Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
FYIFV: A Microsoft Urban Legend

By adamba in Culture
Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 08:09:26 AM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)
Technology

"Accusations that Microsoft's people lie, cheat and steal information are as much a part of the company's lore as its cadre of millionaires with FYIFV ('. . . I'm fully vested') buttons" - James Gleick, "Making Microsoft Safe for Capitalism", New York Times Magazine, November 5, 1995.

"FYIFV: Pin made and worn by many Microsoft employees after the company went public. It means, 'F*ck You I'm Fully Vested'" - Michael Flint, "Microsoft and the Freedom to Subjugate" web page.

Since I worked at Microsoft for a while, you figure I probably have one of those babies lying around, right?


Actually, I don't. And I never saw one during the ten years I worked there. So I got curious.

I asked some old time Microsoft employees about it. I got comments like, "I never saw a FYIFV T-shirt. I heard them discussed as something that people saw as over the top, a fun idea but too provocative," and, "It was never a button. Someone (who will remain nameless) talked about putting it on a t-shirt, but I never actually saw it end up on a shirt."

So why does this rumor keep popping up?

"A popular button appeared with the initials FYIFV: Fuck You, I'm Fully Vested" - Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews, Gates, Doubleday, January 1993.

I should explain what the quote refers to. Microsoft employees are granted stock option grants when they start working there. Actually not all employees, just the programmers and other employees who are deemed worthy. The options vest - become available to be exercised - following a set schedule, so that after 4 1/2 years all of the initial options can be exercised. Since an option allows the employee to buy stock at the price when the option was granted, and the stock generally will have risen in that period of time, the employee can buy the stock cheap and sell it on the open market, pocketing some nice change. So FYIFV would imply that the employee had been there long enough for his or her initial grant to vest, could generate piles of cash in a hurry, and therefore had to answer to no one.

For example, the quote above refers to the jubilation felt when Microsoft went public and people started cashing in stock. Well, I guess, although do you really believe that people would wear buttons that in effect said, "I'm richer than you?" Of course, we are talking about Microsoft people, so I can understand why it sounded believable.

There's another reason to doubt it, which is that employees (all employees, nowadays, even those who didn't get initial grants) are granted more options each year. These are usually less than the initial grant, but still this notion, that after 4 1/2 years the employee has gotten all the option money he or she is going to get, is simply false. Employees are never "fully vested," because the new option grants are vesting over time also.

"Realize that the primary motivator for employees of dominant commercial OS vendors is money (note buttons worn by Microsoft employees that read 'FYIFV', you can search around on the Web yourself to figure out the acronym)." - Chris McDonough, "Countering The No-Support Argument for Linux and Other Open Source Software Offerings" web page.

A quote like this one is a little more ominous. Now it is being used to imply that Microsoft employees are money-grubbing individuals and that this attitude extends into their motivation to write software. Someone who wore an FYIFV button is obviously not motivated by any sense of altruism, and merely wants to separate people from their cash as quickly as possible, software quality be damned.

"For years, Softies were wont to sport buttons that read FYIFV: Fuck You, I'm Fully Vested." - John Heileman, "The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth", Wired, November 2000.

Now you are hitting a bit too close to home. This sentence is in an article about the Justice Department lawsuit about Microsoft (the same quote appears in Heileman's book, Pride Before the Fall, based on the Wired article). The FYIFV button is being used to show that Microsoft employees are basically mean people, capable of anything including illegal monopoly extension. The paragraph leading up to that reads, "Extending a long middle finger to the government and your competitors is not conventional behavior among the top executives of most blue-chip companies. But, of course, Microsoft was different - self-consciously so. Populated by an army of young men (mainly), most of them unusually bright, many of them abnormally wealthy, working endless hours and pulling frequent all-nighters, Microsoft has always retained the air of a fraternity - a fraternity of rich eggheads, but a fraternity nonetheless."

So let me use this article as an attempt to debunk this myth. I received one somewhat definitive email about the origin of the phrase:

[Person X] is adamant that he NEVER made or wore an FYIFV button or T-Shirt. The story he tells is that he made a comment to the effect that some person was wearing their FYIFV T-Shirt that day, meaning that that person was being intransigent about something or other. The intended audience apparently understood that this was an entirely metaphorical reference, but someone else, not involved in the conversation, apparently overheard the crack and related it to Bill [Gates], misreporting the story by saying that [Person X] had actually made such a T-Shirt. [Person X] got called onto the carpet for this by Bill, who was skeptical that no such shirts actually existed and that [Person X] wasn't involved in their making. I had dinner with [Person X] that evening, and remember it well.

I only ever saw one actual FYIFV shirt. The person made it themself and wore it only on their final day at MS. This was maybe '92 or so, years after the original incident.

OK, so someone heard the story themselves and made up ONE shirt as a joke. It was never meant to imply all the things it has been taken to imply. Now I am not claiming that Microsoft is populated by a bunch of saints. They are as obnoxious and egotistical as anyone else, and they certainly do stroll around the hallways in Redmond with some rude T-Shirts and buttons, bearing slogans aimed at various competitors.

But FYIFV? No way.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Related Links
o Making Microsoft Safe for Capitalism
o Microsoft and the Freedom to Subjugate
o Gates
o Countering The No-Support Argument for Linux and Other Open Source Software Offerings
o The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth
o Pride Before the Fall
o Also by adamba


Display: Sort:
FYIFV: A Microsoft Urban Legend | 70 comments (68 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Fascination with the Machine (3.00 / 7) (#1)
by rusty on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:09:07 AM EST

I have to admit, I love this kind of story. Yeah, yeah, Evil Empire blah blah blah. I'm still fascinated with Microsoft, in a way, as a company. I think because it's a little micro-culture of it's own, a kind of petri dish of the wider tech culture. It's the nerd Galapagos.

I keep meaning to check out your book, Adam. :-)

____
Not the real rusty

Everyone at Microsoft Isn't Evil (4.75 / 4) (#7)
by sventhatcher on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:44:47 AM EST

It's not like the entire corporation got together and took a vote and everyone agreed that they should use unfair marketing tactics.

Their software is buggy, sure, but consider the vast number of people working on the huge chunk of code under the watchful eye of middle management bureaucrats. Comparisons to Linux are inherently faulty, since to get the functionallity of windows one has to run Linux, X, and the desktop client of your choice. And that's not even quite the same. Honestly, X + GNOME/KDE actually runs slower and with more error than Windows for me, and I'm running 98. Also... don't forget that unlike Linux contributers, Microsoft is a money making venture. There is probably a lot of pressure to get the product out there so it can start making money.

[ Parent ]
Hardly anyone at MS is Evil (4.14 / 7) (#13)
by rusty on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 05:06:59 AM EST

One of the reasons I'm fascinated by the company is because no one I've met or talked to who worked there was anything close to evil. They were a lot like me (ok, I'm assuming I'm not evil, here). Basically clever nerds who are curious about stuff, and like to make things. I'm interested in how a whole lot of really smart people, put together and treated like a quasi-person, can do a lot of economic things that none of them would do individually.

I don't think Microsoft is evil. That's the same mistake we make anthropomorphizing any company, and it always leads us down the wrong road. Companies aren't people. I'm not being very clear, because it's not something I've really worked out.

The only useful thing I'm saying here is, I'm fascinated by the company in a kind of anthropological/sociological way. Everything else is just quarter-thoughts.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Have you ever read... (3.71 / 7) (#17)
by elenchos on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 09:03:31 AM EST

...Vonnegut's Mother Night? Are you the person you say you are, the person you think of yourself as... or are you the person who did what you did?

You're right about the questions it raises. Is Bill Gates the guy who will stop at nothing to make a buck, or the guy who, having made it, will give the money away in some rather politically risky ways? I tend to lean towards believeing that we are each the person who did the things we did six days a week, and not the aspiring saint who felt bad about it all on Sunday morining, and make a silent promise to repent some day soon. I'm not much into buying deathbed conversions either.

"Oh, like you never thought about killing your mom, ya big hypocrites." It was at that moment that I realized how small the New German Cinema community re
[ Parent ]

Evil... (3.33 / 3) (#18)
by slaytanic killer on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 09:56:15 AM EST

At what point does creating an MSFT stop being social hacking?

This is not any sort of attack or refutation of your points. It just strikes me as the salient point.

[ Parent ]
I dunno. (3.66 / 3) (#38)
by elenchos on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 09:25:27 PM EST

But I think it is delusional to tell yourself that you can go to work for an organization that contradicts what you really believe in, and never absorb the attitudes of everyone else there. You can't really be two different people, and you can't work towards two opposite goals.

I don't hear a whole lot from MS people that contradicts that. They seem to just get better at lying to themselves, and then beleiveing the lies themselves. The whole game is set up to make that the easiest path to follow.

