NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Intel's new brand, Fiorina's pen in hand

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Intel's new brand, Fiorina's pen in hand

Well, I finally tracked down the social networking diva, and as I suspected, she was avoiding me for a reason. It seems my social network just wasn't big enough for her, so she's dumped me for someone with a much larger Rolodex. Nothing personal, she said. That's fine, really. I'm happy with the size of my address book. And I was planning to enter a monastery anyway.

Ask for them by name: In a desperate effort to appear hip, Intel has abandoned its practice of naming new processors after cheesy planets from Star Trek and has instead christened its new digital entertainment chip Viiv (rhymes with jive).

Apparently names like Celeron and Centrino just didn't cut it with the kids. But Viiv? Imagine the meetings in CEO Paul Otellini's office: "Hmm, can't spell it, can't pronounce it, and it means absolutely nothing - let's do it." Yet more evidence there's something seriously wrong with the drinking water in Santa Clara.

Carly on a Harley: Former HP honchette, Carly Fiorina, has signed a book deal with Penguin, and I can hardly wait for her new tell-all to arrive. Now the truth can finally be revealed: cruising down Pacific Coast Highway on the back of Dennis Hopper's chopper, those all-night parties with Aerosmith, doing X at Burning Man with Johnny Depp and Hunter S. Thompson. Oh wait, I'm thinking of I'm With the Band by arguably the world's most famous groupie, Pamela Des Barres. Never mind.

Oh BEA-have: BEA has plucked rival portal maker Plumtree for a bushel of cash - $US200 million, or about $US300,000 per customer. I understand in the rocky enterprise software market, BEA was seeking any portal (vendor) in a storm.

Beta blockers: Cringe contributor John W reports that his Internet Explorer 7 beta won't let Google be his default search page. So he downloaded an app that changed the browser's defaults, and now Google News won't load. I'm sure these are temporary beta glitches that will be fixed when IE 7 ships. We all know Microsoft wouldn't deliberately hobble a competitor's products. Right?

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