Purr-Ponderance of Evidence

Like an enrolling Stone; Microsoft preview not suitable for all audiences; reading SAS greens.

From: spencer_katt@ziffdavis.com

Sent: Monday, November 8, 2004 12:39 AM

To: eWEEK readers

Subject: Like an enrolling Stone; Microsoft preview not suitable for all audiences; reading SAS greens

"CSI: Rumor Central," barked Sgt. Katt, as he lifted the handset. "Forensics and Gossip Department." The TV crime-scene investigation shows had gone to the Baron of Babbles head. The call presented the callow sleuth with his first mystery of the day—a classic missing-person case.


It seems Chris Stone, Novells just-departed vice chairman, had been absent from his post since September. The Gumshoe Grimalkin put the heat on the street and found that Stone had been attending an executive management training course at Harvard Business School. A Tabby tattler said Stone enrolled for a crash course in people skills due to angst over the clash of Stones managerial style with key personalities who have joined Novell since it acquired Ximian and SuSE Linux. A Novell spokesperson declined to comment on whether Stones relationship with the new folks was behind his sojourn, saying it was only a progression of his "executive training and professional development, which happens at a lot of companies."

Just as he closed that case file, the IT Eye got an IM claiming that an unidentified object had driven attendees from the OOPSLA (Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications) conference in Vancouver recently. Spence put out a wire and heard from a flock of Canadian geeks that some attendees at the conference, which caters to corporate and academic eggheads, were miffed when Microsofts top researcher, Rick Rashid, called on a Microsoft manager to demo Redmonds Software Factories deliverables. Seeing the demo as crass commercialism, some attendees fled. Happy to find that no mutilated cattle or alien abductions had caused the OOPSLA brouhaha, Spence checked in with his psy-ops division to see if it could channel the spirits to figure out who might be the next top Computer Associates exec to depart. But all that the Puss psychic cohorts could divine from the other side was that CAs executive vice president of sales, Gary Quinn, exercised and sold about 110,000 shares of CA stock for about a million bucks last week. "I must consult my corporate Ouija board to see if theres a link," cackled the Kitty.

Spence sped to dine with a rookie reporter, who asked the deductive drudge how to find clues on whether a private company is doing well. "Take a private biz like SAS," said the Kitty. "A tipster said the software vendors CEO, Jim Goodnight, recently completed an expansion of the Prestonwood Country Club, which he owns, in Cary, N.C. Id say thats a clue his company isnt hurting." Later, he pondered the only unsolved mystery of his day. It seems security folks were wondering if malware had caused personal e-mail messages belonging to security maven Greg Hoglund, who co-authored the book "Exploiting Software: How to Break Code," to spew from his PC to their in-boxes. "Me-ouch," mused the Mouser.

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...