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April (Dawnrazor)
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 11:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Note: this puzzle is based on a story that was presented to me as true. While it certainly could happen, I don't think this particular incident did. Early spiolers, please feel free to solve it. :)

Puzzle statement:

A lawsuit occurred because of something that happened while Francis was using his computer.
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 11:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Crikey. They're all coming back - hello again, April :)

Is Francis an adult? does "his computer" = "Francis's computer?"
Sam Greene (Pandora)
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 11:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Francis = adult? human? male?

Did Francis do something illegal? is the computer relevant? did he inadvertantly do something to cause the lawsuit? Is anyone else involved in the puzzle? an organisation involved? nature of the lawsuit relevant?
Arjun (Jun)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 12:01 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was Francis using the mobile computer exactly as its name suggests?
Just want to make sure this is not the story I read a while back too...
April (Dawnrazor)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 3:25 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, Woubit
Is Francis an adult? does "his computer" = "Francis's computer?"
yes and yes ... although it is unimportant whose computer it was. The main point is that Francis was using the computer.

Francis = adult? human? male?
yes to all

Did Francis do something illegal?
no
is the computer relevant?
without a computer, there would be no lawsuit & no puzzle
did he inadvertantly do something to cause the lawsuit?
no
Is anyone else involved in the puzzle?
yes, one other person and a group of people
an organisation involved?
yes -- this group of people is an organization, I guess, but there is a better word for it
nature of the lawsuit relevant?
yes
April (Dawnrazor)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 3:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was Francis using the mobile computer exactly as its name suggests?
Just want to make sure this is not the story I read a while back too...
I have no idea what you are talking about. So no. :)
Sam Greene (Pandora)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 8:29 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Would 'company' be a better word than organisation?
Is Francis' profession relevant? his age? a hobby?
Did Francis cause some kind of accident?
Would it help to extablish exactly what he was doing on his computer? i.e. downloading? wordprocessing? playing games? was it a laptop? relevant?
(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 1:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the lawsuit against Francis? Was Francis the complainant?
Did Francis do anything to bring about this lawsuit? Was anything done to Francis?
Does the lawsuit involve something Francis saw? Felt? Heard? Said? Typed?
Does the lawsuit directly involve Francis' work on his computer? Internet or e-mail relevant?
Did someone witness or find out about something Francis did due to the fact that his computer was on?
April (Dawnrazor)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 3:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Would 'company' be a better word than organisation? yes!
Is Francis' profession relevant? yes, very relevant
his age? just that he is an adult
a hobby? no
Did Francis cause some kind of accident? no
Would it help to extablish exactly what he was doing on his computer? yes
i.e. downloading? wordprocessing? playing games? none of these
was it a laptop? relevant? irrelevant

Was the lawsuit against Francis? no
Was Francis the complainant? yes
Did Francis do anything to bring about this lawsuit? He may have done something to bring about the 'something that was done to him' in the next question. On the other hand, he might be totally innocent. It's not really relevant.
Was anything done to Francis? yes
Does the lawsuit involve something Francis saw? this one
Felt? Heard? Said? none of these
Typed? and possibly this one
Does the lawsuit directly involve Francis' work on his computer? yes
Internet or e-mail relevant? no, the relevant computer does not need to have been connected to the internet at all
Did someone witness or find out about something Francis did due to the fact that his computer was on? no
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 3:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

CTS?
April (Dawnrazor)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 4:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

CTS? I think you mean carpal tunnel syndrome, right? No, that's not it.
(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 4:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So Francis brought a suit against someone because of something he saw and/or something that was done to him while working on his computer, which didn't need to be connected to the Internet. Yes?

Is the thing that he saw on his computer screen? On the keyboard? The computer itself?

