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Everything is proceeding to plan. Lee and Dave are in the mini-sub preparing to take out the Thames Flood Barrier at full tide. I am in Mountain View, hurrying around in a MAE-WEST with a fast-depleting knapsack of Semtex hanging jauntily from my shoulder. Across the world, Y2K consultants are beginning to feel the effects of the powerful time-release hallucinogen we secreted onto the pages of "COBOL for Dummies" back in 1997. These last few days have left little time for love, laughter or editorial conferences, so we hope you'll make do with this seasonal quiz based on the last years' events. We hope it will take your mind off the the sounds of the angry peasant mobs milling outside your offices. Answers next week: first correct entry after midnight gets two week's supply of Evian and six vials of the emergency vaccine. In Year Zero, suckers! -Danny O'Brien, Need To Know News In these terrible times, it's good to watch the tech community put its problems aside, and supply what we were all so desperately short of: plenty of wild unsolicited opinions. After those first few hours of awful shocked silence - what a relief to be interrupted by the CEO of CoffeeCup Software, producers of an innocuous Windows HTML editor, emailing his 1.2 million customer base to "call for the country's complete destruction and annihilation". And at the end of that fateful day, noted hacker Eric S. Raymond rained his thoughts like fresh water, revealing that those who "disarmed all the non-terrorists on those airplanes ... bear some moral responsibility". Thanks too to BYTE's Jerry Pournelle, who slowly toughened his demands from an early request that /usr/bin/laden be handed over "bound and chained", to Thursday's demand that Nablus, Gaza, Baghdad and Damascus be razed to the ground; to the Evening Standard infowar expert who warned that "inflamed young men" could escalate the conflict by releasing "cyber viruses, crashing our computers ... from council houses in Bradford"; and kindly John Keegan in the Telegraph, who wrote that ISPs should ban encryption among their users, and those who refused must be "destroyed with cruise missiles". And on through the lonely nights, as net.folk on chat traded credulous rumours and confused geopolitics, and Nostradamus buffs mulled seriously over a quatrain that, sadly, was probably invented by a skeptic to show how any random phrase could end up a doomladen prophecy. But be assured that the crisis is not yet over. Please help: opinions are still desperately needed - and bloggers, columnists and sleep-deprived newsreaders are running short of ideas. So: do you have some minority you'd like to haphazardly blame? Some half-arsed genocidal theory you'd like to insist become global policy? Some simplistic demonisation of a country's recent history that needs to be waved in the faces of everyone you know? Mail it to our hotline on firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll pass it on to those who must fill the useless silence which would otherwise be wasted on slow, methodical grief. -Danny O'Brien, Need To Know News
Still, at least Denise "Starship Troopers" Richards dresses up as Lara Croft for no readily apparent reason... -Danny O'Brien on The World is Not Enough When the the London Stock Exchange trading computers crashed just at the point that the US stock market bubble wobbled, it's tempting to see more than the usual invisible hand manipulating the market. Was it truly incompetence on an unparallelled scale, or could this "accident" have been a deliberate denial of service prevent further instability? Well, given Andersen Consulting's involvement, we're assuming the former. -Danny O'Brien, Need To Know News A system admin's life is a sorry one. The only advantage he has over Emergency Room doctors is that malpractice suits are rare. On the other hand, ER doctors never have to deal with patients installing new versions of their own innards! -Michael O'Brien We live in a dangerous Age. To say how you feel is to lay your own grave -Sinead O'Connor I know you lived in France but that doesn't mean you know everything. -Frank O'Hara Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. -P.J. O'Rourke Making fun of born-again christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope. -P.J. O'Rourke Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power. -P.J. O'Rourke The Middle Eastern states aren't nations; they're quarrels with borders. -P.J. O'Rourke Writing on a computer makes saving what's been written too easy. Pretentious lead sentences are kept, not tossed. Instead of sitting surrounded by crumpled paper, the computerized writer has his mistakes neatly stored in digital memory. -P. J. O'Rourke
slack off... my life is so much better now that I don't have something as silly as classes getting in my way -Erik Ogan They are seldom found out, because they gravitate to the kind of clients who, bamboozled by their rhetoric, do not hold them responsible for sales results. Their campaigns find favor at cocktail parties in New York, San Francisco and London but are taken less seriously in Chicago. In the days when I specialized in posh campaigns for The New Yorker, I was the hero of this coterie, but when I graduated to advertising in mass media and wrote a book which extolled the value of research, I became its devil. I comfort myself with the reflection that I have sold more merchandise than all of them put together. -David Ogilvy When I write an advertisement, I don't want you to tell me that you find it 'creative'. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product. When Aeschines spoke, they said, 'How well he speaks.' But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, 'Let us march against Philip.' -David Ogilvy Also, to answer the question "When will the new spreadsheet be ready for use?" The answer is about five or six weeks, although it may appear to you to be as long as three months, since, like all programmers, I am travelling at relativistic speeds. -Drew Olbrich Another industry secret is that "Schindler's List" was created entirely on a sound stage in Burbank by one camera man, three actors, and a dozen guys using a custom version of Photoshop. -Drew Olbrich At the suggestion of my reproductive system, I suggest that we create a new bboard called "I left my penis logged in." -Drew Olbrich C++ is like jamming a helicopter inside a Miata and expecting some sort of improvement. -Drew Olbrich I hope this doesn't disrupt the trendy "The World Sucks, Everybody Sucks; Well, Maybe Not As Much As I Do; I'd Like To Suck More Than You Do, Really I Would; Hey, Sucking Any More Would Be An Improvement"... attitude. -Drew Olbrich
I love stress because it's a whole lot better than depression. -Drew Olbrich It's all about getting off the planet. -Drew Olbrich My inner child is toting an Uzi. -Drew Olbrich Sometimes, I'm not so much fishing for compliments as snorkeling for criticism. -Drew Olbrich There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home. -Ken Olsen, President, Digital Equipment, 1977 We really need it because Microsoft keeps releasing sloppier and sloppier software that needs a faster and faster machine. -Ken Olsen By the way, if you do mention Pez and my wife, also mention that she's a management consultant and has a master's degree in molecular genetics, OK? -Pierre Omidyar, who founded eBay to help his wife collect Pez dispensers We're selling more than a cracker here, We're selling the salty, unctuous illusion of happiness. -The Onion If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One... I am become Death, the Shatterer of Worlds. -J. Robert Oppenheimer, quoting "The Bhagavad Gita", 1945 The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds and the pessimist knows it. -J. Robert Oppenheimer We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. -J. Robert Oppenheimer
Leaving behind the OS X user interface is like leaving London - you don't realise what a constant, nagging annoyance it is - like having a 24 hour toothache - until you've left town. -Andrew Orlowski Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch. -Robert Orben Unfortunately, mathematics is about theory. Your question actually has practical appliations. I can't really answer it. -Alejandro Ortega If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on the human face -forever... And remember that it is forever. -George Orwell Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past. -George Orwell Something else I'd like to do eventually is add the ability to supply the URL for an image you'd like to beat up on when you tire of thinking about killing Britney Spears (not that that is likely to happen), then the server would fetch the image and allow you to use the same set of weapons on it. This would let people ''cross-examine'' their thesis advisors, etc. -Gerald Oskoboiny My CPU can beat up your CPU with both its FPU's tied behind its MMU!! -Lamar Owen Any member introducing a dog into the Society's premises shall be liable to a fine of one pound. Any animal leading a blind person shall be deemed to be a cat. -from Oxford Union Society rules