And the winner of the horrible Microsoft Paint sweater is ...

Sure, we'll send you to the Moon. But a return will cost you

Competition We have a winner. After much discussion, tears, tantrums, and tea, Microsoft's knitted monstrosity is going to a reader who has clearly had a bad experience buying from overseas.

Reader Pete 2 had the cunning idea of bundling a whole load of entries into one comment, and it was the "China will buy SpaceX and offer cheap trips to the Moon on AliExpress (but users pay £20 million for returns)" forecast that most tickled us.

It was a tough call, however. Taking aside the inevitable onslaught revolving around 2024 being the year of Linux on the desktop, we were quite taken with the suggestion from Locomotion69 that "AI becomes a real intelligent being … and immediately concludes that the only viable option for a better life is killing itself, and deleting all predecessors in the process."

Reg journos had a good laugh on the Kettle podcast last week imagining the AI dragging itself across the desktop and hurling itself into the recycle bin.

In fact, AI was a bit of a theme – as it will likely continue to be in 2024. samzebra offered: "AI is a lie. It will be revealed that most, if not all AI apps are really just a telnet session to a terminal in a datacenter where a guy types out his best guess." It was perhaps just a little too plausible to be considered a wrong answer.

Continuing the AI thing, an Anonymous Coward made the excellent suggestion: "Deepfake AI programs are finally used for something useful: given all the extant episodes, scripts, and shooting notes, they interpolate rather excellent recreations of all the missing early Dr Who episodes ... except that in 50% of the scenes, William Hartnell appears naked for no obvious reason," which made this hack almost choke on a chocolate digestive.

Unsurprisingly, there was rather a lot concerning a certain billionaire and his social media adventures. The suggestion from Elongated Muskrat that the billionaire would be revealed as being a manifestation of Microsoft's shortlived "Tay" experiment is probably a little on the libelous side. However, we're unsure if Tay or the billionaire comes out worse from the comparison.

And as for Martin's suggestion of "a definitive answer, agreed by everyone, to the vi vs emacs debate." We said wrong answers, not wildly wrong, never going to happen, nor unbelievably outside the realms of possibility.

Also, vi is better. Or maybe emacs.

Ultimately, having struggled to return a fair few things over the years, we feel Pete 2's pain. And we can name many for whom we'd dearly like to buy a cheap ticket off-planet in the knowledge that a return is doubtful. Even if this is a wrong answer.

And so the horrible sweater goes to Pete 2. We can but hope it will soon sustain sufficient party-related stains to render the Microsoft Paint icon illegible. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like