We Come in Peace

Microsoft invades Spain; Sun goes out on McNealy; a comment on spam.

From: spencer_katt@ziffdavis.com

Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 12:22 AM

To: eWEEK readers

Subject: Microsoft invades Spain; Sun goes out on McNealy; a comment on spam

"Klaatu barada nikto," laughed Spence as he uttered the alien phrase from the sci-fi classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still." The Kitty and a phone pal, who was calling from the 3GSM World Congress wireless conference in Barcelona, were laughingly imagining those words spilling forth from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, whose announcement to attendees, "We come as a friend," already seemed somewhat like a pronouncement from a visitor from beyond. "I love mobile industry, and I love mobile operators," said Ballmer, apparently feeling the Valentines Day vibe.


There was also more partnering in Barcelona than on Brokeback Mountain, said the Puss pal, noting that Nokia and Sony Ericsson were billed in the presentation as licensees of Microsofts wireless ActiveSync authentication tool. The big news was the mobile mash-up announced by Nokia and Sanyo, whose joint startup effort to create a CDMA handset will be based in San Diego. Since few details have been released on the project, Spence wondered whether the location might be a sign that Qualcomm could also be a player in the mix. Also based in San Diego, Qualcomm has spearheaded government and commercial interim standards for CDMA.

Spence bid his pal adieu and focused his attention back on the RSA security conference he was attending in San Jose. The Scott McNealy show is always a highlight for the Kitty at any event. In his keynote, the Sun man presented a humorous list of the biggest security nightmares. During the presentation, McNealy joked that hed never actually seen a Microsoft Blue Screen of Death because he uses Solaris and the Sun desktop. Sure enough, 2 minutes into his slide show, all McNealys screens went blank. "I take it back, Bill. I take it all back," he quipped.

Spence soon found himself at a club called Smoke, where the bulk of the Microsoft security team was raving it up. There, Spence talked with a Penguinista pal who said the Free Software Foundation is trying to counter Linus Torvalds distaste for Version 3 of the GPL by saying that Torvalds must have "misread it." Alas, reading is fundamental even in Helsinki, and Torvalds assured them he had read it just fine.

One topic of conversation among the security folks was a warning from Gadi Evron, the Israeli governments CERT manager and SecuriTeam blogger, that blog comment spam is going to keep increasing dramatically. Evron said its not only about the spam but also about bots and breaking into computers. In his warning, at blogs.securiteam.com, Evron provides a list of slimy sites and IP addresses that he claims have attacked and compromised systems. "I remember the good old days, when comment spamming was done the old-fashioned way—cut and pasted in by hand," cackled the Kitty.

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...