Archive for March, 2009

Meet ‘Garbo’: The anti-social network

Like many people, Randy Hallet is fed up with the Facebooking of the planet. Unlike most, he’s decided to do something about it. The 30-something Webpreneur has created what he calls “the anti-social network.” Hallet declined to speak by phone, though he did agree to an interview via Twitter. He tweeted: “I’m fed up with […]

All the best cowboys have Chinese spies

By now you’ve probably read about GhostNet, the vast spy network that was uncovered after the office of the Dalai Lama asked researchers at the University of Toronto to examine their computer networks for malware. The researchers not only found nasties there, they uncovered an entire network that connected almost 1300 computers in 103 countries […]

Too cool to use Windows, too cheap to buy a Mac

The Windows/Mac holy wars are back with a vengeance. As you may recall, last week Steve “The Mad” Ballmer’s declared that the only difference between an Apple Macintosh and a Windows PC is a $500 logo. What seemed to be yet another bout of Ballmer’s persistent Tourette’s turns out to be a cunning marketing ploy, […]

Strip searches, laptop seizures, and other crimes against humanity

Monday’s New York Times has a doozy of a story about Savana Redding, a 19-year-old college student in Arizona whose case is coming before the Supreme Court on April 21. The outcome of that hearing could determine a lot about your privacy rights, or lack thereof.   Six years ago, then-13-year-old Savana was strip searched by […]

Breaking open Google’s big black box

Behold the power and majesty of the almighty Google algorithm. See how it glows even in the brightest sunlight and disappears when you try to touch it. Just don’t ask how it works, cuz it’s a big secret. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Big publishers are complaining that Google gives short shrift to […]

Ballmer to Apple: Bite Me

Microsoft’s Big Cheese says in a down economy people won’t pay $500 just for the Mac logo. Are Apple fanboyz crazy about logos or is Ballmer just plain loco?

Google Chrome goes psychedelic

Google is touting the uber-grooviness of its technology by urging Javascript mavens to mash it up, and is showing off the results on its Chrome Experiments page. Some of them are pretty impressive.   A nifty app called Google Gravity takes the Google home page and causes the search window and all other page elements […]

Duuude, somebody just pwned your browser

Well that didn’t take long. Moments after Microsoft unleashed Internet Explorer 8 unto an unsuspecting planet it got hacked to bits. Actually, IE8 was hacked the day before it emerged from the beta chysalis. In this case, at least, it was in the controlled environment of CanSecWest’s annual Pwn2Own contest. The hacker was a 25-year-old […]

Guilty by Google

A judge enters a courtroom. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you are hereby instructed to ignore all technological innovations of the past 25 years. In fact, ignore everything newer than the rotary phone. No, wait, make that the telegraph. Or the printing press. Scrolls and parchment? We hereby ban goose quills. Do any of […]

Escape from the Twittering masses

I’m thinking maybe this whole social media thing has gone too far. Maybe we don’t really need to know what everyone we’ve ever encountered is doing every single moment of their lives in 140 characters or less. It’s starting to distort our collection notion of reality. The latest sign of the coming twapocalypse? Last week […]

Happy birthday, Hulu

  Hulu, the joint video venture between NBC and Fox, turned one year old yesterday. And what a precocious rugrat it’s become. To celebrate, Hulu announced it’s becoming more social, adding a feature called, appropriately enough, “Friends.” (No word whether Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Ross, et al will be making guest appearances, but don’t hold your […]

Beyond the Norm: Coleman’s data leak disaster

It’s been a bad week for fans of Norm Coleman, the former Minnesota senator who lost a whisker-thin election to ex-Saturday Night Live comic/Air America radio host/Mad Magazine contributor Al Franken. (Technically, Coleman is still fighting a recount battle, and may still be fighting it six years from now when the seat comes back up […]

Google knows where you surfed last summer

Are those search ads starting to look a little too personal? Welcome to Google’s new behavioral ad strategy. Better keep your nose clean.

Social media? Booming. Social media advertising? Not so much.

Would you prefer the chocolate cinnamon dogshit or the raspberry swirl? In the end, it’s still dogshit.

National Napping Day: To sleep, perchance to dream

Cringe is feeling a little drowsy — and why not, it’s national napping day. But he’s not about to take the RIAA’s latest tactics lying down.

ZillionTV: Part Deux

I admit, I was a bit harsh on ZillionTV in my previous post. I based my report on a limited amount of information – essentially, the press release and the Web site – both of which left a lot of room for interpretation. Shortly after that item posted I heard from ZillionTV and had a […]

ZillionTV: What’s wrong with this picture?

Hollywood has finally figured out how to merge the old media of TV and movies with the new media of the Internet. It’s called ZillionTV, and if you’re anything like me, you may want to run screaming as fast as possible in the other direction. [Note: Updates to this item coming. Watch this space.] Like […]

Want something to worry about? Just look up

Forget the economy, your job, or your computer. Space is the place where the real scary stuff happens. Time to pay attention to what’s going on overhead.

Has Microsoft found the answer to Google? Search me.

It’s quasi-official: Microsoft will be rebranding its Live Search service in yet another pathetic attempt to catch up to Google. Cringely wonders: Why bother?

Happy Square Root Day, math geeks

You may not be aware of it, but tomorrow’s a national holiday for the pocket-protector-and-slide-rule crowd. But why settle for just one numerically inspired celebration each year? Cringely goes in for a little arithmetic therapy.