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Microsoft Programming Linux

Microsoft Apologizes For Inserting Naughty Phrase Into Linux Kernel 897

Posted by timothy
from the brogrammers-at-work dept.
netbuzz writes "Microsoft has apologized and promised to rectify the fact that one of its developers slipped a sexist phrase into Linux kernel code supporting Microsoft's HyperV virtualization environment. In that code, the magic constant passed through to the hypervisor reads '0xB16B00B5,' or a slightly camouflaged 'BIG BOOBS.' After Linux developer/blogger Matthew Garrett criticized Microsoft for the stunt, the predictable debate over sexism in the technology world ensued. Microsoft issued a statement to Network World apologizing and added, 'We have submitted a patch to fix this issue and the change will be published in a future release of the kernel.'"
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Microsoft Apologizes For Inserting Naughty Phrase Into Linux Kernel

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  • 0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jobless Fellatio (2686337) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:32PM (#40702773)
    Excuse me but could someone clarify how is "big boobs" sexist phrase? It might mean either gender. For statistical reasons I can verify that my own boobs are often larger than I see on females.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:35PM (#40702817)

      I'm sorry, but I can't take you serious on this subject because of your nickname.

      • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Informative)

        by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:28PM (#40703657)

        I've always preferred 0x5MA11B00B5 myself.

      • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kate6 (895650) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:07PM (#40704181) Homepage
        It's sexist in that if a very talented woman programmer was going around hacking in the kernel and found it, it might make her feel uncomfortable.  As such, it contributes to the feeling that Linux kernel development is an area in which women aren't welcome...  And believe it or not, sort of thing is the reason why there are so few female programmers.  Our "tiny female brains" can cope with the actual work *just fine*.  :)

        • by mydn (195771) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:16PM (#40704319)
          This is what you get when you have teenagers in their parents basement writing your operating system. You would get more professional behavior from a large, established corporation.
          Oh, wait...
          • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:14PM (#40706935)

            I think you accidentally got to the real heart of the issue. Microsoft has to keep up appearances, as an established corporation. But this code was not written in the open source world, not for Linux, and not intended to be distributed at all. It was supposed to be hidden in the basement.

            Microsoft was forced to release this code because they released binaries built with GPL components. Those binaries were to make Linux work well with Microsoft's hypervisor. Not to make Linux look good, but to make virtual Linux useable enough that they keep paying for a Windows host license (on the next server, or OS upgrade).

            This magic number is a guest OS ID definition for Microsoft's Hyper-V. As far as anyone knows, this might be a magic value already in place in some of Microsoft's code, and they had to use the same value in the Linux implementation. If that's not the case, it's still internal code that they had no intention of releasing as source.

            My guess is that someone who doesn't respect Linux intentionally violated the identity convention. In that case, it's not about sexism at all. Substituting a childish phrase for an operating system ID is about respect for the product, and little if anything to do with respect for women. If a woman wants to see it as offensive that is perfectly valid. But from what I can tell not the intent at all.

            The "predictable debate over sexism in the technology world" is being driven by people who take things out of context for the increased page loads. It could very well be told as "Source code divulged after GPL violation reveals Microsoft employs at least one immature developer." But the focus on sexism almost makes the ads click themselves.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel#Hyper-V_submission_by_Microsoft [wikipedia.org]

            http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff542653(v=vs.85).aspx [microsoft.com]

        • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:36PM (#40704573)

          Or maybe you are being overly sensitive.

          This is at worst childish, not sexist.
          Anyone who sees it as sexist is trolling for attention or is trying to make herself feel special.
          Your own feelings about linux kernel development have very little significance toward linux development.
          You are here LOOKING for sexism.
          You are seeing the world through sexism-coloured glasses.
          It's ridiculous.
          Stop.

        • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:37PM (#40704593)

          I took technical writing in college, and we had a female professor teaching the class: Dana Witmer. One of my lab partners got the bright idea to name the technical file "dirtydana" which I have to admit was funny, but I stopped laughing when they told me they *handed it in* with that name.

          About a week later the professor met with all the students and commented that our filename was "interesting" and then started giggling. Not all women are uptight over trivial stuff.

