back to article Did you know ... Stephen Fry has founded a tech startup?

Did you know Stephen Fry has just founded a tech startup called Pindex? It’s a “Pinterest for Learning” that he wants teachers to use. That’s a fact. Did you know Stephen Fry wants to restore our faith in “an online world that seems to centre around trolling, bullying, hating, trivialising and belittling”? He does. It says so …

  1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Angel

    "exists merely to be nasty."

    Poor Mr. Frie.

    1. That Lewis Page

      Re: "exists merely to be nasty."

      That was the old Reg. The new one is all about Global Cultural Touchstones, which I think Mr Fry surely must be. Watch out, Andrew!

  2. maffski

    Playback Rewards?

    'Playback Rewards intercepted TV broadcasts, time-shifted them, and then injected Playback’s advertisements into them? It’s hard to believe! But yes, it did.'

    Playback Rewards? Sure you don't mean 'Dave'? There's probably an episode of QI on in a minute (just after Top Gear).

  3. h4rm0ny
    Pint

    Cruel and viscious.

    >>"he called The Register “cruel and vicious”, “frankly evil” and opined that the site “exists merely to be nasty."

    Ironically, the one tech-related thing he appears to have got right.

    And not uncoincidentally, one of the reasons I read it! Beer for El Reg. --->

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Cruel and viscious.

      And yet the comments and votes on the forum for the Reg article that Stephen Fry mentioned were mostly on Fry's side.

    2. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Cruel and viscious.

      As a Yank didn't even know who Mr. Fry was until El Reg readers tore into his pseudo science explanations of everyday tech that were so funny I still follow discussions about him though I still have never seen him. Seems he is as big an Apple fluffer as Mossberg here in the states though from what I gather.

      1. 9Rune5

        Re: Cruel and viscious.

        FWIW asdf, it could be worth your time to check out some of the productions featuring Mr Fry. His characters in Black Adder always bring a smile to my face and his antics together with Hugh Laurie in various shows can also be quite amusing at times. My wife hates sketch shows, but was quite fond of Laurie and Fry's stuff.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cruel and viscious.

        I still don't have a clue beyond I've seen that face somewhere. Popular culture is mostly a miss here. But reading that he was in Blackadder is far more helpful. I've only seen bits of that but I do have the complete collection around here somewhere. [Before you ask, giving me video of any sort is pretty much a waste of time. I prefer the written word.]

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Cruel and viscious.

          >[Before you ask, giving me video of any sort is pretty much a waste of time. I prefer the written word.]

          Stephen Fry was a columnist, novelist and screenwriter. His acting and television presenting followed from that.

          Paperweight', a collection of his columns, makes a good book to dip into whilst on the porcelain throne. 'Making History' is an alternative history jaunt, playing on the old 'kill Hitler with time machine' trope, but with its own message. Worth a read, certainly more fun than a Philip Roth alternate history novel!

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Fry_bibliography_and_filmography#Books

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cruel and viscious.

            "Stephen Fry was a columnist, novelist and screenwriter. His acting and television presenting followed from that."

            Not sure how you got that impression, he started comedy acting at university and got into TV almost immediately after graduating. The columns, novels and screenplays followed from that.

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Cruel and viscious.

            > more fun than a Philip Roth alternate history novel

            Which isn't exactly a high bar..

      3. Ali Um Bongo
        Thumb Up

        Re: Cruel and viscious.[sic]

        *...As a Yank didn't even know who Mr. Fry was..."*

        He was very good in Blackadder.

      4. beep54
        Angel

        Re: Cruel and viscious.

        re: asdf As a Yank (and a Texan to boot), I can forgive Mr Fry much for being Professor Belgrove. In fact he looks even more like Belgrove now than he did then. It's true!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cruel and viscious.

      Odd. I posted almost exactly the same as h4rm0ny - same quote from the article and that that's why I prefer El Reg over other publications - and got my first post ever declined. So this is my first post ever as AC.

    4. itzman
      Headmaster

      Re: Cruel and viscious.

      What is 'viscious'??

      1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

        Re: Cruel and viscious.

        'viscious' is kind of like vicious, but sticky, and kind of like viscuous, but mean.

