NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Microsoft rebuffed, Oracle gets stuffed

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Microsoft rebuffed, Oracle gets stuffed

Many thanks to the Cringesters who've served up suggestions for places to begin my monastic life. So far, I haven't found any retreats that allow dogs and offer good Wi-Fi connections, but I'm still looking.

Open sores: When a Microsoft recruiter sent a 'let's get to know each other' email to open source gadfly Eric S Raymond, he got the electronic equivalent of the finger in reply. Here's the fun part: the recruiter invited Raymond to schedule an interview using, which prides itself on being 'a 100 per cent pure Microsoft product-free environment'. Maybe Microsoft really is committed to open source after all.

C'mere and give me a hug: Having digested PeopleSoft, Oracle is now forking out nearly $US6 billion to swallow Siebel. Why is Larry E snapping up companies run by his former executives? I'm sure he just misses those guys - and possibly their revenue.

An ill wind: FEMA set up a Web page for survivors of Hurricane Katrina to apply for federal assistance, but the site works only with IE6 for Windows. Apparently one catastrophe deserves another. Meanwhile, The Register reports that Googlers searching the word 'failure' land first at a biography of President George W Bush. Number two on the Google charts is liberal filmmaker Michael Moore's site, proving even a bot-driven search engine doesn't play political favourites.

Simply 'VIIV' or 6 to 4? Several Cringe crewmembers point out Intel's new 'VIIV' (rhymes with 'hive') brand might really be a number - specifically, 6 and 4 in Roman numerals, representing the 64-bit chip. Of course, anyone watching HBO's Rome knows Caesar & Co. wrote '64' as 'LXIV'. Perhaps Intel was afraid users would mispronounce LXIV as 'laxative'. Or, as reader Mark L suggests, maybe VIIV is just a Pentium 6 (VI) on an intravenous tube (IV).

Better than pilates: After Net pioneer Vint Cerf joined Google, rumour has it Microsoft's Steve Ballmer began screaming and throwing office furniture. No real reason for the tirade; I understand Ballmer just does this to stay in shape.

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