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Gates smells Java and crosses the street

My son Vermel learned a valuable lesson the other day. He came home from a party shaking uncontrollably. "Drugs?" I asked frantically, ever the concerned parent. "Whiskey?" Through his chattering teeth, he told me he had slammed a triple shot of espresso with his drinking buddies. Kids these days grow up too fast, I sighed to myself. It must be all the peer pressure. "N-n-n-never again, Pop," Vermel promised. "It's c-c-c-chamomile t-t-tea from now on."

Someone else also seems determined to stay away from Java. Bill the Bespectacled Borg is the keynote speaker at a developer conference in San Francisco the first week of April. But if you think it's JavaOne, guess again, buzz bean. (By the way, why isn't this year's show called JavaTwo?)

My intelligent agents say that Big Bad Bill will deliver the keynote at the Software and Developer West show for C and C++ developers, which just happens to be across the street from JavaOne in the opposite hall of SF's Moscone Center. Will Bill be kicking off the 100 Percent Pure C++ Campaign? The JavaOne keynotes are in the morning, while Gates's keynote is scheduled for 7 p.m., giving him plenty of time to put maximum Microspin on the day's events from the Sunny side of the street.

When resistance is futile, the only recourse is satire. This week's Perfectly Poisonous Pen Award goes to San Jose Mercury News computing editor Dan Gillmor, whose column las t week reported, among other things, that Microsoft deliberately exaggerated its quarterly earnings and fortified its monopoly status whenever possible. So many people took Gillmor's deadpan humor so seriously (including one CNET reporter, we hear) that he had to clarify everything in this week's column. Gillmor writes that the headline of the parody column--"News stories we're unlikely to read"-- should have been a giveaway. Of course, that little thing about the CIA dumping crack in black neighborhoods was pretty unlikely, too. Doesn't mean it didn't happen.

As far as I can tell, the email-based Edupage service is the only news source that has actually reported Gillmor's satire--which was syndicated around the country this Monday--as 100 percent pure fact.

From Borg to reorg: Apple Computer was practicing the Amelio Shuffle again this week. Sources near the core say that the rolling heads all opposed the still-unconfirmed plan to port the upcoming Rhapsody operating system to Intel-based PCs. The shakeups, which seem to saddle Steve Jobs with a lot more pull, are fueling some old flames as well. The longstanding rumor that Larry Ellison wants to buy Apple has been updated to include Steve Jobs. Steve and Larry are old friends (although it's unclear if Larry has even promised Steve a Gulfstream jet, the Hope diamond, or even a nice dinner), and the two could be counting their pennies and charting Apple's stock price as you read this. I don't quite understand why all these Star Trek fans are so obsessed with a retired Swedish tennis star. If you can enlighten me, or if you're up late drinking coffee with a head full of rumors, send me email.