Arrivederci, Comdex

"If Bill Gates gave a keynote in the desert and no one was there to hear it, would he still be profound?

"If Bill Gates gave a keynote in the desert and no one was there to hear it, would he still be profound?" chuckled El Gato when he heard there would be no Comdex in Vegas this fall. For years, Pentium-powered pilgrims journeyed to Nevada to hear Gates pontificate on PCs as much as they went for the parties and product previews. "Bill should get a rhinestone jumpsuit and headline at the Aladdin in November, anyway," laughed the Lynx. "A schmaltzy song, some shtick and Wayne Newtons monopoly-size market share of blue-haired matrons could substitute for the adoration Bill got from geeky groupies." Drawing inspiration from Civil War re-enactment groups, Spence thought he might stage a yearly commemorative 2-hour cab line at McCarran Airport.

Just then, the KattPhone broke the maudlin Mousers musings. A crony was calling about Salesforce.coms IPO and its stock hopping from $11 to $17 in its first day of trading. Since everyone has been speculating about the companies Oracle might buy, the crony noted Larry Ellison is an original investor in and board member of With Oracle ending its licensing pact with NetSuite and pushing its On Demand services, its fair to wonder if Larry might round up Marc Benioffs bunch. "Perhaps thats why put only 10 million shares on the public market," cackled the crony.

Spence skatted to a bar and met some über-geeky buddies, who were speculating on the release date for an updated Internet Explorer. Redmonds ordination of Dave Massy as its new IE evangelist has the industry assuming Microsoft will definitely overhaul its browser before "Longhorn" appears. "The bigger Redmond news is towels!" snapped His Hirsuteness. "A Microsoft watcher told me employees are grousing that as of July 1, the company will no longer supply towels to its sporting workers." Spence, who saves on towels by stockpiling cocktail napkins, bid his pals adieu and headed to the office.

There, he took a call from an old honey-pot runner frustrated by the Anti-Spam Technical Alliances recommendations. The source sees blocking ISPs and limiting the amount of outgoing user e-mail as a "blame the victim" response. Instead of securing systems, cooperation among ISPs to track spammers hopping between systems could boost the chances of detecting abuse quickly, claimed the spam trapper. Amusingly, one of ASTAs chief members, AOL, learned that millions of customers were flooded with spam because one employee allegedly provided customer lists to an online gambling promoter. "Its ironic that Microsoft is a key member of an alliance set on chastising users for running vulnerable machines," joked the Furballs friend.

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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...