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posted by Fnord666 on Friday March 27 2020, @08:10PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the should-I-reply-all-to-get-removed-from-the-list? dept.

Microsoft staff giggle beneath the weight of a 52,000-person Reply-All email storm:

Team Redmond stokes the flames as an exercise in black humor

[...] Microsoft is right now groaning under the weight of a 52,000-person internal Reply-All email storm.

The Register understands this one started with a new offer from Microsoft's internal store about discount software deals. While that offer was generous, it didn't apply to all Microsoft staff everywhere, which prompted an early Reply-All message asking why not. And then the snowball started rolling, and nothing could stop it.

We understand the mail went throughout Microsoft – enterprise, cloud and even Xbox folks found it in their inboxes.

Our Microsoft sources tell us staff are now hitting Reply All for the sheer fun of it, posting frivolous messages that celebrate the ridiculousness of the situation.

Laughter is the best medicine?


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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by edIII on Friday March 27 2020, @08:26PM (4 children)

    by edIII (791) on Friday March 27 2020, @08:26PM (#976438)

    This is incredibly funny for everyone except the mail administrators :)

    Meanwhile, the system is choking under the load, and they're trying to keep things going.

    --
    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 4, Funny) by WizardFusion on Friday March 27 2020, @08:47PM (3 children)

      by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 27 2020, @08:47PM (#976447) Journal

      They could always spin up new exchange instances in AWS, I hear Azure was running out of capacity

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by edIII on Friday March 27 2020, @08:51PM (2 children)

        by edIII (791) on Friday March 27 2020, @08:51PM (#976450)

        Last time I checked Exchange wasn't an actual SMTP server. It's been so many, many years since I had the misfortune to administrate such a system, but I do remember needing to run a SMTP server separately.

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by DannyB on Friday March 27 2020, @09:23PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 27 2020, @09:23PM (#976463) Journal

          In a Java application server I am able to SMTP email to an Exchange server to be relayed to end users. "you have 2 new somethings you need to approve", etc.

          I agree that I wouldn't call it an SMTP server. But it can accept email that way. This includes two message bodies (plain text | html) and file attachments.

          --
          A Digital stupidity meter can't get pegged like a mechanical meter always does.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @03:09AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @03:09AM (#976557)

          This would be not at all surprising.

          After-all, SMTP would invoke MickeySloth's NIH syndrome.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ikanreed on Friday March 27 2020, @08:47PM (4 children)

    by ikanreed (3164) on Friday March 27 2020, @08:47PM (#976446) Journal

    Attach a permission to emailing more than N people at once. Grant it generously and take it away if you get this kind of problem.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by MostCynical on Friday March 27 2020, @09:59PM (2 children)

      by MostCynical (2589) on Friday March 27 2020, @09:59PM (#976477)

      at a government department at which I worked, only people at grade 6 or above (effectively, Managers) could send 'all staff' emails, and the all-staff and whole-of-department email groups were even more tightly controlled - you had to email a very senior department manager with the email body, and an explanation.

      Unfortunately, the senior person's secretary did the actual sending, (no doubt after the senior person approved the printed version), and they usually sent the whole email (including the justification message)

      Most people learned quickly to only send the secretary the body of the email, and walk up to explain why it needed to be sent to everyone..

      --
      Books are a poor substitute for female companionship, but they are easier to find. P Rothfuss “The Wise Man's Fear"
      • (Score: 2) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Friday March 27 2020, @10:07PM (1 child)

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Friday March 27 2020, @10:07PM (#976483)

        at a government department at which I worked, only people at grade 6 or above (effectively, Managers) could send 'all staff' emails

        In my company, people think before hitting Send.

        • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Saturday March 28 2020, @12:06AM

          by MostCynical (2589) on Saturday March 28 2020, @12:06AM (#976516)

          this was almost 25 years ago.. many of the staff still used mainframes to send letters and process payments, so PCs and email were very new.

          Once people discovered they could make themselves 'pretty' signature blocks, the size of individual emails ballooned.

          --
          Books are a poor substitute for female companionship, but they are easier to find. P Rothfuss “The Wise Man's Fear"
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @03:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @03:15PM (#976651)

      This happens rarely because that permission exists. It was just somehow mis-configured for this specific mailing list.

  • (Score: 2) by EEMac on Friday March 27 2020, @09:25PM

    by EEMac (6423) on Friday March 27 2020, @09:25PM (#976464)

    Since the employees are taking it (and contributing) with good humor, what a great way to promote camaraderie.

    But, yeah, warning notice or limited permissions would be appropriate next time.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Friday March 27 2020, @09:30PM (1 child)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 27 2020, @09:30PM (#976466) Journal

    True poetic justice would be if it could spread malware to every single Microsoft internal recipient, without them even needing to read the email.

    That would truly serve Microsoft right.

    After all, as martyb asks: Laughter is the best medicine?

    Yes, it is.

    --
    A Digital stupidity meter can't get pegged like a mechanical meter always does.
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @12:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @12:32AM (#976532)

      Haha, you wish.

      The entire 52000 Microsoft workplace run a Linux desktop and are thus immune to Windows virii. Which is why there are so many security holes in Win10 because they dont dogfood. It's no secret they're developing WSL only so when forced to work at a customer's they can whip out a Bash shell to get real work done.

      But just to be doubly safe, it's no coincidence they're rolling out Defender for Linux.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by maxwell demon on Friday March 27 2020, @09:41PM (4 children)

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Friday March 27 2020, @09:41PM (#976474) Journal

    Laughter is the best medicine?

