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19-Year-Old Squatted At AOL For 2 Months

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the built-house-out-of-unused-trial-CDs dept.

America Online 141

New submitter mrnick writes "Eric Simons, 19 years old, was working at incubator Imagine K2 in Silicon Valley, which was hosted at AOL's Palo Alto campus. His grant money eventually ran out, but his access badge kept working, so he moved into AOL's office. He slept on a couch, took showers and washed clothes in the office gym, and ate for free in the cafeteria, all the while working on his new start-up. He was able to get away with this for two months before being discovered by security guard."

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141 comments

Hmmm ... (5, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 2 years ago | (#40120649)

Maybe AOL can stay relevant by being a start-up hotel?

Re:Hmmm ... (5, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#40120829)

Maybe AOL can stay relevant by being a start-up hotel?

Call me spoiled but I don't think I could handle a dial up hotel.

Re:Hmmm ... (5, Funny)

FreedomOfThought (2544248) | about 2 years ago | (#40120877)

It would take 30 seconds to dial-out a request for water to shower with. Then you have to wait for the heat to download. Once you finally have hot water, it will randomly shut off and there you stand, shivering. So you decide to give up and get out but when you reach for the towel, its only partially there and corrupted. So you make a request for the rest of the towel, wait 30 seconds for the connection again, and realize that you have to start the download over so you try to make the partial towel work for your needs only to realize that its just not going to work. So you go ahead and restart the towel download but it instantly shows complete, but yet there is no towel. Now you have to wait on AOL to clear your cache, start the download again, and get disconnected once more. You would jump out the window but a request to open it would just be futile.

Welcome to the Hotel AOL (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 2 years ago | (#40122745)

You can check-out any time you like,
but you can only leave after downloading a HD movie over a dial-up connection

Re:Hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40120843)

at least aol know where to send the bill now....

Re:Hmmm ... (2)

Pionar (620916) | about 2 years ago | (#40122255)

Maybe AOL can become relevant again by being a start-up hotel?

FTFY.

Re:Hmmm ... (1, Redundant)

MatthewCCNA (1405885) | about 2 years ago | (#40122555)

Maybe AOL can become relevant by being a start-up hotel?

FTFY.

FTFY.

Re:Hmmm ... (3, Interesting)

Brad1138 (590148) | about 2 years ago | (#40124795)

Maybe you are to young to remember, but as much as it is pointless now, AOL was very relevant in the Internets infancy. In the mid 90's there really wan't much to look at online, AOL help people (beginners at least) get online and "get their feet wet". Now granted anyone with the slightest bit of computer literacy quickly outgrew it, but there were PLENTY of clueless people that needed the training wheels.

AOL still exists? (3, Insightful)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | about 2 years ago | (#40120653)

I was sure it had died the death of 10000 cuts... not to mention all those CDs people kept microwaving!

Re:AOL still exists? (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40120857)

AOL is still around, and there are still people paying for dialup service with them -- oftentimes people who are also paying for broadband service. AOL's brand is so strong among the technically illiterate that some people actually thing that AOL is the "Internet," is "Email," is "instant messenger," etc.

Re:AOL still exists? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40121479)

I am in indiana, I am lucky I have fiber, but I know area's of the state do not have the profit margin for a broadband company to setup in. So those area's may get lucky and have their cell work as a modem, but more times than not, they just have dial up.

~SimonTek

Re:AOL still exists? (3, Funny)

akboss (823334) | about 2 years ago | (#40121685)

AOL's brand is so strong among the technically illiterate that some people actually thing that AOL is the "Internet," is "Email," is "instant messenger," etc.

Whaat? You mean to tell me that AOL isnt these things? Damn and all those years...

Re:AOL still exists? (2)

westlake (615356) | about 2 years ago | (#40121963)

AOL is still around, and there are still people paying for dialup service with them ... AOL's brand is so strong among the technically illiterate that some people actually thing that AOL is the "Internet," is "Email," is "instant messenger," etc.

The geek ought to have learned by now that not everyone shares his love of complexity --- or his need for or access to broadband services.

