Celine Dion fights mutant rats on Xbox 360

Plus chavs - legitimate news?

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Letters Ah, the Xbox 360: what on earth did we have to discuss before the recent release of MS's long-awaited games console? Damned if we can remember...

I cannot believe such a blatant sales leaflet as the Microsoft Xbox 360 review can make it to your front page.

Biased is not the word; everything glowed. Brick sized power pack: irrelevant. Non-backwards compatibility: irrelevant. Old storage medium: a bonus! Batteries in the controllers: a bonus!

It was awful, I am quite incensed. Clearly the thing this Xbox reviewer liked so much about the console was the money it generated in his back pocket.

The Register is not the place to come for new tech reviews. Shame on you!

Andy J

Hmmm. He did like it, didn't he? Now, we all know that MS has had a few probs with the 360, but it's fair to say that the thing might actually be rather good. A shocker, we know, given that it is the spawn of the Beast of Redmond, but still...*

Down at eBay meanwhile, some chancers are betting that the Xbox really is that good and that UK punters will pay a premium to get their sweaty paws on one in time for Xmas. On 2 December, Alex Walsh wrote:

Currently there are just over 2,000 Xbox 360's listed on ebay.co.uk. Numerous auctions have also already ended, and I reckon that this means somewhere between 5 and 10% of the total UK allocation of 50,000 units have been resold on launch day for profit. Sickening isn't it?

Well yes, but that's capitalism for you. Solution: do not pay the money these people are asking and hopefully they will go away.

More kit now in the form of the iPod Shuffle, which has just been awarded "Chav accessory of the Year" or something like that. Rupert Stubbs protests:

"The sad part is that the shuffle is the worst player in the Apple range – more like some dodgy back street knock-off than the excellent other iPods. The fact it has no screen so you can’t program it or choose a track – it chooses the music for you – also saves Chav brain cells for the much more important business of, ahem, 'pimping their rides.'"

I beg to differ. The Shuffle was undoubtedly a bit of opportunism by Apple to get a foothold in the Flash player market without cannibalising the iPods, but – as good designers often do – they turned the compromises into benefits. The lack of a screen doesn't look like a cost-cutting exercise because it is celebrated: with no screen, the control buttons can be large and simple to use. I have had one in an outer pocket of a ski jacket, and could still use it wearing ski gloves!

It makes no pretence to be fully-featured. It is stripped down, functional, and all the better for it. I have found that I use my 40Gb iPod less, but listen to more music since getting the Shuffle.

Just one man's view.

It's possible that I'm not understanding something due to cultural differences, but "chavs" are just thuggish poor people who like burberry hats, right?

If so, why do you keep reporting what they're doing? It just seems really weird to keep seeing headlines like "iPod shuffle voted top 'Chav Gadget'".

Derek Quenneville

Why? Because all the world loves a chav, that's why.

Adware firm 180solutions has been looking to clean up its act and its image of late. Accordingly, it's taking the big stick to Zone Labs for the latter's classification of 180solution's "advertising client" as spyware. Hold on a minute...

"Marketing company 180solutions filed a lawsuit against desktop-security firm Zone Labs taking issue with a warning generated by the security firm's personal firewall software, which labels 180solutions advertising client as spyware."

The 180solutions adware *is* spyware, as I understand the term, and no matter how many dollars and lawyers 180solutions throws at this fact, it's not going to change until the spyware part of their spyware is removed.

Furthermore, it has in the past been installed surreptitiously by paid agents of 180solutions, which means that 180solutions in the person of its agents has engaged in acts which violate Title 18 United States Code (and would be particularly troubling to them if it happens that any of their spyware was so isntalled on a US Governmnet computer).

I can guarantee that *I* will continue to warn my friends and customers that 180solutions engages in the use of spyware, regardless of the outcome of this case.

Morely Dotes

Sounds like to me the advertising firm needs to refill their baby bottle.

Rigorous rules or not.....its advertising that isnt welcome.

Kinda like installing a product that has this little staetment "will install such and such tool bars and what not...this isnt a threat..wont harm you computer" when in fact it does in some subliminal way.

Ive used Zone Lab's products for some time now....and im very thankful for their efforts.

Disgruntled Geek

I could be wrong, but 180 soluions were to win, would this not wreck zonelab image?

I use their software, and the news that 180 solutions, whose troublesome software I've found on several machines I use, were classified as safe by them, I'd dump zonealarm in a second.

Well, a minute at most.


In the end, though, who cares about spyware when humanity is faced with the mutant Belfast rat menace?

"They don't seem to be frightened of human people"

What's going on in Belfast? Gail Leemer and Jane Ormer are talking about "human people" as if there is another, more alien, kind!

I, for one, welcome our new alien giant rat overlords.


Nukes are the last thing you want to try when dealing with mutants - they'll probably become self aware or something. A mutant musician is what's needed to lure them into a river. Celine Dion perhaps?


They sound just like Nutria in New Orleans. These are not really rats, though the are rodents and have the same general body form. They are more aquatic in nature and, unlike rats, more vegitarian than ommnivore. I believe they originated in south east asia.

Jesse Pollard

Oh yes, and let's not forget the killer Russian squirrel threat:

Slow news day I guess. (That or the silly season is upon us...thanks for the chuckle.)

This link gives some background on the Russian squirrel threat: http://www.scarysquirrel.org/vacation/russia/ruckus/

This might be a way to combat the problem: http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/~yaz/en/squirrel_fishing.html

Back to pub for you! I'll hoist several pints in tribute!

Cheers, and Merry Christmas, John

Cheers to you too, sah.

To conclude this nonsense, a final missive regarding Stob which we print in the interests of balance, given the right stomping Otto Z. Stern and The Rotting Dog took last week:

Re: Verity Stob.

Funny? No. Accurate? Hardly. Amusing, even? Definitely not.

I honestly don't see why you've hired this guy. He's not my cup of tea -- hell not even my fruit cup. And I've got a hell of a lot of tolerance for humour, jibes at establisment figures, and the like. BoFH? Bring it on! Recording Ass. of America? Go shove it! But Stob? These nonsensical ramblings have to stop, and the sooner the better. Do yourselves a favour and get rid of this imbecile.

Yours in truth, Curtis Burisch PhD

PhD eh? That makes it official then. More titbits on Friday from you, our beloved readers. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for mutant rats and suspicious-looking black squirrels. It's a jungle out there.

Xbox 360 disclaimer

* This is not an invitation for an extended correspondence regards the merits/demerits of the Xbox 360 - unless any reader has one which has been possessed by the Devil and which he's trying to offload on eBay for £10,000.

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