We Kid Because We Love (12/19/01)
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And this week's "Too Bizarre Not To Mention" plot development comes to you courtesy of faithful viewer Mark, who spotted a Newsbytes article that ponders a possible connection between Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network and Microsoft. Whoa, there, Hubert-- don't go flying off half-cocked. Regular viewers know that we're always the first to believe the worst about the Redmond Giant, but even we wouldn't go so far as to propose even jokingly that Microsoft is somehow tied in with Al Qaeda. (If you're a fan of irreverent humor, pretend we just added something about how only real evil gets to buddy up to Microsoft. If you're offended by such stuff, you never saw it here. Please move on. Now.)

No, what we're talking about is a suspected Al Qaeda member's claim that "Islamic militants infiltrated Microsoft and sabotaged the company's Windows XP operating system." As the story goes, Al Qaeda members "posing as computer programmers" (we suspect that such posing is rampant in Microsoft's OS department) got jobs in Redmond and pumped XP full of "trojans, trapdoors, and bugs." As Velma from Scooby Doo would say, "Jinkies!"

For our money, Microsoft was wise to write the whole claim off as "bizarre and unsubstantiated," because after all, if Al Qaeda did manage to stick a whole slew of bugs into Windows, really, who would ever notice the difference? Is there a distinguishable difference between bugs introduced by a ruthless terrorist organization bent on bringing the world to its knees and bugs introduced by a patriotic, red-blooded American software company bent on bringing the world to its knees? Then again, every time there's a disaster somewhere, a slew of terrorist groups rush to claim responsibility for the act; our only surprise is that it took this long for one of them to claim responsibility for Windows.

And that concludes this edition of "Cheap Shot Theater." (Look, if you're going to give us an opening that huge, of course we're going to take it. We're only human.)


 
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The above scene was taken from the 12/19/01 episode:

December 19, 2001: Owners of combo-less 550 and 667 MHz PowerBooks will soon have an upgrade path available. Meanwhile, Motorola lays off yet another 9,400 employees, mostly from its chipmaking business, and an arrested terrorist claims that Al Qaeda infiltrated Microsoft to introduce bugs into Windows XP...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3462: The Post-Purchase Combo (12/19/01)   We know, we know... fate is a cruel mistress. After all, when you sold your left kidney to buy that shiny new 667 MHz PowerBook G4 three weeks ago, how were you to know that Apple planned to release two significant product revisions in the space of two short months?...

  • 3463: My, Those Slips Are Pink (12/19/01)   What can we say? The only appropriate response is a Charlie Brownian sigh of disillusionment. The startling repeatability of Motorola's cost-cutting layoffs used to be at least sort of funny (well, as funny as anything involving massive job loss can ever be), but now we have to assume that the company has officially plunged into a state of hardcore pitifulness so dense that not even mirth can escape...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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