Flames vs. the rapture? Still beats the heat

The residents of Cringeville are torn between telling me to go to hell and trying to keep me out of it

This week has certainly not been lacking for Cringe-worthy topics, from Weinergate to Apple's WWDC, not to mention Jobs's plan to build a spaceship in Cupertino and launch his 12,000 employees into orbit.

But it's been so darned hot out, I thought I'd take a dip in the reader mailbag to cool off. Boy was I mistaken.

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First up: Reader D. B. takes me to the woodshed for calling former Google CEO Eric Schmidt as "The Pockmarked One" in my latest Microsoft bashing diatribe ("Windows 8: Too little, too late?"):

Referring to Eric Schmidt as "the Pockmarked One" is crude, cruel, and totally inappropriate. I'm surprised at you ... and disappointed. It is totally acceptable to go after words and actions. It is totally UNacceptable to reference physical attributes.

He's right, I was out of line. Apologies to Mr. Schmidt and any other readers I may have offended. Also, from this point forward, I will no longer refer to Steve Ballmer as The Sweaty Bald One, Mark Zuckerberg as The Even Sweatier Pimply One, or Steve Jobs as The Painfully Skinny (I Hope He's OK) One. I am reformed.

In other news, military man B. K. notes a strange Facebook anomaly he encountered the other day:

... a colleague here has had the second day of logging into Facebook into what she thought was _her_ profile, but she ended up in someone else's profile. I'm assuming that's not unique, right???

I too have had that experience on a few occasions. One time I logged in and Facebook thought I was Mark Zuckerberg. You wouldn't believe what I found there. (Suffice it to say I'll never be able to look at chickens exactly the same way ever again.)

But seriously, this has happened to me, once or twice, no idea why -- badly aligned planets, maybe. But I have to say, given the terabytes of data Facebook's server farms chew through each day, I'm surprised stuff like this doesn't happen more often.

Regular correspondent G. W. writes to correct either my numerology or Satanology, I'm not sure which. In "This week in tech fiascos: The Weiner and Palin edition," I wrote, "You know that when people install a 'gate' at the end of your name, you've entered one of the seven circles of hell."

G. W. correctly points out that there are nine circles of hell in Dante's Inferno, not seven. Mea culpa. It must be because I am already stuck in Circle II (The Lustful) and was merely counting the ones that lie ahead. Sorry, that's the best excuse I can come up with. But that might explain why it's so hot in here.

On a related note, I knew poking fun at Harold Camping and his as-yet-unfulfilled predictions about Judgment Day ("Wrapping up the rapture") would draw some heat, and Cringeville resident T. G. did not disappoint. In a long, very sincere note, he gently chides me for my mocking tone and hopes I will find salvation before it is too late. He writes:

... there will continue to be folks out there to try and give God a bad name among an unbelieving world. Nevertheless, that will not ever change the "real Truth." OBTW, to be sure ... Jesus WILL return just as He said He would. You can count on it. It's just that I nor anyone else knows the day or hour.

I did mention I was already in hell, right?

Got any more hot topics you want to flame me about? Fire up your keyboards and leave a comment or send me a note: cringe@infoworld.com.

This article, "Flames vs. the rapture? Still beats the heat," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Track the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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