Bill Gates poses with TECHNOLOGY!Some of you may have noticed that your computers are not working as well as they should be, are experiencing a lot of errors, or are attempting to slit your throat while you take a nap in a hammock on your porch. Chances are you probably have a virus, and according to a number of industry insiders who have really long and tangled beards and Linux stickers on their car, Microsoft is to blame. For its part Microsoft has accused consumers of laziness for not constantly refreshing the security patches portion of their web site. In an exciting turn of events Microsoft managed to make itself look like an even bigger cabal of jackasses when their own computers became horribly infected with the "SQL Slammer" worm virus. Obviously they didn't think it would help them develop security patches to protect from viruses any faster if they actually patched their own computers to protect them from viruses.

Microsoft admits making a mistake with the SQL fix and has "egg on our face" over being hit by the worm, Miller said. "What this demonstrates and what we readily acknowledge is the patch management process is too complex," he said.

"Microsoft is committed to reorganizing our patch system and delivering high-quality patches in a streamlined way."

Miller did not comment in the article about the fact that virtually every Microsoft program, from Outlook to that fucking Paperclip thing, is hideously susceptible to viruses. By spreading a lot of glue on a piece of plywood and dropping some Cheetohs and Yugi-Oh cards on it I was able to trap and interrogate one of the previously mentioned "industry insiders". He referred to himself as Admiral Cronjob, smelled like the inside of a video card box that someone had put sweaty socks into, and drank Mountain Dew Code Red like it was oxygen. Despite and appearance that closely paralleled that of the profoundly retarded he managed to give me the scoop on Microsoft's 2003 software catalog and the expected security efforts by the company. Tough talk on fighting viruses aside, Microsoft's 2003 library looks to be even more riddled with security holes than last year's. Microsoft's response to the viruses designed to take advantage of these holes grow increasingly pathetic as the year progresses.

Microsoft Outlook Message BucketOur "industry insider" demands more Code Red!Product Description: Outlook Express is bundled with every Windows operating system and includes such features as "inability to export data without crashing" and "will execute code from e-mails no matter what your security settings are just to mock your name". The full version of Outlook is included with Microsoft Office and is targeted at businesses, but many have complained that it just isn't cumbersome enough and that many of its useless features can be easily ignored. Microsoft promises to address these issues in 2003 by releasing the "Outlook Message Bucket". This software will work with either Outlook or Outlook Express and will require the program to be open at all times. It will then randomize the order of functions in the menus whenever you maximize Outlook from the taskbar. Whenever you check your e-mail Outlook Message Bucket will bring up a "Message Reading Wizard" that will force you to enter incredibly detailed personal information including your credit card number and then send this in a message to a random address in your address book. It may or may not then allow you to read the message you have received. If you have installed Outlook Message Bucket and are not running it the Outlook Message Bucket Shield will detect this and constantly open browser windows with gay porn until you open Outlook Message Bucket.

Security Alert: Outlook Message Bucket will seriously reduce the overall stability of your system and, since most virus software is automatically deleted by Outlook Message Bucket when you install it, make it much more susceptible to viruses. Already virus developers are working on a Trojan that will take advantage of the Message Reading Wizard and allow hackers access to your system. Fortunately, all the Outlook Message Bucket Shield will allow intruders to do is reformat your hard drives.

Security Response: Two days before the first viruses are released that exploit security holes in Outlook Message Bucket, Microsoft will make a patch available that seals up the major holes and opens a backdoor for other Trojans. The patch will be released through the entertainment section of Microsoft's website as an executable that runs after playing a WMV file. In this case it will be the new Spin Doctors' video. When the Trojan is announced Microsoft will lash out at users for not appreciating the Spin Doctors adequately.

Internet Explorer 7.0

Uh-oh, looks like another animal disease infected our computer thanks to IE 7.0!Product Description: The most widely used Internet browser will be getting a new version in mid-2003. One major component will be a graphic overhaul to make it, as Bill Gates says, "virtually indistinguishable from something you would see on a Macintosh". Unlike a Macintosh, enough people use Internet Explorer for virus developers to bother to create a way to exploit security holes, and IE 7.0 will have plenty of those. One of the most devastating features of this version of IE is that it will include Microsoft's upcoming "Virtual Firewall" software. What this does is add a really awesome animated GIF of fire to the toolbar in IE. Other than that it does nothing, unless you have a hardware firewall, in which case it will open all of the ports and share all of your drives. For those of you worried about choosing the right security settings in IE to allow you to safely browse the web but not miss out on great content like furry-themed Macromedia Flash animation, fear not! The new security setting assistant in IE will guide you through choosing the setting that are right for you, and the best part of it is that they're all meaningless anyway! IE 7.0 promises to execute more malicious code than all other browsers combined.

Security Alert: Pretty much any existing virus that could, at one time or another, exploit a security hole in past versions of IE or Outlook will now work with IE 7.0. Microsoft has maximized the virus compatibility of IE so well that if you even go to a web site with the name of a virus written in plain text your computer will actually become infected with that virus. It will even infect your computer with cross platform viruses including those that exploit vulnerabilities in Macintosh and Linux operating systems. Microsoft will eventually release a patch that closes that security loophole but opens your computer to a variety of animal diseases ranging from rabies and mange all the way up to parasitic worms.

