MSN search finds time loop

And we find nudity on .nu, again

Letters Larry taking the stand in the anti-trust trial was bound to attract some comments. Some people wanted to give Larry some advice. Others were more interested in his facial hair. Yes, you read that right..

Oracle could, in theory, hurt Peoplesoft just as handily as purchasing them directly if they purchased BEA Systems.

Much of the processes that the Peoplesoft platforms runs on uses systems owned and maintained by BEA. If Ellison wants to just be a thorn in Conway's side, I think this would be a good way to go. -- Matthew

And while it p*ss*s me off, it won't count in the Judge's decision ...

Oracle has stated that it plans to kill off Peoplesoft's products, letting them just wither. If that's not reducing competition, then I don't know what is! Also, it is acting clearly contrary to the consumers' interests, in that the product they have chosen as best meeting their needs is being taken away from them.

Okay, I'm not in that position, but if I were a Peoplesoft customer and Oracle took over, I'd be inclined to blacklist Oracle and tell their salespeople "we know we've got to migrate, but don't bother calling. You're not going to get ANY business from us". It minds one of the CA days, when companies would migrate away from CA products because they didn't like the *company*, only for CA to take over the company they'd moved to ...

Cheers, Wol

I have been tyring to find out for a year now why the hell Larry Ellison has no eyebrows? Have a look at the cover of Oracle magazine - January/February 2002... a perfect shot of this Larry's face - minus the eyebrows.

I ask just about every Oracle consultant that comes into the office - why he has no eyebrows - none of them know. I even emailed Larry to ask - but he didnt reply :(. I am from Australia and maybe this "fashion trend" hasnt caught on here yet, as it has in the US? I read the article on your website "Top IT execs look like sh!t" and even Ms Sherry Maysonave failed to notice his absence of eyebrows.

If you wonderful people at "The Register" could find this out for me and the team of DBA's I work with would be ever so grateful!



Well, Liz, we've no idea. We've spent some time examining pictures and we don't seem to be able to find them either. Maybe the answer is in a database somewhere...

There seems to be a fair amount of scepticism out there about Orange's 3G launch. One to watch, perhaps:


I hope they do something about their billing for data which in the 2.5G product is simply a joke. I've changed the tariff I use for GPRS a couple of times and it seems to throw a spanner in the works for a couple of months thereafter. Last month they charged me for 14MB, at some insane rate per MB, that I was certain I hadn't used. When I challenged them to prove that I'd used it they acknowledged that their records didn't allow them to do this and simply refunded the money (or said they would -- we'll see when the bill arrives this month). Moral of story: check your bill and be sure to complain if necessary. I think they and the WiFi folks have got their pricing all wrong. It takes you back to the days when we were paying for the internet by the minute (on 9600 baud modems!) and hanging up at the earliest possible second for fear of the BT bill. That's no way to promote rapid take-up. Best

John Whitehead

I'll not get too excited about Orange releasing a 3G data card on the 19th July if that's all right.

They "launched" the Nokia 6230 a month ago, and I still haven't managed to upgrade to one, despite repeatedly phoning Orange, checking their website (where there still not listed for upgraders), trying two different Orange shops, and an independent Orange retailer. Whenever you speak to any of them, they tell you they'll be avialable on Tuesday, or next week or whatever. Each time they seem to get 2 or 3 at a go. Last time I checked my local Orange store, they had 4 in, and a waiting list with over 30 people. They told me it wasn't even worth my while adding my name to the waiting list, as they thought it would take them a month or so to clear it, and they should be available more widely by then anyway!

How many 3G data cards will be available at launch for the UK? Three, maybe four? Graeme

Life is hard on the cutting edge...

Microsoft announced the launch of its new search service this week. Said it invested $100m in it. That's quite a lot of money for something that isn't sure of the date:


fine reporting, I have to say, but (there is always a but) I wish you had mentioned some of the problems with this new opening page for msn search, especially regarding accessibility (check out the site with javascript disabled in your browser). I am not sure how this page complies with the accessibility guidelines, which as far as I know have become quite an important thing in the UK.


peter zsoldos

Hi Drew,

I'm astonished Microsoft claim to have invested $100m in their new search service; it patently doesn't work. If I worked on it I'd be very embarrassed.

