Gates Plays Games With Rivals, Java

Ever wonder what bill gates does in his spare time?

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Ever wonder what bill gates does in his spare time?

The Kitty found out it might all be fun and games. At a recent Microsoft Global Sales conference in Miami, Mr. Bill displayed an old computer game that he wrote in BASIC several years ago. In the game, a driver tries to avoid oncoming donkeys. Gates showed the crowd that hes spiced up his old creation with a little XML here and a little .Net there. With the addition of the XML and some development tools from Visual Studio .Net, Gates showed that his old BASIC game was now a dynamic 3-D game where the driver travels over varied terrain and the donkeys can be turned into different characters. So, whom did he turn the donkeys into, you may ask? None other than Larry Ellison and Scott McNealy. "At least he didnt actually make asses out of them," quipped the Kitty.

His Hirsuteness chuckled at Symantecs attempt to capitalize on all the security worries around Microsofts Windows products. Launching a clever PR campaign last week, the anti-virus software maker sent out an interesting package with a CD containing Build 31c of Symantecs Norton AntiVirus 2002, which includes "protection" for Windows XP. A note accompanying the package stated, "You are without protection due to the fact that it [Windows XP] is still a beta product. We at Norton feel it is important to protect your system during your evaluation of Windows XP."

"Me-ouch," mused the Mouser.

Future XP users who intend to download Java from Microsofts Web site may want a security blanket of their own, according to a friend of the Furry One. Although its common knowledge that Microsoft is dropping support for Java in XP, the tattler claims what hasnt been widely reported is that Microsoft has supposedly raised the security classification of Java from medium risk to high risk. That could mean that Java applets may not run in the Windows XP version of Internet Explorer if the security settings are set too high.

The tipster added that hes found that Java doesnt run at all under Outlook or Outlook Express if they are running the default settings. According to the tattler, users might find that it may not be just a matter of downloading the Java engine—users might actually have to reconfigure their machines and drop their security settings to run Java.

It seems Microsoft may be considering closing the San Francisco office of bCentral, its small-business portal operation. A Katt crony claims that a spokeswoman for Redmond confirmed last week that it was indeed evaluating its resources at the bCentral office in San Francisco, which contains some 40 people, but said no final decision on a closing had been made. "The San Francisco office is the only office being evaluated as far as Im aware," said the spokeswoman.

While surfing the Web, El Gato spotted a site called This Web site provides a simple service—when you find a page on the Web whose address is too long to paste into an e-mail or other document, you can use this free service to generate a shorter, simpler address. The site claims that you can pass that shorter URL on to colleagues by e-mail confident that most e-mail clients will recognize it as a URL and turn it into a clickable item.

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...