Mini-Microsoft Cutting Room Floor

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Linux IP - New comment on Limited Round-Up, New Souls, and Old Problems

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Limited Round-Up, New Souls, and Old Problems":

Here's another topic. I am wondering what people in Microsoft think about the IP claims that Balmer is making about Linux.

Balmer says that Linux violates Microsoft's IP. Now the normal thing a company does when it makes that sort of clam is to publish the details, so that users can see if the claim stands, and also so that the developers of the accused software can fix it, if possible.

However, Microsoft is refusing to do this. Instead it's saying, "Linux is violates our IP, and you are in danger of being sued, so you better switch over to Windows or Novell Linux, but you are just going to have to take our word for it."

Do people in Microsoft think this is cricket? Imagine if some other company made the same accusations about Microsoft. Or are microsofties upset that Balmer is pulling this sort of maneuver?

(Off-topic. No doubt worthy of being discussed. Somewhere.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Zune as Dune - New comment on No-so-limited Kim

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "No-so-limited Kim":

Special Edition CRF post from a lightened up exolimited:

Mini wrote "Maybe we'll figure out a way, as a company, to dogfood major strategic devices - and their support software - one day."

Ref: Infoworld article, 'Is Zune the next Bob?'

I was watching one of my MS DRMed movies (you know know what I mean: one of those DVDs you bought that when you play them on your computer they click and whir your DVD player until it sounds like its going to break, and maybe ten minutes later the movie will play??). It was Dune, the 1984 Science Fiction classic adapted from Frank Herbert's book. This is the first Dune, the original one by David Lynch with Max Von Sydow, Sean Young (the babe from Blade Runner), Linda Hunt, Patrick Stewart (Star Trek Next Gen) Sting and a lot of other actors most of whom went on to do famous parts.

I couldn't help notice that there might be a great parody here, in a Woody Allen `What's Up Tiger Lilly' kind of way. The whole movie could easily be subtitled with all kinds of Microsoftesque quotes. It would have a better chance of getting produced than Halo and would cost way less. Maybe Peter Jackson could even produce it.

The scene that smacks a serious best is just after Lady Jessica (the gorgeous Francesca Annis) shows Stilgar her weirding way! Which, in the vein of the parody, was zune 'squirted' to Stilgar by Jessica, but after he says it three times his mind will be erased.

With apologies to all Duners and Cast:

Stilgar(Everett McGill): "As You have strength, you shall be known as Uusel, which is the strength of the base of the pillar. This is your secret name in our troupe, but you must choose the name of Manhood which we will call you openly."

Paul Atrades(Kyle MacLachlan): "What do you call the mouse shadow in the second moon?"

Stilgar: "We call this one 'Zune from Dune'."

Paul Atrades: Could I be known as 'Bob the Zune from Dune'?"

Stilgar(after a long pause): You are 'Bob, the Zune from Dune, and your mother shall be known as 'Xbox from 360' We welcome you."

Paul Atrades: (whisper) "The dream unfolds . . ."

Just as an aside, has anyone ever noticed how Bob has the look of a Lemon with glasses? Oh Microsoft, I doooo thank you for the periodic interlude of mirth. One day is here.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Yowza Indeed! Un-PC bombs away - New comment on Microsoft Academy

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Microsoft Academy":

"When I started at MS, only 25% of the total employees were women. They were very proud of that fact. But as I looked around, I noticed that the majority of those 25% were in HR, admin, or other people-skills roles. Very few were PMs, a few were testers, and I've yet to actually work with a female developer on ANY of the technologies I've documented"

Your reasoning is typical of the victimology crowd. Let's set the clock right: it's not because females dev are treated unfairly that there are not many around, it's because there are not many around to be hired that there are not many to be found in the workplace. Obviously less women than men want to be dev's. There certainly are no obstacles for them to register for CS instead of nursing school; law school' or women's studies. But look at the annual graduations numbers. They tell the tale and PC lies won't change that. We still keep good official statistics in the United States.

I've worked with female dev's at MS. They are around. The thing is, I'm not sure that in spite of all the PC rhetoric, MS is willing to hire second-rate dev's just because they're females. To be sure, any female dev that I have ever encountered at MS was as good as anyone else.

With the politically correct stuff in place at MS and almost anywhere else, any competent female dev will get the red-carpet treatment for a job. Microsoft bends over backward to hire female devs when it can find them. Hell, if it could find black female devs (yowzah!) or even better black female lesbian devs (Politically Korrect nirvana!) our powers-that-be would have a huge diversity orgasm. Just look at what speed "minority" csg's get a blue badge.