Around 74 percent of the nation's adults had Internet access in their homes by 2010, but 6 percent were still relying solely on dial-up Internet connections to go online, according to a Federal Communications Commission report that looked at broadband access.

Just last year, AOL, whose more than 3.5 million dial-up users account for the bulk of the business, added 200,000 new dial-up customers to its roster.

And while Verizon Communications provides high-speed Internet services through fiber optic FIOS service or digital subscriber lines (DSL) to the majority of its 8.7 million subscribers, the company still provides dial-up Internet to more than 31,000 U.S. customers.

Why are so many are still using the old-fashioned Internet highway?

Their reasons can range from the expense of faster services to little need to hurry up and download all those movies.

Plenty of Internet users cling to slow dial-up connections [post-gazette.com] [May 12, 2012]

Sigh, elitst pig, not what was being atalked about (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#40122661)

You are not looking out for those you look down up on in secret, the grand-parent was talking about AOL practice to keep people paying for dialup access when they already moved to broadband connections. So it is NOT for people who still use ONLY dialup, it is a scam operated by AOL to convince people that without their dialup service, broadband would not work or people would loose all their email, so people end up paying a high price for just their email account.

Re:AOL still exists? (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#40122569)

Probably same users who still use IE 6. Isnt the AOL browser just a reskinned IE 6? I was so angry when when they bought Netscape and released Netscape with an IE 6 engine underneath. Stupid clueless managment

Re:AOL still exists? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40122585)

Ya. My mother still refers to the whole computer as "The AOL".

Re:AOL still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40124833)

Ya. My mother still refers to the whole computer as "The AOL".

Yep, had someone ask me how to get on the internet. This was because is mistakenly made google their homepage and AOL home page was the internet.

Re:AOL still exists? (5, Informative)

Tr3vin (1220548) | about 2 years ago | (#40120947)

AOL has moved on to purchase many popular websites in order to stay profitable. The Huffington Post, Engadget, Joystiq and many other major news blogs / websites are owned by AOL. They really are more than a dial-up ISP.

Re:AOL still exists? (4, Funny)

Machtyn (759119) | about 2 years ago | (#40121569)

Hey! This is the slashdot comment section. We don't need anything factual around here!

Isn't this a success story? (4, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 2 years ago | (#40120657)

Isn't that the ultimate goal of the incubators: to get young kids to spend their whole life working on their startup...

Re:Isn't this a success story? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40123379)

From TFA:

Contacted for comment, David Temkin, senior vice president of Mail and Mobile for AOL, told CNET, "It was always our intention to facilitate entrepreneurialism in the Palo Alto office -- we just didn't expect it to work so well."

sigh, another crappy slashdot summary.

devil's advocate... (3, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | about 2 years ago | (#40123525)

i'm sorry, maybe i'm just being negative, but by the end it sounded like an advertisement:

Ad one:
"Simons said he was able to score $50,000 in seed funding from Ulu Ventures and Silicon Valley VC Paul Sherer."

Now Ulu Ventures and Paul Sherer is someone thanks to this CNET article.

Ad two:
"Now, Simons said, he's looking to raise an additional $500,000."

Yep there it is. "I slept on a couch in AOL, can i get $500,000?"

And just in case you missed it, his startup name, ClassConnect, is mentioned 6 times in the article. 6. When really, it didn't need to be mentioned at all, the story is about the kid hiding in AOL, not about his startup. It's even in the topic tags at the bottom.

Someone's profiting from this, besides the kid. Writer obviously, probably several others.

Re:Isn't this a success story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40123829)

Can you please explain the cynicism here?
I honestly can't quite understand it.

He couldn't bring himself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40120663)

to go back to his basement. I know the feeling.

Re:He couldn't bring himself... (1, Troll)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#40120817)

to go back to his basement. I know the feeling.

to go back to his Mom's basement. I know the feeling.

There, fixed it for you.

free hours (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40120665)

i guess his 1,460.9688 free hours of aol finally ran out!

That's nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40120681)

Try living in an Inglewood, California inside an exotic and wild animal import business warehouse, oh and did I mention a giant tank broke and there's a hole in concret foundation in the middle of the floor and many poisonous snakes went into it and escaped, oh yeah and where you actually do sleep is the 3' space over where 200 rattlesnakes are kept in separate cages.

