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1/31/2003
03:40 PM
John Soat
John Soat
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IT Confidential: Software Scandals Never Seem To Stop

'Those who want free music don't believe in free speech.'

Just as former supply-chain superstar i2 Technologies is getting close to profitability, based on its fourth-quarter results released last week, it's under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company says Deloitte & Touche will reaudit financial statements for 2000 and 2001; Arthur Andersen, which stopped auditing public companies after its conviction related to the Enron scandal, originally audited those statements. I2 warns that Deloitte & Touche's review could cause adjustments in past periods, including its most recent. The new audits stem from allegations by two former i2 execs last quarter relating to revenue recognition, financial controls, and gross negligence. An initial review by i2's board found no problems, a company spokeswoman says, but the former execs recently provided additional information to the board.

Speaking of former superstars, WorldCom said last week that it's selling the ranch owned by ex-CEO Bernie Ebbers. The Douglas Lake Ranch--"the largest working cattle ranch in Canada," according to a statement by the company--is being jointly marketed by Hilco Real Estate and Colliers International. WorldCom last month took control of the ranch, which also features world-class fly-fishing and recreational activities, "through the exercise of certain rights arising under financing agreements" between the telecom vendor and Ebbers.

The Recording Industry Association of America's Web site (http://www.riaa.org) spent most of last week under siege from a denial-of-service attack that began Jan. 24 and left the site largely unavailable for days. "It's pathetic [that] those who want free music don't believe in free speech," says an RIAA spokesperson, who adds that the FBI and the Secret Service are investigating the source of the attack. Since July, the site has been hit by multiple defacements and denial-of-service attacks.

Oracle execs were demonstrating Oracle's Collaboration Suite last week at the Westin Hotel in Seattle. They discovered that Microsoft reps had booked a nearby room to promote the company's competing Exchange software. Microsoft even offered free lattés to entice prospective buyers to its presentation. Quips Mark Jarvis, Oracle chief marketing officer: "That's the closest they'll come to getting Java from Microsoft."

Tom Sibley, IT director for the city of Cape Coral, Fla., is hosting a monthly, hour-long show on a local cable-TV outlet. The aim of Tech Talk, he says, is to educate the citizenry on how technology makes living in Cape Coral--geographically Florida's second-largest city--exciting, rewarding, and fun. Tech Talk, says Sibley, with tongue-in-cheek modesty, will be "more fun than watching that fresh coat of paint dry in the living room."

I thought paint-drying shows were the hottest thing on TV--that and reality shows like The Osbournes. Hey, throw in a few F-bombs and you'll have a hit! That and a few industry tips, which you can also send to jsoat@cmp.com or phone 516-562-5326. If you want to talk about software accounting practices or hacker attacks, meet me at the Listening Post.


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit John Soat's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about John Soat, please visit his page on the Listening Post.

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