MS is the quintessential politically correct "diversity till u puke" company. In spite of all the nationalities working together at MS, what a pathetic and despicable intellectual racist mess that company is: hypocrisy reign supreme. In some groups I have been in, I was one of a couple of white men among litterally dozens of Asians, East-Asians and Middle-Easterners. Out of those, probably one-third were immigrants or work visa holders who would never miss an opportunity to badmouth the United States or even rejoice at the catastrophes befalling us. On top of that, more than half of the non-dev staff including PM's were women, and still we were told that "diversity" is important and we must hire more women and "minorities". How about treating everybody equally like our laws say they should and our minds say they ought?

(Well, it's a point of view that certainly deserves its own time, but a bit too "yowza!" for me.)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

But I am Genuine - New comment on Microsoft Academy

Windows User has left a new comment on your post "Microsoft Academy":

This is off-topic, but I hope mini lets it through anyway, since this blog is the only avenue available for communicating directly with the Microsoft culture.

I re-installed XP Pro SP2 on my machine and did the updates and apparently there's a licencing problem. While I work to solve it, I'm greeted with this message:

"Your system may be at risk. This copy of WIndows is not genuine. You may be a victim of software counterfeiting."

Setting aside the registration ambiguities that cause this problem (and a quick Google search reveals that many people have gotten this message in error), I have two points to make about this.

(Let's stipulate that the error causing Windows to believe itself to be an illegal copy is not the point: the point is the way the OS communicates with me.)

First, I object to the thrust of the argument, because the text seems to be suggesting that using an unlicenced copy of Windows is bad because it will harm me -- i.e. "real" Windows is "safer" because of the security updates etc. But why can't the OS stop beating around the bush and say, "You have not paid for this copy of Windows, which means you are stealing it, which we, Microsoft, object to." (Kind of like the Microsoft install discs which say, with refreshing candor and clarity, "Do not make illegal copies of this disc," or iPod packaging which simply says "Don't steal music.")

Beyond the obvious scare tactics being employed, I object to the language being used, on a basic conceptual level, because it first equates "illegal copy" with "not genuine." If I had stolen or illegally downloaded Windows and installed it on my box, my copy of Windows would be "genuine." This is the operating system itself speculating that it's not genuine (shouldn't it know that it's genuine?) and, furthermore, offering to let me "resolve" the situation by buying Windows. Presumably, once I buy a license, my "not genuine" copy of Windows magically becomes "genuine" and my system is no longer "at risk."

My point is, why the dishonesty and fearmongering? If Microsoft detects me stealing something, rightly or wrongly, can't they just say so? It seems like this tortuous, indirect and unclear language is endemic to so much corporate culture. Programmers and computer systems are traditionally direct and clear, leaving the advertising copywriting to less pure areas of endeavor.

I don't like a real copy of Windows telling me it's a "fake" because it can't find the machine license or whatever. It knows as well as I do that it's real, and that "security" or "risk" have nothing to do with it at all. Can't my own computer talk in straight lines rather than attempting to scare me and fake me out?

I hope this post makes it onto mini-msft, in which case, if I've got this whole thing wrong somehow, I hope one of you Microsoft employees can show me how that's the case. Thanks for listening.

(No doubt the wording could be reworked to invoke the real issue with non-genuine Microsoft software: that it comes preloaded with Trojans and worms. Joe Wilcox has a good writeup on this here: Piracy and Security.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Harsh? Bitter? New comment on Microsoft Academy

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Microsoft Academy":

>> As a recent graduate of “a top CS university” myself

See you in 5 years, Mr Recent Graduate. You know, when you gain some actual experience and get fucked a couple of times by management.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Shame shame shame - New comment on Microsoft Academy

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Microsoft Academy":

Why do you need smart people. What are they going to do -research some other company's product and make a copy of that with a better IDE?
DOn't you feel a little ashamed of yourselves that you haven't done any innovation in 10 years? YOu call .NET an innovation? A college kid who starts with .NET will never be able to learn real basic programming skills and internals of OS. When I graduated I was assigned a memory corruption problem and it took me 2 months to nail it. but I leaned more in those 2 months than what a college kid on .NET pony is going to learn in 10 yrs.
So wise up and do these new graduates a favor.Go back to C/C++. We already have a .NET it is called JAVA.

And don't tell me that they can learn C anyway - no they have to get a job and they won't get it unless they know .NET and that C# crap.

(Again, I think there's a good point in there [memory corruption vs. class training] but all the crap around it isn't anything I want to approve.)

Will don't just go and insult me - New comment on Microsoft Academy

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Microsoft Academy":

Eureka! Or maybe not. Mini, are you are so young that you’ve never encountered the concept of an "apprenticeship"? It’s been the foundation of good engineering education for a couple hundred years more than Microsoft has been in the game. Knowledge gained at school will only ever show you a candidate has the ability to learn. Invest in talent, spend two years teaching them learn how to hold a hot rivet before you expect them to build the ship. This posting displays how much of Microsoft’s arrogance has rubbed off on you.

(Why don't you discuss how apprenticeship should work vs. dinging me and Microsoft?)