Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 12:44 AM
To: eWEEK readers
Subject: HP invents joke; IP Armageddon? Gates Foundation in-Kleined to charity
"Change is good," proclaimed the banner above the Hewlett-Packard booth at LinuxWorld in Beantown. In the wake of Carly Fiorinas ouster from HP, the bouncy slogan reeked of irony. The dark humor was accented by the "Nothing but Blue Skies Ahead" musical loop that serenaded Spence and other passersby.
Interrupting the melody, a Palo Alto pal whispered in the Maven of Murmurs ear a joke hed heard had been circulating at some HP offices after Fiorinas exit. She somehow finds herself at the gates of heaven, and an angel tells her to go down the corridor and enter the first door on the right. Opening the door, the superstar CEO sees tormented souls writhing in flames and runs back to the angel to complain. "Oh, yeah," says the angel, "I forgot to tell you ... we merged."
The Mouser was amused that the très chic haberdasheries surrounding the Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center had "Welcome LinuxWorld Attendees" signs in their windows. "I think the average open-source enthusiast is more interested in the food court than in a Hugo Boss blazer," cackled the Kitty.
Over cocktails, the Katt and his crony listened to one pro-Solaris geeks rant on Linux kernel developers working under the GPL: "Theyre like the Borg; they assimilate." Noting that much of what is good in Linux was created by FreeBSD developers, the Sun worshipper claimed that Suns CDDL license wont allow such cherry-picking. The most interesting tidbit on the legal front came from the ever-verbose Bruce—everyones-second-choice-after-Linus Torvalds-as-a-speaker—Perens, the open-source expert and author, who speculated Microsoft may be gearing up for "the defining Linux patent-infringement case" and claimed such an attack could be carried out through proxies like Nathan Myhrvolds IP-focused venture capital company Intellectual Ventures.
Since the shows theme was about choice, the Puss chose to round up some pals and head to the Pour House bar across the street. As he ordered a round, he got a call from a tipster who was attending the RSA event in Frisco. The caller said Bill Gates keynote demo of the companys anti-spyware stuff touted a Web site called SpyNet, where folks can submit software samples they suspect may be spyware. The source was amused that a screen shot of the site depicted iTunes as one of the top pieces of software submitted to SpyNet—with a whopping 50,000 submissions. After El Gato bid his phone pal adieu, one of his compadres said the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation just donated more than $28 million to the New York City public school system. The irony is that the Gates generosity helps a one-time Redmond antitrust adversary and former DOJ prosecutor, Joel Klein, who is now the New York City Department of Educations chancellor and a key fundraiser. "Me-ouch!"