a hotel to simplify my logistics–after obtaining my client’s permission.

A printout shows the order of panels at the Mobile Ecosystem Forum's MEF Connects USA conference.9/27/2022: MEF Connects USA, Mobile Ecosystem Forum

After joining this industry’s group’s podcast in April, the MEF people asked if I’d be interested in speaking at the conference they were organizing for the day before MWC Las Vegas. I wound up emceeing the afternoon half of the program and moderating three panels–one about the future of mobile identity yielded a what-if post for my Patreon readers, while two others on carrier billing for services educated me about aspects of the mobile industry that I’d overlooked.

9/29/2022: Sorry, But Your Boss Is Pretty Hyped About Today’s Most Annoying Tech Trends, PCMag

I can’t claim any credit for the headline on this post summing up a KPMG survey of attitudes among senior U.S. tech executives towards such topics as cryptocurrency and VR.

9/29/2022: At MWC, Verizon unwraps upgraded FWA receiver and 5G gaming gambit, Light Reading

With the MEF folks having agreed to cover my airfare and two nights of lodging, sticking around for another two nights on my own dime to cover MWC Las Vegas was an easy call. This recap of Verizon’s announcements during the opening keynote was the first of two posts I wrote for my telecom trade-pub client that week.

10/1/2022: Hello, Halo: This Car-Share Service Remotely Drives Its Vehicles to You, PCMag

With nothing blocking my schedule Thursday afternoon, I opted to ditch the conference for a few hours to try out Halo, the car-sharing service I’d covered for Fast Company last summer that has the car meet you, controlled remotely by a professional human driver, instead of your having to make your own way to the vehicle. As I quickly learned, the reality of this service in its beta-test stage includes some safety-driven inefficiencies.

Weekly output: Spotify privacy, Halo’s 5G-powered car service, Internet providers

Our kid was out this week at camp, but in a few days it will be my turn to be out of the house: I’m doing some of the drive testing for this year’s edition of PCMag.com’s Fastest Mobile Networks guide. Yes, on the road for actual business travel.

7/7/2021: At Spotify, private listening is not a simple proposition, USA Today

I’ve had the idea for a while of a column unpacking the inconsistent and often unhelpful privacy settings in Spotify, but the chance to interview a Spotify executive for the virtual edition of Dublin Tech Summit last month gave me quotes to anchor the piece.

Screenshot of the Fast Company story on Halo as seen on an iPad mini.7/8/2021: This driverless car-sharing service uses remote human ‘pilots,’ not AI, Fast Company

I was supposed to write this story last month about the Halo car service and its use of T-Mobile 5G to have remotely-driven vehicles show up before car-share customers. But then T-Mobile said they wanted to push the embargo back; that gave me time to get an industry analyst’s perspective and write an explainer for Patreon supporters about PR embargoes.

7/8/2021: Internet Providers, U.S. News & World Report

My latest round of work at U.S. News–consisting of profiles of AT&T, Comcast, Spectrum, and Verizon; comparisons of Spectrum and AT&TComcast and AT&T, and Verizon and Spectrum; and guides to fiber broadband, cheaper Internet access, and ways to speed up your connection–was much more work than my previous efforts. That is mostly the fault of the many large Internet providers that show no interest in clearly displaying their prices, speeds and terms of service. Las Vegas hotels and their resort fees are models of transparency compared to this lot–although maybe I can’t be too cranky about their willful opacity, since it gave me the material for a USA Today column.