Channel Talk has finally struggled free from underneath the huge mound of press releases received from America Online in the past week. Among the wealth of essential information the self-professed 'trendiest company in the industry' has seen fit to share with us is the news that Virtual Wales has arrived. AOL said it has 'come online in celebration of all things Welsh'. Anything you wish to know about Wales, from choirs and culture to advice on the quickest route out of it, is now on a screen near you.
The Channel Talk hall of fame for expenses scams continues. After the classic of the reseller that conned Digital into paying for holidays for its sales staff, Channel Talk has discovered that over-enthusiastic expenses claims were responsible for the downfall of Wang. Sort of. Ken Olisa, the former marketing director of Wang, now runs a marketing services company and told Channel Talk about his old days in the 80s, when Wang was a major player. To cut a long and superbly told story short, he took the eight directors and wives of a customer to a club in Milan on an evening that was clearly 'make or break' for their partnership. Despite potential mishaps involving strippers, temperamental wives and far too much alcohol, the customer went home declaring the night a success. Olisa was mentally exhausted but utterly relieved. Then the bill arrived - a $3,000 drinks bill. With his remaining strength, Olisa complained. The bill arrived again, this time in the hand of an enormous bouncer. Fearing for his teeth, his job and his hardware, Olisa debated with the manager and his mainframe henchman until the bill went down to $2,000. He left, happy to have won, until he realised that handing a $2,000 expenses claim to his boss would be harder than taking on the bouncer.
After brief explanations, but extensive grovelling, the guy passed the claim. Within a few weeks, Wang began its free-fall into obscurity. Now you know why.
There has been a baby boom at CHS. Perhaps that should read baby Boon, as Jan Lawford and Gary Boon, sales and marketing director and MD respectively at CHS Electronics, have bought home their newborn daughter, Tayla Boon. PC Delia congratulates the pair on the birth, but Channel Talk could not help but predict that Tayla will be a chip off the old block. In the best traditions of her no-nonsense, brutally honest and straight-talking parents, she took 24 hours of labour to arrive and did not appear until she wanted to. Then she drowned out the screaming parents with some screaming of her own. Good girl.
Why blow up countries when you can simulate their destruction? That seemed to be the message from Big Blue last week when it told PC Delia the US government had paid it $93 million for software and tin to simulate blasts. What next? Will Intel build a virtual Stonehenge using code without the letter I? It's a mystery, as that lass with the blonde hair used to sing.
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