Cringely, like Milton, is blind. But Milton was a better writer.

Maybe you’ve wondered, “What happened to Cringely?” Nothing serious: I just stepped being able to read or write. Cataracts in my family hit like a hurricane, coming on suddenly and wth great force. It happened to my handsomer older brother two years ago and now to me. My medical care is through Kaiser, which does great work on such conditions, but it’s a bit like being in the army. First I wasn’t blind enough and then I was suddenly too blind, kicking me up to a slower level of service. I know, it makes no sense at all. In another 10 days I’m told it will all be behind me and I’ll have perfect vision […]

The Robots are Coming!

Elon Musk thinks he can increase the speed of his Tesla production line in Fremont, California by 20X. I find this an astonishing concept, but Musk not only owns a car company, he also owns the company that makes the robots used in his car factory. So who am I to say he’s wrong? And if he’s right, well then the implications for everything from manufacturing to the economy to geopolitics to ICBM targeting to your retirement and mine are profound. We may be in trouble or maybe we’re not, but either way it’s going to be an interesting ride.

My friend Jerry Kew from the UK brought this […]

Mineserver Update: We’re not dead yet!

Readers have been clamoring — nay demanding — a Mineserver update, so here it is. The gist of customer complaints is that they feel cheated and under-informed and we’re sorry for that, but please read-on.

This is our 25th update on the Mineserver project. That’s a lot of updates for people who don’t do enough updates. We’ve detailed so far every step and misstep in the project except one, which is coming in the next paragraph. Nothing about those earlier updates has changed or is  incorrect. We’ve learned a lot and we’ve done what we had to do to get to this point.

The major change that has been, to […]

Trump’s 2016 Big Data political arms race

Events happen so quickly in the wacky whirlwind world of Donald Trump that it’s hard to react in anything close to real time, but there was an interesting story in the Guardian last weekend that I think deserves some technical context. The Great British Brexit Robbery: How our Democracy was Hijacked is a breathless but well sourced story about how a U.S. billionaire harnessed Big Data to split up the European Union and steal a U.S. Presidential election. It’s an interesting read, but the point I want to make here is that the tale was entirely predictable and if one side hadn’t done it, the other would have. Next […]

The Cloud Computing Tidal Wave

The title above is a play on the famous Bill Gates memo, The Internet Tidal Wave, written in May, 1995. Gates, on one of his reading weeks, realized that the Internet was the future of IT and Microsoft, through Gates’s own miscalculation, was then barely part of that future. So he wrote the memo, turned the company around, built Internet Explorer, and changed the course of business history. That’s how people tend to read the memo, as a snapshot of technical brilliance and ambition. But the inspiration for the Gates memo was another document, The Final Days of Autodesk, written in 1991 by Autodesk CEO John Walker. Walker’s memo […]