Weekly output: Google location-privacy lawsuit, Mozilla privacy-minded gift guide, Artemis I launch, Astranis, Mark Vena podcast, Qualcomm “Always-Sensing Camera,” FCC broadband moves

My trip to Hawaii this week was less enjoyable than the phrase “my trip to Hawaii” (and event host Qualcomm covering airfare and lodging expenses) would suggest, thanks to my laptop suffering a screen and maybe motherboard-level malfunction that left it unusable from Wednesday on.

11/15/2022: Google to Pay Almost $392M to Settle 40-State Lawsuit Over Location Tracking, PCMag

I wrote this from my hotel room during the lightly-scheduled first day of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit.

11/16/2022: If You Care About Your Privacy, Don’t Buy These Tech Gifts, PCMag

I got an advance copy of Mozilla’s announcement of this update to its Privacy Not Included gift guide, making it easy to write this as well in conference idle time.

Screenshot of story as seen in Chrome for an Android, illustrated with a NASA photograph of the Space Launch System liftoff.11/16/2022: NASA Successfully Launches Artemis I, PCMag

I assumed somebody else would cover the long-awaited debut of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket, but seeing nobody claim that in my client’s Slack workspace led me to raise my hand–and then writing this from Hawaii made it easier to follow a post-launch press conference that started around 5 a.m. Eastern.

11/17/2022: Astranis’s MicroGEO is a high-flying new take on satellite broadband, Fast Company

I wrote about one of the companies spotlighted in Fast Company’s Next Big Things in Tech awards.

11/17/2022: S02 E40 – SmartTechCheck Podcast, Mark Vena

I joined this podcast by positioning my phone on a travel tripod parked atop a trash can atop a table on the balcony of my room. And then somebody had to fire up a circular saw on the ground floor of the hotel…

11/18/2022: How Qualcomm’s ‘Always-On Camera’ Became Its ‘Always-Sensing Camera’, PCMag

With my laptop inoperable, I wrote this on a Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered Lenovo Thinkpad x13s that a company rep had handy. Writing this post in Chrome on a laptop with a processor architecture not supported in that Windows x86-only browser was a bit of an adventure, and now I want to do a longer-term test of a Snapdragon laptop–not just because my own laptop is on the fritz.

11/18/2022: FCC Publishes New Broadband Map, Votes to Require ISP ‘Nutrition Labels’, PCMag

I wound up writing this post in the Google Docs app on my phone, a dreadful experience that left me wanting to ice my thumb.

Weekly output: buffer rage, Trump and tech titans, Glass Room, Facebook vs. fake news, unlocked phones

With no swank holiday parties hosted by trade groups or PR shops to clog my schedule  (I’m sure my invitations only got lost in the mail…), my one big work night out this week was a screening of the movie Hidden Figures at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. As a card-carrying space geek, I enjoyed the flick immensely but also had to wonder why the thousands of pages I’ve read about NASA had not enlightened me about this chapter of the space agency’s history. It wasn’t just me: In remarks before the screening, NASA administrator Charles Bolden said he had no idea as he watched Apollo 11’s landing that an African-American mathematician, Katherine Johnson, had calculated the mission’s trajectory.

fierce-buffer-rage-post12/13/2016: There’s No One Fix For Buffer Rage, FierceBroadcasting

I finished this post about how video services try to ensure reliable, buffering-free playback on Election Day, which now feels like a horrendously long time ago. You have to provide an e-mail address and some basic job info to download the PDF of this e-book from the address above; my contribution starts on page 9.

12/14/2016: What tech titans should say to Trump — and vice versa, Yahoo Finance

I could tell this got a lot of attention because about a thousand people clicked the link to this blog at the very end of the post–and click-through ratios are generally terrible even for links at the top of a story, much less the very last line of the piece. Two subjects I should have included in this post: the tech industry’s reliance on skilled immigrants and the possible inclusion of broadband in Trump’s infrastructure ambitions.

12/16/2016: The Glass Room shows how little privacy we really have, Yahoo Finance

I held off on writing up last week’s visit to this temporary gallery in Lower Manhattan  because I’d thought a colleague was going to cover the place first. Fortunately, I got a go-ahead before I had the chance to sell a report to another site at a lower rate.

12/17/2016: Facebook’s plan to fight fake news, Al Jazeera

The Arabic-language news channel had me on the air Saturday afternoon to talk about Facebook’s new initiative to undercut fake news. They asked me if this would amount to censorship; I said my worry was that too many people would dismiss the verdicts of third-party fact checkers as the product of bias.

12/18/2016: Is it worth it? Buying an unlocked phone, USA Today

I departed from my usual Q&A format to write this story, pegged to an NPD Group report that unlocked phones now make up 12 percent of the U.S. market. It looks like the forecast I wrote four years ago on the eve of T-Mobile’s move to dump handset subsidies wasn’t that crazy.