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Microsoft Fires Mac Fan For Blog Photo

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the camera-un-obscura dept.

Microsoft 1087

christor writes "Microsoft has fired a full-time temp employee after it discovered that the employee posted in his blog a photo and story concerning Microsoft's purchase of what looks to be around 18 G5s. Check out the blog entry, Even Microsoft wants G5s, and the one that follows it. Microsoft fired the blogger, despite an offer to take the posting down. Note that this is not a free speech issue, even though the blog was hosted on a non-company server, because Microsoft is not, yet, the government. But it does present several other interesting issues, including that of the trade-off between the bad publicity that comes from the firing and whatever bad results follow when employees feel free to post such things."

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so what ? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337204)

Bill Gates is God, I just don't believe in him.

Re:so what ? (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337222)

Heil Me !
I got my 4th FP in a few days :)
BTW, who the hell is this imposter [slashdot.org] ?

ewwwww.... macs (-1, Flamebait)

proctorg76 (657774) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337207)

HOLY CRAP YO! why the hell would MS want them? everyone knows mac r teh s uck

already /.'d (-1)

obsid1an (665888) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337214)

Not even a first post and it gets /.'d

Re:already /.'d (1)

larien (5608) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337303)

This has to be the best advantage of subscription; you get to beat the rush to view the site before the stampeding hordes of /.ers kill the poor server :)

SIR HAXALOT IS NEEDED (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337340)

Quick, SIR HAXALOT, we need your help, post the Google cache!!!! We will mod you up to +5 I promise!

Too [216.239.37.104] late [216.239.37.104]

Re:already /.'d (1)

ideatrack (702667) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337359)

Yeah way to rub salt in his wounds guys!

Could it... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337215)

Exm, fp?

Interesting post though...

wow dogg aint dat a thing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337218)

thats the craziest dern thing i heard in about 3 minutes and dats crazy man

yes

Where were those G5 going?!? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337223)

I bet they were going to Windows Longhorn R&D-department. :)

MOD THIS UP INSIGHTFUL!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337252)

nt

Re:Where were those G5 going?!? (1, Informative)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337265)

No, the internal print shop! That's where that guy works (rather, did work).

Re:Where were those G5 going?!? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337409)

I interviewed at Microsoft last week. One of my interviewers had both a Linux machine and a G5 in his office.


I don't think there is that much OS discrimination within the company, with the exception that each developer needs to have a windows machine for obvious reasons. I think MS fired him because he was blatently trying to embarrass the company.


MS is making a big push towards platform independent applications via managed code. I heard from one employee that the vast majority of products will need to be re-written for the .NET Framework sometime during 2004, with little exceptions. Everything from Outlook to Live Meeting will be rewritten in managed code. That being said, I would not be surprised in the least if these machines were going to random employees who requested them, OR the .NET Framework team who just might be working on a OS X port for the .NET Framework.

Of course they want Macs. (4, Insightful)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337225)

It is difficult to develop Mac applications without Mac boxes.

Re:Of course they want Macs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337232)

actully you can, using Microsoft Virtual PC, posted on /. a couple of days back.

Re:Of course they want Macs. (1)

JeffTL (667728) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337267)

No, that's for developing for x86 on a Mac without a real x86. Well, actually, it's more for users than devs...it's for running Access and perhaps SPSS on Mac :)

Re:Of course they want Macs. (1)

lanceball (665843) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337332)

Or you could simply use the Mac OS X version [spss.com] [spss.com] of SPSS.

Re:Of course they want Macs. (0)

diersing (679767) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337364)

Again, if you HAD A MAC!!!!!

Re:Of course they want Macs. (5, Insightful)

diersing (679767) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337411)

No no no, this crowd does not want to hear that. Are you suggesting while developing the Office line of products for Mac they might actually want to test on a G5? Absurd!!!

