Notes from the field: All the Valley's a stage

Notes from the field: All the Valley's a stage

It's time to show off your acting talents," Amber says, dragging me out to the car. She's taking an acting class and, based on my ability to tell a story, believes I should join her.

On the subject of good stories, I'm still sorting through tons of e-mail following my comments about Dell's poor technical service. It seems that during the last week the previously negative tide of comments has turned positive.

I smell a rat. Could it be that Dell staff are secretly using their Yahoo accounts?

My other bit of Dell gossip again raises the spectre of Dell looking for acquisitions in the professional services, networking, and storage arenas. My spy claims that executives are eyeing any possible options that would help the company hit the $US30 billion revenue mark.

Meanwhile, over at IBM my spies claim that the company has revived and resumed development on its content management project, called Franklin, that had been killed last year as part of a deal with Vignette.

And there's news of an about-face by Loudcloud. Built on the MSP (managed service provider) model which is still struggling to gain serious enterprise traction, Loudcloud is apparently talking to a few select enterprise customers, allowing them to license its Opsware software and install it themselves, rather than contracting Loudcloud's service.

Wireless worries

One might think that there would have been higher service levels on the agenda at the Goldman Sachs Technology Investment conference held recently in La Quinta, California. My spies on the ground there report the conference was held in a dead spot, which made wireless devices all but useless. That minor issue was nothing compared to a general lack of security measures at an event that hosted approximately 200 leading executives from the high-tech industry.

Enron bandwagon

We're still getting TV mileage from Enron, so why not here too? Another spy reports that he's confused as to why he's being flooded with spam from addresses identified as belonging to Enron. After the first large batch, he put a block in his router, which showed 937 blocked access attempts within four days. Conspiracy theories abound. Did Enron just lay off all the people who were protecting its mail servers from hackers?

Where's Larry

Finally, one of my New Zealand readers wrote to say Oracle's Larry Ellison was recently spotted in the Land of the Long White Cloud inspecting his America's Cup challenge team. Rumours circulated recently about Oracle layoffs and this spy muses that the same fate might fall on Larry's sailing crew if they don't bring home the silverware.

"Perhaps we could write a play about your adventures in Silicon Valley?" Amber persisted. You know, that's not such a bad idea.

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