Just out for yourself

As the battle between Walter Hewlett and Carly Fiorina about the industry's biggest merger goes on, one spy reports that a number of Compaq bigwigs are more worried about their own hides than how the merger will play out for stockholders and customers in the long run.

These days, Amber is mad at me for looking at another girl. We were walking Apache through Golden Gate Park, when a young lady asked for directions. "I saw you making the googly eyes at her, Bobby. Did you think I wouldn't notice something like that?" Amber fumed. Actually, yes.

A matter of priorities

As the battle between Walter Hewlett and Carly Fiorina about whether the industry's biggest merger will make it to shore or drown among the waves, one spy reports that a number of Compaq bigwigs are more worried about their own hides -- financially speaking, that is -- than how the merger will play out for stockholders and customers in the long run. Seems one of the most visited topics at relevant meetings is how their contracts will look if the merger goes through.

Another spy reports catching the current Klez virus from Microsoft itself, or more specifically from Hotmail servers. The spy says his antivirus software is catching it, but many infected messages keep coming through, meaning they have passed through the Hotmail servers without being flagged as problematic. Can you, Microsoft, say 'Trustworthy Computing?'

Services never rendered

Meanwhile, billing issues continue to plague WorldCom users, a spy discovered. One case involved a company that became a WorldCom customer by default when the telecommunications giant bought MCI. This customer was happy with everything about the services, save some funky billing. Although the customer is a $US250,000 account, a collections clerk at WorldCom decided it was necessary to shut down the customer's destination node on the network, crippling the network -- and all for non-payment on a $US1500 bill. More maddening, my spy says, is that the bill was for services the customer neither requested nor received but, rather, has been disputing for months.

Dirty deeds done down under

One of my spies Down Under reports some good news for Yahoo users in New Zealand and Australia. Although the free email service recently came under attack here in the good old US of A -- when it abruptly altered for users their preferences settings in its new "opt-out" approach to spam -- the company is spreading the word Down Under that it has no plans to extend the opt-out policy to those countries. Not yet, anyway.

Now that I know another of Amber's weaknesses, I've been trying to exploit it. "Look, Amber, she's cute, too," I said. "It's not funny, Cringe," she pouted. Well, it may not be funny to her, but it sure is fun for me.

Have some fun for yourself. Send tips to cringe@infoworld.com.

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