Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 1.16.26 PMI’ve been away on a secret mission, which must remain secret for awhile longer.

Somehow this summer my so-called career had a revival of sorts. My earnest and heartfelt book, The Decline and Fall of IBM, is doing well and will shortly appear in a number of foreign language editions coming from actual book publishers. In a week or two I’ll publish here a general IBM update that’s mainly material to bring those foreign editions up to the present. The short version is it still sucks being Big Blue.

But wait, there’s more! Suddenly I have four (four!) television projects in the works, two of them literally back from the dead. I haven’t been this busy in years.

And next week I’ll start blogging occasionally for Forbes (

I’m not leaving this rag and in fact everything I write for Forbes (business-y stuff) will appear here, too, precisely three days later after all the ad revenue has rubbed-off. Additional material will appear here that never makes it to Forbes, so you’ll never have to go over there if you don’t want to. I’ll be there because they invited me, because my kids all want new mobile phones, and because money talks.

I was a stalwart at Forbes ASAP back in the 1990s where I wrote many feature articles including their inaugural cover story, making this a reunion of sorts.

So look for a succession of Cringely announcements on several fronts between now and the end of the year.

While I was away on my secret mission, Paul Tyma at Refresh shipped a web version of his mobile app that compiles dossiers on people in upcoming meetings or on that girl you are staring at across the bar. This is an interesting phenomenon I think we’ll soon be seeing often.

Mobile has become so important that it seems at times like that’s where all the software development action lives. But we still have 200 million desktops in this country and until a few days ago those were deprived of Refresh-style social intelligence.

I am officially claiming here and now to be the inventor of record for the term social intelligence.

It makes perfect sense when trying to build out a market to make a desktop version, too, yet until now I generally haven’t seen it.

While a lot of this has to do with the utility of Refresh and the simple fact that people need to compile and read dossiers just as much at their desks as anyplace else, I think it’s also an early sign of a maturing mobile market. In IT, maturing markets bring with them product shakeouts, so I predict we’ll start to see a lot of me-too mobile products failing like all those photo-sharing web sites did in the early 2000s.

This begs the question of whether there’s now a mobile bubble? My view is yes, but not a big one, with new product categories still emerging and sucking-up many of the bodies cast-off in the coming bubble subsidence.

I’ll be counting on Refresh to keep track of those people for me.