Microsoft's Do-It-Yourself Power Plant

Fake News written by Bernhard Rosenkraenzer on Wednesday, November 24, 1999

from the insert-blue-screen-of-death-joke-here dept.

REDMOND, WA -- Microsoft lawyers have filed a patent application with the USPTO for the concept of generating power from the nuclear reactions that accompany segmentation faults. The company plans to incorporate the "innovative" new technology as an optional feature of Windows 2000.

As mentioned recently on Humorix, when Linux electrons and Windows electrons come in contact on a hard disk platter, they undergo a reaction that can ultimately cause the formation of a black hole. As a byproduct, an unbelievable amount of electricity is generated.

Dr. B. E. Ginner, Microsoft's chief developer, was skeptical of the idea when he first read about it "on some crappy Linux portal website" (his words). He explained, "It seemed like utter nonsense, the kind of pseudo-scientific techno-babble used on sci-fi shows to explain holes in the plot. I mean, if Windows exploded everytime it came in contact with a competing operating system (and yes, Judge Jackson: We do have competition! We are not a monopoly!), we'd all be toast by now."

After conducting an experiment, Ginner's doubts were quickly erased. He installed Rat Head Linux, Microsoft's secret internal testing distro, on a small 1.2 GB partition, along with a minimal install of Windows 2000 (build 23Nov1999) occupying 12.3 TB. Upon booting Linux he started to the see the truth behind the theory. Clearly, some sort of matter/anti-matter reaction was taking place because the computer seemed so much more powerful.

For a final proof, he copied this C code snippet from the source code of Windows 2000's equivalent of cron:

 {    int *null_pointer;    int crash_now = *null_pointer; }    

This code induced a segmentation fault, causing the nuclear reaction to occur. Dr. Ginner was astounded. "With this technology, Microsoft will be able to corner the utilities market," he announced to a room full of Microsoft executives and patent attorneys.

In addition to filing numerous patent claims, the company has already trademarked the techology as "ActivePower(tm)". Dr. Ginner explained how the technology will work: "Windows 2000 will include a minimal Rat Head distro which will be completely hidden from the user, because a piece of cryptic crap like Linux has no place in a user-friendly operating system. When the user wants to generate ActivePower(tm), Win2K will fire up an emulated Linux environment and execute a program to cause a segmentation fault on demand. The resulting nuclear reaction should produce enough power to run the machine for several hours."

He added, "We still have a few known issues to work out. If Win2K bluescreens while the segfault is in progress, a black hole can form, which is, ahem, not good. Oh, and 15% of the time the motherboard is fried due to the generated power spike. These problems should be fixed by the release of Windows 2000 (early 2002 the last I heard); if not, then we'll just produce a draconian license agreement that disclaims all liability."

UPDATE

Just as this story went to press, we received word from our Vast Spy Network(tm) that a Linux shell is available in the current build of Windows 2000. To access it, type "Bill rules the world" in Notepad, and then double-click on the second l in Bill 3 times in a row. Login as "bill" with the password "DOJsucks".

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