On the Waterfront

 
 
By Spencer F. Katt  |  Posted 2005-09-12
 
 
 

From: spencer_katt@ziffdavis.com

Sent: Monday, September 12, 2005 12:42 AM

To: eWEEK readers

Subject: A mate to remember; faded Green; sour peaches

"Farewell, lil buddy," thought the Bosun of Babble as headed to the Microsoft Business Summit in Redmond. Spence was mourning the passing of actor Bob Denver, the title character and first mate from the classic TV sitcom "Gilligans Island." A smooth operator from D.C. phoned the Kitty to note that the SS Minnow, the shows ill-starred vessel, was named for J.F.K.-appointed FCC Chairman Newton Minow. It seems the shows producer, Sherwood Schwartz, was miffed that Minow called television a "vast wasteland" during a speech given to the National Association of Broadcasters convention on May 9, 1961.

The Puss also pondered whether the Redmondites would taunt him over the decision by his home state of Massachusetts to switch to an "open formats"-only policy for the storage of state documents, making Microsoft products verboten for use by state workers after 2007. With such deep thoughts on his mind, the Kitty was startled to find a white canister from Peachtree vendor Sage waiting for him at his hotel. Inside was a Sage mouse pad, an Elton John "Peachtree Road" CD, Peach Buds candy, peach jam and "Ginger Peach Longevity" tea bags. Sage also supplied a list of the "Top 10 questions to ask Microsoft." Question No. 4 seemed particularly Katty, demanding to know from Microsofties when Version 3.0 of its announced SMB offerings will ship, since "thats usually when Microsoft gets a new product right." "Me-ouch," laughed the Lynx, as he riffled through the basket in search of peach schnapps.

After wading through such stirring announcements as "Project Green" will now be called Microsoft Dynamics, and nonannouncements such as Steve Ballmers revelation that Microsoft will provide details on a hosted CRM offering "when appropriate," Spence embarked on a 3-hour tour of his favorite Seattle watering holes. Hunkering down for a game of pool at a place called Garage, Spence schmoozed with a Puget pal who sounded off about Redmonds new Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. Look for the keyboard, which the pal said sports a "gull wing" design, to hit the street soon.

As they sidled up to the bar, the crony noted that the Google guys, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, have topped the annual power broker list in this months Vanity Fair magazine. "I guess not being evil pays off," scoffed Spence. "Speaking of evil," the crony told the Katt, "I heard U.S. Patent Application 20050192819 sounds a lot like the payment at risk spam deterrent that Bill Gates had touted at last years World Economic Forum in Davos. The patent details methods and systems for reducing unsolicited electronic messages through variable pricing and conditional redemption." Conditional redemption isnt a theological concept but means that senders or recipients of nonticketed e-mail could be charged a fee by their ISP. "If my ISP got a nickel for every keep it up e-mail Ive accidentally opened, Id be bankrupt," groused the Grimalkin. "I always think its from fans of my work!"

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