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What Really Happened to the Submarine Kursk

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New information has come to light about the Kursk disaster.  For those
with short attention spans, the Kursk was the Russian submarine that
blew up and sank in the Arctic Ocean killing all 118 on board.  The
Russians tried to blame the incident on a collision with an unidentified
object.  However, sonar tapes which recorded the blasts (a small one at
first, then a much larger one two minutes later) cast doubt on these
claims. 

A whistle blower within the Russian military has leaked that the Kursk
was testing a new type of torpedo when the accident occurred.  It
seems  very likely that the test didn't go quite as planned.  While
rescue efforts to save the survivors of the Kursk failed, salvage crews
were able to recover a 'Black Box' from the submarine which contained
detailed accounts of the events leading up to the explosion.  A copy of
those tapes has recently come into the hands of NATO intelligence
officers, one of whom leaked it to the press..

It turns out that the submarine crew was trying to load Microsoft
Windows XP on their fire control computer.  Their intent was to replace
the aging CP/M operating system with the flashier Windows OS.
Apparently, the Russians didn't know about the legendary stability
problems exhibited by Windows. The log tapes make this painfully
obvious:

Transcript of Portions of the Kursk Log

Captain:  Is the new fire control Windows OS installed yet Comrade?
Seaman:  Almost Sir.  We just need to finish filling out the
registration card.
Captain:  Excellent.  Soon we will be able to point and click our
enemies into oblivion.  [evil laughter in background]
Seaman:  Comrade Captain! It is booting!  Look, it says 'Preparing to
run Windows for the first time'.  [long pause]
Seaman:  Arrgh!  Sir, it wants me to reboot again. That makes the 27th
time.
Captain:  Hmmm.  This is not encouraging.  Go ahead  and reboot again.

Seaman:  Aye aye, Sir.  [another long pause]
Seaman:  Captain, it is up again.  It says it found new hardware . . .
.  A CD-ROM drive and that it needs drivers.
Captain:  Where are the drivers?
Seaman:  On the CD-ROM.
Captain:  You are joking, no?
Seaman:  No Sir.
Captain:  Reboot the damn thing again.  I am starting not to like this
Windows.  [another long pause]
Seaman:  Sir!  It is back!  It says it found the Gorby2000 Torpedo and
is looking for the device drivers.  Do we have a driver disk?
Captain:  I do not think so.
Seaman:  I will tell it to use the default drivers.  [another long
pause]
Seaman:  Crap.  It wants to reboot again.
Captain:  How many times are we going to reboot today?  This is taking
forever.  Our hull is going to rust out before this works.  [another
long pause]
Seaman:  Sir!  It is up and this time it is not asking for anything!
Captain:  Really?  No device drivers?  No registration cards?  No user
profiles?
Seaman:  No Sir.  I think it is ready.
Captain:  Good work comrade.  Now click on the fire control icon and
let us see how this works.
Seaman:  Clicking now, Sir.  [another long pause]
Captain:  Why does the fire control screen have a dancing paper clip on
it?
Seaman:  I have no idea Sir.
Captain:  Hmmm, well try clicking on the menu.
Seaman:  Aye aye, Sir.  Let us see; Open E-mail, Spam a friend, Mail a
Virus, Fire a Torpedo . . . . 
Captain:  We will spam a friend later. L et us fire a torpedo.
Seaman:  Aye aye, Sir.  [another long pause]
Seaman:  It is asking us to load the torpedo and to click when ready.
Captain:  Torpedo room, load a torpedo in tube number 1!
Intercom:  This is the Torpedo room.  The torpedo is loaded Sir.
Captain:  Click on the continue button.
Seaman:  Aye aye, Sir.  [another long pause]
Seaman:  It is asking for a target Sir.
Captain:  Hmmm, target the Rainbow Warrior.
Seaman:  Aye aye, Sir.  Damn!  It says the torpedo is low on ink.
Captain:  Click ignore. W e will get some ink when we return to base.
Seaman:  Aye aye, Sir.  We are ready to fire.
Captain:  Very good.  You may fire when ready comrade.
Seaman:  Firing torpedo, Sir.  [another really long pause]
Captain:  Well?
Seaman:  I am trying Sir.  Nothing is happening.  Wait a minute . . . .

[Loud explosion in the background]
Intercom: [Screaming]
Captain:  What the fuck was that?!?!?
Seaman:  Captain!  A new screen has appeared!  It says, "Outlook
Express Fire Control has performed an illegal operation and will be shut
down.  Click 'OK' to continue."
Seaman:  Oh my God!  The paper clip has died!  What should I do?
Captain:  Shut it down!  Shut it down!
Seaman:  It is not responding, Sir!
Captain:  Try 'CTRL-ALT-DELETE'!
Seaman:  Aye aye, Sir.  . . . Sir! We are in luck!  The task manager is
still operating.  I am instructing the task manager to shut down Outlook
Fire Control.  [another long pause]
Seaman:  The task manager says "Outlook Fire Control not responding."
Captain:  Well no shit.  Tell it to "End Task".
Seaman:  Nothing is happening Sir.
Captain:  Try 'CTRL-ALT-DELETE' again.
Seaman:  Aye aye, Sir.  [sounds of frantic pecking on keyboard.]
Seaman:  Oooh!  What a pretty blue screen!
Captain:  Holy $@#%!  Not the blue screen of death
[Loud explosion heard]

The tape ends at this point.  During the week long rescue effort,
divers reported hearing tapping in Morse Code coming from survivors
inside the damaged sub.  The rescuers couldn't understand why a group of
men would spend the last of their strength tapping out "Windows Sucks!"
in Morse.  The tapes of the last moments of the Kursk may offer some
insight into this.


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