Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/03/letters_two/
Zotob worm perps: hanging's too good for 'em
Straight talk on violence, surveys and 'mobes'
Letters From time to time, we at Vulture Central get emails berating us for printing what readers say are straight plugs for companies disguised as fascinating and informative surveys or analysis pieces. This one is typical:
Shame on you for publishing such a shameless ad posing as a news item:
I'm a contractor and I think I speak for all of us when I say we're painfully aware of the problems we face, in particular when it comes to IR35 and the revenue. Having someone who is peddling the solution-for-all-our-needs state the bleedin' obvious isn't really a great help.
I look forward to your next piece entitled \"Shock Research Proves Computers Use Electricity\". Perhaps this piece will be sponsored by a mobo manufacturer or a PSU vendor?
Maybe you're just easing yourself into a slow news day after a good long weekend?
In fact, our forthcoming shock exposé on the link between alternating current, plug sockets and electrical equipment will be sponsored by a company called Powergen. Apparently they have an interest of some sort in electricity and their selfless contribution to the piece - in terms of amazing stats and factoids and quotes from the CEO warning of the dangers of not buying Powergen's 'leccy - allows us to ease ourselves effortlessly into a stagnant news day after a particularly robust weekend.
Your point about the bleedin' obvious has been duly noted, however.
Now, the UK's government is to clamp down  on violent porn. A good show, we reckon, but what about other violent stuff, cries Chris Bradshaw?:
Why not also ban distribution and possession of non-pornographic violent material while they are at it? Videos of terrorists beheading unwilling civilians should be just as abhorrent to society (well, decent society anyway), and can cause the same effect (beheadings or similar terrorist activity).
The law could also be used as a proveable and punishable offence against those who have allegedly planned a terrorist act but against whom there is little or no hard evidence, similar to the way that the Mafia capos in the US were prosecuted for tax evasion when no-one would testify against them.
We think it's fair to say that if we in the civilised world ever get our hands on Abu Mohammed al-Zarqawi (the alleged murderer of Ken Bigley), then the footage of his outrages would certainly feature heavily in the case for the prosecution. God alone knows, though, how anyone can stop this kind of stuff, with a porn content or otherwise, from circulating - especially via the web.
We're reminded of the UK's "video nasties" brouhaha years back when an enraged Thatcher government banned a veritable bloodbath of highly unpleasant flicks including I Spit on your Grave, Snuff, and the quite remarkable SS Experiment Camp. Naturally, and despite the threat of heavy penalties for even looking at a copy of any of the aforementioned from a distance of three miles, all were readily available if you knew the right North London video rental shop.
And the reason we call SS Experiment Camp remarkable? Because it contained the immortal line: "You bastard - you stole my balls!" They certainly don't make 'em like that any more.
So, we've caged Abu Mohammed al-Zarqawi. What do we do with the bugger? Try this, from Randy:
These SCUMBAGS should be castrated with a branding iron, then hung by their thumbs for a month, then stoned in a public forum.
Actually, Randy is suggesting a suitable punishment for the two men recently cuffed  in connection with the Zotob worm outbreak, but we like the cut of Randy's jib.
More ne'er-do-wellishness now, with Mark Hackett commenting on the case  of the stolen Windows source code fence, William P. Genovese:
How can a trade secret be copyrighted? You must publish a work to get it copyrighted. That means it isn't a trade secret.
Greedy buggers want to have their cake and eat it too (and take anyone else's if there's the opportunity).
A fair point. Concluding this "Crime and Punishment" round-up, is Andy Bright on online gaming misdemeanours, the most recent of which was the password-snaffling worm  menace:
It's like the guy who was arrested recently for mugging online characters, stealing their imaginary stuff and selling it online.
What's more sad - that people actually pay to cheat at computer games, or that other people start crying if they lose all the stuff they wasted six years of their lives collecting in a pretend universe?
Spare me from cry-baby online gamers...
We'll make no comment as to how lachrymose online gamers really are, and wrap up today's missives with the news that we have once again been taken to task for our shocking abuse  of the elegant lingo that is English:
Please stop the staff from using the term "mobe" :(
No chance, not at least until the above correspondent stops calling himself "Bob". Enough said and a jolly weekend to you all. ®