Security Response: In addition to the patch that secures IE 7.0 from Macintosh and Linux viruses Microsoft will release a second security update in October of 2003. This patch will be available only by calling an unlisted phone number in Gary, Indiana and saying "the nail that sticks up will be hammered down" into the receiver. Two days later an unmarked package will arrive on your doorstep containing a key to a rented storage locker in Gary. Inside will be a stack of update CDs. Once installed this security update will secure IE 7.0 from all computer and veterinary viruses. However, it will also copy child pornography to a folder on your computer and contact the police.

Mechwarrior 5: Kernel Commandos

Hohoshi Mohohoshi prepares to do battle with the Ghost Bears' elite "Burned ISO Install of Crimson Skies".Product Description: The latest installment of the smash-hit Mechwarrior series for PC will feature copy protection so intrusive that it has been worked into the plot of the game. The story centers around Hohoshi Mohohoshi, a young noble from the Draconis Combine who must grow into his role as a Mechwarrior and do battle with the forces of the Clans to secure the ancient Windows Kernel. This vault of Comstar technology can only be opened with a relic that Clan Ghost Bear has in its possession. Hohoshi must dare to travel with his lance deep into enemy territory, recover this relic, and open the Windows Kernel so that its secrets may be transmitted to Microsoft headquarters. Throughout the game you will do battle on over ten worlds, from the frozen wastelands of "Pirated MP3 Files" to the burning sands of "Multiple User Serial Number for Office XP". All enemy worlds must be freed so that the elite forces of the Inner Sphere's DCMA Copyright Attorneys can be dispatched on a holy crusade.

Security Alert: The copy protection for Mechwarrior 5 will systematically delete any files flagged as "illegal" by Microsoft as you progress through the single player campaign. In addition to this process the system will open a port from transmitting data to Microsoft that will also allow hackers access to your computer. On top of all this the game will feature pay-to-download "Mech Packs", each consisting of a single mech for 4.95. When installed these Mech Packs will re-scan your system for illegal files and, if any are found, the game will hire a private detective to entrap you into sex with a prostitute in Thailand and then use photographs taken of the act to blackmail you.

Security Response: When Microsoft realizes that installation of the game can compromise your system's security it will roll over bleary-eyed, look at the alarm clock for a few seconds, and then moan something about "five more minutes" and fall back asleep. Repeated requests to address the issue will coerce Microsoft into stumbling out of bed unshaven in a bathrobe. It will then shamble over to the computer and send an e-mail to Attorney General John Ashcroft requesting a secret court be set up to try and execute those who bother Microsoft with technical support issues. Then Microsoft will crawl back into bed and sleep until mid-afternoon.

This is just a detailed sampling of three of the most widely anticipated titles to be released by Microsoft this year. I tried to get a comprehensive list out of the "industry insider" but he demanded no less than eight cases of Code Red and a lifetime subscription to Bang Bus. While we all are waiting for the next hot product to come out of Redmond, I suggest writing a javascript that constantly refreshes the security patches section of Microsoft's web site. You never know when you'll need some extra security holes punched into your operating system!

It's Time To Wait and/or Bleed

Hey kids, Taylor "whatever word goes between these here quotes" Bell here to ask you a potentially life-altering question. Do you know anybody who proudly calls himself a "maggot" and enjoys going to concerts and moshing while a group of high-school dropouts in big pointy clown masks stumble around the stage snarling, punching their guitars and spastically pounding on drums at a tempo that has to be measured in beats per nanosecond? If so, then be sure to point that unlucky soul toward the new TruthMedia review of Slipknot's album "Iowa".

Unfortunately the best vocals in the world can't compensate for badly-played music, and ol' Rossie isn’t quite able to pull the album out of the gutter. The riffs are played too slowly by amateur guitarists who don't sound like they quite know what they're doing. In certain tracks you can distinctly hear a few guitars that sound flat by at least half a note, and they frequently stumble over each other, producing unpleasant-sounding 2nd and 7th intervals. It isn't easy to get a nine-member band in tune, but they clearly didn't even try, showing once again a lack of concern for their fans. The guitars also tend to drown out the lead singer, possibly due to the fact that out of the seven members of the band, each of which has an alias numbering from 1 to 7, numbers 3-7 are equipped with bass guitars.

I made a passing reference to Slipknot in a recent ROM pit review, and shortly afterward it occurred to me to try a Truthmedia review of one of their albums to put the stupidity and gullibility of the hardcore Slipknot fanbase to the test. Click here if you're not familiar with the noble mission of Truthmedia. Otherwise, be sure to pass out this link to Slipknot forums and any Slipknot listening friends you might have. If you don't I'll lock you in a closet and force you to listen to a looped two-second clip of their vocalist snarling for all eternity.

– Zack "Geist Editor" Parsons (@sexyfacts4u)

More Front Page News

This Week on Something Awful...

Copyright ©2014 Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka & Something Awful LLC.