I don't think you can even visualize how bad this was. Of course it was in the 70's, you know back when people were not pussies like now.

Sounds like he had it good.

Re:That's nothing (5, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#40120975)

I did not know that EA had a programming office in Inglewood, CA. and you got to sleep near rattlesnakes? Were you a lead on a project? The rest of us had to sleep WITH the rattlesnakes.

Re:That's nothing (1)

joss (1346) | about 2 years ago | (#40122225)

you were programming at EA and you got to sleep ? don't know your born....

Urban Legend becomes reality (5, Interesting)

Cognitive Dissident (206740) | about 2 years ago | (#40120715)

Steven Spielberg claimed to have done something similar. He claimed to have occupied an unused office on the Universal Studios lot by simply dressing in a suit, carrying a brief case, and bluffing his way past the security guards. But his story kept growing and growing. A clear sign of fabrication. So it was finally debunked by snopes [snopes.com]. But even his tallest tale didn't claim to have lived on the lot full time. And now this kid has gone one better than the tall tale, actually living inside the corporate complex of a major tech company.

incubator? (3, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#40120727)

well, did he at least get to keep the eggs??

(cue woody allen joke about brother who thinks he's a chicken; but the family lets him continue on; they need the eggs.)

Security? (1)

busyqth (2566075) | about 2 years ago | (#40120751)

So when discovered, why didn't he just show that guard that his badge worked and that he was thus entitled to stay in the building?

Re:Security? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#40120813)

I am sure that is how he got caught in the first place, due to a security audit. They found the card was active and still being used.

Re:Security? (5, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#40121007)

Security audit? what is that? Is that like those mythical Pay raises I hear that used to happen?

I have not worked at Comcast for 5 years. I handed a friend my keyfob access card that still works there because he lost his and wanted a replacement. He was going to have security reprogram the system to use it for his access.

Mine Still WORKED! Which is scary as it had All access clearance at multiple locations, 5 Freaking years and they never removed me nor did a security audit to remove users.

Re:Security? (4, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#40121157)

Depends on where you work. Where i work, we take security seriously. You cant even walk in the door with another person. Your photo is verified against your face as you enter. We also have metal detectors on the doors, and the guards have real guns to stop you with, not just a radio to call for help.

Every month a complete audit of badges takes place. Similar things happen for network accounts every 30 days.

Re:Security? (2)

jroysdon (201893) | about 2 years ago | (#40121275)

Ditto. You get terminated for cause/quit on the spot, and your cardkey badge (physical) and all electronic access is disabled during your HR exit interview. such that you have to be escorted out. You retire/finish on good terms? It's pre-programmed to stop working at the end of business on your last day.

Re:Security? (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about 2 years ago | (#40122537)

When I worked at a company that had industrial espionage issues to deal with, you had to use your badge to get doors to unlock for every section.

I still had my electronic badge kicking around the house for years after I quit. This was back when they were expensive, too.

Re:Security? (1)

jroysdon (201893) | about 2 years ago | (#40122693)

Badges cost us $15. We do try to recover them, but it's not a big deal if we do not.

Re:Security? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#40125199)

I still had my keyfob and my SecurID for logins. They never wanted them back. I use the SecurID for Paypal now.

Re:Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40121317)

Depends on where you work. Where i work, we take security seriously. You cant even walk in the door with another person. Your photo is verified against your face as you enter. We also have metal detectors on the doors, and the guards have real guns to stop you with, not just a radio to call for help.

Well whoop-dee-doo, you work at a fucking PRISON. Good for you.

Re:Security? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#40121411)

Um, no, i don't work for a prison.

I know of some places that have hallways with keylock doors every so many feet. They can determine where you are within a few feet and control who gets thru each door.

They aren't prisons either.

Most good data centers are at least this secure, if not more.

Re:Security? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40121481)

In the data centre I worked at they had firewalls every five feet of cable (six if it was cat6 cable). You had to enter your username and passwird at each one.
They knew where your packets were within 5-6 feet at all times.

