The Kremlin uses kryptonite to silence Sheryl Crow

And even Superman can't save the world from Wi-Fi

6 Reg comments Got Tips?

Letters Wi-Fi is responsible for kids behaving badly, teachers complaining about their jobs, and probably global warming, if you believe the recent hype:

What a load of old bollocks. There are any number of studies that disprove the 'magnetic fields/power lines give you x/y/z', and you'll note that the only teachers that have spoken out about this are non-science types...

Look at the links from their page. Astral Travel is the least of what's on offer.

To quote my mail to their bossman :

Dear Mr Parkin,

I write with reference to your page on the proposed problem of ``electro-sensitivity'',

I'm interested to see that one of the references for electro-sensitivity, a suggested issue for users of 2.4GHz Wireless networks is That page also offers to teach me how to remote view and travel astrally.

I can also move on, again from your page, to This tells me that:

Any such conduit will create impressive electric fields when in surcharge, that is when the water occupies more than half the conduit cross section. In these conditions electrons are dislodged by frictional motion from hydrogen atoms which in water are constantly bonding and re-bonding with oxygen. These unpaired electrons, being unable to rejoin their associated atoms which have moved on downstream, form a powerful electric field in the space around the conduit, extending many metres from the pipeline. In one nutshell this explains both the ME outbreaks and the general phenomenon of dowsing, as well as the feeling of pain in the joints of arthritics before a storm. In this last example the underside of the stormcloud is heavy with positively charged ions, generated as it passes over dry terrain.

So, water moving through a pipe generates a `powerful electric field'. One has to wonder why hydro-electric plants bother with all those expensive generators.

Does the PAT really regard websites offering astral travel and remote viewing as the best sources for its members to educate themselves from? Likewise the claim that water in pipes generates electric fields? And if so, how do I avoid having my children taught science by your members?


And one not quite on the topic of wireless:

"the construction of new homes": I couldn't interest you in the newly-formed (i.e. as I write this) underground movement to preserve a few tattered remnants of British language and culture as it sinks, baseball cap reversed, into a sea of popcorn? So we'd start smuggling in phrases like building new houses, sea bed -- not ocean floor, shotgun -- not scattergun, station -- not train station, meet -- not meet with, and out of bounds -- not off-limits. Go on, it'd be fun to see how many you can get into an article before some red-necked (I know, I know, but only in a specifically U.S. context) son of liberty complains he can't understand your English.


Everyone knows Macs are more secure than PCs, right? Not so, according to this article, which got one Mac-lover a little hot under his apple-coloured collar:

You said this:

`The contest just shows that Mac users have to worry about vulnerabilities just as much as other computer users, Dai Zovi said. It's a fact of life with which all security experts are familiar, but to which some Mac users seem resistant.'

My practical experience over the last 17 years demonstrates that he's wrong and so are you.

I've been using Macs since 1990 - the System 6 days. Before we got MacOS X, there were a few dozen Mac viruses in the wild. In about a decade of using Macs powered by System 6 and System 7 (up to MacOS 7.6 and yes it was out of date in y2k), I never saw a single bit of Mac malware in the wild and yes I was running anti-virus software of various sorts and I had a home internet connection from about 1994 onwards (I did find a server that had Mac malware available for download - so it said. I left it there, not wishing to tempt fate).

There are - as of the last reports I just checked - no viruses in the wild for MacOS X. All of the tiny number of malicious programs in the wild for MacOS X requires user interaction, and they are only encountered very rarely.

Windoze had tens of thousands of bits of malware attacking it the last time I looked and they are ubiquitous. I've frequently had Web sites try to install Windoze malware on my Mac. Yes, I still run anti-malware software.

The fact is that Mac users do not have to worry about malware as much as those running MS Windoze. We have to worry about it to the extent that the users of secure Unix systems have to so worry - i.e., not a lot.

Unfortunately, quite a lot of Windoze fan-boys (yourself, perhaps?[1]) seem to be resistant to these facts of *real* life.

I'm not doubting that Dai Zovi said that Mac users have to worry about vulnerabilities as much as other computer users, but he's wrong and so you were factually incorrect in your response to his comment. `D' for effort on your part, I'd say.


[1] If you don't like being referred to by such an insulting term, don't use insulting terms like that for me, eh?

Windoze fan-boy? That's too funny to even be insulting. Dismissed.

Another insult came hurtling in the direction of El Reg in response to the news that the Russians managed to "crack" OpenOffice security. That's right, crack:

How can you place such a lie in the headline of the article ?

There is a huge difference between brute-forcing passwords (Which can be done to any data in any format of any application), and "cracking OpenOffice security".

You should publish an apology, titled "I was wrong: OpenOffice security has not been cracked". That, or you should contact Intelore and collect your money for the free publicity you gave them as "crackers".

Still crack. Crack, crack, crack. Cracked yet?

