Stories by Robert X. Cringely

Chrome sweet Chrome?

Google finally enters the browser business (finally fulfilling years of rumors), and you'd think there was nothing else going on in the world -- no political conventions starring pistol-packing ex-beauty queens with pregnant teenage daughters, no hurricanes turning the weather over the southeast into the world's biggest daiquiri machine. Nope, nothing but all browsers all the time.

Is would-be VP Sarah Palin a hacker?

As we've learned over the last few days, the presumptive GOP candidate for vice president is many things: a reformist governor, a hunter, an ex-beauty queen, a mother of five, a physical fitness nut, and a lover of caribou burgers.

Chinese democracy meets US justice

Yesterday, FBI agents raided the Los Angeles home of 27-year-old blogger Kevin Cogill and arrested him. Cogill's crime? He uploaded nine unreleased tracks from the upcoming Guns N' Roses album to his blog.

Anonymous returns, Scientology responds

It seems Anonymous has resurfaced and hired a publicist. Two days ago I received an email alerting me to two new YouTube videos from the anti-Scientology crusader(s). I'd been wondering what had happened to it/them, since things had been so quiet lately on that front. The videos themselves are weird, even by Anonymous's standards -- urging members who've left the fold to return and keep protesting, and making vague references to something happening on August 8. I guess we'll find out.

Who's Afraid of the Big .NET?

You may have noticed this has been a slow week in Cringeville. Well now the truth can be told. For the past five days I've been held captive in Amsterdam by a small group of mad Dutchmen. They locked me in the tower of a Swiss hotel, trundled me into a van with three other captives, drove us around the Dutch countryside until we were disoriented, and forced us to consume vast quantities of rich foods delivered in thimble-sized portions accompanied by heroic volumes of tangy Teutonic wine. It was Hell.

Pole axed: Microsoft and XP, Apple and Porn

Over the past two months my minions and I have been running surveys on the BuzzDash home site and the Tynan on Technology blog to take users' temperature on issues such as censorship and innovation. Now it's finally time to report on what we've found. The results may surprise you.

Microsoft + Yahoo: RIP?

So this has been quite the horror show, hasn't it? It's like Barbarians at the Gate meets Nightmare on Elm Street. Just when you think the Boogie Man has been defeated, dismembered, stabbed, staked, burned to a crisp, dumped into the sea, and buried in various landfills across Northern New Jersey, he rises back up to strike fear (and loathing) into our hearts.

Data security meets disco fever

Here's a travel advisory: The next time you find yourself in a foreign city at night with nothing to do, take my advice: rent a movie in your hotel room. Don't go to discos. And if you do go out, don't bring a smart phone with you.

Memo to Microsoft, Yahoo, Icahn: Shut up and deal

If you thought the whole Microsoft-Yahoo-Icahn fandango was twisted and ugly before, well, it just got worse. Over the last three days these clowns have been eye-poking and face slapping like The Three Stooges -- sans the sophistication.

IPhone's second coming in need of salvation

The glow is off Steve Jobs' halo. Turns out the patron saint of electronic hipness has feet of clay and they don't walk on water. What should have been a triumphant resurrection of the Jesus Phone turned into a public relations disaster last week, as Apple's servers got overwhelmed by eager phanboys trying to activate their new toys.

Everybody's got something to hide

So a New York judge last week ordered Google to hand over 12 terabytes of YouTube user information to Viacom. Yes, we know what you watched last summer, or at least Viacom's attorneys soon will.

Dollars, sense and censorship

The Bush Administration's anti-recession tactics have given rise to an unexpected beneficiary: the Internet porn industry. According to the Adult Internet Market Research Company, adult sites have been engorged with sales during the normally limp US summer months. One popular clothing optional site surveyed its members last month; 32 per cent said the tax rebates influenced their decision to sign up or renew their subscriptions -- thus giving new meaning to the term "stimulus package." (Ba dump-bump.) At least our tax dollars are finally going to something worthwhile.