Bob Cringely from the Pulpit

So I’m off on holiday for a few weeks, but as promised I’ll be reviewing some of the feeds I subscribe to starting off with one of the most interesting people in technology journalism – Robert X. Cringely.

The history of Bob Cringely is bizarre – he’s a character from US trade rag InfoWorld and written by a series of authors. One of these – Mark Stephens – took the character off paper and onto the screen in the 1996 documentary Triumph of the Nerds. It tells the story of the rise of the PC including very interesting interviews with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. There was a falling out at some point which resulted in Stephens being able to keep using the character for certain purposes so he’s still able to keep writing on the PBS website for a column titled The Pulpit.

Project BlackboxCringely has been blogging for a decade in the form of a weekly column and they’re well worth a read. He might not always be right (like the recent article claiming that the iPhone had hidden 3G capabilities, published after it had been stripped down to prove it didn’t!) but more often he writes insightful, well informed articles. For example, back in November 2005, Cringely wrote about Google’s plan to use shipping containers as data centres – almost a year before Sun announced Project Blackbox. He does this time and time again.

The most interesting articles each year are his annual predictions in January. With an average accuracy of 75% they can be a good indicator of the year ahead. We’re into July so they’ve already started coming true:

Some smart or lucky company will buy FeedBurner, which ought to be the YouTube or Skype equivalent for 2007. Yahoo really needs it and ought to buy, but being without a brain or a required sense of urgency Yahoo may miss the opportunity. Google ought to buy it but may not because Google has a similar service in beta that probably won’t succeed. But SOME company will buy FeedBurner and start printing money as a result.

Well done Google and well done Bob!

Hope you’re able to check out Robert X. Cringely’s columns – it’s always good when they drop into my feed reader on Friday morning. Enjoy the summer and look out for another feed review soon!

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