Triggering a Trump meltdown: What was the point of that anonymous Op-Ed piece, anyway?

Thirty-nine years ago this past summer, I was working in a dingy cubicle in a K Street office building in Washington, DC when the man with white belt and shoes walked by. I was working as an investigator for the President’s Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island and the man with white belt and shoes was a security consultant hired by the Commission to deal with a series of news leaks about our work. As a result, this consultant was overseeing the installation of an expensive video surveillance system, showing it off at that moment to the chief administrator for the Commission.

“Who do we think will try to […]

Remember Pirates of Silicon Valley? I sure do.

piratesIt’s funny how a career can turn on a dime. Mine certainly did back in the late 90s when Hollywood flirted with me for a moment. My book Accidental Empires, which was the basis of my PBS series Triumph of the Nerds, was optioned for a feature film by Lionsgate Films, a script was written and casting was about to begin. Then along came Pirates of Silicon Valley (ironically you can find both rental and pirated versions of the film at the same time on Youtube). The TV movie for TNT was considered such an overlap of my work that the Lionsgate project died overnight.

I have to give credit to the writer and director of […]

News we aren’t supposed to know

notacrookI’m writing this post on Wednesday evening here in California. Normally I wouldn’t point that out but in this case I want to put a kind of timestamp on my writing because at this moment we’re at the end of the second day of a concerted attack by the UAE Electronic Army on various DNS providers in North America. If you follow this stuff and bother to check, say, Google News right now for “UAE Electronic Army,” your search will probably generate some Facebook entries but no news at all because — two days into it — this attack has gone unnoticed by the world at large. My last column was about fake news. This […]

What’s Real about Fake News

lincboomI’m here nominally to address the problem of what’s being called Fake News. At its core this is as labeled — news that is fake; news that isn’t news; deceptive content intended not to inform or convince but to manipulate and make trouble. It’s a huge problem, we’re told, that will require new algorithms and tons of cloud to fix. But I’m not so sure. You see the key to keeping fake news out is to put real news in.

The recent Fake News tempest has got me thinking about what I do and don’t do right here in this simplest of all corners of the Internet. I’m just one man […]

Moon Express gets FAA “approval” for Moon mission

me logoLast week Moon Express, a contender for the Google Lunar X-Prize (GLXP), announced that the company had received interagency approval from the White House, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of State and other U.S. government agencies “for a maiden flight of its robotic spacecraft onto the Moon’s surface to make the first private landing on the Moon.” This heady announcement got a lot of press including this story I am linking to because it was in the New York Times, the USA’s so-called paper of record. If the Times writes “gets approval to put robotic lander on the Moon” it must be true. Only this story isn’t true. Yes, […]