Ciao Time

Ah, the Venetian!

Ah, the Venetian! As Spence pulled himself from a cab at the entrance and declined to tip the ersatz gondolier, who opened the door and took his bags, he licked his chops at the thought of the well-stocked pressroom he could count on at any Microsoft event—in this case, the Microsoft Management Summit.

The Maven of Murmur was also anticipating a high-energy keynote from that virtual one-man Cirque du Soleil, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Alas, the Kittys tail drooped when he heard Ballmer had high-tailed it to Brussels for a powwow with Mario Monti, the EUs competition commissioner, in a bid to reach a last-minute antitrust settlement. Replacing Ballmer with the corporate vice president of Microsofts Enterprise Management Division, Kirill Tatarinov, seemed like replacing Tom Jones with John Tesh. The Katt and many of the other 2,000 disappointed attendees skipped Tatarinovs keynote. The famished Furball skatted to the pressroom, only to find that the Redmondites had locked the door and skipped out to provide a quorum at the sparsely attended keynote.

The Mouser moped all the way back to his sumptuous digs in the hotel, where he fielded a call from a pal who noted the Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy is launching an accreditation database. Hmm, thought Spence, certainly ISIPP CEO Anne Mitchell knows the highs and lows of blocking services, having once been the director of legal affairs for the controversial black-hole-list makers at Mail Abuse Prevention System, and is certainly aware of the legal headaches that can arise from such a venture. Touting the first DNS-query-able database of its kind, Mitchell said ISIPPs system wont tell ISPs what to block or accept but will allow an ISP to determine acceptance based on data concerning an organizations past mailing practices, publication of Sender Policy Framework records and adherence to best-practices standards.

Strolling by the Grand Canal, Spence spotted a Katt crony in a gondola. Grabbing a bottle of Chianti from a waiter, the Kitty leapt onto the vessel and poured a glass for his amico, who claimed that the Kittys comment last week that HP or IBM is in the running to acquire Peregrine is more likely to come true on the Big Blue side. IBM could use the kind of technology Peregrine has for service desk operations because IBMs current offerings are mainframe-oriented and inflexible. If someone else scoops up Peregrine, Big Blue would be in a world of hurt, said the source. Yelling a hearty "Arrivederci!" the Tawny tourist quickly proceeded to lose his shirt at the blackjack tables. But what the Kitty lacked in luck, he made up for in gossip when he met two vulnerability management mavens who were laughing about ex-hacker and convicted felon Kevin Mitnicks solicitations for hackers anecdotes to fill a book hes compiling. Mitnicks legal entanglements restrict him from telling his own tales until 2010. "Sounds like a lame Readers Digest section to me," laughed the Lynx, "like, My Most Gratifying Backdoor Exploitation."

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...