A Great Story To End The Year With
The shutdown of the system came after Microsoft failed to pay the annual $35 fee for it's registered passport.com domain name, which verifies user names and passwords for the Hotmail system. The mistake was discovered by Michael Chaney, a programmer who works with Linux, a competing system to Microsoft's Windows.
Chaney, a Hotmail user, unilaterally and graciously took out his credit card, called Network Solutions (the vendor who was owed the $35) and paid Microsoft's bill over the telephone so the Hotmail system would start working and the 52 million users could access their accounts again.
Microsoft has since thanked Chaney and has offered to reimburse him for his $35. Chaney has accepted the thanks, but has asked Microsoft to consider the value of what he did before they decide to simply write out a check for $35 to reimburse him . . . Read about the episode on Chaney's website, www.doublewide.net. 
Happy New Year everybody!!
If you find this story as amusing as we did, be sure to share it with others  -- they'll appreciate the humor!