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Microsoft Apologizes For Inserting Naughty Phrase Into Linux Kernel

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the brogrammers-at-work dept.

Microsoft 897

netbuzz writes "Microsoft has apologized and promised to rectify the fact that one of its developers slipped a sexist phrase into Linux kernel code supporting Microsoft's HyperV virtualization environment. In that code, the magic constant passed through to the hypervisor reads '0xB16B00B5,' or a slightly camouflaged 'BIG BOOBS.' After Linux developer/blogger Matthew Garrett criticized Microsoft for the stunt, the predictable debate over sexism in the technology world ensued. Microsoft issued a statement to Network World apologizing and added, 'We have submitted a patch to fix this issue and the change will be published in a future release of the kernel.'"

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0xB16B00B5 (5, Funny)

Jobless Fellatio (2686337) | about 2 years ago | (#40702773)

Excuse me but could someone clarify how is "big boobs" sexist phrase? It might mean either gender. For statistical reasons I can verify that my own boobs are often larger than I see on females.

Re:0xB16B00B5 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702817)

I'm sorry, but I can't take you serious on this subject because of your nickname.

Re:0xB16B00B5 (1, Flamebait)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#40702887)

Because the rest of the world understands what it is referring to, you can remain deluded if you wish.

Re:0xB16B00B5 (3, Insightful)

Win0ver (613215) | about 2 years ago | (#40702965)

Yes, it refers to big female breasts ; how is that sexist? If it somehow read 'BIG BICEPS' would anyone care?

Re:0xB16B00B5 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40703095)

If it somehow read 'BIG BICEPS' would anyone care?

Bug reporters, I hope...

Re:0xB16B00B5 (3, Insightful)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 2 years ago | (#40703099)

Bad analogy. BIG FAT COCK would be a better one. Saying wither will get you disciplined/fired at work. I hope i'm explaining this to a child - any adult would know this.

Re:0xB16B00B5 (3, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#40703223)

I am not sure any analogy can really be drawn. The issue isn't the specific word, but the culture around it. There is no equivalent since males have such a strong presence in geek and tech culture... they have no frame of reference to understand from. The best they can do is say 'I don't understand, but I accept that this matters and will keep it in mind'. Trying to convey it via something they can understand simply won't work....

Re:0xB16B00B5 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40703249)

Yes: it's not sexist, it's just lewd. It's also an irrelevant distinction.

Re:0xB16B00B5 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40703251)

i doubt saying "big fat cock" would get you fired if you worked in a chicken factory. everything requires context.

Re:0xB16B00B5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702999)

I get what it is referring to, but I still don't understand how it's sexist.

Re:0xB16B00B5 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40703003)

you suck

Re:0xB16B00B5 (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#40702975)

Yeah, but I doubt anyone is under the dilution that the person who slipped it in ment male or gender neutral breasts. Technicalities and what-ifs do not change what the person likely intended and the way it is read by, well, pretty much everyone.

Re:0xB16B00B5 (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40703037)

As for the way it is read, it immediately led me to the assumption that MS has a code monkey in the shop who still giggles at the words he can show by holding his calculator upside-down...

Re:0xB16B00B5 (5, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40703019)

For statistical reasons woman boobs are bigger then mens.

Why yes, I *am* being a pedantic git :-) (5, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 2 years ago | (#40703235)

For statistical reasons woman boobs are bigger then mens.

No, women's breasts are (statistically) larger than mens for evolutionary reasons, not statistical ones. In fact, I doubt that statistics themselves have much effect on breast size at all!:-)

What a boob you made of that... (^_^)

Re:0xB16B00B5 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40703161)

RMS looks like he might be hiding a fabulous pair somewhere under that beard.

Re:0xB16B00B5 (4, Funny)

karlandtanya (601084) | about 2 years ago | (#40703187)

Of course "boobs" is specific to women. The homologous structures in men are known as "moobs".

There is no hex number that looks similar to "Moobs".
From now on, all numbers must be represented as Unicode (it would not be politically correct to favor the character set used by any specific culture) where each 16-bit element specifies the text representation of the numerical value desired.

Who do you blame when it costs $75.00 to fill your gas tank? 71077345

Wait, "big boobs" is sexist now? (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40702783)

Seems like just yesterday it was just immature. Soon even the word "sexist" will be sexist.