Was he physically injured in any way? Did he feel he was slandered or degraded? Was he offended? Was he at any point in danger of physical harm?
Sam Greene (Pandora)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 4:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did Francis saw something on the computer? something he was not meant to see? Does he work in an office? work with a computer? was the computer like a PC or in another form such as a Till?
(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 4:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One other thing - did Francis bring the lawsuit against the company? Was the company a hardware manufacturer? Software? Operating system? Something else computer-related?
(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 4:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Aha. Francis invented the world's first flying toaster which was meant to bring its owner breakfast in bed, and when his MS Windows screensaver came on, he saw, to his horror...
April (Dawnrazor)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 4:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So Francis brought a suit against someone because of something he saw and/or something that was done to him while working on his computer, which didn't need to be connected to the Internet. Yes? correct

Is the thing that he saw on his computer screen?
yes
On the keyboard? The computer itself? no and no

Was he physically injured in any way? no
Did he feel he was slandered or degraded? YES!
Was he offended? yes, very much so!
Was he at any point in danger of physical harm? no

Did Francis saw something on the computer? yes
something he was not meant to see? no, I think he was supposed to see it
Does he work in an office? probably
work with a computer? yes
was the computer like a PC or in another form such as a Till? it was a PC

One other thing - did Francis bring the lawsuit against the company? yes
Was the company a hardware manufacturer? no
Software? YES!
Operating system? no
Something else computer-related? no

Aha. Francis invented the world's first flying toaster which was meant to bring its owner breakfast in bed, and when his MS Windows screensaver came on, he saw, to his horror... :) very funny, but no! it was not a copyright-infringement suit, or anything like that.
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 5:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dynamically generated web-page content relevant?
(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 5:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was Francis' name or something close to it used by the software company?
Was there a picture of Francis or someone/something that looked like him used by the company?
Was there something else that referred directly to Francis usd by the software company?
Was there something that referred to some trait Francis had that caused Francis to be offended? For example, his house was made of Adobe or he grows Apples or some situation like this?
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 6:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It accused him of "running an illegal operation" or something like that?
April (Dawnrazor)
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 4:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dynamically generated web-page content relevant? no

Was Francis' name or something close to it used by the software company? yes, twice; his given name in one place and a nickname in another place
Was there a picture of Francis or someone/something that looked like him used by the company? no
Was there something else that referred directly to Francis usd by the software company? there was a statement that referred to him which included his nickname
Was there something that referred to some trait Francis had that caused Francis to be offended? as far as I know, the statement that offended Francis was false
For example, his house was made of Adobe or he grows Apples or some situation like this? no

It accused him of "running an illegal operation" or something like that? nothing like this
(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 4:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"yes, twice; his given name in one place and a nickname in another place"

Does this refer to Francis / Frank? Did he have another nickname? Was his surname used?
April (Dawnrazor)
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 8:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"yes, twice; his given name in one place and a nickname in another place"

Does this refer to Francis / Frank? Did he have another nickname? Was his surname used?
It was his full name -- Francis (Surname) -- in one place, and Frankie in another place.
(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 1:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the use of Francis' name meant to refer specifically to him? Was Francis famous? Had he dealt with this software company in any way other than using its product(s)?

Or was the name either used in reference to someone else who shared Francis' name ("Francis Drake") or to no one in particular (made up to use as a general example)?

Did Francis share his name with some other thing to which the software referred?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 4:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the web page imply something about his sexual habits?
April (Dawnrazor)
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 7:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the use of Francis' name meant to refer specifically to him? yes
Was Francis famous? no
Had he dealt with this software company in any way other than using its product(s)? YES!
Or was the name either used in reference to someone else who shared Francis' name ("Francis Drake") or to no one in particular (made up to use as a general example)? no
Did Francis share his name with some other thing to which the software referred? no

