Microsoft nix pix, Best Buy tricks

SAN FRANCISCO (11/07/2003) - Ah, domesticity. Since Pammy moved in, I've been coming home to a hot meal every night. Then the other night she let slip that this Christmas she wants one of those shi-shi laptop bags that Julien Macdonald designed for Intel -- which should set me back a month's pay, easy. Intel says the profits go to charity. Might I suggest the International Fund for Underpaid Gossip Geeks?

It's Bill's World Michael Hanscom, a temp working in the Microsoft print shop, was recently fired for posting a photo on his blog of Power Mac G5s being unloaded on the Microsoft campus. A company spokesbot says, "We respect and support (employee blogs) as long as they abide by our confidentiality agreements," and said the company does not routinely monitor employee blogs. Apparently the photo -- a pallet of G5s sitting on a nondescript loading dock -- constituted a breach of Microsoft security. Now there's an oxymoron for you.

Buy one, Get Nine Free! A member of the Cringe crew purchased a laptop for his daughter at Best Buy, along with a $300 in-store warranty. When the thing stopped working, she drove two hours to return it to the store for repairs. Two months later, Best Buy still had her laptop, but they'd generously shipped her six other notebooks in the meantime. Then her machine was returned, along with yet another laptop. The next day the store called to say she'd be receiving two more. Best Buy refused to pay to ship the units back -- until the girl's mother contacted one of the laptop's owners (her name was on a sticker attached to the machine), who then called Best Buy herself. The store finally sent a truck to pick them up. Hey, they're lucky she didn't keep them and start her own electronics shop.

Solar Eclipse At Microsoft's Office 2003 announcement last month, Sun Microsystems planted an employee at the door to hand out copies of StarOffice 7. He was promptly escorted from the premises by Microsoft personnel. However, there's no truth to the rumor he was last seen checking into the Jimmy Hoffa suite at the Newark Subcontinental.

Nobody ever said domestic bliss comes cheap. Guess it's time to hit my editor up for a raise.

Send your hot tips or high-tech oxymorons to cringe@infoworld. The best will bag US$50.

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