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lynx-dev Re: Hardly Har Har! (fwd)

From: Laura Eaves
Subject: lynx-dev Re: Hardly Har Har! (fwd)
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 14:15:33 -0400 (EDT)

More M$ jokes...
> Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 23:13:20 -0700 (PDT)
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 21:49:43 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Robert S. Ringwald <address@hidden>
> To: Undisclosed recipients:  ;
> Subject: Hardly Har Har!
> **********************  From: address@hidden  **********************
> Another Microsoft monopolistic practice
>  REDMOND, WA--In what CEO Bill Gates called "an unfortunate but 
>  necessary step to protect our intellectual property from theft and 
>  exploitation by competitors," the Microsoft Corporation patented 
>  the numbers one and zero Monday.  
>  With the patent, Microsoft's rivals are prohibited from manufacturing 
>  or selling products containing zeroes and ones--the mathematical 
>  building blocks of all computer languages and programs--unless a 
>  royalty fee of 10 cents per digit used is paid to the software giant.  
>  "Microsoft has been using the binary system of ones and zeroes 
>  ever since its inception in 1975," Gates told reporters. "For years, 
>  in the interest of the overall health of the computer industry, we 
>  permitted the free and unfettered use of our proprietary numeric 
>  systems. However, changing marketplace conditions and the 
>  increasingly predatory practices of certain competitors now leave 
>  us with no choice but to seek compensation for the use of our 
>  numerals."  
>  A number of major Silicon Valley players, including Apple 
>  Computer, Netscape and Sun Microsystems, said they will 
>  challenge the Microsoft patent as monopolistic and anti-
>  competitive, claiming that the 10-cent-per-digit licensing fee would 
>  bankrupt them instantly.  
>  "While, technically, Java is a complex system of algorithms used to 
>  create a platform-independent programming environment, it is, at 
>  its core, just a string of trillions of ones and zeroes," said Sun 
>  Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, whose company created the 
>  Java programming environment used in many Internet applications. 
>  "The licensing fees we'd have to pay Microsoft every day would be 
>  approximately 327,000 times the total net worth of this company."  
>  "If this patent holds up in federal court, Apple will have no choice but 
>  to convert to analog," said Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs, "and I 
>  have serious doubts whether this company would be able to remain 
>  competitive selling pedal-operated computers running software off 
>  vinyl LPs."  
>  As a result of the Microsoft patent, many other companies have 
>  begun radically revising their product lines: Database manufacturer 
>  Oracle has embarked on a crash program to develop "an abacus 
>  for the next millennium." Novell, whose communications and 
>  networking systems are also subject to Microsoft licensing fees, is 
>  working with top animal trainers on a chimpanzee-based message-
>  transmission system. Hewlett-Packard is developing a 
>  revolutionary new steam-powered printer.  
>  Despite the swarm of protest, Gates is standing his ground, 
>  maintaining that ones and zeroes are the undisputed property of 
>  Microsoft.  
>  "We will vigorously enforce our patents of these numbers, as they 
>  are legally ours," Gates said. "Among Microsoft's vast historical 
>  archives are Sanskrit cuneiform tablets from 1800 B.C. clearly 
>  showing ones and a symbol known as 'sunya,' or nothing. We also 
>  own: papyrus scrolls written by Pythagoras himself in which he 
>  explains the idea of singular notation, or 'one'; early tracts by 
>  Mohammed ibn Musa al Kwarizimi explaining the concept of al-sifr, 
>  or 'the cipher'; original mathematical manuscripts by Heisenberg, 
>  Einstein and Planck; and a signed first-edition copy of Jean-Paul 
>  Sartre's Being And Nothingness. Should the need arise, Microsoft 
>  will have no difficulty proving to the Justice Department or anyone 
>  else that we own the rights to these numbers."  
>  Added Gates: "My salary also has lots of zeroes. I'm the richest 
>  man in the world."  
>  According to experts, the full ramifications of Microsoft's patenting 
>  of one and zero have yet to be realized.  
>  "Because all integers and natural numbers derive from one and 
>  zero, Microsoft may, by extension, lay claim to ownership of all 
>  mathematics and logic systems, including Euclidean geometry, 
>  pulleys and levers, gravity, and the basic Newtonian principles of 
>  motion, as well as the concepts of existence and nonexistence," 
>  Yale University theoretical mathematics professor J. Edmund 
>  Lattimore said. "In other words, pretty much everything."  
>  Lattimore said that the only mathematical constructs of which 
>  Microsoft may not be able to claim ownership are infinity and 
>  transcendental numbers like pi. Microsoft lawyers are expected to 
>  file liens on infinity and pi this week.  
>  Microsoft has not yet announced whether it will charge a user fee to 
>  individuals who wish to engage in such mathematically rooted 
>  motions as walking, stretching and smiling.  
>  In an address beamed live to billions of people around the globe 
>  Monday, Gates expressed confidence that his company's latest 
>  move will, ultimately, benefit all humankind.  
>  "Think of this as a partnership," Gates said. "Like the ones and 
>  zeroes of the binary code itself, we must all work together to make 
>  the promise of the computer revolution a reality. As the world's 
>  richest, most powerful software company, Microsoft is number one. 
>  And you, the millions of consumers who use our products, are the  
>  zeroes." 
> ************************************************************************
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> send an e-mail to:  
>                            address@hidden
> and beg a lot...  

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