ShadowRAM: August 5, 2002

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    The government's push toward a new Department of Homeland Security is now tapping into the collective thought process of the high-tech industry.

    Federal lawmakers last week met with executives from companies including IBM, WebMethods, Siebel Systems, Symantec, SeeBeyond, EDS, SAP and Lockheed Martin. But during the meeting, the executives raised a number of issues related to their own security, including indemnification,that is, whether private-sector companies would be liable if, for example, they provide security software that is hacked.

    Execs also grilled the feds on the best way they saw to integrate information-sharing technology among the myriad government agencies and homeland defense agents.

    We're guessing the real reason Rick Belluzzo left Microsoft was because he missed being a hardware guy. Remember, before he joined Microsoft he ran SGI, and before that he worked at the old Hewlett-Packard. That's why we weren't surprised to find out last week that he's going to be the new CEO of hard-drive maker Quantum. If Belluzzo missed working at a hardware company, though, we wonder how long it'll take before he misses those nice software margins he saw in Redmond.

    If we were Bill Gates, we'd get out the corporate checkbook and send a big, fat technology grant to the New York City public school system.

    Why? Well, it'd be fun to get a thank-you letter from the new chancellor of schools for New York City, Joel Klein.

    Name sound familiar? Yep,it's the same guy who ran the Justice Department's antitrust unit during the Clinton Administration, and the same guy who got the ball rolling with the current antitrust litigation against the software giant.

    New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg tapped Klein to run the school system, even though Klein is a lawyer and not an educator.

    Can't you just picture a thank-you note from Klein?

    "Dear Bill,
    "Even though you run an illegal, bullying monopoly, and tried to destroy competition, I thank you from the bottom of my heart . . . "

    We've been covering this business for many years, and we've seen stranger things happen.

    Speaking of Gates and contributions, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wants to clarify an item that ran here last week. The foundation itself hasn't made any contributions to political candidates, but William Gates, father of Bill and CEO of the foundation, made $1,000 in campaign contributions to U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) earlier this year. Because of its tax status, the foundation itself is prohibited from political contributions.

    Leave it to a white-box guy to leave the brand vendors in the dust. Sean McClelland, president of, has come out with a 1u, 500MHz Celeron-based server that he's tagged at $299. And that price is before Intel's next expected round of deep price cuts on its IA-32 line.

    We wonder what the attendance will be like for the next Intel Developer Forum, scheduled for Sept. 9--12 in San Jose, Calif. Even for many unconcerned about travel security issues, come Sept. 11, thoughts may be on things other than the gee-whiz benchmark results for Banius.

    Intel sources acknowledged the unfortunate timing, but said the event was scheduled so far in advance that rescheduling or cancelling would have been difficult for Intel and thousands of its developers, partners and customers.

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