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The Ultimate Irony of Rumor

If you examine the complete text of Bill Gates' "Trustworthy Computing" memo (available at numerous locations online, such as Information Week: www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20020118S0093), the irony of the rumor mill becomes immediately apparent. That is, there's no grist for that mill unless somebody inside the organization from whence a rumor issues or to which a rumor pertains — be he or she an employee, consultant, temp, or whatever — decides to share information with somebody outside the organization.

The person or persons with whom such information is shared, in many cases, works for the computer trade press, but contract programmers, consultants, and other itinerant industry experts often act as conduits for unofficial news or rumors. In fact, bulletin boards, chat rooms, mailing lists, and other venues in which anonymous contributions to ongoing conversations can occur have been outstanding "first sources" of important rumors in the past, and will probably play that role in the future as well.

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