      2. zb

        Re: Cruel and viscious.

        I think he meant 'viscous'

    5. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Cruel and viscious.

      Well, yes, El Reg is cruel and vicious. That's what's good about it.

      And so was Fry's portrayal of the various incarnations of Melchett. That's what's good about him.

  4. ukgnome

    Owl or Sky?

    I love that SF likes tech and enthuses.

    I love that he's a wit, and a lot of fun.

    But for crying out loud it seems like someone should assist with his portfolio.

    *that is not an offer BTW merley an observation

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Owl or Sky?

      I've a nice bridge. It's connected to the Internet. Maybe SF would like to invest in it?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: Owl or Sky?

      I like reading SF, but not Stephen Fry

      have a drinkie on me, no G&T

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Probably not, there's already an app called Pindex plus Pinterest is full of social media twats trying to show me how to braid my hair or make apple pies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Probably not, there's already an app called Pindex plus Pinterest is full of social media twats trying to show me how to braid my hair or make apple pies."

      Hair pies?

      1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

        'Mr Fry's Hair Pies', sounds like a business venture he might be interested in. That's wild speculation of course, not fact.

        1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

          Or maybe 'Mr. Frie's Hair Pys'....

        2. Fibbles

          "Mr Fry's hair pies" sounds like the lyrics to something Alexi Sayle would sing.

          Dr Marten's, Dr Marten's, Dr Marten's boots...

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
            Terminator

            Don't diss Docs

  6. m0rt Silver badge

    "You can’t argue with the facts!"

    ISWYDT!

  7. Haku
    Trollface

    Stephen Fry picking bad investments? Shirley not!

    He comes across so intelligent on that QI programme, each week spewing out mountains of facts, figures and details about things in the world that only experts know.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Stephen Fry picking bad investments? Shirley not!

      He was a millionaire by his early twenties. I don't think he needs the money.

      Just had a look at Pindex... I can't see any adverts, or other revenue stream. It does appear to be a fair resource for learning about science.

      1. David Pollard

        "... a fair resource ...?

        To me it looks to be another ghastly collection of "interesting facts", which for those who can remember them will become a simulacrum of knowledge.

        As Mr Fry so ably demonstrates from time to time, scientific understanding is considerably deeper than the ability to recite a collection of factual details.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: "... a fair resource ...?

          >To me it looks to be another ghastly collection of "interesting facts"

          Would you care to suggest alternate sites, so that we may compare and contrast?

          I scrolled through quickly, but the format of tests interspersing the videos is in keeping with retaining information. The diagrams about latent heat (just the section I clicked on) would impart knowledge and understanding, not 'facts'.

          Maybe you have a different learning style?

          1. David Pollard

            Compare and contrast

            Perhaps I can go some way towards explaining my objections by suggesting that the equivalent to Pindex in literature would be similar to an expectation that a series of precocious spelling bee competitions will imbue an appreciation of Shakespeare, Auden and Tennyson in the participants.

            Although he comes from an earlier era, there are numerous videos of Richard Feynman on YouTube which convey an impression of what real scientific understanding is about.

            Here, for example, is Feynman giving us a few clues about science, similar clips being easy to find:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj4y0EUlU-Y

            And here are the Spooky Men's Chorale giving their insights into one of Tennyson's works:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQqyfoeVhq4

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: Compare and contrast

              >an expectation that a series of precocious spelling bee competitions will imbue an appreciation of Shakespeare, Auden and Tennyson in the participants.

              I used to read Spot the Dog, and take spelling tests... doing so has not dented my later appreciation of literate. In fact, learning to read was a positive aid to my enjoyment of books. Did your analogy come across as you intended?

              [Strange choice of examples from Mr Pollard: they are all playwrights and poets, whose works can be performed aloud and so be appreciated even by people who can't read. ]

            2. Chris Parsons

              Richard Feynamn

              What a guy!

              1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

                Re: Richard Feynamn

                With the balls to acknowledge both a love of bongos and of strip joints :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stephen Fry picking bad investments? Shirley not!

