Like a Bad TV Show

From Ralphie to ALF; Linux legalisms; iPatents.


Sent: Monday, September 5, 2005 12:42 AM

To: eWEEK readers

Subject: From Ralphie to ALF; Linux legalisms; iPatents

Spence glanced up from a plate of calamari in his favorite Rhode Island bistro to spot Joey Pants dining nearby. The TV and movie actor, known for his role as "the begging-to-be-whacked mobster" Ralphie on "The Sopranos," was loudly telling his dinner companions that all the major networks were looking to develop a "Sopranos"-style sitcom. It made the Katt recall why Tony Soprano had choked the character Ralph Cifaretto to death. The Mouser was left musing on how Hollywood always copies a theme and creates a plethora of knockoff TV shows, quality be damned.


In an attempt to possibly avoid a similar kind of consumer confusion, Linus Torvalds caught some heat from some in the open-source community when he recently asked 90 companies in Australia to purchase a Linux sublicense. The Linux Mark Institute Web site explains that "if you plan to market a Linux-based product or service to the public using a trademark that includes the element Linux, such as Super Dooper Linux, ... you are required to apply for and obtain a low-cost sublicense from LMI." Oddly, Red Hat, the poster child for big-time Linux distributions, has apparently never purchased a mark from LMI.

Spence soon skatted off for an evening of poker with some pals. There, a security maven told the Katt that the summer edition of 2600: The Hacker Quarterly claims that a timing issue with Paradise Pokers online Blackjack game was allowing players to see the computer dealers hand whenever it had a 10 in the hole. "Mmm, even computers cant keep a poker face on forever," laughed the Lynx. The poker-playing puss told his buds that the ongoing clash he reported in his Aug. 1 column between the Foxwoods Resort Casino and Connecticuts Division of Special Revenue over PlayAway, the gambling establishments online gambling venture, has finally ended with officials putting the kibosh on the casinos cyber-game. "I thought that a reservation would have counted as an offshore site," mused the Mouser.

One of the Furballs fellow card sharks suggested that Apple needs a lesson in knowing when to hold em or fold em. It seems Creative Technology has been awarded a patent on the way the iPod categorizes music on simple on-screen menus. This is the second time in the past few months the iPod has taken a patent hit: Microsoft recently won a ruling for a patent involving the interface system used in the iPod.

As El Gato held a royal flush, he got a call from a crony attending the EclipseWorld show in the Big Apple. Eclipse Foundation Executive Director Mike Milinkovich told the crony that the Eclipse Foundation has a new project called ALF—Application Lifecycle Framework—and is negotiating with the creators of the old "ALF" TV show to use the character as the project mascot. "Another lame TV show gets a new life," groused the Grimalkin. "And didnt that character actually eat cats?"

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...