Microsoft quickly fixes "big boobs" coding prank

There are apparently still some programmers out there who think creating adolescent pranks are OK when working on the job. An example of this came to light this week when someone discovered a piece of code in a Microsoft software product that, well, was not supposed to be there.

The BBC reports that the hexadecimal string "0xB16B00B5" was put by someone at Microsoft for a system that allows the Linux kernel to work with Microsoft's HyperV software. The "0xB16B00B5" code translates into "big boobs."

The piece of code was discovered by Linux programmers when it was sent out to a mailing list. Network World reports that Microsoft was alerted to the issue and sent out this statement:

We thank the community for reporting this issue and apologize for the offensive string. We have submitted a patch to fix this issue and the change will be published in a future release of the kernel.

There is no word on who actually put in this code at Microsoft, nor if Microsoft plans any kind of disciplinary action for the unknown programmer. Some people on the mailing list were not amused; one of them, Linux developer Matthew Garrett, wrote on his blog:

At the most basic level it's just straightforward childish humour, and the use of vaguely-English strings in magic hex constants is hardly uncommon. But it's also specifically male childish humour. Puerile sniggering at breasts contributes to the continuing impression that software development is a boys club where girls aren't welcome.

Source: BBC.com

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There is no word on who actually put in this code at Microsoft, (...)

Not sure if serious...?


* Authors:
* Haiyang Zhang <SNIP>
* Hank Janssen <SNIP>
*
*/

This Matthew Garrett guy is a grumpy b*stard. Lighten up and chill out.
People like to have fun. It's not as if the string killed a baby is it?

rotfl, I thought it was funny, and as Poof pointed out, it's not a string I'll forget soon if anything, by making such a big deal out of this, Garret is just making sure more women who might become coders hear about it (though I don't think it would really offend them, boob jokes aren't anything new)

A silly joke and the FOSS community flips their lid. It's a bad stereotype, some nerds to still have a sense of humour.

Hey. It could have easily been a woman playing a joke. A woman who likes women. A woman who simply likes big boobs.

Unless MS doesn't employ female codes in that area.

I find it a bit funny just how many sites picked this up and ran with it. Some with their own commentary and some just running the article. Seems this story got a lot (too much?) of um, exposure.

Seriously, people consider it a prank, I consider it an easy to remember string. What is easier to remember? 0xA531857C or a word/phrase that you can easily convert to hex...

Poof said,
Seriously, people consider it a prank, I consider it an easy to remember string. What is easier to remember? 0xA531857C or a word/phrase that you can easily convert to hex...

Woah, very insightful stuff right here. I haven't thought of it this way.

Boob is a stupid person, fool, dunce; a blunder or mistake.
Boobies are a type of seabird and is also plural for boob.
Maybe the programmer was insinuating other programmers are big stupid fools.

Political correctness is rediculous.

People are just way too serious.

I think it is funny. I work with women (software engineers) who would have found that funny too. I like "confucius says" jokes too. So call me childish.

On the other hand there are a FEW men and women I work with who would not find that amusing.

Jeez, that guy needs to get his hands on some 0xB16B00B5.

My girlfriend thought it was just a silly joke, hardly a thought provoking jibe at the equality of women in the software development environment...

BBC? Aren't European people always telling us Yanks that we are too sexually repressed and overreact to the sight of a boob. Now one of us write the word and they freak out.

And as for this Garrett "guy" a few years ago a few MS people were attend an OSS conference, and there were threats of violence against them on various web sites (if I recall, slashdot being one of them). The open source community had no problem with that, but "corrupt" their precious Linux source code with something Linux devs will never get, the horrors are too much.

nohone said,
BBC? Aren't European people always telling us Yanks that we are too sexually repressed and overreact to the sight of a boob. Now one of us write the word and they freak out.

All the BBC is doing is reporting the story, what does that have to do with anything?

And I think you're confusing the UK with the more liberal mainland Europe...

But it's also specifically male childish humour

I'm going to remember that the next time my fiance giggles at a specific species of bird. Especially blue footed ones.

"Puerile sniggering at breasts contributes to the continuing impression that software development is a boys club where girls aren't welcome."

If my building weren't 95% men it would surely be a welcome improvement.

Memnochxx said,
"Puerile sniggering at breasts contributes to the continuing impression that software development is a boys club where girls aren't welcome."

If my building weren't 95% men it would surely be a welcome improvement.

95% you are lucky mine is more like 99% ...

yeah more girls in computer science would be welcome, big or not

I actually think it's a rather boring and unorigional meh joke. Not that i really care but if the hex string is not needed MS did good by removing it so kudos to them.

Matthew Garrett clearly has a very sad, boring life.

How the hell does something like this create an environment where girls aren't welcome? I would have thought it would be the exact opposite!

Some people really need to get a sense of humor and/or chill the f*** out...

Matthew Garrett said,
At the most basic level it's just straightforward childish humour, and the use of vaguely-English strings in magic hex constants is hardly uncommon. But it's also specifically male childish humour. Puerile sniggering at breasts contributes to the continuing impression that software development is a boys club where girls aren't welcome.
What about women who like big boobs? Does this mean that Linux is anti-lesbian?

