I was somewhat less than sympathetic with the woman in question, though she certainly didn't deserve the abuse and death threats heaped upon her. I didn't think the jokes were particularly offensive, and I thought she handled the situation in entirely the wrong way.
However, reader M.V. feels I am part of the problem here, not part of the solution:
Back in the early '80s, I worked for a very conservative New England-based company that no longer exists, I overheard a couple managers making homophobic jokes about San Francisco amongst themselves in the coffee room.... I just looked at them and said, "Those statements do not value differences," which was straight out of the company-wide newsletter recently sent to all hands....
Flash-forward 30 years and I see women still have have to deal with this kind of crap. Only this time, I applaud what she did. So much of this harassing behavior still goes on. Except that now, the homophobe may get told to GTFO if he objects to the couple holding hands in front of him in line. That's already happened.
The mocking tone of this article just shows we have a long haul ahead of us. So smile when someone takes your picture. It will most likely end up on some social media site.
I am as guilty of making juvenile jokes as the next guy -- and when it comes to jokes about dongles, make that the next six guys. So it's possible. But as someone who is notoriously camera shy, the only thing that's likely to feel shame is my fedora.
Some kind of blue
In "Windows arise! 4 hopes for Microsoft's survival," I wrote about the alleged demise of Windows 8, and Redmond's hopes for redemption with the release of Windows "Blue." Reader J.O. snarks:
Will be interesting to see if sales pick up with the impending end of XP next year. Meantime, I'm hoping Microsoft's next version of Windows is not Windows BLEW!
Come on, J.O. -- you know that's every version of Windows.
Rust in peace
In that Windows piece I also made a snarky aside about the passing of Margaret Thatcher, which did not sit at all well with several Cringesters who were fans of the late prime minister. Specifically, I suggested that the Iron Lady had now passed on to a better (and most likely steamier) place.
Here's a pretty typical email I received from reader B.T.:
Margaret Thatcher has gone to a hotter place? Please keep your childish political comments to yourself. She has many millions of admirers, including myself.
I have two responses, neither of which is likely to make any of these readers happy:
- Pretty much anywhere, even Heaven, is hotter than England nine days out of 10.
- Thatcher had her share of detractors and received far more grief while she was alive than I am capable of tossing in her general direction. She managed to handle it just fine; you will too.
A fool and his blog
In my post "Every day is April Fools' Day on the Internet," I named some mythical creatures who were likely to be in attendance as Facebook unveiled its new don't call-it-a-phone Home app, among them Bigfoot and Golem. Sharp-eyed reader D.M. once again caught me in an error:
If you meant Gollum, from "The Lord of the Rings," that's GOLLUM. If you meant a creature animated by magic, that's a golem.
I was indeed thinking of the CGI creature from the Peter Jackson films. Apologies for the foolish mistake.
What foolish things have you done lately? Don't worry, we're all friends here, despite our political differences. Post your embarrassments below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article, "Hacked off: When the prison time doesn't fit the cyber crime," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.