      "He comes across so intelligent on that QI programme, each week repeating mountains of facts, figures and details about things in the world that are whispered in his earpiece by experts."

      FTFY.

      1. Haku

        Re: Stephen Fry picking bad investments? Shirley not!

        @Pete65 I know about the QI Elves, hence the troll icon.

      2. Ali Um Bongo
        Headmaster

        Re: Stephen Fry picking bad investments? Shirley not!

        *"...FTFY..."*

        Er, no. You just demonstrated that you got 'Whoosh!-ed'

  8. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    What was he bitten by?

    hours after being bitten by an insect

    His reaction sounds more like he was bitten by a vulture.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What was he bitten by?

      It was in LA: a radioactive bedbug

  9. pewpie

    The man is a bibble.. The project will be bibbletech.

  10. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Out of the Fry-ing pan into the cloud...

    Sure he's interested in tech, and he always seems to be so enthusiastic and optimistic, but like many commentors, always posts before checking his facts.

    I'd expect better from someone who has actually had books printed, I can only assume he was not paying attention during the proofreading and editing stages...

    As to the startup investments, plenty of people have had 'lightbulb' moments while listening to Wagner, a lot of them seemed like good ideas at the time...

  11. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    WTF?

    Who is Steven Fry?

    No one here in the States has ever heard of him.

    1. Munzly The Hermit

      Re: Who is Steven Fry?

      He was great as Jeeves in the UK TV series "Jeeves and Wooster". In fact he played the part of a know-all!

      1. Lysenko

        He was great as Jeeves...

        ...in which series he played opposite "Dr House" who many Americans probably have heard of. Fry & (Hugh) Laurie were a double act for ages before the latter went over the pond.

    2. druck Silver badge

      Re: Who is Steven Fry?

      He was the one time comedy partner of Hugh Laurie, best known here for their roles in Jeeves and Wooster, but over there Laurie was in something called House MD for a number years.

    3. DaveNullstein

      Re: Who is Steven Fry?

      I have. And I love Mr. Fry. But this is the funniest thing I've read all day.

      He loses a few points for the ad thing but I still love him.

      1. Fraggle850

        Re: Who is Steven Fry?

        What no mention of Lord Melchett in Blackadder? And, of course, appearing in the best episode of The Young Ones: Motorhead, Felicity Kendal's underwear, Vivian getting decapitated and University Challenge, classic.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Who is Steven Fry?

          Jeeves and Wooster is an absolutely brilliant TV show. Up there with Yes Minister in my book.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Who is Steven Fry?

            The problem is that while Hugh Laurie went on to become a serious well paid actor in Hollywood, Stephen Fry stayed at home to become a 'national treasure' and he still resents it.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: Who is Steven Fry?

              Didn't he play the brother of Sherlock Holmes opposite Robert Downey Jnr.?

            2. JDX Gold badge

              Re: Stephen Fry stayed at home to become a 'national treasure' and he still resents it

              I don't see how you get that.

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: Who is Steven Fry?

          Actually, he's remarkably entertaining in the St. Trinians movie, where he plays himself. Oddly enough, watching him on drugs is a wonderful moment.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Who is Steven Fry?

      he played a bit-part in "Bones" as a trick cyclist to the male lead in a couple of episodes

    5. AC Wilson

      Re: Who is Steven Fry?

      I'm from the states, and I've heard and like him, he's a character in "Futurama".

  12. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    If they offer you clickbait just say 'no'

    Now I'm wishing I went to Ars to waste my last five minutes instead.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: If they offer you clickbait just say 'no'

      Go right ahead, Dan. I think you'll feel right at home there.

  13. Just Enough

    It's a fact

    Did you know Andrew Orlowski has something of an obsession with Stephen Fry?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. JLV Silver badge
    Happy

    2 words*

    Steve Bong

    * or rather, a name

    1. druck Silver badge
      Happy

      More words

      "The stupid person's idea of a clever person". I can't remember who said that about him, but it's never been truer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More words

        You might not want to be accidentally quoting Julie Birchill, she's only a couple of steps down from Katie Hopkins. Fry (I've met him) is a nice bloke. He doesn't consider himself a genius, or even particularly clever, but he does find all kinds of stuff fascinating. He finds it rather amusing that, as the presenter of a programme about Quite Interesting stuff, people think he must know it all or think he does. He loves shiny Apple stuff that's true, but then a lot of people do. And he's (brutally) honest about his own demons, and really quite a compassionate chap. I think he took the Reg stuff a bit too much to heart but, he doesn't cope well with personal criticism due to struggling with depression and feelings of worthlessness. I'm just sorry he didn't manage to make it to the comments where many of us were supporting him.

