Daleks, details and a downed Tornado

Reg readers demonstrate aptitude for stamp collecting

Letters: This week, you have mostly been bothered by Daleks. The news that the BBC is resurrecting the Time Lord, Dr. Who, has brought the faithful out in their thousands. Naturally, the tiniest detail of every scrap or sliver of news that makes its way into the press is to be picked up, savoured, and dissected for flaws. Ah yes: the geeks are back:

<Geek Hat> "resulting in the stairphobic salt-cellars stropping off back to their home planet."

Unfortunately The Doctor Destroyed Skaro using the Omega Device in the Sylvester McCoy story "Remembrance of the Daleks".

</Geek Hat>

Sorry. :-)


If my memory serves, there's an episode of Doctor Who called "The Death Of Doctor Who". The "Daleks Boycott Dr Who" story pretty much suggests that this new series will indeed kill the Time Lord off for once and for all. Michael Grade must be laughing his red braces and socks off.

First Billie Piper and now no Daleks? I certainly won't be watching this new series. Unless your story suggests that Boycott could be something to do with a new villain. Geoffrey Boycott vs the Doctor?

Now that could be interesting!

James Dowling one very disillusioned Doctor Who fan Birmingham, England

While I am open to the possibility that elements in your Monday 5th July 2004 10:49 GMT "Daleks invade New York" article were supposed to be "funny" or at best, "amusing," I am at a loss as to why you would misspell the word extermination as "extoimination." Did it sneak past your spell-check and/or was your editor out to lunch?

You article curiously "quotes": << One outraged Big Apple local is quoted as saying: "How can deez guys at da BBC dump da Daleks? Dat's ridiculous. Dey need extoiminating." >>

Having born born in New York and raised in nearby New Jersey (and spent so much time in Manhatten), it has been my life-long experience that there are very few types of people who use the false dialect as used above: specifically the severely mentally challenged and very bad actors (and unfunny comedians) who have never been to the American east coast.

At least in your continuation: << Another chipped in: "I grew up watching the Daleks. It's hard to believe a race hellbent on galactic domination will let a few suits at a TV company stop them." >> If a true quote, this clearly sounds as though from a New Yorker or someone from nearby northern New Jersey (though even more puzzling that a Doctor Who fan would remain anonymous for an article quote.)

Are you claiming you spoke to someone who said the previous "quote," or are you adding some "colourful" (albeit false) misrepresentation about New Yorkers?

I don't recall ever seeing an American article quoting Britons using substituted H's for R's with which to "get the written idea" of an exagerated (and/or false) British dialect. I don't expect to see an article quoting the queen as saying, "Wotcher say 'bout that then, eh, guv?" Or should I?

Regards, Geoffrey Gould American Fan of Doctor Who since 1966

Ummm, probably not the Queen, no. However, we submit Dick van Dyke's Australian Cockney in Mary Poppins as evidence of mitigating circumstances for any and all jokes about accents on the other side of the pond.

Next up, we have some grammatical nitpicking. A wonderful thing has started to happen: instead of flaming us, you lot are now flaming each other...

The website indicates the current employees are barely literate, the grammar and spelling is awful. I hate the idea of outsourcing, but when people who work in an IT department can't use a spell checker I don't blame Swansea for getting rid.


We're curious: are you suggesting Swansea is getting rid of anything in particular, or is this the name of a new product that removes unwanted illiterates? Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

More nitpicking follows: seems we need to brush up on our languages a bit...More than one person wrote in to point this out to us, but we'd like to encourage amusing comments, rather than 'You're stupid and your French is lousy' type remarks, so we're only running this one:

Quelle horreur!

Reader Howard Gartside spotted this extravagant bit of pricing after searching for "French" on said e-emporium. He notes: "All I can say is I'm glad I want to improve my French not my English." Mais oui. Bon chance!

C'est Bonne chance, mon petit ami.

And for the 24 quid, moi aussi will improve my French, that has been rather rusty lately. And I put mes petites grey cells in gear.

Au revoir,


Yet more nitpicking. Anyone else noticing a pattern here? This was inspired by our latest T-Shirt promo:

"Show me the way to go localhost"? "Wherever I lay my hat, that's my localhost"? Perhaps I'm missing something here, but I don't find that particularly amusing, and I've never come across 'home' used to refer to a loopback network connection.

There is, however, no place like ~. Perhaps someone should make a T-shirt about that...


We've had an interesting dialogue with one reader, who asked to remain anonymous, about the myopic Patriot missile. The latest installment in the saga is a report from CBS-11 journalist Robert Riggs in which he describes a false firing incident, only hours before a Patriot missile downed the RAF Tornado.

Anon: There is a very telling line in your story "Patriot' 'Blue on Blue' that explains everything. That line is "The track was interrogated for IFF [identification friend or foe] but there was no response." Had the aircraft responded it would not have been shot down. From everything I have read on the incident I'm faced with the conclusion that the pilot made errors one of which was not having his IFF on.

Not having the IFF on is a very stupid and fatal mistake when flying in your own Air Defense coverage area. . Even after an aircraft is engaged the radar will re-interrogate the aircraft before the missile is allowed to leave the launcher. If the radar receives the proper response the missile will not launch.

Register: Fair enough. Explain to us why the Patriot doesn't work, then.

Anon: It works. What else can I say. It simply works. And like I said you do not fly in your own Air Defense Coverage with your IFF turned off. It's suicidal and the pilots know this.

Now if its true as you say that the IFF was not working before the aircraft took off then it should not have been allowed to do so. Thats a pilot and Command error not a failure that can be placed on the Patriot System.

In the interests of inbox preservation, can we ask that any correspondence about this particular letter be directed to the writer of the article. Thankee kindly.

Your current article is misleading, as you describe the Center for Defense Information as a Independent Defense Department Watchdog group, without mentioning that it is a left-leaning organization that was founded to be critical of the US Military.

Obviously, any quote from them will be both negative and suspect, and your failure accurately describe the source of the quote to the casual reader would lead them to believe that this is an impartial organization. Which of course, what they would want people to believe, and may be what you wanted as well.

Of course, you may not be aware of that either, so at any rate, now you know.


While we are on the subject of accidental destruction of property, perhaps a nod to the world's thickest pirate is in order:

Well here we have at least an honourable mention for the Darwin Awards. Its likely a good thing his crime was only selling toasty DVD's since, by the sounds of it, if he was of a violent nature he'd have managed to shoot himself somewhere painful, and possibly permanently altered his ability to procreate.


A brief note regarding the fabulous news in the NYT that at least one, completely impartial, person likes Wi-Fi:

On a rather grim news day, your "Newspaper discovers..." article was easily the funniest and an ever-necessary blowtorch to the backsides of your cohorts in media.


And finally, an unexpected response to our coverage of the Microsoft security competition:

As the only British finalist in the EMEA Security Championship (I finished 3rd) what's the chance of getting a mention on The Register?


Barrie Cooper Monster Software

Oh, alright then. But only 'cos it's Friday. ®

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