SCO strikes gold, Verizon just strikes

Paranoia runs deep

I keep asking Pammy, What did I do to deserve this? First Amber ditches me for some half-pint Hapsburg. Then my PC gets infected with an e-mail virus from my own sysadmin. Any day now the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) will slap a subpoena on me for downloading all those Captain & Tennille  MP3s (captainandtennille.net). My only solace is going through my inbox and digging out these juicy tips.

$6 Million, Man

What does it cost to license an OS you don't really need? A cool $6 million. That's the figure a Microsoft sales pro let slip when asked why the Redmond boys acquired a Unix license from The SCO Group. According to my source, the pro said Microsoft ponied up because "SCO needed money for their lawsuit problem." SCO PR dude Blake Stowell issued a staunch denial, saying MS wants the code for its Services for Unix product. Still, $6 mil would certainly keep SCO attorney David Boies' legal machine nicely oiled -- and the news is sure to make thousands of Microsoft conspiracy theorists happy.

Verizon Redialed

Last week's item about a possible strike at Verizon sparked a swirl of responses from the Cringe squad. One insider says some execs are indeed getting paid extra for putting in 70-plus hour weeks -- but only those who are replacing union workers. Another source claims Verizon's senior "manglement" has been actively trying to provoke a strike for months in the hope of busting the union. Another long-term management goal: outsourcing as many IT functions as possible to India to cut costs. Maybe they could use some of the Garam Masala recipes I've been collecting.

Abacus, Anyone?

Intuit, which sells online billing services for $15 a month, has told its contractors it will no longer accept invoices submitted via e-mail -- including those sent from within QuickBooks, my spies tell me. Freelancers must send paper bills via snail mail. No word yet on whether Intuit plans to shift its internal accounting ops to double-entry ledgers and quill pens.

Pammy's response to my griping? "Shut up and pass the bottle opener." Wise woman, that.

Got hot tips or bootleg recordings of "Muskrat Love"? Send 'em to cringe@infoworld.com. I'll pay $50 for the best.