        So what if he gets stuff wrong sometimes? I'm sure he's not the only one - I've come out with some right old cobblers on occaisions!

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: More words

          All that AC said.

          His books are good, too. And fascinating to read in the context of his own story of self acceptance.

          > He loves shiny Apple stuff that's true, but then a lot of people do.

          As did his late friend, Douglas Noel Adams (of Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy fame). Between them, the pair bought the first two Apple Macs in Europe in 1984. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Adams#Technology_and_innovation

          1. David Pollard

            Re: More words - the show must go on?

            It is also fascinating to read Simon Gray's book, Fat Chance: 'Stephen Fry Quits' Drama. which is about the time Fry walked out on the cast of the play "Cell Mates".

            A reviewer on Amazon rightly commends Gray's "perspicacity and humour, even if the latter was sometimes of the dark, almost gallows type."

            In this book Gray explains "[t]he devastating effects on all the rest of the cast, including all those who are employed both front of house and in the production, that one actor can have due to his actions... It is a fascinating inside look at what happens within a play and its performances when one actor reneges on a commitment not just to a contract, but also to the other people in the play."

          2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: More words

            Between them, the pair bought the first two Apple Macs in Europe in 1984. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Adams#Technology_and_innovation

            Often quoted and wrong.

        2. Law

          Re: More words

          I got quite annoyed by the article to be honest. You need to let it go Orlo - last time was mildly amusing, and Fry's reply (while fairly accurate) basically misunderstood the tone of el reg. It's sarcastic, witty, occasionally bitter commentary on our industry, with the odd non-IT bootnote thrown in.

          Having seen this maybe he was right about the tone though - this article basically amounts to bullying, and isn't even that funny. It's very low hanging fruit too - I've no personal opinion on Fry other than I liked some of his characters in 80s / 90s, and I hate the class he stands for. But he is an actor / narrator / writer - he's not a techy. Liking tech and knowing about tech are two different things, and considering his area of expertise and his age I'd say he's doing alright for himself. He's backing projects he likes the sound of - if that decision isn't the best then fine, it's not the first time and it won't be the last. In this case it's education related too, which I thought would have been a positive thing - even if it isn't going to take off.

          I've seen actual tech-literate "pioneers" back massive flops and projects of dubious morality - barely a mention on el reg. But Fry took offence to some directed mocking on el reg once, even daring to mention the author, he's now having everything he does mocked - as a headline article no less. It's the largest headline on this mornings banner - we've got so much other stuff going on in our industry and this is headline news. Are we the Sun / Mirror / Daily Mail of the tech world now?!

          He suffers from depression too - but hey, he didn't quite grasp the details on how GPS works, so lets burn him some more.

  15. Joefish
    Angel

    Ah, sometimes the man

    is like a stampeding herd of eloquence.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Ah, sometimes the man

      Who? Fry or Orlowski?

      1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: Ah, sometimes the man

        Duh, it's in the title - The Man. You know, the one we all want to stick it to...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ah, sometimes the man

          >Duh, it's in the title - The Man. You know, the one we all want to stick it to...

          Yes but which man we all want to stick it to? Fry or Orlowski?

      2. Joefish
        Holmes

        Re: Ah, sometimes the man

        > Who? Fry or Orlowski?

        Metaphorically one, sarcastically the other - possibly, whilst not altogether improbably.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's not exactly one to make smart technology choices is he? From his membership in the Cult of Jobs to this, it's fail after fail after fail, and I'd rather have a more knowledgeable celeb be the public eye of tech enthusiasm.

  17. Velv Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    One could argue that those who place themselves in the public eye are asking to be trolled and bullied.