"Oh, like you never thought about killing your mom, ya big hypocrites." It was at that moment that I realized how small the New German Cinema community re
[ Parent ]

Yeah, don't drink the kool-aid (2.50 / 4) (#44)
by cooldev on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 01:25:00 AM EST

Have you ever considered that it's because those of us who work at MS see both sides of the issues? It's hard to resist correcting all of the bogus info on sites like this and Slashdot. Luckily I'm too busy.

I can't personally comment on stuff that happened in other groups or before I started, but the number of lies and conspiracy theories surrounding every little decision MS makes is remarkable. Microsoft is by far the most scrutinized company in history, and every allegation I've seen where I've personally had some involvement or seen the inside info is either completely misrepresented or has two sides that reasonable (non-evil) people could easily disagree on.

MP3 encoding is a good recent example. I don't have the inside-inside scoop here, but it's pretty clear to me that MS simply doesn't want to pay a licencse fee for every copy of Windows sold (think hundreds of millions of dollars). So some test builds shipped with a 56k encoder to test 3rd party codecs in media player (a good thing), and the world has a fit! Conspiracy theories abound, the media starts following it, 75% of the people misunderstand, thinking MS is building something into the OS to prevent any program from encoding quality MP3s. 60% of people seem to believe that you can't playback quality MP3s, etc. A big, stupid, paranoid fuss. And they're all like this. Over and over.

In a lot of cases the blame lays on MS, but only for lack of clear communication about the intentions. Not that the anti-MS crowd would believe it anyway.



[ Parent ]
Evidently you don't see both sides, or else you'd (5.00 / 1) (#52)
by hjones on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 08:29:52 AM EST

be aware that there are IP-free alternatives to MP3, such as Ogg Vorbis, which Microsoft could have persued if they had seen fit to. Also, there are free MP3 players for Linux, and they aren't crippled the way the first one for XP was.
"Nietzsche is dead, but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. And we -- we small-minded weaklings, we still have to vanquish his shadow too." - The Antinietzsche
[ Parent ]
Thank you for making my point (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by cooldev on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 06:36:59 PM EST

WMP plays MP3 no problem, regardless of bit rate. There's no need to pay for a licence to play them, only to encode them. Yes, all the free encoders are there are illegal unless there's some clause in the licence that excludes non-commercial use, which I doubt.

You made my point. The incorrect conclusion you reached, that playing MP3s was somehow affected, demonstrates the amount of paranoid misinformation that is floating around.

And Microsoft did persue an alternative format: their own WMF. A reasonably good codec and as far as I know it predates Ogg Vorbis. I'm not going to get into a debate about whether the copy protection featues of WMF are good. I'm pretty sure it's optional whether you encode with protection or not. I can't say for sure because (imagine this) I don't use WMF. All my files happen to be MP3s (and copies of my own CDs, shrug).

There's no reason to look anywhere else, but I can almost guarantee that if Ogg Vorbis becomes popular then there will built-in support for that as well. I bet if there's a standard Windows codec then WMP will already play it just fine.



[ Parent ]
We've considered the possibility. (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by marlowe on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 08:11:56 PM EST

We ruled it out long ago.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
Contradicts what you really believe in, How? (3.00 / 4) (#46)
by Carnage4Life on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 04:16:21 AM EST

But I think it is delusional to tell yourself that you can go to work for an organization that contradicts what you really believe in, and never absorb the attitudes of everyone else there.

This is interesting. So what is it that MSFT employees are supposed to really believe in and how does working at MSFT contradict this?

Before you answer, please note that Linus Torvalds works for a company that patented much of their technology and is as closed source as they can get away with, the same thing with Bruce Perens.

Quite frankly your opinion amuses me. I think Free Software is cool, I use some of it and I've contributed patches and suggestions here and there and will continue to do so for the software that I'm interested in. I like working for a company where over half the people genuinely have a clue (unlike 99% of the software companies out there) and understand that it would be suicidal to us financially to GPL our products.

What is so hard for you to reconcile there?

[ Parent ]
I don't understand... (4.50 / 2) (#47)
by elenchos on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 05:05:56 AM EST

...why you think I would care where Linus Torvalds or Bruce Perens works. You seem to have mistaken me for someone else and I don't understand why. What does this have to do with open source and all that stuff?

Wasn't my criticism of MS about being paranoid, insular and even cult-like? That they couldn't laugh at themselves, because they couldn't see themselves through the eyes of others? What does Linus Torvalds have to do with that?

What does the financial viability of the GPL have to do with this? When you are talking about Microsoft being "evil," of them doing wrong, that is about being unethical and even breaking the law. Price fixing, shutting out competition, strong-arming PC vendors, dumping products to kill off competitors. Built-in obsolescence. And of course simply telling lie after lie. You need not have even heard of the GPL or open source or any of that to recognize Microsoft's age-old sharp business practices. It is not unethical to choose not to use the GPL. Open source is just beside the point in more ways than I can count, and I don't see why you are bringing it up as if I said anything about it.

Especially when my criticisms were about the lack of individuality and independent thought that is displayed by MS employees, how that company, like the typical USian corporation, rewards cravenness above all. It is the ability to think for yourself that one puts aside to serve a company like that, and it is my contention that if you spend enough time acting like that kind of person, you will become that person.

That is what I'm talking about. If you want to debate the merits of software licenses or open source business models with someone, you got the wrong guy. Or, if what you believe and what MS wants you to say you believe are actually the same, then there is no problem, is there?

"Oh, like you never thought about killing your mom, ya big hypocrites." It was at that moment that I realized how small the New German Cinema community re
[ Parent ]

Paranoid Insular Cult... (4.00 / 5) (#48)
by Carnage4Life on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 06:30:12 AM EST

Wasn't my criticism of MS about being paranoid, insular and even cult-like?

I'll grant you that it is rather insular around here but as for being cult-like or paranoid I really don't get that vibe. There may be some people that take their job to cult like levels but I haven't met them and I'm definitely sure that paranoia isn't a common characteristic of MSFT employees.

That they couldn't laugh at themselves, because they couldn't see themselves through the eyes of others?

I was at BillG's house today and he made a bunch of humorous comments that show that he is well aware of how we are perceived and the irony of certain situations.

What does Linus Torvalds have to do with that?

You mentioned being unable to believe that people could work for companies that went against their beliefs. Linus and Bruce Perens have shown themselves to be ardent supporters of Free Software yet the companies they work for have a less than stellar record w.r.t Free Software. I was just giving examples of people you'd be familiar with. :)

When you are talking about Microsoft being "evil," of them doing wrong, that is about being unethical and even breaking the law. Price fixing, shutting out competition, strong-arming PC vendors, dumping products to kill off competitors. Built-in obsolescence.

I don't think any of that stuff is evil and most of what people bitch about is neither illegal or unethical. Do I agree with all of the stuff MSFT has done, No. Will I agree with all the stuff they will do in the future, probably not. Are there many other places where I could work and be guaranteed to work with similarly smart people at a company with similar resources and the flexibility I have, probably not. Is it likely that there is a company I'll work for where I'll agree with everything management does, not unless I own it.

Do the Math. That's why I'm here.

[ Parent ]
"You have no alternatives." (4.00 / 1) (#49)
by elenchos on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 07:24:51 AM EST

Maybe that should be Microsoft's motto. Although I still like "As good or better than than Linux, mostly."

I suppose if there is nothing more important to you than making money, than you have to work there. And you should fit right in. But if you have things that matter to you more than money, then all kinds of other options appear.

You seem to have set everything up into either/or extremes. Like thinking that Linus Torvalds is going against his beliefs by working for a closed source company. Has he ever said that closed source is wrong or evil? He has said that open source is good, but that does not mean he must believe that everything that is not open source is from the devil.

And, I'm sorry, but the things that Microsoft has been accused (and convicted) of are illegal. This gets to be like listening to an OJ Simpson apologist or something: "OK, maybe he did cut her throat, but is that wrong?" Yes, it is. Yes, Microsoft's tactics are illegal, they are wrong, and that is why we have laws against them. How many times do they need to be found guilty before that sinks in? It may seem like just a game, but it isn't. But that has been argued to death already; you can look up the arguments as well as I.

So anyway. What did they say that was so funny? So far the closest thing I've heard to real subversion of the corporate line is that once a guy showed up with a KMFMS t-shirt. Did "BillG" top that?

"Oh, like you never thought about killing your mom, ya big hypocrites." It was at that moment that I realized how small the New German Cinema community re
[ Parent ]

Killing the messenger (5.00 / 3) (#54)
by slaytanic killer on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 09:07:36 AM EST

When people point out how EVIL Microsoft is, they're just pointing out the most visible evil. You really have no idea of the business world if you think MS is particularly evil; in fact they're more often benign. The companies they have to do business with are far worse.

  • Take Barnsley for example, of fractal fame. MS worked with him because he defends the patent to fractal compression behind an army of lawyers. When he developed fractal compression, he hired about 3 people to help him, from different specialties. I knew one of them, the topologist; who was promised stock options but Barnsley reneged. Now he works quietly at a smallish university, and from what his son told me, completely lost his ambition.