For as valid as your point is, its kinda of unrelated to the topic of a company terminating an employee for iReason. The posting is suggesting that the employee was fired for.... what? Saying Microsoft was buying Macs? I don't think so. I would imagine it had more to do with taking images from the Redmond campus (unapproved images from his digital camera), off campus and making them available online. There are many business campus' that have very specific rules (that you agree to as part of employment) about what can and can't happen on campus. Understanding the images were captured in a loading dock, but they could have been pictures of code (screen captures or documents) or other MS IP. Since the guy was a temp, he prolly wasn't afforded a detailed explanation, just a seizure of non-personal items an personal escort the edge of the property.

Uh Oh (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337226)

I sure hope he's got unmetered bandwidth on that site.
First he gets fired and now Slashdot posts 3 links to his server? Poor guy!

Re:Uh Oh (1, Funny)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337410)

It's his own server - and it appears to have melted. Hopefully it wasn't one of the G5's, because that'll hurt Apple BIG TIME, and I was thinking of switching (I WILL NOT buy a PC with a hardware DRM implementation!)

Offer to take the posting down (5, Funny)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337228)

Microsoft fired the blogger, despite an offer to take the posting down

And if he doesn't want to take it down, damn it we'll take it down FOR him.

port longhorn ot Apple hardware? (2, Insightful)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337230)

or just do what they always do, have reference machines so they can keep any eye on the competition.

Is /. a Kro subsidiary ? (1, Funny)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337231)

Bill Gates fires the blogger, /. closes his blog.

Why do the English have disgusting teeth? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337233)

Filthy blackish-yellow shit stained rotting teeth with breath that smells like dog vomit? Even wealthy parasites like the royal family have awful decaying teeth. Why is that?

Also is that old hag the queen mum still alive? I always hated her.
Thank You

Re:Why do the English have disgusting teeth? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337379)

The Queen MUM is like *BSD. Looks dead. Smells dead. But some people insist it's still alive.

G5's use: (-1, Redundant)

casings (257363) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337234)

I think the possible use of the G5's may be a port of some of their software?

i mean its a legitimate excuse for firing as it can lead to corporate espionage.

Paranoia? (2, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337235)

So, what was the deal? Was Microsoft genuinely spooked at his revealing what building he was in, or were they upset that it was revealed they purchase Macs? They do have a Macintosh business unit, so I would guess the former, but it does appear a little extreme.

Re:Paranoia? (4, Informative)

Arcturax (454188) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337422)

Well, I think it was justifiable firing. He likely signed a NDA and here he goes putting up pictures of their computers on the web. Even if nothing critical was revealed, they have to enforce their NDA or people will violate it left and right. This is far more serious than a leak of a Windows beta which is already widely distributed anyway. This is taking photos of systems used for internal company buisiness. If I were his employer, I would have fired him too.

Non-issue (5, Insightful)

EABird (554070) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337237)

I'm pretty sure that if I posted confidential information about my company, they would fire me too. All I have to say to this person is, duh.

Re:Non-issue (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337280)

Is what you see in the parking lot or shipping dock confidential information?

Re:Non-issue (2, Insightful)

timbloid (208531) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337319)

No, but if it brings the company into disripute by me taking photos of it, then that's a different matter...

Re:Non-issue (1, Interesting)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337373)

I agree. I'd expect to get fired if I took pictures of our hardware here and posted them. Sometimes the stupidity of people amaze me.

I'm no microsoft lover but I can't fault them on this one.

Censorship (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337241)

While not *government* censorship, it's still censorship. You check your civil rights when you walk in your employer's door.

"full-time temp" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337247)

- Jumbo shrimp
- Pretty ugly
- Head butt
- Boneless ribs

what's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337249)

what's the big deal.

The employe is an idiot for posting that kind of information.

Office Space (1, Funny)

ShishCoBob (516335) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337251)

Maybe they bought them for employee moral. Go office space on all of them out in a field somewhere.

you want a war (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337253)

RE:[because Microsoft is not, yet, the government.]

this would start a cival war...

i refuse to be ruled over by a M$-Governemnt i would go to war first...

Go bill gates! (1)

arcanumas (646807) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337255)

I bet one of those Macs is for Billy himself.

Re:Go bill gates! (1)

ewithrow (409712) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337311)



Especially considering yesterday was his birthday ;)

Re:Go bill gates! (0)

ideatrack (702667) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337405)

I bet they all are, he's building a fort!