    One could argue it's OK to ridicule generally successful people when they fail as they deserve it.

    One could even argue that pointing out facts is never trolling or bullying because, well, it's just facts.

    One could also argue Andrew Orlowski is a bully and a troll (fact, see points one, two and three) but I'd never do that.

    Andrew, you invited comments in the body of the article, at least have the decency to publish them all. Censorship puts you on a par with Donald Trump, and rejecting comments you disagree with just reinforces the portrayal of El Reg as "evil" and "nasty".

    As for Mr Fry, no, I doubt he's done the due diligence. But publicity is publicity dahlings!

  18. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Headmaster

    This is all...

    Quite Interesting.

  19. Lee D Silver badge

    Mr Fry, although deserving of respect just for showing that being a geek doesn't mean you can't be witty, popular and famous, is often wrong when it comes to anything IT.

    It's sad, but true. He's the equivalent of "my son that does a bit of computers". Useful to most people, for silly things. But sadly lacking if you stuck him in a datacenter and expected him to get stuff to work.

    Though he has more of a handle of IT that most people, he also has more of a handle of science than most people, and still occasionally adlibs unscripted and absolute nonsense even on shows that undergo editing like QI. Just watch the episode where he tries to talk to Brian Cox. He has only a bare psuedo-grasp of what he's trying to say, and fills in with buzzwords in the area and nonsense.

    Same for IT. I wouldn't invest in anything on Fry's say-so, even though I love the guy.

    1. itzman

      Mr Fry, a... is often wrong when it comes to anything IT.

      Actually he is a living embodiment of the statement, suitably modified, that you can trust everything you read in the papers except the thing you actually know something about.

      He's not that knowledgeable about anything, but has this insane desire to be seen to be, which is probably the root of his much published problems with depression.

  20. frank ly Silver badge

    Wasn't he a pizza delivery boy/man?

    I get media/tv people mixed up all the time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wasn't he a pizza delivery boy/man?

      N. That's for next year. He's going to do a TV series about his experiences.

  21. Elmer Phud

    And there was me thinking he was called Stephen FRi

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    QI

    I expect loads of downvotes, but I'm waiting for Sandi Toksvig to take over.

    Fry has done very well with QI, I know he is a lot cleverer than I am, he will be a hard act to follow, but it's surely time to move on. Also is it just me or does Alan Davies seem increasingly like a parody of himself?

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: QI

      An upvote for Sandy, one of the most English sounding foreigners to ever exist, intelligent and funny to boot.

      I also enjoy listening to Mr Fry even if he is a bit of an arse, so far I have yet to see a TV celeb who's advice I would take on any subject let alone anything IT.

      I also found the article amusing, I like evil, nasty, sarcasm.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: QI

        His audio-book of Harry Potter & Philosophers stone was pretty good as well

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re: QI

      Alan Davies began to "phone-it-in" a while ago like some other 'regulars' on news type panel shows - Sandy-T may be a nice change for a while

    3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: QI

      Before I stopped watching QI ( because If they can get the thing I know about wrong, what else is bollocks? ) I was sick of the comedians making cheap and lazy jokes.

      Fine, be funny occasionally if you're actually going to be funny, but the programme is supposed to be mainly interesting.

  23. OliverJ

    This private vendetta of yours with the aforementioned Mr. F ...

    ... is becoming quite a bore.

  24. Bloodbeastterror

    Shirley...

    ...this isn't the same Stephen Fry who explained GPS thus?

    "You send a signal from your GPS device. You've got to be at least three, usually four or five satellites – that receive your signal. And the difference in time it takes to get from one satellite to the other to the other, which is milliseconds, allows them to calculate your position to within 10 metres."

    (Copyright: El Reg:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/18/stephen_frytard/).

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In case people have forgotten, Stephen Fry suffers from depression. Something that Orlowski seems to find amusing to make fun of.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      I find nothing in the article even remotely pointing to that, correct me if I am wrong.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't recall that having happened

      Andrew Orlowski does have a bit of a thing for having a pop at Stephen Fry but I can't say I've read anything by him that has a pop at Stephen Fry's well documented depression. That would be very bad form.