Re:Wait, "big boobs" is sexist now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702897)

Some people have nothing better to do than complain and then blog about it. I wouldn't think this to be worthy of consideration to pass. Back in the old days we would set the internal IPX for our temporary servers to BADBEEF or COFFEE42. Glad chicken and tea didn't get upset.

Re:Wait, "big boobs" is sexist now? (5, Funny)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about 2 years ago | (#40703265)

I wonder if PETA will complain about 0xDEADBEEF?

I've seen that used often.

Re:Wait, "big boobs" is sexist now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702969)

Personally, I find it offensive that big boobs is now sexist. What about us guys with big boobs?

Re:Wait, "big boobs" is sexist now? (0)

snemarch (1086057) | about 2 years ago | (#40703155)

And considering what other phrases you can find in the Linux kernel tree... well, geez. Some people just don't have anything constructive to do.

why is microsoft so awful? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702785)

is it all the government contracts? or all the indians working there?

Re:why is microsoft so awful? (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 2 years ago | (#40702835)

I'm your stereotypical pro-linux, anti-MS geek, but I have to admit that I found this rather amusing.

Big Boobs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702799)

How many references to big dicks are in the sexist code. Oh the horror.

That's not sexist! (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#40702805)

Ballmer's got 'em, after all.

Re:That's not sexist! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702867)

My first reaction to this thread was to "Gee, I wish Slashdot allowed for the posting of inline images."

Ballmer's got 'em, after all.

...never mind.

Re:That's not sexist! (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#40702945)

Ballmer's got 'em, after all.

No, he makes them . . . Vista . . . Windows Phone 7 . . .

Re:That's not sexist! (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#40703279)

Ballmer's got 'em, after all.

No, he makes them . . . Vista . . . Windows Phone 7 . . .


seriously though, to fill the junk character quota, they should have just said that it was just a random code. patching for _that_? pffffffffft.

Get over it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702807)

It could just as easily refer to the man-boobs the 300lb developers have. People need to get a life.

If It Had Been Anyone Else (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702809)

but Microsoft, the "Linux blogger" would have had a big laugh and thought how clever those Linux chaps are.

svn blame (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702819)

gotta love source control

Well... (3, Funny)

pinkj (521155) | about 2 years ago | (#40702827)

Obviously they put big boobs in to swell the kernel.

Well...Expansive vocabulary. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40703245)

Explains why they didn't put in penis.

Eh? (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | about 2 years ago | (#40702829)

What's wrong with being sexy? Mine goes up to number 11! :0)

Re:Eh? (1)

kencurry (471519) | about 2 years ago | (#40703083)

What's wrong with being sexy? Mine goes up to number 11! :0)

Ian : "...Sex - IST..."
David: "have you seen the cover of Derek Small's new album?"


Nigel: "Ah, there's such a fine line between stupid and clever."

isn't this what they need more of? (2)

v1 (525388) | about 2 years ago | (#40702841)

How better to attract more geeks to the kernel project, than promises of BIG BOOBS?

A bunch of horny geeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702843)

That's what happens to geeks with all work and no play :)

2xB16B4115 (0)

acidfast7 (551610) | about 2 years ago | (#40702845)

I have 2xB16B4115 for the 2xB16B00B5 /.ers out there.

Re:2xB16B4115 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702963)

Not to rain on your parade, but 0x* denotes hexadecimal values. In this context, there is no such thing as 2x*. Otherwise, well played, in a junior-high sort of way.

how's that sexist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702847)

most slashdot users have bigger man-tits than half the women in the world.

what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702853)

and this is /. worthy????

Linux kernel's code is full of naughty words (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702859)

Just check the Linux kernel swear count: http://www.vidarholen.net/contents/wordcount/

Babecafe (3, Interesting)

unts (754160) | about 2 years ago | (#40702869)

0xBABECAFE or 0xDEADBEEF are both slightly less controversial.

Re:Babecafe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702941)

I'm vegan and we use 0xDEADBEEF as magic numbers in a few places... .. I could pretend to be offended, but really that would just be dumb... much like the original complaint in the story - people looking very hard for some reason to be offended by Microsoft.

Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702871)

That string could really only offend someone deliberately looking for something to be offended by, and even then it's a bit of a stretch.