Re:Security? (3, Interesting)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#40121347)

Depends on where you work. Where i work, we take security seriously. You cant even walk in the door with another person. Your photo is verified against your face as you enter. We also have metal detectors on the doors, and the guards have real guns to stop you with, not just a radio to call for help.

Sometimes depends on the location, too... Same company, my last office was on the 6th floor at a building that houses a shopping facility on the ground floor. After-hours access required a swipe in an elevator and a swipe with a security guard at the front door, but during normal business hours the elevators weren't locked (even though they only went up to the "secure" office facilities upstairs), and people routinely held the door open for others without checking their passes. At the office I'm at now, there's a guard at the front door 24/7 who checks your pass every time, there's nothing but a lunch room on the ground floor and the guard has to unlock the elevators so you can get to your office, and you have to swipe through a security checkpoint on your actual floor, too. (annoying actually, because the bathrooms are on the other side of the checkpoint). Security also makes regular walkarounds on every floor (in fact, the guy just walked past my desk as I'm typing this).

What you say about network accounts surprises me, though... they do a routine audit here, too, and disable accounts, but they're pretty gung-ho about yanking peoples' network accesses... usually your network login and tool accesses will be disabled before they tell you that you've been let go (I know a few people who found out they'd been fired because security was waiting at their desk with a box when they got in), and except in some exceedingly rare circumstances, you will be escorted out the door by security within minutes of giving notice, when you leave for another job.

Re:Security? (1)

danomac (1032160) | about 2 years ago | (#40121603)

(annoying actually, because the bathrooms are on the other side of the checkpoint)

So they could be tracking your bathroom visits. Ouch. Anyone been fired for taking too many/too long bathroom breaks?

Re:Security? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40122487)

I find it doubtful. Depending on the state's labor laws, it could wind up being a serious liability. There's several medical conditions which could lead to a higher than average number of bathroom breaks. If they let someone go for having a weak bladder, I'm sure there's an attorney somewhere that's capable of turning that into a settlement based on discrimination.

More likely is it was just easier. The checkpoint is probably placed at the closest choke point to the sensitive areas. Whoever designed the security plan more than likely didn't have employee comfort as the number one on their priority list.

Re:Security? (1)

EETech1 (1179269) | about 2 years ago | (#40123443)

There was a guy I worked with that gave his notice and then took his laptop home to copy off some 'personal' files, and the next day right after he got home from work HR, IT, and the police were there to take all of his computers, and removable media, and CDs, DVDs etc into evidence to be scanned for company material. They knew what files he had copied, and to what drives they were copied on, but they took everything anyways to be sure he hadn't made other copies or had anything from before. Then they took his prox card, and told him not to come in for the rest of his 2 weeks notice.

Another place would also automatically revoke any access; physical, networked, even departmental intranet or mainframe access you hadn't really used (can't just load the screen either, a valid query must be performed, or start a new expense report and cancel it) in the past 90 days, requiring reauthorization by your department head to regain access again. You could be locked out of YOUR OWN network drive if you didn't access a file there in 90 days!

Some places do take IP seriously!

Re:Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40121351)

You cant even walk in the door with another person.

That's the single first step in any security system. If people can let other people in, you have NO physical security, NONE. You might as well not have locks. It's not worth it personally to people to hassle other people who want to get in, so unless there is a HUGE, HUGE deal about that being at the level of burning children and eating them, anyone will be able to gain access just by standing outside the door and stating that they need to get in. You can also place a guard at every door, but then those guards need to be motivated to bother with hassling anyone entering as a pair, instead of just hassling one of them. Yes, that means that most places do not have any physical security, despite installing alarms and possibly even despite having a guard at the door.

Re:Security? (2)

Patchw0rk F0g (663145) | about 2 years ago | (#40123321)

It's not worth it personally to people to hassle other people who want to get in, so unless there is a HUGE, HUGE deal about that being at the level of burning children and eating them...

Who the HELL wastes children that way?! That's just sick.

Children are meant to be basted lightly over low heat, not flash-burned like a marshmallow. Wise up, people!