          As for WHY women don't like engineering/programming, I think it's because they are smart. They are smart enough not to go into such a boring field where the managers or HR treat you like low-level employees to be shoved into basement offices & worked 50 hours w/o overtime pay.

          • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Kate6 (895650) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:50PM (#40704709) Homepage
            I'm sorry to say this, but this is another bit of typical patriarchy talk -- if a woman feels uncomfortable with something men are doing, she's automatically "uptight" or "frigid."  Sorry, but no.  Professionalism dictates keeping this sort of thing out of the workplace.  Sure, some women may be able to laugh it off for the sake of appearing to be a "team player" and putting the men on the team at ease, but honestly I can't imagine very many of us are actually truly completely comfortable with the idea of people we aren't reasonably intimate with commenting on our chests.

            I don't disagree that this can often be an exceedingly boring field to work in.  At the same time, it's a reasonably well paying one, and a basement office can still be brightened up considerably with a few plants and tasteful paintings.  As long as you don't have an officemate who's constantly showering you with unsolicited innuendo.

            • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

              by garett_spencley (193892) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:33PM (#40705071) Journal

              "but honestly I can't imagine very many of us are actually truly completely comfortable with the idea of people we aren't reasonably intimate with commenting on our chests."

              No one has said anything about commenting on the size of a specific individual's chest. If it were personal I could understand how it would make someone feel uncomfortable, but I still wouldn't consider it "sexist" because it would also make me feel uncomfortable if someone were to comment on the size of my nose or my waist line.

              "Professionalism dictates keeping this sort of thing out of the workplace."

              I disagree with that profoundly. The most productive professional environment is one in which everyone gets along, has a good time and enjoys what they're doing. If certain individuals feel uncomfortable it is either because they are being singled out or bullied unfairly (in which case there is something wrong with the environment) or they have a personal problem with the way the business is run (which does not necessarily mean there's something wrong with the individual, just that it's not a good fit).

              Femminism is supposed to be about equality and social change, right ? Then here's a social "problem" I would like the change: the complete double-standard backwardness that has been instituted in the name of "feminism." For example: if a guy expresses his sexuality or his sexual nature in any way he is labeled a "pig" but if a woman does it it's applauded as "liberating."

              I was raised by a single mom with a tremendous amount of support from her single mom. Both describe themselves as "feminists." Both also talk about "patriarchy" but as a male who was born after 1980 I gotta say ... I don't see it. In fact, I see the trend going in the opposite direction.

              The people who I find to be most "sexist" are self-proclaimed "feminists." They constantly draw attention to the differences between the sexes, and by appropriating a title such as "feminism" (emphasis on the root "fem") they are taking a position that there is an inherent conflict between the two sexes, that sides must be chosen and they have chosen the side of women. The foundation of the philosophy is not unifying but polarizing. If they had any pretense of "equality" they would identify themselves as "egalitarian." If they had a pretense about equal rights under the law whilst respecting (or celebrating) natural differences that exist between all individuals they would identify themselves as individualist. Instead they keep dragging the issue of gender through the mud and make everyone, male and female alike, uncomfortable.

              • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:4, Interesting)

                by Kate6 (895650) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @06:10PM (#40705467) Homepage
                I don't really feel like this is an appropriate forum to get into an in-depth discussion of feminist philosophy.

                That being said, IMHO if female coworkers were routinely commenting on the size of your nose or your waist line, that would very definitely be unprofessional behavior on their part.  And if a female programmer named her constants things like "TINY_DICK_LOSER," I'd count that as sexism.

                I'm not suggesting or supporting any sort of double standard -- I'm just suggesting that a professional environment involves placing a few boundaries on your behavior in order to make *sure* that, to use your words, "everyone gets along, has a good time and enjoys what they're doing."  That might mean not making the overweight man overly self conscious about his weight, it might mean making a point of making *eye contact* with the lady with the well-endowed chest, it might mean refraining from mentioning that you spent your weekend picketing an abortion clinic, or that you spent your weekend campaigning for gay marriage.