      I quite like Mr Fry as a celebrity and will happily forgive his occasional foot in mouth moments, he's generally a force for good insofar as he bigs up science, technology and knowledge. Got nothing against Mr Orlowski either, although I don't always agree with him. I did find the whole GPS debacle quite amusing but it's surprising how many people I've heard fret about being 'tracked' by GPS (even amongst my esteemed comentards hereabouts IIRC).

    3. Bloodbeastterror

      And your point is? People with depression should have carte blanche to talk nonsense when they have a position of trust (as a National Treasure) but not the faintest clue what they're talking about?

      1. Faceless Man

        And your point is? People with depression should have carte blanche to talk nonsense when they have a position of trust (as a National Treasure) but not the faintest clue what they're talking about?

        Well, no, but you might what to consider reasoned criticism instead of badgering a known depressive who has shown suicidal tendencies in the past.

        There's nothing wrong with criticising him for making mistakes, although one wonders about the newsworthiness of him getting an explanation of GPS wrong on an entertainment programme, but this reads like a small child poking someone repeatedly just to provoke a reaction.

    4. Esme

      @AC - not merely depression, (which is bad enough, I;ve had that) but bipolar disorder, which by all accounts is a whole lot worse. I've nothjing but respect for Mr Fry as an entertainer; that he gets his tech and science wrong at times I can forgive because at least he shows an interest and tries to learn about them - more than most seem to. That he took umbrage with El reg is just a crying shame, as I;ve seen plenty of wit and have learnt stuff from the pearls amidst the dross here.

    5. JLV Silver badge

      I would be annoyed at Orlowski if he had indeed made fun of his depression. But an article search, easy to do, by Orlowski author with 'depress' or 'depression' shows nothing Fry-related on the Reg.

      Sitting on the fence here. Bong or something more obviously satirical is a better venue than a normally fairly straight-up journalist to really dig at someone who is mostly guilty of a lack of techy acumen. But Mr Fry would probably be better off taking it in stride or ignoring it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        " Mr Fry would probably be better off taking it in stride or ignoring it."

        Wow - that shows a great understanding of mental illness. Depression often takes the form of irrational feelings that other people hate you, so yes the entire boot note is a pop at his mental illness.

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

          > ... the entire boot note is a pop at his mental illness.

          Nonsense.

        2. Fraggle850

          @AC

          Upvote for pulling them up over their cavalier attitude to mental illness but I'd also downvote you if I could for saying:

          > so yes the entire boot note is a pop at his mental illness

          That is a ridiculous conclusion. The guy is bipolar,I'd also guess he's a pretty tough old cookie in many ways.

        3. JLV Silver badge

          I would not have made that statement regarding an individual person, but Mr. Fry is a celebrity. As such, you will sometimes get badgered and quite unpleasantly so. That's just the way life is. Some celebrities will struggle with mental illness. Does that mean no one can criticize them, outside of making fun of their mental state?

          Regardless of whether Orlowski was "right" or "wrong" in posting this, and previous, articles, it would seem that publicly ignoring it and not responding by calling him "frankly evil" would have been a better idea. That's generally a better coping and avoidance strategy than feeding creatures that live under bridges, especially when you are a public persona.

          From the sounds of it, Mr. Fry's main mistake is not to employ a fact checker when doing science coverage. That could be easily remedied. In fact, I think his producers are remiss there. To the public and to Fry. These are not one man shows on a shoestring at the local county fair.

          As many have said on this thread, they appreciate his interest in promoting science and he recognizes his own limitations. If he brings the enthusiasm and PR savvy, why not have someone doublecheck before releasing? Everyone comes out ahead.

          This feud of theirs seems more silly as we go, but I still find the claim that Orlowski intentionally, or directly, made fun of his illness a stretch.

    6. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      No-one has made fun of depression here.

      How on earth did you come to that conclusion?

  26. s. pam
    WTF?

    I'd hate like hell to hear the elevator pitch

    Mr Fry would wibble on incessantly for hours on the what's why's and wherefore's! As I've done a fair bit of technology assessment/ advising to VC's that'd be one startup I'd skip attending and funding meeting!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What if some of us like trolling, bullying, hating, trivialising and belittling?

