back to article Microsoft's offices gutted in Athens arson attack

Microsoft's Greek headguarters in Athens have been attacked by arsonists, who caused serious damage but didn't injure anyone. The software giant said that the assailants drove a van up to the entrance of the building in the early hours of this morning and made the security guards keep away while they set fire to the vehicle …

COMMENTS

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Err...

    "...The attacks usually target official buildings or banks and rarely cause any injuries...."

    But there have been deaths, some people were burned to death in a bank a few months ago.

    This is not a joking matter, people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Probably

      Down to the frustration of not being able to get the new Microsoft tablet.

      1. Thorne

        Re: Probably

        "Down to the frustration of not being able to get the new Microsoft tablet."

        Actually it's more like to be due to the frustration of having the new MS tablet

        "Where's my goddamn start button Bill? NOOOO not a BSOD, I haven't saved my email..........."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They thought it was the Apple store and were out to steal a few iPads.

      Sadly the criminal planning was faulty.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Joke

        This is what happens when you download and install the Windows 8 Release Preview.

        Don't do it, kids.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The fire brigade estimates the damage to the building at around 60,000 (£48,000, $75,000),"

    I assume that's 60,000€ and not Kangaroos (as my old maths teacher would say to any missing units).

    I'm sure they can reduce that bill, there are plenty of out of work builders about, so a bit of contract bidding should drop it nicely.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: "The fire brigade estimates the damage to the building at around 60,000 (£48,000, $75,000),"

      Especially for cash !

    2. James Micallef Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: "The fire brigade estimates the damage to the building at around 60,000 (£48,000, $75,000),"

      Are Greece still in the Euro??

      1. Lockwood

        Re: "The fire brigade estimates the damage to the building at around 60,000 (£48,000, $75,000),"

        Let me check my calendar...

  3. n4blue
    Coat

    Currency conversion

    I appreciate the conversion of the euro amount into pounds and US dollars, but don't you think it would be useful to quote the figure in drachma too (20,445,000 in this case) so that the article still makes sense in a few months time?

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Currency conversion

      I see what you did there.

      If they tried to include drachmas (drachmae?), the conversion would have to include one of those spinning number counters linked to a 4096-bit unsigned integer field.

      1. n4blue
        Childcatcher

        Re: Currency conversion

        Oh you've just brought back nasty memories of a COBOL fund accounting system I had the misfortune to work with. Exchange rate field was 3.8 and on the daily import, the Turkish Lira rate (then well over 1000 to the pound) lost its most significant digit. Data admin had to manually type in a rate of 999.999... every morning because that was the closest they could get.

        That and the currency table had only 50 rows, so if they wanted to trade a currency not on the list they had to first find one not currently in use and delete it. To be fair though, the original developers asked the users how many currencies they would need and were told 'about 6' so 50 seemed a reasonable limit - it was one of those projects developed for one desk and inevitably rolled out across the whole company.

      2. Michael Dunn
        Headmaster

        Re: Currency conversion

        Drachmae? No, drachmes.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Currency conversion

      > damage to the building at around €60,000 (£48,000, $75,000)

      Using Microsoft's usual conversion technique, shouldn't that have been "damage to the building at around €60,000 (£60,000, $60,000)" ?

      1. Lockwood

        Re: Currency conversion

        The "Internet Exchange Rate". Gotta love it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I blame eulampios, who is on record here on the Reg comments as wanting Microsoft to die (I quote), no matter what they do.

    You're welcome, Officer.

  5. Voland's right hand Silver badge
    Devil

    Ladies and gentlemen...

    Ladies and gentlemen, let me present you the Trojan Van.

    Timeo Danaes driving a van with gas bottles...

    1. Gerhard den Hollander

      Re: Ladies and gentlemen...

      Beware of geeks bearing grifts ?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft EU fine

    Is this related to the €899 million (now on sale at just €860m) EU fine that Microsoft is yet to pay since the the last 5 years or so?

    1. localzuk
      FAIL

      Re: Microsoft EU fine

      Generally, fines don't get paid until all appeals are out of the way. They've only just finished the appeals process, so I'd guess payment will be made very shortly...

      No need to make Microsoft out to be avoiding payment here, well other than going through appeals of course.

  7. James 51
    FAIL

    I understand the (emotive) logic of attacking organisations you blame for the state your country is in, but other than as a general symbol of a capitalist system, why attack Microsoft?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      responsible for crimes against humanity with that O/S of theirs?

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Windows

      Proof

      That the Greeks really don't like Metro.

    3. Mako

      Years ago, I did some contract IT work for a certain large construction company. At the same time, they were having their head office refurbed.

      Some surly git of a builder went into the boardroom and dragged a screwdriver down the 20-odd foot length of the solid oak boardroom table. He was caught on CCTV.

