Weekly output: Nokia 900, podcast, Fuji FinePix XP170, Web chat, This Week in Law, Reddit

Lest this list give too generous an idea of my recent productivity, remember that I filed the first two items earlier.

7/17/2012: Review: Nokia’s Lumia 900 already feels outdated, CNNMoney.com

In my second long-term evaluation for CNNMoney after May’s reassessment of the Kindle Fire, I took a look at Nokia’s Lumia 900 and what it’s done for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform. The biggest difference between this piece and the review I did for Discovery News when the phone debuted in April: Microsoft’s announcement that the phone would not get an update to Windows Phone 8, which made Nokia’s “beta test” ads look dumb overnight.

7/17/2012: Rob’s “June” Podcast: Getting Silicon Valley To Talk To Washington, CEA Digital Dialogue

The quotes are required because this interview with Engine Advocacy’s Michael McGeary got held up by, in succession, travel, technical problems trying to record a Skype interview on my laptop, the derecho and the general scheduling chaos of the July 4 week. Then it got lost in the shuffle at CEA. But anyway… Mike’s one of the tech-policy types I enjoy talking shop with, and I think you can tell that from the interview.

7/18/2012: How A Shockproof Camera Knocked Itself Out, Discovery News

Surprise, surprise: yet another dismal review of a digital camera. This time around, I liked this Fuji’s rugged nature–the photo that leads off the review shows the camera immersed in my kitchen sink, with one of my daughter’s rubber duckies floating above it–but did not appreciate its clumsy WiFi Direct photo-transfer feature. I was further annoyed by the sloppiness on display in its interface and design, like having it beep by default every time you touch a button or including yet another proprietary USB cable. And this one did not take exceptional pictures, as you can see in the Flickr set of its output.

7/20/2012: Live Chat Today: Travel Talk, CEA Digital Dialogue

We opted for ScribbleLive for the chat, mostly for a reason I hadn’t thought of when I discussed our chat options on Monday: A large chunk of the potential readership would be at work and not in the best position to play video or run a webcam, which weighed against doing a Google+ Hangout On Air. The chat got off to a slow start, thanks in part to some rookie configuration errors on our end, but I did have fun and think we can work with this software.

7/20/2012: #171: Printing Friends and Influencing People, This Week in Law

I returned to TWiT.tv’s “TWiL” a month after my debut there to discuss a grab-bag of tech-policy topics: the prospects for cheap, widespread 3-D printing; a new intellectual-property bill that is not the second coming of SOPA; who much data the Feds have been collecting from wireless carriers; and the new face-blurring option on YouTube intended to protect dissidents. My conversation with hosts Denise Howell and Evan Brown and Public Knowledge attorney Michael Weinberg was briefly interrupted by a Skype dropout; I’m not sure if I should blame Skype or the increasingly erratic Actiontec router that came with my Verizon Fios connection.

7/20/2012: Redditors Bear Witness To Aurora Shooting, Discovery News

After reading an arresting firsthand account of Friday morning’s horrific shootings in Aurora, Colo., on Reddit, I quickly accepted an editor’s invitation to write about that. As i started putting together this post, I remembered my first mention of that site: a Post column that noted how it had become an interesting place for people to discuss news posted elsewhere. At that time, I had no idea that Reddit could become a new journalistic outlet in its own right.

Afterwards, I wanted to write a personal follow-up here noting the oddity of steadily loosening gun regulations while these mass shootings keep happening, but I ran out of time on Friday. Fair warning: You may yet read a post like that here.


Web chat chit-chat

Since January, I’ve been doing a Web chat once a month at the Consumer Electronics Association’s blog. To run each chat, we picked a fairly popular, fairly obvious free service called CoverIt Live.

This has worked fairly well, aside from a couple of times where technical miscues at our end resulted in goofs like reader questions not showing up in the chat stream. But in June, CIL announced that it would drastically limit its free tier. (It’s owned by Demand Media, a company I’ve written about it before for its history of running “content farm” operations that mass-produce posts to fit Google search trends.) Now what?

We’ve got a variety of options to consider–see, for instance, Mandy Jenkins’ list of free CIL alternatives–but it looks like these top the list.

ScribbleLive: We’d pay $49.95/month for up to 10 GB of transfers, which a footnote explains would translate to about 14,000 page views. This seems like it would provide the closest equivalent to the current experience (and the pricing shuts down CIL’s $49/month “Lite” option, which only covers 2,500 vaguely-defined clicks a month).

Twitter chat: I’d designate a hashtag for the occasion (maybe #CEAchat?), then answer questions posted under that hashtag for the next hour or so. This would cost nothing, but it will clutter the Twitter timeline of followers even if they’re not interested in the chat, and somebody would have to archive these tweets later on using Storify or WordPress’s own tweet-embedding function.

Google+ Hangout On Air: The hangout feature on Google+ no longer requires viewers to have a G+ account, thanks to this recent addition that lets you stream a broadcast on YouTube. Upsides: free, simple, and video may allow more or my alleged personality to show through. Downside: harder to share Web links this way; less likely to show up in search results; I might have to clean up my home office.

Which of these appeals to you? Cast your vote below, then explain it in the comments.