Attack of the Segway-riding Finnish Penguin bloggers

And a Rush of blood to the head

Letters Right. Let's get started. First up, Katie Jones, the unfortunate damsel who happens to share a domain name with the name of a TV show in the US. Well, not share, because is hers. The US show just named itself anyway, resulting in a flood of unwanted traffic to poor Katie Jones' site.

As ever, you had some ideas as to how she could deal with this:

Maybe Katie Jones should consider writing her story of abuse by Penguin and Katie T and sell it to a rival publisher. At least this would show that the little person does have a voice!


If Penguin didn't want to use because of its association with a porn site, then perhaps Katie Jones should post up a page to forward to until they settle.

It is strange that they don't seem to wish to buy the domain at a price that will compensate for the aggrevation, as with all the publicity there is probably now going to be some high offers from the porn industry.

Runcible Spoon

The answer to this situation is pretty simple.

KatieJ needs to make the homepage of her site into a huge advertisment for books on the problems of net preditors. Of couse none of the books advertised would be Penguin books. She could advertise training seminars for protecting childred, and a host of other stuff that has nothing to do with Penguin.

Not only would she make money from Penguin's promotions, but it would likely be only months before Penguin changed their stategy, or made an offer on the domain name.

I'd go futher and also post links to sites that show penguin in a negative light, and anything else she can think of to cause penguin pain. She has the hand in this situation, and she can hurt Penguin much more easily then they can hurt her. For one thing, they won't want the bad press of a court case that they can't win. and secondly making the above homepage costs KatieJ nothing, but will cost Penguin heaps in lost sales.



Can I suggest that Katie LEASES the domain to a rival book company on a month by month basis... she would be perfectly entitled to do so, and I'm sure penguin would soon offer her a large enough sum for it to make it worth her while.


News that a little instant messaging habit can get you out of military service in Finland will have the less martially-inclined heading for their laptops faster than, well, a fast thing.

And I always thought that the Army was supposed to be the place where boys were made into men. Looks like the "civilized" West is really loosing it. Decadence is upon us. In less than ten years, upon registering for unemployement benefits, you'll be asked if you can withstand a day without your IM connection. Answer "no" and you'll get a lifetime contract to stay home with your precious IM connection and all the Snickers you can eat. And the day that some black-hooded, axe-wielding terrorists come knock down your door, you'll be able to warn the world in an instant . . . before getting the chop.


Just one problem with the article.. Service is mandatory so nobody's asking them if they'd prefer to stay at work instead.. And, well, I'm happier that a guy who plays net games all his spare time and doesn't have any friends doesn't get a real weapon.. They send all other psychos home too. At least those they can spot.


News that Australia is happy to get into bed with the US over intellectual property should not have been much of a surprise. Or so says Stuart, anyway:

Your article implies that the free trade deal between the US and Australia will render the iPod illegal in Australia. This is not actually the case. The iPod is _already_ illegal: current Australian law, dating back as far as I can remember, prohibits copying of music (be it from vinyl, tape, CD, eight track, piano roll, or whatever) without permission from the copyright holder, no matter whether it's for commercial purposes or personal use. We simply don't have the right of fair use that you see in the USA.

This means that anybody who has an iPod, and rips CDs to put the music on that iPod, is breaking the law. It also means that anybody who copies a CD is breaking the law. The concerns I have with the FTA are completely legitimate, especially with regards the increased length of copyright, and the likely introduction of DMCA-style legislation. The iPod becoming illegal, however, is not such a concern -- simply because it already is.

It makes me wonder: if somebody was prosecuted for copying CDs onto their iPod, could they then turn around and sue Apple for implicitely inviting them to perform an illegal act? Such a thing could get very interesting indeed.


European bureaucracy will never be popular, in the UK, and the European Agency Workers Directive is no exception:

The do-gooders are at it again, and once again they're being manipulated by the money men behind them. This is just the latest attempt to destroy contracting as it currently exists so the Revenue can tax us all as employees. if you're getting benefits it's very hard to argue that you're not an employee. Anyone remember IR35.

This is about revenue, not protecting anyone.


Isn't it clever of BT to have its Indian call centre workers ring late payers, asking for credit card details to settle the debt. No? You don't think so?

I've had a couple of calls lately from satellite-delayed, Indian accented call centres, saying that my BT bill is overdue and can I give them my credit card number. Unwilling to see my credit cards maxed-out with unmade purchases, I've tended to hang up, but would now like to apologise through your pages to anyone who's feelings have been hurt by my slur. This does seem a very insecure system though - How are we supposed to verify that the call is genuine, and how is BT going to stop copycatters ?


So, BT create a new industry where I can ring up about 50% or more of the nations landline numbers, claim I am from BT (and put on a different funny accent to the one I would have used before) say there is an overdue bill and get credit card details.

