Update: Microsoft 'ActiveBill' Runs Linux

Fake News written by Bernhard Rosenkraenzer on Thursday, October 21, 1999

from the microsoft-is-still-around-in-2350? dept.

[Editor's Note: A member of our Vast Spy Network(tm), Bernhard Rosenkraenzer, Red Hat employee, submitted the following report about our recent "Bill Gates Passes Turing Test" article.]

I have just had a chance to see ActiveBill first hand. The holographic projection suddenly stood in my office, apparently as part of a campaign to spy on Red Hat (doesn't Microsoft realize that hackers work here even on Sundays?).

ActiveBill is surely quite interesting; it only crashed three times during the 18 minute conversation we had. The first crash came when it realized the office was filled with Linux boxes, the second when I demonstrated a successful teardrop attack against www.fud.microsoft.com, and the final crash occured for no apparent reason. More surprisingly, it always came back after a few seconds; I couldn't believe this was truly a Microsoft "innovation".

Curious about what made ActiveBill tick, I reached into the morass of network cables scattered about (Uh oh, I hope I don't get fired for talking about the huge mess in the office), grabbed one, and plugged the end directly into Bill's left nostril.

The first surprise was that ActiveBill occupied no less than 3 IPs, and I could take down only two of them with simple scripts like teardrop. The other one seemed to be absolutely stable and uncrashable. tcpdump revealed ActiveBill was actually running on Linux, with two instances of VMWare running some version of Windoze, possibly to reduce downtime (when windoze crashes, Linux just spawns another VMWare). Looking back at it, I'm not surprised by this: I always had trouble believing NT could handle that many processors.

Further hacking showed all the important parts of ActiveBill are actually running on Linux -- the Windows instances do little more than access a MySQL database on the Linux box, containing an archive of possible responses, and a direct link to www.fud.microsoft.com and gartnergroup.com.

At this point I discovered something truly unexpected. Not only was ActiveBill running Linux, it was running kernel version 54.2.12, with a timestamp from the 24th Century and a creator of root@tux.redhat.com.na.earth.sol.mway. I checked the other software, and sure enough it was from the future, including:

  • Windows 2350, with the DirectH 6.1b Holographic Projection API and 3D Solitaire game

  • VMWare 25.0, with support for all Windows versions except Win2350 Third Edition (a huge patch that sabotages VMWare and introduces 6.5 terabytes of holographic Easter Eggs)

  • Z Window System version Z15R6.1, featuring 3D and 4D interface support via the KNOME system

From what I could tell, the system had been hacked to be compatible with the 20th Century (it used IPv4 instead of IPv12, for instance, and the interface was in English, not Neo-Esperanto-English-PigLatin 2.0).

Unfortunately, Microsoft noticed my activities and shut off the ActiveBill projection before I could get to the bottom of this mystery.

The only explanation I can think of is that this technology was stolen from the future in the same manner Humorix stole the Neural Implant From the Future(tm) concept from the 24th Century. Microsoft may have acquired the technology through some conduit from the future (Anomolous Sewage Lagoon Number 5?), hacked it up to work with modern computers, and uploaded Bill Gates' brain to it. Certainly, holographic projection to remote locations and advanced AI is far beyond Microsoft's "freedom to innovate".

[Editor's Note: Our lawyer, Noah Morals, is on the case and may sue Microsoft for patent infringement of our recently acquired claim to the process of snatching technology via temporal anomoly.]

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