Weekly output: transparency reports in trouble

I had a whole week at home for the first time since [checks calendar] August. Some of that spare time let me finish bringing a story to publication at a new client, and some of the rest went into attending a conference hosted by the same client.

9/29/2019: Tech Companies Are Quietly Phasing Out a Major Privacy Safeguard, The Atlantic

This piece on stagnating support among U.S. tech companies for transparency reports had a prolonged and sometimes-painful gestation period. First I had another site interested to run it, then the other site decided it did not want the story. Then I had some anxious moments wondering if anybody anywhere would want to pay me for this (hello, impostor syndrome) before an editor at The Atlantic green-lighted my pitch. This time, the approval stuck, leading to the first story I’ve sold to one of my favorite publications.

In the interest of transparency–as in, to explain the screengrab I took this morning–management chose to swap out the initial headline after the story was posted. That’s not an uncommon occurrence in the news business these days.

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Weekly output: NSA pushback, Twitter and Facebook abuse

I had meant to write an essay for the Disruptive Competition Project on this week’s Techonomy conference–but the post that seemed easy when I pitched it to my editors turned out to be anything but once I started trying to string words together. After spending about all of Friday bashing the piece into shape over multiple rewrites, I filed it so late that the post would have gone up at news-dump time. Fortunately, management elected to save it for Monday.

(So now I’ll probably take another whack at this post later tonight.)

11/12/2013: Responses To NSA Snooping: Security, Litigiousness And A Little Profanity, Disruptive Competition Project

I’d meant to write something earlier about the “it’s only self-serving, manufactured outrage” critique of tech companies publicizing their disapproval of the NSA’s snooping, and the latest round of creepy revelations (combined with the f-bombs being tossed around in Google+ rants by infuriated Google engineers) gave me an excuse to address this issue.

USAT Twitter and Facebook abuse11/17/2013: How to report an abusive user on Twitter, USA Today

A question from a reader about a Twitter abuser trying to hide the evidence of her misdeeds and a friend’s account of somebody impersonating his dad on Facebook while apparently blocking him from reporting the violation led to this post. Both of these companies need to fix some bugs, or at a minimum revise misleading directions, in their abuse-reporting systems. Since nobody seems to have called out these problems before, I’m a little happier than usual with this post.

On Sulia, I shared details from a couple of interesting talks at Techonomy (one on voting, another on Microsoft security), provided 30 turns of phrase you can use instead of the “disrupt,” shared what it takes to put somebody in my contacts list and explained how a promising feature in OS X Mavericks’ Calendar app turned out to be near-useless to me.