Happy Birthday

cityfile · 08/17/09 06:47AM

Robert De Niro turns 66 today. Sean Penn is turning 49. Controversial book publisher Judith Regan is 56. Yankees star Jorge Posada is turning 38. J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison are both turning 65 today. John McDonald, the restaurateur behind Lure Fishbar, Chinatown Brasserie, and the now-closed Lever House, is 41. Jonathan Franzen, the author of The Corrections, is 50. E! host Giuliana DePandi Rancic is 34. Nicola Kraus, the co-author of The Nanny Diaries, is 35. Hollywood exec Gail Berman is turning 53. Singer Belinda Carlisle is 51. Retired tennis player Jim Courier turns 39. Donnie Wahlberg is turning 40. Former Senator Norm Coleman is 60. And Rick Hilton, father of Paris and Nicky, turns 54 today.

Arianna's Best Birthday Ever

cityfile · 07/15/09 10:55AM

How has Arianna Huffington been spending her 59th birthday? She started the day in Greece before making her way to Croatia, reportedly aboard the Rising Sun, the 454-foot, $250 million yacht that is co-owned by billionaires David Geffen and Larry Ellison. [Gawker]

Inside Larry Ellison's Pacific Heights mansionette

Owen Thomas · 10/28/08 03:00PM

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison doesn't really live in his multimillion-dollar house in San Francisco; he mostly keeps it around for parties, like the rager of a dinner party PR schemestress Brooke Hammerling threw for the 10th anniversary of NetSuite, an online-software company which Ellison has backed since it was a startup. Kara Swisher did one of her let-the-CEO-yammer interviews with NetSuite's Zach Nelson. Videographer Richard Blakeley cut her clip down to just the real-estate porn. It works a lot better with the intro theme from MTV Cribs, doesn't it?

Party at Larry's house!

Owen Thomas · 10/23/08 04:00PM

We hear there's some kind of party happening tonight at the Pacific Heights mansionette of Larry Ellison, Oracle's multibillionaire CEO. He's not in town, so it should really be a rager. The occasion: The 10th anniversary of NetSuite's founding. Our invite was lost in the mail, but we're glad to hear Ellison's still doing his part for the local economy — especially considering how he just lost $6.6 billion in the stock market — more than any other tech CEO, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Larry's buying!

Paul Boutin · 10/10/08 05:40PM

At today's annual meeting, Oracle's top dog told shareholders, "Acquisitions that we have been looking at for some time may now be more attractive." He wasn't any more specific than to say he meant small, growing companies rather than large, public ones. Ooh, I know this great little blog network. Does Oracle have dental?(Photo by AP/Paul Sakuma)

Death of the database

Paul Boutin · 10/03/08 06:20PM

PBS pundit Robert X. Cringely says he realized at last week's MIT Technology Review conference that cloud computing means, in short, "No database." Cringely sees it as the end of Oracle's dominance of information technology. I expect Oracle Cloud any day now. Here's a summary of Cringely's long article, plus the joke about Ellison's sex life, minus Cringely's references to himself:

Who wore it better, Googler Marissa Mayer or socialite Sloan Barnett?

Jackson West · 09/30/08 01:40PM

A group of ultrarich San Francisco socialites, each with a carbon footprint the size of a small African country, gathered at the home of Larry Ellison's wife Melanie Ellison. The good cause: to promote author Sloan Barnett's book Everything Goes with Greenwhich just happens to suggest everyone buy her husband Roger Barnett's Shaklee "green" cleaning products. But the conflict of interest wasn't nearly as chatworthy as the conflict of couture!Quelle horreur: Both Barnett and Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president for cupcake-recipe spreadsheets, wore the same blue Oscar de la Renta dress with a green-leaf pattern along the hem! Also, it seems that arm-candy real-estate manager Zack Bogue is trying to tear Valleywag editor Owen Thomas's affections away from stubblicious Flickr developer Cal Henderson by sporting some ursine facial fur. Though my guess is he was just too lazy to shave — that the top button and not the middle button is buttoned on his pinstriped jacket says "sloppy." (Photos by Drew Altizer)

The 15 hottest CEO wives

Paul Boutin · 09/30/08 07:00AM

Lucy Southworth made the cut at AOL's Asylum blog, even though hubby Larry Page isn't the CEO of his company. If you don't want to click through Asylum's pop-up interactive preso, I searched our photo databases to find real-world shots — not Photoshopped promo pictures — of Asylum's two other Valley-related picks. Both have a certain something once considered unsightly on a trophy wife: careers.

Larry Ellison on cloud computing buzzword: "Complete gibberish"

Jackson West · 09/26/08 12:20PM

"The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion." So says Larry Ellison, who told analysts yesterday that "other than change the wording of some of our ads," the company has no plans to make any actual changes to its business in order to jump on the cloud-computing bandwagon. Really, Ellison needs to get another monkey to do the infomercial thing on stage — he's far more charming when he's being rude but honest. [WSJ] (Photo by AP/Paul Sakuma)

HP's big iron helps Oracle ease pent-up server stress

Jackson West · 09/25/08 09:00AM

At yesterday's Oracle OpenWorld conference, CEO Larry Ellison donned his best tan and announced a new partnership with Hewlett Packard to sell a hardware and software to speed up databases. A rack of eight devices will include 168 terrabytes of storage and a total of 64 processing cores on 16 Intel microprocessors and will be optimized for Oracle's database software. The idea, as haltingly explained by Ellison in the video above, is to clear the bottleneck between storage servers that hold the data and the database servers that process the requests. We've condensed the speech down to around a minute, but left in the awkward bits so you can wince along with the audience.Ellison goes through this like a Ron Popeil pitch but with less enthusiasm and a stiffer delivery. The audience responds with silence when Ellison issues his applause lines, and can someone get the man a remote control so he doesn't have to terrorize a minion with requests to change the slides? We know the topic doesn't lend itself to the crazed consumer fervor of something like the iPhone, but seriously, I can see attendees muttering "More like Bore-acle OpenWorld" under their breath as they step into the Market Street Cinema.

