Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Has Cringely Sold Out or Just Lost His Mind?

A few months ago, Robert X. Cringely shook off the editorial chains of PBS to operate independently. Since that time, he has insistently pushed a number of new sites or technologies:

* Home Account, a mortgage management site Cringely personally helped create (described by one commenter as "a huge dissapointment")
* Parrot Secrets, a $70 book for parrot owners (described by many commenters as an outright scam)
* Neokast, a media distribution service that sounded revolutionary, but never got off the ground.

Cringely can't be expected to get everything right, and sometimes his claims are unpopular at one time but appear brilliant years later, so I might be willing to forgive these three endorsements.

It's in his latest column where he reaches the apex of absurdity. He claims that Antek Metal Foil Drives could give Google an 85% gain in power efficiency, and that they know this, but that they are choosing not to pursue the technology because they secretly hate him. It started out as a really well informed, rational column, but somewhere towards the end it simply slips off the moorings.

Please, Cringely, go back to PBS, or just hire someone to tell you to rewrite a third of your columns. We really need your perspective, but you really need an editor.