Grandma DuBaud has retained her vigor despite being squarely du troisieme age, as they say in our native Quebec. She arrived for her holiday visit deeply tanned, fresh off the plane from Florida, where she spent the month counting votes until the canvassing boards found out she was an alien.
In Florida, Grandma DuBaud made new friends, expanded her Yiddish vocabulary and learned that she was failing in her role as a yenta--meaning, essentially, that she wasn't meddling sufficiently in my personal life.
"I was playing mah jong with Muriel Berkowitz and she said what kind of successful young man in the computer business isn't married?" my grandmother recalled, her French-Canadian accent mysteriously gone. "So I says to her, I should go find him a wife? He should be so lucky."
I can understand Grandma DuBaud's reluctance to get into the matchmaking business. Just look at the mess surrounding the reported nuptials of fellow Canadian Corel's Linux business and Linux Global Partners.
It's no secret that Corel has been looking to sell its Linux operations for a while now. Skinformants tell us that a little stealth company called TransGaming--an Ottawa company comprising Corel veterans trying to port Windows games to Linux--played a key, if a little tragic, role in the new romance between Corel and LGP.
"The TransGaming guys had big dreams of taking the Corel distribution themselves but couldn't come up with the cash," said our Skinformant. Corel CEO Derek Burney "told them that if they could put together a good enough package he'd like to offer it to them first."
But this happy courtship came to a pathetic conclusion when TransGaming called LGP about helping it raise the money. The holding company initially was quite cool to the Corel bailout "opportunity." But in the end, LGP changed its tune and is now raising $5 million cash that it's rumored to be paying Corel for its Linux arm--leaving TransGaming not at the altar, but out of the church entirely.
TransGaming was close-mouthed when asked about the rumor. And LGP isn't talking either. Expect a kiss-and-tell roman a clef sometime in January.
Speaking of Linux, there seems to be a consensus forming that Linuxexpo.com is really for the birds.
I eat like a bird these days, which is how I live up to my name. With the rest of the industry it's either feast or famine--let's start with the famine.
Some of about two-dozen full-time APBnews.com employees and a batch of freelancers who haven't seen a paycheck in two full, two-week pay periods will get a welcome surprise Monday when a batch of checks are expected to land in the office; another batch is coming Friday.
"They will be greatly relieved to hear this news," said APBnews.com flack Joe Krakoviak, in the understatement of the afternoon.
The news site's staff was originally made up of more than 55 veteran newspaper and TV journalists, including two Pulitzer Prize winners, and 130 freelancers.
Freelancers and employees went unpaid because of troubles at APBnews.com's parent company, SafetyTips.com, which Krakoviak said has been seeking further funding since buying APBnews.com in September.
"The money's there; it's going to get paid," Krakoviak said.
APBnews.com's woes began in June, when a third round of funding fell through. The company announced it had run out of money and would terminate 140 employees.
For two weeks after that debacle, the site got updated purely by volunteers.
In July, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and was purchased in September by SafetyTips for $575,000.
In terms of the future of the company, Krakoviak was mum. "I just don't feel like I know enough about the financial situation to tell you," he said. "We intend to continue to publish."
He added that no one had been laid off.
On the other side of the online tracks, Warner Bros. temporarily shuttered its online store because business is too good.
"It was overloaded with orders, and we're busy fulfilling orders," said chief WB flack Karine Joret. "We're not taking any more orders for the holiday."
The WB isn't the only store setting a deadline for holiday shopping, but it's one of the few taking its store offline for the rest of the season. Which means Harry Potter fans looking for merchandise online will have to wait until Boxing Day, when the store reopens. Tired of shopping? Try gossiping. It's cheaper.