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The Furry Feline is in a foul mood after finding out he won't be able to gamble on the Net.
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Kattching up on the latest international incidents

The Frenetic Furball had to wrap up things at Rumor Central earlier than expected last week, since he was called at the 11th hour to mediate the NATO crisis and the summit between Bill "I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up" Clinton and Boris "You Get Moose, I Get Squirrel" Yeltsin. As he touched down in Helsinki, the Katt wondered, "Can't we all just get along?"

OS/2, which has gotten along well in vertical markets, may be losing its grip in the banking industry. A feline fan in the financial sector said retail giant NCR is moving its software for automated teller machines from OS/2 to Windows NT in the third quarter. "Bang, bang, there goes another nail in the Warp coffin," Spencer sighed.

Here's a lesson in Bad Marketing 101: Two weeks ago, Macromedia announced the pending release of its Director 6 multimedia authoring software. The very next day, the company sent out a press release saying the upgrade's release was pushed back from March to the second quarter, and the delay would adversely affect the company's financial results for the current quarter. Cut!

Spencer's never one to start rumors--his charter is simply to repeat them--but he couldn't help thinking that Sun CTO Eric Schmidt's move to Novell was the first step in a grand scheme by Scott McNealy to purchase Novell, then force every single one of the 55 million NetWare users to move to Java-based network computing.

Schmidt may not be the only well-known exec heading to Orem, either, according to one Tabby Tattler. Now that Craig Burton has left his Burton Group consulting company, word is the ex-Novell vice president--and longtime armchair quarterback--may be sniffing around for reinstatement in his old office. With Burton, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak starring in this latest remake of the "Return of the Jedi," can Jim Cannavino and John Akers be far behind?

Could Larry Ellison, that internationally acclaimed collector and connoisseur of all things that are ancient and Asian, have committed the ultimate cultural faux pas? The story goes that a Japanese television crew recently descended upon the Oracle chief's ornate digs for an interview. One of the reporters set up his laptop on a priceless antique Japanese table, then proceeded to slide it along the surface, leaving PGA-size divots. Ellison the Asia-phile exploded. "Ask him if he realizes what he has done!" Ellison demanded repeatedly of the interpreter, then stormed out for a long walk around the grounds before he could resume the interview. The Japanese reporter, subjected to an unendurable level of humiliation, turned several shades of deep magenta.

FoxPro is emerging as the somewhat hapless, short-shrifted member of Microsoft's new Visual Studio family. The database was conspicuously absent from the company's Developer Days demonstration last week, and Microsoft sources say the company has shelved a proposed bug-tracking database built with FoxPro. Also, some of the FoxPro developers are now working on improving the data binding functions in Visual Basic.

Word from wirehead land is that Cisco will try to make a backdoor play for U.S. Robotics, leaving current suitor 3Com out in the cold. The Katt's advice: Don't expect the Cisco kids to pull it off, but it would certainly make for interesting copy.

Feed the Katt

Have a tip? Contact Rumor Central at (617) 393-3700; on MCI Mail, it's SKATT; on CompuServe, 72631,107; on the Internet, it's; or try ZD Net's PC Week Forum on CompuServe; or fax the Katt at (617) 393-3795.

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