      Just before they sacked him and pushed him down 15 flights of stairs, they asked him why. His answer was along the lines of, "Well if I can't have something like that, why should they?"

      Not sure whether the motivation here is similar, mind you.

    4. JimC

      Why Microsoft?

      I wonder how much of the money they earn in Greece is subject to Greek taxation, or whether its all offshored to a handy tax haven... I can imagine tax authority shopping is not popular in Greece right now...

    5. James Micallef Silver badge
      Facepalm

      And besides that, how is burning a building supposed to help?

  8. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Devil

    Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

    Clearly a bunch of 99%ers who are eagerly awaiting their social-security financed tablets to be delivered to their front porch.

    Wasn't there something along those lines in a John Brunner novel? "Muckers"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

      All your money are belong to U.S.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

        The US doesn't even have its own money, it's mostly held by China now.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

          Hacked by Chinese!

    2. asdf Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

      Yep because it the %1 would have never have used Goldman Sachs to cook the books to get Greece in the EU where they could borrow even more money, destroy the country but only after looting it and moving their money offshore.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

        And your point is? Are you trying to tell us that this was not done with the eagerly assistance of Greek politicians elected by a majority vote?

        Are you trying to tell us that the same politicians are no longer in charge of the country? 'cause if memory serves me right the interim prime minister was the ex-president of the central bank and I am having some trouble digesting the idea that he did not eagerly partake part in destroying his own country future.

        I hate to be blunt here, but as long as they are not prosecuted under the applicable law for financial fraud there will be Greece Version 2 (aka Spain), Greece Version 3 (aka Italy), Greece Version 4 (aka Cyprus), Greece version... Further to this - any money we give them will be wasted the same as before.

        1. elderlybloke
          Pirate

          Re: Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

          From what I have read/heard about/viewed , the Bankers/Financiers/Bureaucrats have managed to get the Greeks by the Balls. So their Hearts and Minds will be following.

          There is an ex-Wall Street Broker on a TV station " Russia Today" (and on RT.com) who predicted all this shambles in Europe months ago , when it seemed like fantasy , but it has all become true with the Bankers etc, getting obscenely wealthy as the citizens poverty stricken.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

            "There is an ex-Wall Street Broker on a TV station " Russia Today" (and on RT.com) who predicted all this shambles in Europe months ago"

            Plenty of people saw it coming and told everyone who would listen. What happens is that establishment media would thoroughly ignore them. You could however hear and read those analyses in outlets such as Russia Today, Le Monde Diplomatique, and even The Financial Times. But then again, who listens to a bunch of ex-communists, or French intellectuals, or buys a newspaper that costs two quid a day?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

      Methinks you confuse Greek activists with chavs?

      Whatever you may think of anarchists / anti-capitalists / anti-globalisation / anti-whatever in Greece, a bunch of illiterate drunkards they're not.

      I spent a little time at a Greek university years ago, and while disagreeing with these people on most issues, I was impressed by their ability to hold an intelligent and informed debate. They are of course also capable of action, as this story demonstrates. I respect them even if I don't share most of their goals and disagree with their tactics.

      Of course, there is also a bit of this going on sometimes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDJeTnLKLEI

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

        Problem: Lack of readily available cash.

        Solution: Burn down expensive buildings.

        AC 21:28, uni students may be intelligent but they're also some of the most naive people on the planet. I certainly wouldn't want them deciding the economic future of my country.

      2. Michael Dunn
        Pint

        Re: Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

        "on most issues, I was impressed by their ability to hold an intelligent and informed debate."

        Yes, well, I seem to remember there were a couple of 'colleges' - the Stoa and the Peripateia come to mind, where debate was the norm, after which, presumably, they'd all go off to a 'symposium' - i.e., a drinking party, or as we might say nowadays 'a cheese and wine.'

        <- no beer in Attica!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Re: Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

      You may want to read about the situation in Greece before shooting off your Daily Wail inspired rant.

      Social Security financing? What Social security, it's pretty much disappeared to the extent their is no "social housing", people can't afford the prescriptions for critical illness and people are going to charities for food.

      You have 50% youth unemployment and about 23% overall, some areas it's as high as 80%

      So STFU until you know what you are on about.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

        It's a sad situation however it comes down to this - voters generally vote for the politicians who promise the most, not for those who were realistic about what they can deliver. Politicians know this, so they will promise the earth, and whenever possible (such as if they can borrow money at low-looking rates) they will give goodies to the people so they can get voted for again.

        Bottom line, it's the Greeks' own responsibility for spending all their cash during the times of plenty and not saving anything up, thinking a rainy day will never come (fable of the ant and the grasshopper?). Also it's a lack of straight thinking and civic duty. High tax evasion + demanding of extensive government services = selfish mentality. Clearly not all Greeks were doing it and I don't like generalising the behaviour of a whole nation... but equally clearly, enough people were behaving selfishly for the whole house of cards to collapse.

