• Marak (unregistered)

    I think I speak for everyone.


    WTF!

  • kuroshin (cs)

    Ack!! At first I thought you were trying to wipe out the conclusions drawn about Virtudyne from the previous three parts. But I read it a second time, and it seems more like you've planned that paraphernalia and this donkeyish ending.

  • kuroshin (cs) in reply to kuroshin

    Note to all: 

    Ok, please avoid making references to companies which you think are related to this saga.

    Seems like Big Brother is not happy about it.

  • kmactane (cs)

    I think I just blew a mental fuse trying to figure out if this could possibly be for real, or if Alex has just decided to see how gullible we all are. I'd like to think this level of stupidity is impossible, but I've seen so many counter-examples... and the people who thought they'd identified the company, yesterday, had some pretty good supporting details.

    I think I'm just going to file it under "That was an entertaining and diverting tale; who cares if it's true or not?"

    Though I must say, when I first saw "Digital Donkey", I couldn't help but wonder if it was supposed to be a coded reference to eMule. But you can't access eMule in places where there's no Internet. In a WTFish way, having it be an actual donkey makes more "sense". (For suitably WTFish values of "sense".)

  • Just another programmer (unregistered)

    I'm willing to call Shinanigan's on this, because it's just so umbelieveable, however it is funny.

  • Saladin (cs)

    Okay, I had no problem whatsoever believing the first three parts of this story but I absolutely, positively, cannot believe this Digital Donkey thing.  Sorry, I just cannot see how any company could ever think that something like that would be feasible, much less a marketable idea.

    This is probably the first TDWTF article that I have honestly believed was a fabrication.

     

    [Counterpoint from Alex: Keep in mind that the product's target customer was large munciplaities with several million dollars to invest in their communities. I believe that the Digital Donkey was an attempt to get the rural folks excited about computers/email/internet/etc and therefore encourage their government to buy it through Virtudyne]

  • tmountjr (cs)

    Anonymous:
    I smell a big fat pile of BS...anyone else?

     

    No - this is just unbelievable enough to be true!

  • Rob Crawford (unregistered) in reply to Just another programmer
    I'm willing to call Shinanigan's on this, because it's just so umbelieveable, however it is funny.

    I'm going to pistol whip the next person who says shenanigans!

  • anony-mouse (unregistered) in reply to Rob Crawford
    Anonymous:
    I'm willing to call Shinanigan's on this, because it's just so umbelieveable, however it is funny.

    I'm going to pistol whip the next person who says shenanigans!

    Hey Alex, whats that place you like to go, with all the goofy sh** on the walls?

  • godai (cs) in reply to Saladin

    I mean I come here to get the funny stories about real life happenings.

     Now names are changed and such.  But if you go to the mugs website. There's this legal notice.

     "Legal Note

    Although Virtudyne's story is based off of real events, any resemblance to an actual company is unintentional and purely coincidental. "

    Ummm the resemblance to an actual company is the specific purpose and no where near coincidental.

     I realize that its there to CYA but get real, there is no way that statement can be resolved with what the tale is supposed to be.

  • CodeRage (cs) in reply to Rob Crawford

    Maybe it is something like "The Digital Rickshaw"

    The digital rickshaw 

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/08/16/world/main636395.shtml

     

  • WebDeveloper (unregistered)

    Anonymous:
    Virtudyne is to Simdesk as The Digital Donket is to what?

    Based on the "India" reference, I would think that SimIndiana has something to do with Digital Donkey.

    I met Lou Walters Jr. and heard a few tales about him from a former SimDesk employee (who will remain nameless). What I thought was really funny was that Lou hated their intranet system. They contacted me to build one for them and after a few long discussions, we went with Joomla (fairly customized by the time it was done). The people that I sat with were dedicated, sharp, people who worked their butts off to make the site look good and be something that people would want to use.  I have nothing but good things to say about them. Nevertheless, there were pretty good tales about other people in the organization.

     Ace
     

  • themagni (cs) in reply to CodeRage

    The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.

     
    I've seen crazier ideas than the donkey.

     

  • Unklegwar (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • un.sined (cs) in reply to anony-mouse
    Anonymous:
    Anonymous:
    I'm willing to call Shinanigan's on this, because it's just so umbelieveable, however it is funny.

    I'm going to pistol whip the next person who says shenanigans!

    Hey Alex, whats that place you like to go, with all the goofy sh** on the walls?

     

    Shenanigans? 

  • CodeReaper (cs)

    (I've been dying to use this emote since I first learned of it...)

    o_O

    Ooooo..... K.

