April 24, 2014

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Holiday Stories

It’s time for our holiday hiatus. See you back here in the new year.

As a small holiday gift, we’re pleased to offer updated versions of some classic Christmas stories.

How the Grinch Pwned Christmas: The Grinch, determined to stop Christmas, hacks into Amazon’s servers and cancels all deliveries to Who-ville. The Whos celebrate anyway, gathering in a virtual circle and exchanging user-generated content. When the Grinch sees this, his heart grows two sizes and he priority-ships replacement gifts to Who-ville.

Rudolph the Net-Nosed Reindeer: Rudolph is shunned by his reindeer peers for having a goofy WiFi-enabled nose. But he becomes a hero one foggy Christmas Eve by using the nose to access Google Maps, helping Santa navigate to the homes of good children.

Gift of the eMagi: Poor husband and wife find perfect gifts for each other and bid aggressively for them on eBay. Unbeknownst to them, they’re bidding against each other for the same gift. Determined to express their love by paying whatever it takes to get the gift, they bid themselves into bankruptcy.

NSA Claus is Coming to Town: He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good or go to Gitmo.

The Little DRM-er Boy: A boy wants to share his recorded drum solo with Baby Jesus, but the file is tethered to a faraway computer. With the aid of three downloads from the East, he rips an MP3 and emails it the Mary and Joseph just in time for Christmas Night.

It’s a Wonderful Second Life: George Bailey believes that Second Life would have been better if he had never signed on at all. He jumps off a bridge … and floats slowly to the ground. Clarence Linden, George’s guardian avatar, restores the server backup from before George signed on, and watches with George while griefers run wild. George sees the error of his ways, and Clarence restores his account.

A Vista Carol: Ebenezer “Steve” Ballmer runs a coding shop in Merry Old Redmond. He forces programmer Bob Cratchit to work overtime on Christmas to meet the Vista ship date. At night, Ballmer is visited by three Ghost images: Windows Past, Windows Present, and Windows Future. [Fill in your own jokes here.] The next morning, Ballmer sends Bob home for Christmas, in exchange for a promise to keep his Blackberry on during dinner.

[Thanks to Alex Halderman and my family for help writing the stories.]

Comments

  1. Dan Wallach says:

    The Festival of Linukkah:

    The SCO Empire had defiled the Linux Temple with false idols of copyrighted software and allegations of trade secret appropriations. The Grock-abees beat back the invaders and rededicated the Temple. Unfortunately, they only had enough money to support hosting fees for one Slashdotting. Miraculously, their web site supported eight Slashdottings.

  2. Neo says:

    This is weird. My incoming email spam hasn’t decreased. If anything, it’s *in*creased by a fair margin.

    Considering the sources of spam, this is odd.
    Source #1: spammers. Being businesses, by and large, they’re all on holidays by now.
    Source #2: compromised computers participating in botnets. But most office PCs and many home computers that are normally online are probably shut off right now.

    But then, some fraction of spam will originate in places where no late-December holiday is observed. The amount from there might be expected to spike when instructions to redouble spamming to take advantage of westerners’ seasonal buying spree get sent to botnets, and then no instructions to reduce it bother being sent until afterward because the instruction-senders (over here, unlike the compromised computers) go on holiday.

    What I’m seeing may therefore indicate that a large fraction of the compromised computers are overseas, but the people running the show are by and large domestic.

    If that’s the case, clampdowns on excessive direct destination-port-25 connections by ISPs like Earthlink, Verizon, etc. won’t help much if ISPs in places like Russia and the Ukraine don’t follow suit.

  3. the_zapkitty says:

    And for a Happy new Year it looks like Ed gets permission to take a Florida e-voting machine’s source code apart… :)

    http://www.votetrustusa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2143&Itemid=51

  4. Tom says:

    Well I usually dont tel stories to my kids. This is the job of my wife, but occasionally I do this and it gives me a great deal of pleasure. I like this story from your article:

    Gift of the eMagi: Poor husband and wife find perfect gifts for each other and bid aggressively for them on eBay. Unbeknownst to them, they’re bidding against each other for the same gift. Determined to express their love by paying whatever it takes to get the gift, they bid themselves into bankruptcy.

    Tom from kansas city vacation guide

  5. Sujan Patricia says:

    My favourite holiday was a trip Coral I took to Seattle. Coral was pregnant, so there was not much in the way of crazy sex or massive nights partying. Just hanging out all day together, wandering around, seeing bands, shopping, eating and holding hands.

    Thanks,
    Sujan from Australia