The Radioactive Boy Scout is back in the news

Date:August 16, 2007 / year-entry #302
Orig Link:
Comments:    25
Summary:The Radioactive Boy Scout appears to be back to his old tricks.¹ Nitpicker's Corner ¹Although this statement is written as if it were a fact, it is actually my interpretation of a newspaper article and is not an official position of Microsoft Corporation.

The Radioactive Boy Scout appears to be back to his old tricks

Nitpicker's Corner

¹Although this statement is written as if it were a fact, it is actually my interpretation of a newspaper article and is not an official position of Microsoft Corporation.

Comments (25)
  1. Lauren Smith says:

    Why steal it? Surely if you can publicize your ability to smash atoms, you can get foreign funding to buy as many smoke detectors as you need…

    Not that that would be much better, on second thought.

  2. Nathan says:

    I wonder if the scars and sores on his face are acne..  Perhaps some over-exposure to radiation ?

  3. Jules says:

    Is this the first time the Nitpicker’s Corner has actually been longer than the article? :)

  4. diggy says:

    looks like a clever way to get to the news and promote the book even more.

  5. Humane says:

    I’m glad to know that Microsoft takes no official position on the activities of Radioactive Boy! :)

    I’m sorry but I couldn’t help but smirk.

    Nevertheless, marketing strategy or not, this guy must have the spirit of the pioneers of modern science. The media present him as an out an out nutcase, and I think that’s a bit sad.

    I wonder how many smoke detectors you really need to make a fully functioning micro CHP plant?

    Maybe I’ll give this whole DIY nuclear science lark a go myself………

    "Radioactive boy, fine, like a free neutron in space!"


  6. Lukas Beeler says:

    I think you should use a gateway page that displays the disclaimer first, have the user enter his name, social security number, and answer a captcha in order to prove that he read the disclaimer ;)

  7. Thomas K says:

    Not meaning to offend, but:

    @Nitpicker’s corner:

    • It is good to respond to reader’s comments
    • Most people get the difference between MS and you

    • Commenting that post one time is enough

    • More often brings you down to the same level

    • Dont go there


  8. Vladimir says:

    Raymond, joking won’t get you anywhere ;) People tend to judge everything by themselves rather than listen to others; what conclusion do you think they’ll come to if they see you blaming every single post of yours? The same as before! "Raymond is just scared of Microsoft officials scolding him; no need for us to worry here, it’s only a disclaimer. The real thing is, he knows what he writes about".

    The only option to my mind is to estimate the probability of each statement being wrong and the dangers of taking the statement, be it wrong, at its face-value, and write disclaimers only in cases when they’re really needed.

    Also I’d like to have your unique nitpicker’s symbols restored. Not that I liked them much, but still it was your trademark action to use them and it looked like you were attached to them. I feel kinda guilty seeing that you’ve abandoned them because of us.

    Best regards.

  9. John says:

    So who can I contact to get Microsoft Corporation’s official position on the Radioactive Boy Scout?

  10. alex.r. says:

    It’s a little ironic that those detectors were found to be smoking guns…

    The Old New Thing, provider of unofficial personal interpretations since 2003 :)  

  11. Sohail says:

    Dude please stop with the nitpicking.

    Can’t you just ignore?

    <Beavis> Hey you’re an idiot.

    <Raymond> <does-something-else>

    It works for me.

  12. Boronx says:

    <i>Although this statement is written as if it were a fact, it is actually my interpretation of a newspaper article and is not an official position of Microsoft Corporation.</i>

    Unless otherwise, you should state that you don’t know for sure whether the statement is an official position of Microsoft Corporation.

  13. stosb says:

    Well, I guess the good news is that he won’t breed ;)

  14. Eric TF Bat says:

    What people don’t realise is that Raymond doesn’t actually produce the Nitpicker’s Corner.  He wrote an add-in to his blogging software about three months ago that searches through the text for any declarative statement[1] and automagically appends a disclaimer.  This saves him… well, no time or effort at all, but hey – it’s a hack, that’s all the reason it needs[3].

    Nitpicker’s Corner

    [1] A statement containing an "is" without an "If" beforehand.[2]

    [2] This use of declarative statement is not meant to be all-inclusive, as it explicitly or implicitly does not include all languages and grammatical structures in all languages past, present, future, alternate present or hypothetical future[3].

    [3] This is not to imply that Raymond is a hacker [4] or, for that matter, a slacker, a cracker or a weed-whacker.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that [5].

    [4] By any of the definitions of hacker, all of which contradict each other.

    [5] Incidentally, misquoting Seinfeld should be punishable by death.

    [6] Isn’t it fun reading through the footnotes[7]?

    [7] Spot the obscure 80s reference.

  15. ::Wendy:: says:

    I’m still stubornly asserting that while you can take Raymond out of Microsoft (for example,  for lunch),  you cant take the microsoft history out of Raymond,  therefor Raymond is a spokesperson for Mirosoft no matter how much he denies it,  he just hasn’t gone through an official-spokesperson-position review process.  

    [I didn’t realize that being knowledgeable about the history of company X makes you a spokesperson for X. -Raymond]
  16. mikey says:

    it’s because you still work there. if you didn’t then you wouldn’t be. but while you do it’s hard (and apparently to the degree of impossibility) to stop people from associating your comments with your employers position.

    sad to see the blog go this way. it used to be so much more light-hearted. still very enjoyable/useful read though. just for the record, i do appreciate and value your blog.

  17. stwx says:

    Maybe those who post senseless comments here should try the dead tree version. They can write all over it and even make fun of Raymond, it won’t argue with them.

  18. Puckdropper says:


    By being knowledgeable about anything, people will defer to your knowledge unless they think they know better.  This may occasionally feel like you’re the "spokesperson" for Microsoft, but hopefully more intelligent heads will prevail.  Good luck, and please keep bringing us the Old New Thing.

  19. John Greenan says:

    Raymond Chen is a legend.  Nitpickers are idiots.  Therefore I humbly suggest that Raymond ignore the nitpickers and continue producing one of the best blogs in the world.

    And hey, this is the official position of my firm!

  20. Dewi Morgan says:

    "Radioactive boy, you are humble and lovable."

    Mr Chen, also. :)

  21. Joobybop says:

    Why is ::Wendy:: always such a jerk in the comments if she’s supposed to be your friend?

  22. Igor says:

    John : "So who can I contact to get Microsoft Corporation’s official position on the Radioactive Boy Scout?"

    News flash:

    Microsoft Corporation official position is that you are a moron. Don’t come to this blog anymore. See you in next life.

  23. Igor says:

    Oh btw, do not mess with ::Wendy:: or Raymond The Thermonuclear is going to detonate on you ;-)

  24. david says:

    He sure looks ill.

    "Police say that Hahn’s face was covered with open sores, possibly from constant exposure to radioactive materials."

    I find it a bit scary that you can get these effects just by collecting enough licensing-exempt material. At least I wear my tin foil-hat all the time.

  25. Vladimir says:

    Igor: Why this much aggression after John? It was only a joke and, as for me, not a bad one.

Comments are closed.

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