Will Linus accept the patch? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702877)

If the patch has no benefit to the compiled code, I don't see why Linus should accept the patch.

ZOMG!!11!!2! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702883)

Sexism here: 0xB16B00B5

"Holy shit get out out the fainting couches! Somebody sue something!"

Sexism over there: women put to death for *being* raped

"Huh? Where? Eh..."

how many times... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702893)

...does "this is fucked up" or some derivative of that phrase appear in the kernel?

It seems like 10 or so years ago some open source opponent tried to get the kernel declared obscene (in some Scandinavian country?) because of the number of times the word "Fuck" appeared in the kernel comments.

well this is hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702901)

Micro soft is talking about big boobs.

this is surreal. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702933)

there are actually human beings on this planet that care and get angry for such things? Now i'm really scared.

and the submitted patch changes the magic word to: (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#40702943)


Or, an even more cleverly written "giggolos".

No one will ever spot it!

We're Supposed To Be The Good Guys (4, Insightful)

tapspace (2368622) | about 2 years ago | (#40702947)

Hey, we're supposed to be the good guys. Not the ones overreacting and lobbing thin accusations of "sexism". Who cares if it was Big Boobs? Everyone loves boobs! I like them all sizes :) Honestly, it's a magic number. Does it really matter?

Re:We're Supposed To Be The Good Guys (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40703087)

It doesn't matter, and it's not sexist, it's childish. My wife has big boobs, she mentions that on occasion in a matter of fact way. At least one girl has come up to her, squeezed her boobs and said she has big boobs. Various girls do their best to post pictures of their big boobs on various social media sites, complete with cleavage. Acknowledging the existence and desirability of big boobs is hardly sexist, it's just a fact.

That said, adults don't talk about big boobs, they find a girl attached to a large pair of breasts and then squeeze them when required. So this coder is guilty only of being a dork.

Re:We're Supposed To Be The Good Guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40703199)

Agreed people, make that some people want to be offended. Finally a Microsoft employee with a sense of humor, but not for long.

Oh come on. (5, Insightful)

jerpyro (926071) | about 2 years ago | (#40702957)

Ok, what Microsoft-hating oversensitive soapbox preacher thought "Hmm, Microsoft must be trying to sabotage our pristine kernel!!1!"

Programmers leave inside jokes. Usually in comments, sometimes variable names, and sometimes in arbitrary values. I'm sure more than one group had a good laugh about the thing on both sides of the wall. If I had a nickel for every time I saw a comment or variable name that could be interpreted as 'offensive' I'd be a rich man. As long as it's not directed at someone (I've seen those too) or hate speech of some kind, just let it go.

One of the reasons that I enjoy programming is because you can embed little jokes into the source without end users noticing -- they're like easter eggs.

Aaaand now feel free to wreck my karma, mods :-p

Re:Oh come on. (4, Insightful)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 2 years ago | (#40703153)

Just don't let the easter egg "hatch". I heard of someone at my job who included some text that shouldn't have been displayed in a section of code that WAS commented out - until someone else was working on it, uncommented the code, and saw his "funny" on the screen. The boss was not very amused.

Just Grep the Kernel (1)

Pat Attack (1353585) | about 2 years ago | (#40702981)

If you Grep the Linux kernel for curse words or slurs, you find many. Or at least, you used to. I haven't really checked since 2.6 The Fbomb will give you plenty of results.

Re:Just Grep the Kernel (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 2 years ago | (#40703079)

IIRC, Linus once said that he would reject patches if their sole purpose was to clean up the language in the kernel. No doubt it still has plenty of Fbombs.

belongs in the BSD kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702993)

I mean... ever seen the FreeBSD girl? In person.. I mean.. BOING.

A warning sign (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702995)

You know it is time to get away from the computer more when hexadecimal porn starts looking attractive.

Next version uses 0xB1GD1CCS instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40702997)

No comment, there's just a subject on this post, Mr. Lameness Filter.

MOOBS = man boobs. (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 2 years ago | (#40703027)

"Big Boobs" isn't as sexist as it is, er, sexist and/or weightist.

As long as it doesn't turn the evil bits back on our TCP packets, I'm fine with it.