  • And take Paul Vixie, of MAPS and BIND, who screwed over ORBS because he controlled above.net.

  • And RAMBUS, who put the entire memory industry in a state of fear for years. This is the only company I'm listing who didn't end up being successful in the end, though they made a lot of money on the way. So maybe they were very successful.

  • Sun is even more willing to impose its demands on consumers. They would have everyone working on dumb terminals connected to one of their servers.

  • IBM just recently learned to play nice. While OS/2 was a sweet machine, they deserved everything MS did to them. In fact MS probably reformed them into nice, fuzzy Free Software people. King Lear.

  • Oracle's payment method until recently was, as it was explained to me, to "turn you upside-down and take whatever came out of your pockets."

    Each of these companies I consider more virulent than Microsoft. Maybe each one of them puts out a better quality product, but it was Microsoft that tried reaching out to the consumer with quick software products, finding out what people wanted and what imperfections they'd tolerate, instead of locking them into old high-quality products that took so much energy to build.

    That said, while it's good to crucify MSFT sometimes, because they aren't the nicest creature ever made, just keep in mind that they are this way partly because there are sharp-toothed little monsters just ready to eat their lunch, every single day. Like the ones I've listed, but far more numerous.

    [ Parent ]
  • Yes, yes, yes. (4.00 / 1) (#55)
    by elenchos on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 09:39:48 AM EST

    I did *ahem* say about four times in this story that I think MS is a very typical company. I think things would be much worse if Apple were sitting in Microsoft's seat right now. Although Apple has managed to somehow create a kinder image.

    The central irony of all of this is the reason IBM learned to play nice: the spend 11 years fighting an anti-trust suit, until Reagan called it off. The standard version now is that the whole reason MS got the boost they did to make an operating system for the IBM's PC was because IBM didn't ever want to go back under the anti-trust microscope. It wasn't that MS did it to IBM -- it's that MS walked into the snare that IBM had just escaped from. Making a lot of money in the process.

    I don't know what a corporation should do. I do know that as an individual your first duty is to yourself. How many balding men in a corvette with a 20-year-old bimbo next to them does one need to see to realize that choosing so-called success over everything else is just a recipe for regrets?

    So your're right, and maybe then Microsoft's motto should be: "Not much more evil than the others, and works about as good as that free hippie OS."

    "Who's making personal remarks now?" the Hatter asked triumphantly.
    --Alice in Wonderland
    [ Parent ]

    What decent people believe in: truth, honesty, (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by hjones on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 08:25:34 AM EST

    fairness, and an abhorrence of the zero sum mentality. These are the beliefs that define a decnet mindset, and they are also incompatbile with what Microsoft is said to do. Frankly, I'm surprised this question needed to be raised. It's the sort of thing that should go without saying.
    "Nietzsche is dead, but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. And we -- we small-minded weaklings, we still have to vanquish his shadow too." - The Antinietzsche
    [ Parent ]
    have you tried it? (none / 0) (#70)
    by alprazolam on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 04:31:59 PM EST

    it is delusional to tell yourself that you can go to work for an organization that contradicts what you really believe in, and never absorb the attitudes of everyone else there

    it's equally delusional to believe that working somewhere will erase your own personality. assuming you have one at the beginning.

    [ Parent ]

    Evil is as evil does. (3.85 / 7) (#33)
    by hotcurry on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 07:54:02 PM EST

    Say what you will, but there's no excuse for...

    <h3>Anti-piracy excesses</h3>
    Unquiet Mind: Where will you let us go today, Microsoft?

    I didn't begin to suspect Microsoft's strong-armed business practices until I took a job with a computer manufacturer. Does anybody remember Microsoft Bob? MS Bob was a cartoonish front end for Window 3.1 designed to make computers less threatening to children and the technologically bewildered. (They've used the same interface for that annoying talking paperclip on the new version of MS Office.) It was bloated and buggy. Engineering hated it for all the problems it created when we installed it. At the same time, Sales pushed Bob to customers like it was grain in a North Korean grocery store. "Why?" I asked. I was told that if we didn't sell X number of Bob, we wouldn't get the best price on some new earth-shattering OS that was coming. That OS was Chicago, a.k.a. Windows 95.

    <h3>General evil-ness</h3>
    95-Apr: antitrust.org on Microsoft

    Bill Gates is always afraid. That's why, when he wanted his wife-to-be to sign a prenuptial agreement, he couldn't summon up the nerve to give her the contract himself. Some months before his wedding engagement, I'd asked Gates how he felt about prenuptial agreements...

    99-Feb BBC: Windows Refund Day
    Hundreds of people who prefer other operating systems, but had to buy Microsoft software with their new computers, converged on Microsoft offices on Monday.

    Carrying shrink-wrapped manuals and disks and wielding the penguin mascots of the free Linux OS, they demanded their money back.


    Bill Gates on software copyrights - in 1980
    99-Oct Linux Today: The Korea debacle
    Microsoft's trouble with the Korean government first began to surface in October 1997 when the Korean Fair Trade Commission announced an investigation into Microsoft's business practices. This investigation mirrored that of the U.S. Department of Justice. (No resolution of this investigation has yet been seen in the local English language press.)

    99-Dec Wired: Germany and the Scientology link
    In November, Microsoft announced that disk fragmentation technology developed by Executive Software had been licensed to Microsoft for use in Windows 2000, due for release in February.

    Executive Software's CEO Craig Jensen is a member of the Church of Scientology and has boasted that his staff is trained according to administrative systems developed by the Church of Scientology. Jensen has attributed his company's success in selling its defragmentation utility DisKeeper to a 12-volume encyclopedia on managing organizations written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.


    00-Jan EZBoard: InThane offers an insider's view
    He tells us, in no uncertain terms, that WSN is going to be the premiere internet service provider in the next 5 years, and Will Bates had given him personal authorization to do "whatever it takes" to do this.

    Somebody asked what this meant.

    He said "Somebody close the door" and waited until someone did. He then mentioned that what he said should never go outside of the room, because certain people had a habit of misinterpreting what he said, and that nasty things like lawsuits came out of it.

    He then proceeded to tell us that Mr. Bates himself had given the authorization to do "whatever it takes, regardless of any pending litigation" in order to win the ISP war. He said if that meant breaking AOL's software with a patch, then so be it. I couldn't believe my ears.


    BMS: Dirty Tricks Department
    BMS: Microsoft partners/victims
    "We are challenging old and established businesses like newspapers, travel agencies, automobile dealers, entertainment guides, travel guides, Yellow Page directories, magazines and over time many other areas. We must devise ways of working with them or winning away their customers and revenue streams."

    ** Three-year Microsoft strategy memo, quoted by The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 1997


    Internet Week: Rash: Why You Might Decide To Run Away From W2K
    The part of W2K that's extracting the price is Active Directory. Microsoft has integrated its directory service so tightly into the operating system that they are basically one entity. As you'll see from Alan Zeichick's review on Page 29, there are a significant number of Windows features, most of them management-related, that can't be used without Active Directory.

    ZDNet: EU Begins Windows 2000 Probe
    Mario Monti, the EU's competition commissioner, told journalists that several competitors had complained that Windows 2000 would give Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) a dominant position in the server-software market.

    ...04-06-98 TEXT: FTC ANNOUNCES U.S.-EU AGREEMENT ON ANTITRUST ENFORCEMENT
    ...Microsoft press release

    00-Feb LinuxWorld: Stalin would be pleased
    00-May Washington Post: Bill Gates' Executive Style Inspires Cult Following

    00-May TMF: Bill Barker: Did Microsoft Skip a Grade?
    One of the common defenses that Microsoft supporters vocalize is that "Microsoft isn't doing anything that its competitors don't do as well." One could dismiss this argument using the alternative, "Two wrongs don't make a right" observation (i.e., the fact that others are breaking the law is never much of a defense in our legal system). Beyond that, the argument that Microsoft is doing things in the exact same manner as its competitors, even if true, would not be a defense for Microsoft so much as additional proof of the violation of the relevant law.

    00-May TMF: The truth about Microsoft tech support
    Here's a tech support anecdote for you: I actually got my start in the industry by working tech support for Microsoft. One night I was trying to get a modem working with Windows NT 4.0, and because I only had one line, the support person had to call me back after I tested it. When he did, I caller ID'd his phone number and was surprised to see a 770 area code, a local Atlanta number. I was disappointed with the quality of the service and I was sure I could do better, so I asked him for an HR contact number, sent in my application, and was hired a month later. Not by Microsoft, but by a "PSS Partner," Wang, to whom they had outsourced their support.

