Damn the almighty dollar

A few weeks before we went to press, the judge in Microsoft's anti-trust trial returned his "findings of law and order", which in essence said that Microsoft had been very very naughty and deserved a slap of some variety. Responding to the news and anticipating that justice will be tough, investors flocked to Microsoft's aid in much the way rats flock to sinking ships - the stock price dropped nearly 20 per cent, meaning that the value of Bill Gates' personal stake in the company dropped by around $A20 billion.

Before you feel too sorry for him, spare a thought for his customers. In the US, Microsoft is re-running some of the ads it made several years ago for the "Where do you want to go today" campaign. In one of them, the musical accompaniment is Mozart's "Confutatis Maledictis". In response to the familiar question, the chorus responds "Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis", or, roughly, "the damned and accursed are convicted to the flames of hell". Now that's rough justice.

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