The 10 Funniest IT Industry Episodes Of 2010

Take My Apple, Please

Let's face it, sometimes the IT industry can be a little dry. But we found these 10 little nuggets that show how funny this little tech world of ours can be. Strange, a lot of these barbs seem to focus on Apple ...

Larry Ellison Compares HP Server To A Turtle

Oracle's new SPARC Supercluster server offers such a mind-blowing level of speed and performance that CEO Larry Ellison just can't resist rubbing it in his competitors' faces. And Ellison is getting creative when it comes to depicting his foes' shortcomings.

At an event in early December, Ellison boasted that Oracle's new SPARC Supercluster server, when configured with 108 SPARC T3 processors with 1,728 cores, 13.5 TBs of memory, 40-Gbps InfiniBand, and Oracle ZFS storage, and running a standard Oracle database, had reached 30 million transactions per minute, based on the tpmC benchmark.

In contrast, HP's Superdome server can only handle 4 million transactions a minute, according to Ellison, who derisively re-dubbed the product "TurtleDome" -- thereby winning the unofficial prize for the lowest-hanging fruit joke of 2010.

Adobe Exec Tells Apple Where To Go

Lee Brimelow, a platform evangelist at Adobe, was not pleased with the shenanigans Apple pulled in April when it altered the iPhone 4.0 SDK to effectively block Flash developers from building apps for the iPhone.

After expressing his shock and dismay with Apple's decision, Brimelow lashed out at Apple in a blog post, really letting it rip and making it patently obvious that Steve Jobs would not be getting a holiday card from his office this year.

"Speaking purely for myself, I would look to make it clear what is going through my mind at the moment. Go screw yourself Apple," Brimelow said in the blog post, summing up the outrage in the Flash developer ranks at the time.

Bill Gates Dances On Tables, Plays Air Guitar At Sundance

In his first trip to the Sundance Film Festival, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates got a wee bit carried away one night and ended up dancing on some tables at a party one night. According to reports, Gates also busted out some air guitar moves and invoked some Jersey Shore-style fist pumps.

Gates was at Sundance to see "Waiting For Superman," a movie on education directed by Davis Guggenheim in which he's taken a personal interest. Later on Twitter, Gates gushed about the "amazing reception" the film received. Will there be an encore next month at Sundance 2011?

RIM Co-CEO Gets Silent High-Fives From Entire Tech Industry

Apple's rivals are getting a bit tired with Steve Jobs' trash talk. In October, RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie decided to fire back. In Apple's fourth-quarter earnings call, Jobs ripped the 7-inch tablet category, of which RIM's Playbook is a part, and bragged about passing RIM in smartphone sales. "We think the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival. Sounds like lots of fun ahead," Jobs snarked.

Balsillie's response seemed to capture the annoyance of industry rivals and members of the general public who've grown irritated with Apple.

"Apple’s attempt to control the ecosystem and maintain a closed platform may be good for Apple," Balsillie said. "We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple."

Katy Perry Calls Out Microsoft For Lack Of Free Drinks

Pop music star Katy Perry is lighting up the charts, and she also lit into Microsoft with some public criticism at a November concert sponsored by the software giant. During a performance at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, Perry reportedly asked attendees if they were enjoying the open bar, but soon figured out that the drinks weren't free.

Perry didn't take kindly to this and lashed out at what she took as a sign of Microsoft's frugality. "It's Microsoft! Don't they own half the world?" Perry reportedly said at the event.

It later emerged that Microsoft didn't provide an open bar because many of the concertgoers weren't of drinking age, but why should facts get in the way of one of the most hilarious incidents of the year?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Goes Way Off Topic

At the D8 conference in June, The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher grilled Apple CEO Steve Jobs about his company's growing competition with Google in the mobile space. Somehow, the conversation ended up taking a completely unanticipated turn.

Jobs acknowledged Google's moves onto Apple's turf, but in decidedly generic, unquotable terms. Finally, when Mossberg pressed Jobs to acknowledge whether or not he felt "betrayed" by Google, Jobs creatively turned the conversation in a different direction.

"My sex life is pretty good these days, Walt. How's yours?" Jobs quipped, according to D8: All Things Digital's conference report.

IBM Turns Las Vegas Maxim On Its Head

You know what they say about stuff that happens in Vegas staying in Vegas? Well, in a socially networked world where people are continually posting crazy photos, any expectation of non-disclosure is pretty much going out the window.

So says Steve Mills, IBM senior vice president and group executive, Software & Systems, who warned solution providers of the perils of social media during IBM's Information On Demand 2010 conference in Las Vegas in November.

"You know that expression, 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas'? Not true," Mills said. "What happens in Vegas goes on the Web and will live on for hundreds of years. Future members of your family will look back at some of the things you did that were digitally recorded and shake their heads in disgust."

Yahoo's Bartz Has Off-Color Advice For TechCrunch's Arrington

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz is known for expressing unvarnished opinions in language that would make longshoremen blush. Nowhere was this more evident than at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in May, where Bartz used some colorful language during a chat with TechCrunch's Michael Arrington.

Arrington goaded Bartz by questioning Yahoo's ability to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook, and when he compared Bartz's achievements at Yahoo to those of Steve Jobs after he returned from Apple, she eventually became fed up with his line of questioning.

"I don’t want to hear any crap about something magical that the fine people at Yahoo are supposed to do during this short time, so f--- off," Bartz told Arrington, eliciting howls of laughter from the assembled attendees.

Microsoft Nixes Ballmer WWDC Rumor, Sarcastically

In June Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdrey started the year's most bizarre and ridiculous rumor when he predicted that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer would join Apple CEO Steve Jobs onstage at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco. But while the very notion was preposterous, the real comedy came with Microsoft's subsequent response in a Twitter post:

"Steve Ballmer not speaking at [WWDC]. Nor appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Nor riding in the Belmont. Just FYI," Microsoft said in the tweet.

Netsuite CEO Suggests Dinosaurs Lived In Stone Age

Netsuite CEO Zach Nelson fired up the hyperbole engine in March in order to depict Microsoft's efforts to lure away his customers. But in doing so, Nelson committed a major geological time scale mix-up.

Nelson likened Microsoft's attempts to woo Netsuite customers as "the last gasp of a dinosaur trying to protect its Stone Age software products." OK, first off, dinosaurs didn't live during the Stone Age. They lived from the late Triassic period (about 230 million years ago) until the end of the Cretaceous (about 65 million years ago). This was well before the Stone Age, which started about 2.5 million years ago.

Microsoft may trail Netsuite and Saleforce in cloud computing and SaaS, but to suggest it's a dinosaur emitting its last gasp is wishful thinking, no matter how poetically it was expressed.