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Archive for September, 2008

Real Scoop: Sit on this and spin

Lies, damned lies, and video. A new web site purports to separate the spin and the slime from the truth by analyzing the speech patterns of public figures. Is this too good to be believed? Cringely has a few thoughts.

Thomas to RIAA: Do It to Me One More Time

Regular readers will remember Jammie Thomas, the Minneapolis mom who was ordered to pay $222,000 in damages to the RIAA last October – the only case to ever reach a jury in the recording industry’s ongoing war on its own customers. That ruling made everyone look bad: Thomas and her attorney, the judge and jury, […]

Are tech firms faking job ads to avoid hiring US workers?

Companies like Hewlett Packard, Cisco, and others are being accused of skirting federal laws to hire foreign workers while laying off American geeks. Cringely labors to uncover the truth.

PBS does a backflip on Palin Poll

Earlier this week (was it only yesterday?) I noted the incredible response to the NOW on PBS show’s Sarah Palin’s qualifications to be VP (or lack thereof). I also noted that for the time being PBS had no plans to change how it conducts online polls (ie, vote early, vote often, tell all your friends). […]

Angry IT workers: A ticking time bomb?

IT workers are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore. What can you do to keep things from reaching the point of no return? (This article originally appeared on It was 9:30 on the morning of March 4, 2002, and something was terribly wrong at the offices of PaineWebber UBS. […]

The RIAA vs… well, everybody

Most sane humans would greet a law suit from the RIAA the way you’d welcome a surprise audit from the IRS. Not Ray Beckerman. He says, "Bring it on, bubba." Beckerman is a New York-based attorney who’s defended several clients in lawsuits brought by the recording industry. He also relentlessly chronicles the absurd activities of […]

Sarah Palin polling madness

So I got an email from one of my more rabidly liberal friends the other day. She wrote: PBS has a poll that asks: Is Sarah Palin qualified to be VP? It shows that more people are saying YES than NO!  Let’s turn this around…..You don’t have to give your name or email address in […]

Geek Week: Palin’s email ails, Seinfeld campaign fails

Sarah Palin’s email gets hacked, Jerry Seinfeld gets smacked. It’s been a strange week here in Cringeville.

Medical Identity Theft Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

When your medical identity is stolen, you may experience pain both fiscal and physical. Here’s how to avoid becoming a victim and recover quickly if you do. A version of this story appears in the October issue of Women’s Health, which you can find online here, along with a strangely tongue-in-cheek photo (pun intended). What […]

Embarrassing Photo #10: Then We Ordered Another Bottle of Tequila, and When I Woke Up One of My Kidneys Was Missing

It was a vacation she’d probably rather forget. When Janet Dudley-Eshbach, president of Salisbury University in Maryland, created an album of her family’s trip to Mexico on Facebook in October 2007, she didn’t expect a local TV station to broadcast the photos to the world, or to have a Wikipedia entry covering the mini-scandal. The […]

Embarrassing Photos #12: I’m a PC, She’s a Mac, and You’re Unemployed

Michael Hanscom did not pose nude on Flickr, attack the locals with a stick on his trip to Mexico, or dress up like the Fairy Princess while calling in sick. His crime? In October 2003, the Microsoft temp posted photos of Macintosh G5s being unloaded on the Redmond campus to his blog with the title […]

Embarrassing Photo #11: Yesterday, Spring Break; Tomorrow, Prison Break

What’s a Halloween costume cost? For college junior Joshua Lipton, it was two years of his life. In October 2006, the Bryant University student was charged with drunk driving after causing a three-car crash that left one Providence woman in critical condition. Two weeks later he showed up for a Halloween party dressed as “Jail […]

Embarrassing Photo #9: Nice, err, Pom Poms

As Texas is to nude art teachers, Illinois is to scantily clad cheerleading coaches. In April 2007, 25-year-old Natosha Shaw was temporarily stripped of her pom poms when parents at Waukegan High discovered sexy photos on Shaw’s MySpace profile. Parents claimed the aspiring dancer/model was also "inexperienced, incompetent, and immature" as well as under dressed. […]

Embarrassing Photo #8: No Nudes is Good Nudes

Here are two quick rules of thumb. If you’re going to teach art to high schoolers, try not to post nude photos of yourself online. And if you must teach art and pose in the nude, don’t do it in Texas. Tamara Hoover found this out the hard way in May 2006, when she was […]

Is Sarah Palin more popular than porn? Search me

Do search terms really indicate what Americans are thinking? It all depends if you believe Americans are actually thinking. Cringely has more.

Embarrassing Photo #7: Where There’s Smoke, There’s Ire

Sometimes posting a photo of someone else is enough to get you in trouble. In March 2005 Central High student Eliazar Velasquez snapped shots of principal Elaine Almagno having a smoke on school grounds and posted them to his Web site. He then distributed flyers throughout the Providence-based school, urging students to visit the site. […]

Embarrassing Photo #6: Moronic at Any Speed

Quick, what’s more stupid–driving 140 mph or filming yourself while driving 140 mph? How about filming yourself driving 140 mph and then posting the evidence on YouTube? That was only the tip of the dunce-berg for 23-year-old Andrew Kellett of Leeds, England. He posted more than 80 videos of himself driving recklessly, stealing gasoline, using […]

Embarrassing Photo #5: Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

What do you do with a drunken pirate? Throw her in the brig–or, if you’re Millersville University, deny her a teaching degree. That’s what happened to Stacey Snyder, a then-27-year-old student teacher who posted a self portrait to her MySpace page under the caption "drunk pirate," even though it was not clear from the photo […]

Embarrassing Photo #4: Vending machine leads tennis teen, 40 – love

British tennis phenoms Naomi Broady and David Rice are no longer feeling the love from the UK’s Lawn Tennis Association. The LTA nixed its sponsorship of the teens in October 2007 after discovering photos of Broady and Rice on social networking site Bebo showing them drunk, getting intimate with condom dispensers in public restrooms, and […]

Embarrassing Photo #3: Muscle bound or muscle brained?

What is it about firehouses that makes people want to take off their clothes? In this case, Boston fireman Alberto Arroyo got in trouble for stripping down to take part in a body-building competition last May. (He finished eighth in the 2008 Pro Natural American Championships, by the way.) There’s nothing wrong with fire fighters […]