While making some paper search in my scientific field, sometimes I find articles that are not published in journals or conference proceedings, but as technical reports.
In my experience, I've never written a technical report, and I've never even been asked to do it.
So I was wondering: what's the difference between a technical report and a scientific paper? Why some researchers publish a work as technical report instead of sending it to a conference or a journal?
When do you suggest to write one instead of addressing it to a conference or a journal?
PS: It seems to me that writing technical reports is more diffused in English-speaking world than in Continental Europe. Is it true? Why?