Weekly output: custom-fitted headphones, virtual reality, Facebook auto alt text, connecting with journalists, FBI vs. Apple

This week featured my first trans-Pacific business trip–I spoke on a panel at the IFA Global Press Conference in Shenzhen, China–and my first travel to Asia since 2007. It seems that I don’t cope with that level of jet lag as well as I did in my 30s.

4/18/2016: For your ears only: Uvero offers earbuds with truly personalized fit, Yahoo Tech

I had a lot of time to try out these custom-fitted earphones on a 16-hour leg from Chicago to Hong Kong. They did not make the flight seem any shorter, but my personal soundtrack did sound better.

4/19/2016: What’s next in Virtual Reality?, IFA Global Press Conference

I talked about trends in this technology with my former Yahoo editor Dan Tynan, HTC’s Raymond Pao and AMD’s Chu Hanjin. The photo below may suggest that i was about to do a mic drop; in reality, I was talking with my hands as usual.

4/20/2016: Facebook launches technology experience to help the blind, Al Jazeera

I did the interview for this piece about Facebook’s efforts in automatically generating descriptions of images two and a half weeks ago. I didn’t know I’d be sitting in front of a TV camera when I got dressed that morning, which is why I’m wearing a green checked shirt instead of TV-friendly solid-color attire. Fortunately, the producers were willing to work with that, and the results looked alright.

4/22/2016: On Deadline: How to Best Connect with Reporters?, Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit

The morning after I got back from Hong Kong (professionalism!), I talked about how PR types can be less obnoxious when advising the press about upcoming news. My fellow panelists: the Washington Business Journal’s Jim Bach, ABC7’s George Jackson, and Bloomberg’s Jordan Robertson, plus W2 Communications’ Tom Resau  as our moderator.

Al Jazeera FBI Apple interview screen grab4/22/2016: FBI hacking Apple’s iPhone encryption, Al Jazeera

I couldn’t get to AJ’s newsroom on New Hampshire Avenue for this, so they sent a camera crew to me instead. We did the interview in the lobby of the my conference venue, the Gannett/USA Today buildings in Tysons. Afterwards, somebody in Doha sent a screengrab to the producer who then texted that to me.


Weekly output: 2013 tech policy, 2013 predictions, Facebook contacts, Facebook privacy, headphones

The last workweek of the year ends with one new freelance client.

PBS NewsHour post12/26/2012: Commentary: A Tech To-Do List for Washington in 2013, PBS NewsHour

I wrote a guest post for the NewsHour’s Rundown blog about the tech-policy issues I’d like to see Washington tackle next year–and how much of those tasks might actually get accomplished.

Surprise, surprise: Congress has already disappointed me. First it rejected measures that would impose a minimal level of transparency on the use of warrantless wiretapping of communications involving individuals overseas. Then it dropped an amendment that would force prosecutors to obtain a warrant to request e-mail stored online for longer than 180 days.

12/28/2012: Reverse Predictions For 2013, Discovery News

Are you as bored of thinly-sourced evidence for the impending arrival of an Apple HDTV as I am? Then please read this post, in which I cast a skeptical gaze on that and six other tech forecasts for the coming year.

12/31/2012: Tip: Sync Facebook friends with Mac contacts, USA Today

This week’s column–marking the start of my second year doing it–began when I was trying to update my address book. A friend’s Facebook data revealed that she had moved to Oakland; her Christmas card had her street address, but when I typed that into the Facebook-sourced home-address field in my Mac’s Contacts app, my edits vanished once I closed out of the record. I have since turned off Facebook contacts synchronization, as I suggested I might in the column.

RD headphones pieceNo timestamp or link on this last one, as it’s print-only: I wrote a listicle for Reader’s Digest covering a few reasons why one pair of headphones might cost 18 times as much as another, and it should have begun appearing on newsstands a week or two ago. I finally remembered to look for it this Sunday and grabbed a quick shot of the piece; it’s on page 56, if you’d like to read it for yourself.