Feeds

Skunkworks roundup

It's a far, far beta thing

Reducing security risks from open source software

As she is spoked and writted

It all started with SETI@home, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, which became the chic screen saver of the early years of this millennium. More recently the BBC got in on the act, and set all the family-owned PCs in the UK churning through a climate model charting global warming between 1920 and 2080.

(When they have finished, by the way, the Beeb are going to start all over again, this time factoring into the model the extra heat generated by all the family-owned PCs in the UK running a climate model charting global warming between 1920 and 2080. This will use up yet more energy, which will in turn etc. Look kids: recursion isn't just good for hippy-ish acronyms!)

But now a team of top coders is preparing a new application that will at last make worthwhile use of all the yotta-flops at the disposal of a BOINCish screen saver. They have identified an issue that is of great interest and relevance to a good proportion of the world's population.

They are going to perfect the English language.

They intend posing all the questions that have long taxed the great online thinkers, and finding and publishing the correct and definitive answers. No detail of pronunciation, spelling, grammar or style will be outside their scope.

Here are some sample issues:

  • Is it ok (or, on the other hand, is it moronic) while conversing on the internet repeatedly to type 'loosing' when you mean 'losing'?
  • Is the slang expression 'mobe', short for 'mobilised telephonic apparatus', simply a rather witty abbreviation, or does its use actually make you big and clever too?
  • Which is the superior style of road sign wording: American Graphic (eg 'Xing' for 'Crossing') or British Obscure ('Adverse camber', 'Altered priorities', 'Merge in turn')?
  • Does the occasional proportionally precise use of 'decimate' in Reg headlines serve to irritate the 'don't you dare oppress me with your etymological fascism' crowd sufficiently, or could more be done?
  • Is death too good for people who use the word 'literally' to provide emphasis in their metaphors?

Of course, it's early days at the moment, but the team thinks it has an algorithm that parallellallellallellises really well and it expects to make rapid progress.

As well as settling any number of important academic questions, there are high hopes of deriving medical benefits – a complete cure for IVS (Irritable Vowel Syndrome) is definitely on the cards – and saving many billions of lost work hours currently spent arguing over, for example, whether it's 'shedule' or 'skedule'.

I seem to hear concerns that there might be British bias in the output of this project. May I address these at once.

Although it is true that the core of the programming team (me) is as English as a nine bob note, we have striven long and hard to ensure that no parochialism can creep into the design, nor national prejudice colour the results.

And make damn sure you don't miss that 'u' in colour...

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.