Don't be a Facebook whore

Facebook AdvertisingJust in case you ever sue me, you should know that I have every e-mail I have ever sent or received since 1992. That’s crazy from a legal standpoint, I know, but I can’t help myself. I’m obsessive-compulsive that way. But having a clear view of 16+ years of mail amounting to more than four gigabytes of mainly ascii text gives me a sobering sense of how poorly e-mail does the job lately compared to its glory days of, say, 1999.

More than ninety percent of my mail today by volume is spam. Back in 1999 spam was about 15 percent of my mail. Of course I am in large part to […]

The Missing Link


It’s the day after Christmas so of course sales have started and whatever you thought you bought for a good price is suddenly available for a lot less, especially electronics. But this isn’t your normal after-Christmas sale, it’s after-Christmas during one of the worst economic recessions in decades, so prices are lower still. Add to this, at least in the U.S. market, the pending shutdown of analog broadcast TV in February and there ought to be a feeding frenzy of digital set buying. And there will be I’m sure. But it could be a lot better except for a missing link, one small bit of technology the lack of which is costing TV manufacturers […]

Have a Buoyant Holiday!


Mary Alyce, Bob, Channing, Cole & Fallon Cringely

My Other Life

blogpicSome people have hobbies, I have blogs.  This is the mortgage blog I started quietly a few weeks before leaving PBS.  It reflects my discoveries and thinking about an area that directly affects about 51 million U.S. families.  What has YOUR mortgage done for you lately?  Not much, eh?

Take a look at the site, which in theory you can reach by clicking on jumbo there.  Otherwise it is at

Apple, MacWorld and Steve Jobs – the Wal-Mart Connection

Bentonville stands in the northwest corner of Arkansas only a few miles from Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. It is a little city in the Ozarks with a fine town square where once there stood a Ben Franklin variety store owned by Sam Walton. Today, that store on the square is a museum, and Bentonville is the headquarters of Wal-Mart, not just the biggest retailer in the world, the biggest COMPANY in the world. There is nothing fancy about Wal-Mart, and that certainly applies to its corporate headquarters, a nondescript brick building where every day suppliers from around the world come to peddle their wares. The place where would-be suppliers meet Wal-Mart buyers looks like an old Quonset hut from World War II. The hut […]