    If you want to see what I saw inside the beast, read on. Microsoft was focused almost exclusively on closing tech support calls, and not very motivated in the realm of customer satisfaction. We were given an extremely rigid "support policy" which all but stated that if there was any non-Microsoft software on the machine, we didn't have to fix it. If the machine wasn't on the hardware compatibility list, we didn't have to fix it (even if it was an application problem). Hold times and call length were the major concerns. "Going the extra mile" to help the customer was discouraged...I kept a call 40 minutes one time to talk a guy through actually opening his case and moving a jumper on his sound card. Did I get praised for a good save? Nope. I got upbraided for exceeding the average call time on an unauthorized procedure.


    00-May CNet: DOJ attorneys reveal Gates' emails


    Dave Whitinger -- The Battle That Could Lose Us The War
    OS Opinion: Who Stands with Microsoft?
    Dr. Dobbs' on Caldera sabotage

    The first step in discovering why the error message appeared under DR DOS but not MS-DOS was to examine the relevant WIN.COM code. However, the WIN.COM code that produced this message turned out to be XOR encrypted, self-modifying, and deliberately obfuscated--all in an apparent attempt to thwart disassembly.

    The code also tries to defeat attempts for a debugger to step through it. For example, Figure 2 shows a code fragment in which the INT 1 single-step interrupt is pointed at invalid code (the two bytes FFh FFh), which disables DEBUG. The same is done with INT 2 (nonmaskable interrupt) and INT 3 (debug breakpoint). However, since modern debuggers (I used Nu-Mega's Soft-ICE) run the debugger and debuggee in separate address spaces, the AARD code's revectoring of INTs 1-3 has no affect on the Soft-ICE debugger. In any case, these attempts to throw examination off-track are in themselves revealing.

    For whatever reasons, while much of it is XOR encrypted, the code contains, as plain-text, a Microsoft copyright notice and the initials "AARD" and "RSAA," perhaps the programmer's initials.


    99-Nov Salon: How the Web Was Almost Won
    ZDNet: Gates: Robber Baron of the 1990s?
    99-Dec InfoWorld: EU Court: Commission erred in not investigating Microsoft

    First Monday: Development, Ethical Trading and Free Software
    The free software movement embodies principles consistent with those of Community Aid Abroad and Oxfam International. Free software products are tools which fit the needs of Oxfam International members, in many cases better than alternative proprietary products.

    It is therefore recommended that:

    Development organisations should include software in their policies on ethical purchasing and appropriate technology; such policies should encourage the use of free software and open protocols.

    Development organisations should encourage and assist project partners in the deployment of software systems that will enable them to "take control of their own destiny", and to reduce their dependence on the developed world. They should consider the major advantages free software has in this area.

    Development organisations should ultimately try to free themselves from the shackles of proprietary software.


    TMF: Bill Gates anecdote
    When her company first began competing against Microsoft, she [Gates friend Heide Roizen] and Gates would compare sales figures on how WriteNow was doing against Microsoft Word. During one encounter with Gates, she made the mistake of telling him her company had just shipped a thousand copies of WriteNow to Apple. Gates was furious. He whipped out a note pad and began questioning her like a prosecutor. Who did she sell them to? Who signed the purchasing order? Who authorized the sale? Have you shipped them yet? Later, over dinner, she asked Gates what he was going to do with the information. Gates said he planned to call Apple and demand they not buy those 1,000 units of WriteNow. Gates never made the call. But he did give his friend some free advice about himself. "Heidi", Gates said, "don't ever tell me anything you don't want me to use against you."

    OsOpinion: The Forced March Towards Win2k
    As most MCSE's are aware by now, if you want to retain the certification, you must upgrade your certification to Win2k standards, else you're liable to be left out in the cold. Microsoft will officially retire the NT 4.0 MCSE come this December.

    00-May Slashdot: The Digital Divas vs. Microsoft
    The Digital Divas are devoted to helping women get together to learn from each other in the world of Web design. More than that, the Divas organize Grey Day, an annual effort to spotlight the dangers of unlicensed copyright use and plagiarism on the Web. And, oh yes -- it appears that Microsoft has stolen their trademark.

    00-Jun TMF: A Look at Microsoft's Record
    In Microsoft's case, competing with its customers has become part of its core business model, due to its internal lack of innovation. Lack of innovation was a good thing when backwards compatibility and standardization were the dominant forces driving the industry, but now it's a real handicap to Microsoft, forcing it to steal entire products from competitors in place of real innovation. Taking the web browser away from Netscape is only the most recent example. Before that Microsoft crushed dominant software like Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect, DesqView, QEMM, Stacker, Borland "Turbo" compilers, and dozens of others.

    00-Sep CNet: New MSN feature encourages spamming friends
    MSN Explorer asks new customers if they would like to import their contact list from Outlook or Outlook Express. If they opt for yes, the program will give them an option to notify everyone in their contact list that they have installed MSN Explorer, a default feature in the system. If new members click "yes," a message is sent.

    "It's troubling because the message that's sent has 8 lines of advertising from MSN--inviting people to switch to MSN Explorer--and 1 line saying you have a new email address. And we call that the Melissa virus in slow motion," said Leonhard, who said newsletter author Barry Simon pointed out the feature last week.


    00-Oct CNet: Ex-employee accuses Microsoft of racial, gender bias
    SEATTLE--Microsoft is being sued for allegedly using a subjective job evaluation process that discriminates against black and female employees.

    Microsoft "permits managers, who are predominantly white males, to rate employees based upon their own biases rather than based upon merit," Monique Donaldson, a former program manager at Microsoft, states in the suit


    00-Oct osOpinion: Are Canadian Tax Dollars Promoting Microsoft?
    On Friday, Canada Internet.com reported a partnership between Canada Post and 3Web. The announcement boasts a service, which can reach "70 percent of all Canadians." You have probably guessed the rest: This service, paid for with our tax dollars, supports and promotes Microsoft to the detriment of other OS vendors: This federally funded program is implicitly restricted to only those Canadians who buy their O/S from Microsoft. The 3Web site presents an explicit message: There is no connection software for Mac, Linux, nor, dare I guess, for BSD or OS/2 or...

    00-Nov Times of India: Microsoft votes down first-ever shareholder measures
    SEATTLE: Microsoft shareholders on Thursday defeated the company's first-ever shareholder proposals that would have forced the software giant to detail political contributions and take a vocal stance on human rights abuses in China.

    01-Mar SFGate:: Gates Goes Too Far
    M010425 - Microsoft: Prizes for Rat Finks
    Microsoft has started a pilot program rewarding computer system builders for turning their customers over to Microsoft's license enforcement department. If the builder or reseller receives an RFQ (Request For Quote) that includes computers to be shipped without Windows installed, Microsoft wants a copy of the RFQ sent to them, and, if you are the first to submit that particular RFQ, you'll be awarded points toward winning prizes.

    <hr> <h3>Strongarm tactics and censorship</h3>

  • BMS: Is Microsoft Trampling on First Amendment Rights?
    In three separate legal actions, Microsoft has been using the courts in an attempt to smoke out sources, challenge the first-amendment rights of writers and reporters, and chill press coverage and public disclosure of important information that it prefers remain secret.

    Two of these cases have been conducted publicly, and one in secret. In early October, Microsoft subpoenaed the source materials of Dan Goodin, a reporter for the online news organization C/NET, and a hearing on the matter will take place next week. Appealing a lower court decision that denied its demand for source materials, Microsoft is still pursuing access to these materials from the authors of Competing on Internet Time, Harvard professor David Yoffie and MIT professor Michael Cusomano.

    Less known are Microsoft's activities to determine the confidential sources of my articles and my best-selling book The Microsoft File, published in August by Random House, through a bizarre motion filed under seal against Caldera Inc., which has sued the software giant for antitrust violations.


    osOpinion: Beggars at the Door
    00-Mar Philippine Daily Inquirer: Lotus chief sues Microsoft RP head for grave threats
    Documents obtained by the INQUIRER show that Lotus Philippines managing director Victor M. Silvino has filed charges against Microsoft Philippines managing director Darren G. Lockie at the Makati City Metropolitan Trial Court.

    Criminal Case No. 278388 or "The People of the Philippines vs. Darren Lockie" stems from an alleged confrontation between the heads of the two rival software companies on Nov. 16 near the main entrance of the Makati Shangri-La Hotel. In a shouting match, Lockie reportedly had uttered grave threats against Silvino and his family by saying: "Mr. Silvino, where is your mother? You and your mother are finished, f--k you."


    00-May Slashdot: Microsoft Asks Slashdot To Remove Readers' Posts

    Cornell: Copyright law
    00-Jul MSNBC: Software king in odd role with cell-phone makers

    00-Dec Security Focus: No more Microsoft bulletins
    It seems Microsoft was not very amused at my posting of their advisory to the list the other day. As the copyright holders of the work they have told me in no uncertain terms that I do not have their permission to redistribute a text version of their web page bulletins via the mailing list or the securityfocus.com web site, and that doing so would be considered an act of copyright violation.

