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[humorix] Re: Microsoft Conspiracy Theories

-----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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