Silicon Valley conquers Hollywood 2013 — Setting the scene

winter-is-comingI wrote here nearly a year ago that there would be no more annual lists of predictions and I’m sticking to that. I’m trying to retire, remember? The ads are gone, you might notice, and with them my income. But I’m not out the door quite yet and have time for a series of columns on what I think will be an important trend in 2013 — the battle for Hollywood and home entertainment.

The players here, with some of them coming and some of them going, are Amazon and Apple and Cisco and Google and Intel and Microsoft and maybe a few more. The battleground comes down to platforms and content and will, by 2015 […]

Reagan and Newtown

RonaldReaganCowboyHatAs the father of a precocious first grader I can relate somewhat to the children and parents of Newtown. My son Fallon goes to a school with no interior hallways, all exterior doorways, and literally no way to deny access to anyone with a weapon. Making this beautiful school defensible would logically begin with tearing it down. But the school design is more a nod to good weather than it is to bad defensive planning. The best such planning begins not with designing schools as fortresses or filling them with police. It doesn’t start with banning assault weapons, either, though I’m not opposed to that. The best defensive planning starts with identifying people in the […]

Instagram’s Exit Plan

instaUpdate — Instagram now says it was all a huge mistake, that users own their pictures and there’s no way Facebook is going to sell them to anyone… but the company hasn’t yet revealed alternate legal language, which they should have been able to cobble up in an hour or two. The underlying problem of mean-spirited, self-serving, over-reaching terms of service is still with us at Instagram and almost everywhere else. Their revised terms of service were stupid and couldn’t stand. Let’s hope in their next attempt to grab rights (because that’s what this whole thing was about and probably still is) Instagram and Facebook treat their users fairly. Until they do, most of what’s […]

Dr. Al explains the so-called “so-called fiscal cliff”

forkintheroadMost of us have had mentors and when it came to becoming a writer three of mine were the late Bill Rivers at Stanford who taught me to think and not just report, legendary book editor Bob Loomis at Random House who felt I might be able to stack enough of those thoughts together to fill a book, and a guy most of you know as Adam Smith, who let me copy his style. 

Smith, named after the English economist and writer, helped start both New York and Institutional Investor magazines while at the same time punching out books like The Money Game and Paper Money — huge best sellers that taught regular people how the financial […]

Feedburner is undead for a moment, so please resubscribe to I, Cringely

FeedBurnerI’ve been away, did you notice?

I didn’t realize how dependent this column was on RSS until last week when my RSS feed abruptly disappeared. I’ve spent a week now trying to get it back just until I can move to a new service. So, quick like a bunny, please head over to FeedBlitz and resubscribe before this thing breaks again.

We’ve used Feedburner since back before it was owned by Google. But FeedBurner apparently didn’t fit with Google’s Apps strategy so they announced awhile back that the service would be shutting down. Feedburner wasn’t ending instantly, but we had to go, and soon.

About the same time Google Apps asked me to switch subscriptions or add a […]