Why are they so secretive? (3, Interesting)

BMonger (68213) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337256)

The person was fired mainly for taking a photo of the Microsoft Campus and posting it online plus telling people where he worked (short answer anyhow). Why is Microsoft so secretive about what is in the different buildings? I seem to remember a few other stories of people not being able to find anything on their land because nobody would tell them where anything was... it just seems weird. But I'm sure there is some sort of explanation for it. Anybody?

Re:Why are they so secretive? (5, Funny)

buddhaunderthetree (318870) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337304)

Well, you probably won't like the answer but I have it on good authority that in case of emergency, (i.e. the Govt. really enforcing anti-trust laws) the buildings on the MS campus will transform into giant robots, march on Washington D.C. and install Bill Gates as our new overlord.

Re:Why are they so secretive? (1)

flyingace (162593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337418)

I have worked in 3 tech jobs in the past 6 years and in most of these taking pictures in the work environment is against the corporate rules. Its only understandable that the companies dont want to give clues to their competitors on what they are working.

However firing is still a little extreme.

At most times these restrictions are not followed verbatim, but in spirit.

So let me get this straight... (3, Insightful)

levik (52444) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337257)

Miscorosft fired an employee for painting the company in a bad light on a world-accessible medium?

I don't see an issue. Imagine yourself running a small firm - if one of your employees were to go and make a post that clearly makes fun of your company, how would you feel about it?

The move may be a bit harsh, but definitely not anything to raise privacy issues - as an employee, you are obligated to look out for the well-being of your company.

As far as the G5s go, why wouln't MS want them? They have a bunch of products that target Mac OS, I would imagine they want to test them on everything from the G3 iBooks to the G5 desktops.

Re:So let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337399)


A stern warning may have sufficed, but with all the memos that have been leaked from Microsoft, I think this will serve as a reminder that posting company information publicly - even something as trivial as a G5 purchase - is not acceptable. I'm not surprised the guy got fired. It's not even a big deal anyway. Microsoft runs Linux on a few machines as well, who cares? How else will they assimilate everyone? (insert Borg graphic here)

To be fair (1)

timbloid (208531) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337259)

I'm pretty sure that every contract of employment I've had says that by doing anything to bring the company into disripute, I will have committed a serious breach, and can be fired without notice.

Maybe I just sign anything that's put infront of me though... But I thought that was a pretty standard clause...

In case of /.ing (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337263)

Even Microsoft wants G5s

October 23, 2003 @ 10:34 PM | Macintosh

It looks like somebody over in Microsoft land is getting some new toys...

I took this shot on the way into work on the loading dock (MSCopy, the print shop I work in, is in the same building as MS's shipping and receiving). Three palettes of Dual 2.0Ghz G5's on their way in to somewhere deep in the bowels of Redmond. Hopefully they're all in good condition when they arrive -- the boxes are slick enough that a few of them took a bit of a tumble (you can see them back in the truck)!

October 27, 2003 03:08 PM

And that simply, as of about 2pm today, I once again joined the ranks of the unemployed. more

The day started like any other day -- get up, dink around for a bit, bus into work, and start working through the stack of jobs. Just shy of an hour after I got in, my manager came in and asked me to step into his office when I had a chance. Sure, no biggie, and I headed over as soon as I finished the job I was setting up.

"Okay, here's the first question. Is this page," and here he turned his monitor towards me, letting me see my "Even Microsoft wants G5s" post from last Thursday, "hosted on any Microsoft computer? Or is it on your own?"

"It's on mine. Well, it's on a hosted site that I pay for, but no, it's not on anything of Microsoft's."

"Good. That means that as it's your site on your own server, you have the right to say anything you want. Unfortunately, Microsoft has the right to decide that because of what you said, you're no longer welcome on the Microsoft campus."

And that simply, as of about 2pm today, I once again joined the ranks of the unemployed.

