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HP's Dunn as Newsweek Cover Girl 198

Posted by Zonk
from the not-a-good-week-for-her dept.
theodp writes "In The Boss Who Spied on Her Board, Newsweek likens HP Chairwoman Pattie Dunn's attempts to escape culpability with her I-knew-nothing defense to both a head of state, who wants 'plausible deniability' while ordering an assassination plot, and to Henry II, who had the Archbishop of Canterbury removed by simply muttering 'Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?' in front of his knights."
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HP's Dunn as Newsweek Cover Girl

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  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Sunday September 10, 2006 @03:22PM (#16076974) Homepage

    ...or refer to centuries-old British church smack-downs.

    The killing of Thomas Becket is retold in T.S. Eliot's first play Murder in the Cathedral [amazon.com] . Granted, such literature is far removed from iPods and knocking on Microsoft, but the play is performed--and assigned in college lit classes--often enough that I imagine many people will know something of that historical event.

  • Turbulent (Score:5, Informative)

    by trewornan (608722) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @03:56PM (#16077096)
    If you're going to quote someone at least get it right, Beckett was a "turbulent" priest not a "troublesome" one.
  • Re:Wow. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 10, 2006 @04:29PM (#16077216)

    The phone records of non-reporters were also alegedly targeted. Groklaw has some details [groklaw.net].

  • Re:Turbulent (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 10, 2006 @05:02PM (#16077338)
    Sources disagree as to what Henry II said to make a group of knights think that killing Thomas Becket was something their king was ordering them to do. There seem to be a number of popular variations, including "turbulent," "troublesome," "meddlesome," "low-born," and a bunch of statements which are nothing like the most common form. Given the lack of reliable contemporary accounts, along with the tendency following the incident to lionize Becket and blame Henry for the whole thing, any quote of what Henry II said to set those knight dudes off must be considered apocryphal.
  • by Artifakt (700173) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @05:51PM (#16077553)
    And the American prosecuters at Nuremburg referred to the "troublesome priest" phrase repeatedly in trying the Nazi war criminals, and so people should encounter it not just in lit or ancient history but in modern history, philosophy or ethics. It's actually pretty common, and if you didn't hear it in such classes, you can safely assume you didn't get your money's worth on college. (If you didn't have to take ANY of those classes, congratulations on your Engineering/CS degree, and I hope you got some of this sort of thing on your own.). Many people know that "I was just following orders" is considered a pretty crappy excuse, but many of them don't understand the other half of that is "My underlings misinterpreted my orders.", and it is equally inexcusable.
          Note: I have not compared HP's management to the Nazis, except in that some people seem to be adopting the same "They misinterpreted me/I was just following orders" BS when they got caught at something. Anyone who thinks I just Godwinned the thread does not understand Godwin, but if you want to mod me down anyway, go right ahead.
     
  • by coyote-san (38515) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:01PM (#16077587)
    According to an update on the original article, the board adjorned without action on Sunday. They are scheduled to meet again Monday afternoon(iirc).
  • by Epsillon (608775) on Monday September 11, 2006 @01:22AM (#16079027) Homepage Journal
    HP invented the fucking laser jet printer.

    Really? So Gary Starkweather employed a dwarf with very fast drawing skills and very neat handwriting to cram into that very first laser photolithography box, then? You learn something new every day. No wonder the darned things were so expensive at first.

    LaserJet is a trademark. Laser printers were invented by Xerox as a natural progression of their Xerographic photolithography process. In fact, Xerox and IBM beat HP to market. There's an MIT page here [mit.edu] that confirms this, and you can check out the Wikipedia page here for a more in-depth discussion. [wikipedia.org]

    Oh, wait, I see nothing about Xerox's machine fornicating. Perhaps you are right...

  • Re:Turbulent (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:42AM (#16079369)
    It's easy to forget that while Henri was king of England, he was also king of a vast continental empire consisting of much of modern day France which the plantagenets viewed as more important than the bit of land across the English channel. Because of this he was born in (modern-day)France, didn't visit England until he was 16 and didn't spend any appreciable time there until he was 20. I'd say it was a fair bet he used French when cussing the clergy...
  • by joebob2000 (840395) on Monday September 11, 2006 @05:28AM (#16079635)

    TI calculators being the equal or superior of HP is a very recent thing. HP was first with personal calculators and was the best for decades. HP35 HP65 HP41. These were the "personal computers" engineers used daily before Apple, etc. were around. Incidentally, TI could only be better than HP once PCs took over the professional engineering computing market and off-the-shelf embedded microcontrollers got so good that they beat the performance of the last of HP's custom calculator ASICs.

    HP may be only a computer company now, but HP started out as a test equipment company back in the 30s. Computers (custom designed computers, not Intel reference designs with a HP logo) came later and were just one of many products HP produced. Besides electronic test gear, they made scientific gear like mass Spectrometers, EKGs, and much more. HP gear was never cheap, but it had ultimate performance, was built like a tank, and lasted forever. Actually it is lasting so long, you can find old test gear inside pretty much every electronics lab in America, including mine.

    Test/med/science part was spun off as Agilent, the HP name was kept for the PC-clone boxes that break, and the printers that run out of ink faster and faster. Even recent Agilent test gear is apparently not at the same level of engineering as the old stuff. There are stories of lab-grade spectrum analysers breaking after a few years and inadequate replacement part stock. Something to do with thoughtlessly coded software wearing out relays after only a year or five. These instruments can easily cost $50,000 or more, so companies expect more than they do from their Dell.

    Your post indicates that HP's heyday occured before your time. Those of us who remember parts of that time are not "glorifying the past", we are simply remembering something that happened before you were around to tell us how wrong we are. Try to be understanding of some of us older (over 30) folks who have not yet had the common decency to die off yet.

  • Re:Turbulent (Score:3, Informative)

    by Daetrin (576516) on Monday September 11, 2006 @08:21AM (#16080085)
    "Because of this he was born in (modern-day)France, didn't visit England until he was 16 and didn't spend any appreciable time there until he was 20. I'd say it was a fair bet he used French when cussing the clergy..."

    Was it part of France at the time? Or was it part of Normandy? And given that he was Duke of Normandy as well as King of England it seems quite likely that he spoke Anglo-Norman and Middle English as well as Old French. Which he would prefer for cussing is open for debate (Anglo-Norman was after all the "courtly" language in England and Middle English the "common" lanaguage,) as is which he would used when talking to his English knights.

    But in any case, whichever of the three it was, clearly the words that were said were nothing like the words we would use to express a similar sentiment today.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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