Crafting a makeshift antenna from a napkin holder and an empty olive can, Spence finally managed to reach the Moscone Wi-Fi link from his perch across the street at the Thirsty Bear bar. The resourceful rumormonger promptly pounded out a column reporting that everyone at this years RSA show in San Francisco seemed certain Network Associates will acquire vulnerability management player Foundstone—everyone, that is, except both companies CEOs.
Other patrons chatter proved distracting, however. Two guys next to the intrepid investigator were laughing about a Microsoft developer who claims that only one digit in his area code separates his phone number from that of California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Wow, imagine fielding Arnies calls?” mused the Mouser. “Hello, is dis Sarah Connor?” Pressing on with his column, El Gato noted that NAI seems intent on changing its name back to McAfee. Not only did NAIs booth at the show fly under the McAfee flag, but George Samenuk, NAIs CEO, had “McAfee Security” emblazoned on his show badge.
Deciphering his cryptic cocktail napkin notes, the scurrilous Scribbler recalled randomly: The biggest draw of RSA week was the Schwartz Communications party at the XYZ bar; a surreal pair of velour-jumpsuited German tourists break dancing later that night; one should never, ever order duck sausage as an entree. Grabbing his tummy with one paw and his laptop with the other, the gastronomically gullible Grimalkin galloped to the airport and thence to Vegas to check out IBMs PartnerWorld event.
Spence always thought the name PartnerWorld seemed more suited to a singles gathering than a tech event, which wouldnt have been bad, considering how many female attendees were mistaking the tawny Titan for guest speaker Robert Redford. One star-struck attendee, who told the Kitty he was wonderful in “The Way We Were,” also claimed shed heard whispers about a partnership between Big Blue and open-source database technology vendor MySQL. IBM has the tools for support and integration, noted the Furball fan, and could snap up a new audience of SMB customers. As the event continued, the Puss pondered whether IBM regretted handing out free BlackBerrys to PartnerWorld attendees. At the keynotes and breakout sessions, the speakers had to plead with audiences to listen instead of thumbing messages with their new toys. His Hirsuteness was amused to note that when HP was mentioned at the show, IBM execs responded with “Oh, you mean the printer supply company?” “Meouch; thats downright Katty,” laughed the Lynx.
Big Blue offered a DVD-like extra at a private showing for resellers. Spoofing its TV commercial in which a guy tries to test IBMs Active Protection System (a sort of hard disk air bag) by dropping what he mistakenly assumes is a pals ThinkPad on a diner floor, this special edition featured former Dell dude Steven as the guy whose laptop gets trashed. “If Stevens getting work again,” cackled the Kitty, “then economic recovery, here we come!”