It seems that my post is seen by Microsoft Security as being a security violation. The picture itself might have been permissible, but because I also mentioned that I worked at the MSCopy print shop, and which building it was in, it pushed me over the line. Merely removing the post was also not an option -- I offered, and my manager said that he had asked the same thing -- but the only option afforded me was to collect any personal belongings I had at my workstation and be escorted out the door. They were at least kind enough to let me be escorted out by one of my co-workers, rather than sending security over to usher me out, but the end result is the same.

More frustrating for me is that, having read stories here and there on the 'net about people who had for one reason or another lost their jobs due to something on their weblogs, I thought that I had done what I could to avoid that possibility. To my mind, it's an innocuous post. The presence of Macs on the Microsoft campus isn't a secret (for everything from graphic design work to the Mac Business Unit), and when I took the picture, I made sure to stand with my back to the building so that nothing other than the computers and the truck would be shown -- no building features, no security measures, and no Microsoft personnel. However, it obviously wasn't enough.

So, I'm unemployed. I am somewhat lucky in that I'm not technically unemployed -- I am still on the roster for my temp agency, who has been very good to me so far (and hopefully will continue to be), but as their ability to place me anywhere does depend on the current job market, it's not a foolproof guarantee of employment coming in quickly. I've put a call into them and let them know of the situation and that I'm available and willing for whatever can be found, so with any luck, they'll be able to find a placement for me. However, it appears that it's also time for me to start hitting the streets and shopping my resume around again.

Wish me luck.

This seems unreasonable, but ... (0)

Augusto (12068) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337264)

... if they gave him a chance to take the picture down and he didn't, they can do this. And at least they gave him a fair chance.

Where I work at, you're not allowed to take pictures inside the workplace. I would image MS has a similar policy.

Re:This seems unreasonable, but ... (2, Informative)

AnswerIs42 (622520) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337376)

General Motors is a lot worse in that reguard.. you bring any kind of camera into a GM workplace, you are fired on the spot.

Makes it hard when I went to upgrade my cell phone.. had to find one without a camera feature.

Bad Publicity? (2, Insightful)

bearclaw (217359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337272)

Please. 99% of the public won't even hear about the story. And of the 1% that does, 99% of them won't give a rat's ass who Microsoft fired.

Re:Bad Publicity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337348)

Except now since they fired the guy suddenly everyone is going to hear about it. If they had just quietly made him take the pictures down then all of us would have been none the wiser. But no, they've made it a big deal now. Companies make these kind of mistakes so often it's not funny.

Re:Bad Publicity? (2, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337353)

More like, 100% of the people who hear about the story are either Slashdotters who already hate Microsoft, or Apple nuts, who already hate Microsoft. Honestly, I don't really see what Microsoft did wrong in this particular instance. If the knowledge of them posessing the Apples is what the company took exception to having had spread, then they are within their rights to terminate someone who doesn't maintain company secrets.

I don't exactly care for Redmond's largest company myself, but for a change this is a reasonable business practice.

Who needs employees like this anyways? (1, Insightful)

Daemongar (176180) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337274)

Yeah, Microsoft, is evil (here), but why the hell shouldn't Microsoft fire an employee for posting corporate information with the intent to embarass the MS?

Even if that information isn't corporate secrets, still shows that employee doesn't exactly have their employers best interests at heart.

Legality and No sense of humour (2, Interesting)

E-Tigger (601072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337276)

I know that there have been other cases of people being `persecuted' = fired from their positions due to things they said on the blogs.

I have to question the legality of that kind of action as infringing upon the freedom of speech, of punishing someone for their opinions.

Perhaps it is naive to think that the non-discrimination due to race, creed, etc would also apply to thought.

Because in essence firing someone for what are their opinions and thoughts is a form of thought police.

While that doesn't relate in this instance, as this is far more foolish.

It's a laugh. MS buying Apples. So what? It's funny. I'm sure they have Linus boxes running somewhere also. What of it?

You'd think a company that wealthy would be able to afford a sense of humour.

too bad... (0, Troll)

ManVsRice (620490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337277)

Too bad it wasn't on a Microsoft server, that probably wouldn't have gotten slashdotted so quickly.

