Prose Hacking

Reporting, writing and analysis about consumer-tech issues by Rob Pegoraro. Because I like to play with the English language, not just random gadgets.

At Yahoo Tech, I flip through Amazon’s latest e-book deal: $9.99 a month (even if you already pay for Prime) for unlimited reading of some 600,000 titles. My conclusion: You’ll do better, or at least be no more frustrated, if you put up with the long waits to borrow an e-book from your local library. Or you could, you know, read on paper. Crazy thought, right?

Weekly output: Cable WiFi, travel WiFi, Internet governance, phone lanes, Find My iPhone vs. Android

In one way or another, wireless technology figured in all of my stories this week. But why should this week be any different from others?

You can use Apple’s Find My Phone page on your Android phone—if you use Chrome’s “Request desktop site” button to make the iCloud site think you’re running a desktop version of that browser. As I explain in this week’s usatoday column, that’s because Apple is engaging in some snooty and ultimately self-defeating behavior—and it should know better, having been on the receiving end of this treatment when the New York Post blocked iPad users from reading its site in Safari. 

The importance and difficulty of clocking out on time

I had a long chat the other night with a younger tech journalist about work/life balance. I suspect this person was hoping to learn that I had found this one weird trick to regain control of when the job can cede priority to the things that the job pays for, but I had to admit that I had not.

Clocking outThat’s because experience, at least in my case, has not changed this basic conflict in journalism: As…

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A dedicated lane on the sidewalk for people talking on or staring at their phones? Yes, but only for today and only for a National Geographic show. 

Gannett launched a new lifestyle site today, NowU, that’s aimed at empty-nesters. I’m not one, but I wrote a cheat sheet sharing what I’ve learned about getting online affordably (or for free) while on the road around the U.S. Anything you’d add to it?

At Yahoo Tech, I look into the cable industry’s rapidly-expanding project to build out nationwide WiFi access. I like the idea of providing added value to a cable-Internet subscription, and of letting non-subscribers get online for free for limited times. I’m a lot less happy about the idea of adding a public-hotspot function to rented cable modems—without giving the subscribers involved any sort of a price break for helping to market their cable provider. Would it kill this industry to give even some of its customers a discount once in a while?

Weekly output: NSA and Facebook, phone and tablet storage

I had my name appear in boldface type below a photo of me on Wednesday (at the bottom of a recap about…

This weekend’s usatoday Q&A comes direct from my own experience battling iOS and Android to free up enough space for each to update its own apps. Along the way, I learned a couple of non-obvious tricks and had to wait for a bug-fix release to fix the worst of my problems; the column relates all those lessons. Anything you’d add to it?

My (cheap!) three-plant formula for gardening adequacy

This upcoming week will mark the 10-year anniversary of our moving into our house, which also means I’ve now spent almost 10 years obsessively gardening around the yard.

LiliesThis pastime has had its expensive and inefficient moments (apparently, grass seed has grown to hate me over the past decade), but overall my gardening problem has cost me a lot less than I’d initially feared.

Credit for that…

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