    I just asked for some laughter at the pharmacy, but only got strange looks. Maybe I need a prescription for laughter?

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by takyon on Friday March 27 2020, @09:51PM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday March 27 2020, @09:51PM (#976476) Journal

      Try making a coronavirus joke.

      Don't do that, they'll charge you with making terroristic threats.
      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2020, @11:15PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2020, @11:15PM (#976502)

        I heard that if you wear a Cubs jersey you won't be able to catch anything.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @12:59AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @12:59AM (#976536)

        as the weather warms here in north America, the ticks will become active again. but you'll be able to get some Lyme to go with your Corona!

        I'll be home all week, folks...

    • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Friday March 27 2020, @10:01PM

      by MostCynical (2589) on Friday March 27 2020, @10:01PM (#976479)

      10cc's of the giggles, stat

      --
      Books are a poor substitute for female companionship, but they are easier to find. P Rothfuss “The Wise Man's Fear"
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Friday March 27 2020, @10:05PM (1 child)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Friday March 27 2020, @10:05PM (#976482)

    staff are now hitting Reply All for the sheer fun of it

    It must be really, REALLY boring working at Microsoft...

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by Nuke on Saturday March 28 2020, @01:21PM

      by Nuke (3162) on Saturday March 28 2020, @01:21PM (#976621)

      ... or they are really stupid people,

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2020, @11:50PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2020, @11:50PM (#976510)

    He wanted to print a page in the companies (pdf) HR manual but neglected to chose one page. He sent an 8000 page pdf to the POS invoice printer instead of the plain paper printer and didn't know how to stop it. He tried rebooting the computer and it restarted the print job from the beginning.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @02:02AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @02:02AM (#976545)

      About 10 years ago I worked IT for a university MBA program. The MBA students did this about 5 times a day. Except while their enormous print job was buffering, they would say “why isn’t it printing?” And hit the print button 5 more times before giving up and heading off to class. The other techs and I were left trying to stop the printers afterward.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by ElizabethGreene on Saturday March 28 2020, @03:32AM (1 child)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Saturday March 28 2020, @03:32AM (#976562)

    One good outcome from this. I learned about Outlook's right-click Ignore function. That lets me deep six a thread and all replies in two clicks. 10/10, will use again.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @03:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @03:08PM (#976649)

      You'd figure that with all that money sloshing around there that your managers could afford a proper e-mail system rather than playing around with Exchange.

  • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Saturday March 28 2020, @12:18PM

    by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Saturday March 28 2020, @12:18PM (#976609) Journal

    It surely is nice to hear about something besides the youknowwhat and 20 other reasons doom is inevitable.

    If that early "reply-all" was intentional, is that now terrorism? Or sabotage?

    Or thought crime, as it gives people ideas for what they could do in other contexts?

    How many people would it take to create a reply-all storm on some other server of some other company that is ruining the world?

    Is this question illegal? Is there even law anymore or is it just everything that angers any rich person will result in the end of anything enjoyable in your life?

    Is the alternative to opposing big data simply accepting that the "Devs" and "Westworld" scenarios are *both* inevitable, and that supercomputer ai and quantum buggery are going to enable loss of human control over any aspect of reality at all?

    Which is to say, if the only way to stop the singularity from reaching into your brain and changing the way you masturbate is to create an email reply-all storm in its cloud, would you do it even if it meant you had to share a cell in the colorado supermax for the rest of your life?

    Please tell me, a friend of mine wants to know. He is a sci fi writer without representation who needs to know if his book idea is thought crime.

    Warning: having read this comment disqualifies you from any government job for the rest of time.

    Note: I find this comment one of the most hilarious things I have ever written, but I am afraid to hit submit. Will you write me if I go to the prison where you arent allowed to correspond with the outside world for years at a time and your every movement is meticulously recorded so your entire personality can be copied, tortured, modified for use, and studied for laughs for a trillion years?

    https://medium.com/@barrettbrown/inmate-marty-gottesfeld-wrote-about-prison-corruption-then-the-prison-silenced-him-d7de0349dc02 [medium.com]

    New hotness, behold:
    https://leanpub.com/thebookoflongformremixmemes [leanpub.com]
    https://leanpub.com/mentalselfdefense [leanpub.com]
    https://leanpub.com/expandeddefinitions [leanpub.com]
    (sure would be nice to earn money for a thousand hours of work and being followed everywhere I go, but what do I know about the free market, right?)

    Is it illegal now to think this meme? Is this idea to be erased from history?
    https://archive.is/9CAwI [archive.is]

    ps this is what a real comment looks like. maybe you want to up your game before thrive capital israels can use their gtld admin powers to erase you at will.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @02:36PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28 2020, @02:36PM (#976640)

    This happened inside Amazon many years ago. Ask any old timer about the "Wallet service" email reply-all storm. For all those Microsoft employees replying all for fun, know that there is an audit history. Amazon identified some embarrassed VP's who participated in the reply all storm. Fun times.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 29 2020, @03:29AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 29 2020, @03:29AM (#976820)

    52K ought to be enough for anybody...

  • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Monday March 30 2020, @09:33PM

    by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Monday March 30 2020, @09:33PM (#977372) Journal

    COVID has jumped from man to machine, and it's really just their mailservers displaying shortness of breath! They don't want you to know this! Quick, spread the news to everyone that you can get COVID from Outlook and MSN mail addresses before SEJKLDHKLT'
    JKETKWT@$T

    55y345y84iohEUIOT

    <CARRIER LOST>

    --
    Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
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