Weekly output: FCC chair at MWC, Rocket Lab in Virginia, Verizon’s fixed-wireless 5G ambitions, Russia bans Facebook, U.S. tech companies fire Russia

I got home from MWC Thursday afternoon and finally got a Flickr album uploaded Sunday night. I’m blaming not just jet lag and a busy schedule, but a weird bug in the Flickr Android app that strips out geotags from photos automatically backed up. My workaround for this has been to select the pictures I want to share in Google Photos, download them to my Mac, and then upload them to Flickr. I would very much like to see this bug get fixed already.

Screenshot of the story as I viewed it in my Android phone's copy of Chrome on the way to MWC3/1/2022: Rosenworcel’s MWC appearance hints at shifting spectrum policy, Light Reading

My first MWC dateline came from me covering a speech by somebody whose office sits less than five miles from my house–Federal Communications Commission chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, who came to Barcelona to suggest two changes in the FCC’s spectrum-policy priorities.

3/1/2022: Rocket Lab to Build, Launch, and Land Reusable Rockets in Virginia, PCMag

The second story I filed from Barcelona also had a back-home component–the news that Rocket Lab USA would build a factory for its partially-reusable Neutron rocket on Wallops Island, Va.

3/3/2022: Verizon’s Sowmyanarayan on how FWA supports edge computing, private wireless, Light Reading

Story number three from Barcelona involved me interviewing a Verizon executive who works 200+ miles northeast of me.

3/4/2022: Russia Blocks Facebook for Not Giving State Media Free Rein, PCMag

The day after I got back from Barcelona, I covered Russia’s latest temper tantrum over American social networks not obliging its authoritarian streak.

3/5/2022: American tech sanctions against Russia, Al Jazeera

Saturday, I joined the Arabic-language news network (overdubbed live) to talk about the trend of U.S. tech companies cutting off Russia. As I noted, the likes of Apple and Intel can afford to fire Russia as a customer–it’s not a Japan, a U.K. or even a Canada.

Weekly output: T-Mobile’s IoT ambitions, holopresence, miles-and-points trip search, Xperi/TiVo earnings, Russia vs. Facebook

BARCELONA–I’m back in my favorite city in Spain for the first time since 2019 for the wireless-industry show formerly known as Mobile World Congress, having traveled here mostly on airfare I paid late that year and have since had sitting around as a pandemic-postponed travel credit.

Light Reading T-IoT post2/21/2022: T-Mobile venture aims to bring ‘uncarrier’ simplicity to enterprise IoT, Light Reading

I wrote up news of a T-Mobile venture into offering enterprise and government Internet-of-Things services.

2/23/2022: Your Holopresence Boss Will See You Now, PCMag

A rare in-person demonstration led to this report about a Toronto firm’s hologram-esque display technology.

2/23/2022: This Flight-Finding Site Simplifies the Complex Miles-and-Points Game, PCMag

I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two about using frequent-traveler miles and points, but testing out Point.Me, a subscription-required site from some of the people behind the travel blog One Mile at a Time, expanded my knowledge. You may find it helpful to read assessments of this site from two other travel blogs I regularly read, View from the Wing and Live and Let’s Fly.

2/23/2022: Xperi looks to skip ahead to an IP spinoff and TVs running TiVo Stream OS, FierceVideo

I wrote up the quarterly earnings of TiVo’s parent firm Xperi.

2/25/2022: Russia ‘Partially Restricts’ Facebook Access as Punishment, PCMag

Context matters in a story. So in this post about Russia’s reaction to Facebook continuing its limited fact-checking efforts against four state-influenced media outlets, I reminded readers that Russia’s government has been fond of using Facebook as a disinformation machine–and that it’s repeatedly leaned on Facebook and other U.S. tech giants to quash speech that Vladimir Putin’s dictatorial regime doesn’t endorse.

Brief memories of Ukraine, over 32 years later

Until this week, my relatively limited travel around the world had not included any places that later became war zones on live TV. Thanks to Russia’s paranoid president Vladimir Putin lashing out in toxic nostalgia for the Soviet Union, that description no longer applies to Ukraine.

My mid-1989 introduction to what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was too brief. As part of a post-high-school-graduation student tour of the Soviet Union that my parents paid for (a boondoggle that I remain amazed got a green light from Mom and Dad), a few days after landing in Moscow, our group took an overnight train to the city then called Kiev.

Our compressed schedule over maybe two days there had us visit multiple museums, see a concert, and gawk at the Motherland Monument, a gigantic WWII tribute consisting of a statue of a woman hoisting a sword and a shield emblazoned with the USSR’s hammer and sickle. But we also had a limited amount of time to walk around Kyiv itself, which on our final day in the city yielded the unexpected sight of a large gathering of people next to a stadium holding signs and flags.

As in, the kind of politicial demonstration that was not supposed to happen in the country that President Reagan had fairly labeled an “evil empire.” The flags themselves–blue and yellow banners, which I knew did not match the red-and-blue flag of the Ukrainian SSR–were equally surprising.

I didn’t know what those people were protesting, and the photos I took don’t reveal enough visible text on their signs for me to type into Google Translate now. But more than three decades later, I think that the kind of people who would gather publicly under a forbidden flag in 1989 will fight like hell against Russia’s murderous incursion.

The other takeaway I retain from that trip, which also took our New Jersey contingent to Odessa, Sochi, and St. Petersburg, then still called Leningrad: The Russian people–some of whom have marched in the streets this week at considerable risk to their own safety to protest this assault against their democratic neighbor–deserve better than having any more of their future stolen by Putin and his corrupt, thuggish ilk.