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Hailßtorm

Week of April 15, 2001

A chicken on every stove.
 - Adolf Hitler
A computer on every desk.
 - William Gates

I don't know... When I grew up, Hailßtorms were a bad thing. Older people told stories about them. They wrecked things, they were wild to watch sometimes at the movies, but they weren't sought after like sunny days and warm temperatures. They were evil.

It's curious that Microsoft should choose such a name for their latest and boldest initiative. (If you have not yet seen the Microsoft Hailßtorm Manifesto, download a reasonable facsimile here.) You'd think they'd like to cloud and disguise their attempt to squeeze the world even harder in a more innocent name.

What is ironic as well is that the Ministry of Propaganda in Redmond has decided to flower their document with a quote which accurately sums up why I got into this line of business in the first place.

But the Hailßtorm document makes good reading. In it we learn a few truths thanks to Microsoft:

  • Microsoft has lots of experience, both good and bad, building websites (sic). Oh yeah.
  • Your data will be completely safe with Microsoft. Of course it will.
  • It's time to stop thinking the Internet is free. It isn't. Not anymore at any rate. Onel was wrong. According to Microsoft, it's time people learned they have to pay for things.
  • People are frustrated and confused. Yes they are. Microsoft said so. And they're not frustrated with Microsoft either, and Microsoft's products don't confuse anyone. Of course not. But Microsoft will now end this confusion and frustration once and for all. Hail Bill.
  • Every everything has its own set of rules. This is bad. From now on, every everything will have Microsoft's set of rules. This will be good, as these will be good and intelligent rules, there will be none better, for they will come from Microsoft.
  • We are not in control of our technology. Nope, we aren't. Microsoft told us so. Now Microsoft will give us that control. Oh yeah. Microsoft is not itself out after control - forbid the thought. They will give it to us instead.
  • Microsoft (please don't laugh) wants widely divergent technologies to work together (you weren't supposed to laugh).
  • Hailßtorm also turns the industry debate over online privacy on its head. Yeppers indeedee. You will control all your information and no one will be able to access it without your consent (you weren't allowed to laugh at this one either).
  • Hailßtorm applications, devices and services are known as 'Hailßtorm endpoints'. This is good because it's such a cool name. Way cool. What isn't in a name?
  • From a technical perspective, Hailßtorm is based on Microsoft Passport. And as everyone knows, Passport - and Microsoft technology in general - is impenetrable and universally impervious to hostile attacks. You're in good hands with your new Microsoft nation-state.
  • The initial set of Hailßtorm services will include:
    • myAddress - electronic and geographic address for an identity
    • myProfile - name, nickname, special dates, picture
    • myContacts - electronic relationships/address book
    • myLocation - electronic and geographical location and rendez-vous
    • myNotifications - notification subscription, management and routing
    • myInbox - inbox items like e-mail and voice mail, including existing mail systems
    • myCalendar - time and task management
    • myDocuments - raw document storage
    • myApplicationSettings - application settings
    • myFavoriteWebSites - favorite URLs and other Web identifiers
    • myWallet - receipts, payment instruments, coupons and other transaction records
    • myDevices - device settings, capabilities
    • myServices - services provided for an identity
    • myUsage - usage report for above services
    When put together with myDocuments, myFolder, myPictures and myComputer, the usability and social impact become devastating - all this meant in a good sense of course.
  • Hailßtorm's integral security model is based on Kerberos-based authentication. It is not true that Microsoft has been using a deliberately corrupted (and therefore non-standard) version of Kerberos which has more or less become the laughing stock of the industry.
  • Reliability will be critical to the success of the Hailßtorm services, says Microsoft. Hear hear. On that we all can agree. Let's go home, ok?
  • Good operations are a core competency required to ensure reliability, says Microsoft further. Whatever. Microsoft uttering the word 'competency' has to be one of their boldest moves ever.
  • Microsoft has lots of experience. They've run Hotmail successfully. The rumour that they somehow bungled things a while back, exposing confidential information related to 50,000,000 accounts - well it's just /. hype and no more.
  • The Internet business model needs a reboot. Sure does. What's this about academics running the show? About all of this being only for the common good? Stuff it. Giving away services for free and making it up on volume just isn't a sustainable method for running a business, says Microsoft - and they must be hurting bad to admit it, right? Hailßtorm will convince people that they have to pay for free services, says Microsoft. Hail hail.
  • And so on and so forth, ad nauseam.

Geez, I really love Billg and his [------] friends in Redmond after this read. I really do.

Does anyone else get a cold shiver up their backs like awake Germans must have got in the 1930's? Can anyone else see what the f--- is going on here?

God I hope so...

And it finally dawned on me what 'Hailßtorm' is all about. It's not a meteorological storm at all. It's a storm of 'hails' - or as they say in Germany, 'heils'.

It's a new Nuremburg. It's the total manifestation of submission to the Leader. It's a blitzkrieg. Total devastation. Poland first. Who is next. How dumb does this two-bit jerk Bill Gates think we are? Being a billionaire surrounded by fanatical arrogant idiots does not make one less transparent.

Is this why he stepped down as CEO of Microsoft and made himself Chief Software Architect? Is this the madman's mind exposed and at his worst? Can someone please put him out of our misery?

Please listen people: Think what you want of me, but for goodness' sake look twice at this one: This man William H. Gates is scary. He is one of the most dangerous individuals in the world since the Cold War, and history might still make him the most hated man of two centuries. History might still regard him with as much distaste as his idols Adolf Hitler and Josef Goebbels. Look this one in the eye and stop turning away. Bill is right: We are serving computers, and not the other way around. That's the whole point: We didn't want to, we never intended to, but we are, and he made us: We are serving his computers. We shall now serve him. 'A chicken on every stove' has become 'a computer on every desk'. The little boy has really done his homework.

God I've never been so mad. Not in the twenty years I've worked with his half-assed technology. Never. Not even close. Stop this fascist now.

Stop him. Please stop him. So we can all go home and have a nice night and forget this horrible mess and have a nice dinner with the family and smile and feel good about life and ourselves again.

Long live the free Internet.

Rick

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