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Calling Doctor Caroline Langensiepen of Nottingham Trent uni

Your student Tom Watson's assignment to write in the style of the Register

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Dear Dr Langensiepen: We learned with interest that one of the assignments you set your students studying Computer Systems (Forensics & Security) at Nottingham Trent University is to write an article in the style of The Register.

We were also interested to note that only one of your students, Tom Watson by name, considered trying to game that system by getting his article actually published on The Register.

He sent it to us, but it was about a historical subject (the Estonian/Russian 2011 click fraud botnet) meaning that it's not really suitable for publishing in its entirety here. Furthermore an article truly in The Register style is the product not only of its writer but also of sub-editors, editors and usually some time spent writing for us beforehand.

Nor is it our job to overrule your judgment on Mr Watson's article by telling you whether or not it is truly in el Reg style.

So we aren't running it, and nor are we going to say here how it compares in our view with our own stuff for style, thoroughness etc.

But we do feel that Mr Watson showed commendable initiative and a suitably twisty mindset for a career in computing security by trying to social-engineer his way to a solid outside confirmation that his assignment had been satisfactorily completed - before you had even seen it.

And we thought he deserved a little bit of public glory for that.

We'd note that Mr Watson was cunning to think of this for the first time, but would caution others that copying him, now that the idea is out, would be merely to waste our time and one's own. ®

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