    1. Fraggle850

      You should maybe consider a career in management?

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      We go to Twitter or set up a blog something, we don't use a tech site as a mouthpiece and drag down its reputation.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What if some of us like trolling, bullying, hating, trivialising and belittling?

      Unfortunately there are some human beings like that ... they are the saddest human beings of all ... they deserve help from human beings who have love and respect to give to others, because such an existence is a wasted existence.

  28. chrspy
    Megaphone

    Ah, but is it a fact - or an opinion - that Mr Orlowski seems to merely "exist to be nasty" to those whose political views he disagrees with ..........

  29. julian abbs

    well i like him

    i particularly remember

    "Imagine a piano keyboard, eighty-eight keys, only eighty-eight and yet, and yet, new tunes, melodies, harmonies are being composed upon hundreds of keyboards every day in Dorset alone. Our language, Tiger, our language, hundreds of thousands of available words, frillions of possible legitimate new ideas, so that I can say this sentence and be confident it has never been uttered before in the history of human communication: "Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers." One sentence, common words, but never before placed in that order. And yet, oh and yet, all of us spend our days saying the same things to each other, time after weary time, living by clichaic, learned response: "I love you", "Don't go in there", "You have no right to say that", "shut up", "I'm hungry", "that hurt", "why should I?", "it's not my fault", "help", "Marjorie is dead". You see? That surely is a thought to take out for a cream tea on a rainy Sunday afternoon."

    Hugh looks at camera, opens mouth as if to speak, decides against it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Holmes

      Re: well i like him

      I agree.

      I found your quotation selection quite interesting(tm) too. Seems rather sadly ironic in a touchingly poignant sort of way.

      1. julian abbs

        Re: well i like him

        i wanted to go for

        Stephen:

        "So, in a sense, in a sense, in a sense, Duncan, we are left with those two. Two. None other. Nary another, not one other more. We have, on the one side of the divide, the gulf, the chasm, the DIVIDING LINE, if you please, we have the beauty of ideas, and on the other, the other side, oh, I don't know, the other term of the equation if that's nicer, we have the idea of beauty. Am I sensing through? Am I connecting?"

        Hugh glances at the camera in friendly fashion....

        but i would have had to post the entire set if i did that

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: well i like him

      I like him too.

      Makes me laugh, makes me think, isn't an asshole. So what if he didn't get GPS or IP adresses right; I guess by now somebody will have pointed it out to him.

    3. Disko
      Black Helicopters

      Marjorie...again..!

      Always out to undermine our protagonists, yet they can't ever blame her for it.

  30. Fungus Bob Silver badge

    I'm wondering how many of Mister Fry's Twitter followers follow him *for* the times he sticks his feet in his mouth. Sort of like MST3K only with facts.

  31. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    Christmas Card List

    I bet Stephen Fry is on Tim Cook's Christmas Card List.

    Is The Register on the list.

    Not very likely

    1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Christmas Card List

      Can confirm: The Register is not on Apple's Christmas list

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Re: Christmas Card List

        nor mine, but who cares?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do you think Stephen Fry has done any more due diligence...

    Who cares, he's investing, that's what counts.

    And I'm sure the money he's made from many of his other investments which have been overlooked allows him greater bragging rights on the smugness field than the author of this article, fact

  33. Mr Lion

    Famous person makes bad investments shocker!

    Brilliant story!

    I like that he's actually engaging in the world of tech - albeit perhaps a tad clumsily - I do have a sense that he is passionate about it and I have no desire to discourage anyone in our country from speculative investment in IT. Presumably you're also going to do a counterpoint where you brilliantly lambast the UK culture of stifling innovation in spite of being where so much basic science happens...

    I know I know...asking you to say something constructive is a bit silly...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Famous person makes bad investments shocker!

      "I like that he's actually engaging in the world of tech - albeit perhaps a tad clumsily -"

      His life has been spent seeking the approval of his engineer Dad, having been sent from home to boarding school at the age of 7. Poor chap, but he really has done quite well for himself.

