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MCI Worldcom is ‘random billing’ specialist – official

Register tarpit claims another klutz

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Plagiarism Corner Regular readers will know that The Register employs some cunning booby-traps to foil the most obvious plagiarists.

Yesterday, the British online IT news wire computerweekly.com followed up our report on Vint Cerf being named as the new chair of ICANN, with one remarkably similar.

"As an engineer Cerf worked on early ARPANET protocols and co-authored what became TCP/IP in the early to mid 1970s" we noted. "As an engineer in the 1970s, Cerf worked on early Arpanet protocols and played a key role in the development of the TCP/IP Internet protocol," agreed Computerweakly.com.

At The Register, we pointed out how Vint Cerf had previously confronted conflict of interest questions on his web site, Cerf's Up, and cited a paragraph of his discussing the issue.

Computerweakly.com also pointed out that at his website - Cerf's Up, in case you missed it - Cerf "hit back" at accusations of er, ... conflicts of interest. And quotes the same paragraph verbatim.

But most amusingly, we note that computerweekly.com's description of Cerf's employer, MCI Worldcom diverges ever-so-slightly from the company's own mission statement:-

"He... is currently a vice-president of MCI Worldcom, which currently specialises in random billing."

For many Americans, negotiating MCI Worldcom's calling plans, Kafkaesque customer service and "Heisenbills" - call charges based firmly on the uncertainty principle - has become a set of life-skills as valuable as carving the Thanksgiving turkey or filling out IRS returns. And "random billing specialist" has been Reg shorthand for a while now.

So it's with some relief that we declare it official. ®

Related Links

"It's Control-V for paste, right?" computerweekly.com
Vint Cerf takes ICANN hot seat The Register

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