Notes from the Field

SAN MATEO (03/10/2000) - Taking a lesson from the wireless wave, Bobby enjoys being sought afterHARLES FLAKED on his interview this week. I was actually relieved because I didn't want a reason to reconsider hiring Jimmy as my intern.

On another topic, I went on that first date this week. Her name is Karen, and we had a great time.

It was strange being with someone other than you-know-who, but Karen and I made a fine match and had plenty of conversation.

AOL acting a bit kinky?

Speaking of matches, one reader claimed that America Online bought document-solutions giant Kinko's this week and that Kinko's chairman and founder Paul Orfalea was retiring.

I was skeptical until Kinko's made the Orfalea announcement two days later, so I looked into the AOL tip. An AOL spokesman denied comment, saying that they "don't address market speculation." I didn't hear anything back from Kinko's.

Maybe AOL needs a way to manage the large volumes of paperwork coming in, such as those class-action lawsuits.

Fewer wires, more hands

Meanwhile, I'm anticipating a flood of wireless and handheld announcements.

Infrastructure player Inktomi is reportedly close to making a major acquisition in the wireless space. The tip didn't include anything further, but it seems the search specialists are searching for a way to expand into wireless technologies.

For its part, Hewlett-Packard is setting its little red garage down on a wireless patch in Scandinavia. I've learned that one of the first applications of HP's e-speak technology is a new wireless computing service from a Swedish ISP.

And it was only a matter of time before Sony started working on a PlayStation handheld, similar to competitor Nintendo's Game Boy. Maybe they'll call it the PlayBoy.

Sony has apparently gone to the right place for help, partnering with newborn handheld spin-off Palm Computing.

Computer associates with anyone

A source tipped me off this week to a problem he discovered with Computer Associates' ARCserveIT Exchange Agent.

It seems that the program creates a text log file in c:\ that provides the domain, user name, and password combination that the agent uses to log in to Exchange.

That identification generally has administrative privileges to the Exchange system, so whoever locates this file can ultimately log in to the system and change whatever he or she wants.

My consultant says 'Don't panic'

Don't think that this week's sale of Ernst & Young's consulting group to Cap Gemini is an isolated event. Expect most of the Big Five companies to make similar sales or to branch off their consulting groups soon.

The U.S. government is cracking down on companies that have both consulting and accounting divisions, stating that they produce a conflict of interest.

In reaction, most of the Big Five companies are panicking, fearing possible antitrust accusations and forced sanctions. Thus, they are seeking out technology companies with a lot of money to spend, hoping to unload their consulting divisions before Uncle Sam makes them do so.

SO LIFE SEEMS TO BE going pretty well; I've got an intern, I'm dating again, and the tips keep rolling in.

Now, if only I could get that raise.

Help keep me on a roll. Send tips to

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More about America OnlineAOLCA TechnologiesErnst & YoungErnst & YoungHewlett-Packard AustraliaInktomiKinko'sNintendo AustraliaPalm ComputingPlaystationSony

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