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The whole of the UK has apparently been abuzz this week about AQA - the "any question answered" SMS service which delivers solutions to complex queries straight to your mobe.

Yup, for a quid a pop you too can put your mind to rest about such matters as "Whats better for me - a banana or a bowl of broccoli?" or "What is an intermediate vector boson and how much does it weigh?"*

But it's not these posers which alerted the Brit media to AQA - it's the fact that the service has identified a significant spike in sex-related questions at 10.48pm. Messages received include "Am I looking hot 2night?" and "Am I going to have sex with the bird next to me?", to which the answers are "Mate you're more than hot. You're sizzling. You're so hot you may well be the cause of global warming" and "If you are confident, friendly and polite you will be able to charm anyone, even the girl next to you", respectively.

The 10.48pm peak is hardly news, however, as any self-respecting Brit knows. With a mere twelve minutes left to get the vodka and Red Bulls in, and beer goggles firmly on, the desperate lone male will do pretty well anything to score - including, it seems, asking a txt Q&A service about the best way to get his rocks off. Still, the TV and tabloids love it and it's all cash in the bank for AQA.

But one question remains: can AQA deliver responses to real, mission-critical queries? When El Reg first reported on the service back in April, Andrew Orlowski asked: "Let us know how it shapes up. If it does, pub quizzes and school exams may never be the same again."

Accordingly, we decided to pitch AQA a quickie. Resisting the temptation to ask "What's the best brothel within a ten-minute walk of All Bar One and can I pay by credit card?" we opted for the pretty straightforward: "What's the best UK IT news site?"

No more than two minutes later came the reply: "Depending on what area of IT you are interested in, the best UK IT website could be one of quite a few..."

Yes, yes, we gasped, scrolling frantically down the screen.

"...Try www.compinfo.co.uk and www.eweek.com"

With which this plug for AQA is terminated. ®

Bootnote

*The answers given were: "Broccoli is said to have the highest nutritional value of any food, with as much calcium per unit weight as milk, and plenty of vitamins and fibre", and "Intermediate vector bosons are the quantum exchange particles of the weak nuclear interaction, one of 4 fundamental forces of nature. Two types, W , charge (+/-), mass=80.4 Giga electron Volts, and Z , Charge (0), Mass=91.2GeV." Any corrections to these should be directed to AQA.

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