Weekly output: year-end tech-policy rush, NFL Sunday Ticket, shaving streaming costs, Mark Vena podcast

Christmas can double as Family Sysadmin Day for tech types, and today was not an exception.

12/20/2022: Giant Omnibus Bill Mandates Online Seller Transparency, Cracks Down on TikTok, PCMag

This could have been a shorter post, but I felt obliged to offer some context about the security and privacy risks of TikTok relative to any other social app that’s not owned by a Chinese firm. Then two days later, we learned that four TikTok employees spied on journalists reporting on ByteDance’s social app.

12/22/2022: Google Scores NFL Sunday Ticket Deal for YouTube TV, PCMag

It’s kind of crazy how long DirecTV held on to this exclusive, considering how irrelevant its core satellite-TV business has become over the last 10 years.

USAT streaming-costs Dec. 2022 column12/23/2022: Netflix, Disney and Apple TV prices jump. How to save a bundle on your streaming services, USA Today

TV-entertainment expenses remain an evergreen topic, but this time I could note some progress in the availability of regional sports networks outside traditional pay-TV bundles and suggest a few more ways to get one or more streaming services for less or for free, depending on your choice of wireless carrier and the credit cards in your wallet.

12/23/2022: S02 E42 – SmartTechCheck Podcast, Mark Vena

I rejoined this podcast for the first time in weeks to discuss Elon Musk’s ham-handed “Twitter Files” effort to unmask the alleged sins of previous management, then share some predictions about what CES will bring next week.

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Weekly output: AT&T and Verizon C-band progress, Gen Z online habits, lunar LTE, connected TVs vs. streaming media players, NFL Sunday Ticket, warnings of Russian and Chinese hacking, electronics recycling

Two weeks from today, I’ll be at Dulles Airport to fly to Lisbon for Web Summit. And I still don’t know if I’ll be able to take Metro all the way to IAD or if I will once again have to transfer to a bus for the last few miles.

Screenshot of story as seen in Chrome on an Android phone, including some rather generic stock art of beams of light shining past a 5G logo.10/12/2022: AT&T, Verizon Continue to Gain 5G Ground With C-band Rollouts, Opensignal Finds, PCMag

AT&T’s progress since its small-scale initial deployment of fast, reasonably wide-ranging C-band 5G was the big surprise of this Opensignal report.

10/13/2022: Sorry Parents, Your Kids Think Your Online Habits Are Cringe, PCMag

My kid made an unnamed appearance in this writeup of an interesting survey of attitudes about online privacy and security among Generation Z kids and their parents.

10/14/2022: Why Nokia wants to put an LTE network on the moon, Fast Company

As a native New Jerseyan who grew up in the 1980s with a lot of AT&T kids, it’s still weird for me to write about Bell Labs as the Garden State research operation of anybody but the company once known as American Telephone & Telegraph Co.

10/14/2022: Connected TV or streaming media player? Yes., Fierce Video

Two days of filling in at this trade-pub client started with a report about a survey covering U.S. attitudes towards watching streaming video on connected TVs and streaming media players.

10/14/2022: NFL throws flag on Appleā€™s request for Sunday Ticket flexibility, Fierce Video

I often feel like I’m speaking a foreign language when I write about NFL TV deals, because the horrendousness of the local franchise led me to check out of pro football a long time ago.

10/14/2022: Cybersecurity Pros Warn of Danger Ahead With Russia, China, and Beyond, PCMag

Heading into downtown D.C. to watch a panel discussion and enjoy a reception afterwards provided me with a delightful return to Before Times professional socializing–and, more importantly, left me with some insights about the state of international information-security politics.

10/14/2022: electronics recycling, Al Jazeera

The Arabic-language news network had me on for the first time in weeks to talk about obstacles to recycling and repairing electronics, and I made sure that the cracked screen of my phone played a cameo in this overdubbed appearance.