By Constantine von Hoffman
OK, so tomorrow is the day the Kama Sutra virus is supposed to start overwriting several popular file formats. Despite this, Microsoft –in what is either an overwhelming dedication to irony and/or romance – has announced it won’t update the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool until its regularly scheduled release on … VALENTINE’S DAY. (All you Linux/Mac acolytes, this is where you put the joke about how if the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool really worked it would just remove Windows.)
Further proof that any birdbrain can write a blog
A flock of pigeons is going to be blogging about air pollution in California. The birds, equipped with a GPS satellite tracking receiver, air pollution sensors and a basic mobile phone, will be released in the skies over San Jose, CA, in August. Quoth Reuters:
Text messages on air quality will be beamed back in real time to a special pigeon “blog.”
The birds will also be posting pictures of their flights. I am soooooo out of a job.
Going to China: Companies cry, “Stop me before I earn again.”Unable to resist the lure of potential profits Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo are asking the US government to do something they would not and take a stand against censorship in foreign countries. Quoth InformationWeek:
In a statement prepared for a meeting held Wednesday by the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, Andrew McLaughlin, Google’s senior policy counsel, asked the U.S to go to bat for American values overseas by extending the definition of free trade to include the free flow of information.
Microsoft and Yahoo! chimed in with a letter of their own that urged “the United States government to take a leadership role in this regard.” Subtext: You better do it because you know we’re not going to. Isn’t this like sports team owners calling for a salary cap because they can’t control their own spending?
And all you cynics out there who are adding, “You expect THIS administration to oppose censorship?” Well, your names have been forwarded to the Justice Department, FYI (patent pending).
Not to give them credit or anything, but Google may have come up with an actual way to flout its agreement with the Chinese government: Bad programming. Turns out that a small misspelling at Google.cn will get you the results you really wanted. Quoth Business 2.0:
If you search for “Tiananmen,” you get peaceful photos of the Beijing square — but if you search for common misspellings like “Tienanmen,” “Tianenmen,” or “Tiananman,” you get photos of tanks.”
Now if they would just set that little “Did you mean” feature to suggest other ways not to correctly spell what you are looking for.