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Weekly Industry Rounddown - Week Ending Friday, November 7

Our weekly sideways and irreverent look at computing life

SCO'S BUSINESS STRATEGY NOW OFFICIALLY MURKIER THAN MUD

In the past week, SCO has offered to pay users to switch from Linux to other operating systems, even if they're no Unix-based. Meanwhile, it was revealed that SCO's legal team could make out as well if SCO was acquired as if they won their legal case, if not better. In response, the ever alert Wall Street community has declared SCO the best thing since Standard Oil, and estimates that revenues for the shell company with no real products will exceed "a gazillion bazillion dollars" this year.

RFID CHIPS NOW TO BE IMPLANTED IN CHILDREN AT BIRTH

The Total Consumer Awareness Project this week anounced that in a move to drastically increase available data regarding consumer spending preferences, all future consumers will be implanted with RFID chips, so that their lifelong spending habits can be tracked. This will avoid the expense of having to install the chips in individual products, and is also expected to lead to the rise of the anti-Christ. Project officials called this an unfortunate but acceptable consequence.

MICROSOFT SWITCHES TACTICS AGAIN, CALLS USERS "VIRUS SLUTS"

Recently, Microsoft has attempted to deflect criticism of their fairly pourous operating system and applications by advising Windows owners to use better firewalls. Now the Beast from Redmond has taken the "blame the user" tactic one step further, calling Windows purchasers "sluts, who are just asking to be infected." According to inside sources, "Windows owners want viruses. Everything about them, from the way they surf to the e-mail they send, is begging for viruses. They deserve it."

USER RECEIVES ACTUAL CONTENT IN E-MAIL

This week, Paul Ansen of Dayton, Ohio received the first non-spam e-mail on his Hotmail account in nearly three years. "At first, I thought it was another Viagra ad that had snuck past SpamAssasin, or maybe a Nigerian confidence letter that MailGuardian had missed, but it turned out to be a note from my Aunt Polly asking us if we wanted to come to dinner next Friday."

Representatives of the Unsolicited Commercial e-Mail industry pledged to do better in the future, and ensure a content-free inbox for Mr. Ansen from now on.

IBM ANNOUNCES BREAKTHROUGH IN BLACK-HOLE COMPUTING

Running up against physics limits in their quest to beat Moore's Law, IBM announced this week a new paradigm for increasing computing power, the black hole. "By placing the user deep inside a black hole, time dilation slows time down in their frame of reference, allowing us to make even a PC/AT with 1MB of RAM run as fast as a Cray, from their point of view."

Asked about the enormous tidal forces that have ripped every beta test customer into grape jelly, IBM indicated that this would be mentioned in the release notes.

SUN GOES SUPERNOVA, SCIENTISTS PREDICT AWESOME AURORA

Capping a string of spectacular solar emissions that have left much of the continental US with glowing night skies, the sun went supernova 8 minutes ago. Scientists at the US Naval Observatory predict that the resulting aurora will be the best to date. According to an observatory press release, viewers throughout North America can expect several milliseconds of dazzling colors and lights before the searing fireball turns the Earth into a rapidly expanding spray of atoms. The press release goes on to remind viewers not to look directly into the supernova.

More Stories By James Turner

James Turner is president of Black Bear Software. James was formerly senior editor of Linux.SYS-CON.com and has also written for Wired, Christian Science Monitor, and other publications. He is currently working on his third book on open source development.

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