Microsoft gets lewd, Gateway makes good

SAN FRANCISCO (03/08/2004) - Three billion dollars doesn't go as far as it used to. That's probably why The SCO Group Inc. bumped its claim against IBM Corp. from US$3 billion to $5 billion, adding copyright infringement to its list of grievances. Hey, inflation is a bitch. And so is Pammy, ever since I snuck onto her hard drive. At least she's not suing me ... yet.

Get a grep: Last month's Windows 2000 source code leak reveals the shocking news that Microsoft Corp. programmers are a bunch of potty mouths. That's according to one anonymous source who grepped the files looking for programmers' notes and found several terms not printable here. He (she?) also found 165 uses of the word "kludge," 213 "sucks," and 7,508 references to "bugbug." In related news, some readers advocated printing out the code and employing it as toilet tissue. Personally, I wouldn't want to use anything with that many holes in it.

Hot spots: The Cringester who complained about his Gateway Corp. notebook's pixel problems two weeks ago reports that Gateway has graciously replaced his machine. As some readers noted, bad pixels are hardly exclusive to the guys with the cow boxes. For example, Hewlett-Packard Co. doesn't consider an Omnibook screen defective until it has at least seven bad dots; IBM allows for 16 sour pixels on its big ThinkPad SXGA screens. I think I'm coming down with spotted fever.

Naughty thawtes: A Cringe spy recently looked up his e-mail security certificate at Thawte (rhymes with "caught"), only to get someone else's instead -- complete with name, birth date, and passport number. Spokesdudes for Thawte parent VeriSign say the problem is now fixed, and that only a single user's address was shared with a handful of customers. Thawte's motto, by the way, is "Trust is non-negotiable." Who knew?

Photo Finnish: A few Cringesters asked whether the "50 fins" I recently offered for best tips meant I was upping the ante from $50 to $250 (a fin is a fiver, not a buck). I actually meant Finlanders -- members of the Finnish pesapallo team, to be specific. They needed a place to stay on their U.S. tour, and I offered the homes of my readers. That's just the kind of guy I am.

Send your hot tips to cringe@infoworld.com; the best ones may earn you 50 smackers (dollars, not kisses).

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