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Bad Packets: Quoth the maven: 'Nevermore'

Microsoft chairman and company founder Bill Gates recently sent a memo to all Microsoft employees stating that product security and user privacy were now the top priorities for future Microsoft offerings.

E-mail Wes Simonds
In a recent memo to all Microsoft employees -- a memo which was immediately leaked to the press -- chairman and company founder Bill Gates stated that product security and user privacy were now the top priorities for future Microsoft offerings.

Many dubious analysts suggest this memo was not truly a sincere statement of a company mandate to improve security from the ground up. Rather, they say, it was about political spin, an exhibition of good intentions designed to please an increasingly dyspeptic core market of IT professionals in the short run. Scott Charney, a former attorney for the Department of Justice, has now evidently been hired to become chief security strategist for Microsoft beginning April 1 -- aka April Fool's Day -- with the general charter to revolutionize and enforce the company's security policies.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary --
I'd spent the evening patching what I thought I'd patched before;
As I dreamed of bedtime sacking, suddenly I sensed hijacking
As of something gently hacking, hacking at my network door.
"'Tis a worm," said I, "like Nimda -- version thirteen twenty-four."
And I spat upon the floor.

Half my troubles came about because I'd somehow picked the route
Of running products insecure, the type with many a back door:
Microsoft's IIS Web server -- subject of a heated fervor,
Due to Code Red's havoc spreading as no worm had spread before --
Was chief among the culprits that had made my life a chore;
Still installed on network store.

Of a sudden came a maven, shares of MS stock a' wavin',
An alpha geek the likes of which I'd never seen before.
A bit pear-shaped, with glasses, loyal fans he had in masses,
And the billions he was worth enhanced his luster that much more.
"Can we stand to see our products insecure?" he did implore.
Quoth the maven: "Nevermore."

"I hereby do declare that all our products never share
A single kilobyte of data that our clients would abhor.
Market surveys say our users aren't the type of simple losers
Who will tolerate these issues through too many versions more.
How much longer will they buy our .Net tale, when it's so poor?"
Quoth the maven: "Nevermore."

To be sure, I heard the promise, yet remained a doubting Thomas --
To tell the truth, I'd heard these oaths so many times before.
"Our stuff is fixed!" they'd boldly said. "We've put our problems all to bed
The chinks inside our armor, now inside it are no more."
And though I doubted every word, still he proclaimed it as of yore:
Quoth the maven: "Nevermore."

"Can it be the truth?" I wonder. "Is this spoken sooth or blunder?
Are his bold predictions what the future truly has in store?
Will .Net in truth be rocking, all the entry points be locking
Firmly into place, as if they were a massive bank vault door?
Or will financial data be exposed as e'er before?"
Quoth the maven: "Nevermore."

Now I see the maven's found a D.J. lawyer to expound
On how some MS products can be made securer than before.
So your opinions I'd solicit -- think of irony implicit
When no justice has been rendered to the firm the man works for.
Is this cross-eyed badger spit, my friends? Not worth a penny more?
Quoth the maven: "Nevermore."


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