Once again, it's March and I feel incomplete as an American male. My alma mater, good old Dusty Fedora University (a.k.a. DFU, or as we used to chant during the state bowling championships: "Doubt, Fear, and Uncertainty!") again finished last in the Tepid Ten conference and won't be participating in this year's NCAA basketball tournament, otherwise known as March Madness.
For those who play and lose, life goes on. Despite Stanford's crushing overtime loss to Utah last week, Palo Alto is still abuzz over last Friday's secret visit of News Corporation media mogul Rupert Murdoch, according to my thin client inside Da Corp. Talks are on between Rupe and Chris --Hassett, that is, as the Awful Aussie eyes PointCast and fingers his wallet. Loose lips say that the courtship dance started when a PointCast rep went to the U.K. about a month ago to raise $200 million in capital.
During a powwow, Murdoch figured that, instead of throwing $30 to 50 mil on the barbie, he'd jes buy the bloody company, mate. What's PointCast worth? Both sides agree on roughly half a billion, but when push comes to shove there's a wee gap of $50 million separating the two. Half a bill?! I'm scratching my head, too. Either Rupe or my source has been smoking something green and leafy.
Perhaps no other media mogul is as vilified as Murdoch, but one comes close--Barney. One Skinformer warns that the world's most annoying reptile is rearing his fat grinning purple head and spreading misery within Microsoft's Consumer Division and Graphics group. If the team decides to release Interactive Barney in the U.K. and Ireland, says my fly on the wall, the support team for those countries will have to answer the phone with the words, "Good Morning, Microsoft Barney Support." The ridicule from other Microsofties has already begun. "Barney puts fear into our hearts!" say the troops. Oh, wicked world!
The Duke Blue Devils may have hit the showers early, but the Duke of URL lives on. Many of you wrote in last week responding to my report of Suck.com's failure to pay the Internic and the subsequent blackout of its site. Most email chastised me for scolding the Suckheads, and you backed up your righteousness with your own horror stories of InterNic incompetence. (According to one Skinsider, even billion-dollar British Telecom lost bt.net and bt.com for a few days.)
OK, OK, you've justified your righteous indignation...except for the one guy who whined about my giving air time to porno sites. Uh, hello, ever heard of a hyperlink? Click through, and you'll see that Suck has nothing to do with fellatio. Well, not literally.
From the profane to the tasteless and back again...here's an excerpt of a recent Intel press release touting Professor Stephen Hawking's use of MMX technology:
"Professor Hawking can now connect to the Internet from almost anywhere in the world using a wireless connection and a notebook computer specially modified by Intel engineers and powered by an Intel(R) Pentium(R) processor with MMX(TM) technology.
"Intel's newest Pentium processor technology keeps me connected to the world," said Hawking, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. "I have immediate access to the Internet and email wherever I am...and I can truly say, I'm Intel inside."
I don't know what's worse: one of the greatest minds of all time playing the shill, or Intel slapping little TMs and MMX stickers all over the guy's wheelchair. What's Hawking's next book: "A Brief History of Shameless Promotion"? With a name like Hawking, I guess it was only a matter of time. Which is relative, of course. You can both expand my universe and defy the laws of physics by emailing your rumors into my black hole.