Take the query "Cambridge Community Circus" - no results. Try "Cambridge Circus" though, and you get relevant results, including pages titled "Cambridge Community Circus" - after a wait. This was the first query I tried and I gave up shortly after that. The search engine shouldn't have been released in its current state.

Over five years ago we built a search engine indexing around half the number of pages Microsoft claim to, running on 30 standard Intel boxes, which gave far more relevant results in under a second even under heavy load (you might find this in your archive as 'Webtop'). Of course, this was running on Linux...

Best regards,

Charlie Hull

Hi I went to the MSN web search and searched for "Google"... first result is a bit obvious but can you explain the second result returned? Doesn't seem to mention Google anywhere.. in fact it's a catalogue of antique furniture in French.

Their "relevancy" might still need a bit of a tweak.


MSN may have updated their search page but I think I have found an interesting glitch! By hitting refresh a few times I have noticed that the date in the top right changes to 1 July and 30 June seemingly at random - every so often it displays the correct date (2 July).

Bizarre! Phil Cooling


Next up, you may have pondered the eternal question "Where does all this spam come from, and what the hell is it for?" Pure, cold logic and reasoning, spurred by a recent spam survey have finally yielded the answer:

Products offered by unsolicited bulk email are worthless. Therefore unsolicited bulk email has another purpose. International terrorist groups use bulk email and bulk email providers to send encoded messages to their membership. Sent to millions and intended for only a few, groups like Al Qaeda steal bandwidth and storage to communicate. Countries that assist or overlook the operations of bulk emailers are effectively complicit in this agency of international banditry. Only by agressively terminating the access and mail accounts of the bulk email houses will this avenue of evil be closed.


We all feel better now, don't you? What do you mean, "No"?

On to much more important matters now: nudity, and the lack (or even lack of lack, we're confused) thereof.

There is a reason why the .nu domain is used for porn... In Swedish, "nu" means "now" in English. Whish means that you can almost take any dirty Swedish word, and make it into a .nu URL. Like: (Swedish "porr" = English "porn").

There are other more innocent sites like: (Swedish "datum" = English "date" (time date, not dating) ).

/Micael Hildenborg.

"No nudes on .nu: official"

I note that there also are no nudes on


Lester remarks: Well, they missed a trick there...

No nudes on .nu: official What's so hard about: ->Results 1 - 10 of about 1,900,000 for the or

->Results 1 - 10 of about 247,000 for porn


Sigh. Another case of not reading the whole article. May we quote?

Sadly, neither this fiscal firewall nor "aggressive policies against pornography" appear to have stopped smutmongers peddling their wares from .nu. Indeed, a quick Google search reveals plenty of .nu sites offering a range of delights for the discerning punter.

Moving swiftly on...

We also wrote about the Linux servers IBM is using to underpin its support of the Wimbledon tennis tournament. One small problem:

Thanks for your good article about linux servers holding the Wimbledon website together.

It seems that they still dont get it though. The website only supports MS browsers. I cant see the live scores page cos Im running mozilla on redhat 9. If I try to look at the live scores i get sent to this error page

A touch of irony perhaps?

Cheers, John

Finally, a quick visit to blogland, beloved and behated [Calm down - Ed] in equal measure by our readers, and now a habit taken up by Sun executives:

The theory states that 80 percent of everything is (among other things) crap.

To be charitable to the blog community, we can hypothesize that 20% of blogging activity is worth reading. Since most of us have to work for a living, how much useless crap do we have to trawl through to find that worhtwhile 20% (which is more like 0.01% based on my personal experience)? How much time can we spare for this, and how much of this time would our employers be willing to pay for?

Blogging is one's own personal echo chamber. It is the best technology-enabled ego-stroke available today. Until it engages in dialogue with the outside world, and abandons the monologue ("talk to yourself, will you?"), it will remain the intellectual autoeroticism it has become (hello, Sun, Microsoft, can you hear me?).

If a diary is published online due to exhibitionist impulse, will anyone read it (substitute "tree", "forest", "no one there", "make a sound" as appropriate)?


Name and address withheld

Well, that made perfect sense to us. No, really. Although it does make us wonder if there ought to be a sobriety limit for sensible use of the Net. ®

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