Waiting Game

Googling for suspects; Spence goes undercover and cleans up

From: spencer_katt@ziffdavis.com

Sent: Monday, December 5, 2005 12:01 AM

To: eWEEK readers

Subject: Googling for suspects; Spence goes undercover and cleans up

Spence checked his passport, scanned his blog and cleared his browsers cache. You never can be sure what might trip you up these days, thought the paranoid Puss as he reflected on the fate of one Hossein Derakhshan, a blogger, Canadian citizen and Toronto resident of Iranian origin who was snagged at the Buffalo, N.Y., border as he attempted to enter the United States via bus to attend a blog-related conference, ConvergeSouth. It seems Derakhshan had written in his blog that he is based in New York because it sounded sexier than Toronto. That was enough for the border agents, who Googled the itinerant Iranians name, pounced on his blog, pored over each entry and then confronted Derakhshan with evidence that he might be a counterfeit Canadian.


To be sure of making it across borders without mishap, the Itinerant Amanuensis of IT thought it might even be necessary to resort to his least favorite form of travel—pet carrier.

Deciding that incognito is the only way to go, Spence donned his waiters disguise—the better to eavesdrop—when he heard that NetApp CEO Dan Warmenhoven would be holding forth with some Boston-area tech journalists at the Icarus restaurant in Bostons South End. When Garçon Grimalkin arrived with the desserts, he heard Warmenhoven ask the philosophical question: If a backup tape is stolen, is it truly "lost," for legal purposes, if the tape is encrypted? No one present had a definitive answer, and it looked like the NetApp Apparatchik had beaten the press, at least momentarily.

Spence was in waiters garb once again for the lunchtime gathering of Boston Colleges Chief Executives Club at the Boston Harbor Hotel later in the week, where EDS CEO Michael Jordan spoke about the ongoing EDS turnaround. It turns out that one of the pillars of the turnaround strategy, the so-called Agility Alliance—EDS plan to standardize on technology from a few key suppliers, such as EMC, Dell, Sun and Cisco—was not really EDS idea at all but was, in a sense, OEMed from none other than EMC CEO Joe Tucci. Jordan recounted how, on a visit to Boston a couple of years ago, he and Tucci were having coffee when Tucci conceived the idea of a "virtual IBM"—an entity that would offer a broad yet limited menu of hardware, software and services—"only well have the good stuff!" the tempestuous Tucci reportedly blurted. Jordan bought the idea, having come to the realization that excessive customization was killing EDS margins. The time had come, he confessed, to do away with the companys stock in trade, known humorously among outsourcing aficionados as "your mess for less."

"Thats sweet," quipped the culinary Kitty as he pawed at the dessert tray.

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...