Competition Ph-hhrrrt! With the tinny rasp that can only be a fanfare of trumpets encoded at 128 kbps, we proudly announce the winners of our iPod competition.
The winner doesn't win an iPod, we're too stingy to allow such generosity and in any case, every competition in the world seems to have an iPod as a prize these days.
No, it's our request for suitable health warnings for the device, so that the anti-social iPod user can think and repent. It was inspired by an Australian school teacher who banned the MP3 player from her school because they encouraged children to be selfish and boring.
It was difficult to choose a winner.
Euan Lindsay draws on the Old Testament for this warning against rampant materialism:
Greg Mills puts its succinctly -
David Currie sent in three outstanding candidates, of which we liked this one -
Especially if you're wearing white shoes. And this unforgiving critique -
We don't quite follow the connection here, but Tim Wilkes makes the grade with this offering -
And flying the flag for software libre compression schemes unencumbered by patents, here's James Hands' entry.
Nothing like a bit of oggro. Er, aggro - and a creative use of colour, a sticky plaster and a Photoshop filter by James almost won him the prize.
Before we unveil the winner James Dowling eloquently makes one rational case in favour of the wretched device.
"Interesting article but maybe there is another, more positive side to this," he writes. "Your suggestion that "children are only responding to corporate advertising that encourages solipsism - 'to shield ourselves,' as Oscar Wilde put it, ironically, 'from the sordid perils of actual existence' is a valid view but misses something important."
"How about another view based partly on Mr Wilde's quote? As an owner of a personal MP3 player (not an iPod), I use it to shield myself from the almost continuous advertising and attempted brainwashing which I'm subjected to when taking the bus and train to work."
"We are heading towards a future like something from Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, where advertising is everywhere and people are actively encouraged not to have individual thoughts, the all consuming but unthinking couch potato public is ruled by a control freak state. My MP3 player keeps all that garbage at bay. I listen to the works I choose and which help keep me a free thinking individual. Think different. Think free. Vive la individualité!"
So let's announce the winner, and a Reg T-shirt goes to Matt Korris for this one -
A sample of the artwork will be sent to the World Health Organization and any busybody quango we can think of. (Or to anyone who takes competitions such as this too seriously).
Thanks to all of you who sent in entries and kind words (thank you, Brett Brennan).
Bootnote: We're mulling the inclusion of a "sociability index" for future reviews: DRM schemes, and stupid obstacles that computer companies put in our way of sharing music will be noted, and points lost accordingly. ®