Coke/Pepsi same problem (2, Interesting)

Peyna (14792) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337278)

I recall reading a story awhile ago about a Coke employee who was fired for drinking Pepsi while working. This is along similar lines for justification of firing someone; however, in this case it is a little more iffy if they could actually fire him for this depending on what sort of contracts he signed when agreeing to employment with Microsoft.

In the Coke/Pepsi deal the worker had to sign something saying he wouldn't publicly endorse another product (by drinking it) while working. I imagine MS might have a similar deal.

Re:Coke/Pepsi same problem (1)

shuz (706678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337368)

I was to Atlanta a few years ago. I never once saw a single can/bottle of pepsi in the entire city!

Re:Coke/Pepsi same problem (1)

dr_eaerth (149359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337412)

I recall reading a story awhile ago about a Coke employee who was fired for drinking Pepsi while working.... In the Coke/Pepsi deal the worker had to sign something saying he wouldn't publicly endorse another product (by drinking it) while working. I imagine MS might have a similar deal.

Except that in this case, the person wrote the blog at home and hosted it at home. This situation is akin to a Coke employee being fired for drinking Pepsi at home.

Not that I'm surprised. Corporations believe that they own human lives, and to be honest, they do.

Bad publicity (3, Insightful)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337283)

The thing is, the bad publicity will hit the Mac-loving crowd, the anti-Microsoft crowd, and probably nobody else will hear about it or give a damn.

Most of the mainstream press doesn't even understand why Microsoft is considered distasteful by many people. I doubt that many news outlets will even consider this news.

The Blog Nation may spread it around for a few nanoseconds, but most of them are already open-minded enough to realize that there are viable alternatives to Microsoft products.

Dude, you're getting a Beowolf (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337284)

I propose the following: That the new Slashdot motto to appear on advertisements, banner ads, T-shirts, etc., should be "Dude, you're getting a Beowolf". Not only is this satiric (making fun of the popular Dell commercials), but would it be an inside joked enjoyed lovingly by Slashdot readers worldwide. I just about laughed my ass off the first time I heard it. Come to think of it, I did laugh my ass off!!! It's nowhere to be seen!

Can be expected. (-1, Troll)

Jhonny (705236) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337287)

What, do we all think Bill Gates is stupid or somthing? Why would he want to use his "Computers" when he could be using real machines? Not that macs are great, but compared to windows?

G5's... (1)

pebs (654334) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337290)

Was this just G5 processors? Or Macs with G5's?

In any case, Microsoft does write software (Office, IE) for the Mac, so what's the big deal?

Yeah, if you're this employee, you must be crying. (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337295)

...all the way to the book deal.

I call Bull (1)

Xentax (201517) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337296)

I think there's more to this story we're not getting told.

Why would MS care if someone talks about MS buying Macs on their weblog?

1) MS *does* still provide software on the Mac -- Office if nothing else. That means they need Mac hardware to test on (yeah yeah, joke about MS and testing, but seriously).

2) Even if they DO care about being seen buying Macs, it's a frickin' weblog. This wasn't a videocap that got shown on CNN or something...

So, I'm betting this *temp* employee (which is actually a rarity at MS to begin with) was fired for some other reason. He obviously has a legitimate wrongful dismissal case if he was *told* he was fired for blogging about some Macs...

Xentax

Re:I call Bull (1)

Xentax (201517) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337415)

K, read the reposted article (since the log was /.'d by the time the article showed up :/), and it sounds like 'merely' a questionable judgement call on the part of MS Security.

As the guy said, he thought he took sufficient steps to make it a 'safe' pic/commentary, but they disagreed.

Still, the details make the headline sensationalist at best.

Xentax

Responsibility and privledged information (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337297)

So through the course of someones job, they get some private information, then broadcast it to the world.

Well maybe this was a bad idea. Generally when you come across non dangerous information detrimental to your employer you shouldn't announce it, that's just unethical.

This obviously doesn't apply to matters of public safety, which is why we have/are working on whistleblower protection.
No matter how much you like them, buying Macs is NOT an issue of public safety.

