Fact-based news and analysis about Information Technology is so last century. Iron Tulips offers the better story.

Friday, March 31, 2006

FBI Agents Raid Google, Confiscate Gmail Accounts

As a response to the recent revelation that nearly 400 FBI agents in the New York City office do not have individual email accounts, a group of G-men swarmed unannounced into the Googleplex in Mountain View, California this morning. When they left, Google was missing 10,000 invitations to start a Gmail web-based email account.

“I’ve never seen FBI agents look so desperate in all my life,” said Google co-founder Sergey Brin who just happened to be dressed in drag for Google's annual "Queen for a Day" competition. “I mean, last month when they came in here looking for child porn links, at least they said ‘Please.’ This group was crazed.”

“One of them did that jump-and-roll thing into my cubicle,” said a Google employee who goes by the hacker handle Silicon Steroid “She shoved a revolver into my face and yelled, ‘Step away from the computer and nobody will get hurt.’ Then she proceeded to click over and over on the ‘Invite to Gmail’ link. She reminded me of a starving monkey in some grad student’s psychology experiment, pushing the button over and over again hoping for a reward morsel.”

An FBI representative in Washington was unavailable for comment, but the janitor said the spokesperson was trying to sort out why the WiFi was going down every time somebody in the office used a coreless phone.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

European Union to Microsoft: Sit, Roll Over, Beg

A cabal of European Union bureaucrats today announced ambitious plans to make Microsoft comply with EU antitrust concerns over the eventual arrival of Windows Vista, now scheduled to ship sometime in the first decade of the 21st Century.

“We will engage Microsoft in a variety of mandatory anti-competitive exercises,” said EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes. “By participating in these exercises, Microsoft will be able to fine-tune its corporate psyche and become responsive to EU dictates.”

Speaking with perfect English diction that would put the average American to shame, the Dutch Ms. Kroes said the first exercise would be “similar to teaching a dog to sit.” An EU bureaucrat will call Redmond on a random day and order all shipments of Microsoft goods inside the European Union to halt for a random period of time. “This will continue until Microsoft is compliant on command.”

Once Microsoft learns to sit, the EU competition commission will move to “Roll Over,” in which Microsoft will be taught to voluntarily admit to previously undisclosed violations of EU policy, including EU policies not yet written. The third step is “Beg,” in which Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be trained to kneel before the European Union Parliament and request the right to continue to do business in the EU.

“We believe these measures are for Microsoft’s own good,” said Ms. Kroes, who got the idea for Sit, Roll Over, and Beg from observing Bill Gates accept an honorary doctorate when she was chairperson of Nijenrode University. “He grabbed at that diploma in a most uncivilized manner. I pulled it back, and gave him curt verbal commands to help him accept the award more graciously. If I can paper-train the founder, I think I can handle the rest of the company.”

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lineups Around the Block as AutoCAD 2007 Unveiled

CAD retailers from Round Rock TX to Kent WA swung wide their doors early today as Autodesk launched “AutoCAD 2007: The 3D Edition” precisely one minute past midnight. Although rain was heavy in both states, determined users stood six-deep around the block waving happily at the bright lights of the news cameras.

As the doors swung open, those at the front of the line jumped out of their Mountain Equipment Co-op waterproof sleeping bags and into the warm embrace of store employees. They jumped back again as employees pulled out sharp new box cutters and got to work.

Large notices in red type were bandaged onto the cases of AutoCAD 2007, warning dealerships against opening boxes prior to 12:01am—or face losing dealer contracts come January 31. Employees sliced through the warning signs, the cardboard tops, the individual cases and sometimes right into the CDs.

Most users quickly made their $3,999.00 purchase and ran for their Ford Fairlanes and Mercury Comets, eager to load the software onto their aging desktop computers. Others, however, complained to the watching news cameras that dealers were illegally bundling the software with “required” workstation hardware.

Gazing gleefully upon a row of TV’s reporting the pandemonium, Autodesk representative Walker John enthused, “This is the most successful launch ever! No matter about the sliced CDs; they barely cost anything.” John promised to investigate the bundling complaints, but noted that AutoCAD 2007’s 3D capability is useless without expensive hardware.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

XYZ CAD Corp. Takes the Lead in Announcing Its Leadership

XYZ CAD Corp, the leader in niche-oriented CAD software in ten important US states and several reputable countries around the world, took the lead in announcing today that leading customers have adopted XYZ CAD Corp.'s market-leading software.

