Weekly output: Firefox update, 6G, Google Messages updates, Mudge speaks in D.C.

This afternoon’s exciting plot twist: I successfully replaced the shattered screen of my Pixel 5a, using a Google-authorized iFixit replacement kit. Detaching the old screen was a lot more work than I expected, but everything after that was surprisingly easy.

10/18/2022: Mozilla Makes Private Browsing in Firefox Easier, Adds PDF Editing, ‘Firefox View’, PCMag

Five days into using this update, I can confirm that the new “Firefox View” start page represents a real improvement–while the other additions in Firefox 106 have essentially escaped my notice.

Screenshot of the story as seen in Chrome on a Pixel 5a.10/19/2022: 6G advocates mash up a metaverse-centric sales pitch, Light Reading

Yes, 6G. I spent Wednesday and Thursday of the previous week at a conference in downtown D.C. devoted to talking up the notional next generation of wireless broadband and, as you see, did not come away too sold on the concept.

10/20/2022: Google Messages App Finally Lets Android Users Send Tapback Emoji to iPhones, PCMag

The Q&A period during the press pre-briefing Tuesday was more informative than I expected, yielding a reasonably coherent explanation for why Google hasn’t published an API for the RCS messaging standard that such third-party messaging apps as Signal could use instead of falling back to unencrypted SMS and MMS.

10/21/2022: Twitter Whistleblower: Stop Treating Cybersecurity Like Folklore, PCMag

CyberScoop’s CyberTalks conference Thursday closed out with an onstage Q&A featuring veteran security researcher Peiter “Mudge” Zatko. He didn’t discuss his experience as Twitter’s head of security (and subsequently Twitter’s highest-profile whistleblower) but had some insightful observations about how infosec types can fail to communicate with their corporate overlords.

Weekly output: Trump tech policy, cyber attacks, watching Oscar nominees online, security attitudes, Android messaging apps

Like most Americans, I’m a descendant of immigrants. My dad’s grandparents came over from Italy and Croatia and my mom’s father arrived from Gibraltar before WWI, while her mother landed in New York from Ireland in 1923–only months after the end of the Irish Civil War. It is easy to imagine a rule like President Trump’s executive order keeping her out.

1/24/2017: President Trump’s tech policy is a mystery, Yahoo Finance

I’ve been going to the State of the Net conference on and off since 2007, and this was the first time I saw so much confusion over what a new administration would do in so many areas of tech policy.

1/24/2017: Cyber attacks, Al Jazeera

The Arabic news network had me on for a segment about cyber attacks like the Shamoon virus that recently crippled government and business PCs in Saudia Arabia.

Screengrab of Yahoo Finance Oscars post1/26/2017: Why you can’t stream this year’s Oscar nominees on Netflix, Yahoo Finance

One of the first posts I wrote for Yahoo Tech looked at the crummy online availability of the year’s critically-acclaimed movies. I enjoyed a chance to revisit the topic and shed some light on how the industry works.

1/26/2017: Study finds most people are scared they’ll be hacked, but don’t do much about it, Yahoo Finance

The Pew Research Center’s study on Americans’ attitudes on cybersecurity painted a depressing picture–aside from a figure on use of two-step verification that I found more reassuring but also suspiciously high.

1/29/2017: The best Android messaging apps in a crowded field, USA Today

Google’s blog post announcing the revival of its Google Voice apps couldn’t explain the differences between them and the Hangouts apps most GV users had switched to a couple of years ago. That gave me an opportunity to do so and remind readers of other noteworthy Android messaging apps.