Cringely, like Milton, is blind. But Milton was a better writer.

Maybe you’ve wondered, “What happened to Cringely?” Nothing serious: I just stepped being able to read or write. Cataracts in my family hit like a hurricane, coming on suddenly and wth great force. It happened to my handsomer older brother two years ago and now to me. My medical care is through Kaiser, which does great work on such conditions, but it’s a bit like being in the army. First I wasn’t blind enough and then I was suddenly too blind, kicking me up to a slower level of service. I know, it makes no sense at all. In another 10 days I’m told it will all be behind me and I’ll have perfect vision […]

DVD Is Dead

The DVD may have died this week.

Walmart is now selling Blu-Ray high-definition optical disk players for $68 in the U. S. Sure, plain old DVD players are cheaper still, but why would you buy one? Blu-Ray players can be used with your old DVD collection just fine and will line-double and up-shift your old disks a bit so they’ll look nice (but not as nice as 1080p Blu-Ray) on your new LCD or plasma TV. So unless the Blu-Ray can’t connect to your old TV for some reason, I can’t imagine why anyone would buy the old standard.

These things happen: Moore’s Law, remember? But in this case it feels to me like […]

The Adam Smith & Paul Krugman Show

We’ll get back to health care tomorrow, but first I have several video clips to share.

Adam Smith is a best-selling author and for 14 years had a weekly show on PBS called Adam Smith’s Money World that won four Emmys and a Peabody Award.  He’s a very smart guy.  Smith was Tom Wolfe’s editor at Esquire, founded Institutional Investor and New York magazines, and somewhere in there about 25 years ago became a friend of mine.  I try to collect heroes and this guy is definitely one of mine.

Smith lives in Princeton, NJ, next-door to Paul Krugman, Princeton professor, New York Times Op-Ed columnist and oh, by-the-way, winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics.

I wonder how he invested that money?

On July 8th Smith […]

jerkyHeaded this week to the Grand Canyon in our old Winnebago RV (now minus mice, we think) Mary Alyce, the boys and I stopped outside Kingman, Arizona at this place,, managed by Gus, whom you’ll find pictured below, handsome devil that he is.  And that’s Mary Alyce taking pictures of the boys in the Freshjerky parking lot at left.

Just as the sign says, Freshjerky has a limited product selection — various kinds of meat jerky including buffalo; honey (minus “expanders,” whatever those are); olives; nuts, and cold drinks.  Everything is very good for what it is and nothing is particularly cheap.  Nobody goes to Freshjerky, for example, to buy cheap jerky.  That’s […]

And a Network Engineer Shall Lead Them


Friday I was in Kansas City for a meeting of economics bloggers held at the Kauffman Foundation.  My claim to being an economics blogger is slim, I know, but it was a chance to hang with some interesting people and learn something so I went for it.  And in honor of that event, then, I’m making this column entirely about how we can tell when the economy is finally turning.  There’s a strong argument that time is right now.

Yet the economy doesn’t feel any better to me.  Does it feel better to you?  Probably not.  But what we’re looking for is the bottom, or rather that moment just past the bottom when things […]