Stuffing for the Tip Box

The Katt fills up on tech tips in preparation for the holiday.

As his co-workers scurried to meet holiday deadlines to produce this issue of eWEEK, the prescient Puss procrastinated, knowing his Thanksgiving routine consisted of a Banquet frozen turkey dinner, a case of Schlitz and 500 hours of football.

Spence played with the idea of writing a column about how he recently witnessed Jonathan Schwartz, Suns executive vice president for software, attempt to give the IT press an update of his companys software strategy, including the new Java Desktop System. While booting up the demo, Schwartz seemed genuinely surprised and embarrassed when a background pic of his baby boy popped up. Quickly removing the picture, Schwartz assured the crowd that the desktop product did not ship with the screen shot of his son. Trying to move on, Schwartz garnered more chuckles when he launched the browser and the default home page was that of The Register, a British tech news site known for its harsh criticism of Sun.

Asked by an alert reporter if that was his preferred home page, Schwartz mumbled and hastily found neutral ground by clicking to the CNN Web site. Perhaps for dramatic effect, Schwartz then went to Microsofts Web site and grabbed a Bill Gates PowerPoint presentation and showed how it ran seamlessly on Suns new desktop. Next up was an application demo called Looking Glass, a GUI that uses transparent, 3-D windows that rotate and hide behind one another to increase desktop space.

Spence wondered if readers experiencing Post-Butterball Syndrome might feel sympathy for their overstuffed mailboxes and wonder whether the new federal anti-spam law will have any teeth. Spence recently asked President and CEO Anne Mitchell of the Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy about the bill the prez is willing to sign. "Senders now really need to understand the ramifications of hitting the send button, and ISPs need a greater understanding of the rights and responsibilities they face as well," said the Diva of Deliverability. "The law doesnt preclude ISPs from reviewing or blocking mail, but now more than ever, they need to be aware of the obligations and pitfalls they may face." The ISIPP will host a conference titled "Spam and the Law" Jan. 22, featuring Lawrence Lessig, among others.

Then again, the Tawny Titan of Tattle wondered if while still in a tryptophan haze, folks would be more amused to note that Bill Gates is the No. 2 stockholder in Icos, a pharmaceutical company that has developed a rival drug to Viagra called Cialis. One Katt crony joked that Gates seems to invest his money in things that crash at inopportune times. But El Gato chose the higher road. "Maybe Ill just let the readers supply their own jokes for this one," cackled the Kitty.