Archive for March, 2008

Donate Marrow, Save a Life

(I posted this as part of my Cringely blog and below, but I thought it deserved its own item.) On a personal, non-snarky note: My friend and colleague, Emru Townsend, wants your blood bone marrow. At least, if you’re a healthy person under age 60 of West African descent he does. Emru, the founder of […]

Hate Mail From Some Halibut

I didn’t even know my “open letter to Steve Jobs” had been posted at until I got my first piece of hate mail on the topic. It’s so juicy I had to reprint it here (though I’ve withheld the identity of the letter writer). I expected to be flamed by the usual crew of […]

Five Ways to Fix the iPhone: An Open Letter to Steve Jobs

(A version of this story originally appeared on, where it is slowly roasting over an open flame fueled by Apple fanboys.) by Dan (Don’t forget my byline) Tynan Dear Steve: I know we’ve had our differences over the years. I warned you about shipping iPods with non-replaceable batteries, we bickered over releasing Leopard with […]

Geek Week: E-voting experts and nymphomaniacs wanted, inquire within

(This entry originally appeared in Infoworld’s Notes from the Field blog.) by Robert X. Cringely I met a gin-soaked barroom queen…. While I was digging through the Net looking for the skinny on Sequoia Voting Systems and its mystery contractor Kwaidan Consulting (aka Mike Gibbons), the Bradblog’s Brad Friedman was doing the same. He managed […]

25 Ways to Reward Employees (Without Spending a Dime)

(This one ran a while back on, but what the heck — it’s all still good.) By Dan Tynan Your firm’s employees work hard (well, most of them). And in a world where corporations like to boast about running “lean and mean,” it may seem nearly impossible to compensate employees for doing good work […]

Smoking guns and broken voting machines

(This post originally appeared on Infoworld’s Notes From the Field blog.) by Robert X. Cringely My last post about Sequoia Voting Systems and its painfully stupid e-voting machines inspired both cheers and jeers from the Cringe faithful. Cringester E. N. believes we should all just grow up and accept that mistakes happen (though he seems […]

Sequoia and e-voting: The best government money can buy

(This post originally appeared on Infoworld’s Notes From the Field blog.) by Robert X. Cringely I don’t know if you’ve noticed lately, but our elected officials are being determined by people who can’t do simple math or write a comprehensible sentence in English. And no, I don’t mean people who voted for Rudy Guiliani. I’m […]

VCs to Startups: Don’t Show Me the Money — Yet

(This entry originally appeared on It’s here now though ….) by Dan Tynan The last thing Philip Bensaid wants to think about is making money. The co-founder of Crusher, a hip, Web 2.0-ish take on invitation sites like Evite, he’s determined to keep his self-funded firm revenue- and ad-free, at least for the time […]

Scientology, The China Syndrome, and my wiki ways

(This entry originally appeared last week on my Infoworld blog, Notes From the Field. Sorry, I just can’t keep up with myself these days.) by Robert X. Cringely It seems I can’t get wikis off my mind these days. And it’s not just because of that juicy story about Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and his […]

Disruptive Duos: 20 Technologies That Changed the World

Often, even great new technology needs a partner to really change the world. Here are 10 marriages of technologies that have shaken the digital world over the last 25 years. (This story, or something like it, originally appeared on by Dan Tynan If there’s one thing the digital revolution has taught us, it’s to […]

Seven diamond escorts, CEOs, and other high-priced whores

At the end of Friday’s blog entry, I posited the question, “Is anything really worth $3000 an hour?” I was referring to Ashley Alexandra Dupre, aka “Kristen,” the hard working and highly compensated escort who took down Eliot Spitzer (in case you were hiding in a cave last week and missed it). But Cringester J. […]

Meet the whiz kids: 10 overachievers under 21

(This story originally appeared on, with my byline. It also appeared on without my byline. ABC sucks — but you knew that already.) by Dan Tynan Mark Zuckerberg, watch your back. Sergey and Larry? Consider early retirement. The next generation is coming up fast, and they aren’t waiting for you Web 2.0 geezers […]

The 7 Dirtiest Jobs in Information Technology

(This story originally posted on by Dan Tynan Working in IT isn’t always pretty. After all, we can’t all work on the cutting-edge technologies all the time. Some of us have to get dirty — in some cases, literally. Unfortunately, dirty jobs — whether you’re being chained to a help desk, hacking 30-year-old code, […]

Geek Week: AOL goes for younger breed, Spitzer girl gets ID’d

(This post originally appeared on Infoworld’s Notes From the Field blog.) by Robert X. Cringely The kids are alright. Some folks hit middle age and buy sports cars, get hair plugs, or take up with $3000 an hour hookers. AOL has decided to celebrate its midlife crisis by buying Bebo, the third largest social network […]

The Next Bill Gates?

(This post originally appeared in InfoWorld’s Notes From the Field blog.) By Robert X. Cringely It seems impossible, but in a few short months we will no longer have William H. Gates III to kick around anymore. The God of Windows is stepping away from his day-to-day responsibilities in June to become a roadie for […]

Gadget Freak: The Next Cool Cell Phones Are Coming From Asia

GPS, electronic compasses, and new software will soon let our phones show us around town. (This article originally appeared in the April 2008 issue of PC World, and also on, where once again they lopped off my byline — those incompetent twits.) By Dan Tynan The United States leads the world in operating systems, […]

Pentagon Hacks and Google Maps

(This post originally appeared in InfoWorld’s Notes From the Field blog.) by Robert X. Cringely I have this nosy but absent-minded Uncle. He likes to paw through my emails, peruse my web history, and tap my phones. But when it comes to protecting his own, more important secrets, he’s mostly clueless. Case in point: When […]

The WhizKid Files: Anshul Samar

In my final installment of interviews, I talk with Anshul Samar, the 14-year-old founder and CEO of Alchemist Empire and inventor of the chemistry card game, Elementeo. Of all the 10 young turks I profiled in my PC World story (“Meet the Whiz Kids: 10 Overachievers Under 21,”) Anshul might be the most impressive. I’ve […]

The WhizKid Files: Ashley Qualls

In researching my story on wunderkids, I asked Ashley Qualls (AshBo to her friends) how it felt like to build a site to give away her MySpace designs and turn it into a thriving business. now pulls in more than $1 million a year in ad revenue. Did I mention that Ashley started […]

The WhizKid Files: Ben Casnocha

In researching my story on wunderkids, I tossed a few questions via email at Ben Casnocha, founder of Comcate, which makes software that allows local governments to track and respond to citizen complaints. It’s the third company he’s started since age 12. Casnocha has also written a book, My Start-Up Life: What a (Very) […]