    01-Jun Kuro5hin: Microsoft Development tools forbid open source development
    Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part. For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software. By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing, Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software. "Publicly Available Software" means each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models; and (ii) any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software (A) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; (B) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (C) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licenses or distribution models, or licenses or distribution models similar to any of the following: (A) GNU's General Public License (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL), (B) The Artistic License (e.g., PERL), (C) the Mozilla Public License, (D) the Netscape Public License, (E) the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), and (F) the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL).


    [ Parent ]
  • It only matters that the CEO/COO are evil (3.16 / 6) (#19)
    by bediger on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:48:27 AM EST

    sventhatcher writes: It's not like the entire corporation got together and took a vote and everyone agreed that they should use unfair marketing tactics.

    And your point is...? That's not the way a corporation works. Only a very few people (executive officer(s), operating officer(s), presidents) get to set policy. Corporations don't constitute democracies.

    I'm going to take a chance here and interpret your statement: "In general, folks shouldn't revile Microsoft because (a) not all employees voted to perform the actions that caused Microsoft to be guilty of illegal monopoly maintenance and (b) sventhatcher thinks that his evaluation of software bugginess is relevant to how evil Microsoft is."

    You're not making much sense.


    -- I am Spartacus.
    [ Parent ]
    "Evil" (4.14 / 7) (#23)
    by ucblockhead on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 01:09:32 PM EST

    I find it extremely disturbing to see the word "evil" thrown around when talking about the actions of Microsoft. "Evil" is massacring thousands of innocent civilians. "Evil" is not attempting to corner the market. Illegal? Perhaps. Power hungry? Maybe? Evil? No.

    Even in the scheme of corporate power, Microsoft is not as bad as certain others. Can you say "Exxon"? Can you say "Rupert Murdoch"? They scare me more than Gates, who, when you removed the drive to conquer the competition, seems to be a pretty decent guy.

    Now I'm not saying that Microsoft hasn't done bad things, or that Gates is a paragon of virtue. But there is true evil in the world. To apply that label to someone like Gates is to trivialize the suffering of those who've been on the wrong side of true evil. Yeah, it sucks when you are forced to use software you hate because of monopolistic tactics of the software maker, but then, you aren't starving to death in a concentration camp after having watched your wife get raped and murder.
    -----------------------
    This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
    [ Parent ]

    Re: "Evil" (4.16 / 6) (#32)
    by Trepalium on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 07:50:12 PM EST

    I've never understood why people get so upset at people using the word evil. I'm sure there are people out there that would insist that no person can be evil, only the actions can be considered so ("The road to hell is paved with good intentions."). Others use the word to describe anyone and everything that they consider to be breaking their own morals. IMO, the amount of flaming on K5 over the meaning of the word "evil" is getting absurd. Please just accept that some people have different thresholds for the term "evil" than you do, and leave it at that.

    [ Parent ]
    Godwin's Law in reverse. (4.20 / 5) (#34)
    by hotcurry on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 07:59:49 PM EST

    You can always find somebody who did worse things than whoever you want to defend. Just because Microsoft didn't slaughter millions of Jews doesn't mean they're not evil.

    And about this huffy "triviliazing" talk. Stalin killed more than Hitler did. Is it unthinkable to mention Hitler's crimes because they would "trivialize" Stalin's? Your objection makes no sense.



    [ Parent ]

    Evil enough for ya? (4.25 / 4) (#42)
    by jeremiah2 on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:38:31 PM EST

    There's a great distance between blowing your kid's college fund on booze and starving millions of uppity Ukranians to death. But there's a road that covers that distance. It's a continuum. The endpoints are vastly different in degree, but basically the same in kind. It's not a question of evil or not. It's a question of how much.

    Somewhere along this line lies Microsoft. It's not trivializing anything to call Microsoft evil. Would you prefer we call them "very very naughty?" Then you'll have to define a point along the continuum where "naughty" ends and "evil" begins. On which segment do you place Jeffrey Dahmer? He didn't kill millions. He only killed a dozen or so at most. How about Hitler? He never personally killed anybody. He only ordered it done. How about those executives who decided not to recall the Corvair? They didn't kill anybody or even order it done. They just let people get themselves killed.

    And how about that company that defeated a shareholder resolution to condemn China's torture and execution of political criminals, because this company was trying to make a business deal with this murderous regime? They didn't kill anybody, they just tacitly approved of it, and gave moral support to the killers. Can you guess which one I'm talking about> Here's a hint: its name begins with M.


    Change isn't necessarily progress - Wesley J. Smith, Forced Exit
    [ Parent ]

    Microsoft and the wider tech culture? (4.33 / 3) (#26)
    by plutarch on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 01:58:31 PM EST

    Haven't Microsoft and the wider tech culture been at their throats for the past five years? One one side, there's dumb MCSE jokes and Evil Empire rhetoric. On the other, there's red-baiting and anti-GPL McCarthyism. This isn't a unified culture. It's a major culture clash.
    Leftism is the ideology of resentment. It is is the ideology of the frustrated will to power. It matters not how much or how little power the Leftist has at the moment. The point is, he wants more, and he can't get it.
    [ Parent ]
    Freedom vs totalitarianism. (4.00 / 1) (#31)
    by hotcurry on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 07:50:08 PM EST

    In the beginning it was more or less civil. It was about methodology more than control. But now, it's war.



    [ Parent ]

    fascinated with Microsoft? (4.00 / 1) (#63)
    by adamba on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 01:01:36 AM EST

    So who was it who said "I have no interest in Microsoft" here?

    Just happened to be reading the FAQ (see how exciting my life is) and was amused to see that.

    All together now: "WE ARE MARCHING FORWARD"

    - adam

    [ Parent ]

    Interesting story. (3.12 / 8) (#3)
    by Crashnbur on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:11:00 AM EST

    I'm not quite sure how or why it makes any difference in how I live my life, but that's largely because it doesn't change my opinion of Microsoft one little bit. You see, I don't mind them making quality software, if they choose to make quality software. I am of the impression that, should Microsoft work a little harder, perhaps its software could be better, or perhaps there could be more.

    I am also under the impression that Microsoft should have stayed out of the console gaming market, and the Xbox should not exist. However, now that it's coming, I may as well not hate them for it. If it's a quality machine, I certainly won't mind it. I just hate that there are so many "fanboys" that would rather spend money on an "American" machine that could be inferior ... Still, nothing worth comparing. Sony and Nintendo have fanboys too. And there's a chance (whether slim or huge) that Microsoft's Xbox will be better than both of their consoles. Time will tell, right?

    So, um, interesting story. Come to think of it, I wish I had that shirt ... I'll have to check the local Hot Topic or Gadzooks to see if they have it. (For my sake, I hope those shops exist in other malls, or I've just mentioned two kickass shops that most of you have never heard of.)

    crash.neotope.com


    They Do (3.66 / 3) (#5)
    by sventhatcher on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:30:27 AM EST

    So, um, interesting story. Come to think of it, I wish I had that shirt ... I'll have to check the local Hot Topic or Gadzooks to see if they have it. (For my sake, I hope those shops exist in other malls, or I've just mentioned two kickass shops that most of you have never heard of.)
    Those shops do exist elsewhere although.. you have to have a reasonably big mall first, so only in large-ish cities.

    [ Parent ]
    I can vouch... (3.66 / 3) (#6)
    by ti dave on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:32:32 AM EST

    that no "Hot Topic" in the Puget Sound area (where you think such a shirt could be found) carries the shirt you're seeking.

    Cheers,

    ti dave


    Test .sig:

    Static-X only know 1 chord, but it's a Damn Good One.
    "If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

    [ Parent ]
    God, it's such creepy, creepy cult. (2.60 / 15) (#4)
    by elenchos on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:30:13 AM EST

    Yuck. Like listening to Scientologists gossip about who would violate grand Power Lord Rule #112b. Person X indeed. Do you know that people with top secret clearance in the military can talk about themselves more openly? The easiest thing to believe is that at Microsoft there is nobody with the balls to do something so provacative. Woo hoo, yeah, they're an individualistic band of risk-takers, but an FYIFV button? Ooh, no that's just going too far. Let's not get crazy here. Next thing you know one of the guys will show up with his ear pierced!

    Har. I think this would be a good submission for beliefnet or cultwatch or something. But why not... K5 needs something different.

    "Oh, like you never thought about killing your mom, ya big hypocrites." It was at that moment that I realized how small the New German Cinema community re

    WTF? (2.63 / 11) (#9)
    by Carnage4Life on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 03:32:02 AM EST

    This is probably the stupidest thing I've ever seen you post. If you are going to go into a mindless MSFT bashing frenzy at read the fucking article and target the salient points.

    The easiest thing to believe is that at Microsoft there is nobody with the balls to do something so provacative. Woo hoo, yeah, they're an individualistic band of risk-takers, but an FYIFV button? Ooh, no that's just going too far.

    What kind of arrogant fuckwit goes around with a T-shirt that basically says "I'm rich, you're not"? Quite frankly if this is what you and other Open Source zealots believe is proper behavior no wonder Open Source companies are collapsing everyday 1.