                You don't make the assumption that your co-workers are all going to feel the same way as you on any potentially charged issue.
                • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:4, Interesting)

                  by arth1 (260657) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @06:33PM (#40705745) Homepage Journal

                  it might mean making a point of making *eye contact* with the lady with the well-endowed chest

                  Where I grew up, only ophthalmologists and people who wanted to fuck you made eye contact. Even after 13 years in the US, I still can't make eye contact without it becoming obvious how much I dislike it. If my gaze is further down it's because I was brought up to be polite.

                  On the other hand, I also grew up without equating breasts or nudity with sex. Big breasts, big ears, big calves - it's pretty much all the same. They're just body parts we all have in various sizes. *shrug*

                • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @07:19PM (#40706175) Homepage Journal

                  ""TINY_DICK_LOSER," " is different the BIGBOOBS.

                  BIBBOOBS_WINNER would be the same thing.
                  A more appropriate example would be "TINY_DICK" or really "BIG_DICK"

                  I do make the assumption the my coworkers and I can disagree in a professional manner.

                  This is like that damn discussion I got into with HR about 15 years ago because someone was offended I used the term DAEMONS when referring to UNIX DAEMONS.

                  Really, no one should talk to anyone about anything because they person might be offended by any one..which I find offensive.

              • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

                by RobbieCrash (834439) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:59PM (#40707213)

                "Femminism is supposed to be about equality and social change, right ? Then here's a social "problem" I would like the change: the complete double-standard backwardness that has been instituted in the name of "feminism." For example: if a guy expresses his sexuality or his sexual nature in any way he is labeled a "pig" but if a woman does it it's applauded as "liberating.""

                [citation needed]

                If a woman was going around bragging about her conquests she'd be labelled a slut and people would talk shit on her, while the dude, after being called a pig, is applauded.

                You don't see the impact of patriarchal society because you don't experience the effects. The same way that many white people feel that there is no such thing as institutionalized racism in North America because they don't experience it.

                If the comment in the code were 'slanty eyes' nobody would be disputing it's racist nature, but because this is an issue of sexism it's ignored. There is a societal bias against women, the same as there's one against minorities.

                The foundation of the theory only seems polarizing because again, we as men, don't experience the institutionalized sexism that western society has. It's not overt "you can't do that because you're a woman" it's "here beautiful, let me do that for you." Just like institutionalized racism isn't a lynch mob lookin' to hang someone any more, it's being watched by security in a store for being black.

                • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Interesting)

                  by garett_spencley (193892) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:35PM (#40707427) Journal

                  "If a woman was going around bragging about her conquests she'd be labelled a slut and people would talk shit on her, while the dude, after being called a pig, is applauded."

                  By women. The men I know would be asking for her phone number.

                  "You don't see the impact of patriarchal society because you don't experience the effects. The same way that many white people feel that there is no such thing as institutionalized racism in North America because they don't experience it."

                  I find that interesting because as I hinted to, I've experienced the same thing from a male's perspective, from my own family. I experience gender bias all the time from people who proudly label themselves "feminists." They make generalizations about men, they side with my wife every time the two of us have a dispute and we seek support from family, they speak for me as if they know what I'm going to do and the false assumptions they make are based on the fact that I have a penis. Women think they know what I'm thinking and what my intentions are just because I'm a man. So I know exactly how it feels and I do experience it, only I experience it from the same people who complaining about it most vocally.

                  That's what I was alluding to when I said "... I don't see it. In fact, I see the trend going in the opposite direction." and "the complete double-standard backwardness that has been instituted in the name of 'feminism.'"

                  I remember a time when I was working along side a female sysadmin. The two of us always got along and worked very well together. One day we had a dispute, I wish I could remember what it was about but it's not that important, she got extremely upset and accused me of being sexist and hating women etc. I would have been very open to the possibility that I said something which was perceived as sexist completely unintentionally, but fortunately for me the argument was made in front of several witnesses, some of them women, and they didn't understand where she was coming from. Now that may be her past experiences causing biases which were transferred to me, perhaps she worked with a lot of chauvinists and/or misogynists and something about our argument worked as a trigger, but I submit that as one small piece of anecdotal evidence that men are being thrown under the bus in a huge way and the "movement" is becoming quite hypocritical without even realizing it. Publicly accusing someone of gender bias in the workplace is a very big deal.

            • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @07:02PM (#40706017) Journal

              if a woman feels uncomfortable with something men are doing, she's automatically "uptight" or "frigid."

              ...and if a guy is uncomfortable with something women (or even other men) are doing, he usually gets called a "prude", or "uptight", or worse.

              So if your point was that women have it oh-so-bad, and that's the worst you can come up with, then you're in for a big letdown out here in the real world, sister.

              I daresay that it's quite the opposite these days. If a woman is "uncomfortable with something men are doing", one word to the HR department of any large company will see half of those men either fired or damned close to it.

               

              Professionalism dictates keeping this sort of thing out of the workplace.

              Please tell me where you work, so I don't ever accidentally apply there.

              I know female sysadmins who can crank out jokes dirtier than any sailor can think up. We used to keep a rubber chicken hanging from a cable tray by a noose made of Cat6e. We went out of our way to come up with the most evil and funny descriptions of our incompetent (then)head of IT. The difference is that we kept it in the server room, and away from the serious bits.

              In the real world of insane work hours and incredible pressure, any IT manager who insists on worshipping "Professionalism" usually finds him/her/itself having to explain high turnover/burn-out/wastage rates, and is quickly blackballed in the local professional network.

              Sure, some women may be able to laugh it off for the sake of appearing to be a "team player" and putting the men on the team at ease, but honestly I can't imagine very many of us are actually truly completely comfortable with the idea of people we aren't reasonably intimate with commenting on our chests.

              The cure is simple - comment on penises. I mean, shit - it's way the hell easier to joke about "shortcomings" than it is about "mosquito bites". I guarantee that shit will stop in a heartbeat if you fought fire with fire.

              Life is rough - wear a helmet and remember to aim for the torso.

              As long as you don't have an officemate who's constantly showering you with unsolicited innuendo.

              There's a vast diff between the rare and occasional goof and "constantly showering". If you're seeing the latter, go to HR or get a lawyer. If you're seeing the former, then stand up for yourself and hit back, or ignore it. If you can't tell the difference, then the problem is yours, and you're making it everyone else's problem at the same time. So stop doing that, or I guarantee that your career will eventually crash and burn.

        • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:56PM (#40704791)

          And yet your (and possibly other's) "tiny female brain" can't cope with this utterly insignificant and arguably inconsequential action which is bordering on a joke and blow this out of all proportions creating a fuss that is unworthy of anyone's time.

          If the tables were reversed and a female programmer declared a function called insanely_large_dick() do you think any males would throw up their hands in the air and quit their jobs in IT because they felt threatened and/or harassed? There's nothing worse than having a super sensitive demographic (and I'm not just referring to females here) and having everyone else tip-toeing around them so as not to possibly offend them in any way shape or form. Grow some balls, get on with life and stop being offended by everything.

        • by arthurpaliden (939626) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:23PM (#40704985)
          Had a Japanese VP who was in charge of industrial software design at a very famous company tell me, while in a meeting with myself and my staff, that women did not have the brains to be programmers. I was very proud that the two lead programmers did not jump up an beat the crap out of him right there and then. He thought they were secretaries taking minutes of the meeting.
        • by exomondo (1725132) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:51PM (#40705257)

          It's sexist in that if a very talented woman programmer was going around hacking in the kernel and found it, it might make her feel uncomfortable.

          Bullshit, what's sexist here is that you immediately assume it was a male who wrote it. Oh shit let's get all PC and outlaw codes like 0xDEADBEEF for fear of offending vegans...under the assumption that only non-vegans would ever use such a thing.

        • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Zaelath (2588189) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @06:01PM (#40705373)

          I prescribe a teaspoon of cement and harden the fuck up.

          If an octal gag is enough to keep brilliant women out of engineering, then it's probably a good thing. They couldn't cope with the stress.

        • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <almafuerte@@@gmail...com> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @06:06PM (#40705425)

          See, that's my problem. Your right to work in the computer industry is exactly equivalent to my write to say and write whatever the fuck I want.

