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Microsoft-Facebook: Welcome to the Hotel California

There was a dream that was web 2.0...sob

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The funniest thing about such groups is that you can't actually leave Facebook. Ever. The closest you can get to the escape hatch is a temporary deactivation. As Zuckerberg whispers in your ear as you grab the handle: "Even after you deactivate, your friends can still invite you to events, tag you in photos, or ask you to join groups."

You can opt not to receive emails telling you about it, but your data cadaver is still there, waiting to be reanimated. Spooky.

Even spookier is that the whole Facebook-Microsoft episode was foretold, Nostrodamus-style, by harmonising 1970s MOR soothsayers The Eagles. It's all there: the interminable run-up to the deal, the eventual winner, and the users' reaction.

We don't have to tell you who the beast and the night man are. Take it away, Don Henley:

# Welcome to the Hotel California

# Such a lovely place

# Such a lovely face [book]

# They livin' it up at the Hotel California

# What a nice surprise, bring your alibis

# Mirrors on the ceiling

# The pink champagne on ice

# And she said 'we are all just prisoners here, of our own device'

# And in the master's chambers,

# They gathered for the feast

# They stab it with their steely knives

# But they just can't kill the beast

# Last thing I remember, I was

# Running for the door

# I had to find the passage back

# To the place I was before

# 'Relax,' said the night man

# We are programmed to receive

# You can check out any time you like

# But you can never leave!

# Widdly, widdly, widdly... etc.

Chilling stuff, we're sure you'll agree.

For all the Valley types who were rooting for Google, the Teflon Kid, we'll leave you to ponder the words of Verbal Kint: "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

To misquote a great man: "I, for one, welcome your new beastly overlords." ®

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