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 […]

Jann Wenner is my hero

This is one of those columns that will piss-off some of my geekier readers. They’ll complain that I am covering this subject at all, they will declare me dead or at least too stupid to be worth reading, and they will claim to be departing Cringelyville never to return. Frankly, I don’t give a damn. And it is important that I not give a damn, because that’s what freedom of the press is all about. This column concerns a particularly damning story about Goldman Sachs, the big Wall Street bank, that is available online now from the Rolling Stone. But I’m not so interested here in Goldman, or even in our ongoing global […]

Who Ya Gonna Call? App Busters!

Rohit KhareAfter this week’s Google/Microsoft column appeared in the New York Times, I got a message from an old friend, Rohit Khare, that sparked some thinking about our vulnerability as individuals when our data is held in the cloud — somebody else’s cloud.  How do we save it, get it back, destroy it? Given the recent case of Facebook hanging-on to old user data essentially forever, this is not just a theoretical concern.

“’Cancellation on a whim’ is a key insight,” wrote Rohit.  “After all, with desktop software you at least had the right to keep using what you wanted, as long as you kept the old hardware/software/OS running — I know of […]

Chrome vs. Bing vs. You and Me

timesdetailA couple times per year the New York Times calls me up asking for an Op-Ed column on some technology topic.  I don’t know how they found me but I’ve been writing these pieces since 1995.  I think they call because I’m good at meeting tight deadlines.  Lord knows that if there was a piece I actually wanted to get in the Times (my idea, not theirs) I have no confidence that I could get them to run it.  Op-Ed at the Times — at least to me — is a sort of black box.

Here’s the column they asked for on Google’s Chrome OS:

The opinions expressed, as always, are ruthlessly my own.