This week was more exciting than most: I returned to the Kennedy Space Center for the first time since 2011 to see the liftoff of the most powerful rocket to leave American soil since 1973. I still can’t quite believe that I pulled that off… but I have the photos I took around Launch Complex 39A and the audio of the launch I recorded from the KSC press site to remind me that I did.
2/6/2018: SpaceX successfully launches the world’s most powerful rocket, Yahoo Finance
Two posts about the Falcon Heavy appeared at this Web address. The first was a curtain-raiser I filed late Monday explaining the significance of the Falcon Heavy. The second was a launch story–written in advance so I only had to add descriptions of the liftoff and the subsequent landing of the outer first-stage boosters–that my editors subbed in Tuesday afternoon. I also had a third post mostly ready that you didn’t read: a just-in-case piece about an unsuccessful launch that became irrelevant minutes after 3:45 p.m. Tuesday.
If you didn’t get a chance to see the pre-launch story at Yahoo, you can still read it at the Internet Archive, as shown in the screengrab above.
2/7/2018: The family cell-phone bill: How to find savings on shared wireless plans, USA Today
A reader complained that last week’s USAT column on cheaper alternatives to unlimited data for a smartphone didn’t offer any insight about saving money on shared-use family plans. Dear reader: story assignment accepted.
2/7/2018: The Strava social exercise app can reveal your home address, Yahoo Finance
I was grateful for this chance to redeem my prior Strava coverage: a study by a mobile-security firm that revealed how that exercise-tracking app’s geofenced privacy options can pinpoint a Strava user’s home address instead of obscuring it.
2/10/2018: Kuwait interior-ministry site hacked, Al-Jazeera
The Arabic-language news channel had me on to talk (overdubbed live into Arabic) about a recent episode of a hacker in Saudi Arabia defacing the site of Kuwait’s Interior Ministry. There’s a long history of this kind of digital vandalism, and fortunately the host mainly asked me about that instead of Gulf politics.
2/10/2018: February 10, 2018 — Kirk McElhearn and Rob Pegoraro, Tech Night Owl
I talked with host Gene Steinberg about the Falcon Heavy launch, Strava’s privacy issues and Apple’s new HomePod speaker. Gene’s other guest was Kirk McElhearn, who’s long been among my favorite Apple reporters.