President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of XYZ CAD Corp, William Slinkfeet III, ruminated on his company's lead in issuing today's press release. "I think much of our industry-leading success is right in line with my automobile's bumper sticker, which I rather like. It reads, 'You are following the leader'. Leadership is a state of being," he continued, "and being a leader is the state we are in."

XYZ CAD Corp's leadership is part of a potential $9.898 billion-a-year industry, as estimated by the software industry’s leading analysis group, CrockAnalysis, Inc. "We see XYZ CAD Corp. as a leader in what will become a $51.453 billion-a-year industry within the decade," enthused JimBob Crock, president, spokesperson, and head of public relations for CrockAnalysis. "We look forward to providing this leading company with many more leading industry estimates."

"We know we can trust CrockAnalysis Inc.'s estimates, " added Slinkfeet, "because they have come up with very large numbers for other leading industry segments. Their numbers are so accurate, I would almost call them routine. Numbers that large can only be accurate, and we pay them a lot to generate them. Plus, they are an industry leader, and it is important for industry leaders to be associated with other leaders."

"The more accurate the number, the more difficult it is to generate," nodded Crock. "Although many of our competitors content themselves with one decimal place of accuracy, we are leaders and so we are able to charge clients more for our industry-leading estimates and their 2- and 3-decimal places."

"We are proud to be leaders in our association with the leading analysis firm," concluded Slinkfeet, "a firm which leads the industry in decimal places."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Web 2.0 Issues First Service Pack

Web 2.0, the nebulous buzzword used to describe new web-based applications, ideas, and for-profit conferences, today issued its first Service Pack.

Installs of the Service Pack, code named O’Reilly, started popping up in web sites across the globe simultaneously this morning, primarily in trendy but useless web sites that appeal to 13-year-olds. An Iron Tulips analysis of the Service Pack shows that it deletes unused script tags mindlessly copied by all those me-too web developers who had been “borrowing” code rather than writing their own.

A Microsoft spokesman said that users of Microsoft Web Services software should not worry about the Web 2.0 Service Pack, since “we’re really not part of that whole AJAX SOAP scene anyway.”

Monday, March 20, 2006

Try the Cowboy Leg and the J&J Living the Bowel

Sometimes Iron Tulips must report 'em as we see 'em, instead of the other way around. What happens when a Chinese restaurant trusts an online translation service to make the menu bilingual? We become informed of such succulent dishes as Cowboy Leg, J&J Living the Bowel, and Every Form Rape. Oh, and do try the Fried Beef Rice with Scorn, they say it is to die for.

Rating: Five tulips for high ROTFLMAO factor. (Warning, contains instances of strong vulgarities used by huge mistake.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Crybaby Telco CEO's Take Their Internet and Go Home

The CEO’s of five large telecommunications companies today got tired of everybody using "their Internet," so they picked it up and went home. The rest of the Internet routed around the small gap and nobody noticed.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Mail Room Clerk Discovery: Novell Executives Missing for Two Years

A curious mail room employee at Novell followed a hunch today and discovered that the entire senior management of the formerly large networking firm has been gone for approximate two years.

“For a long time the bin labeled ‘Executive Suite’ just kept getting fuller and fuller,” said a bewildered Bradley Petit-Cerveau. “Finally I decided to leave my post at the sorting table and find out why mail for our company’s executives was piling up.”

What Petit-Cerveau discovered was floor after floor of abandonded offices at Novell’s Waltham, Massachusetts headquarters. “They all just left? How weird is that?”

Petit-Cerveau, now acting CEO, is now pouring through company records to find members of the board of directors who might still be interested in the company.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Anagram Scientist Solves Google Mantra Mystery

A scientist from the Anagram Institute of Slobovkia announced today that Google's "Don't Be Evil" mantra is actually a clever ruse hiding the company's real intention.

"When you run an anagram query on "evil" you quickly discover "live" and "veil," said Dr. Evan Notsoswiftksi. "It is a principle of anagram science that the deviant mind hides true intention by shuffling it through an anagrammatic linguistic filter. The Google motto “Don’t be evil” thus becomes ‘Do be live and veil.’ It is all very insidious and deviant. Cozying up to the Chinese government is only the first step. Of course the name ‘Levi’ also pops up, but we haven’t figured that part out yet.”

When pressed to explain further, Dr. Notsoswiftski’s monitor at the Prague Institute for the Insane ended the interview, saying it was time to administer the good doctor’s afternoon sedative.

UPDATE: March 13, 2006: Dr. Notsoswiftski has sent an update:

"I now see further patterns emerging from my research into the true meaning of 'Don't Be Evil.' Phrases such as 'Bend Evil To,' 'Be Vend I Lot,' 'Bent Do Evil' and 'No Evil Debt' hold the keys, I believe.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Mismanged Brain Dump Blamed for Six Versions of Vista

A mismanaged brain dump at Microsoft is being blamed for the decision to ship six or more versions of Vista, the next generation of Microsoft Windows.