Re:Security? (1)

shiftless (410350) | about 2 years ago | (#40124305)

No, this is fucking bullshit. When I was in basic training in the Air Force, instructors and others whose name appeared on the list of those authorized access were allowed to bring whoever they want in. To say that our dorm had no physical security would be stupid and wrong. Sure, it could be considered a higher level of security if only specific purposes on a white list can get in, but again, that's just another level you could implement.

Re:Security? (1)

akboss (823334) | about 2 years ago | (#40121723)

Depends on where you work. Where i work, we take security seriously. You cant even walk in the door with another person. Your photo is verified against your face as you enter. We also have metal detectors on the doors, and the guards have real guns to stop you with, not just a radio to call for help.

So your in prison, big deal.

Re:Security? (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#40121273)

I am sure that is how he got caught in the first place, due to a security audit. They found the card was active and still being used.

Having read the article (gasp!) - it appears you are exactly right. The guy who found him came in extra early and was specifically looking for him.

By the way, you can indeed tell this story came from a new submitter - it was all on one page. Silly guy hasn't yet learned you're only supposed to link to stories spread over nine pages in order to maximize ad revenue...

Re:Security? (1)

arose (644256) | about 2 years ago | (#40121051)

If he happened to be discovered sleeping on the couch the guard might be a tad suspicious.

AOL Offices (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 2 years ago | (#40120781)

AOL still has offices?! I honestly had no idea. Wow. That's got to be a depressing place to work...

Re:AOL Offices (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40120821)

Especially when you consider this:

http://www.techspot.com/news/42121-60-of-aols-profits-come-from-misinformed-customers.html [techspot.com]

We are talking about people who are so helplessly uninformed that they are paying for dialup service despite already paying for broadband. Working for AOL is basically working for a scam that is tricking older, less technically literate people out of their money.

Re:AOL Offices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40120891)

This is news? I caught onto this nearly a decade ago!

Re:AOL Offices (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40120981)

This is news?

No.

I caught onto this nearly a decade ago!

You're a little slow then.

Re:AOL Offices (1)

Jstlook (1193309) | about 2 years ago | (#40122201)

He's not slow, he just hasn't finished the "quitting AOL" exit process. You know the one where you had to all but get a court order from a Judge for AOL to acknowledge and cancel your subscription ..

the phone company does this too (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40121015)

cleaning up my Mom's estate in the late 90s, i discovered she had been paying rental on a wall-mounted rotary phone for nearly 15 years - the phone company said to keep the phone when service was disconnected

Re:AOL Offices (3, Informative)

sdnoob (917382) | about 2 years ago | (#40121447)

not to defend AOL, but it is really NOT their responsibility to determine whether their service is needed by their customers.. but rather to provide the services the customer subscribes to -- which is what AOL does. similarly, if you subscribe to cable tv but then install a satellite dish, it is YOUR job to cancel the cable if you no longer need or want it - the cable company can't read your mind, YOU have to return their equipment and cancel the service (or pay the bill, or suffer the consequences of doing neither)
___

if you do happen to know someone paying for AOL dialup but they have high speed internet.. do them a favor by suggesting they cancel the AOL dialup if they don't need it (laptop use when traveling to remote locations without wifi or other high speed options, etc)

for those who actually like the AOL client software or want to keep their @aol email account -- they can do both. you can use AOL's client software on your own internet connection (called "BYOA" - bring your own access); and if you don't use AOL client software, existing @aol email can be read at mail.aol.com - the email address(es) remain even when you cancel your paid AOL service (basically it just converts to a 'free' BYOA account).

don't forget to mention that if they cancel their paid AOL service and have a bundled AOL-provided antivirus, they'll need to replace it with something else.

to cancel paid AOL service, see http://help.aol.com/help/microsites/microsite.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=219764 [aol.com]

Re:AOL Offices (1)

Monchanger (637670) | about 2 years ago | (#40124829)

not to defend AOL, but it is really NOT their responsibility to determine whether their service is needed by their customers.. but rather to provide the services the customer subscribes to -- which is what AOL does. similarly, if you subscribe to cable tv but then install a satellite dish, it is YOUR job to cancel the cable if you no longer need or want it - the cable company can't read your mind, YOU have to return their equipment and cancel the service (or pay the bill, or suffer the consequences of doing neither)

Begging your pardon, but that's a sniveling shit-pile of an excuse for a company to hide behind.

