In a not-so-surprising turn of events, Microsoft has fessed up to the now infamous ‘0xB16B00B5’ (Big Boobs) string of hex that was supplanted into the Linux kernel.
While the prank is certainly very funny, it is not original. 0xB16B00B5 is a common L337 expression, or ‘Hexpression’, in the technical community. It is also noted on Wikipedia‘s wiki entry as a “Notable Magic Number”, required of Linux guests running in Microsoft’s Hyper-V Hypervisor Virtualizer. That said, the discovery of these Big Boobs should not come as a surprise as it has been hiding in plain sight, awaiting public scrutiny since 2011.
From Matthew Garrett’s Blog:
Paolo Bonzini noticed something a little awkward in the Linux kernel support code for Microsoft’s HyperV virtualisation environment – specifically, that the magic constant passed through to the hypervisor was “0xB16B00B5”, or, in English, “BIG BOOBS”. It turns out that this isn’t an exception – when the code was originally submitted it also contained “0x0B00B135”. That one got removed when the Xen support code was ripped out.
At the most basic level it’s just straightforward childish humour, and the use of vaguely-English strings in magic hex constants is hardly uncommon. But it’s also specifically male childish humour. Puerile sniggering at breasts contributes to the continuing impression that software development is a boys club where girls aren’t welcome.
Are you outraged by Microsoft’s 0xB16B00B5 string? If you are, you shouldn’t me. Even though they are part of a slowly crumbling and increasingly irrelevant evil empire, they still sit pretty high up there on the commit list. Microsoft is a major contributor to the Linux kernel. Also, everyone loves 0xB16B00B5’s. Everyone.
‘We have submitted a patch to fix this issue and the change will be published in a future release of the kernel.'”
So, let’s cut Microsoft a little slack, huddle together, and ask them to rescind their apology. Let’s leave the 0xB16B00B5’s in the kernel and rejoice!
SOURCE | Network World