Moscone Madness

By Spencer F. Katt  |  Posted 2004-03-01

"Obsequious is my middle name," Spence shouted to no one in particular, causing his eWEEK office mates to realize how fortunate they are that the rambunctious rumormonger routinely reports from the road. The Baron of Babble was reacting to an instant message that said Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who made billions unloading on Yahoo just before the bubble burst, is slated to reward a contestant with $1 million in cash on an upcoming ABC reality series called "The Benefactor." Thirty will vie to become Cubans best friend, and whoever remains on the abrasive billionaires buddy list until the end wins. "Itd be a cinch for a pussycat like me," smirked the Sultan of Schmooze.

Suddenly, the shrill tone of the Katt phone broke the Kittys reverie. It was a Tabby tattler chuckling about another ex-techie whos embracing showbiz after singing all the way to the bank. It seems Jeet Singh, who cashed out of his day job as founder and CEO of e-commerce software company ATG, now resides on a 70-acre compound on the Caribbean island of St. Barts and is known as Miki Singh, lead singer of a rock band called Dragonfly. "Fly—thats it!" Spence remembered he was slated for a trip to the RSA show in San Francisco, as an angry, red-faced cabbie scoured the office screaming for Spencers pelt after waiting a half-hour outside for the lackadaisical Lynx.

Upon arrival, His Hirsuteness was gleeful to discover that the Moscone Center was equipped with a wireless LAN to accommodate RSA attendees. Of course, leave it to Microsoft to toss a spanner in the works. RSA officials were using Microsofts Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol with an MS-CHAP Version 2 log-in designed to secure and support the latest tech gear—namely, Windows XP—leaving procrastinating pussycats who were running (gasp!) the archaic Windows 2000 Professional with Service Pack 2 out in the cold. RSA event workers finally saved the day with a hard-line download of Funk Softwares Odyssey client, and in minutes the Katts klunker was up and roaming.

Soon thereafter, the Kitty was tossing back a few at the Thirsty Bear with a tipster, who said reports of a rift at Computer Associates between Charles Wang and Sanjay Kumar may be a smoke screen. The buzz from CA is that the mentor and protégé are still close and that the alleged distance is more about protecting Charles as CA endures DOJ and SEC probes. Even the recent security-escorted exit of Charles wife, Nancy Li, who headed CAs ICANN SP unit, is being questioned by Islandia idlers. Li was thought upset and reportedly headed to St. Barts to regroup, but the tipster said some have doubts. "Why would they escort her out to her car when she left, unless they wanted to start people talking? They never do that," said the tipster to Spence, as he vainly tried to reach the Moscone Wi-Fi link to file his column from the bar.

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