Look Whos Talking: January 22, 2001

When reformed hacker Justin Petersen sends me e-mail, I tend to get a little nervous.

When reformed hacker Justin Petersen sends me e-mail, I tend to get a little nervous. Youll recall that Petersen worked as an FBI informant in the early 1990s, went underground as a fugitive, hacked a bank and stole more than $100,000—electronically.

Justin and I have a pretty good working relationship. He recounts his hacking days for me, and I promise not to misquote him—or else! In last weeks e-mail, Justin revealed that hes working on several projects in the music and adult entertainment business. Hes also keeping some interesting company. He cc:ed Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner on last weeks message to me. Ive got 1,000 punch lines for that one, but this is a family magazine.

> Tom Stevenson has broken his silence. The former Cisco Global Partners VP joined eDeploy.com as interim president and CEO in October. Ever since then, Stevenson has been mostly silent—until last week. After several inquiries, Stevenson confirmed that he has dropped the word "interim" from his title. Maybe he decided to follow Steve Jobs lead over at Apple Computer.

> AT&T, IBM and Lotus have created an ASP-enablement suite, which aims to give software developers all of the tools they need to become an application service provider. The suite contains hostable versions of shrink-wrapped applications and related services. Profits are sold separately.

> Now heres some creative financing. BellSouth is cashing in a few chips with Qwest Communications, in a bid to raise money to pay for its DSL and wireless efforts. Specifically, BellSouth plans to sell $1 billion worth of Qwest stock back to Qwest. In addition, BellSouth will purchase $250 million worth of services and products from Qwest over a five-year period. But payment will be in the form of—what else?—more Qwest stock.

> At least one major investor thinks Razorfishs stock is a great buy. In this case, its Razorfish itself. The company plans to buy back up to five million Razorfish shares, which are trading near a 52-week low. Razorfish will use the buybacks to fund employee stock plans. Imagine how low the strike price is going to be this time around.

> According to our scorecard, Diamond Cluster International is the only major publicly held e-consultancy that didnt stumble this quarter. But we wont praise the company too loudly, because we dont want to jinx it.