At a time when people are still trying to figure out how to effectively use the Internet as a business tool, El Gato thinks the industry may have finally latched onto something—Web sites designed just to slam the competition! Just recently, opposing camps in the battle over the HP-Compaq merger used competing Web sites to try to plead their cases.
Now, Sun claims its newly launched "humor" site, www.bigbluesmoke.com, was designed in response to the "continued assaults by industry titan IBM" that Sun said it has endured.
The Kitty has always been amused by Scott McNealys potshots and Top 10 lists aimed at his rivals. Unfortunately, the companys joke that its site is the first to use Internet Technology Competitive Humor, or ITCH, is as funny as the site gets. The Onion-esque format, which presents anti-IBM stories with headlines such as "Time Flies—IBMs x430 Doesnt" and "IBM Bungles SW Bundles" make one long for old-school McNealy antics—such as waving his dog over fire hydrants labeled Microsoft, IBM and so on.
If its humor you want, His Hirsuteness thinks Microsoft and Unisys may have inadvertently launched the funniest damn-the-competition site last week. In an attempt to slam Unix, the two companies joined forces to launch www.wehavethewayout.com.
Sadly, any attempt to access the anti-Unix site seemed to turn up only a blank screen or an error message. In an ironic twist, reports surfaced early last week that the inaccessible pro-Microsoft site was operating with FreeBSD software and running on RapidSite/Apache 1.3.14 servers. That must have ruffled feathers internally because by midweek, El Gato noticed that the operating system and Web server history for the site showed that everything was quickly converted from the Unix-based software to Windows 2000 and Microsoft IIS 5.0.
Even after the switchover, as of press time, the Kittys attempts to access the site turned up only a small text message: "No Web site is configured at this address."
"Whoever came up with this campaign is now probably mulling www.takingeasywayout.com," laughed the Lynx. Of course, the Web is still at its best with sites such as www.whenwilltysonbiteagain.com. For 2 bucks, you can join a PayPal pool, which is now at $764, that will be won by whoever predicts when boxer Mike Tyson bites again.
"And The New York Times says fun is hard to find on the Web," cackled the Kitty.
Spencer F. Katt can be reached at email@example.com.