My Work

Below is a small sample of my recent work. You can see more at my author page for the publications I work for, all of which are linked to here. But for some highlights from the past few months, try these articles:

  • PS5 & Xbox Series X: Teraflops Aren’t The Only Measure of Power [IGN]: Sony has finally given us a deep dive into the specs of its upcoming PlayStation 5, and while the talk was mostly aimed at developers with super in-depth explanations around SSD, GPU, and audio design, gamers are already abuzz with speculations about how performance between the PlayStation 5 and Xbox’s Series X consoles might compare.
  • How to Deal with Movies That Bounce from Too Quiet to Too Loud [Popular Science]: I love big movie explosions as much as anyone, but I have a bone to pick with movie studios: It feels like every time I watch an action movie, I have to turn the volume way up just to hear the characters speak, then quickly turn it down every time something explodes. And when I’m not quick enough on the draw, my sleeping wife gets very angry.
  • How to Find an Apartment When You’re Moving Across the Country [New York Times]: Apartment hunting can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, but put 2,000 miles between you and the haystack, and it turns into a seemingly impossible quest. If you’re moving to a faraway city, some careful planning can help you find a place to live.
  • How to Get Better Graphics on Old PC Games [PCMag]: Even though my Steam library is overflowing with new games I bought on impulse, it’s hard to resist the allure of the classics. But running old games on your modern PC is more complicated than you might think. While the pixelated graphics of the ’80s and ’90s are charming, the dated polygons of early 3D games can sometimes hamper the experience.
  • How to Make Your Own Open-Source Voice Assistant With Raspberry Pi [PCMag]: I have become addicted to Alexa. Once you start using a smart speaker to set reminders, play the news, or turn the lights on, it’s hard to go back. But if you want the convenience of voice control without the data-collecting tech giant behind the scenes, an open-source project called Mycroft is a great alternative. And you can run it right on a Raspberry Pi.
  • How to Build a Killer Gaming PC for $100 [Popular Science]: Building your own computer from scratch allows you to craft the perfect rig for your needs, but if you’re on a super-strict budget, a shiny, new, custom-built PC isn’t always feasible.
  • Google’s Apparent Plan to Tackle Lag on Stadia, Explained [IGN]: Google’s Stadia game-streaming service is a fascinating leap into the future of gaming. But in a world of varying internet speeds, restrictive data caps, and the worrying loss of “ownership,” it has a few challenges to overcome. Stadia engineers think they can at least conquer the input lag problem with what Google calls “negative latency.”
  • What Is Ray Tracing, and Should You Care? [IGN]: We just learned a whole lot more about the upcoming PS5, thanks to another interview with system architect Mark Cerny. In it, he delved a bit more into how the PS5 will deal with ray tracing⁠—the ultra-realistic lighting effects that have been all the rage on gaming PCs this year⁠.
  • How to Use Your iPad as a Second Monitor on Any Computer [PCMag]: Two monitors are better than one, and with macOS Catalina, you can turn your iPad into a second display with just a few clicks thanks to a new feature known as Sidecar. But Sidecar is limited to certain Macs and iPads, which is a bummer if you have an older device (or a Windows PC).
  • How to Set Up Your Gaming PC on a 4K TV [PCMag]: Gaming monitors are great, but it’s hard to beat that beautiful 4K television you have in the living room. With a good controller and Steam Big Picture mode, you can have a great PC gaming experience right in the living room.
  • How to Use Your Phone with One Hand [Popular Science]: Remember back in the era of the iPhone 4 and 5, when Apple’s phones seemed diminutive compared to their growing competitors? The company claims they did so to keep the phones usable with one hand. They eventually caved, though, and even today’s smaller phones (like the iPhone 8 and Pixel 3a) are huge compared to what we had a few years ago.
  • Boring or Not, ThinkPads Are Still the Laptops of My Dreams [The Inventory]: As a tech writer, I’ve used a lot of laptops. I’ve reviewed laptops, shopped for laptops with my friends, and painstakingly tested laptops for myself every time I’m in the market for a new one. And these days, despite all the great, portable, innovative devices out there, I always find myself drawn to Lenovo’s ThinkPads.
  • The Sometimes Circular Logic of Twitter’s Trending Timeline [OneZero]: Every time a celebrity’s name pops up in Twitter’s trending timeline, I like to play a little game: are they actually dead, or, did they make a politically controversial statement? Unfortunately, that game is sometimes hard to play, since clicking on the person’s name inevitably brings me to a feed of reaction GIFs that offer no context as to what happened.
  • Desperate Spammers Are Targeting Calendars With ‘Meeting’ Invites [OneZero]: My email inbox is a mess. Ever since my work email address became public, spam has torn through it like a Tasmanian devil trying to sell little blue pills. I’ve resigned myself to the disorder in my inbox, but my calendar is sacred. It runs my entire life, from work meetings to outings with my kids. But now spammers are trying to ruin that, too.
  • How to Build a Small Form Factor Gaming PC That Can Fit Anywhere [The Inventory]: When you think of a “gaming PC,” chances are you picture a tricked-out desktop tower the size of a large sock drawer. But why waste that much space? With a Mini-ITX motherboard and the right case, you can build a tiny PC that fits just about anywhere, without sacrificing on power.
  • The Best Laptops Under $1,000 This Year [Reviewed]: These days there’s a laptop for just about every budget, whether you need an inexpensive Chromebook for browsing the web or a high-powered machine for video editing or gaming. But for most people, the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle, especially around a grand. We prefer the Dell XPS 13 9380 to anything else we tested.
  • Six Google Tricks That Will Turn You Into an Internet Detective [New York Times]: Like it or not, Google is most people’s portal to the internet. And when you’re searching for something simple — like the latest news about Iran — Google will usually get you what you want on the first try. But if you’re trying to find something a bit more niche, you may need to do some digging.
  • What’s the Difference Between New, Used, and Refurbished? [iFixit]: With the latest flagship phones costing nearly $1000, you’re probably looking to save some cash on your next device. Buying used and refurbished aren’t just cheaper, they’re better for the environment—but what do you give up when you opt for a “previously loved” gadget?
  • How a Brand Name Becomes Generic [New York Times]: When you need to blow your nose, there’s a good chance you ask for a Kleenex, even if the box being handed to you doesn’t bear the Kimberly-Clark-owned Kleenex logo. When you use a brand name as a generic term, you’re using a proprietary eponym, and there are more examples of this phenomenon than you might realize.
  • Five Ways to Make Your Aging Phone Last Longer [iFixit]: Every year, manufacturers reveal their newest, shiniest phones, each with one or two incremental improvements over the previous year’s. If your current handset is feeling a little dated, you might be tempted to upgrade—but before you throw away your hard-earned money, try these tips for stretching your phone’s useful life a bit longer.
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