This from Slashdot:

“Microsoft has apologized and promised to rectify the fact that one of its developers slipped a sexist phrase into Linux kernel code supporting Microsoft’s HyperV virtualization environment. In that code, the magic constant passed through to the hypervisor reads ‘0xB16B00B5,’ or a slightly camouflaged ‘BIG BOOBS.’ After Linux developer/blogger Matthew Garrett criticized Microsoft for the stunt, the predictable debate over sexism in the technology world ensued. Microsoft issued a statement to Network World apologizing and added, ‘We have submitted a patch to fix this issue and the change will be published in a future release of the kernel.'”

HREE is the NetworkWorld link.

Now, my question is this. What was really being said? Because I think there are two possible interpretations here. 0xB16B00B5 could be parsed as BIG BOOB S for Big Boob Steve Ballmer, or it could refer to the female body parts.

I’m going for the Steve Ballmer theory.


  1. #1 Uncle Glenny
    July 20, 2012

    Wow. All I ever got was a second-hand report of Jean-Louis Gassee explaining (of developers in some context or other) that they needed something (hardware design?) to “make their nipples hard.”

    Back early 80s or thereabouts I had access to VAX/VMS source code on microfiche (!). One of the options was to have it automatically generate passwords, and of course they were both concerned with suggesting dirty words AND having dirty words in the source, so did something clever. I don’t remember what it was (if I ever bothered to figure it out) but I don’t think it was as simple as rot13.

    Not as funny as AOL disallowing the legitimate place name Scunthorpe.

  2. #2 Uncle Glenny
    July 20, 2012

    Gassee was at Apple early 90s; I was in Cambridge not Cupertino.

  3. #3 rpenner
    July 23, 2012

    Isn’t it still misogynistic to call a man a f***ing c**t, so doesn’t that apply to the term “boob” ?

    (Please feel free to edit the above to your editorial needs.)

    Admittedly, the 8-symbol hexadecimal constant is a limited expression medium. I think java uses 0xCAFE, 0xCAFEBABE and 0xD00D in the headers of its jar and/or class files.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    July 23, 2012

    No, I’m pretty sure the word has an origin of its own.