          I don't believe in equality, not gender equality, not race equality, nor any other kind of equality. I believe in something EVEN better: Individuality. Anyone can do whatever the fuck they want, as long as you don't step on anybody's rights. How about that? Implementing laws to make sure that everybody is equal is killing individuality, and I'm totally against that. You think that in order to get your right to work, I must forfeit my right to free speech?

          If you are so sensitive that you can't handle a little comment on your source code, then you are not really as prepared for the job (or life) as you think you are.

          If you really want to be equal, you shouldn't start by asking for special privileges. If you might feel "uncomfortable" because of something perfectly natural, then you are not fitted to work with a bunch of people. You can't be equal.

          I definitely want more female coders, and more females in the workplace. But I don't want fragile stereotypes who can't handle reality.

          I want mature and strong woman who are not scared away by a stupid sexual reference in a piece of code.

    • Re:0xB16B00B5 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jythie (914043) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:43PM (#40702975)
      Yeah, but I doubt anyone is under the dilution that the person who slipped it in ment male or gender neutral breasts. Technicalities and what-ifs do not change what the person likely intended and the way it is read by, well, pretty much everyone.
    • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:45PM (#40703019)

      For statistical reasons woman boobs are bigger then mens.

      • by Dogtanian (588974) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:01PM (#40703235) Homepage

        For statistical reasons woman boobs are bigger then mens.

        No, women's breasts are (statistically) larger than mens for evolutionary reasons, not statistical ones. In fact, I doubt that statistics themselves have much effect on breast size at all!:-)

        What a boob you made of that... (^_^)

        • by hawguy (1600213) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:08PM (#40703343)

          For statistical reasons woman boobs are bigger then mens.

          No, women's breasts are (statistically) larger than mens for evolutionary reasons, not statistical ones. In fact, I doubt that statistics themselves have much effect on breast size at all!:-)
           

          Statistically, some women obtain big boobs because they believe that statistically speaking, they will be able to attract a better mate with larger boobs.

          So an argument could be made that, on average, women's boobs are statistically larger due to statistics.

          • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:02PM (#40704121)

            So an argument could be made that, on average, women's boobs are statistically larger due to statistics.

            I beg to differ. Most women 'obtain' big boobs believing they will attract a better mate. But surveys have been constantly reporting that the ideal breast size is 'C' in terms of aesthetic appeal. Women who get larger breasts than that are appealing to a smaller subset of mates, and there's no correlation between a man's reproductive success and his only mating with women of unusual breast size.

            I'd argue even that the reverse is true, since as far as I can tell, overly-large breasts make men stupid, which is not an evolutionarily advantageous trait...

    • by karlandtanya (601084) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:57PM (#40703187)

      Of course "boobs" is specific to women. The homologous structures in men are known as "moobs".

      There is no hex number that looks similar to "Moobs".
      From now on, all numbers must be represented as Unicode (it would not be politically correct to favor the character set used by any specific culture) where each 16-bit element specifies the text representation of the numerical value desired.

      Who do you blame when it costs $75.00 to fill your gas tank? 71077345

    • by kimvette (919543) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:00PM (#40703225) Homepage Journal

      That would be B16M00B5 so it doesn't work in hexadecimal.

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:33PM (#40702783)

    Seems like just yesterday it was just immature. Soon even the word "sexist" will be sexist.

    • by Teppy (105859) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:15PM (#40703443) Homepage
      Oh, there's a lot of things that are now considered insensitive that didn't used to be. For instance "idiot" and "imbecile" used to be clinically accepted ways of describing people with low IQ (0-25, and of 26-50 respectively.)

      My sister works in the mental health field and was horrified when I used the word "retarded" to describe a certain child. I believe the accepted term is now "differently tarded."
    • by XiaoMing (1574363) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:22PM (#40703545)

      Soon even the word "sexist" will be sexist.

      Or vagina!

    • by Sebastopol (189276) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:25PM (#40703587) Homepage

      "seems like yesterday"

      That's called growing up.

      You have a little more to do, there, son.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:35PM (#40702805)

    Ballmer's got 'em, after all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:35PM (#40702809)

    but Microsoft, the "Linux blogger" would have had a big laugh and thought how clever those Linux chaps are.

