Weekly output: FuboTV rate hike, Varjo, NextGen TV, Washington Apple Pi, sustainability at CES, Twitter apps, Mark Vena podcast

You can imagine how much I appreciate having this holiday weekend follow CES. I came home last Sunday morning exhausted and with a cold–but fortunately not Covid, as verified by three negative tests since then.

(Speaking of CES, Patreon readers got a post sharing more of my notes from the show.)

1/9/2023: FuboTV Increases Rates by $5 a Month, Tacks on ‘RSN’ Fee, PCMag

I have to wonder if Fubo doesn’t have some kind of a death wish, because there’s little else to explain why it would want to adopt one of cable TV’s more loathsome practices by sticking subscribers with a new surcharge for regional sports networks–and doing so on the same day it hikes its advertised rates by $5.

1/10/2023: On the Virtual Road With Varjo’s XR-3 Mixed-Reality Headset, PCMag

I got to try out this high-end headset at the end of a long Friday at CES and came away impressed–not that there’s much consumer-relevant in a device with a five-figure price tag.

Screengrab of the story as seen in Safari on an iPad mini.1/12/2023: NEXTGEN TV’s CES sales pitch: strength in numbers, Fierce Video

I thought I’d see more manufacturers shipping TVs with NextGen (aka ATSC 3.0) tuners, but on the other hand I didn’t expect to learn that those sets made up 8% of all TVs shipped to U.S. dealers last year. That already makes NextGen much more relevant than 8K TV.

1/12/2023: Afternoon Learners SIG, Washington Apple Pi

I joined the virtual meeting of this group (SIG being short for “special interest group”) via Zoom for about an hour to share my impressions of CES and answer questions.

1/13/2023: Green tech and trends at CES 2023 point to environmental progress, Fast Company

After noting all of the green shoots I saw at CES, I had to remind readers of how much Las Vegas remains a monument to car supremacy.

1/13/2023: Third-Party Twitter Apps Stop Working in What Appears to Be a Widespread Outage, PCMag

The fact that Twitter management remains silent about blocking third-party clients shows a colossal amount of disrespect for both the developers of those apps and their customers.

1/14/2023: S03 E43 – SmartTechCheck Podcast, Mark Vena

I shared my impressions of CES and discussed smart-home technology in the first 2023 edition of this podcast, also available via video.

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.