Great. Security plaudits all round. Can I get a cheap caller plan for the number of calls I am about to make?

If I am really cheeky, I could set up a premium rate number to give out for "checking" by the customers if they are unhappy and want to speak to a "supervisor" (who could then get them to give the numbers whilst on the premium rate line. Bonus!


The IoD discovered this week that staff are the weakest link when it comes to security. Management blaming the proles again. Tch, tch, tch:

This is just another example of bosses paying money, to solicit an "expert" opinion, in order to blame, someone else...anyone else, instead of them. in this case the "expert" opinion is from McAfee.

i remember recently the CEO of the Bank of Ireland getting the chop because of downloading pornography and the like.

all i'm really saying here, is that bosses & workers are in the same boat insofar as introducing viruses onto networks at work, both bosses & workers are end users of various systems in the workplace and so long as either of them download 'dodgy' apps from the net, open 'dodgy' emails, and the like, then it doesn't matter who solicit's an "expert's" opinion to come up with research to blame who, because so long as those practices prevail then viruses are gonna get onto those workplace networks.

the irony in the title of the story, "bosses finger workers for virus attacks" and the fact that the research was undertaken by the Institute of Directors (IoD) does not go un-noticed. I would've been surprised if the IoD found from it's solicited research from McAfee that it was the bosses who got 'fingered' for virus attacks...that would've been NEWS to me...tehehe Jackarine

Our temporarily UK-based San Franciscan bureau chief took (relatively) gentle swipe at some bloggers today. Unusually, the reaction from the floor was almost universally anti-blog. Presumably, all the bloggers are out riding their Segways and haven't seen the article yet...

Excellent article. The whining of the new age journalists was both amusing and disgusting. I ended up laughing the whole time that I tossed my breakfast. These pompous jerks have less maturity than the typical ten year old spoiled brat. They can't be bothered to learn how to spell. Grammar is unknown to them. Their stupid text message/ instant message cryptograms aren't clever. The whole group of them only serves to show the failure of the public school system. The only thing that they are good at is showing their own stupidity.


No doubt you'll get reams of blogger bleatings saying how worthy they are and how nastily these particular unfortunates were treated. However, Finkelstein's question is entirely correct. Without any other real purpose, blogging is merely public ego stroking.


Actually, Steve, we really didn't. Although we're not sure why. It is slightly unsettling...

Now we come to the abusive section of the postbag. We hate to end on a downbeat note, so we've picked out some classy items from the torrent of nasties we get everyday.

After reading about the latest Segway related project, one reader couldn't help himself: he was overcome. The evil behind the Segway bashing had to be confronted:

Another shit house article from the Register's dumbest and least talented. At least the other writers have some sense of real wit. Your writing is not entertaining and almost unbearable... I need to email the editor again... shit you suck. That story would have been ten times funnier with my mother covering it.

Please for the love of all that is literary, please stop writing. There are lots of other things you can suck in and not have to bother the innocent people that come to the Register to read cleverly written articles. John Gray

Mr. Gray had not finished his assault on poor Ashlee. No siree. He wrote to the bosses too:

Hello yous guys:

Have you guys ever noticed the lack of real wit and talent from Ashlee Vance?

Ashlee perhaps tries to hard to be clever but it just comes out as retarded. Maybe in the UK you find her humour funny because it is so bad? Let me know if I'm supposed to laugh at her instead of with her.

I've typcially enjoyed the Register for over six years. Maybe I'm the only loyal fan who thinks she's garbage (rubbish) but perhaps you would take a readers' poll?

Perhaps we should: maybe we should take a poll on whether we should take a poll? Something to think about, certainly.

In the meantime, as no-one likes a tattle tale, we thought that for the time being we'd go for naming and shaming Mr. Gray instead.

More abuse. This one, addressed to Lester, dealt with our less than appreciative comments about the pomp rock musical genre. News that Rush had been voted as everyone's favourite group ever surprised us, but now we have an explanation: multiple votes by the (anonymous) writer of the next letter:

Clearly you have your head up your well lubricated a**hole. How many platinum albums have they sold? Too many to count. And what did you say about Queen? That Freddy Mercury was one? Was that it? Or that fact that he fell to being a gay fag. Even Pink Floyd - one of the world's greatest - couldn't keep an original line up and succumbed to ego's splitting the band.

John Bonham is certainly one of my idols. Even posthumously. Great drumming - like good music and fine wine - is timeless

These artists are ahead of their time, and we get to see them in the present. Rush is one of these, clearly. So take your head out of your ass, stand up - if you have a spine - and take a look at the facts about the band. Unless you think that 100 + million fans are wrong, and only you are right.

Umm, yes, we do think 100m+ fans are wrong, and that we are right. Well spotted. Now if that is clear, can we stop all this nonsense and get on with the business of starting the weekend? Thank you, and goodnight. ®

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