This guy is so full of himself. Why is anyone making a big deal about this?

"Jeepers mister! What are boobs?" ಠ_ಠ

Biggest over-reaction from both Microsoft and the BBC. I wouldn't be shouting if a female authored a patch that had the equivalent of "big nozzle" in it. I would laugh.

Now I wonder if the Daily Fail will get hold of this "news" and spin it into Microsoft's hate campaign against females or something stupid.

and whats wrong with girls with big boobs? should I stop telling my girls I love her big boobs because it might make other girls feel embarrassed?

and what if it's a male club thing? you don't see us complaining about whatever goes on over at the female clubs do we, so what the heck? give me a break Garrett, quit trying to get browny points

Calum said,

Offensive?

Maybe he has big man boobs and that's why he's offended? Either way the guy show grow some nuts and get over it.

bguy_1986 said,

Maybe he has big man boobs and that's why he's offended? Either way the guy show grow some nuts and get over it.

Haha! Good one

j2006 said,
I bet those developers felt so bad-ass doing that... *sigh*

Lets be honest about it, to try an pull a stunt off like that, you really have to have the balls...

j2006 said,
I bet those developers felt so bad-ass doing that... *sigh*

"Hey, I bet you $100 that can't get Microsoft to publish some code that has boobs in it."
"Ha! You're on!"

Terracotta said,
I like big boobs!!!

clearly the linux "programmer" dude either missed puberty or was a dork being picked on by a big boobed chick ...

I wish programmers would have some fun .. who knows I would like programming more if it had some sexual connotation in it ... who doesn't like boobies man ... soft, and squishy

zeta_immersion said,

clearly the linux "programmer" dude either missed puberty or was a dork being picked on by a big boobed chick ...

I wish programmers would have some fun .. who knows I would like programming more if it had some sexual connotation in it ... who doesn't like boobies man ... soft, and squishy


He's a linux programmer, of course he missed puberty.

neufuse said,
oh good greif, a patch for this? a freaking string? not even a security risk?...

Big boobs affect the judgement and reasoning of the user. Judgement and reasoning are required to combat security risks. Ergo, big boobs cause security holes!

neufuse said,
oh good greif, a patch for this? a freaking string? not even a security risk?...

Whats worse is the sexist comments from Matthew.
"it's also specifically male childish humour." and goes onto say "software development is a boys club where girls aren't welcome."

Yes, because there aren't any girls who make boob jokes, nor are there any lesbians who develop software... I find his comments more shameful then the hex string that was put in the code.

sagum said,

Whats worse is the sexist comments from Matthew.
"it's also specifically male childish humour." and goes onto say "software development is a boys club where girls aren't welcome."

Yes, because there aren't any girls who make boob jokes, nor are there any lesbians who develop software... I find his comments more shameful then the hex string that was put in the code.

I do also agree that Matthew needs to lighten up a bit, it's just a little joke, however try not to take things out of context.

You think he's being sexiest where in actual fact he's thinking he's defending women by saying "Puerile sniggering at breasts contributes to the continuing impression that software development is a boys club where girls aren't welcome"

Key word there is "contributes" saying that jokes like this contributes to the apparant sexism. He's not saying that it is purely a boys club but essentially stating that it shouldn't be a boys club and that girls are welcome. Context is everything.

Like current Health & Safety rules where everything is pretty much deemed a H&S risk, Matthew has blown way out of proportion a simple thing like this

billyea said,

Big boobs affect the judgement and reasoning of the user. Judgement and reasoning are required to combat security risks. Ergo, big boobs cause security holes!

Actually, big boobs could be a security risk.

Munroe said,

You think he's being sexiest where in actual fact he's thinking he's defending women by saying "Puerile sniggering at breasts contributes to the continuing impression that software development is a boys club where girls aren't welcome"

I was just providing a tongue in cheek comment, but

I was actually refering to him being sexist in the way he says "it's also specifically male childish humour".
That would be specifically male and not woman humor.

Personally I don't see anything wrong with the hex string issues apart from lack of professionalism in putting 'easter egg' or jokes into software. Its bad form.

neufuse said,
oh good greif, a patch for this? a freaking string? not even a security risk?...

Not only that. How sick can you be to read those numbers like that?!

neufuse said,
oh good greif, a patch for this? a freaking string? not even a security risk?...

There is something very wrong about American moral values. They are OK with guns, guts, brains or other organs exposed in various gruesome bloody ways on westerns, horror movies or CSI TV shows, but as soon as they see a beautiful woman breast or parts responsible for life and pleasure, masses of them go mad with complains about how they are deeply offended. I guess, American moral values are damaged too much by twisted religion (cruel God obsessed with pure virgins). So, Microsoft's reaction doesn't surprise me .

neufuse said,
oh good greif, a patch for this? a freaking string? not even a security risk?...

MS has a stance being against easter-eggs. In the past they added easter-eggs into windows, their products and more. But since they can pose security risks, show immatureness and other stupid things. Their cooperate policy does not allow any form of easteregg anywhere. Their software has to be clean, only what has to be in there, will be in there.

Something to do with the view on their products and truss from other companies.