Columnist gets fried, HP inks go dry

InfoWorld's compensation survey last week was a real eye-opener. Turns out my salary is somewhere between an IT helpdesk lackey and the guy who swabs out the loo.

InfoWorld's compensation survey last week was a real eye-opener. Turns out my salary is somewhere between an IT helpdesk lackey and the guy who swabs out the loo. I stormed into my editor's office to complain, but he was out partying with Paris and Nikki Hilton. Guess he makes more than I thought.

Mama mea culpa: If The

New York Times can admit its mistakes (over and over and over), why can't I? Readers commenting on my June 14 column point out that while I may have an outside shot of trademarking Cringe, the word Bob was snapped up long ago by -- who else? -- the Big Redmond Machine. In that same column, I implied that Martha Stewart had been found guilty of fraud; a few sharp-eyed Stewartonians make the point that she was actually convicted of obstructing justice. (Maybe, but those recipes for quick 'n' easy puff pastries still seem pretty fraudulent to me.) Finally, Ricardo B writes that last week's description of me with my nose to the ground and tail in the air put him off his feed. I dunno; some have suggested that's my best side.

Dude, where's my client?: "Keep the perception man ... anytime I can see a flip mo like this, it's a beam of light." I received these words of praise (I think) about one of my many recent swipes at Microsoft. The strange part is they came from an account rep at Waggener-Edstrom, Microsoft's PR powerhouse. Memo to Ballmer: I don't know what you're putting in the water up there, but I think you used too much.

Ink capacitated: One member of the Cringe crew tells me he tried to print a file on his HP cp1700 but the printer stubbornly refused, telling him his color ink cartridges had passed their expiration dates. This despite the fact that a) he wasn't trying to print in color and b) his black ink cartridge had plenty of shelf life left. HP claims using old ink could damage its printers. Of course, it would be churlish of me to suggest that this policy could have anything to do with the company wanting to sell more cartridges. And we all know I'm never churlish.

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