Notes from the Field: Office ads dis the prez; storage firm sorry for spam, it sez

Notes from the Field: Office ads dis the prez; storage firm sorry for spam, it sez

Now that RIM and NTP have kissed and made up, all the twitchy-thumbed execs I know can finally stop holding their breath. RIM wins because it can keep doing what it does so well. NTP wins because $US612.5 million is a pretty good payday for a company whose initials apparently stand for No Technology Products. BlackBerry junkies are happy because they won't have to enrol in the Betty Ford Clinic for Email Addiction. But the ones beaming like lottery winners are all the patent attorneys, who will be filling the courts with frivolous suits for years to come.

Gatesie, You're Doing a Heckuva Job: The Associated Press has posted a video online that shows President Bush being briefed 19 hours before Hurricane Katrina hit last August about the seriousness of the storm. The clip is preceded by ads for Microsoft Office that begin, "10am. Out of the office, out of the loop" (or "4:30pm. The data hits the fan"), and end with "Microsoft Office has evolved. Have you?" Memo to Sir Bill: If you look up and see black helicopters overhead, don't say I didn't warn ya.

Your Cheatin' Heart: Cringeman, Chris W, recently popped an old beta of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 into his CD drive, only to have his spyware scanner warn him that IsMyMateCheatingOnline was about to install itself. Turns out Webroot Spy Sweeper mistook VS05's setup program for an adultery-ware keylogger. Webroot says it has updated its spyware definitions to avoid future goofs. So, no, Microsoft isn't trying to find out if you're seeing other development tools on the side.

May We Recommend a Terabyte of Storage With That Spam? Reader, Michael M, was not exactly pleased when his inbox filled with auto-replies from hundreds of strangers, courtesy of the Evaluator Group, a Colorado-based outfit that recommends storage options for enterprises. Turns out somebody at EG's third-party newsletter service ticked the wrong box, sending each reply to every subscriber on its list. "It was a bad week," admitted EG spokeshuman, Jane Wood, who sent out a personal apology to all those affected. She said the Evaluator Group was now evaluating new email service providers.

Got hot tips or patent suits? Send them to and you may receive a Cringe bag as settlement.

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