    You know... I've thought about this a few times, and the sad thing is, there is an eery logic to it. Step A leads to Step B leads to hell.

    1) Microsoft runs everything...
    2) We have to go somewhere where Microsoft doesn't have a foothold...
    3) When asked, developer X answered (to his mind, sarcastically) "On top of Mt. Everest, or maybe in the rain-forest".
    4) Management, lacking the genes required to take a joke and fire the guy like a sane person, pondered...
    5) They have no electricity in those places... so we'll use Solar Energy... ANY dolt knows that.
    6) How do we get the equipment there? Well, they say that there's no terrain that can't stop a donkey.

    The one head-scratcher I can't come up with an answer to, however is... how did they expect to profit from this? I mean, Zimbu of the Kishyerwytassgbye tribe doesn't exactly have a matress stuffed full of U.S. currency that fell from the sky. They'd be lucky to have animal hides.

    And who the hell would know about it? They might get some publicilty from Missionaries or "Save-The-Poor-Starving-Children" groups who happened to noticed the bionic mule saunter bye, but I'd think the publicity would be more along the lines of "WE'RE GOING TO BE ASSIMILATED!!". I mean, Dan Rather doesn't just parchute into the jungle from time-to-time to see if there's any news he hasn't reported on yet... does he?

    I'm soooooo divided... I mean, I want to believe that corporate America can be this stupid... because on many instinctual levels, I already believe that... but then there's the part of me that has hope that mankind will one day struggle bravely out of its dark, black hole of ignorance, and stand proudly upon the mountains of mutual love, understanding and peace.

    The mere suggestion that this might be a true story has called all that into doubt.

    Thanks Alex. Now I'm Schizophrenic (Take as many pot-shots at the spelling as you like... see if I care... just don't do it when Eddie - that's my other personality - is out... you've been warned).

    Take me now, Borg!!

  • dwayner79 (unregistered) in reply to WebDeveloper

    Virtudyne Articles

    </p><p>* 2006-10-10 - Virtudyne: The Founding
    </p><p>* 2006-10-11 - Virtudyne: The Gathering
    </p><p>* 2006-10-12 - Virtudyne: The Savior Cometh
    </p><p>* 2006-10-13 - Virtudyne: The Digital Donkey
    </p><p>* <strong>More To Come ...</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Yea... bring them on!&nbsp;</p>
    
  • Volmarias (cs) in reply to Unklegwar

    My jaw literally dropped on this one.

    I saw the donkey laden with equipment, chuckled to myself thinking that it was some kind of humorous anonymization of their product. Then read that it was, in fact, the real idea.

    Holy.
    Crap.

    I'm buying a mug.

  • WIldpeaks (cs)

    Oh GOD, my eyes, why the pain, why ?

    That's WTF to a whole new level...

  • GoatCheez (cs)

    If you don't believe that this could happen, you haven't been around the block... I'll admit that I myself haven't traveled all the way around yet, but this story isn't that far-fetched. I really don't know if the Donkey thing was legit though. It was probably more like the people who knew the idea was retarded picked a donkey when talking about it to try and emphasize the stupidity of the idea. Sometimes though, stupid people get confused and forget that they don't have good judgement. So retarded...

  • Chris (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • AntiQuark (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • dwayner79 (unregistered) in reply to dwayner79

    I imagine after yesterday all the old-timers over at simdesk going,

     
    "please, not the donkey...."

    **refresh browser window** 

    "please, not the donkey...."

    **refresh browser window**

    "please, not the donkey...."

    **refresh browser window**

    "NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" 

     

  • Trurl (unregistered) in reply to WebDeveloper
    Anonymous:

    Anonymous:
    Virtudyne is to Simdesk as The Digital Donket is to what?

    Based on the "India" reference, I would think that SimIndiana has something to do with Digital Donkey.

    The funny thing is, I live in Indiana and I had never heard of SimIndiana until I read this story. So even if this story isn't about SimDesk, the Indiana government pored tax money into SimIndiana and no one is even using it. 

  • Philbert Desanex (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • WIldpeaks (cs) in reply to Philbert Desanex

    Holy cow, err, donkey

  • LionsPhil (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to WebDeveloper
    Comment held for moderation.
  • LionsPhil (unregistered) in reply to LionsPhil
    Comment held for moderation.
  • VGR (cs) in reply to GoatCheez

    GoatCheez:
    Sometimes though, stupid people get confused and forget that they don't have good judgement. So retarded...

    In other words... Unskilled and Unaware.  (I'm not even going to link to the paper again.  I think everyone has read it by now.)
     

