Digital Me: Will the next Cringely be from Gmail?

 

MaxHeadroom460My last column discussed the intersection between Big Data and Artificial Intelligence and where things might be heading. The question for this column is can I (Bob Cringely) be replaced by a machine?

Look below the fold on any news site except this one and you’ll see ads that look like news stories but aren’t: “One Weird Trick to Grow Extra Toes!,” or “The 53 Hottest Ukrainian Grandmothers!” I’m waiting for “One Weird Trick to Becoming a Hot Ukrainian Grandmother with Extra Toes!” Read the stories and they are total crap, that is unless you have a fetish for Ukrainian Grandmas… or toes. They are all about getting us to click […]

So that’s how H-1B visa fraud is done!

Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 12.37.22 AMReader Mark Surich was looking for a lawyer with Croatian connections to help with a family matter back in the old country. He Googled some candidate lawyers and in one search came up with this federal indictment. It makes very interesting reading and shows one way H-1B visa fraud can be conducted.

The lawyer under indictment is Marijan Cvjeticanin. Please understand that this is just an indictment, not a conviction. I’m not saying this guy is guilty of anything. My point here is to describe the crime of which he is accused, which I find very interesting. He could be innocent for all I know, but the crime, itself, is […]

The Startup Channel

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 6.40.46 AMWe interrupt this book for a quick update on what’s happening in my so-called career. Shortly before beginning this serialization of Accidental Empires I explained that I would be doing some new projects including a book and a startup about startups – The Startup Channel (thestartupchannel.net). The latter project will now launch in April so it’s time to explain.

The Startup Channel will be an online video channel about startups and startup people. You’ll find it probably on YouTube unless some other Internet video outfit makes me a better offer (hint, hint). We’ll be launching with 40 hours of pre-produced content, which is a lot for online video where the […]

Ad networks are killing the Internet. My answer is Cringely 3.0

One of my predictions back in January was that there would be no more predictions from me — that I would retire or otherwise significantly change what I do in this space at some point during the year. Well that point — the first of several, actually — is almost here. If my PBS blog was Cringely 1.0 and this space has been Cringely 2.0, get ready for Cringely 3.0, which will start subtly in a couple weeks with a change in how I use advertising on this rag.

We read a lot about how newspapers and magazines are dying at the hands of the Internet but there is hardly anything written about how […]

Click fraud the old fashioned way

While click fraud and identity theft are probably the most common forms of larceny on the Internet, I just heard of a company that sets a whole new standard of bad, lying to advertisers about, well, everything.

Click fraud is when a web site either clicks on its own ads to increase revenue, gets someone else to click on them with no intention of buying or works with botnets to generate millions of illegal clicks. I wrote a few months ago how longtime YouTubers were suffering income drops as Google algorithmically eliminated their botnet clicks. But click fraud requires a third party ad network to work. What I am writing about here is something […]