Overreaction? (4, Insightful)

toupsie (88295) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337298)

Microsoft does have a Mac Business Unit that produces an excellent version of their Office package. Microsoft has every right to can anyone they (barring contracts) but this seems like an overreaction. A Microsoft stockholder would want to know that Microsoft is testing and developing their Mac Business Unit products on the latest and greatest Macs.

However, there is probably more to this story than we are reading -- mainly because the site is /.-ed.

Oh really? (-1, Flamebait)

floydigus (415917) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337302)

Note that this is not a free speech issue, even though the blog was hosted on a non-company server, because Microsoft is not, yet, the government.

So, if I forcibly tie you up and gag you, it is not a free speech issue, because I am not the government, right?

Re:Oh really? (3, Informative)

Chewie (24912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337338)

That's right. Depending on what you do to me, I can have you prosecuted for any criminal acts (kidnapping, etc.) you commit, or I can bring a civil case against you (emotional pain, etc.). It's *NOT* a First Amendment issue.

Re:Oh really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337425)

No, it would probably be assault, and/or kidnapping.

Yeah so who did he think he was working for? (1)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337305)

It isn't like he was working at some cool place or anything.

Funny... (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337312)

An agent of Microsoft lies when they make up a person who switched from Mac to Windows. That person does not get fired. But when Microsoft actually does switch, the person who points it out gets fired. Very funny!

Wow, Microsoft is EVIL (1)

GabrielF (636907) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337317)

Believe me, I know full well that high tech companies should, and do take security VERY seriously. Even Apple fired a retail store employee who accidently left pictures of his login info to the support database on his website. (The pictures were then picked up by a particularly nasty rumor site) However, at least in that case IIRC the company had the common courtesy to be polite about it rather than telling someone "you're not welcome on the Microsoft campus." However, this issue is just anal. Microsoft's Mac Business Unit routinely brags about being the largest Mac software developer outside of Apple and having the largest Mac lab for development. It stands to reason that they might want G5's. Plus, the pictures don't really show anything other than the G5's themselves.

For those who can't get to the article (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337322)

For those who can't get to the article, he wasn't fired for posting the pic about mac's at Microsoft. As he pointed out Microsoft is widely known to have used Mac's in different operations (like their Mac software unit) for years. He was fired for a fairly innocous describing of part of the physical layout of their campus. While I'm not exactly fond of beast of Redmond, they do have some pretty valid security concerns. After all, if you made something that routinely pissed off millions of people every year you'd probably be a little paranoid about your security too.

Sympathy? (1)

SirLantos (559182) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337323)

It is hard to say wether or not we should have sympathy for this guy. Was the information he posted sensitive? If it was he should be fired. But if he was fired for telling everyone that MS bought some Macs, that would be a different story. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that MS needs a Mac in order to develop on a Mac.
So until we have more info, we cannot take sides here.

I enjoy bashing Microsoft as mych as the next guy, but we must still be fair.

first link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337326)

Even Microsoft wants G5s

October 23, 2003 @ 10:34 PM | c:9 | tb:17

It looks like somebody over in Microsoft land is getting some new toys...

[Pic | Truck backed into loading dock with three palettes of G5's as he describes below. Yes, one of the palettes had taken a fall.]

I took this shot on the way into work on the loading dock (MSCopy, the print shop I work in, is in the same building as MS's shipping and receiving). Three palettes of Dual 2.0Ghz G5's on their way in to somewhere deep in the bowels of Redmond. Hopefully they're all in good condition when they arrive -- the boxes are slick enough that a few of them took a bit of a tumble (you can see them back in the truck)!

I side with Microsoft on this one. (2, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337328)

I don't like MS. Yeah, some might say I was an OSS zealot. When I gave up MS at home I went as far as to give away my MS Wheel mouse and replaced it with a Logictech.

Chances are he signed paperwork saying that he couldn't disclose company secrets. He took the pic at work and posted it on the web, there are often policies about this. He let the world know what MS was up to.

No matter how much I like MS they did exactly what they should have done.

I know I'm up to my neck in NDAs and ethics processes, something like that would be a direct violation of all of them. I even try not to talk about what I do to my wife. Coporations keep secrets for a reason.