The question isn't one of legal responsibility* and consequences. It's one of service and this sort of activity by companies, of charging people who they know are receiving zero services from them, is morally bankrupt If you want to run a business that provides a service, please do, but if you keep billing people for nothing, there's no difference between that and stealing. Even those few idiots still holding AOL stock should agree that never signing on new customers is not a proper business model (doubly so when your existing customer base is dying off).

One of my main objections to automatic payments and paperless billing is exactly this kind of prevalent attitude- that a company will take as much money from me, whether or not I'm actually using their service. Companies I can't trust will just have to keep paying for outdated collection systems. At the moment that's all of them, except for two publicly-owned utilities. You want to know why I might be more than happy to opt for a non-profit Internet service, or (Friedman forbid) government-run? This is why- because the private sector keeps proving it can't resist the temptation to rip people off,

* Yes, legally, the customer is solely responsible for terminating the contract, blah blah blah. But only a soulless lawyer will suggest that has any bearing on the correctness of such an attitude, and even he'll remind you that forgetfulness isn't a contract. One report on Brokaw and your revenue could plummet so fast that no judge could keep your business from falling apart.

Re:AOL Offices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40121755)

Cue thewebsiteisdown.com

Re:AOL Offices (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#40120835)

What surprised me more was them having a washer or dryer in the gym. But hey, this guy was more entreprenaureal than Stallman, and cleaner.

Re:AOL Offices (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 2 years ago | (#40121035)

You do not need either to wash your clothes. A bathtub works for washing and the sun is good enough for drying.

Re:AOL Offices (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#40121331)

The submission mentioned that he took his showers and washed his clothes in the gym - I doubt that they'd have had bathtubs there, unless they happened to have an indoor spa that could be used in this manner. Washing his clothes in the shower and then hanging it to dry would have been even more brazen than him using an expired badge and sleeping @ the site. In fact, a lot of residential apartments and homeowners associations don't allow people to hang clothes out to dry due to appearances. Doing it in an office seems even more far fetched.

The only thing I can imagine is that the facility included washers and dryers, which he used. Hopefully, the only clothes he wore were ones that didn't need ironing.

Re:AOL Offices (3, Funny)

LinuxIsGarbage (1658307) | about 2 years ago | (#40121431)

It's strange what happens reading the article

"[Plus] they had their own laundromat there, so I'd wash my clothes there."

Re:AOL Offices (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#40121465)

Yup, after my last comment, I did read the full story, and they do have their own laundromat there. So my origial guess was right, but I'm still a tad surprised.

Re:AOL Offices (1)

genik76 (1193359) | about 2 years ago | (#40122371)

Interesting is that Simons says

"I only had maybe five to ten T-shirts, a pair of jeans, and a pair of shorts (...)"

This means that he had several at least a couple of hours' periods when he was wearing just his underpants, waiting for his jeans to be washed or dried.

Re:AOL Offices (1)

I_am_Jack (1116205) | about 2 years ago | (#40123685)

Hopefully, the only clothes he wore were ones that didn't need ironing.

Never worked in a company that employed developers, have you?

How things have changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40120853)

5 years ago this kid would have been playing ping pong and drinking free Starbucks at Google with a reasonable paycheck. Today he's stuck trying to find his own way in the rat maze while living in an office at a company that is so irrelevant that even the employees couldn't have cared much about who did what.

Reminds me of the high tech manager lion joke (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#40120989)

Two lions escape from the zoo. One kills and eats a human on the street, and is subsequently hounded down and killed.

The other hides in the headquarters of a high tech company, and lives a long and peaceful life.

It eats middle level managers, and nobody even notices or cares.

Grammer? (1)

felixdecat (1373899) | about 2 years ago | (#40121067)

Ahhh why so many commas in one sentence. My brain hurts.

Re:Grammer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40121445)

Irony is frequently is like that.

Re:Grammer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40123665)

Read it aloud: "Irony is frequently is like that."

Oh! The irony!

Re:Grammer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40121649)

If you insist on being so pedantic, you might want to spell grammar correctly.

