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Au revoir, les mescreants

The siren call of the disco ball lured me to the HotWired 4.0 party in San Francisco's SOMA district earlier this week.

The siren call of the disco ball lured me to the HotWired 4.0 party in San Francisco's SOMA district earlier this week. Although I was a tad deficient in the tattoo, nipple ring, and overall coolness department, I didn't let that scare me off the dance floor. Within minutes, I was a sweaty, epileptic mess.

My performance could explain why I didn't pick up any rumors from the hordes of digerati at the party. Or maybe it was because the music was louder than The Who's Tommy tour. The evening wasn't a total wreck, though. I noshed heavily on focaccia and bean dip and was told I looked like Joe Cocker at Woodstock by a young woman with granite biceps. I took it as a compliment.

Elsewhere in the high-tech mediascape, a number of bigwigs at Ziff-Davis, including Ronni Sonnenberg and Jeff Ballowe, were handing in their resignation letters to chief executive Eric Hippeau. After years with ZD, Sonnenberg and Ballowe are finally packing their bags with loads of greenbacks and heading off to an adobe hut in Santa Fe. My moles tell me that the couple are each pulling in seven-figure cash packages that were promised to them after Forstman-Little bought Ziff a few years back. That's not too shabby for Ronni, who started out as a secretary at Ziff. Ciao, Ronni and Jeff, and don't forget to water the saguaro!

Microsoft can be more prickly than a desert cactus when it comes to Web sites that reveal secrets about their products. I hear the Redmondians recently put the squeeze on a Windows NT-related information and software site, NT Internals, for that very reason. The proprietors of the now-defunct site are denying any Microsoft foul play--"We voluntarily took the site down and have no further comment," one said--but my sources tell it differently. Among its offenses against Microsoft, NT Internals documented a number of secret APIs in NT and programs that illustrate bugs in the operating system by crashing it. Au revoir, les mescreants.

Speaking of Microsoft, I hear WebTV Networks is a purely Mac shop. Although Bill hasn't clamped down on his new employees yet, I give WebTV a few months before they get Windows religion in a big way. Do you have rumor religion? If not, email me a few juicy tidbits and I'll grant you a plenary indulgence.