NOTES FROM THE FIELD: All my children

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: All my children

Amber is still a bit shaken from being told that we have eight children in our future by the psychic Layla. "Amber, psychics don't always get the details right," I said. "Maybe it means that Apache will father eight little puppies some day." This lifted her spirits quite a bit. "Now that would be fun, Cringe, but where would we keep them all?"

Lost tribes

When Big Blue announced layoffs recently, it didn't tell the world how it will treat the people it acquired from AT&T. One spy reported that IBM is planning to move pieces of that operation up to Canada and has been telling folks they will be laid off on a certain date, only to delay that date shortly beforehand, thereby stringing these people along. What's more, IBM has been kind enough to keep some of the current employees around - but just long enough to train their replacements.

Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to be struggling with how to keep track of customer data, a spy of mine said. The spy said he received a note from MSN stating that, due to a central server meltdown, his billing information was lost. And to keep the account alive, Microsoft gave my spy a generous 24 hours to enter his credit card information into the online billing centre all over again.

Sony's coveted superslim laptops and Windows XP may not be getting along so well. During a debugging session with Sony, the tech told my spy there is a growing suspicion within Sony that the XP online update system is creating the problem. The tech noted that colleagues saw the problem often and that the common thread has been that the customers accept all Microsoft patches.

Shining the Apple

Apple also apparently left some of its devout out in the cold. A spy said the company was shutting down its customers' iTools Web sites without publishing a word on the new policy about using Apple's servers that stored the Web sites. All this during the very week Apple was shining on about its new rack-mounted servers, my spy added. Apparently, Big Apple is standing by the clause about the rules being subject to change.

Now Amber has her eye on making a profit from the pooch. "Maybe if we can find a female Airedale whose owner wants it to be bred, we can even make some money by selling the puppies," she said.

"Then we can use that profit to buy a female, and I could quit my job to become an Airedale breeder." Quit your job in this economy, Amber? Not so fast.

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