So Pat McGovern walks into a bar…

PatinredPat McGovern died this week at 76 in Palo Alto totally surprising me because I didn’t even know he had been ill. Uncle Pat, as we called him, was the founder of Computerworld back in 1967 and the year before that research firm International Data Corp., started in his suburban Boston kitchen. Pat helped turn the computer business into an industry and employed a lot of people along the way including me. He was an exceptional person and I’d like to tell you why.

Pat ran a company that published about 200 computer magazines all over the world. Each December he traveled the globe to give holiday bonuses to every employee he could find. The bonuses […]

Edward Snowden is trying to be Daniel Ellsberg on Twitter

snowdenscreensWhat are the differences between Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, and Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers back in 1971? Not much, really, but the distinctions that do exist are key:

  1. 1.  Ellsberg, a true product of the establishment he was undermining, had the New York Times and the Washington Post simultaneously releasing in its entirety all that he had to share, while Snowden is dribbling his news through The Guardian and the Post, with neither paper taking much of a legal or ethical stand behind him, much less printing verbatim thousands of pages of classified material as happened with the Ellsberg case in the early 70s. If Snowden is the Ellsberg of this century, […]

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 […]