“Brain dump” is the process by which programmers quickly transfer massive amounts of information to their colleagues and management. The intent is to balance the knowledge load among team members.

Brain dumps started at Microsoft when the company was still located in Albuquerque, N.M. and originally involved the use of peyote, S-100 motherboards, and direct cortical stimulus. After moving to the Seattle area, the process was eventually refined to remove the occasionally less-than-accurate results obtained by using native pharmaceuticals. “When we found out the landscape crew was spraying the mushrooms on the lawn, that was the last straw,” a Microsoft employee confided to Iron Tulips in 1992. “But by then the ‘486 [Intel 80486 CPU] was powerful enough, we didn’t need the extra pharma coaxing.”

In the incident that led to multiple distributions of Vista, a key Windows programmer was strapped into the brain dump chair by colleagues, who then decided to drive across Lake Washington to Seattle for pizza during the procedure. Due to high winds, the floating bridge that connects Seattle to Redmond was closed after they had crossed over. By the time the programmers returned and remembered their colleague, the brain dump procedure had rebooted his brain six times. Each procedure delivered a slightly different version of Vista. “Since we can’t tell one from the other without reading a million lines of code, we just have to release all six versions,” explained a rather testy Steve Balmer, Microsoft CEO. “Just wait until I get my hands on that chair.”

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

AT&T Buys Google

AT&T completed its spectacular comeback as a 1960’s style conglomerate today with its all-cash purchase of Google. “We wanted Google Chat to round out our next-generation telecommunications line,” said Jim Bob “Bucky” Rambo, AT&T vice-president for acquisitions. “All that search stuff is just extra slop in the trough, if you know what I mean.”

Wall Street analysts reacted positively to the move, saying they were glad to be rid of those prima donnas running Google. “Now we’ll get real guidance, not any of that Left Coast BS,” said Merrill Lynch analyst Chatsworth P.W. Dillinghamtonshire. “This is a stock we can churn like butter.”

According to insiders familiar with the deal, AT&T will convert the famed Google search engine into a replacement for the local phone book, and fire most of the existing Google staff. "They may make an offer to get the original Google chef [Charlie Ayers] to come back," one wag noted. "They say he makes a mean pizza."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Project Origami--It Really is Origami

Today Intel took the wraps off Project Origami, a mini-tablet device recently found grinding its way through the Internet rumor mill. “We call it Origami because it really is made of paper,” a chagrined Intel executive explained when there was no fancy computer device to show for all the rumormonging. “See, if you fold it just so, it looks like an itty bitty computer.”

When challenged by an irate member of the press to stop making excuses and show a real computer, the Intelite took the defensive. “You know, we’ve been taking it on the chin recently, what with our lower stock price and that damn AMD. Just cut us some slack, OK?”

Carol Bartz Victory Lap to End at Statuary Hall

IronTulips has learned that the current Carol Bartz victory lap will end April 30 in Washington, DC with the unveiling of a new statue in Statuary Hall at the US Capitol.

Bartz announced late in 2005 that she would step down as Autodesk CEO after 14 years; her replacement takes office May 1, 2006.

The Bartz statue is being placed by the state of California, and will replace Thomas Starr King, a 19th Century Unitarian minister known for raising money for the Sanitary Commission.

There was initially some debate as to which state would get the honor of placing Bartz's statue in the US Capitol. But Minnesota, where she was born, has decided to place a statue of former governor Jesse Ventura; Wisconsin, where she grew up, intends to put up a statue honoring the Cheesehead as soon as the Green Bay Packers return to the Super Bowl.

Autodesk PR firm Fleishman Hillard will receive a bonus of $1 million for negotiating the Statuary Hall deal.

New Golden Parachutes to Feature Weight Restrictions, Half-Life Settings

In response to recent CEO bailouts where the golden parachute worked beyond initial specifications, an Indiana electricial worker's union plans to introduce a new golden parachute with built-in time and weight limits.

"The golden parachutes they give CEO's today are just too darn strong," said a union representative whose lunchbox says "Ed" in big nailpolish letters. "When my union puts all our retirement funds into one of them hot IT companies, we don't want the CEO to take the whole cashbox when they bail out."

The first model, code name Carlton, will allow one jumper to carry no more than one year's salary. Ed says an upgrade planned for later this year will add time-based fabric degradation based on the half-life of gold.