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Networking This Week: Cisco Nixes "Poison Pill;" Battle Of The Takeover Titans

You can be excused if you get the feeling that networking news these days reads more like the financial pages of the Wall Street Journal than it does anything else.

The battle between Qwest and Verizon to take over MCI escalates practically hourly, and promises ultimately to become a Quentin Tarantino epic bloodbath, fought with dollar bills instead of samurai swords.

Meanwhile, Cicso cancelled a "poison pill" antitakeover plan three years earlier than planned for reasons that seem murky at best. Company spokespeople said that the plan wasn't killed in preparation to sell the company, and instead claimed the move was done to strengthen its corporate governance practices, whatever that means. What's the truth behind what Cisco did? Beats me. You be the judge.

There was even some news this week that the Wall Street Journal could rail about in its editorial pages -- the U.S. just this week completed an Internet study that Congress requested in 1998. The $1 million study didn't find out anything that we don't already know. So why did it take seven years to complete? "Time got extended,'' sheepishly explained Charles Brownstein, director of the council that did the study. Excuse me, but when I went to school, "Time got extended" didn't cut it with my teachers. And what does that mean, anyway? Are we talking about wormholes here? Beam me up, Scottie!

With all the news about finance and politics, you may wonder what happened in technology this week. Not much; it was kind of a sleepy time. But there were some notable announcements. Extreme Networks debuted a combo gigabit switch for wireless, VoIP, and converged networks . The company's Summit 400-24 family of switches include specific features for converged applications.

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