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Spies, lies and the Book of Joshua

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Far be it from the Reg to make fun of easy targets. But that is at least half of our job isn't it? In our recent coverage of Live8 and eBay we have been referring to Bob Geldof as Saint Bob - a cheap and nasty shot as pointed out by a reader called Dave who, without stooping to cheapness and nastiness, can't even spell Saint Bob's name.

I get pissed off with the way you continually refer to Bob Geldorf, as 'Saint Bob'. Its boring, its predictable, its repetetive, its jelousy and envy. Why don't you grow up? When did YOU do any good for the world in the way that Geldorf is trying to?


But enough cheap nastiness. We received one fantastic letter last week which had us throwing away our tear-stained notebooks to seize this awesome business opportunity. Good work Paul.

DEAR LIVE 8

MY NAME IS DOGLAS MCCCALLUM AND I BE THE BIG BOSS MAN MANAGING DIRECTOR OF EBRAY IN THE UNITTED KLINGDON NOW I APPOLOGISE FOR CONTACTING YOU IN SUCH A MANNER BUT I HAS BEEN TOLD THAT YOUS ARE A PERSON OF HIGH STANDING AND MUCH TRUST THAT I CAN BE RELIYING ON.

NOW YOU WILL HAVE BEEN SEEING ON THE TELLY BOX ALL THIS FUSS OVER THE LIVE 8 CONCERT AND THEM FELLAS WHO BEEN SELLIN THEM FREE TICKETS ON THE INTERNET FOR A RIGHT OLD PROFIT UNTIL THIS SCRUFFY BLOKE TOLD EM ALL TO STOP IT.

WELL THIS HAS LEFT ME WITH A BIT OF A PROBLEM COS I HAS GONE AND ENDED UP WITH AN AUCTION WEB SITE FULL OF THE THINGS AND I GOT FELLAS OUT THERE WHO ARE WILLING TO PAY OVER $1000 (ONE THOUSAND US DOLLARS) EACH FOR THEM.

NOW I IS SAYING TO YOU THAT I DESPERATLY NEED TO GET SHUT OF THESE THINGS COS THEY ONLY HAVE A SHELF LIFE OF 17 (SEVENTEEN) DAYS. I BE ASKING YOU MOST NICELY IF YOU BE LETTING ME GET THESE THINGS OUT THE DOOR AT A GRAND A POP (ONE THOUSAND COCKNEY US DOLLARS) FOR WHICH I WILL SEND YOU 5.25% OF THE FIRST £29.99, 3.25% OF £30 - 599.99 AND 1.75% OF EVERYTHING ELSE AS WELL AS ANY MONEY THAT IT COSTS TO BE USING PHOTOS.

YOU CAN BE SEEING IT ON MY WEBSITE HERE

http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/sell/fees.html

WHAT BE MORE IF THE FELLAS WHO BE BUYING EM BE PAYING WITH PAYPAL I BE GIVING YOU 3.4% OF ANY TRANSACTION AS WELL AS 20P ON TOP.

NOW I BE TRUSTING YOU TO KEEP THE SCRUFFY IRISH FELLA OUT OF THIS. I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING YOUR QUICK REPLY

DOGLAS


As long as no one tells Saint Bob we'll all be millionaires. Returning briefly to cheap and nastiness, well it is the Letters page, we had a mail from Mike about Microsoft P-2P network Avalanche. Mike accuses Microsoft of liberating other people's ideas and remarketing them as their own. Blimey whatever next?

If I'm reading this right, Microsoft Research has essentially tacked a parity file-like system on to a BitTorrent-like system. Microsoft cobbling together others' ideas again - should we really be that surprised? PAR for the course I guess.

On an altogether darker note we have received disturbing information relating to our ongoing campaign to counter the Rise of the Machines. Waldo, the hospital robot which ran riot in California, clearly comes from a bad family - this Dalek is heading for an ASBO. A secret squirrel emailed us this titbit:

Actually Elvis [one of Waldo's automoton colleagues] has had an incident where it knocked over a mobile computer. Basically a laptop on a wheeled cart.

Apparently Elvis was unable to negotiate around this unit and accidentally knocked it over.

Yes this is true. I work at UCSF


We've also received a mountain of emails telling us why the MI5 website refers to espionage as the world's second oldest profession. There was general agreement as to the world's oldest profession, although I think Susan had a point when she put pottery in first place and prostitution in second place. Reg reader John was one of many who put us right:

The reference is probably biblical. Spying would be the second oldest profession as Joshua (in the book of Joshua) sends out two men to spy on Jericho. To assist them they enlist the aid of Rahab, an inhabitant of Jericho, and a practioner of the world's oldest profession. Thus "harlots" were around before spies (at least according to the Bible).

The reference is Joshua II, 1: "And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying. Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there."

Hope this helps.

All the best.


While we're on a Biblical tip we return, very briefly, to that wacky theory of evolution which sparked a mountain of mail when we reported on US scientists fighting back against creationism. Reg reader George blames Britain for deporting the wrong people.

It's *your* damn fault. You sent all those damn Puritans here and let the Australians have the fun-loving criminals. What? Did they get first pick? We've been paying the price ever since.

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