Studying Maggots And Whale Dung Better Than Being Microsoft Security Guru
The security professionals at Microsoft made Popular Science magazine's notorious and tongue-in-cheek list of Worst Jobs in Science 2007.
What could be worse than being a Microsoft security professional?
Well, not much, as it turns out.
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Popular Science magazine released its fanciful bottom-10 list of the Worst Jobs in Science 2007. And Microsoft security gurus grabbed the No. 6 spot on the notorious list.
Who has it better than the folks patching bugs and securing software at the Redmond conglomerate? Well, first off, the answer would be nearly everyone. Specifically, though, the writers at Popular Science suggest whale feces researchers have it all over the security professionals. As the magazine sees it, the people who scoop up whale dung and dig through it for clues are thanking their lucky stars they're not working at Microsoft.
Then there are the forensic entomologists, the scientists who investigate murders by studying maggots. Yup, the list has the bug squad three spots above Microsoft's security grunts.
"One day, a local detective called me who knew I'd majored in entomology in college and said, 'Hey, Neal, we got a body at the morgue with insects on it. You wanna give it a shot?' The corpse turned out to be a guy I used to have breakfast with, and there were maggots in his teeth," the magazine quoted Neal Haskell, a leading forensic entomologist, as saying. "Then I found some in his eyes, and I thought, 'This is what I want to do. This is just way too cool.' "
OK, that's gotta make the security crew at Microsoft feel pretty bad about their jobs.
According to Popular Science, Microsoft's security gurus deal with about 100,000 e-mail messages a year notifying them that there's a security problem with a company product.
"Teams of Microsoft Security Response Center employees toil 365 days a year to fix the kinks in Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, and all the behemoth's other products," wrote the article's author. "It's tedious work. Each product can have multiple versions in multiple languages, and each needs its own repairs. (By one estimate, Explorer alone has 300 different configurations.) Plus, to most hackers, crippling Microsoft is the geek equivalent of taking down the Death Star, so the assault is relentless."
So, who has it worse than the folks at Microsoft?
According to Popular Science, it's a pretty varied list. There's the school carcass preparer -- the people who "kill, pickle, and bottle the critters that school kids cut up." There's also the hazmat diver and the poor soul who is tasked with giving vasectomies to elephants.