Weekly output: podcast, software updates, Nokia 900, Flashback and Java, Google seach tools

Can I count the hours I’ve put into getting my business expenses properly itemized and categorized for my taxes as part of this week’s work? Sure I can.

4/3/2012: Rob’s March Podcast: Sourcing, RIM Shot, Windows 8, “Free” 4G, CEA Digital Dialogue

In this month’s episode, I interview ABC News tech correspondent Andrea Smith about such recent tech tidings as Research In Motion’s travails, Microsoft’s Windows 8 preview release and NetZero’s semi-free 4G wireless service. I also update some of my recent CEA posts–in particular, the item I wrote about outsourced manufacturing. (I’d hoped that talking to a radio and TV pro would make editing the podcast easy, but then I had to work around some Skype dropouts anyway. Sigh.)

4/4/2012: Software-Update Policies Could Use An Upgrade, CEA Digital Dialogue

I didn’t want to write yet another post about the problem of smartphone manufacturers and carriers ending software updates for phones that are still under contract–but how could I not after comparing that example to the two years of free updates my TV received, or Microsoft’s 13-year commitment to Windows XP?

4/6/2012: Nokia’s Lumia 900: A New Deal For Smartphones, Discovery News

I expected good things from this phone after briefly inspecting it at CES and seeing the overall progress of Windows Phone 7. The results I saw don’t match up–especially the bizarre charging problem I encountered just before filing the piece, but also a continued shortage of quality apps even after Microsoft has thrown money at the problem. And yet: After all the issues I’ve enumerated with the iPhone and Android, I want a viable third option.

(I’m still waiting for confirmation from other Nokia 900 users of that charging issue–and for comments about the tax-prep commentary I hid in the photo I took for this review.)

4/5/2012: Secure your Mac from Flashback infection, USA Today

This post advocating disabling or removing Java went up a couple of days earlier than usual, on account of the scope of the Flashback drive-by-download problem on Macs. I take no pleasure in noting that I predicted something like this last May… okay, I take a little pleasure in that. The column also offers a reminder about a helpful but somewhat-hidden search option at Google. I was flattered to see it get a prominent spot on USAT’s home page and show up as the most-read story Saturday morning, as you can see in the screenshot at left.

And one more thing: Happy Easter!


Weekly output: CES, CES and more CES (plus WiFi speed and BlackBerry woes)

What a long, strange week it’s been. CES accounted for the vast amount of my work since last Saturday–not to mention what must have been several thousand words’ worth of tweets–but this list does include one token item that has nothing to do with the electronics show.

1/8/2012: Tip: Simplify your Wi-Fi to speed it up, USA Today

I wrote this after troubleshooting my mom’s router over Thanksgiving–hers was set in Verizon’s default configuration of mixed-mode 802.11b and 802.11g support, and we saw notably better performance downstairs after switching it to “g” only. The rest of the piece rates Research In Motion’s chances: I rated them as dismal but not impossible, which enraged a few BlackBerry readers who took to the comments to say how much they loved their PlayBook tablets.

1/10/2012: Lessons from 15 years of change at CES, CEA Digital Dialogue

At the start of my 15th CES, I devoted this week’s post on their blog to how I’ve seen the show change and what those shifts mean for the electronics industry in general. After I’d filed it, though, I realized that I could have written a more distinctive show-opening column by grading the analysis I’d written of the last two shows. (For one thing, I was too optimistic about Android tablets after CES 2011.) Can you all remind me about that next January?

1/13/2012: Displays Get Bigger, Thinner and More Costly, Discovery News

My state-of-the-show piece for Discovery looked at changes I saw afoot at CES across five categories of screens: TVs, computers, tablets, phones and–oh, yes–watches. It closes with a jab at the single biggest problem in the electronics industry, one that’s always more painful at CES: inadequate battery life in portable gadgets.

1/13/2012: Mediatwits #33: CES Jumped the Shark?; SOPA Battles; Google+ in Search, PBS MediaShift

The hosts of PBS’s Mediatwits program, Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali, interviewed me and Techdirt’s Mike Masnick about our takes on CES, the Stop Online Piracy Act and CES attendees’ dislike of it, and the general history of tension between the entertainment and electronics histories. Mike and I are on from about the five-minute mark to 23 minutes in.

1/13/2012: Top Strange And Impractical Tech From CES 2012, Discovery News

The headline on this slide show might be a little unfair; while OLED TV sets may not be anything more than technology for the 1 percent and overinflated phones like Samsung’s Galaxy Note just look ridiculous, I could see myself buying an Ultrabook and am certainly interested in trying cameras that do better at teaming up with phones over WiFi. Plus, isn’t the robot on the last page cute? To iOS and most Android users reading this, who can’t see the Flash presentation of this gallery on Discovery’s site: my apologies.