Lab honcho tells inside story of SQL tests and the wrath of Redmond

By Robert X. Cringely, InfoWorld |  Operating Systems

WITH YAHOO THE latest dot-com to suffer the consequences of the New Economy downturn, it's hard to know just whom you can believe in anymore.

"Will the Yahoo stores still be up and running, Bobby?" Randi asked me. "I have my eye on a new Jacuzzi offered at one of those stores. It's for my future solar house."

After I reassured her that she could still get her Jacuzzi, Randi went off to consult with more realtors about the solar house she wants to buy to escape the California power crunch.

Wrath of Redmond redux

After last week's bit about the NetworkWorld/Microsoft issue, many readers are clamoring to know more. NetworkWorld has come forward with a clarification.

Here's the story: The test itself was not part of the NetworkWorld-sanctioned testing program. It all started when a hardworking NetworkWorld reporter was researching a story about benchmark numbers produced by Tolly Research that indicated Windows NT performed better than Windows 2000. Looking to make the story even stronger, the reporter contacted another independent lab to find out whether it had seen similar results. The director of the independent lab offered to run the tests himself that afternoon. When Microsoft started throwing its considerable weight around regarding the results from the independent lab, the lab pulled the results off its Web site.

"If this testing had been part and parcel of our official testing program, we would have been intimately involved with setting the test methodology so that Microsoft would not have had this legal loophole to sneak through, and therefore we would have stood behind the results regardless of the Microsoft threats," said the manager of the NetworkWorld Test Alliance program.

E-mail @Home

A member of the @Home e-mail re-architecture team has weighed in, writing that the rumor about @Home's plan to reduce the number of servers it will use to handle its e-mail load is way off base.

Rather, the company is "consolidating geographically," this @Homey says, to "make operations support more efficient." But he adds that storage and processing power will likely increase.

"You should see a marked improvement over the next few months in the quality of this service," the @Homey writes.

Meanwhile, one reader, with Zenlike calm offers this: "The secret to happiness in the @Home world is, 'Less is more.' Use @Home's hardware but not their software. That means not using their 'free' e-mail service." Such users could switch to another free e-mail service and use @Home's broadband to access the Web.

"MAYBE AOL COULD buy Yahoo," Randi said, after returning from her real estate consultation.

Maybe I'll just stand in a quake-reinforced doorway until the shock waves are over.

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