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.

Weekly output: Kindle Unlimited, international bandwidth, This Week In Law, HDMI CEC vs. Blu-ray

I enjoyed seeing something I wrote on my own time get a little publicity through no effort of my own.

This weekend’s usatoday column is more explanation than solution: It outlines why two electronic gadgets can interact poorly, but it doesn’t offer any one solution. Because none exists. Sorry… sometimes that’s how these things are.

The Tysons Corner El

Ever since I started watching the support columns for Metro’s Silver Line start to rise across Tysons, I’ve had one thought about them: That train will have some nice views up there.

Silver Line track through TysonsThat was not a popular reaction to the decision to string the Silver Line through Tysons on aerial tracks instead of in a tunnel–from the wailing about it, you’d think that this sprawl-choked “edge city” and its…

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My second story for Gannett’s NowU site shares some advice about getting online when you leave the United States. Hint: You shouldn’t count on WiFi being as widespread or as cheap as it is in the States.

Decluttering tip: Hand over home-improvement leftovers to Habitat for Humanity

In the decade we’ve now spent in our home, we’ve had a non-trivial amount of work done on the place, which in turn led to many of the parts that we’d replaced piling up in the basement. Basements are great for that sort of unplanned accumulation, but eventually embarrassment over one’s possible hoarding tendencies encourages finding a better use for the leftovers.

Habitat for Humanity NoVa logoThat’s how I found a way to get…

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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.