  • Well... (Score:4, Funny)

    by pinkj (521155) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:35PM (#40702827)
    Obviously they put big boobs in to swell the kernel.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:37PM (#40702859)

    Just check the Linux kernel swear count: http://www.vidarholen.net/contents/wordcount/

  • Babecafe (Score:4, Interesting)

    by unts (754160) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:37PM (#40702869) Homepage Journal

    0xBABECAFE or 0xDEADBEEF are both slightly less controversial.

  • HyPerv? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Speare (84249) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:40PM (#40702921) Homepage Journal

    So now we will be calling it "Hy Perv"?

    As with all of the feminist jokes, the punchline is: That's not funny!

  • by tapspace (2368622) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:41PM (#40702947)

    Hey, we're supposed to be the good guys. Not the ones overreacting and lobbing thin accusations of "sexism". Who cares if it was Big Boobs? Everyone loves boobs! I like them all sizes :) Honestly, it's a magic number. Does it really matter?

  • Oh come on. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jerpyro (926071) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:42PM (#40702957)

    Ok, what Microsoft-hating oversensitive soapbox preacher thought "Hmm, Microsoft must be trying to sabotage our pristine kernel!!1!"

    Programmers leave inside jokes. Usually in comments, sometimes variable names, and sometimes in arbitrary values. I'm sure more than one group had a good laugh about the thing on both sides of the wall. If I had a nickel for every time I saw a comment or variable name that could be interpreted as 'offensive' I'd be a rich man. As long as it's not directed at someone (I've seen those too) or hate speech of some kind, just let it go.

    One of the reasons that I enjoy programming is because you can embed little jokes into the source without end users noticing -- they're like easter eggs.

    Aaaand now feel free to wreck my karma, mods :-p

    • Re:Oh come on. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Cro Magnon (467622) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:54PM (#40703153) Homepage Journal

      Just don't let the easter egg "hatch". I heard of someone at my job who included some text that shouldn't have been displayed in a section of code that WAS commented out - until someone else was working on it, uncommented the code, and saw his "funny" on the screen. The boss was not very amused.

      • Re:Oh come on. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Darinbob (1142669) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:53PM (#40704005)

        One product I worked on had an easter egg; just a picture of the development team (before my time) showing up on screen if you held down certain keys while booting. Sometime later a customer found this (after my time). The company had new owners and the new German management were not fun loving, and demanded it be removed. This was an older product still being maintained but with many original engineers being long gone.

        However none of the current engineers for the front end UI board knew anything about this stuff or how it got in there. They did a throrough code search and could not find anything that contained that picture or triggered it. None of the code that monitored the key presses seemed to do anything unusual and the boot up code was straight forward. Eventually someone found it after chasing down rumors. Turns out the easter egg was in a back end data processing board and the image was stored in ROM, key presses were monitored on the buss I think. Now the snag was that they couldn't just put in a software patch to fix this. I don't remember the details here but I think they had to leave the image in ROM but had some sort of firmware fix so that it wouldn't be activated.

  • by Sqr(twg) (2126054) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:48PM (#40703069)

    #define HV_LINUX_GUEST_ID_HI 2976579765 /* That better, fuckers? */

  • Not getting it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:51PM (#40703107)
    I think what I find depressing.... in these discussions you see many people pointing out that they don't get it, they don't understand why it is a big deal, etc...

    You know what, that is a great thing to say, a great thing to admit. Stop there.

    I think what is infuriating to many is people start with "I don't understand" then proceed to "therefor it doesn't matter". Telling people how they should feel about things that you can't understand is the hight of arrogance. Maybe instead these people should take some time and listen, and just accept that other people are impacted by things like this and just because you are not doesn't mean they shouldn't be.

    You don't get it. Fine. Then don't tell other people how to feel. Women don't need your big smart male brain to explain how their poor womanly one should react to things that relate to experiences men don't have.
    • by thesandtiger (819476) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:15PM (#40703445)

      The thing is, this is so far down on the list of "awful sexist shit that goes on in tech circles" that it really doesn't matter. Stupid and immature variable names referring to (presumably female in this case) anatomy are at best a symptom of the larger problem of sexism, but not a problem themselves.

