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[humorix] Re: Microsoft Conspiracy Theories

-----Original Message-----
From: noahp@altavista.net <noahp@altavista.net>
To: humorix@e-groups.com <humorix@e-groups.com>
Date: Thursday, May 27, 1999 3:19 PM
Subject: [humorix] Re: Microsoft Conspiracy Theories

>At 02:30 AM 5/27/99 -0500, you wrote:
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>>Subject: [humorix] Re: Microsoft Conspiracy Theories
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>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: James Baughn <jbaughn@ldd.net>
>>To: humorix@egroups.com <humorix@egroups.com>
>>Date: Wednesday, May 26, 1999 12:31 PM
>>Subject: [humorix] Microsoft Conspiracy Theories
>>>Microsoft Conspiracy Theories
>>>May 26, 1999
>>>Recently Humorix reported[1] on the Microsoft Conspiracy
>>>Theory contest sponsored by Linux Fortnight News.  During
>>>the past two weeks the Humorix staff has composed several
>>>conspiracy theories that we will submit to the contest.  We
>>>found that it's much easier to write Microsoft conspiracy
>>>theories than it is to write ordinary fake news.
>>>* SETI@home: Searching for Intelligent Life in Windows
>>>It seems suspicious that the source code to the SETI@home
>>>client is closed.  The stated purpose of the SETI@home
>>>Project is to utilize distributed computing to search for
>>>alien signals. That is what They want you to believe.  The
>>>client may spit out messages about "Fourier transforms" and
>>>"signals from the Arecibo Observatory", but that's all a
>>>cover to trick the unsuspecting public.
>>>In reality, the CPU cycles burned running SETI@home are
>>>actually compiling portions of the Windows 2000 source
>>>code.  Sections of the Windows Y2K source code are
>>>distributed (in encrypted form) as "work units" to
>>>SETI@home clients.  The client program compiles that
>>>section of code and returns the work unit to the SETI
>>>website, which is actually a front for tide7.microsoft.com.
>>>Such a distributed computing system is necessary to fully
>>>compile the Windows 2000 source code in a reasonable amount
>>>of time.  Using only internal Microsoft hardware, it would
>>>take 23 days to make one WinY2K build.  With SETI@home (or
>>>should we say, MS@home), it only takes 2.3 days.
>>>* WinBoxes: The Latest Volley In The War Against Linux
>>>Nicholas Petreley wrote an April Fool's article[2] about
>>>"Winboards", cheap Windows-only motherboards that function
>>>like WinModems.  While most of Petreley's readers laughed
>>>at the absurd concept and moved on, an engineer from
>>>Microsoft's R&D labs didn't.  Microsoft will embrace and
>>>extend this concept to create entire Windows-only computers
>>>called "WinBoxes".  What started out as an innocent April
>>>Fool's gag has turned into Microsoft's latest anti-Linux
>>>Microsoft has inked a secret deal with Compaq to produce a
>>>line of WinBoxes.  These computers will consist exclusively
>>>of specially designed Windows-only "hardware" built into
>>>the motherboard. The CPU will handle all of the processing
>>>that is usually reserved for external devices in real
>>>computers.  The motherboard will contain a built-in
>>>WinSoundCard(tm), WinHardDriveController(tm),
>>>WinEthernetCard(tm), WinVideoCard(tm), and, of course, a
>>>WinModem(tm). (These boxes will not support traditional
>>>floppy drives, but they will support proprietary
>>>MSFloppies(tm) capable of holding 10MB apiece).
>>>During the next few months Compaq will begin to
>>>mass-produce WinBoxes.  These machines will NOT be
>>>advertised as Windows-only brain-dead boxes, instead they
>>>will be marketed as inexpensive entry-level machines for
>>>unsuspecting novice computer users. Such users probably
>>>don't realize that Windows alternatives exist, and even if
>>>they knew about alternatives, they would be content to use
>>>Windows. Indeed, these users will never have the
>>>opportunity to realize that the "Windows-enhanced" logo
>>>etched into the case is really a "Windows-only" warning
>>>Within a few years, these WinBoxes could quietly spread
>>>through the low-end desktop market and, ultimately, go
>>>mainstream.  Your average computer user won't care that his
>>>el cheapo US$199 computer can only run the latest version
>>>of Windows Two-Thousand-And-Whatever.   Your average Linux
>>>hacker will care, but alas, he'll be stuck using an ancient
>>>AMD K7 system.
>>>* The BASIC Conspiracy
>>>Back in the Dark Ages of MS-DOS, most x86 computers came
>>>with a BASIC interpreter.  While these early interpreters
>>>were terrible (BASIC originally stood for BASIC Allows
>>>SpaghettI Code, after all), MS-DOS 5.0 introduced QBASIC,
>>>an interpreter that made it possible to write non-trivial
>>>BASIC programs without using any GOTOs at all.
>>>Many preteen nerds and geeks learned how to program using
>>>QBASIC.  Many of these geeks are now writing Open Source
>>>software.  Ironically, it is a Microsoft program that
>>>inspired many Linux hackers.
>>>Not anymore, though.  QBASIC and it's older brother,
>>>QuickBASIC, are now obsolete, relegated to some obscure
>>>directory (if you're lucky) on the Windows or TechNet
>>>CD-ROM.  Microsoft's current incarnation of BASIC, Visual
>>>Basic, costs hundreds of dollars.  Microsoft doesn't bundle
>>>a stripped down version of VB with Windows like it did
>>>QBASIC with DOS (although just about everything else is
>>>bundled in Windows, except maybe a kitchen sink (slated for
>>>release with Windows 2002)).
