Back for a Re-Phil

Groundhog delay; a lazy Firefox trips on a blog; Mudge adieu; a Yankee's doodles.


Sent: Monday, February 7, 2005 12:32 AM

To: eWEEK readers

Subject: Groundhog delay; a lazy Firefox trips on a blog; Mudge adieu; a Yankees doodles

"Damn you, Punxsutawney Phil," Spencer cursed the famed groundhogs name as he typed it into the new MSN Search service. The sun-starved snitch needed warmth, not six more weeks of winter. After trying several other search engines, the frigid Furball still couldnt locate a street address in Gobblers Knob to find and dig up dirt on the worthless woodchuck.


If Google needs new algorithms, maybe it will get them from Ben Goodger, who just jumped to the search juggernaut from his perch as lead engineer for Mozillas Firefox. Before swapping the purity of open source for what must have been the allure of stock options, Goodger in a blog put the kibosh on a possible March release for Firefox Version 1.1 but said, "The slippage from March is not due to my move to Google."

Clicking on his TV, Spence hoped to ease his rodent rage by focusing on another Phil—the self-help guru. Just as Dr. Phil pronounced, "Its better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else," the Katt got a call from a crony about the recent shotgun wedding of Oracle and PeopleSoft. Noting that Larry Ellison has been singing sonnets of love to database rival IBM—since many PeopleSoft customers use Big Blues consulting services—the crony wondered how long it would take Larry to turn samurai if whispers are true that IBM will roll out an SAP-optimized DB2 at PartnerWorld later this month in Las Vegas. As Dr. Phil said that "awareness without action is worthless," Spencers BlackBerry went nuts with a message that "Mudge"—aka Peiter Zatko, an original member of the L0pht hacking crew and a founder of @Stake and Intrusic—is taking on a division scientist gig at BBN, which built ARPAnet. Zatko will reportedly handle government security projects. Nice. He may be best remembered for telling a Senate committee in 1998 that he or any of his cronies could crash the Internet in 30 minutes and keep it down.

Spence noted that the British tabloids assumed a page of doodles left on the podium at the World Economic Summit in Davos belonged to U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair. The tabs, which hired handwriting experts to analyze the scrawlings, were left with egg on their faces when reps for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said the doodles were Bill Gates. The experts saw the writer as "struggling to keep control" and "an unstable man who is feeling under enormous pressure." "Mmm, I wonder what Dr. Phil would have to say to Bill about that assessment?" cackled the Kitty, who suddenly heard the good doctor tell his audience, "Sometimes its hard to see your face without a mirror." "Meouch!" howled His Hirsuteness.

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...