  9. philbo
    FAIL

    Timeo danaos

    et inflammare edificium

    ..the "fail" is for my Latin declension

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: But...but...but...

      Why are you declining Latin, when this is a Greek tragedy?

      (Insert line from Mark Twain about declensions here...)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But...but...but...

        Because, declining the Latin, he settled for the Greek?

        1. ratfox Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: But...but...but...

          Microsoftes Eunt Domus!

          1. Michael Dunn

            Re: But...but...but...

            Or as John Cleese'swcenturion would correct it: Microsoftes ite domum.

            1. Michael Dunn
              Headmaster

              Re: But...but...but...

              sorry for that "w", should have been a space!

              1. Colin Wilson 2

                Re: But...but...but...

                Legem Muphry percutit iterum?

      2. philbo

        Re: But...but...but...

        >Why are you declining Latin, when this is a Greek tragedy?

        >(Insert line from Mark Twain about declensions here...)

        "It's obvious, really: the Greeks would never suggest bewaring of themselves, if one can use such a participle (bewaring that is). And it's clearly Latin, not because timeo ends in "-o", because the Greek first person also ends in "-o" – although actually there is a Greek word timao, meaning 'I honour'. But the "-os" ending is a nominative singular termination of a second declension in Greek, and an accusative plural in Latin, of course, though actually Danaos is not only the Greek for 'Greek'; it's also the Latin for 'Greek'. It's very interesting, really."

        ..Ok, not a Mark Twain line, but a Bernard Woolley one. And not really an answer to the question, but any excuse..

    2. mhenriday
      Boffin

      Timeo Danaos

      et facem ferentes ? (With apologies to Publius Vergilius Maro...)

      Henri

  10. Plonkybear

    Prometheus.....

    ....unbound!

  11. proto-robbie
    Linux

    The fire kept going out ...

    ... and had to be restarted several times.

    1. TakeTheSkyRoad
      Coat

      Re: The fire kept going out ...

      We didn't start the fire, it was always burning since...... ok, getting coat & going....

    2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Re: The fire kept going out ...

      Blue scream of death do you mean?

      If that happens just switch it off then back on again.

  12. Adrian Midgley 1
    Flame

    There's an "r" in the headline

    which I didn't see the first time.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, did the whole incident start with

    The delivery of a gift of a wooden horse to the Microsoft office?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear

    Nice excuse for when the Surface release still hasn't happened in six months time "Oh the plans were under a cup of ouzo in our Greek offices. We'd tried backing them up in Windows Azure, but we couldn't get the bugger to work"

    1. Ioannis
      Trollface

      Re: Oh dear

      No-one who's ever drank ουζο in their life drinks it from a "cup" :-)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    My bet is a bunch of out-of-work builders, who will now bid on refurbishing the building.

    Desperate times, - desperate business.

    (I expect to see this as a cartoon in Private Eye very soon.)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Got your attention now, Microsoft?

    Now about that ribbon...

  17. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  18. Rodrigo Valenzuela

    Surprised that no one has mentioned "Greek fire"

    R

  19. pSy
    WTF?

    Yeah, well done.

    That's the way to solve a financial crisis, nice one Greek rioting people.

    1. Thorne

      Re: Yeah, well done.

      "That's the way to solve a financial crisis, nice one Greek rioting people"

      Strangely enough, there some jobs as MS for builders, painters and electricians now so yes burning and looting does create employment and help solve the crisis (OK maybe not the best way but a way never the less)

  20. Craig 28

    Well there you go...

    21st century version of Greek fire...

    Yes I know Greek fire was technically from the Bizantines but since they're defunct these days, tough titties.

  21. LinkOfHyrule
    Joke

    Microsoft's offices gutted in Athens arson attack

    Bloody Apple fanbois - you've taken it way too far this time!!!!!!!!!

    1. LinkOfHyrule
      Coat

      Does a Columbo

      and one more thing.... Talk about fanboi-ing the flames of the fire!

  22. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Nothing to see here. Just an old XBox power supply.

  23. Mike Flugennock
    Thumb Up

    Boo yah!

    Hot damn diggety. You go, Greeks.

    I often wish for Americans to get this pissed off, but sadly, we're a nation of big, fat pussies.

  24. tony2heads

    Three attackers

    Presumably a mum, a teenage boy and a cyborg from the future...

  25. Mike Banahan
    Mushroom

    Motto for Ballmer's desk

    δέσποτα, μέμνεο τῶν Ἀθηναίων

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A van full of gas and petrol ?

    Even at current pump prices it seems some Greeks still have money to burn !

    1. Lockwood

      Re: A van full of gas and petrol ?

      I was going to say...

      "We have no money! Let's buy petrol and set fire to it!"

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