My first writing for U.S. News since last May was once going to consist of updating a few comparisons of virtual private network services, but then another freelancer backed out and my editor asked if I could take on some extra work. (Cardinal rule of freelance writing: Try to be the person who solves an editor’s problems, especially if the editor can offer more money for a rush delivery.) So my contributions here wound up including profiles of seven VPN services–Hotspot Shield, Private Internet Access, PrivateVPN, PureVPN, TunnelBear, VyprVPN, and Windscribe–plus guides to cheap VPNs and VPNs for streaming video and four of those comparisons (Surfshark versus ExpressVPN, NordVPN versus IPVanish, NordVPN versus ExpressVPN, and Surfshark versus NordVPN).
This VPN immersion left me with a real dislike of the marketing tactics many of these services employ, so I unpacked those trust issues for Patreon readers this week. They also got my own picks for VPN service.5/16/2023: Verizon ‘myPlan’ Condenses Wireless Menu to 2 Plans, Plus Optional Perks, PCMag
Verizon solved one problem with its old spread of unlimited plans by paring them down from six to two, but in the bargain it left potential customers with as much of math exercise as before–and, if they had appreciated the streaming-media freebies of the old plan, a sense of getting shortchanged.5/18/2023: Supreme Court: Lazy Content-Moderation Doesn’t Mean Platforms Aided Terrorists, PCMag
I suspected that the Supreme Court would decide that Twitter, Google and Facebook overlooking some of the ISIS terrorist cult’s abuse of their platforms did not amount to aiding and abetting that abomination, but I didn’t expect a unanimous opinion. Or one written by Justice Clarence Thomas, who in 2021 suggested that social platforms needed stricter regulation.5/19/2023: Dish Wireless: We’ll Meet June Deadline to Cover 70% of Americans With 5G, PCMag
I was going to write up this Wednesday-afternoon session from the wireless trade group CTIA’s 5G Summit on Thursday, but then the Supreme Court upended my plans.5/19/2023: S03 E54 – SmartTechCheck Podcast, Mark Vena
We talked at some length about the court’s opinion on this episode of my analyst friend’s podcast (also available in video form) before turning our attention to car and smart-home security.