Feeds

Fancy dropping into Pitetsbkrrh?

Pittsburgh tower fails spelling test

Business security measures using SSL

Grant Tower, a Pittsburgh landmark topped with a radio mast and a flashing light spelling out the city's name in Morse, has instead been spelling out the word "Pitetsbkrrh" for some time.

The mistake wasn't noticed until one Tom Stepleton, a Radio Ham familiar with Morse, recognised the letter "K" in the flashing sequence and realised that the traditional spelling of Pittsburgh lacks that letter. He reported it to the building's owners, and alerted the Pittsburgh Post Gazette who care a lot about spelling.

The Gazette explains that the tower was Pittsburgh's first skyscraper. It was completed in 1929, when a red neon light atop the tower was switched on to flash the city's name to passing aircraft, so they'd know where they were.

While pilots might still know Morse, it is a declining ability - Radio Hams in the UK, for example, are no longer tested for their Morse skills - so it's hardly surprising no-one noticed the tower's poor spelling. Morse still pops up every now and then: the default SMS notification on a Nokia handset spells out "SMS", while older handsets have a ring tone which reads "CONNECTING PEOPLE" in dots and dashes.

No-one knows exactly when the sequence on the Grant Tower was changed. The building's owners are apparently aware of the problem but won't say when they'll be able to fix it, so for the moment it's probably best if everyone simply refers to the city by its new name: Pitetsbkrrh. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.