Geek Idol: A Competition to Promote Competitiveness

A couple weeks from now we’re going to start serializing my 1992 book Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date. It’s the book that was the basis for my 1996 documentary TV series Triumph of the Nerds and ultimately led to this column starting on pbs.org in 1997.

What goes around comes around.

We’ll be serializing the complete 1996 paperback edition which is 102,000 words in length, pumping the book onto the intertubes at around 2,000 words per day. In about 51 days, give or take a bit, we’ll put the entire work on the web with no ads and no subscription fee, just lots and lots of […]

What’s a WeJIT?

This is the third in a series of columns about interesting new technologies.

Every few years something comes along to fundamentally change how we use the World Wide Web, whether it is online video, social networking, dynamic pages, or even search, itself. This week a new technology called WeJIT was announced that looks like something small but is really something big because it extends collaboration from specialized sites like wikis to everywhere HTML is used.  WeJITS are collaboration in a persistent link.

WeJITS come from Democrasoft, a company here in Santa Rosa that is best known for Collaborize Classroom, a cloud-based service used by more than 30,000 teachers to interact with students, deliver lessons from a global peer reviewed library, and even give […]

Are Indian high schoolers manning your IBM help desk?

The theory of outsourcing and offshoring IT as it is practiced in the second decade of the 21st century comes down to combining two fundamental ideas: 1) that specialist firms, whether here or overseas, can provide quality IT services at lower cost by leveraging economies of scale, and; 2) that offshore labor markets can multiply that price advantage through labor arbitrage using cheaper yet just as talented foreign labor to supplant more expensive domestic workers who are in extremely short supply. While this may be true in the odd case, for the most part I believe it is a lie.

This lie is hurting both American workers and the ability of American enterprise to compete in […]