Vermel set up his first personal home page this week. I was hurt that he didn't seek my counsel, let alone my blessings. Besides, like the Internet and censorship, Vermel detects parental control and simply routes around it, a skill not uncommon among 12-year-olds. "ActiveX is nothing but regurgitated OLE," he said snottily. "I'm not letting it near my page, Pop."
Now that he's hacking HTML code, the kid is spending a little less time watching the tube. But not for very long. My media moles tell me that Ziff-Davis has got two new TV shows on tap, both of which will focus on--you guessed it--technology. The Ziffers are talking to the Discovery Channel about a possible distribution deal for one of the shows.
Grandma DuBaud doesn't much go for the tech TV shows, preferring to surf the Net rather than watch it. While Larry Ellison says he devised the Network Computer as a device easy enough for his mother to use, Grandma thinks that's a gross stereotype. "Larry can sit on his NC," Grandma cracked. "I need more horsepower than one of those Tonka toys can give me."
Larry, however, is planning on giving away a bunch of NCs to a school full of kids on Monday. Uncle Ellison will write a check for the NCs at an elementary school in Silicon Valley, according to Skinny's agents.
Joining the grinning guru of Oracle will be Jack Kemp, veep-wannabe and former Oracle board member, and Ronnie Lott, an ex-49er. Later in the day, Kemp is supposed to stop by Netscape, possibly for a football toss with Marc Andreessen.
While Ellison may or may not toss his hat in the GOP ring (remember, he backed Clinton in the last elections), I am considering tossing my AOL account. The online service has scheduled regular tweaks to its servers every other Wednesday. But the tweaks are causing connection problems for lots of AOL subscribers, although they pale in comparison with the meltdown AOL had August 7.
And to think AOL made a big show of how it's reinventing itself. Part of the plan is to attract the 89 percent of the consumers who are still not connected. Now, if it could show me how it plans to rid of these routine maintenance headaches, I'd be more impressed. Prove that you are well connected. Send me the latest inside dope.