Archive for October, 2008

Greatest gadgets of the last five years (and maybe of all time)

The best gadgets are simple, elegant, and change your life in ways you don’t expect Five years ago my Gadget Freak column began with a simple mission. To explore brave new technologies, to seek out new gizmos and gear, and to boldly go where no gadget column had gone before. Now that mission is over. [...]

I’m a PC, she’s a Mac. Are you a sucker?

Microsoft has launched the next phase of its $300 million effort to convince us that Vista is not a dog — while quietly pushing its replacement, Windows 7. What’s wrong with this picture?

Windows: Unsafe at any speed, part deux

My, my. The “Windows: Unsafe at any speed?” post last week certainly raised a few hackles -– thanks in part to a totally unexpected appearance on the New York Times web site. (Hello New Yawkers, and welcome to Geek Street USA.) I haven’t gotten this violent a reaction since I suggested the Creation Museum add [...]

Politics, YouTube, and how to skin a moose

I did a podcast yesterday with Jeff Powers, the force of nature behind Geekazine.com.  We talked mostly about the YouTube effect on politics and the fact that we haven’t yet had a "Macaca" moment (but there’s still plenty of time), and also about Sarah Palin, Tina Fey, Hulu, and the new crop of amateur video [...]

Eight Ways Twitter Will Change Your Life

(A slightly different version of this article appeared on PCworld.com.) It seems everyone is atwitter about Twitter. Yes, there are other microblogs with insufferably cute names — Pownce, Jaiku, Plurk, etc. But Twitter has quickly become the de facto choice for creating really really really short blogs. Why? it helps that Twitter’s rules are painfully [...]

Tweet if you love Osama…

I always knew those Twitterati were up to no good. And now it seems the US Army has cottoned on to this as well. A draft US Army intelligence report has identified Twitter as a potential tool for terrorism. (You can find a copy on the Federation of American Scientists web site [PDF].) Apparently the [...]

Windows: Unsafe at any speed?

Microsoft has issued an emergency patch for Windows (again). Is it time to finally trade in that old clunker for something that works? Cringely has a few thoughts.

Will the Real Spam King Please Stand Up?

This post originally appeared on PCworld.com. As more and more spammers are arrested, prosecuted, and sued under state and federal antispam statutes, there’s one thing you can count on: Someone somewhere will invariably call the targeted spammer a “spam king.” It seems the bulk e-mail industry has more kings than a pinochle deck. But who [...]

Obama drama or McCain pain? Techies show a clear preference

Who does the high tech world want to be our next president? How about a dark horse candidate with no skeletons in his closet and a clear tech agenda? Read on to find out who Cringely’s voting for this year.

Vote early, vote often — but above all, vote carefully

Does your vote really count? Apparently not if you use a touch-screen voting machine in West Virginia. Cringely has more details on a true vote fraud scandal.

AdSense, nonsense: Does Google have too much power?

Google’s ad programs have made it possible for thousands of small businesses to a make a go of it in the Net economy. Get on Google’s bad side, though, and it’s like waking up a hibernating grizzly bear – you’ll be lucky to escape with all your limbs intact. Mac developer M. P. found this [...]

If you click, don’t fly

Is there anyone Apple won’t sue? Is Qantas really trying to blame airplane malfunctions on laptop users? Cringely has the scoop.

You Don’t Know Tech: News Quiz for October 10, 2008

The world’s financial markets may be collapsing, but technology lives on — for the moment, anyway. This week the feds arrested a suspect in the Sarah Palin e-mail hacking case, and both Steve Jobs and Windows XP got yet another lease on life. Also: new e-books, virtual worlds, and some truly wacky science. Are you [...]

Geek Week: Campaigns mired in sleaze, Microsoft & Google make peace

Politics is infecting everything these days, from YouTube to email to, yes, Cringely’s blog. Thank god Microsoft and Google finally decided to get along. Right?

Drop that DVD copying software and put your hands in the air

Don’t expect to be making legal copies of your DVDs any time soon. A judge has extended the order banning sales of the RealDVD copying software. Hollywood is happy, but are consumers getting a raw deal?

DVDs are Dying – and Movies May Be Next

The future of entertainment can be found inside a game console Hi, my name is Dan and I have a problem with electronics. (“Hi, Dan.”) As a professional gadget wrangler, my home often looks like an electronics warehouse. These days my living room is filled with devices designed to deliver content from the Internet to [...]

Crimes, anonymity, and the Net

Sites like Craigslist and CNN’s iReport are at the center of two recent Net-enabled crimes. Is it time to reconsider the value of anonymity on the Net?

Steve Jobs is alive and well; citizen journalism, not so much

Apple’s number one dude is just fine, thanks. But fake news stories travel faster than truth — and can have real consequences. Cringely has more.

Interview With Myself: The Privacy Crisis in America

This is an interview I did with David Tortorelli, president of Book Premieres, which I did years ago and just found on the Ezinearticles Web site, for some reason. I’d hired David to promote my book, Computer Privacy Annoyances, and this appeared on the book’s Web site (now defunct). But the things I talked about [...]

RealDVDs, surreal law suits

Well, that didn’t take long. One day after RealNetworks releases its DVD copying software, lawsuits are filed. Who’s right, who’s wrong, and where do movie fans fit in? Cringely has some thoughts.