Ah, the City by the Bay! Spence was there, yet again, this time for the SunNetwork show and seeking a fix of McNealy one-liners. But the humor was such as might tickle the funny bone of a 10-year-old when Sun reps passed out gummy worm candy packs labeled: "Edible Worms. The only kind youll find at SunNetwork." Oddly, the Sun CEO dodged a chance to toss unsugarcoated barbs Microsofts way when a reporter asked if the superlow pricing for the new Java Enterprise System and Java Desktop was Suns way of declaring World War III on Redmond. The $100-a-year, per-employee pricing—$150 for both products—wasnt an attack on Microsoft, claimed McNealy uncharacteristically; it was an attack on tradi- tional software delivery, pricing and licensing models. "Who are you and what have you done with the real McNealy?" the timid Tabby wanted to yell.
McNealy did boast he had six Sun Ray machines in different locations in each of his three homes. "I dont know how you guys do it without Sun Rays," McNealy said, at which a fellow reporter whispered to the Furball, "Its called a laptop and a wireless network by us common folk." Scott did give props to Bill Joy, Suns co-founder, who is leaving the company, saying Joy had always been a "shared resource for the planet. Hes bigger than any one company." McNealy joked that he expected Joy to share any future great ideas with Sun first.
Running up his cell phone bill, Spencer found time to chat with Anne Mitchell, CEO of The Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy. The Digital Drudge was dying to know why she left her gig as CEO of Habeas, the anti-spam company that embeds haiku poems in its e-mail delivery solution. "Because I was asked to leave," said Mitchell. "They wanted to bring in a CEO with more of a sales and marketing background." A frank admission from Mitchell but an odd move by the company, considering the unique knowledge of spam and the law possessed by Mitchell, the former legal director for Mail Abuse Prevention Systems. Last week, as she co-chaired an ISIPP-sponsored summit in Frisco, which produced a cross-industry working group of top ISPs and spam-filtering companies, she was jokingly dubbed "The Yenta of E-mail Deliverability." "Sounds like poetry to me," laughed the Lynx.
The high-flying Furball flew home to attend a dinner at The Federalist restaurant with attendees of the Embedded Systems Conference, in Boston. There, the Blackfin, not the tuna but the streaming media processor, was on the menu of discussion. The host of the feed, Analog Devices, which worked with Intel to create the chip, is aiming for a more mainstream profile, thanks to Blackfin, which is set for upcoming networking products. "Can an Analog Inside campaign be far off?" the Maven of Murmur meditated, as the sommelier, declining Spences request for Mateus, refilled his glass with a 99 Merlot.