Commas save lives, lessons from Montana plus a national software hack


Compiled by Bill Derby

I was sent this story by a couple who enjoy jokes and are regular readers. Thanks to them, the essay below explains everything you wanted to know especially for the coming weeks.

A lesson from Montana…
A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in Montana when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust.

The driver, a young man in a Georgio Armani suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and Yves Saint Laurent tie, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy, “If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?” 

Bud looks at the man, who obviously is a greenhorn big city type, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, “Sure, why not?”

The greenhorn parks his car, whips out his Apple notebook computer, connects it to his new iPhone 12, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.

Within seconds, he receives an email on his I-pad that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his iPhone and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer, turns to the cowboy and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”
“That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,” says Bud. 
He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then Bud says to the young man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?”

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, “Okay, why not?”

“You’re a Congressman for the U.S. Government”, says Bud.

“Wow! That’s correct,” says the greenhorn, “but how did you guess that?”

“No guessing required.” answered the cowboy. “You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars’ worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about how working people make a living – or about cows, for that matter.

“This is a herd of sheep. Now give me back my dog!”

I also added this interesting 2015 news release from the company that provided software the Defense Department used and was recently hacked along with other government agencies by the Russians. SolarWinds has supplied our government with their programs since 2006. I wonder how a Russian could hack an R&D company in Krakow, Poland.

SolarWinds Establishes Software Development Office in Kraków
Expansion of new strategic European R&D office represents exciting opportunities for technical experts to build and enhance careers, helps strengthen worldwide development team and contributes to global success of the company

AUSTIN, Texas and Kraków, Poland– June 22, 2015 – SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI), a leading global provider of powerful and affordable IT performance management software, today announced the official opening of its strategic European R&D office in Kraków, Poland. The new office joins SolarWinds’ Brno, Czech Republic, and Stockholm and Västerås Swedish locations as a vital European player in the company’s global product strategy by supporting the development of powerful and purpose-built products that are designed to make IT professionals’ jobs easier.

“Kraków boasts a highly technical talent pool and is recognized as a leading technology hub for Central and Eastern Europe,” said Doug Hibberd, executive vice president of business operations and engineering. “Our continued investment in our European R&D offices is testament to our appreciation for the expertise in the area and we look forward to continue growing our new office with a team of highly-skilled and motivated individuals.”


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