    It's rather interesting to see how people like you can always find reasons to bash something you don't like. If the rumor had turned out to be true you'd say "Look they are evil arrogant gasbags flaunting their ill-gotten wealth" and now the rumor turns out to be false you respond with "They are a cult. They aren't individuals", blah, blah, blah.

    Oops, I've been online too long, I better get back to my PC before my manager comes along and gives me 30 lashes for not finishing this code2.

    1. Yes I know this is flamebait, but I can't bring myself to care.

    2. No I'm not really at work this late. It's sarcasm, thanks your concern.

    [ Parent ]
    I've posted way stupider stuff than *this*! (2.88 / 9) (#10)
    by elenchos on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 03:57:40 AM EST

    When did I become an open source zealot? I'm more of a Microsoft-is-not-the-center-of-the-universe zealot. This is the first I had ever heard of this big story about their little t-shirts or buttons or whatever. I would have actually been surprised had it been true, and the idea of someone at that company being able to laugh at themselves would have seriouly made me re-evaluate my opinion of them. If there is any serious criticism or mocking of the glory that is the MS way going on within Microsoft itself, I will honestly increase my respect for them.

    As it is, they just circle the wagons tighter and tigher and become ever more paranoid and freaky. If Janet Reno were still attorney general she'd have a tank parked outside the campus. I don't know if that would be good or bad. Bad I guess. You can't go around firebombing every cult in the country.

    "Oh, like you never thought about killing your mom, ya big hypocrites." It was at that moment that I realized how small the New German Cinema community re
    [ Parent ]

    Like I said, read the article (3.71 / 7) (#12)
    by Carnage4Life on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 04:58:33 AM EST

    I don't see how wearing a T-shirt that basically says I've made millions from stock options counts as laughing at oneself. On the other hand I've worked at 3 companies in the past 3 years and every one of them had explicit policies against telling other employees what you earned and even interns weren't supposed to share who was making $15/hour and who was making $17/hour. I'd be extremely surprised (nay astounded) if any one of these companies would be comfortable with an employee flaunting his/her stock option riches in such a crass way.

    As for not being able to laugh at ourselves that just tells me that you don't know many MSFT employees if any.

    [ Parent ]
    Being greedy is... (2.85 / 7) (#16)
    by elenchos on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 08:53:23 AM EST

    ...the number one charge leveled against Microsoft; it is central to everything else that people say about them. To say, "Yeah, so I am greedy, what of it?" is to be willing to to accept and ironically deflate the charge. What is self-mockery if not that? The problem is, if there is a grain of truth behind what you mock in yourself, there is a risk. And corporations do not like risk. They loathe risk, and they do not reward anyone who takes risks.

    So of course no proper company would say such wild abandon is OK. That is exactly what is wrong with Microsoft and every other typical USian corporation -- and Microsoft is nothing more or less than a typical corporation. The other thing that annoys me most about them and their precious little "campus" is that they think they are so unique. Microsoft is as offbeat as going to McDonalds wearing Levis Dockers while jamming to Alanis Morisette on the Peak (or the End or the Edge or whatever they call it in your market).

    It is about as challenging and dangerous as the obedient little flunkies who dutifly comply when the powers of their corporate "family" tell them that they will be divided against each other, and shall not share information with one another, especially how much they make. Who do you think benefits from that confidentiality? You? How so? Or your bosses? By keeping you ignorant perhaps?

    Naturally, one should always appear to buy it, but in reality, you don't have to actually swallow the kool aid.

    "Oh, like you never thought about killing your mom, ya big hypocrites." It was at that moment that I realized how small the New German Cinema community re
    [ Parent ]

    audience for the shirts (4.66 / 3) (#30)
    by adamba on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 03:50:15 PM EST

    I think you are imagining people would wear the shirts around town, to show themselves off to non-Microsofties. I was more imagining them at work, "bragging" to co-workers. (Keep in mind that neither of these happened since the shirts didn't exist).

    But I think there were certainly plenty of self-mockery stuff going on. For example the buttons that said "Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters", as described here. Or the pink t-shirts that were made up that said, "BillG Pick Me" in a heart (this was back when Bill was single). Or the "Save the Blibbet" buttons, or the "Windows 98, So Good the Feds Want to Make It Illegal" bumper stickers, the "Oh No Mr. Bill" shirts, etc, etc, etc. Remember these are all things a few employees did, not some corporate mandate from above, but management generally smiled at them (Steve Ballmer wore a PSMCM button, BillG put on a "Keep Your Lawyers of My Software" button).

    The one time something like this got recalled on orders from above was a button with Bill's face on it (no text) that was meant to be mysterious and therefore generate interest in something or other...but Bill wanted that pulled just because he felt embarrassed by the cultish part of it. I know when Dave Cutler was the head of Windows NT, NEC made keyboard pads that said "Dave's in Here" for an NT display at a conference and he hated them for similar reasons.

    - adam

    [ Parent ]

    Um, no. Incorrect. (2.80 / 5) (#37)
    by elenchos on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 09:20:43 PM EST

    *sigh*

    "So good they want to make it illegal?" Desperate to marry Bill Gates? Proudly serving? No. None of those things are self-mockery. Yes, they are attempts at humor, but they are all in one way or another laudatory of Microsoft. They do not poke fun at Microsoft.

    This is just terrible -- worse than I thought. I actually thought there had to be at least one example of someone within the Microsoft comound getting away with highlighting their foibles. But how can you do that if you don't even have any idea what it means to laugh at yourself?

    "Oh, like you never thought about killing your mom, ya big hypocrites." It was at that moment that I realized how small the New German Cinema community re
    [ Parent ]

    Oh please (3.83 / 6) (#39)
    by adamba on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:06:48 PM EST

    In order to perceive self-mockery it might be necessary to have a sense of humor. Picture this: A woman who is a respected member of a development team at Microsoft wears a pink shirt that says "BillG Pick Me" and you say she is...making a serious, desperation attempt to date Bill Gates? The CEO of a company that is being sued wears a "Keep Your Lawyers Off My Software" button and you say he is...making an honest attempt to affect the legal decision in the case?

    I could list more things, but I assume they wouldn't make your cut either. How about the employee who wore a KMFMS t-shirt to work? Ahh, why bother. Come to think of it, why would you consider an FYIFV button to be self-mockery? After all it is laudatory of Microsoft, pointing out that the company's stock has done well.

    I will say one thing. The scenario that you describe of the uptight company is indeed very close to how Microsoft is now. Ten years of intense public scrutiny will do that. All the things I talk about happened in 1992 or before, back when people pulled all kinds of stuff. No more, I am afraid.

    - adam

    [ Parent ]

    About those ten years of intense scrutiny (4.50 / 2) (#40)
    by jeremiah2 on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:17:29 PM EST

    Who's to blame for that? Did a bunch of people decide to scrutinise Microsoft on a lark?
    Change isn't necessarily progress - Wesley J. Smith, Forced Exit
    [ Parent ]
    Easily confused by irony. (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by jeremiah2 on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:20:39 PM EST

    Volatile, too. You'll never make it into the boardroom.
    Change isn't necessarily progress - Wesley J. Smith, Forced Exit
    [ Parent ]
    They don't have balls? (3.33 / 3) (#20)
    by Pink Daisy on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:55:55 AM EST

    The easiest thing to believe is that at Microsoft there is nobody with the balls to do something so provacative.

    Yes, because at Microsoft, the people are a bunch of eunuchs!

    Oh dear, that was lame, even for me.

    [ Parent ]

    They're a bunch of Unix? (4.00 / 1) (#35)
    by hotcurry on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 08:05:13 PM EST

    If only.

    [ Parent ]
    Why Bother Refuting Rumors? (4.22 / 9) (#8)
    by Carnage4Life on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 03:06:02 AM EST

    I'm really curious as to adamba's reason for posting this article. After reading it all I felt was that I was reading the writings of a hardcore MSFT apologist (which is weird since I work there).

    Maybe I'm just cynical but the fact is that most outlandish rumors are typically half truths with a grain of truth. Here are two more rumors which grew to outlandish proportions from one or two simple events.
    1. The Microsoft tries to steal Linux kernel developers story which eventually was mentioned on both slashdot and kuro5hin was the action of a rookie HR employee who was looking for fresh ways to find computer geeks and was told by a friend (who's a afianced to my friend) that Linux users were rather computer geeky. That's it, no big evil conspiracy, just an act by someone who didn't realize how paranoid Linux users and the Open Source press were and exactly how deep the anti-MSFT sentiment went.

    2. Rumors that Trilogy recruiters will do anything to land a prospective candidate including sleep with them are based off of the actions of one recruiter who was supposedly reprimanded/fired when found out. This hasn't stopped that particular urban legend from spreading though.
    These are a lot more rumors where I've spoken to people first hand which are exagerrated beyond belief that make me laugh when I hear them. Taking time to refute every single idle rumor and conspiracy theory being postulated by people with too much time on their hands seems like a phenomenal waste of time to me.