MOD PARENT UP! (0)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337400)

This guy hit it on the head.

If I posted pictures of my companies semi-secret lab on the internet for all to see I would think I'd get fired too... This has nothing to do with microsoft in particular.

The guy needs help with his rent, too (3, Informative)

JimRay (6620) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337330)

Apparently, his financial situation is a tad bit dire [michaelhanscom.com] , so if you really wanna stick it to the man, you might consider paypaling him a buck. Even better, give the dude a job...

Two Words (3, Insightful)

LittleGuy (267282) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337334)

"For Cause".

Unless you have enough money not to care, or are in a union powerful enough to stick by/up for you, that is the terms of employment in 21st Century America.

Welcome to your well-regulated life. The schools cover it with "Code of Conduct", and businesses continue it with "Policies and Procedures for Employees".

When you retire, you'll probably be covered under "Retirement Home Procedures for Residents".

I don't blame them (1)

Hellraisr (305322) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337335)

What he did was to leak corporate information. No-one else knew that MS had Macs. If the company felt it was to their disadvantage for other competitors to know this information, then it would be grounds for dismissal. It would be like blabbing what you heard at the watercooler to the world.

I wonder what the Macs were to be used for though. It probably wouldn't be new information if it was for the Office dev crew, but perhaps they are considering porting Windows to the G5, or emulating G5 on Windows with their VirtualPC acquisition.

How did MS know about the post (1)

buddhaunderthetree (318870) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337343)

Is MS checking out all of its employees and contractors personal webpages? If so that's just plain creepy.

Microsoft and the "community" (4, Informative)

pubjames (468013) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337349)

I think Microsoft realised a couple of years ago that the really powerful thing about OSS was actually the community. And they want to try to make such a community themselves. That's one of the reasons I think there seem to be so many MS staff who have blogs - they want to be seen encoraging an MS community. And why they have taken to "accidentally" releasing alpha/beta stuff into the wild recently.

Some of their efforts have been laughable in the way that they have tried to make corporate efforts look as if they are really community based. I've tried to find evidence of a genuine MS community but there isn't much about. The only equivalent to Slashdot for MS lovers in ActiveWin [activewin.com] , which has about a dozen people that post to it, mainly when a story about Linux or critical of MS comes up.

There is a lot of activity on GotDotNet [gotdotnet.com] , but mostly it is technical queries.

Are there other, genuine examples of MS community sites? Or alternatively, attempts that are obviously MS driven? I'm just interested to compare the strength of the OSS community with the MS community (yes I know they are not logically exclusive, but in reality it seems to be pretty much the case).

So? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337350)

He got what he deserved. If this was a linux company your reactions would be totally different.

What it makes me think (1)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337352)

But it does present several other interesting issues, including that of the trade-off between the bad publicity that comes from the firing and whatever bad results follow when employees feel free to post such things.

To me the big thing to think about is this...MS would know that this would get out. The only benefit to this is if their are a lot of other embarassing points that could make blogs, their employees will think twice. So there must be a lot of shinola on their floors.

And whats wrong with this? (1)

Eagle5596 (575899) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337354)

It's not like he said "Wow! Windows must really suck for them to want G5's!", he just stated what he saw, nothing defamatory. It's a well known practice to purchase the products of competetors so you can compare them with your own, or even work on a cross platform version.

I don't see how what he did was wrong at all. I also don't buy the "security" bull shit his boss fed him. IMHO, this was seen as an embarassment to microsoft and the decided to grind the poor guy under their heel.

The most disturbing part of this, however, is that MS Security was either watching his blog, or running searches on all MS related postings to scan for things they didn't like. MSBig Brother is watching evidently, and firing poor joe's for it when they feel like. I personally don't like the idea of the titan breathing down my neck every day.

This probably means that MS Security is reading this posting right now. Good thing I never hope to be employed by the evil giant, because Microsoft, all I want to say to you is SUCK IT!

This is a raw deal, firing an employee for nondefamatory, nonsecurity breaching posting. Becareful what you say in the future as MSBig Brother makes itself available to other employers.

