Weekly output: video gaming booms, Locast expands, Sheryl Sandberg defends Facebook

A time shift caused by the start or end of Daylight Saving Time means one thing around here: a boomlet of page views for the rant I wrote about the unintuitive interface on a sports watch my wife used to wear. Not too many of you still have this Timex model, to judge from the declining stats for that post compared to five years ago, but it remains the most-read post on this blog with 123,612 views–almost twice as many as the second-place post, a how-to about setting up Lotus Notes to forward all your work e-mail to Gmail.

3/10/2021: Limelight survey: The pandemic is driving a boom in gaming, FierceVideo

I spent Wednesday morning filling in at my trade-pub client to cover breaking news, and as part of that wrote up this eight-country survey conducted for the content-delivery firm Limelight Networks.

Screenshot of my Locast story as seen in my Android phone's Chrome browser.3/10/2021: Locast expands service to Cleveland area, now reaches more than 50% of U.S. viewers, FierceVideo

The first piece I filed Wednesday got published second, because reasons. Covering the expansion of Locast to northeast Ohio gave me a chance to introduce myself properly to the PR people at this non-profit that streams local TV stations–this won’t be the last time I cover this interesting option for cord cutters and the legal challenges it faces from broadcasters who don’t appreciate its reading of copyright law.

3/11/2021: Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: Trust Us, You Still Want Personalized Ads, Forbes

An appearance by Facebook’s chief operating officer at the ad-industry group IAB’s virtual event left me scratching my head about the vast gap between the picture Sandberg painted of Facebook and what I’ve seen and read over the past year.

Weekly output: Verizon’s unlimited plan (x3), video-game economic impact, chatbots, broadband competition

Presidents’ Day used to feel like a real holiday–preferably experienced while enjoying views from a chairlift somewhere–but Monday doesn’t feel like much of one. I’m facing an abbreviated workweek, thanks to my Friday departure for Barcelona to cover Mobile World Congress. On the upside, I’m about to spend a few days in Spain for work.

2/13/2017: How Verizon’s new ‘unlimited’ plan compares to the competition, Yahoo Finance

This workweek technically started Sunday afternoon, when Verizon announced that it would once again sell an unlimited–more accurately called “unmetered”–data plan. After I’d filed this post, I got to rewrite a quarter of it to catch up with T-Mobile lifting the two worst restrictions on its own “unlimited” plan.

esa-panel-screengrab2/14/2017: Achievement Unlocked: The Video Game Industry’s Economic Impact, Entertainment Software Association

The nice thing about moderating a panel with members of Congress: They are guaranteed to make you look timely. Rep. Pete Aguilar (D.-Calif.) had to duck out halfway through this discussion, just as Rep. Doug Collins (R.-Ga.) made his belated entrance. You can watch the conversation, also featuring Higher Education Video Game Alliance president Constance Steinkuehler, on Twitch (this is the first and probably the last time I’ll appear on that game-centric network) and see photos from the event at ESA’s Facebook page.

2/15/2017: A Chatbot Is Here to Help, FedTech

I filed this story about the potential of chatbots to ease federal-government services in a simpler time when a Facebook Messenger bot would walk you through sending a message to the president. The Trump administration shut that down; I don’t know why, as my e-mailed inquiry to the White House press office did not yield a response.

2/15/2017: Here are the catches in Verizon’s new plan, USA Today

My editors at USAT asked if I could file my column early, recognizing that something about Verizon advertising unlimited data was driving readers bonkers. The piece now has 27,788 Facebook shares, which suggests they had the right idea.

usat-facebook-live2/17/2017: Unlimited data! But at what cost?, USA Today

My USAT editors also asked if I could do a Facebook Live spot with tech and media reporter Mike Snider. This allowed me to see what USAT’s Tysons Corner newsroom looks like–yes, more than five years after I started writing for the place.

2/18/2017: Wireless carriers are fighting for your cash, and that’s good news, Yahoo Finance

While I was gathering string for a story on broadband infrastructure, I realized I already had almost everything needed to write a post about the wireless industry’s recent display of the benefits of competition–and the equally telling behavior of residential-broadband services that face few or no rivals.