    What's truly funny ... (3.00 / 2) (#21)
    by wesmills on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 11:27:19 AM EST

    ... I rather like reading how "evil" and "diabolical" Microsoft is, as if this company could ever get everybody to move in the same direction at any one time to ever cook up such a vast conspiracy. (Oh, and yes, I work there, too. Look me up on IM under the same login name you see here if you want to verify my story ;) )

    It takes us 3-6 months just to decide that we're going to change how Premier support contracts are going to be handled. I shudder to think how long it'd take us to mount a plan for world domination.

    ----- Signature campaign to support K5, become a member!
    [ Parent ]

    The loose cannon defense. (4.33 / 6) (#27)
    by plutarch on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:04:36 PM EST

    One of your people gets caught doing something bad. You say "oh, that's just him, acting on his own misguided initiative. He's not representative of us all." If you use this one too many times, people stop believing it. They won't swallow your sacrificial lambs. Not even if you're telling the truth. Even if they know you're telling the truth. They have to wonder, what is it about your corporate culture that attracts this sort of yahoo?
    Leftism is the ideology of resentment. It is is the ideology of the frustrated will to power. It matters not how much or how little power the Leftist has at the moment. The point is, he wants more, and he can't get it.
    [ Parent ]
    What events? (3.75 / 4) (#45)
    by Carnage4Life on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 01:40:50 AM EST

    One of your people gets caught doing something bad. You say "oh, that's just him, acting on his own misguided initiative. He's not representative of us all." If you use this one too many times, people stop believing it. They won't swallow your sacrificial lambs.

    What events are you talking about? The events mentioned in my post and in the article are harmless things that became exagerrated by MSFT detractors and have no malicious conotations.

    On the other hand the events that got the company in trouble with the DOJ were company policies and were enacted by various execs (a lot of whom have left since then) and not acts of renegade employees.

    I'm curious as to what malicious activities have been claimed to be the results of one lone maverick that you disagree with.

    [ Parent ]
    Events like this. (3.66 / 3) (#64)
    by hotcurry on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 10:54:50 PM EST


    00-Mar Philippine Daily Inquirer: Lotus chief sues Microsoft RP head for grave threats
    Documents obtained by the INQUIRER show that Lotus Philippines managing director Victor M. Silvino has filed charges against Microsoft Philippines managing director Darren G. Lockie at the Makati City Metropolitan Trial Court.

    Criminal Case No. 278388 or "The People of the Philippines vs. Darren Lockie" stems from an alleged confrontation between the heads of the two rival software companies on Nov. 16 near the main entrance of the Makati Shangri-La Hotel. In a shouting match, Lockie reportedly had uttered grave threats against Silvino and his family by saying: "Mr. Silvino, where is your mother? You and your mother are finished, f--k you."



    [ Parent ]
    The Blue Mountain sabotage event (3.66 / 3) (#65)
    by hotcurry on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 11:00:13 PM EST


    99-Jun: Blue Mountain Arts (greeting cards)
    In November of 1998 Blue Mountain Arts discovered evidence that a number of personalized Blue Mountain electronic greeting cards had been diverted to junk mail trash by Microsoft Corporation. Blue Mountain voiced strong objections to Microsoft over this conduct to no avail. In addition, some Blue Mountain cards were blocked by Microsoft's WebTV Networks, so, on December 8,1998, Blue Mountain filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and its subsidiary WebTV.


    [ Parent ]
    The Caldera sabotage event (3.66 / 3) (#66)
    by hotcurry on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 11:03:24 PM EST

    <h1>Caldera vs. Microsoft</h1>
    93-Sep DDJ: Schulman: Examining the Windows AARD Detection Code
    If you were one of the thousands of Windows 3.1 beta testers, and if you happened to be using DR DOS rather than MS-DOS, you probably butted heads with a seemingly innocuous, yet odd, error message like that in Figure 1. As you'll see, this message is a visible manifestation of a chunk of code whose implementation is technically slippery and evasive.

    While it's impossible to gauge intent, the apparent purpose of this code is to lay down arbitrary technical obstacles for DOS-workalike programs. The message appears with the release labeled "final beta release (build 61)" (dated December 20, 1991), and with "pre-release build 3.10.068" (January 21, 1992). Similar messages (with different error numbers) are produced in builds 61 and 68 by MN.COM, SETUP.EXE, and by the versions of HIMEM.SYS, SMARTDRV.EXE, and MSD.EXE (Microsoft diagnostics) packaged with Windows.

    ...
    The first step in discovering why the error message appeared under DR DOS but not MS-DOS was to examine the relevant WIN.COM code. However, the WIN.COM code that produced this message turned out to be XOR encrypted, self-modifying, and deliberately obfuscated--all in an apparent attempt to thwart disassembly.


    [ Parent ]
    Sometimes they try to be nice. (3.66 / 3) (#67)
    by hotcurry on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 11:14:26 PM EST

    But it's not their first impulse...


    01-Jul CNet: Microsoft to settle license tiff with charity

    The Australian charity "PCs for Kids" received threatening telephone calls from Microsoft's Australian legal counsel, according to reports on the technology mailing list Polytechbot. The charity--which was set up in Victoria to refurbish old computers for the benefit of disadvantaged children and nonprofit organizations--was in trouble for distributing PCs without paying Microsoft about $85 per machine for the use of its Windows operating system.

    But the software giant--facing dozens of public and private antitrust suits--now wants to resolve the issue outside of the courts. Microsoft said it would no longer pursue legal action against PCs for Kids. Over the past few days it has held meetings with the charity to decide on a one-off settlement amount to be paid for the outstanding Windows license fees.



    [ Parent ]
    my reason (2.33 / 3) (#29)
    by adamba on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 03:37:32 PM EST

    I'm really curious as to adamba's reason for posting this article. After reading it all I felt was that I was reading the writings of a hardcore MSFT apologist (which is weird since I work there).

    I'm just trying to clear up a rumor, not apologize for Microsoft. I certainly don't consider myself an apologist. But of course you are welcome to buy my book and decide for yourself.

    I wrote it because I really felt that this particular anecdote was being blown out of proportion and used to justify the characterization of Microsoft itself as evil in some way -- as opposed to just some employees being nudniks.

    - adam

    [ Parent ]

    You're an apologist. (3.00 / 2) (#36)
    by hotcurry on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 08:10:09 PM EST

    No, not because of this article. Because of your entire track record.

    [ Parent ]
    Speaking of track records... (1.00 / 2) (#58)
    by AndrewH on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 12:05:02 PM EST

    What bugs you so much about Microsoft?

    Whenever anyone mentions them, you fly into a wild rage. Is there something you should get of your chest?


    John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr — where are you now that we need you?
    [ Parent ]
    your story would be more compelling if. . . (none / 0) (#56)
    by Anonymous 242 on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 09:44:30 AM EST

    I wrote it because I really felt that this particular anecdote was being blown out of proportion and used to justify the characterization of Microsoft itself as evil in some way -- as opposed to just some employees being nudniks.
    If you had presented citations of journalists using FYIFV to discredit Microsoft as an corporation with an entire culture built around the principle of greed, I would have found your essay much more interesting. As it stands, virtually every reference I've seen to FYIFV has been in the context of just some employees being nudniks.

    You did provide quotes alleging that Microsoft employees sported the FYIFV acronym, but not once did you supply an in context quote that links the acronym to the allegation that sporting FYIFV is evidence that Microsoft employees are immoral, greedy, obnoxious,. . .

    Taking bits and pieces from here and there to support your thesis is known in religious circles as "proof-texting" and the practice can and does lead to absurd conclusions. Consider my favorite:

    1. Saint Paul shaved his head: "And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow." [Acts 18:18]
    2. Saint Paul commanded us to imitate him because he imitated Christ: "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." [I Corinthians: 11:1]
      therefore
    3. All Christians ought to shave their heads like Jesus did.

    Context, context, context. . .

    If you want to convince people, give them the information -- all the information -- and let them draw their own conclusions. A few out of context quotations around FYIFV doesn't a conspiracy make. Nor do a few out of context quotations demonstrate a pervasive view of all Microsoft employees as being greedy, hearless SOBs.

    Regards,

    -l

    [ Parent ]

    I disagree (4.50 / 2) (#57)
    by adamba on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 10:36:16 AM EST

    You did provide quotes alleging that Microsoft employees sported the FYIFV acronym, but not once did you supply an in context quote that links the acronym to the allegation that sporting FYIFV is evidence that Microsoft employees are immoral, greedy, obnoxious,. . .

    What do you mean. In the Heileman piece FYIFV is one of two examples used to show that Microsoft is (as he puts it), "mellow, callow, and profane." In the McDonough one, it is the only example used to show that Microsoft employees are motivated only by money. I think in both cases I included enough of a quote to show how it was being used (and I gave the URLs if you wanted the whole text). So how are those lacking context?

