HP execs zip lips, Microsoft's DRM trips

Which is worse, exploding batteries or imploding companies?

The HP spying scandal has claimed another fall guy -- or, in this case, fall gal. Chief Counsel Ann O. Baskins resigned last week after declining to testify about her role before Congress. Former spymaster Patricia Dunn says the longtime employee “bled HP blue ink.” The good news for Baskins: her red, yellow, and black cartridges are still full, and with an exit package worth roughly $3.7 million, so is her bank account. So far, CEO and new board chair Mark Hurd has managed to keep his scalp attached. Meanwhile, reader John R. wonders whether HP took its own “Go Far. Keep Your Secrets Close” ad campaign a little too seriously. By “far,” they probably didn’t mean prison.

V for Viodentia: Microsoft is suing an individual known only as “Viodentia” for hacking its PlaysForSure digital rights management software like a rat nibbling through a package of Cheez-Its. Viodentia’s FairUse4WM software lets users who’ve bought content protected by Microsoft’s DRM play it on non-PlaysForSure devices. Microsoft claims the diabolical fiend must have pilfered its source code, because how else could any mere mortal hack one of its products? I suspect Microsoft’s real goal is to unmask the mysterious V and reveal his or her true identity … before V blows up Parliament, or something like that.

Total Recall: Add Fujitsu, IBM/Lenovo, and Toshiba to the list of PC makers issuing recalls for Sony’s red-hot batteries. For those of you keeping score at home, the total number of recalls stands at slightly more than 7 million. And that whirring sound you hear is Sony co-founder Akio Morita spinning in his grave.

Gender Bender: Cringestress Marlena E. says a recent column in which I said some geeks “wear fake Rolexes to impress chicks” wrongly implies all IT pros are men. She’s got a point. According to the Information Technology Association of America, one out of three IT workers is a chick in her own right. My apologies if I treated the fairer sex unfairly.

Send hot tips or DRM files to cringe@infoworld.com and you may get an unhackable bag in return.