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Archive for August, 2008

Chinese democracy meets US justice

The feds have arrested a 27-year-old blogger for posting unreleased Guns N’ Roses songs to his site, and Cringely is steamed. Read on to find out what’s making him so mad.

Stupid email tricks: Hold the Democrats, add the salami

You’d think that by now major political parties, national newspapers, and food franchises would have a handle on email. Of course, you’d be wrong. Cringely details how the Democratic Party, the Wall Street Journal, and Pizza Hut are pulling stupid email tricks out of their, umm, hats.

Identity theft: fact, fiction, and the funny papers

Phishing scams are no laughing matter. But when a tax-payer funded group tackles the topic in comic book about identity theft, unintentional humor prevails. Cringely has the dirt.

More Twitter Weirdness

So I got the usual "some total stranger is now following you on Twitter" message yesterday. When I clicked the link inside the email I got the following screen, which I’d never seen before: "Shelly" says she is from Canada and "enjoys showing people how to market online." She’s following 1922 people but only 30 […]

Geek Week: China cheats on ages, spy controversy rages

What do Chinese gymnasts and FBI agents have in common? They believe laws (and/or regulations) are made to be broken.

The RIAA’s comic crusade

(This post originally appeared on Infoworld’s Notes From the Field blog — but without the cool graphic.)   The Recording Industry Association of America probably sees itself as a band of caped crusaders fighting for truth, justice and the American way. (And in this case, "American Way" translates into propping up a dying cartel seeking […]

Lame and Lamer: 10 Dumbest Viral Marketing Campaigns

You can’t force anything to ‘go viral’ on the Internet, but that didn’t stop these 10 companies from giving it a big, dumb try. Guess who topped the list. (This post originally appeared on Sure, it looks easy enough. Post a video of yourself wiggling your butt on Wii Fit, dancing your way across […]

There’s No Business Like Show Business

(This post originally appeared on Infoworld’s Notes From the Field blog.) Big trade shows like CES (and in the paleolithic era, Comdex) may have all the glitz, glamour, and booth bimbos, but the real action happens in the smaller confabs where the elite meet and greet. That’s where the next Googles and Facebooks will emerge. […]

Five Ways to Rock the Vote

Don’t like the government? Go out and make one of your own. These five Web sites can help you get informed, get active, and get those jokers out of office. (A version of this story first appeared on In case you haven’t noticed, it’s an election year. Along with making promises, shaking hands, and […]

Pros, cons, and Defcon

(This post originally appeared on Infoworld’s Notes From the Field blog.) Want a pain-free way to break into a corporate wireless network? No problem. Eager to spy on private conversations through closed windows using nothing but a simple laser pointer and some audio equipment? Step right up. But if you’re thinking about using technology that […]

Use a Wiki, Change the World

Collaborative Web sites are becoming tools for social action (A version of this post originally appeared in the June issue of US Airways Magazine — but for some reason I never posted it til now.) Do you use a wiki? If not, you probably will soon. A wiki is a Web site where virtually anyone […]

Anonymous returns, Scientology responds

(This post originally appeared on Infoworld’s Notes From the Field blog.) It seems Anonymous has resurfaced and hired a publicist. Two days ago I received an email alerting me to two new YouTube videos from the anti-Scientology crusader(s). I’d been wondering what had happened to it/them, since things had been so quiet lately on that […]

The Twittering Masses

Micro-blogs offer new ways to reach out and touch—140 characters at a time (This post originally appeared in the August issue of US Airways Magazine.) When American photojournalist James Buck was taken into custody by Egyptian security forces last April, he didn’t call his lawyer, the US embassy, or his mother. He whipped out his […]

Microsoft bites the bullet on .Net suit

A tiny Texas firm just won its .Net patent suit against Microsoft. What does this mean for Web developers and the products they use? Are Adobe and IBM next? Cringely weighs in.

The McCracken Factor

Harry McCracken (aka Technologizer) did a great podcast with the folks over at MyMac Magazine the other day. And what’s so great about it? Because he names me as one of his favorite tech writers, that’s why. And I didn’t even have to pay him (though the check is now in the mail). The money […]

Stompin’ at the Servoy

(This post appeared in a slightly different form on Infoworld’s Notes From the Field blog.) You may have noticed this has been a slow week in blogville. Well now the truth can be told. For the past five days I’ve been held captive in Amsterdam by a small group of mad Dutchmen. They locked me […]