Adding Lyrics to New-Economy Blues

The '80s seemed like a distant, lost dream as el Gato sat at the Moscone Center in San Francisco last week

The 80s seemed like a distant, lost dream as el gato sat at the Moscone Center in San Francisco last week. His Hirsuteness never expected to see rocker Pat Benatar, the dream girl of his youth, on stage during the opening keynote for the RSA Security Conference. Alas, the Kittys glee turned to gloom when Ms. Benatar launched into a rewritten version of her hit "Heartbreaker." Now retitled "Codebreaker," the Katt cringed as she belted out the new lyrics:

Youre a codebreaker,
crash maker,
file taker,
dont you mess around with me.

The Katt tried to compose himself as Benatar bailed after the one song. He suddenly had flashbacks of the January 1998 RSA Conference, when RSA President James Bidzos joined the Sugarhill Gang to perform the "Crypto Rap."

I want to encrypt
my Internet mail,
and I should be allowed to do it without going to jail

"Both songs have left permanent tread marks on my brain," moaned the musical Mouser.

The jet-lagged Lynx had more fun back home in Beantown attending the Seybold Seminars conference—especially during the opening session, when Jesse Berst, founder of the ZDNet Anchor Desk, gave a vocabulary lesson to the crowd of publishers and designers. WAPathy, according to Berst—now CEO of IZ—was the correct term to define the current level of interest in Internet-enabled cell phones.

Berst also enlightened the crowd with a new acronym for the times: B2U—business-to-unemployment. The former "Anchor" man also warned of a new virus making the rounds: the Survivor virus. It deletes your files one by one for 13 weeks until only the most annoying one remains.

Lotus may be physically consolidating, said Spencer sources who have been covertly flying spy planes along the edge of Bostons Charles River to eavesdrop on The Peoples Republic of Cambridge, Mass.

The company reportedly is either ending or not planning to renew the lease on its main building on Cambridges Memorial Drive, according to a Tabby tattler.

The Katt crony claims internal memos seem to indicate that the group may be planning to consolidate the whole headquarters across the street in another building currently occupied by the company.

Another friend of the Furball tells Spencer that Cisco is rumored to be planning a very big write-down both for layoffs and for inventory thats been on the books most of this quarter.

Also, as the company is looking at a down market for the first time, the tipster suspects company CEO John Chambers may make cuts with a cleaver instead of a scalpel in hopes of still managing to meet Wall Street expectations.

The buzz on the Internet is that the PayPal online payment service is up for sale.

Although PayPal has reportedly denied that its shopping the company around, the rumored asking price for the service has been estimated to be as high as $5 million.

"Mmm, I wonder if you could actually use PayPal to purchase PayPal," pondered the Puss. "My last big purchase was a slightly used Boba Fett action figure from eBay."

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...