Expensive packing material (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337366)

G5 = OSX 10.3 plus $3000 in shipping & handling :)

Naturally they would do this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337370)

They must be Gay Niggers! How else can this be explained? Communism? Anti-American activity? Corporate Assholism? It appears that corporations need to be STRIPPED of any legal standing ever given to them. Make them totally responsible for acts comitted by their agents! Fuck the big business intrusion to our world! Fuck them hard and fast so they cannot cum!

What really worries me... (4, Interesting)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337375)

... and what should worry you too is his job description, full-time temp employee. Sounds like Microsoft was getting all the benefits of a full-time employee without having to worry about any of the associated costs. And if companies like Microsoft, with its $60 billion cash reserve can pull this kind of crap, what does that say about today's job market, labour laws and how skewed they are in favour of big business?

Heck, being a "temp" probably made firing him that much easier.

Should he have been fired for breaking confidentiality? I don't know, because I can't even see his side of the story (as his site is /.ed). But should he have been a "full-time temp employee"? No fucking way.

Yay for caching (1)

redJag (662818) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337382)

Google to the rescue [216.239.53.104] (the first blog)

Yeah this guy was stupid. He acts like he is uncovering some conspiracy when all he is doing is talking about stuff he shouldn't. Of course they need Macs, how else will they develop software for them? Maybe it's to test Halo (ha). More likely it's for their next version of VPC (the one where they change something other than the logo)

Asinine (1)

jridley (9305) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337384)

I can't believe that there's anyone that doesn't think that an organization of Microsoft's size wouldn't own a little of everything. Certainly they have G5's. I'm sure they have some Suns in their organization somewhere too. I'm sure they have linux boxes, if only to study. Every company of any size has people who get paid to use the competition's products, to compare them to their own.

However, what he was really fired for was divulging info about what's in which building. This seems way over the top, but I guess MS can set whatever security rules they want.

Free speech no human rights yes (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337386)

It might in the USA not be a free speech issue but there would be a good chance that Human Rights legislation on the right to a personal life would be infringed.

Atricle 8 [hri.org]

Similar House Rules (1)

jhhl (513935) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337396)

I haven't experienced firings in this way, but I know you can't send software patch CDs to the USPS via UPS or any other way but their own express mail service - they simply won't accept them!

So. Which is more embarassing to MS? (1)

acceleriter (231439) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337397)

Having an employee point out that MS bought some Macs? Or having the press pick up on the fact that they fired an employee for outing them?

Blog Entry Text [site pretty slashdotted] (0, Redundant)

stevek (25276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337398)

Even Microsoft wants G5s

October 23, 2003 @ 10:34 PM | Macintosh

It looks like somebody over in Microsoft land is getting some new toys...

I took this shot on the way into work on the loading dock (MSCopy, the print shop I work in, is in the same building as MS's shipping and receiving). Three palettes of Dual 2.0Ghz G5's on their way in to somewhere deep in the bowels of Redmond. Hopefully they're all in good condition when they arrive -- the boxes are slick enough that a few of them took a bit of a tumble (you can see them back in the truck)!

Blogs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7337404)

All your blogs are belong to us.

Good for Microsoft (?!) (1)

WwWonka (545303) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337407)

Hate to side with the oil tycoons of this century but I'm glad they fired this guy.

He obviously thought enough of Microsoft and it's Microsoft monopoly money to work for them. With work comes responsibility and loyalty. He snapped pics, which I'm sure Microsoft security just loved, and posted them. What if this was a snap of the new Microsoft XP 2010 in action with details of the server the code was located on? Surely trade secrets would be at risk.

This guy got what he deserves. As a future employer I would be wary of him and his loyalty to my company.

Maybe Apple is looking... (0)

kikensei (518689) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337419)

to hire a new APPLECopy employee.

Bling Bling (1)

telstar (236404) | more than 10 years ago | (#7337423)

"should anyone feel moved to make small donation, whether through the PayPal link or by using the Amazon banner on my site to go shopping, I certainly wouldn't complain in the least."
  • So he violates the terms of his employment, and now he cashes in. Lesson learned I'm sure....

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