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El Reg's festive top 10

What tickled your fancy in 2007

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Chart It's probably your last working day of the year. In under two weeks time you'll be back at your desk, your cholesterol count almost as high as your credit card debt, and your short term memory shot to pieces.

You need to get back on top of things quickly, but how?

Well don't despair. Using the miracle of computers, we've produced a list of the 10 most important issues of the last 12 months, as decided by... you. Or put another way, it's a the 10 most read stories to have graced El Reg. Read them now in a vain attempt to retain some information ahead of the coming booze storm. Then read them again on 2 January just to ease yourself back into the real world.

So, starting at the top:

1. Vista product activation unpicked

You read a lot about Vista in 2007. In fact, we're pretty confident more people read about Vista than have actually bought the thing. Or even tried to use it. So it was no surprise to see that our story on attempts to circumvent the OS's product activation was the top story of the year.

2. Ann Summers love egg fails to crack Cyprus

Product activation of a different sort made the number two slot, with our news that Anne Summers' Love Bug – described as a "deceptively powerful matt silver love egg" – was available for online sale, with the proviso "not for use in Cyprus". We've no idea why. Certainly, the fact it's in the EU should mean there's free movement of goods between Cyprus and the rest of the EU. Clearly, "free movement" within Cyprus is another matter.

3. Secret mailing list rocks Wikipedia

Knowledge is a dangerous thing. So it's no surprise to find a Wikipedia story in the number three slot. Cade Metz reported on how "a rogue editor revealed that the site's top administrators are using a secret insider mailing list to crackdown on perceived threats to their power". One editor told the Reg: "I've never seen the Wikipedia community as angry as they are with this one." That was before he saw what came in at number four – but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

4. Microsoft threatens its Most Valuable Professional

Another angry community was that of Microsoft developers, after we reported how the company had decided that Jamie Cansdale should no longer be one of its Most Valuable Professionals. Cansdale had developed an add-on for Microsoft Visual Studio which allowed unit test suites to be run directly from within the Microsoft IDE. He had been giving away the gadget on his website, and initially received the praises of Microsoft. But things changed when Microsoft took umbrage at the fact it worked with the Express version of Visual Studio. Last time we looked, Cansdale is sticking to his guns.

5. Wikipedia black helicopters circle Utah's Traverse Mountain

Wikipedia was back in at number five. Cade Metz delivered more revelations about the Illuminati who are pulling the strings at the world's online knowledge jumble sale. The details are way too complicated to explain here – but if you ever wanted to know the truth about naked short selling, you need to read this story.

6. Fairly realistic flying car offered for 2009 delivery

While anything to do with Wikipedia, or Microsoft and development, will cause rifts and division among our dedicated readers, if there's one thing that pulls them together, it's the opportunity to chant: "I want my flying car, and I want it now."

So it's no surprise that our sixth most popular story saw our very own Lewis Page declaring the "fairly realistic" prospect of a flying car for 2009 delivery, in the shape of the Terrafugia Transition. This is essentially "a normal light aircraft which can fold its wings at the touch of a button and become a car”". Ah, you're saying, it's going to need some kind of anti-gravity technology developed by NASA from crashed flying saucers. Not a bit of it – apparently it runs on unleaded. [What's this got to do with longstanding flying car advocate Paul Moller some of you ask? Absolutely nothing – we did write about him here though]

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