FW: Protests at the Microsoft New York Office
Date: Sat, 2 May 92 15:33:23 PDT
Subject: FW: Protests at the Microsoft New York Office
> From: email@example.com
> From davide Wed Apr 29 14:21:55 1992
> From tinab Wed Apr 29 13:55:04 1992
> From: David Innes
> [Random forwards deleted]
> | >From milo Wed Apr 29 11:28:39 1992
> | Subject: We've got guards at our elevator in New York
> | Date: Wed Apr 29 14:27:45 1992
> | The sensationalist New York Post had, as it's front
> | page, a story called, "Message of Hate" in 6-inch
> | caps this morning. It seems that when you type NYC in
> | the new WinWord in WingDings font you get a skull
> | and cross bones, a star of David and a thumb pointing
> | up. This, it's been decided, means New York = Jews
> | should die.
> | The even have a "computer expert" who says the chances
> | of this being random are in the trillions! It's been
> | on the radio. The building is being treatened by
> | the JDL (a semi-terrorist group called the Jewish Defense
> | League, who's leader was murdered last year in what
> | may or may not have been interncine warfare within the
> | JDL). We've got two guards as of this moment at the
> | elevators (we've on the 18th floor of a 50 something story
> | building).
> | Lauraeu's husband just called to say that when you type
> | JEW in WingDIngs you get a smiley face, a thumbsup and
> | a cross. *Obiviously* meaning that jews would be happier
> | as Christians.
> | Reverand, er, Chairman Bill is speaking tomorrow night
> | to the New York Computer something organization and is
> | in NYC as of this moment.
> | So far, msft has merely responded that the idea that it's
> | a plot is ridiculous, which it is of course, but I'm not
> | sure the Corp. realizes *how* serious the allegation of
> | anti-semitism is in New York.
> | m
> Oooh! If you spell TESC [The Evergreen State College] , you get
> snowflake - pointing.finger - oil.drop - thumbs.up!
> Suggesting [Ever]greeners try to calm things down by
> pouring oil on troubled snow. Clearly a conservative
> jab, suggesting multi-disciplinary education is wrong
> [and] only comes up with unpractical twists on traditional
> solutions! I say it's a conspiracy!
> -- David Innes
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >From prstaff Wed Apr 29 16:19:02 1992
> Subject: No Hidden Messages in Any Software Microsoft Says
> REDMOND, Wash. -- April 29, 1992 -- In
> response to an inflammatory newspaper
> article, Microsoft Corporation said today
> that there are no hidden messages contained
> in any of the fonts in the Microsoft(R)
> Windows(TM) operating system, and certainly
> no hate messages against any religious or
> ethnic group.
> "This allegation would be silly if it
> weren't so ugly," said Brad Silverberg, vice
> president of Personal Systems at Microsoft,
> about an article in Wednesday's New York Post
> alleging that certain combinations of rarely
> used pictorial symbols in Windows imply death
> threats to Jews. Silverberg is the person
> responsible for development of the Windows
> operating system 3.1 and the system's type
> fonts. "I am personally offended that I or
> anyone on my team would be accused of anti-
> Semitism. We are saddened and concerned that
> people of New York have been needlessly
> alarmed by this random sensationalism."
> Windows 3.1 contains a number of
> different fonts, most of which are different
> ways to display the regular alphabet -- in
> italic or regular typewriter face, for
> example. The fonts in question, the
> Wingdings(TM) fonts, are a set of 220 special
> pictorial characters. These are not
> characters that people would normally type on
> a keyboard but are selected through a special
> command in Windows, for use as clip art in
> simple graphics design.
> When selected, the Wingdings font set
> displays a wide variety of common symbols --
> including such things as the "happy face,"
> "sad face," mailboxes, fancy ampersands,
> flags, and so on. Included in the set of 220
> pictures is a set of religious symbols
> including the cross for Christianity, the
> star of David for Judaism, and the crescent
> and star for Islam.
> Because the keyboard symbols for "N,"
> "Y," and "C" in regular type faces happen to
> correspond to individual pictographs for the
> universal poison symbol, the star of David,
> and the thumb's up sign, a single individual
> decided that this combination represented a
> coded death threat to Jews in New York City
> ("NYC"). The Post printed this allegation as
> if it were a fact and despite vehement
> denials by Microsoft.
> The 220 Wingdings fonts were selected
> from three sets of fonts totaling 660
> symbols. Except for grouping similar symbols
> together ("hand" pictographs together, "happy
> face" symbols together, religious symbols
> together, etc.), there was no particular
> order assigned to the fonts when the 220 were
> combined into a single font set and laid out
> on the keyboard, Microsoft said.
> "Hunting for hate messages in a set of
> 220 pictographs is like playing rock songs
> backward looking for satanic messages,"
> Silverberg said. "You can look at almost any
> combination of these pictographs and read
> some negative meaning into it, if that's what
> you're determined to do. It doesn't mean it's
> Microsoft is a registered trademark and
> Windows and Wingdings are trademarks of
> Microsoft Corporation.
© 1992 Peter Langston