R. Fink | If it's good enough for Hillary ...

The Packet Rat'commentary

Michael Bechetti

AFTER THE New Hampshire primaries, the Rat had an epiphany about how to improve his image with the unwashed masses his network serves.

If anyone ever confronted him about his desktop support policies, he would show his more human side and choke up.

'It worked for Hillary,' he mused to his wife over his CrackBerry as he rode the train into work the day after Sen.

Clinton secured the delegates of the Granite State with her display of emotion.

Or at least, that was the explanation for how she defied the latest in scientific polling methods. 'I wonder how it would play at work.'

The Rat could certainly use some help in his desk-side manner ratings these days, given that most users treat his approach like that of a pack of Iranian speedboats ' rare and dangerous.

One of his help-desk techs joked that the cyber rodent's outgoing voice mail should say, 'I am not coming to you. Your system will crash in a few minutes.'

That's probably something close to the message Intel executives wanted to leave Nicholas Negroponte after bailing on their partnership with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program. Intel has its own low-cost laptop, the Classmate PC, that it's marketing to the developing world ' in some cases, to governments that had provisionally agreed to buy the OLPC system, called the XO.

Apparently, some Intel salesmen spoke ill of the XO in their sales pitches, which Negroponte claims violated a nondisparagement clause ' known on the street as a no trash-talking clause ' in their partnership.

Intel has claimed that the clause only applied to the company's executive officers, not its sales force. 'And as everybody knows,' the Rat snickered, 'nobody can control what a salesman says.'

Just before lunch, a fellow department head came into the whiskered one's bunker with a question on a portal application.

The department head scratched his scalp, pointed to a reporting feature and asked, 'How do you do this?' On cue, the Rat went doe-eyed and said, 'It's not easy, it's not easy.

And I couldn't do it if I just didn't, you know, passionately believe it was the right thing to do.

You know, I have so many opportunities from this agency.'

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