Katt Uncorks Vintage Pop

Sampling whines from many sources; choking on O'hare ball

Ma-ma-ma-my Sharona," mouthed the Maven of Murmur when he heard that the band The Knack has filed suit against Yahoo, Apple, Amazon.com, Napster and RealNetworks for distributing a song that the band claims illegally samples its 1978 hit "My Sharona." The band is also suing Run DMC, whose song "Its Tricky" contains the allegedly unauthorized sample. Members of The Knack, who have evidently been kept inert in suspended-animation tubes, claim theyd never heard the Run DMC song, which hit the airwaves back in 1986. The only notable thing about the "sleeper" suit is that The Knack has chosen to go after online distributors of the track. "If they win, they should use the money to buy a transistor radio and a subscription to Entertainment Weekly or some other timely chronicle of what the kids are listening to these days," laughed the Lynx.


Suddenly, the KattPhones new ring tone, "The Night Chicago Died," by Paper Lace, alerted the Kitty to a call from a cranky crony in the Windy City. It seems the caller, like many frequent fliers, is annoyed by the poor reliability of the $6.95-per-day Wi-Fi service at OHare International Airport. One reason: OHare is technically a beta site of Concourse Communications, a division of Boingo Wireless. "Heres your headline: OHare slower than tortoise!" exclaimed the frequency-flitting feline, noting that other airports offering free Wi-Fi service are listed at www.wififreespot.com/airport.html.

Next, the Tabby trotted off to Polcaris, a nearby trattoria, to have a leisurely luncheon with a long-lost lady friend. As the Kitty uncorked some chianti, the gal pal noted that Michael Capellas has just been hired as a senior adviser by the technology investors at Silver Lake Partners. "Based on what he did at Compaq and WorldCom/MCI, his first two action items at Silver Lake will be to merge the company and change its name," cackled the Kitty.

While chewing some calamari, Le Chats chatty companion also noted that Wal-Marts MySpace clone, School Your Way, has shut down operations. The site, sadly, was riddled with catalog models posing as users shilling Wal-Mart products. "It probably would have been more successful if it had catered to the RV crowd camping in its retail outlet parking lots," mused the Mouser. "I hear Big Blue is building social networking tools called IBM Community Tools into its Notes and Sametime products," said the Furry Ones friend, who said the tools will be aimed at aiding enterprise collaboration, not at helping lonely goth teens hook up.

Over amaretto, Spences pal noted that Intel Chairman Craig Barrett told attendees at the eHealth Initiatives Health Information Technology Summit in D.C. that the U.S. health care system "is economically unsustainable and negatively impacting our nations ability to compete globally." Barrett said the offshoring of U.S. jobs will likely increase if health care costs cant be reined in. "Maybe we should just offshore our health care, too," groused the Grimalkin. "Im game for a Web-cam exam from Bangalore."





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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...