No Partying for Linux Lovers in Frisco

Delegates at last week's LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco were disappointed that there was no formal company-sponsored conference party.

Delegates at last weeks LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco were disappointed that there was no formal company-sponsored conference party. In a town known for its wild partying, many of the open-source geeks were hoping for a repeat of the lavish bash sponsored by IBM at the previous LinuxWorld in New York last January. Apparently, none of the corporate sponsors for the San Francisco event, which included IBM, HP, Intel, Sun and Compaq, thought it appropriate to spend that amount of money on a party when they were laying off staff and cutting costs. An Armonk tattler told the Kitty that the New York party had cost IBM a "small fortune" and that Big Blue would probably sponsor a similar event again in New York next year.

The tipster also told the Kitty that although coughing up the dough for two big parties in the current economic climate seemed unwise, IBMers had hoped that one of the other sponsors would have taken on the responsibility of throwing a bash for the faithful.

A tipster on the Big Brother watch told the Tabby that the Business Software Alliance is gearing up to kick off its next Truce Campaign next month. The BSA, which comprises more than a dozen companies such as Microsoft and Adobe, expects the campaign to get small and medium-size businesses to self-audit their machines and immediately get any unlicensed software into compliance. So dont be surprised when the disturbing radio ads and strongly worded letters begin to assault you this fall. But, remember as the group storms into town, the BSA cant force you to do anything without a court order.

"Maybe theyd get more responses if they took a cue from the handgun amnesty programs local police agencies sponsor and gave out 50 bucks for each unlicensed app folks fessed up to," cackled the Kitty. "Heck, Id even make stuff up for 50 bucks."

His Hirsuteness heard from a very unhappy owner of a Rex 6000 MicroPDA from Xircom. It seems Intel, Xircoms new owner, has decided to cease production of the device. The really bad news for owners of the MicroPDA is that the Web site ceased providing service as of Aug. 31.

This leaves the Furballs friend, who bought the device a few months back, wondering how hell download his news, weather and stock info. Parent company Intel said it will honor existing Rex product warranties until expiration, but one has to wonder how useful the product will be without the Web site. According to Xircom, which is now considered a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel, the company is apparently going to focus its future efforts on Palm-type PDA devices.

The ever-competitive folks in Redmond may soon have to shift into hyperdrive if they want to retain their "evil empire" status. The Furry One was amused by a recent Gartner survey of adult online consumers, which found that AOL is less trusted than Microsoft. In fact, the survey claims that AOL is the least- trusted company on the Internet when compared with banks, brokerages, Amazon. com and retailers. Respondents were also happier with Microsofts e-mail and ISP services than with AOLs.

"Evidently, being assaulted with pop-up ads is considered more heinous in an e-mail system than gaping security holes," mused the Mouser.

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...