Superman's very own nemesis has been dug up on Planet Earth, yep, like the velveteen rabbit, kryptonite is real:

"when the team had worked out the structure of the mineral,... they typed it into Google" I was kind-of-hoping that a real scientist would have had better tool at his disposition to check if someone, somewhere, had discovered a mineral... sigh... we're getting to a point that if it's not in google, it doesn't exists...


News a little more out of this world came in the form of the UK's most foul-mouthed celebrity chef. Gastronome Gordon Ramsay is to replace his apron with an advertising hat, and extol the virtues of social networking to Britain's SMEs. You were none too impressed with his qualifications:

So businesses need a dodgy cook, failed footballer, to tell them to outsource their IT to BT, which means in reality to have it looked after by someone with a dubiously gained degree, working out in Pune who has no instructions, minimal training and poor English skills......Tossers!

- Grahame

Confirming what we already suspected, Milton Keynes was crowned the world centre of porn and sex this week:

To make this more disturbing, search for bestiality. MK comes 4th in that list. Can we draw the conclusion that MK has become a haven for disloged welsh sheep shaggers?

But is there a different explanation?

I bet you the presence of the BT data centre at Bletchley, from where a lot of their IP connectivity breaks out, distorts the figures. All the locations towards the top are the BT data centres, from memory.

Vodafone has a very large mobile datacenter there (maybe other mobile operators do too), and alot of the mobile handset traffic goes through there. It might be possible that all the traffic is based on the IP of the gateways there? Just a though.

Cheers Gavin

Must be true.

All sorts of sites off me good deals for people living in Milton Keynes--cut price viagra, lonely and nubile young women, all the usual.

Heck, even my ISP sends me job offers for IT workers in Milton Keynes.

Maybe it's because my ISP's offices are there, and so that postal address gets attached to my IP address. But it can't be that simple. Can it?

Simple suggestions sometimes go down as well as a winding road, as Sheryl Crow found out with her crappy (sorry) eco-friendly plans to use less toilet paper and dispense with the services of paper napkins. Oh dear:

Hi Lester,

I am delighted that Ms Crow can happily use just one or two sheets of toilet paper whenever she goes to the karzi. Knowing that has really made my day. Ms Crow obviously doesn't suffer from IBS, Crohn's disease or any number of gastroenteric complaints which plague thousands of people in the Western World. If she did then she wouldn't spout useless crap like this.

Try campaigning against the massively useless amounts of junk mail that get sent or the equally useless advertising junk that finds its way into newspapers and magazines. That would make a far bigger difference than being obsessively control freakish about how much bog roll I use. But it doesn't have the catchiness of mentioning arses and crapola.

Open your mouth less Sheryl, suggests Jamie.

Am I the only one who finds this ration of one square per visit a tad miserly? Perhaps I defecate in particularly carefree manner but I think a bare (pun) minimum of 3 squares are needed to ensure a squeaky-clean posterior.

I would suggest that Sheryl makes sure that, for the litigious US market, there is a warning printed on the dining sleeve of the same sort of you find on thermometers: after first use, oral and "other" should not be swapped.

BTW, all you need then is the aftermath of bad food or the biological approach to cough medicin (a strong laxative, as you wouldn't DARE cough) and you'd have a whole new meaning for 'having your hands full'.

Let's just say that I have a suspicion that Ken -I rarely flush the loo- Livingston will be the first adaptor of her scheme.. All the more reason never to shake his hands..

[Sorry, heavy lunch :-) ]

Mr. Haines,

It sounds rather like she thinks her sh-- doesn't stink. Or, it comes out in glassine packets. If we start using 'cloth' in place of the paper we now use, did she comment on the extra water we would be using to WASH these items ?

Did she say what she was using as 'Feminine Napkins' ??

At the risk of adding to our pollution problems, I think she should soak her head.

Thank you for this fine, money saving article. I was thinking about buying one of her albums. :>D


Well, I believe that when it's of the right consistency (your diet is optimal), it comes out with a minimum of "residue", so one sheet (personally I'd say two, so that you don't miss the sheet, but then again my arse is probably bigger than hers). Sometimes a few handfulls isn't enough to clean up.

Having said that, after seeng the clogging up of the bend after a woman parking breakfast has finished cleaning and the denudation of the toilet roll thereafter, I suspect fifty is the norm fow women's clean-up operation. It does mean they NEVER get skids, but it does mean they're spending an awful lot more time looking at "nearly clean".

Only after a few pints of guiness do I seem to need more than a dozen sheets no matter the problems.

Sticking with big plans, heard about the Kremlin's idea to link Alaska and Siberia with what would be the world's longest undersea tunnel?

So then what you're saying is maybe this project will be put on ice. Sincerely, Arah Leoanrd

And with that, we're going to cool off down at the local. Tune in again on Friday. ®


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