      I am a woman, I worked in tech (and now work in research doing tech) and I experienced quite a bit of sexism at a level that most any man, we're hey to hear it said about a woman he cared for, would have lost his fucking mind. THAT is a problem.

      But an outcry about stupid variable names just gives people who want to deny sexism pervades tech a convenient way to point at something incredibly stupid and say "they're just over sensitive, they got mad about a dumb variable name" and actually seem persuasive because it is such a trivial and stupid thing to get mad about, relatively.

    • by MMC Monster (602931) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:34PM (#40703733)

      People are sometimes too sensitive over things.

      It's just a term. As far as sexist terms, it's not in the top 5.

      Most people here (which is a representative group similar to the people that read Linux source code) are not particularly insulted by this term getting into the source. Therefore, if an individual has a problem with the term, it's their problem.

      Frankly, I think more people here would have been upset if "Microsoft rules, Linus is an ass" made it into the Linux source as a comment.

    • by MBGMorden (803437) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:42PM (#40703847)

      I can respect your opinion, but to a large degree I think we as a society have just gotten too sensitive. That's not a problem that is inherent to women, men, old people, young people, or any particular ethnic group. Its a problem we have all developed.

      Yes, it was a childish and stupid prank. Its not something I'd do and I'd wonder about the maturity level of anyone that would stick such rubbish into a piece of code.

      That said, it's gotten to the point lately where it seems that the primary occupation of people is to go around looking for things to be offended by. People are so insecure and unhappy in their lives that they need to generate controversy on a regular interval. Every action anyone takes is carefully scrutinized for any hint of content that is currently accepted as "offensive" because no opportunity to be offended can be passed up.

      Whether its claiming that gay marriage is an affront to nature or "BIG BOOBS" slipping into the kernel as an immature joke, just learn to ignore something if you don't like it folks.

  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:54PM (#40703157)
    ...this wouldn't even make the top 99% on my list.
  • Bad title (Score:5, Funny)

    by SolitaryMan (538416) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:06PM (#40703309) Homepage Journal
    Slashdot editors, the title for this post should read "Microsoft Apologized for Big Boobs". Work better next time.
  • Sexism in tech (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thesandtiger (819476) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:07PM (#40703319)

    There is enough real sexism that runs throughout tech circles that bringing up stupid things like this does nothing but give deniers more ammunition to point to when dismissing any charges of sexism as stupid.

    I am a woman, I used to work in tech (and now do tech for research academics), and I have experienced a pretty large amount of sexist behavior in my career, from the merely annoying ("you must be the secretary" "no, I'm the team lead") to the work affecting and frustrating ("let me condescendingly explain this incredibly simple thing to you and completely tune out anything you're saying because girls are dumb") to the incredibly fucking horrifying ("you should be raped for doing this that way" "stupid cunt" - yes, both said by people I was collaborating with, and the repercussions to them weren't nearly as severe as they should have been for such a transgression).

    A variable named big boobs is so not even on my fucking radar and is so fucking stupid to even mention that I'm actually kind of pissed so anyone even mentioned it. It's dumb and childish to put it in in the first place, but who cares?

  • by erdos-bacon sandwich (2676113) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:10PM (#40703359)
    A spokesman for Microsoft has issued the following statement in response: "or vagina"
  • If I were Linus T. (Score:4, Informative)

    by instagib (879544) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:19PM (#40703511)

    ... I would kick Matthew G. out of kernel development for being a butthurt nitpicking lamer.

  • by Simonetta (207550) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:46PM (#40703909)

    According to the universal rules and guidelines set forth at the Aisaiso Women's Convention, any word, phrase, gesture, or implied version of the same can be construted to be a firing offense for any male in any job in any company, if any woman, anywhere, decides it to be 'sexist'. All she has to do is say that " it's sexist, because I say so..." and the man MUST be fired and his job be given to the woman as compensation for his crimes against humanity (women).

    Show any woman who can explain to me in a five hundred words or less what exactly a 32-bit number is and what it is used for, and I will seriously consider her argument that use of the character string '0xB16B00B5' could be considered to somehow be offensive.

    Until then, from one girl to another, 'Sister, sit down, and shut the fuck up...'

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