Allen Dives into New Venture

Microsoft co-founder buys submarine; Microsoft-Nortel alliance marks a milestone.


"We all live in a yellow submarine," brayed the Beatle-esque Baron of Babble when a gal pal told him Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen recently plunked down $12 million for his own personal 40-foot yellow submarine. "Funny, in the movie Yellow Submarine, the Beatles found the Sea of Holes, and Allen made his fortune by helping create one," cackled the Kitty, referring to all the security holes found in Microsoft products over the years.

The Lynx, enjoying a day at the beach on Massachusetts South Shore, was a bit shaken, though, when his lady friend told him a 15-foot shark had recently been spotted about 20 feet from where they were swimming. "With all the seafood Ive consumed in my life, it would be pretty ironic if I were to be eaten by a fish," fretted the Furball, who sprinted back to his beach chair.

The KattPhones new ring tone, "Catch a Wave" by the Beach Boys, brought forth a call from a crony who noted that July marks the first anniversary of Microsoft and Nortels Innovative Communications Alliance. Although the crony said some skeptics have joked that Nortels decision to choose Microsoft as its VOIP partner is as risky as "brushing a crocodiles teeth," the duo has managed a moral victory of sorts over VOIP rival Cisco by claiming Indiana University as a customer. The school is the alma mater of Cisco bigwig John Chambers. "Me-ouch," mused the Mouser. Before bidding Spence adieu, the Furry Ones phone pal also said Juniper Networks is rumored to be eyeing an acquisition of strategic partner Q1 Labs.

Surveying the beach, the Katt was contemplating how diversely a Speedo fits each individual who wears one, when his companion noted that Bill Gates investment portfolio is also more diverse than anyone knew. It seems the recent announcement that Gates owns about 12.8 percent of PlanetOut (through his Cascade Investment company) has bolstered shares of the media company. News of Cascades ownership of 5.2 million shares of PlanetOut, which operates and publishes such print titles as The Advocate and Out magazine, drove the companys share price up 16.2 percent to $1.87. As His Hirsuteness companion begrudgingly slathered sunblock on his back fur, Neil Diamonds "Hot August Night" blared from their radio. "August might be a hot month for Apple fans. The new brushed-metal-finish iMacs may be here by the end of the summer," said the Furballs friend. She also said Palms its-a-mobile-companion-not-a-laptop Foleo might ship then, too.

Spences pal also mentioned that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is fighting an injunction resulting from a three-year-long lawsuit that alleges he stole the code for his social networking site from ConnectU, a similar site developed by some of his former pals at Harvard. "I guess when your biz is estimated at $8 billion, you find out that all the sharks arent just in the ocean," said Spence.

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...