Take a Deep Breath

Puffs; patches; open source of discontent.

From: spencer_katt@ziffdavis.com

Sent: Monday, January 9, 2006 12:42 AM

To: eWEEK readers

Subject: Puffs; patches; open source of discontent

"Like Steve Ballmer doesnt deal with enough mouth-breathing geeks all year long," laughed the Lynx when he heard that the Microsoft head honcho mixed business with pleasure on his recent holiday family vacation in New Zealand. It seems Ballmer took time out to meet with New Zealand techies, one of whom is a Microsoft business partner who has been peddling a digital Smartinhaler for asthmatics.


The maker of the device is Nexus6, which made the Katt do a double take, wondering if Rutger Hauers android in "Blade Runner" had made a comeback. The Smartinhaler tracks patient puffs, shows how much medication is left and fits into a docking station to upload medical details, such as lung function, to your doctor. "Maybe if they bundle Windows Media Player into it, Microsoft will help them distribute it here in the U.S.," cackled the Kitty to a fellow traveler at the Denver airport, who, like Spence, was killing time awaiting his next flight.

After a few brewskis, Spence found out his new compadre was a rabid techie who had previously worked for the EPA. As they chatted about the recent unofficial patch leak for the WMF (Windows Metafile) vulnerability, the Furballs friend speculated if Microsoft may have intentionally leaked the patch to assure the public it was on top of the situation.

Ordering up another round, the Katts new pal claimed there were whispers that Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, may be planning to run for Congress in Virginia. As the duo demolished a plate of salsa and chips, Spences chum also noted that folks have been speculating, perhaps irrationally, that Dells new appetite for AMDs desktop processors might have caused the recent chip shortage AMD has been trying to deal with.

As the pal left to catch his flight, Spence fielded a call on the KattPhone from a Penguinista who said that Jeffrey Merkey, a former Novell employee, has been heating up the LKML (Linux Kernel Mailing List) once again and baiting Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds over the GPL and other open-source issues.

Also, while noting JBoss recent purchase of technology from HP and Arjuna, the pal said to look for Marc Fleury and crew to venture into the AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) business a bit this year.

Spence soon boarded his flight and found himself sitting next to a merry maiden from Malibu who told him that Oracle boss Larry Ellison has been acquiring more than businesses lately. It seems Ellison has purchased a dozen homes in Malibu over the last year or so, one of which had belonged to Elvis Presleys former girlfriend, Linda Thompson. "Hmm, so why am I suddenly picturing Larry in a white jumpsuit challenging MySQLs Marten Mickos and SAP Americas Bill McDermott to a karate exhibition?" pondered the Puss.

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...