Microsoft has ‘fessed up to inserting the hexadecimal string “0xB16B00B5” in the Linux kernel.
Redmond has hung its head in shame because, once you remove the initial zero and x, then squint at the remainder in just the right way, the result is the term “BIG BOOBS”. The offending string is no mere frippery: it is apparently pressed into service whenever Hyper-V virtualises Linux.
Microsoft apologised to everyone in the known universe for the offense caused (in Network World), saying it is an “offensive string” and that it has “submitted a patch to fix this issue”.
But the presence of the puerile string came to light again on July 13th, when a thread on the Linux Kernel Mailing List that included a comment from a poster named Paolo Bonzini, who mentioned the string again.
That set the snowball rolling and we have since seen the usual mix of outrage, counter-outrage, scorn and “how-will-we-ever-get-women-working-in-IT-if-we-carry-on-like-this-ism”.
The Reg expects the furore will eventually result in Microsoft and everyone who contributes to the Linux kernel promising to rid the industry of sexism forever by swearing on a stack of documentation and an icon of Linus Torvalds that they will never again type 58008618 into a calculator and then turn it upside down.
The “incident” is the latest in a string of Scandinavia-centric tech sexism scandals. The first saw Dell hire a standup comedian who made inappropriate comments at an event. Microsoft also slapped itself down for proclaiming its sizable virility in song in Norway. ®
Ex-Boyzone warbler Brian McFadden could be the next to be censured for naughtiness, if this tweet gets a wider airing.