Katt Knows the Ins and Outs

Opinion: An ex-Oracle exec suffers legal woes; Dell's glad about Glendale.

"Time can never mend the careless whispers of a good friend," sang the George Michael-like Mouser when he heard the SEC had accused former Oracle VP Christopher Balkenhol of profiting from insider info he received from his wife, the executive assistant to Larry Ellison.

Balkenhol allegedly invested in Retek and Siebel Systems after hearing from his spouse, Carolyn Balkenhol, that both companies were on Oracles acquisition list. The SEC has filed no charges against Mrs. Balkenhol, and Balkenhol himself has managed to settle the case for $198,000 without admission of guilt. "Remember, kids, power-couple pillow talk never pays," laughed the Lynx.

Spence soon skatted off to meet two tech-minded mates, one a lobbyist, the other a hobbyist, at Ruths Chris Steak House in Beantown. As Le Chat savored a pomegranate martini and an order of Ahi tuna, one of his dining companions noted that Dell may be looking to open a regional headquarters in Glendale, Ariz.

The pal then asked Spence if he knew anything about such a plan or Glendale in general. "American Idol finalist Jordin Sparks is from Glendale," replied the Puss to a suddenly silent table. Recovering from his fanboy faux pas, the Furball mentioned that he did hear that former HP boss Carly Fiorina may soon be taking an important position with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

"Although shes currently a board member at TSMC, whatever future function Fiorina will fulfill at the fab is still hush-hush," said Spence. As the Baron of Babble bit into his dessert of bread pudding with whiskey sauce, one of his tablemates asked if the Kitty had checked out Truemors.com, the new social networking-style rumor site devised by entrepreneur and tech evangelist Guy Kawasaki.

Contributors are encouraged to submit gossip about any subject to Truemors.com via text message, phone or e-mail, or they can post it directly on the site themselves. Spence said that he had seen the site and thought it looked like a cross between a stream-of-conscious PR announcement generator and unfiltered comment spam.

Spencers politically minded pal pointed out that one-time Lotus chief Jim Manzi was named chairman of the board at Thermo Fisher Scientific, a life sciences company.

Sipping his 25-year-old Macallan single-malt scotch, the Kitty told the table that thieves in Massachusetts used a random picture of an 18-year-old girl and a faux MySpace.com identity to lure men to secluded areas and rob them at gunpoint. "Talk about anti-social networking," tittered the Tabby.

As the three began a silent standoff to see whod pick up the tab, one of the Puss pals mentioned that Motorola was granted U.S. patent No. 7,200,363 for a "communication device having a scent release feature." The patent states that scent packets can be heated within the device.

"Boy, Im glad Motorola has that phone patent and not Apple—I dont think anyone would be tempted to buy an iReek phone," cackled the Kitty.

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Spill your guts at spencer_katt@ziffdavis.com, or give the Katt a howl at 781-938-2627.

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...