The Google Underpants Winners are…

Best Usenet posting never seen

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Last week we invited you to submit the best Usenet posting you'd never seen.

Thanks to Barry and David at Google, who've send us some fresh pairs of undies, we can announce not one, but four winners of our Google Usenet Underwear Competition.

And they've helped avoid a disaster.

The original underpants earmarked as the prize were confiscated on our way through US Customs last week - apparently they contain nuts. Er, no ... actually your humble scribe left them behind in London. So this is fresh stock, right out of the Google promotional linen cupboard.

And here they are being modelled by The Register's West Coast Bureau Mascot, Bradley Butternet*.

There were some near misses.

Commiserations to Greg Hundley, for the funniest unprintable entry involving Bill Gates, and to a "high ranking British Civil Servant" whose identity we shall not reveal, for his completely libellous Usenet posting attributed to "brenda@buckhouse.org.uk". They say the Queen can't sue... but we don't want to be the first to disprove this.

Onto the winners.

Nick Gully's is widely applicable. Sad but true...

From: palestine045674@yahoo.com
Subject: Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Jerusalem
Newsgroups: soc.culture.arabic, soc.culture.palestine, soc.culture.israel, talk.politics.mideast, alt.sex.carl.malden.nose, alt.religion.islam, alt.religion.jewish, alt.religion.islam, alt.religion.kibology, comp.os.linux.advocacy
Date:2001/11/09 View: Complete Thread (10,014 articles)

"israel2938@msn.com wrote:"
> ... And that is my plan

Your arguments are well formed and insightful, and I concede that your peace plan would be amicable and fair to both sides.

Have a nice day,

There's nice attention to detail in the following victorious submission from Ben Ostrowsky, who cunningly detourned a real Usenet post made that month...

From: billg@microsoft.com (Bill Gates)
Newsgroups: comp.os.msdos
Subject: Free Macintosh-like kernel sources for 386-AT
Keywords: 386, preliminary version
Message-ID: <1991Oct5.054106.4647@firehose.microsoft.com>
Date: 5 Oct 91 05:41:06 GMT
Organization: Microsoft Corp.
Lines: 55

Do you pine for the nice days of CP/M, when men were men and wrote their own device drivers? Are you without a nice project and just dying to cut
your teeth on a OS you can try to modify for your needs, even though it'll never work? Are you finding it frustrating when everything works? No more
all-nighters to get a $600 program working? Then this post might be just for you :-)

As I mentioned a month(?) ago, I'm working on a free version of a Macintosh-lookalike for AT-386 computers. It has finally reached the stage where it's even usable (though may not be depending on what you want), and I am willing to sell it wholesale for wider distribution.

It is just version 0.02 (+1 (very small) patch already), but I've successfully run Finder etc under it.

Sources for this pet project of mine can be found at ftp.microsoft.com ( in the directory /pub/OS/Windows. The directory also contains some README-file and a couple of binaries to work under Windows (fdisk, format and delete, what more can you ask for :-). Full kernel source is provided, as it's incomprehensible anyway. The system is able to compile "as-is" and has been known to work. Heh. Sources to the binaries (fdisk and format) can be found at the same place in /pub/ms.

ALERT! WARNING! NOTE! These sources still need Macintosh OS to be compiled, and you need a Mac to set it up if you want to run it, so it is not yet a standalone system for those of you without Macs. I'm working on it. You also need to be something of a hacker to set it up (?), so for those hoping for an alternative to Macs, please ignore me. It is currently meant for hackers interested in operating systems and 386's with access to lots of money.

The system needs an AT-compatible harddisk (IDE is fine) and EGA/VGA. If you are still interested, please ftp the README/RELNOTES, and/or mail me for additional info.

I can (well, almost) hear you asking yourselves "why?". DaikatanaOS will be out in a year (or two, or next month, who knows), and I've already got millions. This is a program for idiots by an idiot. I've enjouyed doing it, and somebody might enjoy looking at it and even modifying it for their
own needs. It is still small enough to understand, use and modify, and I'm looking forward to any comments you might have.


Graeme Bell wins by submitting what he described as "two weak attempts"... but they raised a titter here.

From: Rob Malda <rob@cmdrtaco.net>
Newsgroups: news.admin.net-abuse.misc
Subject: FIRST PSOT!!!
Date: 1997/11/11


Ouch. And before we say a pot-shaped 'you're black!' to the kettle, here's his other submission:-

From: iialan@iifeak.swan.ac.uk (Alan Cox)
Newgroups: comp.os.linux
Date: 1995/08/24


i cannot even get a floppy disc to work on it???! WHAT IS UP WITH THAT??


Finally, and pursuing a similar theme, here's Simon Greenwood's entry. "History could have been so different," he writes. Indeed...

Relay-Version: version B 2.10 5/3/83; site utzoo.UUCP
Posting-Version: version B 2.10.1 6/24/83; site mit-eddie.UUCP
From: RMS@MIT-OZ@mit-eddie.UUCP (Richard Stallman)
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards,net.usoft
Subject: New UNIX not worth the effort
Message-ID: <6666@mit-eddie.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 30-Mar-84 02:22:01 EDT
Article-I.D.: mit-eddi.6666
Posted: Tue Mar 30 02:22:01 1984
Date-Received: Thu, 29-Sep-83 07:38:11 EDT
Organization: MIT AI Lab, Cambridge, MA
Lines: 90

After four months of toiling away at trying to create a free version of UNIX I've decided it's not worth the effort. Ideological purity is all well and good but there's no money in academia anymore. I've been approached by a newish company based out west who say they appreciate what I'm doing and would like to help me to concentrate my talents in managing their open operating system project.

This will be the last post from me at MIT. I'll keep in touch with the community about how the new project is going. I'm very excited. They're a young team, committed to embracing all that's good about open software and extending it to the marketplace. I'm on the 6am flight to Redmond, Washington.

I'll post my contact details when I know what they are.


Congratulations to all the winners, and a special thanks to the fine Google people, purveyors of the finest underwear, and a jolly good search engine. ®

*Bradley was designed by the distinguished cryptographer Len Sassaman and he's actually a Spaghetti, and not a Butternut Squash. But that isn't as funny.

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