No. 2 and Lookin Good

Spencer toasts his No. 2 columnist ranking on Google, while Microsoft Seg-ways to Athens.

El Gato was one feelin fine feline as he lapped up a piña colada while bobbing along the waves of the faux beach at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, where he returned mere days after his stint at the Hard Rock covering N+I.

As the Vegas sun warmed his back, Spencer also basked in another glow: being rated the No. 2 IT columnist in Googles PageRank listings. Lost in thought, the buoyant Bobcat was heedless as Sopranos look-alikes berated him for nearly swamping their floating crap game. "I know one thing," the competitive Kitty cried, "Walter Mossberg wouldnt look this hot in a Speedo!"

The Tawny Titan toweled off and skatted to the Paris hotel to check out the PeopleSoft Leadership Summit. Jay Leno was on the docket for the evening, but PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway was no slouch as a stand-up. When a financial analyst mentioned that Siebel CEO Tom Siebel (who has accused PeopleSoft of giving away its CRM software and cashing in on services to support it) recently called CRM a growth industry, Conway shot back, "When youre making a penny a share a quarter, youre supposed to say its a growth industry."

But WinHEC was calling. Running from the summit to catch a flight to New Orleans, Le Chat emitted an insincere "pardon, monsieur," after knocking over one of the Paris theme characters who had been murdering "La Vie en Rose" on the accordion. While the Redmondians beat the Bourbon Street bass drum for their new Apple-like Athens PC with its built-in, telephone-linked productivity applications, one attendee mumbled to the syncopated scandal-scribe that it seemed like nothing more than an Xbox with caller ID. Of course, Linux fans might point out that the easily hackable Xbox wasnt designed to lock down standards and has never been capable of blocking the use of running any other operating system on it—two Athenian aspirations.

Also, the thumb-print scanner that the company is touting to secure user access to the Athens seems more like the brainchild of Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge than a joint venture by HP and Microsoft. "Maybe future models will require a DNA sample before booting up," cackled the Kitty, who was secretly glad the cat genome has not yet been cat-aloged. The Kattster also wondered if the Microsoftoids understood the irony in presenting a keynote from Dean Kamen, creator of the $4,950 substitute for walking, the Segway, at the same show where Will Poole, its Windows Client Division senior VP, told the crowd that the industry needs to use "immersive" technology experiences to prod consumers to buy expensive new products rather than stay with what they have. "Got it," grokked the Grimalkin. "Lets sell folks what they dont need."

Check out Kattoon: "MSN UK to Test Web-Enabled Porta-Potty Called iLoo at Summer Fests."

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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...