Power geeks do not age well

Nicholas Carlson · 09/24/08 07:00PM

As the seasons change and we settle into autumn, I'm reminded once more that yet another year will soon pass and that we're all getting older. Or at least, the old people are. Check out the images below, picturing tech luminaries in their youths juxtaposed with more recent photos. You might find yourself in disagreement with the English poet John Donne, who wrote: "No spring, nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face."Young Steve Jobs, Apple cofounder:

Highly available ladies, for a fee, at Oracle conference

Melissa Gira Grant · 09/23/08 02:00PM

Larry Ellison didn't provide escorts for attendees at this week's Oracle OpenWorld at San Francisco's Moscone Center. Well, certainly not for all of them. But with 45,000 geeks — the kind of geeks who can afford Oracle's software — in town, it's bonus week for local working girls. "Jet-setting adventuress" Kimberlee Cline eyed a few obviously scalable women gliding in and out of the W Hotel, a short stiletto strut from the show. Thanks, Kimberlee — and whatever you do, don't say "exponentially" to a DBA unless you're sure it's not more of a step function.

New Oracle product seamlessly bores the whole enterprise

Paul Boutin · 09/22/08 05:40PM

The canned marketing script says, "Oracle Beehive provides a complete range of collaboration services including conferencing, instant messaging, email, calendar, and team workspaces." Translation: It's a competitor for Microsoft Sharepoint. More cynically: Oh boy, an Oracle wiki. Beehive's unveiling was supposed to kick off this week's 45,000-attendee Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco with a bang. But attendees blogging and tweeting the event were just not impressed."Not a lot new really," tweeted a conference-goer. "Beehive demo isn't that great — hard to follow the screens" an Oracle employee helpfully typed. Oracle's bigger-than-Larry-Ellison's-yacht PR machine wants me to blog that "customers and partners are buzzing about Beehive." It's a phony press-release story, for which they've helpfully provided a Google News-friendly headline and a geekbait mention of the European Space Agency. In reality, the online silence about Beehive has been conspicuous. I'm serious: Larry, get your buddy Steve Jobs to help with your next launch. (Photo by AP/Ben Margot)

Judge says Oracle destroyed email evidence

Paul Boutin · 09/04/08 11:40AM

It's been dragging on forever, the 2001 class-action lawsuit filed by shareholders who claim Larry Ellison and his team lied about the company's financial shape prior to Q2 '01 — back when New York still had a World Trade Center. Now, local district judge Susan Illston has ruled that Oracle conveniently failed to preserve Ellison's email from that period, as well as tapes and transcripts from Matthew Symonds, who interviewed Oracle's yachtbuilder-in-chief at length for his Ellison biography, Softwar.Illston, who won fans among copyright wonks for ruling in favor of fair-use DRM hacks, is pretty clear that she doesn't see the lost evidence as an accident: "It is appropriate to infer," she wrote, "that the emails and software materials would demonstrate Ellison's knowledge of, among other things, problems with Suite 11i, the effects of the economy on Oracle's business and problems with defendants' forecasting model." Oracle spokespeople are keeping a tight lip on the situation.

Rival billionaires go to court over three-hulled superyacht

Paul Boutin · 08/30/08 07:40PM

Larry Ellison's $10 million monster trimaran, designed to dominate the America's Cup race, may have been built in vain. Ellison and Swiss / Italian pharmaceuticals billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli have dragged a fight over the century-old race's rules into the courtroom. Even the New York Times has trouble explaining what the argument is about, so I've made you a briefing:Bertarelli created his own team, Team Alinghi, by raiding the hot Team New Zealand in 2000. Alinghi has easily won the two most recent America's Cup races. In response, Ellison's own BMW Oracle team built the trimaran. Now, Bertarelli wants to increase the allowed size of the boats and make the race an every-other-year event. Ellison's lawsuit, filed by the Golden Gate Yacht Club, seeks to replace the official challenger for the next race, the Spanish group Desafio Espanol, with BMW Oracle. The suit claims Desafio Espanol is an "invalid challenger" because it has not held a regatta in accordance with America's Cup regulations. Desafio Espanol claims a regatta it held in Spain does too qualify. An arbitration panel agreed with that last year. Bertarelli says he's trying to improve the race's popular appeal. Ellison says Bertarelli is trying to manipulate the rules to hold onto the cup against the threat of Ellison's new boat. The New York Supreme Court will hear the case in October. (Photo by Getty Images/AFP/Gilles Martin-Raget)

Marrying into billions still acceptable so long as you're a smart girl

Melissa Gira Grant · 07/17/08 04:00PM

Forbes lays on the Cosmo when it comes to finding wives for the rich: "Today, there are just 110 eligible 10-figure bachelors, including divorced men, in the world. So what does it take to marry one? For starters, looks are great—but brains are even better." Take Melanie Craft, the romance-novelist wife of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. A wife with her own career can stay busy and well-off. The more successful she is on her own, the more time her guy has to hire girls for rides in his Love Copter. And the less money he'll have to hand over in a future settlement. Everybody wins! (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)