Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/02/23/stob_dylan_beard_is_not/

Stob: Dylan Beard is not weird

Free number radical speaks to El Reg

By Verity Stob

Posted in Bootnotes, 23rd February 2004 16:01 GMT

Stob There was a rare opportunity to meet Dylan Beard in person today when, flanked by a brace of spear-carriers, he brought his campaign to reimplement the 'Wron number to London.

For all its supposed iconoclastic nature, the Free Number Association was rather conventional in its approach to publicity. We met at the traditional place for visiting political campaigners: in a transparent box suspended 75 feet above London Bridge.

"It's very important that people understand that we have no leader. All freebies are equal," explained Mr Beard, leader of the Free Number Association.

"It's going really well. Already the City of Munich has decided to install our implementation of the 'Wron number, which we are calling the Dylanumber. From next week, one lucky citizen will have a phone number ending in the digits '1472 + 0.000001p'."

Surely that would be rather hard to dial? Wasn't he leaving himself open to Softwron criticism about total cost of ownership?

"Not at all. Although the Dylanumber has a superficially less friendly user interface than its commercial alternative, over the long run it is in fact much cheaper to use thanks to the wide availability of relevant expertise. It probably isn't yet ready for desktop use, but that will come in time."

Why did modifications to the Dylanumber have to be given away for free? Was he against money?

"No, no, this is the fallacy that is put about by our opponents. When I say 'free', the important thing is that it is free to me. I myself am very much in favour of money, being in receipt of a $60,000 per annum grant from the League of Beards."

"But hey, kiddo! Enough of this dull suit stuff! Would you like to hear our song?"

And before I could stop him, Mr Beard produced an acoustic guitar and, while his acolytes shook tambourines and clapped along, he sang me the campaign song of the Free Number Association:

Free! Free! Free!
Numbers are gonna be free!
Hee! Hee! Hee!
When they're free we'll be filled with glee!

It has a terrible tune that sticks in your brain all day, like used chewing gum to an incautiously lowered bum. ®

Previously

Softwron number stolen
McDosh hires Titbits
Number patents Euro-endorsed
Stob: Pirated 'Wron number yours for free