NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Sun goes down, Empire blows up

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Sun goes down, Empire blows up

Well, I had my second date with Margot last week. It was nice. We attended a seminar on multimodal component interfaces and then went on a romantic stroll around a waste treatment facility. She says the smell of methane calms her nerves. I sure can pick 'em, can't I?

The Sun Also Sets: Rumours are swirling about dark days at Sun. According to insiders, company managers are spending their time huddled in conference rooms, which could mean more layoffs beyond the 3300 jobs that evaporated in April. Another tipster thoughtfully shared Sun's bonus compensation plans, which promises hefty rewards for top management - in lieu of actual raises. Others speculate that Sun is ripe for a takeover, possibly by a Texas-size company. Spokesfolk hotly deny these rumours. Sounds like a little Sunscreen may be in order.

Disco Inferno: Cringester Brad A. has decided to give Microsoft's Age of Empires II game a well-deserved rest after the disc exploded - literally - inside his CD-RW drive. He had to take the drive apart to remove all the pieces. My theory? He's stumbled on Microsoft's new digital rights management scheme.

A Little Knowledge Base Is a Dangerous Thing: Need more evidence there's something funky in the water supply at Redmond? Check out Jilly Dybka's compendium of questions taken from the Microsoft Knowledge Base (kudos to reader Ann T. for the tip).

My personal favourites: Microsoft wireless mouse is unresponsive, inconsistent, or irregular (uh-oh, the mouse has gotten into the cooking sherry again); Sometimes Barney Starts Playing Peekaboo on His Own (I've always wondered about Barney); and The Italian Proofing Tools Make a Potentially Offensive Suggestion (something about your mother and a goat, I think).

It's a Dirty Job: A disgusting report in The Register claims the average office has 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet. Particularly icky areas include the keyboard, mouse, and phone. I believe it. When my editor starts spitting into the receiver, it takes a hazmat team to clean up the mess.

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