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Letters

"I am not Henry Raddick!" - HRH Prince of Wales
Prince Charles' denial fails to quash Raddick theory


More speculation on the moonlighting activities of the heir to the throne. Is HRH the real HR? Despite an official denial, the theory continues to gain ground. Dave Benyon offers Raddick's review of Beyond Charles and Diana - An Angolphile's Guide To Baby Naming as evidence. Casting new light on the Windsor-Spencer relationship, perhaps?

Edgardo Vega urges us to a voice analysis. Maybe that won't be necessary: note the authentic, non-frivolous tone of Raddick's review of Hunter S Thompson's Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas.

"Look, I'm no square, drugs are a fact of life and therefore an issue open for discussion in literature. But I do believe that authors such as Mr Thompson have a duty to their readers to stress the dangers of drugs so that they can then make an informed decision not to take them. That's really my only gripe apart from the sick illustrations, " writes HR.

The smoking gun?


'Six million crystal tubes' in China's first CPU


Mock not, points out Benjamin Kowarsch. There's no translation error:-

Think about it, the transistor provides/replaces the functionality of a tube and it is made of silicon, hence crystal tube. It would be rather tricky to find a better matching compound word using Chinese characters. "Transfer" and "Resistor" would have made a very confusing compound word (ie. move and resist), so crystal tube is just fine.

Here are some other compounds which you might like ...

Airport = Flying-machine parking lot
Computer = Electric brain
Telephone = Electric talk
Automobile = Self moving cart
Fountain pen = Ten thousand years [lasting] brush
Economy = Management [of] goods [to the] benefit [of] all [people]

The compound for economy is particularly astonishing when you consider that it is not a creation of the communists - as you might have expected - but instead has originated in ancient China at a time when Europeans probably didn't even have a concept for economy.

Bill Meahan points us to this fascinating link:-

So it's only a translation bug, eh? DARN! I was hoping perhaps the
Chinese had put vacuum microelectronics into production and we Stuckists
would have something that would shut Intel up once and for all.

No, I'm not being sarcastic. If you aren't familiar with vacuum
microelectronics, the following URL might help:
http://www.triodeel.com/area51.htm.

Terahertz clocks and very little heat? My kind of computer

More carrionifications. Matt 'not a psychiatrist, but I am bipolar' Kracht points out that in this article, we've confused schizophrenia with multiple personality disorder (MPD). "Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia does not have anything to do with multiple personalities or holding multiple, contrary opinions/beliefs/business plans/etc.

"Schizophrenia, informally defined, is the inability to distinguish between reality and fantasy, such as Microsoft believing that they innovate."


E Shanley (from Eire) writes:-

Great "Nigerian 419" T-shirt - I am sure many people are tempted to purchase one, but maybe you should first put a notice on the page* letting people know that they will actually receive the T-Shirt when they send their money, and also stating that you won't be looking for further handling / lawyer / postage / bank fees to ship the T-shirt over.

You may also want to mention that the customer does not have to travel, risking kidnapping etc, in order to complete the transaction.

Very good. And we should issue at least a dozen reminders a day, too. To stop us doing this, then - go and buy one here.

First smileys date back to time of Plato, apparently
First ever smiley found, preserved for posterity


Tim Epstein thinks that Big Media's coverage of the first smiley could be affected by the choice of word processor.

I just read similar articles on CNN and MSNBC regarding today's 20th anniversary of the smiley. The difference is that MSNBC use the :) character, whilst CNN use the (correct) :-) character.

For a moment, I assumed this was just bad research by the MSNBC reporter, then the probable truth suddenly dawned. What's the bet that MSNBC is a Microsoft Word shop, and that the :-) keys automatically get converted into the non ASCII vertical smiley symbol, forcing the use of :) to avoid this, whilst CNN use something that let's them :-) without so called "auto-correction". Ok - so we all know that a backspace after an auto-created symbol will undo the auto-creation, but most non-techo Word users don't have a clue.

Actually Tim, if you type :) on Microsoft Word 2001 (Mac) you still get the non-ASCII dingbat. So that rather spoils your theory. Bzzt. Next?

Speaking of dingbats…

3G branding absurd, admits Sprint rep


Jim Mullens was being ironic when he referred to the "GSM cartel (Mot, Ericy, Nok), you know - the MEN in black", and despite the fact today he sent me a Qualcomm press release underlined and in green ink, he has a good point that's cast iron, too:- WCDMA doesn't appear to work yet. He refers us to Sonera and Nokia's problems in getting the handsets to work.

However, here's now not to argue your corner.


I understand that Qualcomm is already the company that everyone in
wireless loves to hate.

WCDMA is ( and this is strictly an opinion ) nothing more than a political ploy to circumvent the intellectual property held by Qualcomm.

Lets face it, royalties are a big part of the bottom line for GSM patent holders. They need that income stream to remain profitable. I understand the reason for the posturing, but billions of euros have been lost here just waiting for the final specification. I believe that Nokia, among others, has called into question their integrity as a vendor and spokesman for the industry with all of the false promises of WCDMA.

I have written Nokia on several occassions and asked that they bury the hatchet and get on with things. The entire industry is suffering !

Bill Phillips

After reading Under-fire and unrepentant: American tech VCs turn nasty Rich Aplin had a novel reason for why text messaging became a success in Europe and Asia but not the US. (Or not anyway). Public transportation:-

Superb (and richly-deserved) hatchet job on US cell carriers and asshole VC's.

Mind you, you defend Openwave and let them off the hook for WAP (as a long suffering WAP developer I can say that the de-facto standard Phone.Com/Openwave WAP browsers are appalling pieces of shit, and manage amazing feats of incompatibility between different versions).

Certainly the US market for cellphones as anything other than voice communicators is proving damn hard to crack - personally I blame Americans in general (as a Brit living in SF) - they don't like small fiddly things; they don't particularly give a shit about having the latest cellphone, and most of all they never got used to SMS (a) because it never interoperated here properly (carrier greed/stupidity, of course), and (b) because they don't use public transport! My theory is that because everyone here drives cars they simply never got used to fiddling with a phone keypad and never had much of a need for non-vocal cellular communication, unlike everyone on the busses, trains etc in Europe/Japan.

SMS was of course the thing that got everyone in Europe fiddling with their phones, and once that level of 'literacy' was achieved, the road was paved for all the other stuff you can do.

Rich Aplin

I'm with my American hosts on this one, Rich: phones are getting too small and fiddly.

Apple loses World's Most Valuable List


Give .Mac a break. Seriously.


I wrote you once before soon after the announcement that Apple would be charging for iTools. I said that I would be one of the people signing up and I did. I haven't regretted it for a minute but I do have to admit that you are probably right concerning Apple's probable long term loss of revenue thanks to their decision. The only good reason I can think of for this move is the notion of the present value of money. Perhaps they REALLY need the money now for some good reason. Maybe they just screwed up. Regardless, I'm still happy that I signed on because the service works very well and it has definitely been worth the fee...

Nelson Templeton
San Antonio, Texas

There were so many thoughtful replies to this, they're in a separate article. The Vulture Central Mailbag can be found here. Thanks, yet again. ®

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