Saturday, September 01, 2007

Stevey's Tech News, Issue #1

Welcome to the first-ever edition of Stevey's Tech News! And possibly last-ever as well! I've managed to get the scoop on a number of important tech-industry stories before they hit the presses, and I'm sticking it to The Man by getting this valuable information to you -- my loyal readers and casual passersby and violent detractors and so on -- before you can read it anywhere else. Enjoy!

Sun Microsystems Demands University Study Retraction

The University of Washington, apparently hoping to capitalize on the recent hype around their controversial study on Baby Einstein™-style videos, followed up yesterday with another, similar study. In the new study, researchers found that Java programmers understand an average of seven fewer Computer Science concepts per hour spent with Java each day compared to similar programmers using other languages. Sun calls the study "seriously flawed", citing the fact that you can combine the names of Gang of Four Design Patterns to form new Computer Science concepts that all Java programmers understand, such as the ObserverFactoryBridge, the BridgeFactoryObserver, and the well-known FactoryObserverBridgeChainOfCommandSingletonProxy, beloved of Java programmers everywhere. Java experts at Sun say they're not sure how many combinations there are of the twenty-three pattern names, but there are "definitely a lot of them."

Man Dies Waiting for Eclipse to Launch

A software engineer in San Jose, CA was found dead at his desk yesterday, apparently having died while waiting for his Java editing program, Eclipse, to finish its boot process. Coworkers say the engineer came in that morning vowing to "get Eclipse working on his box or die trying." The last thing anyone heard him say aloud was the cryptic comment: "I see the splash screen is appropriately blue." Nobody knows what he meant. The man was then thought to have fallen asleep, but hours later it was discovered that the engineer had died suddenly of apparent natural causes. The forensics team's investigation that evening was reportedly interrupted unexpectedly when the dead man's Eclipse program suddenly finished launching. The team tried to interact with it to see if they could find clues about the man's death, but the program was unresponsive and the machine ultimately had to be rebooted. At this time, the police commissioner says there is no evidence of foul play, and they currently believe the man simply died of either boredom or frustration.

Bill Gates Hacks Security System

This week's issue of Time Magazine reports that Bill Gates hacked a security system at age 13. One of our staff investigators was intrigued enough to dig further into the story, and soon discovered that the security system in question was in fact one that Bill had written when he was 12. He managed to hack his way into his own system just under one year, a remarkable programming feat for the young Future Richest Man. One apocryphal version of the story claims that Bill finally cracked the system by accidentally turning over his mouse pad and finding the password he'd forgotten the year before, but the reality is that nobody still alive today knows how he did it. However, our investigative reporter did uncover one amazing twist to the story that should firmly cement Bill in programming legend, with concrete shoes of programming glory. The surprise twist: the little security system that Bill wrote at age 12 and hacked into a year later is still in production today, in Windows Vista.

MyTube Having Growth Difficulties

Ted Turner's highly anticipated MyTube™ social network for men is having sizing problems, according to media analysts. The new social networking site is Turner Broadcasting's answer to Oprah Winfrey's highly acclaimed and successful Oxygen television network aimed at young women. Unfortunately, MyTube, which is implemented entirely in Ruby on Rails, is hitting a scaling barrier at peak usage hours, which are reportedly between midnight and 2am PST. An insider at MyTube tells us confidentially that they get up to 100 users before the system slows to a crawl, causing bored users to delete random files from their servers by requesting well-formed URLs like and "It's just so rude", MyTube engineers were overheard saying in their Atlanta office. "Some of our users are just plain wankers."

Fundamental Computer Science Discovery

Computer Scientists around the world have been reeling in shock, the stir caused by a quiet publication in the latest Communications of the ACM. The ACM article that has everyone buzzing was submitted by an anonymous software engineer at an undisclosed Seattle-area software company. The engineer has formulated a proof that invalidates one of the most fundamental results in Computer Science, specifically that "recursion" and "iteration" are formally equivalent. The new proof by counterexample is simple, compelling, and undeniable, and theorists are said to be furiously scratching themselves over the proof's implications, which are far-reaching enough to impact virtually all computer-automated industries, from aerospace technology through zooospace engineering. The anonymous author of the paper has found that there is in fact one thing you can do using recursion that you can't do using iteration, namely: "You can use it to weed out stupid fugging interview candidates."

Dyson Unveils the iSuck™ Personal Vacuum Assistant

Dyson Corporation announced today their latest innovation, a mobile handheld vacuum cleaner the size of a flashlight, dubbed the "iSuck". Dyson's spokesperson was quoted as saying that although the device was originally targeted at the middle-aged housewife demographic, the iSuck has turned out to be unexpectedly popular with men of all ages and demographics. Pundits speculate that the iSuck has finally achieved a form factor that entices men to do their own housecleaning. Dyson claims that based on extensive early user feedback, new versions of the iSuck are planned for near-term release, including a unit that doesn't dampen the motor vibrations (we assume this is to increase battery life), a wet/dry vac, and a limited edition run titled "The Patriot", which hums the U.S. National Anthem as it operates, expected to be popular aboard U.S. Navy ships for vacuuming those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. Dyson's shares soared on the news, with analyists recommending that Dyson milk every drop from their innovative new product.