    - adam

    [ Parent ]

    Perspective (2.83 / 6) (#14)
    by slaytanic killer on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 07:17:32 AM EST

    I remember when I was a young'un hearing this rumor. I mean, really young. Interesting to hear this, since FYIFV was the first I'd heard of that company.

    However to put it in perspective, if you lived in a college town, would you know of all the little pranks some fraternity did? MS probably was a fairly large company then with a couple hundred people, and no doubt there was some clique that imagined this would be a fun thing to do.

    BTW (2.33 / 3) (#15)
    by slaytanic killer on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 07:24:04 AM EST

    Having FYIFV on a button isn't necessarily mean. It is a very non-obvious acronym, told only to those who ask and have a mean streak sense of humor.

    After all, there are those Thinkgeek tshirts with YOU ARE STUPID in ASCII.

    [ Parent ]
    missed one of the early references (4.00 / 6) (#22)
    by Anonymous 242 on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 11:38:29 AM EST

    James Wallace and Jim Erickson mention the FYIV phenomena in Hard Drive : Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire. I believe that Hard Drive was published in 1992, which might make it the eariliest reference to FYIV.

    FWIW, IIRC, in Hard Drive, FYIV wasn't mentioned to make all Microsoft employees out to be freedy SOBs. It was one anecdote out of many that attempted to describe the comraderie and atmosphere among the early signers on to Microsoft. Also, IIRC, Hard Drive relates how the shirts were swiftly put down by management and I believe they were supposed to have occurred shortly after the move to Redmond from Pheonix.

    It's been well over five years since I've read Hard Drive, so I may or may not be recalling the tale correctly. It is a good read for anyone interested in Bill Gates.

    actually I tried to find that reference (3.00 / 1) (#28)
    by adamba on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 03:31:07 PM EST

    I found a site that quoted that book as mentioning FYIFV. But it didn't say where. So I pulled my copy down and started flipping through trying to find it, but I couldn't find it. Since I had one from "Gates" (which listed it in the index, thank you) from basically the same time, and it was late at night, I stopped looking.

    - adam

    [ Parent ]

    ah, found it (none / 0) (#68)
    by adamba on Sat Jul 21, 2001 at 01:15:26 AM EST

    Here it is on p. 336 of Hard Drive -- "Some long-time employees started coming to work wearing buttons inscribed with the letters FYIFV, which stood for 'Fuck You. I'm Fully Vested.'"

    So they have the typical bogus legend. The book came out in March 1992, it may indeed be the first print reference.

    - adam

    [ Parent ]

    Sieg Heil pal, (1.65 / 20) (#24)
    by Jack Wagner on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 01:45:24 PM EST

    You just take your Nazi like propaganda and march right back to the ol homeland, verstehen? We don't need any more Microsoft people trying to work their mindcontrol magic on us hard working free thinking folks so you can just report back to the Fuhrer that kuro5hin is not going to buy into it, and maybe you should try another site. Lebe wohl .

    Wagner LLC Consulting - Getting it right the first time
    This really doesn't help. (2.00 / 1) (#53)
    by hjones on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 08:35:03 AM EST


    "Nietzsche is dead, but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. And we -- we small-minded weaklings, we still have to vanquish his shadow too." - The Antinietzsche
    [ Parent ]
    Are you /trying/ to invoke Godwin? (nt) (2.00 / 1) (#61)
    by magney on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 08:01:57 PM EST


    Do I look like I speak for my employer?
    [ Parent ]

    Who do you believe? (4.00 / 5) (#25)
    by plutarch on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 01:53:33 PM EST

    In the absence of hard evidence, it comes down to credibility of the witness. And we know where that leads...
    Leftism is the ideology of resentment. It is is the ideology of the frustrated will to power. It matters not how much or how little power the Leftist has at the moment. The point is, he wants more, and he can't get it.
    what about the death marches? (4.00 / 2) (#43)
    by prostoalex on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 12:10:29 AM EST

    It's interesting, I have just finished reading David Kaplan's "Silicon Boys and the Valley of Their Dreams", of course, you have to give the guy a credit for writing a book about the Valley, but there's a whole chapter dedicated to Microsoft, named Godzilla, the title is self-explanatory.

    Microsoft definitely has one of the brightest corporate cultures in the Northwest, that was one of the reasons I started collecting the Microsoft jargon from different web sites and printed materials.

    The FYIV notion has always seemed kinda unrealistic to me, it was more of the Valley type, where the rich kids took the investors' money and played around with them.

    Are the death marches and Bill sigtings, though, a real thing?

    Not specific to Microsoft. Death marches are (4.00 / 1) (#50)
    by hjones on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 08:20:22 AM EST

    epidemic throughout the commercial software industry. Please read Death March by Edward Yourdon.
    "Nietzsche is dead, but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. And we -- we small-minded weaklings, we still have to vanquish his shadow too." - The Antinietzsche
    [ Parent ]
    I'd be inclined to accept this... (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by jd on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 03:06:15 PM EST

    ...After all, we all know that the friction between Microsoft and the "outside world" -can- get a little heated. at times. We also all know that, under circumstances like that, urban legends -do- have a habit of appearing out of thin air. It happens, get used to it.

    HOWEVER, we have to weigh this against the history of Microsoft's Public Relations people. Now, I am willing to accept that PR people will, sometimes, act on whim, without proper authority and without checking things out with The Powers That Be. So, it is entirely possible that some (or all) of the cases I list are incidents of this.

    BUT, even if you accept that, you would also need to accept (by implication) that the said PR people might, themselves, hear about the FYIFV Urban Legend, and decide to turn it into reality. Might is NOT the same as actually doing so. All it means is that you can't trust that something doesn't exist, simply because ONE person decides not to make it.

    Anyway, on with the PR stunts:

    • "Grassroots" pro-Microsoft, anti-DOJ letters appeared in various major newspapers were traced back to some (misguided?) Microsoft employees. The letters were forgeries, in an attempt to hamper the trial.
    • Also during the trial, a video claiming to show Dr Felton's IE-remover was shown to have been tampered with. Although a fresh video was made, it was not nearly so dramatic as the original, which seems to have been a PR stunt that went badly wrong.
    • Microsoft's alliance with IBM went disasterously awry, during the attempt to build a powerful server/desktop OS. This can be traced to ill-timed and utterly astonishing press releases by Microsoft, hostile to IBM, during the development of the system.
    • Microsoft's strategic alliances with Apple and DEC both went sour, through ill-timed press releases that indicated that the Alpha and Mac versions of Microsoft software were inferior, and that people should switch to the PC versions.
    • Microsoft's PR releases for Windows 95 suggested that their 32-bit system would NOT be backwards-compatiable with Windows 3.1, and that it would thus be superior than it could otherwise have been. That statement caused a stir, and resulted in Microsoft changing their API several times, to allow older programs to run. (This is one of the major reasons for 95's delays. No great surprise - have you ever seen bugs stop them from shipping?)
    • Last, but not least, the Haloween Documents deserve a mention. These seem to have been policy documents intended to be implemented by the PR department. Sure, we're seeing some of that, now. But to let such documents slip out???

    False testimony... Wild claims... Policies =of= malpractice... Yes, I can believe that a department with such an attitude, on hearing the idea of a FYIFV badge/t-shirt, might well have run with it. No blame on the original person, or indeed on Microsoft as a company. Any blame, IF any exists at all, should lie solely at the feet of Public Relations staff who don't know when to call it a day.

    If Microsoft dies, it won't be because it is, in some way, a poor company. Sure, it makes shoddy products, but nobody's perfect, and if the products sell, then that's the customer's problem. No, if Microsoft ever fails, it will be because the PR people have gone one step too far, and ruin will rain down, not just on them but the company as a whole.

    The chances William Gates III would ever read K5 are so remarkably slim, that the cafeteria where I work will serve edible pizza that spontaneously appeared due to quantum foam displacement issues, many times over before.

    However, on the off-chance that a stray quark will meander in his direction and actually manage to get into his brain, I would plead with him to sack his PR staff and any PR/tech liason officers, before it's too late. Microsoft needs to regain credibility, and it can't do that if its public face is controlled by creatures from the black lagoon.

    Jargon Note (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by mahlen on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 03:21:03 PM EST

    I'll add that at Advent Software, the process of continually granting options (usually every two years) to those deemed worthy so that they could never be fully vested (and thus always have an incentive to stay) was called "evergreening". Given that lots of Advent people came from Oracle, the term may be used there as well.

    mahlen

    "Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if
    you don't know what your rights are, or who the person is you're talking to.
    Then on the way out, slam the door."
    --"Deep Thoughts", by "Jack Handy"

    FYIFV: A Microsoft Urban Legend | 70 comments (68 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
    Display: Sort:

    kuro5hin.org

    [XML]
    All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
    See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
    Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
    Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
    My heart's the long stairs.

    Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!