back to article The year in tech lunacy - an El Reg guide

Yes, readers, it's that time of year again. Time to remember our favorite moments of the year in tech. No, we don't mean the debut of Windows 7. Or the arrival of the iPhone 3GS. We mean that moment when Vladimir Putin bitchslapped Michael Dell. Or when Eric Schmidt officially turned Google into public enemy number one. Here's …


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  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. h 6
    Dead Vulture


    I'm no Apple fanboy, just a happy Mac user. Comparing Jobs to Stalin is heinous.

    I mean, come on, Reg. Stalin? Seriously?

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      App store

      The policies at the app store are enough to give 'ol Steve-o the Stalin nickname, in my opinion. If he can't sort that shit out, he's a major asshole. Heck, I know people that refer to the app store bureaucracy as "the politburo".

      1. h 6


        How many people has Steve Jobs sent to gulags or had killed?

        That's my dispute with the Stalin comparison.

        Or have all the yoof totally forgot or never knew?

        1. Anonymous Coward

          You really don't understand English then

          Read my post - here, I'll walk you through it

          Means = sending people to gulags or killing them,

          Motivation and Ends = eliminate personal competition, competition with the ideology, and remain aloof as a supreme idol.

          I said the comparison to Stalin was NOT about means as much as about Motivation and Ends and, as such, it's an apt comparison..

    2. Graham Dawson

      I don't know...

      Makes a change from Hitler.

    3. Steven Knox

      Don't like the comparison?

      Look up "cult of personality" and research the history of Stalinist Russia and Apple. You may not like what you find.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton


      Everything after the word "fanboy" disproves what you've said.

      Paris Hilton because that's who I am.

      1. Dave 142


        If you think that comparisons of a guy who owns a technology company with a guy responsible for millions of deaths is hyperbole and kind of offensive then you're a fanboy? I like that definition, I think it really works.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Miss the point, much?

      Surmising... The point about Stalin was not about means, but motivation and ends - to neutralize all potential challengers to himself and his utopian ideal - and frighten the rest - while keeping all believing that he was an infallible demi (semi?) god.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Is that the best you could do?

    dell, apple, google, dell, amazon, microsoft, google, microsoft.

    Not a lot of variety there. And seriously, "The year in tech lunacy"? With not a single mention of Steorn? That has to be the looniest of the lot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      IT Angle

      @AC - the best

      Are you forgetting Paystar?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        No, I'm not forgetting Psystar.

        [ I'm guessing you typo'd Psystar, rather than that you're nominating the ATM/payphone rental business that was recently accused of fraud by its investors. If there's another Paystar, google aint showing it to me.]

        They may have been a bunch of no-hopers, useless chancers pathetically kidding themselves that they could "get away with it" by coming up with some sub-dog-ate-my-homework-level excuse in court, but that's really just a pretty ordinary workaday combination of the standard human foibles of greed and stupidity; what they're attempting to do, however - manufacture cheap clone computers - is fundamentally a rational and coherent thing to attempt to do: sane. Had they succeeded, they would now have a real business manufacturing and selling computers, and be earning money from it. They were trying to do something sensible, but went a stupid way about it.

        Steorn have a similar degree of business spivviness and outright shonkery, but what makes them special is the fact that the thing at the center of it - the thing for which they're going to all this trouble - is fundamentally insane looony gaga deedle-deedle-queep pfrrbbbbblbbbllbblt *raspberry* nonsense. Had they succeeded, they would still have *nothing*. They were trying to do something completely beyond and below pointless, something that was utterly not worth doing at all in the first place - *and* they went a stupid way about doing it. And they kept on and on at it, and are still trying even as we speak, having just last week launched /yet another/ model of perpetual motion machine. (This one even comes with a battery attached to keep it turning, brillant! Who but a genius could have thought of such a simple way of solving the problems that all the earlier models showed?) So they aren't just trying to do something impossible, they are going about it a stupid way, and on top of that they are showing persistence and endurance in the face of all the observable facts about reality that goes way far beyond and above the call of duty.

        That's full-blown flat-out in-yer-face nutjob crank science kookery. And *that*'s special.

      2. Kwac

        @George Schultz

        I'd put Psystar WAY above Paystar in this year's list.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    I don't.

    "We love you, Microsoft. We really do. " - I don't. They can go to hell in a hand basket as far as I'm concerned.

  5. bexley

    poor show

    poor show, was this a short straw article, nobody wanted to write this so you all drew straws?

    rushed and boring with the exception of the chewbacca microsoft photo

    1. OrsonX

      Good Show

      Thanks El Reg for a great end of year article, made me smile & really appreciated. Keep up the good work.