Hardly beats the Graphing Calculator story (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40121175)

See http://www.pacifict.com/Story/ for a corporate culture that managed, at one time, to embrace and extend that kind of enthusiasm. That's what you get when engineers are ultimately being understood as running the show rather than beancounters.

I've been doing that for years ... (4, Funny)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 years ago | (#40121237)

... in my mom's basement

Re:I've been doing that for years ... (5, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#40121281)

... in my mom's basement

Dude - you know that food you regularly find at the top of the stairs? That means she knows you're down there.

And so (3, Funny)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#40121979)

For the first time ever, AOL actually proved to be good for something. Naturally they put a stop to that as soon as they found out.

Squatting is a California tradition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40122171)

The first Anglos were squatting on Mexican land. Now the Mexicans squat here and grow drugs. All the land was taken from the Indians. People squat in San Francisco for political reasons. People squat in the Santa Cruz mountains for economic reasons. This guy squatted at AOL for similar reasons. California. We make money the really old fashioned way: we take land and use either its productive capacity or the opportunity cost of not paying rent or mortgage.

amateur (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40123087)

True pros can sleep sitting at the desk and staring at the computer monitor.

Allot of Innovation Happens at the AOL Building (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40123429)

Allot of innovation is going on at the AOL building and AOL is a good supporter of the companies that are located in their Palo Alto office. I am there in the building right now as I am typing this comment. It is a great place to work out of and AOL is a pretty cool company.

How did the security guard know about him? (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about 2 years ago | (#40123555)

"One of the guys who manages the building came in at like 5 or 6 in the morning," Simons lamented, "and he scoured the entire place to find me."

How did he know that someone was there to scour for to begin with? The article didn't state or perhaps it is unknown how AOL or a guard came to realize he didn't belong there.

I once lived out of a Janitors closet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40123589)

When I was going to college in San Luis Obispo, CA in 1997 I became homeless and worked evenings as a janitor so I made a Janitor closet at Cellular One my overnight sleeping room for three months. I always awoke at 4 am so that if anyone saw me they would think I was cleaning the offices early in the morning.

Is he related to RMS? (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 2 years ago | (#40124291)

Rumour has it that the inimitable Richard M. Stallman might have some experience with "office living"... :P

Compare AOL and US border security (5, Funny)

Tolvor (579446) | about 2 years ago | (#40124535)

This is probably the conversation the manager had once he got caught squatting at AOL...

Security: "Sir, we've caught a guy who has overstayed his work visa and has been illegally squatting in our corporate campus for three months."
Manager: "Damn! What damage has he caused?"
Security: "None sir, he's been working on some start up project to link teacher's educational materials together."
Manager: "Really? How much are we paying him?"
Security: "Ummm... nothing. He's doing it a part of our K12 Imagine incubator that we are running. However he's been eating our cereal, drinking our soda, and sleeping on our couches."
Manager: "What has he been doing all day? Surfing the internet?"
Security: "As far as we can tell he's been programming 12 to 16 hours a day."
Manager: "..."
Security: "Should we call the police sir?"
Manager: "Hell No! Ask if needs pillows. One more thing, get me ten more of these 'squatters'"

Now contrast this with the United States Border Patrol...

Border Security: "Sir, we've caught a guy who has overstayed his work visa and has been illegally squatting in the United States work force for three years."
INS: "Damn! What damage has he caused?"
Border Security: "None sir, he's been working in an orchid picking oranges for a farmer that can't get anyone else to do it. In fact the person is extremely peaceful as they want to ensure that no one calls the police about them and causes them to be noticed."
INS: "Really? How much is he being paid?"
Border Security: "Ummm... minimum wage, and he's paying taxes. He's doing it a part of our American Dream incubator that we are running. However he's been shopping at our stores, going to our movies, and using our services."
INS: "What has he been doing all day? Watching television?"
Border Security: "As far as we can tell he's been working two jobs to support his family and save money."
INS: "..."
Border Security: "Should we deport him sir?"
INS: "Hell Yes! Make sure you deport him hundred of miles away to make it harder for him. One more thing, build me a bigger, better fence."

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