Spencer stepped up to the bar at the W Hotel near the Moscone to order the usual. Then he glanced around. Yikes! Geeks and ambulance chasers cheek and jowl. Both groups were there to decompress—geeks from LinuxWorld and the lawyers from an American Bar Association conference, which were both being held across the street at the Bay Area Bunker at the same time. It was a telling and somewhat-lamentable metaphor of the state of Linux these days, ensnared in lawyers tentacles as it is, the Scurrilous Scribbler sighed.
After Red Hat sued SCO last week, law had ruled as the No. 1 buzz topic at LinuxWorld. The popular attendee button, aimed at SCO, said simply, "Prove It." Spence checked his BlackBerry, itself ensnared in a legal controversy, to find a message from a tipster saying that employees at Vultus, which was recently purchased by SCO, are trying to jump ship as fast as possible. Spences Wasatch Range informant, meanwhile, advises that superlawyer David Boies, working on a contingency fee basis for SCO, aint been seen in them hills for a coons age. Thats not a good sign, since IBM filed its countersuit against SCO in Utah.
Back in his room and on e-mail, the Regent of Rumor plundered his mailbox for juicy nuggets: On the very day that Stellent announced Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance solutions last week, the content management software developer was hit with its fourth shareholder lawsuit in five days. Stellent is accused of providing misleading information on its financial performance, including not reporting customer deferments of new purchases and goosing revenues with sales to self-financed affiliates. "Maybe Stellent was beta testing its software with its own abuses," the Mouser mused.
There was plenty of "chatter" about IBM and Siebel. Speculation was that IBM will offer a hosted CRM utility running Siebels applications. "Fat chance," nattered a naysayer, noting that it would be an unnatural act given Siebels architecture, which would be ill-suited to a multitenanted implementation. Meanwhile, former PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting CEO C. Scott Hartz joined the Siebel board last week, and it was Hartz who helped engineer IBMs takeover of PwCC last year.
Cruising the show floor, the Kitty picked up some phony gold doubloons from the IBM booth sporting an emblem of the Linux penguin. "Tip money," thought Spence as room service knocked on his door.