ShadowRAM: October 2, 2006

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Novell slated meetings for the Columbus Room at the Roosevelt Hotel last week. It sounded like a nice idea because it's a great, old, Manhattan building in a nice part of the city.

It was such a nice idea that some big Middle East pooh-bah in town for U.N. meetings thought the same thing and just, well, took over the place. Reporters taking the elevator to the Roosevelt's second floor weren't greeted by Novell reps. They were greeted by about 30 U.S. Secret Service agents handling guard duty.

"Sorry," one agent said. "Our guy is in the Columbus Room now."

Novell execs were forced to meet in the hotel lounge.

Product placement update: HP bought itself a presence on NBC's "The Office" about hijinks in a paper company's Scranton, Pa., sales office. Everyone in the show who types on a PC sports a fancy HP LCD monitor. Quite frankly, HP sells way more paper for its printers than it does LCDs, so it was a curious choice given the show is about a, er, paper company. The camera shots were very quick, though, so it was impossible to tell if there were any eavesdropping devices or tracer technology on the HP equipment.

Adobe used the Intel Developer Forum to show new tech—code-named Apollo—a cross-platform browser technology for SaaS. According to one blogger, Apollo is an app framework that promises to do everything Flex does plus handle PDF, HTML and operating system interaction. Phew.

You know things are a bit off in the tech world when a bird steals the show. Such was apparently the case at Demo 2006, where a pigeon made an unannounced appearance. Said one blogger: "I found it to be a good barometer of how interesting a presentation was based on whether or not I spent it watching the pigeon's flight, or focused in more on the demo itself. "

VoIP guru Jeff Pulver used his keynote at the recent Fall VON 2006 conference to invite any IT big shots who think they know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em to play in his Tech Titans vs. Poker Titans event, scheduled for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. Pulver's plan is to pit tech executives against professional poker stars to raise some dough for charity. Feeling lucky?

David Roberts, the man who now fans indirect sales embers at Websense, has a crafty MSP play up his sleeve, it's been overheard. Roberts, who joined in May as VP of sales, cranked up a new channel program in August—a shock to Websense's direct sales system. The MSP effort should also dazzle and fit right into most existing MSPs' daily playbooks. Give it, ah, about two weeks.

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