I did have to chuckle earlier this month over the opening sentence of a Novell press release. Novell, like most global software vendors, divides the world into regions - the Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa; Asia-Pacific; and Japan. It's an odd arrangement, certainly (why isn't Japan part of the Asia-Pacific region?) but it at least can provide a giggle from time to time. As when Novell's mighty marketing machine provides an opening line like: "Novell announced today that Ronald W. Hovsepian has been appointed President, North America, effective immediately." (Now why didn't Al Gore think of that?) Evidently Novell has now dropped sales to South America as the former division known as "The Americas" seems to now be "North America". Maybe South America can join with Asia and the Pacific in a new "Asia Pacific, South America (APSA) division. That might make up for splitting off Japan on its own! I wouldn't have mentioned this, but less than a week later comes into my inbox another press release datelined from Provo talking about "Novell's Vice President for portals, access and security, Brendan McLaughlin." As one wag put it, it makes him sound like the chief doorman! It should be noted that Mr. McLaughlin does not sit on the "Executive Management Committee" even though he is a vice president, although other\u00a0vice presidents\u00a0(along with senior vice presidents and "Presidents" such as Mr. Hovsepian) do sit on the EMC. Evidently, McLaughlin is too busy protecting those portals. I wonder if he gets a uniform, with lots of shiny buttons and gold braid?In the past, I've complained that Novell didn't issue enough press releases - sometimes it would go a month or two with nothing to say. Now that its press relations department has been cut drastically (it's less than 20% the size it was just a few years ago) the company has decided to increase publication of releases. Spending a couple of bucks for a good editor might be something to think about.On the good news front, Novell has announced plans to release a public beta of the next version (3.8) of BorderManager in the next two weeks (it will be available at https:\/\/beta.novell.com\/public.jsp). See Deni Connor's story on Network World Fusion (link below) for details. Highlights of this version include support for more than 50 different authentication methods using Novell Modular Authentication Services (passwords, smartcards, tokens, certificates, biometrics and more) as well as support for any LDAP v3 directory service. You, of course, will continue to use it with NetWare's own eDirectory.