The Future Is Not What It Used to Be

As the dawn of the new year approached, El Gato took a moment to contrast the reality of the year 2001 with Stanley Kubrick's epic vision.

As the dawn of the new year approached, El Gato took a moment to contrast the reality of the year 2001 with Stanley Kubricks epic vision. From the time he was a kitten, Spencer thought the world would be a futuristic utopia when the new century shifted into first gear. Alas, the Katts expectations of flying cars, robots and strange alien encounters have faded. Now court-appointed presidents, bubblegum boy bands and an official Olsen Twin clothing line from Wal-Mart flood the disillusioned Lynxs senses.

Expectations for many in dot-com land have faded as well. One-time Super Bowl high flier is officially one of the dot-com dead, sold off to an outfit called

The Whiskered One has also heard that Landmark Systems may soon be on the block. The most alluring aspect of the software solutions company for prospective buyers would have to be its mainframe technology. A Katt crony claims some prospective buyers for Landmark could include Micromuse (a very popular management software provider among service groups) and Mercury Interactive. Both companies are up-and-comers in the network and systems management space and are flush with cash.

Intel may want to buy a Danish-owned Internet security-testing company called Vigilante. A Tabby tipster claims that Intels powerhouse investment group is doing the due diligence.

In the wake of a fiscally spooky Q3, some top-tier ASPs are doing odd things to one-up rivals. Interliant, for one, is giving customers access to WebTrends services for site logging and stress testing. It is also making available the services of TeleDomains, which gives customers toll-free phone numbers to match their URLs. But Interliant isnt stopping there. It plans to soon announce access to RealNetworks Internet Keywords functionality.

Meanwhile, Bostons Breakaway Solutions Inc. will launch its BrandEQ service this month to help customers evaluate their Web sites for marketing excellence. Last time the Kitty checked, clever phone numbers, Web addresses and site marketing have little to do with an ASPs core competencies.

An avid reader tells the Furball hes sticking to paper periodicals from now on. Seems the unhappy bookworm downloaded Microsoft Reader and bought over $100 worth of e-books from

After being told by Microsoft that it only writes the software and doesnt activate the reader, he checked with B&N and learned he was allowed only the initial activation. After several phone calls, tech support for the online book dealer told the hapless consumer that it might be able to delete his passport account, reprogram its database and switch him to a new account—if its legal department agrees to it.

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...