Sony may be clueless in PSN hack

Sony’s huge PlayStation Network (PSN) has been down for a week now following the theft of ID and credit card data on some or all of the gaming and video entertainment network’s 77 million customer accounts. Readers have been asking for comment but I stay out of these things unless I have something new to contribute. That something finally comes a week into the crisis as gamers begin to wonder why the network is still not back in operation and speculate on what this all means to Sony? It’s a huge loss of face, if course, but beyond that the damage to Sony is minimal. And the upside for PSN members, […]

By |April 28th, 2011|2011|60 Comments

Better late than never…

BBC Radio 4 called this weekend hoping I would be willing to be interviewed in the middle of the night for their celebration of what they were calling “the 50th anniversary of the microchip,” which I came to understand meant the planar process that made possible the first integrated circuit.

But this is the 52nd anniversary. The BBC is running two years late.

I broke it to them gently.

If you are interested in those events of 52 years ago, here is a presentation all about it from the Computer History Museum back in 2009.  This is a long video at 1:42 but be sure to look for Gordon Moore’s Powerpoint presentation, which runs about 20 […]

By |April 24th, 2011|2011|37 Comments

Memo from the bleeding edge

Successful technology startups are usually those that hit the market in a sweet spot — where market conditions create significant demand just as the startup is introducing its product. From the look of the rapidly-consolidating hard drive business, it might appear that I’ve missed the sweet spot with the metal foil disk technology some readers may remember I’ve been working on for several years. Hopefully not. But in any case it is probably time for an update.

When I started down this path toward a drive that uses very thin metal foil instead of polished glass there were several potential customers. Then Western Digital and Seagate started buying their competitors until now there will shortly be […]

By |April 22nd, 2011|2011|90 Comments

Sorry, wrong number

I was in Los Angeles last Friday for TV meetings and lost my iPhone 4. It was on my belt and suddenly it wasn’t. Then in one of those deja vu experiences I noticed that I was only steps from an Apple Store, so I went inside to trace my iPhone using the Where is my iPhone? app. But my iPhone was nowhere.

Understand it was fully-charged and I had been using it less than 10 minutes before. My phone was nowhere to be found.

Sadly the kids at the Apple Store knew far too well what had happened because they hear the story every day. My phone was most likely stolen straight from its clip on […]

By |April 20th, 2011|2011|98 Comments

Cyberpolice Academy

While we’ve gone close to a decade since 9/11 without airliners smashing into skyscrapers, it is hard to see the Department of Homeland Security as an unvarnished success. Under a variety of directors the department has consistently taken a heavy-handed approach to security that upsets travelers on the left and right alike, relies too much on fear-mongering, and is frequently just plain incompetent. Yet these are the folks who are now about to take over cyber-security, too.  I think there is a better way.

According to recent reports there is legislation moving shortly from the White House to Congress intended to put all U.S. non-military cyber-security responsibility with the Department of Homeland Security.

It’s logical, […]

By |April 17th, 2011|2011|55 Comments