Sent: Monday, March 21, 2005 12:52 AM
To: eWEEK readers
Subject: Beating the bushes; Hitz list?; high-bandwidth bus
"Captains of enterprise, raise your glasses," bellowed the Baron of Babble in the bar of a Chilis near Massachusetts Route 128. "And toast the birth of the great Canadian thespian William Shatner!" Spence thought hed get a more spirited response as he saluted the March 22 birthday of TVs Captain Kirk in a bar frequented by high-tech workers. Unfortunately, as the hostess and two busboys deposited him in the bushes outside the restaurant, he realized his fellow diners didnt share the full extent of his gusto for the "Star Trek" celeb.
With his Sam Adams Winter Lager intact and the New England weather mellowing, Spence realized his spot in the bushes was a perfect place for eavesdropping on folks waiting for a table. Sure enough, three business-casual-attired 40-somethings were saying Internet Security Systems is taking a beating on its intrusion prevention boxes. El Gato recalled hearing that ISS sold a decent number of the devices two years ago but that the sales were almost exclusively to its installed base. The Tawny Titan then heard one of the khakied commandos say some customers are replacing the boxes with stuff from NFR, McAfee and Cisco. One said the technology hadnt been ready for prime time; another said ISS was charging huge maintenance fees. Just then, the lichen-lurking Lynx laughed as his cell phone rang, and everyone outside the bushes mistakenly grabbed their handsets. The caller was a crony who said to look for Dave Hitz, founder and executive vice president of engineering for Network Appliance, to play a more aggressive role at the NAS (network-attached storage) company. Hitz plans to focus more on business development, working with the mergers and acquisitions team. "Note to self," scrawled Spence. "Be on lookout for NetApp acquisitions."
As he bid his pal adieu, a departing diner tossed a piece of trash his way. Spence picked up a copy of a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by Computer Associates. Filed March 7, it seemed to be a standard termination agreement negotiated in case the company and Mark Barrenechea, executive vice president of technology strategy and chief technology architect, should part ways. A section showed CAs noncompete agreement targets IBM, Microsoft, BMC, EMC and Quest. All but Quest are big players. "Find out what CA so fears about Quest," Spence scribbled, pleased his am-bush journalism ploy worked so well. The Furry One then heard a voice say Aiirmesh Communications will launch the worlds first Wi-Fi deployment for a city bus line in Cerritos, Calif. "Aiirmesh created an 8.6-square-mile hot zone for Cerritos last year," recalled his Hirsuteness, emerging from the bracken. "What were you doing in the bushes?" asked a passing patron. "Celebrating the arts," nattered His Nibs.