  • DigitalMeerkat (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • WangBaDan (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • CodeReaper (cs)

    I'll tell you what really scares me about this... the potential military applications.

    Think about it... hundreds... thousands of roving donkeys fanning out along the countryside, each armed with a small Nuclear warhead... going places where even a missle can't get... self-sustaining, limitless in range, proximity-triggered detonators... this could be the end of the world as we know it.

  • John Bigboote (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Virtudyne engineers were tasked with figuring out a way to attach a satellite dish, laptops, and solar cells to a donkey.

     

    "Have you tried staples?" 

  • Pap (cs)

    The real WTF is that they used donkeys, when everyone knows the binary pattern on zebras are best suited for transferring digital data from one town to another.

  • LionsPhil (unregistered) in reply to John Bigboote
    John Bigboote:
    "Have you tried staples?" 
    +4, "Scrooged" reference. Mod parent up!
  • Digitalbath (cs)

    At least the idea wasn't the "HTTP Hippo."  Although that would add more body surface to strap stuff on, then they would have had to water proof everything.  Oh yeah, and probably deal with lawsuits when a hippo ate an end user.

  • Klondike (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Disgruntled DBA (cs) in reply to CodeReaper
    CodeReaper:

    I'll tell you what really scares me about this... the potential military applications.

    Think about it... hundreds... thousands of roving donkeys fanning out along the countryside, each armed with a small Nuclear warhead... going places where even a missle can't get... self-sustaining, limitless in range, proximity-triggered detonators... this could be the end of the world as we know it.

     

    Don't worry.  The army uses only basselopes for nuclear weapons

    http://www.caerleon.us/hb/pics.php3?file_id=4 

  • un.sined (cs) in reply to Klondike

    Microsoft was, for a while, developing a software similar to "Virtudyne's".  It was called NetDocs (http://www.google.com/search?q=microsoft+netdocs) and had similar functionality to what's been described.  Of course, the project was scrapped, parts were merged into Office (infopath).

     

  • The Nobody (unregistered)

    Man, this can't be true... Capital WTF!

  • Marak (unregistered) in reply to Klondike
    Comment held for moderation.
  • John Hensley (unregistered) in reply to Just another programmer

    Anonymous:
    I'm willing to call Shinanigan's on this, because it's just so umbelieveable, however it is funny.

    I believe it because I worked for a Virtudyne. During the boom, didn't we all?

    This company made video-on-demand systems. The CEO's rescue plan was to merge with a company that made satellite antennas. This would free us from the tyranny of RF cables and allow us to put movies on demand into, among other things, agricultural combines. No, I didn't make that up, the CEO really proposed to do that.

    It's a standard strategy when you take over a company with nothing except a product that sucks: find dumb customers.

    The CEO was a nice guy and an outside the box thinker, he just didn't belong anywhere near an executive job.

  • WebDeveloper (unregistered) in reply to The Nobody
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Jojosh_the_Pi (cs)

    If Virtudyne had invested in the Digital Donkey at the beginning of the development cycle instead of waiting three years, maybe it would have been working by now.


  • IWasThere (unregistered) in reply to The Nobody

    People, people, "Digital Donkey" --> "DD" --> "Digital Divide".

     

    They wanted the US government and other governments to pay for it with taxpayer money. (Modesto, Illinois, etc.)

     

    Yes, I know who "Rob" is.  Yes, I know that's not his real name.  Yep, it happened like he says except for some slight variation on the initial investment amounts.  I remember the amounts differently. (But, I might not remember correctly.)  He wasn't there then.  I was. 

  • Marak (unregistered) in reply to IWasThere

    Alright who took out my Wiki entry....WTF

     

    captcha: craptastic

  • Not so sure about this (unregistered) in reply to IWasThere
    Anonymous:

    People, people, "Digital Donkey" --> "DD" --> "Digital Divide".

    They wanted the US government and other governments to pay for it with taxpayer money. (Modesto, Illinois, etc.)

    Yes, I know who "Rob" is.  Yes, I know that's not his real name.  Yep, it happened like he says except for some slight variation on the initial investment amounts.  I remember the amounts differently. (But, I might not remember correctly.)  He wasn't there then.  I was. 

    I'll bet you the most incredible war-stories to share....

  • John Hensley (unregistered) in reply to IWasThere
    Comment held for moderation.
  • tedbilly (cs)

    Here is the really funny thing, check out www.youos.com

    It's a complete virtual machine that can potentially achieve everything Virtuadyne was trying to achieve!

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