  34. AdamWill

    comment platform

    "At the time, the thesp boasted that Pushnote “makes the web one big democratic comment platform.”"

    ah, the innocent days when this was considered a *sales pitch* and not a dystopian vision.

  35. AlexS

    Did you know that Mr Fry is bipolar and a national institution?

    Do you also know articles like this may not help his everyday life.

    We do know he is not great at IT, we do get it. But no doubt you will tell us again and again as though it's somehow important for our daily lives to know.

  36. Yugguy

    Did you know?

    Putting "Did you know" at the beginning of every sentence makes your article incredibly irritating to read?

  37. Potemkine Silver badge

    Good news, everyone!

    Oh... that Fry.

    Nevermind.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good news, everyone!

      so how did he get on that spacey-cartoon thing with the Cyclops and Robot?

  38. Not That Andrew

    To be fair, Stephen Fry's level of tech knowledge is no deeper than and about as accurate as The Register's reporting of climatology.

  39. Ali Um Bongo
    Headmaster

    Ignoring the Beam in One's Own Eye

    * Did you know The Register recently invested in a new website?

    * Did you know nowadays more people access the internet via mobile devices than desktop?

    * Did you know The Register is an IT focused site and must be well aware of that?

    * Did you know The Register's comments system requires users to write raw HTML, to add any formatting to comments?

    * Did you know writing HTML on mobile device keyboards is incredibly unfriendly?

    * Did you know each '<' or '>' takes three keystrokes to type?

    * Did you know that, therefore it takes fourteen keystrokes to put '< i > ... < / i >' round some text on a mobile keyboard, where it would only take 4 to do the equivalent '* ... *' in markdown?

    It's true that!

    *[Hey! —this biting satire stuff is really easy to write]*

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Ignoring the Beam in One's Own Eye

      Wake me up when the IPv6 and SSL they "were working on" for most of last year (supposedly) actually appears.

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Re: Ignoring the Beam in One's Own Eye

        We can't fully SSL until the ad networks SSL.

        C.

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Ignoring the Beam in One's Own Eye

          The ONLY place it's necessary is the login screen.

          Sacrifice one ad for the security of your users, and then use normal tokens for the rest of it, as every other site does.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ignoring the Beam in One's Own Eye

      "Did you know writing HTML on mobile device keyboards is incredibly unfriendly?"

      Yes, and it is very irritating, but the problem is with the keyboard design, not the requirement to write proper html.

      Being able to do bold or italic easily is all very well but I like to be able to do strike, superscript and subscript as well as slightly more complex hyperlinks. Only having to know one markup language is an advantage.

      I still miss the BlackBerry keyboard,but it shouldn't be beyond the wit of designers to make it easier to type characters like < and >.

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: Ignoring the Beam in One's Own Eye

        I use a "hackers keyboard" app on my droid when I need to do something remote and I've not got a more sensible option.

        Has pretty much all the usual extra keys you need for most* shell commands and programming punctuation.

        * I'm not positive off the top off my head it will do all

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    drifting onto QI ...

    having listened to several series of "The Unbelievable Truth" while driving, it seems QI gets it wrong more often than you'd think ...

    1. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: drifting onto QI ...

      One of the "facts" discussed a couple of times on QI involves the so-called "half-life" of information, as-in After 10 years half of all the information you know will be wrong - but you don't know which half.

      IIRC they have several times covered items from previous episodes that are now known to be wrong.

  41. MJI Silver badge

    After watching my children play

    He will for ever be the voice of Sackboy

    http://littlebigplanet.wikia.com/wiki/Stephen_Fry

  42. Matthew Taylor
    Trollface

    Spelling mistake?

    Pindex? Surely "Pinder" - like Tinder, but for... oh never mind.

  43. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Fry's Angel Delight

    Stephen Fry + Angel Investment

  44. Dr Abner Mality

    You mean he didn't launch "Ask Jeeves" all those years ago?

  45. Herby Silver badge
    Joke

    I'm in the USA, and the only "Fry" I know is...

    Fry's Electronics (which I visited on Monday). It is a sillycon valley thing.

    One of these days I'll look up this Stephen guy. Could be entertaining.

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