>>>What's a preteen proto-hacker to do?  If they use Windows,
>>>not much.  They might be able to use the BASIC macro
>>>language that comes with Office (why bother?), but, unless
>>>they're willing to spend money on a compiler, programming
>>>options are limited. Future possible Open Source hackers
>>>are being squandered by Redmond's refusal to bundle a free
>>>version of BASIC (or any language, for that matter) with
>>>their mega-OS.  Preteens are content to play Quake and
>>>Alpha Centauri instead of hacking code like us oldtimers
>>>did.  It's a shame, really.
>>>The conspiracy doesn't end there.  Most high schools no
>>>longer teach programming courses; instead they have
>>>"computer science" (sic) classes on using Windows or
>>>Office.  Indeed, it would appear that many schools receive
>>>discounts on Microsoft programs if they agree not to teach
>>>any programming classes or classes on using non-Microsoft
>>>programs. Programming is becoming a lost art.  An
>>>increasing number of computer users trust Microsoft
>>>exclusively to produce their software.  The Do-It-Yourself
>>>attitude that makes Open Source so strong is dwindling in
>>>future generations.
>>>Linux could be doomed by a lack of future talent.  It's a
>>>shame, really.
>>>* The Other BASIC Conspiracy
>>>[This conspiracy theory was drafted by a different member
>>>of the Humorix staff than the previous one. -- The Editor]
>>>You've probably seen old "programs" (I use the term
>>>loosely) written in GW-BASIC or BASICA.  They are crap.
>>>Indeed, contrary to popular belief, BASIC actually stands
>>>for Beginner's All-purpose System for Innovating Crap
>>>(Symbolic Instruction Code my ass!).  The GW-BASIC
>>>interpreter encouraged crappy poorly-written uncommented
>>>spaghetti code compressed into as few lines as possible.
>>>The abomination known as BASIC has ruined countless
>>>potential Open Source programmers.  Teenagers who learned
>>>"programming" via BASIC are stunted for life; many are
>>>unable to advance beyond being an MSCE.  These BASIC-heads
>>>have to unlearn everything they know in order to write
>>>structured programs (much less anything Object Oriented!),
>>>a feat many cannot master.
>>>Item: BASIC has screwed over countless future programmers
>>>with its unstructured "syntax".
>>>Item: Microsoft has shipped brain-dead BASIC interpreters
>>>with MS-DOS, and most recently, with Office in the form of
>>>a macro language.
>>>Obvious Conclusion: Microsoft has been conspiring to rid
>>>the computer industry of programming talent, most likely in
>>>a fiendish plot to ruin its future competition (read: Open
>>>Source software).
>>>More advanced versions of BASIC that shipped with MS-DOS 5+
>>>(QBASIC) and with Office (Visual Basic for Applications)
>>>are still brain-dead. These "modern" interpreters are
>>>merely a ruse to obfuscate Microsoft's sinister plans for
>>>programming domination.  The fact that Windows itself comes
>>>with no BASIC interpreter is another fiendish plan devised
>>>to confuse anybody attempting to unravel this conspiracy.
>>>This conspiracy also applies to Microsoft's other modern
>>>programming tools.  Visual C++, with its Microsoft
>>>Foundation Classes, is a prime example of the raw evilness
>>>pouring from Redmond. MFC-compiled programs are so bloated
>>>that the entire Linux kernel could fit into their binaries
>>>several times over!  And then there's J++, which is
>>>sinister in its own right.
>>>In conclusion, by bundling inferior programming tools with
>>>its products during the 1980s (and today), Microsoft has
>>>stifled programming talent, and thus, its competition.  The
>>>fact that Open Source software has flourished against this
>>>impediment is amazing.  But we must ask ourselves, what
>>>would the computer industry be like if Microsoft had
>>>bundled a decent BASIC interpreter with MS-DOS in the 80s?
>>>* Australian Net Censorship: Welcome to MS-Australia!
>>>The pending Internet censorship bill[3] in Australia (or,
>>>by the time you read this, law) is obviously part of a
>>>grand Microsoft conspiracy. While the stated goal of this
>>>bill is to "protect the children"[4], in reality the
>>>mission is to "protect the Microsoft stockholders."
>>>This bill would place a burden on Australia ISPs to block
>>>"offensive" material from overseas servers.  Such a burden
>>>would weigh heavily on smaller ISPs, no doubt causing some
>>>to go out of business (or merge with others).  This is
>>>exactly what Microsoft -- in its fiendish scheme to turn
>>>the Internet into the Microsoft Network -- wants.  With Net
>>>access in Australia limited to a smaller set of ISPs,
>>>Microsoft will be able to dominate the industry through a
>>>couple of strategic ISP and telecom acquisitions.
>>>First Australia, and then the World.  The Microsoft
>>>conspiracy to dominate Internet access through the guise of
>>>"protecting the children" is underway.
>>>And that's not all.  Humorix recently reported[5] that the
>>>Linux operating system could be effectively banned from
>>>Australia because it contains potentially offensive
>>>material in its source code (the f--- word).  This
>>>possibility still holds.  For all we know, the Humorix
>>>website could be banned in the future because some
>>>Australian politician found this article "offensive" to
>>>If the above items don't reek of an obvious Microsoft
>>>conspiracy, I don't know what does.
>>>[1] http://i-want-a-website.com/about-linux/may99.shtml#Linux-Contests
>>>[2] http://www.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/displayNew.pl?/petrel/990405np.htm
>>>[3] http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/05/26/1223245&mode=thread
>>>[5] http://i-want-a-website.com/about-linux/may99.shtml#Linux-Censorship
>>>James S. Baughn
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