Spencer had to laugh when he read that Sun offered to send volunteers to help clean up IBMs “Peace, Love, Linux” graffiti campaign, which adorns the streets of San Francisco. The seemingly ecology-minded gesture from Sun came with its own PR spin, though. “For us, its just one more way in which were helping clean up after IBM,” said a Sun representative.
“Me-ouch,” mused the Mouser.
Reed Slatkin, a co-founder of the EarthLink ISP, has been slapped with lawsuits charging investment fraud from disillusioned investors. Slatkin, who is not a registered SEC investment adviser, is accused of running a Ponzi scheme that reportedly lost up to $35 million of investors funds. According to the Los Angeles Times, Slatkin may have invested more than $300 million for friends, business partners and members of the Church of Scientology. Slatkin resigned from EarthLinks board of directors as the allegations began to fly a week ago.
“Mmm, I wonder if I could sue my bookie for all the sure bets he sold me on,” pondered the penniless Puss.
Being the degenerate gambler that he is, El Gato spotted a notice on iWon.com announcing cuts in the lotterylike portals prize system. Citing the economy as a factor, the company has replaced its million-dollar giveaway with 100 awards of $1,000 per month. Weekends are also being trimmed back to 10 $1,000 prizes in place of the two $10,000 prizes previously offered.
Speaking of payments, in his Jan. 29 column (“Tossing and bashing George W. Bush,” Page 86), the Kitty stated that hed heard that the National Automated Clearing House Association might be working on a payment infrastructure with vendors, merchants and financial institutions. Well, at a conference a week ago, NACHA unveiled its Project Action, which will allow a buyer who decides to make a purchase from an e-commerce site to link to his or her own bank from a drop-down menu. The buyers bank then verifies his or her account balance and initiates a guaranteed credit payment to the sellers financial institution. If successful, Action could bring a new sense of security and privacy to Internet transactions. “Thats cool, but theres something un-American about not being able to buy things you cant afford and then scrambling to the bank to cover the check,” lamented the lackadaisical Lynx.
Now that April showers have finally given way to May flowers, the tawny Titan decided to sniff through his spring potpourri of rumors. It seemed the scent of imported suitors like Deutsche Telekom buzzing around Nextel had faded and suddenly taken on a new fragrance. WorldCom is the latest name flitting about the rumor garden as a potential buyer of the company.
Ameritrade, which has seen many acquisition rumors bloom and wither, is said to be under consideration by American Express as a perfect addition to the Amex nursery.
And the season wouldnt be complete without some spring cleaning—a little bird said that Cisco may have finally sorted out its previously reported inventory problems.
“All that flowery stuff aside, Im really more Rod than Martha Stewart,” groused the gossipy Grimalkin.