Did the web page imply something about his sexual habits? It wasn't a web page. As I posted earlier, the relevant computer does not need to be connected to the internet at all. Anyway, nothing was implied about Francis' sexual habits.
Fred Z (Dref)
Posted on Saturday, March 19, 2005 - 11:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Had he registered with the company? sent in a form?
April (Dawnrazor)
Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 6:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Had he registered with the company? sent in a form? No, probably not. Not really relevant.
(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 2:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Had he worked for the company? worked for a competitor?
Did he have anything to do with the writing or design of the software, manuals, anything else?
Had he used the company's tech. support?
Had he communicated with anyone who worked for the company?
Did he personally know anyone who worked for the company?
April (Dawnrazor)
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 4:48 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Had he worked for the company? YES!
worked for a competitor? no
Did he have anything to do with the writing or design of the software, YES!
manuals, anything else? not that I'm aware of
Had he used the company's tech. support? no
Had he communicated with anyone who worked for the company? I'm not sure if you'd call what happened "communication" or not
Did he personally know anyone who worked for the company? yes
Barbara Johannessen Bailey (Rabrab)
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 6:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was his name used in an example, say in a tutorial that came with the software? (the way that "John Doe" would be used?) Or as the "confused user" in a tutorial ("Francis Whateverhisnameis wants to sort his database by . How can he do this? et cetera, et cetera...")

Will finding out what kind of software it is exactly help?
April (Dawnrazor)
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 12:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was his name used in an example, YES!! This is correct. Now put that fact together with the fact that Francis worked for the company and it will be easy.
say in a tutorial that came with the software? (the way that "John Doe" would be used?) Well, it wasn't a tutorial.

Or as the "confused user" in a tutorial ("Francis Whateverhisnameis wants to sort his database by . How can he do this? et cetera, et cetera...") no

Will finding out what kind of software it is exactly help? I will spiol even if this bit of info is not discovered, but it might help to figure it out.
Barbara Johannessen Bailey (Rabrab)
Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 9:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, then...

"Francis worked for the company" -- is that a present statement or is it in the past tense? Does he still work for the company? or had he left the company at the time that he saw his name in the software?

Had he worked on this particular piece of software?

Was he a software developer, or was he management? If he was management, had he tried to derail the work on this particular piece of software?

If he had left the company, was his leaving on good terms? Or had he been fired on bad terms? Was the use of his name in the software an act of revenge by another co-worker? If not revenge exactly, was his name used deliberately, even though the person you used it knew that Francis wouldn't be pleased? Did the person who used his name know that he wouldn't be pleased?

The way that his name was used -- did it make him appear stupid? dishonest? corrupt? incompetent?

Or was it that the software was just awful and he didn't want his name anywhere near it, even as an example name?

Was his name in the help file?
the readme?


The software -- was it
a database program?
a word processing program?
financial software?
legal software?
a game?
a web browser?
an e-mail program?
a news reader?
a graphics program?
CAD?
an audio player?
a video player?
a spam-filtering program?
something else?


Did the software do something that was illegal? or of debatable legality?

Would anyone else have felt that they were slandered and degraded if their name was used in the same way in the same software?
April (Dawnrazor)
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 1:17 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Because of Rabrab's excellent questions, I am going to post the answer. I don't think there is really anything else to find out. The puzzle is from a story in a book entitled Wacky Laws, Weird Decisions, and Strange Statutes, which I promise never to use as a source for a lateral puzzle again. :)

*****SPOILER*****
The Case of the Insulting Computer

Francis was working his way through a new computer program called "Learn to Type Right" when he came to a practice drill that gave him a jolt. It said: "Frankie says noxious things. He writes even worse. He tried to sell us some old junk. Nobody bought it; we wanted good help; sorry Frankie."

To Francis, whose nickname was Frank, this looked a lot like libel -- from his very own computer program. He had written "Learn to Type Right." But he certainly hadn't written this paragraph. Francis fired off a letter of complaint to Sizzling Software Inc., the company that had paid him to create the program.

We'll take that part out of future editions, the company promised. And don't worry -- no one would recognize "Frankie" as you anyway. (Apparently an unfriendly co-worker had stuck in the insult.)

Francis was not appeased. He was, as his lawyer pointed out, the only Frank in the credits. He sued Sizzling Software for $6 million. The company decided it didn't want to go to court for libel, and quietly settled the case.
Barbara Johannessen Bailey (Rabrab)
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 1:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You give me far, far more credit than I deserve on this one--I was still a long way from being able to put it all together. This was a nice puzzle, though.

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