Even more interesting... (2, Funny)

X86Daddy (446356) | about 2 years ago | (#40703033)

I find it more interesting that 10-year-olds are committing code to the Linux kernel.


cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about 2 years ago | (#40703043)

Vaguely reminds me of the EDOOFUS "controversy" [watson.org] in the FreeBSD kernel.

I do kind of agree it's sexist, but it's so infantile, i almost say ignore it. I mean, boobs exist, some are big, some are small, some are medium. Guys have big boobs too, and some are big too (I already see Balmer references in this discussion). I almost say, pull the phrase, and let it die, and not be any worked up about it.

Vulgar language hand-in-hand with the Linux Kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40703053)

Considering the amount of vulgarity already in the Linux Kernel [vidarholen.net] , I'd say that 'big boobs' is a very minor infraction. Also, I call bullshit on "big boobs" being sexist. I find it doubtful that anyone would be complaining if it was 0xA146ED1C (a large dick) instead.

who fixes what ? (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40703057)

Wait what ? Microsoft fixing a linux kernel code ? Hell, I don't want a bsod on my linux... I REFUSE TO TOUCH LINUX KERNEL FROM NOW ON... BEGONE MS

I say 'yawn' because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40703063)

when I actually yawn you just don't get it.

2976579765 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40703097)

Dec 2976579765
Oct 26132600265
Bin 10110001011010110000000010110101

But this number is dirty in hex, so I won't post it.

Not getting it... (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#40703107)

I think what I find depressing.... in these discussions you see many people pointing out that they don't get it, they don't understand why it is a big deal, etc...

You know what, that is a great thing to say, a great thing to admit. Stop there.

I think what is infuriating to many is people start with "I don't understand" then proceed to "therefor it doesn't matter". Telling people how they should feel about things that you can't understand is the hight of arrogance. Maybe instead these people should take some time and listen, and just accept that other people are impacted by things like this and just because you are not doesn't mean they shouldn't be.

You don't get it. Fine. Then don't tell other people how to feel. Women don't need your big smart male brain to explain how their poor womanly one should react to things that relate to experiences men don't have.

What about... (2)

LoadWB (592248) | about 2 years ago | (#40703111)

Would anyone have cared if the token was 0xB16BA115? I've heard (and I've done it myself) people refer to well-spec'd out machines as "ballsy." Not exactly professional, but a recognized colloquialism none-the-less.

Maybe it's just time for some people to grow up and not be so offended by little things. Save your outrage for the big stuff.

code reviews - not at Microsoft (1)

Locutus (9039) | about 2 years ago | (#40703125)

that seems to be a foreign subject at Microsoft or maybe their attitude goes like this, 'it's just open source, they them review our code since that is what they claim open source is all about.'

I doubt that attitude of the "engineer" who put that in the code is unique at Microsoft. As they say, sh:t rolls down hill and we know what's producing it at the top of that hill.


Where is the beef? (1)

tramp (68773) | about 2 years ago | (#40703159)

Microsoft is critized because a developer had been dreaming about what he is missing in his life? Come on!

Oh, and trolls, too. (3, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40703173)

I don't know why Microsoft would apologize -- programmer nerds love paying tribute to mythalogical things like hobbits, goblins, and female breasts.

Is this really happening? (2)

tnk1 (899206) | about 2 years ago | (#40703177)

Am I really reading a story about outrage over crude hex humor? What's next, emails being passed around to ask me to check a box if I like the project manager girl in the other row?

Would there have been so much angst if it said.. (1)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#40703207)

B16D1CK5 ??

Somehow I think not.

Remember Men, it's o.k. if any part of your body gets represented as just a meaningless object used by the opposite sex in graphic novels, movies, or live performances. However, if you so much as look at a woman the wrong way, it's mysogynistic objectification. Except (of course there's always arbitrary exceptions) if it's her wedding day, which is when she is almost completely self-objectified and loves every minute of it.

In Spanish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40703215)

In Spanish a good one is 0x00FABADA or for an ethernet address 0xFABADAFABADA

Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40703229)

People like sex, gods like sex, birds like sex...
Men like boobs... women like cocks...
Cut the crap people...

It's not the end of the world.

Apology Accepted, Captain Nedar... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40703239)

We would like to apologize sincerely for mocking your breasts. Now, please pass the lube so we can continue the ass raping.

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