      - my fave story was the Kindle one, brill!

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge


      Your Sarcasmometer is way out of whack.

  6. Chronos Silver badge

    Bad Phorm not include the biggest tech lunacy of the decade, embedded spyware in your ISP. And where the hell is SCO? Surely Kent and Darl deserve a bit of derision for all their hard work?

    Icon: Privacy Pirates?

  7. CADmonkey

    see icon

    "...a by-the-numbers, Marlboro-and-a-length-of-hose-pipe-style interview "

  8. Number6

    Of course you love Microsoft

    They must be responsible, directly or indirectly, for a large number of your stories.

  9. I_am_Chris

    What about...


    How could you omit that chestnut?

  10. Ye Cats

    Serving suggestion

    I can see this thread is going to be full of "what about...?" and "aren't you forgetting...?".

    So, what about asking us first next year? (Well, not me, specifically, as I have the memory capacity of a politician, but...) Then pick the best out of that lot. After all, you Regsters are few, and we are legion and many hands spoil the... oh well, you know what I mean.

  11. lucmars

    El Reg Censorship

    I read that a post has been deleted by a moderator, nonetheless can we have an access to this post?

    If not, does El Reg plane to release an anthology of all these censored post?

    If not, do you think that Google has cached all this nasty stuff or has ripped it from their database accordingly with El Reg (or without your consent)?

  12. dave lawless

    Those with nothing to hide can't always see into the future.

    "This approach appears to have been used in the Netherlands when small-area tabulations of population data by religion from the 1930 Dutch census made up one of several data sources used in the development of the so-called 'dot maps' of Amsterdam," he says. "These maps, which showed areas of the city where the density of the Jewish population was the highest, were used in planning Nazi-inspired attacks on some of these neighborhoods in February 1941."

    1. mccp
      Big Brother

      This title is intentionally blank

      At least let us know who's post was considered unworthy - and perhaps you could have some categories for rejection, here are a few suggestions:

      1. Pathetic attempt at humour, so abysmal as to be embarrassing for the poster so removed as an act of humanity.

      2. Unimaginative use of curse words that disqualify this post from being considered a good enough turdspurt for publication.

      3. The lawyers are frit and consider this post to be defamatory enough that we daren't give it house room.

      4. Overly sycophantic post deleted by the Moderatrix as a punishment, you naughty little heel scraping.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    @ Storm

    Quite right.

    More like Pol Pot.

  14. bex


    MR Dell is right apart from a bit of browsing (minimal flash content they can't handle it very well) and messenger net books are too small to slow and have keys that are far too small

  15. Mr Young


    I think i nearly pissed myself at the Lizard Photoshop job. Har,Har - quality stuff!

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @h 6 "Shame"

    > I'm no Apple fanboy, just a happy Mac user.

    > Comparing Jobs to Stalin is heinous.

    You're right, Stalin was a leader. Jobs is just a c*nt (where DID he find a new liver so quickly?).

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not just Amazon...

    I have an XM Satellite radio (North America). A few weeks ago there was a message on the screen that said something to the effect that the Terms and Conditions had changed, and they were remotely disabling some features associated with accessing and organizing recorded tracks. When I checked my radio's menu, some features had indeed disappeared. I could no longer access any recorded tracks except those few that just happened to be in a play list. Well, to say the least, I was utterly shocked. There had never been so much as a hint in the public domain that they had the capability to disable features in the absence of a firmware update. Thankfully, just as I was considering my legal options, the features mysteriously returned. Must have just been a glitch. But this strange little glitch revealed that XM Satellite radio has an ability to disable key hardware features.

    I wonder if they realize the unintended consequences if they ever dare to activate that remote disabling of key hardware features again?

  18. PerfectBlue


    Just a small point, but Russia didn't invade Georgia. Georgia violated a decade old peace treaty with ingushetia and invaded it. Russia then sent peacekeepers and drove the Georgian soldiers out.

    This is pretty much what the west did when Kosovo was invaded by Serbia

    Russia was actually the good guy in this whole this saga

  19. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    Missing ones?

    I reckon the Phorm (and others) story as well as The Pirate Bay (and others) thing will have much, much more impact in the future than any of the ones you cited, while being very funny too (both Kent Ertugrul and Peter Sunde are very good at this shooty-footy game; the comparison stops there though).

  20. J 3
    Paris Hilton


    "They're called evangelists. They inhabit the netherworld between salesperson, marketing drone, and user."

    I thought those were called fanbois.

    Oh, wait, then you said "paid". Nevermind.

    I'd not mind being a Paris evangelist.

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