Puss Ponders Pluses of Pop-Under Patent

By Spencer F. Katt  |  Posted 2002-05-27

Spencer chuckled when he saw that a small Portland, Ore., company named ExitExchange had a patent pending for the pop-under ad technology that seems to appear on virtually every Web site these days. Sure, the company can now potentially charge a licensing fee to anyone using pop-under ads, but the Kitty thinks it may be similar to owning a patent on something like root-canal technology. "Sure, you may make money," laughed the Lynx, "but do you really want to tell people at parties that youre responsible for constantly making them play the online equivalent of whack-a-mole?"

Still, the Furball has to note that the initial palsy-inducing ad barrage isnt as troubling as wondering whether the Earth may have actually stopped rotating while one waits for some of the less stealthy pop-unders to fully download.

"Thats as high on my online annoyance list as downloading incomplete MP3 files," mused the Mouser. "Say, maybe I could patent that—next time somebody shaves 10 seconds off the end of a song download, I want a dime!"

To help with its AutoIS tack, Spencer hears EMC may be considering an acquisition of BMC Software. Although officials from both companies declined comment, El Gato has also heard that Suns former president, Ed Zander, may soon replace EMC head honcho Joe Tucci. Analysts who cover both companies have cast doubt on the rumor, but its hard for the Furball to ignore that Zander recently joined the board of a Boston-area startup and reportedly just bought a $1.8 million condominium at Bostons wickedly swanky Ritz-Carlton.

A Tabby tattler said home entertainment products may take a hit at HP now that its Compaq buyout is done. The tipster said HPs Linux-based DE100c MP3 server and Compaqs iPaq Music Center could be early product casualties of the merger.

The Furry Ones thoughts shifted from home entertainment to home security when a Katt crony said customers of Internet security and VPN provider eSoft suffered a blackout for several days recently when the companys server, which sends out periodic software updates to customers appliances, sent a message telling all the appliances to shut down. The company sent a letter to customers saying that apparently the server interpreted the appliances requests for updates as attacks, so it shut them down. eSoft claims it was able to reproduce the error in a lab environment and will issue software "so that the units will be much more graceful in how they handle errors."

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