Karma Says Hi To Redmond (2/13/04)

And while we're on the subject of bad luck, howzabout that Windows source code leak, huh? In case you hadn't heard, as of Thursday night, it's official: according to an Associated Press article, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that some of the source to Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 had somehow been "illegally made available on the Internet." How much of the source? They don't know. When did it happen? They can't say. How many people might have gotten hold of it? They have no idea. Oh, and the biggie: How did it happen? Well, uh, they don't know that either. Whoops!

So what does this leak mean? Well, maybe nothing, but some people surmise that access to the source code might give virus authors just the sort of information they need to take their worms to the next level. And if software developers get a hold of it, Microsoft may lose its biggest competitive edge in the applications space, i.e. being the only company with a map of the island, so to speak. (Remember during "Redmond Justice" when forcing Microsoft to open up parts of its source code was considered as a partial remedy? Well, this is why.) The thing is, there are so few details available about how much code leaked out and what part of the OS it relates to, so as of yet no one's all that certain about what the consequences might be.

Of course, as you can see, that isn't preventing anyone from guessing authoritatively. Look, here's our ol' pal Rob Enderle doing his sound-bite-from-the-analyst thing again: "It seems unlikely this is going to create a material, significant security problem. It's more embarrassing than anything else because it makes it look like Microsoft can't control its code." Makes it look like Microsoft can't control its code? Sheesh, we figured that Windows itself had already taken care of that. As for whether or not the leak will create more virus havoc, maybe Rob's right, and maybe he's not. We don't know. But we will say this on the "embarrassing" front: anyone who isn't embarrassed to be seen in public with a bright red Ferrari laptop that emits digitized "vroom vroom" noises probably has a really skewed perspective on what's embarrassing and what's not. 'Nuff said.

And then on top of the whole source code thing, faithful viewer scubus notes that Microsoft is also in some danger of losing its "Windows" trademark. If you follow this kind of stuff religiously, you may already have been aware of Microsoft's lawsuit against Lindows.com Inc., a Linux-plus-GUI company that's looking to provide x86 users with an alternative to that Redmond stuff whose code has just been plastered all over the 'net. Microsoft claimed that "Lindows" was too close to its own trademark "Windows" and, since there weren't any Canadian high school kids to pick on that week, promptly made with the suing. (Geez, if anyone should sue Lindows, it's Apple; just look at the uglification number Lindows did to the Apple.com navigational 3D Tabs 'n' Shadows™ interface.)

Here's the thing, though: Lindows countersued, claiming that the "Windows" trademark was invalid because it was a generic term for the GUI elements the software provided. And a couple of days ago InfoWorld reported that a U.S. district court plans to tell the jury to think long and hard about whether "windows" was a generic term before Microsoft released version 1.0 of its product in November of 1985. Um... someone remind that jury about the significance of January 24th, 1984 and point out that, yes, Macs have always had those rectangular thingies with the scroll bars and titles and little pictures to click, and users had been calling them "windows" long before Microsoft ever kludged a similar interface on top of DOS. Sounds pretty open and shut to us.

So let's summarize, here; Microsoft's competitors may have a new tactical competitive weapon, Windows may have just gotten a lot less secure (go figure!), and on top of that, there's a slim chance that Microsoft will have to change the product's name if it wants any sort of trademark protection. Man, did someone just chuck black cats in front of Bill Gates all week, or what?

SceneLink (4510)
And Now For A Word From Our Sponsors

From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


The above scene was taken from the 2/13/04 episode:

February 13, 2004: Apple plans to open one of those big, shiny flagship stores in London. (Road trip!!) Meanwhile, the editor at the Microprocessor Report thinks that the G5 will surpass anything from Intel or AMD in performance and cost, and Microsoft loses the lease on the Windows source code even as the company may lose its trademark on the product's name, as well...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4508: A Long Night At Camp Blood (2/13/04)   Hey, kids-- it's Friday the 13th! Quick, everyone put on a hockey mask and grab something sharp! (Oooh, slashy.) Yes, today's the day when everyone has a little Jason Voorhees inside just itching to get out, so celebrate one of the longest-running and most ludicrous (Seriously, did you see Jason X? Puh-lease) horror franchises in history by pretending to eviscerate someone you love....

  • 4509: We're Tops!... Or Will Be (2/13/04)   Speaking of Friday the 13th, word has it that before the date became associated with a nigh-unstoppable supernatural killing force with a penchant for protective sportswear and introducing wayward camp counselors to the business end of a machete, it was more commonly associated with the phenomenon of bad luck...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

Vote Early, Vote Often!
Why did you tune in to this '90s relic of a soap opera?
Nostalgia is the next best thing to feeling alive
My name is Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up; what did I miss?
I'm trying to pretend the last 20 years never happened
I mean, if it worked for Friends, why not?
I came here looking for a receptacle in which to place the cremated remains of my deceased Java applets (think about it)

(1250 votes)

Like K-pop, but only know the popular stuff? Expand your horizons! Prim M recommends underrated K-pop tunes based on YOUR taste!

Prim M's Playlist

DISCLAIMER: AtAT was not a news site any more than Inside Edition was a "real" news show. We made Dawson's Creek look like 60 Minutes. We engaged in rampant guesswork, wild speculation, and pure fabrication for the entertainment of our viewers. Sure, everything here was "inspired by actual events," but so was Amityville II: The Possession. So lighten up.

Site best viewed with a sense of humor. AtAT is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. Keep hands inside car at all times. The drinking of beverages while watching AtAT is strongly discouraged; AtAT is not responsible for damage, discomfort, or staining caused by spit-takes or "nosers."

Everything you see here that isn't attributed to other parties is copyright ©,1997-2024 J. Miller and may not be reproduced or rebroadcast without his explicit consent (or possibly the express written consent of Major League Baseball, but we doubt it).