Free Service Not So Free, Furball Finds

The puss was perplexed as he wove through the lengthy online service agreement at

The puss was perplexed as he wove through the lengthy online service agreement at According to the agreement, the companys "free" Internet service may have "costs" the user doesnt expect. In the obligations section of the agreement, the document states that "Juno may require you to leave your computer turned on at all times" to allow the company to "display advertisements or other images" on the screen saver the service installs on your computer.

"That would be like having an apartment above a liquor store with a defective neon sign flashing outside your window all night," laughed the Lynx.

A Furball friend enlightened the Kitty with a tip that Kana Communications may be a prime acquisition target in the CRM market. The once-highflying Redwood City, Calif., company had been hailed as a mover and shaker after acquiring Silknet Software last year, with its stock price soaring to $175 last March. The stock now trades in the single digits. The friend of the Furry One expects the software maker to be snapped up before the end of the year, possibly by PeopleSoft or SAP.

A Katt crony pointed the giddy Grimalkin to the "Hacker FAQ" that is posted on IBMs Web site under its "developer works" heading. The document offers inadvertently hysterical advice to people on how to manage a hacker in their employ. According to the FAQ, that hacker you hired whos playing computer games all day isnt slacking, hes "percolating."

His Hirsuteness was reflecting on the fact that both Citrix and Microsoft have announced products that use the XP designation. Citrix has unveiled a new product called MetaFrame XP, or "eXtended Platform." Microsoft has officially added XP to its next versions of Office and Windows. The Redmondians say XP stands for "experience." While Citrix is believed to have first incorporated the name into an upcoming product line, that made no difference to Microsoft, which some months ago extended Citrix the courtesy of telling the company it was also considering using the XP name, the Kitty heard via the grapevine. But the Microsoft call confirming the use of the name apparently was made just before the news was made public.

To add insult to injury, El Gato hears, Microsoft is believed to have asked Citrix to delay its Feb. 13 launch of MetaFrame XP so as not to "confuse" people. Coincidentally, that is the very same day that Microsoft will preview Windows XP to the media and analysts.

Nevertheless, pondered the Puss, "If XP stands for experience, what may future versions be called? Windows SW (Sadder but Wiser)? Windows FB (Fewer Bugs)? Or maybe Windows AT (Almost There)?" The possibilities are endless.

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...