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Welcome Additions to the TidBITS Staff

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It’s hard for us to know how much about TidBITS inner workings is obvious from the outside, but I’ve been remiss in not welcoming two people who have moved from being occasional contributors to being key members of the staff.

As you may remember, Doug McLean joined us in 2008 and worked with us until the middle of 2010, when he left to get his MFA at Rutgers University (see “Please Welcome Doug McLean,” 29 November 2008).

We were sorry to see Doug go, but at about the same time he was leaving, Lex Friedman contacted us about doing freelance writing. Although he has a day job at an Internet company and co-founded the diet-tracking Web site The Daily Plate (now part of, writing about Apple is his dream job. To that end, he has taken over writing the TidBITS Watchlist for us, along with the occasional article, and he contributes frequently to Macworld as well. Outside the computer world, he also created the parody site (and associated book, along with an app rejected by Apple), The Snuggie Sutra.

Lex lives in New Jersey with his wife Lauren and his two daughters, and we were pleased to welcome their third child, Liam Brandeis Friedman, a few short weeks ago. Well, those weeks were short for us, but undoubtedly longer for Lex.

Other organic changes to the TidBITS staff came last year, when we were joined by all seven pounds and two ounces of Erin Lynn Mogull. Rich Mogull, Erin’s “recruiter” and our Security Editor, informs us that she appeared fully equipped with blue eyes, bright red hair, and an inquisitive nature sure to serve her well once she’s capable of contributing more than the occasional cooing.

While Lex has focused on the TidBITS Watchlist and on developing a mobile version of the TidBITS Web site, our other new staff member, Michael E. Cohen, has contributed a number of news and feature articles since he started helping with both TidBITS and Take Control.

We got to know Michael while working with him on his “Take Control of Syncing in Tiger” ebook and the followups, “Take Control of Syncing Data in Leopard” and “Take Control of Syncing Data in Snow Leopard.” When his editing job with Symantec was outsourced to a software application designed to maintain consistent vocabulary in translations, we jumped at the chance to bring him in. Since then, he has written TidBITS articles, helped with editing a number of Take Control books, and written another of his own, “Take Control of PDFpen 5.”

Michael, who lives in Santa Monica with far too much old technology, has done many things over the years, including working as a teacher, a programmer, a Web designer, a multimedia producer, and a usability analyst. He even worked at The Voyager Company on the Expanded Books, which were HyperCard-based multimedia ebooks on floppy disk and CD-ROM from the early 1990s. It’s not often we find people with as much electronic publishing experience as we have, and it’s been a treat to work with Michael.

So welcome to Lex and Michael, and to little Liam and Erin as well. I’m sure Lex and Rich will have them testing infant iPad apps soon enough.


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