Original URL: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10/05/letters_0509/

Valiant Reg readers save internet

Reports of demise premature

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Bootnotes, 5th October 2004 15:01 GMT

Letters Much scepticism this week, following news of the imminent demise of the internet as predicted by BT's futurologist, Graham Whitehead. You thought he might not be quite, altogether, 100 per cent on the money on this one.

It is possible he was specifically referring to El Reg's own connection, which, of late, has been as flaky as filo pastry. If so, then he has displayed remarkable prescience as it did indeed kick the bucket this morning.

However, we suspect he was speaking more generally than that.

Yeah, well, he would say that, wouldn't he. He's selling BT's ideas using the usual British politician's method of rubbishing the opposition before presenting a lightweight policy that has the distinct possibility of aviating porcines.


Web "guru" forcasts end of internet, eh?

Graham Whitehead, to quote his own write up is actually not a "web guru" but a "fuuturologist", who:

"delivers more than 300 presentations every year, and has produced a series of video tapes."

Goo-oody! So we can safely say he's never configured a BIND 9 daemon, then can we, and probably doesn't know a great deal about Spam Assasin? I fear that Graham Whitehead hails from the well-known and well-loved 'Scott McNulty school of stream-of-conciousness pronocement making'. Whitehead has taken the fast track, compared to McNulty, however, since he didn't even bother with all that tedious hanging around with people who build computers for a quarter of a century, like silly old Scott did, before he decided he was qualifierd to comment on them.

He comments that "the relatively low rate of broadband uptake in the UK" was evidence that people didn't want it. Surelly the relative unwillingness of people to live within six kilometers of a broadband-enabled exchange had something to do with it, too, until very recently, didn't it? Readers should perhaps take a look at the available housing opportunities within a six mile radius of their own local BT exchange, before deciding whether Whitehead and his BT chums are right in declaring that its 'your fault you couldn't get broadband'.

Here's a story for you:

The Register, 29th September 1764 Lord Major of Chesterfield Proposes Privately Owned Chesterfield to London Tunnel

Roads guru, the Lord High Mayor of Chesterfield has suggested that, owing to the rise in highwaymen and robbers throughout this Great Island, the only option is to build a privately owned tunnel between the town of Chesterfield and London. "The public roads are doomed," he declared. "The recent notable discovery of cozenage, now daily practiced by sundry lewd persons upon the humble traveller, means that in the future, no one will go anywhere above the ground at all, but instead, will use an interconnected, seamless end-to-end subterranian transport solution based on brick-lined sealed horizontal convayances," the world famous Dolomite Solutionist, brick manuufacturer, and Futurologist proclaimed...

Whatever 'bonks yer button', I suppose.


I found BT Exact's principal consultant mind-numbing conclusion that the internet is about to die completely deluded and extremely insulting. In particular the comment where he states:

"..that the relatively low rate of broadband uptake in the UK, where there are 3 million DSL and 1.5 million cable broadband subscribers, is due to the fact that people don't see a need for broadband in their daily lives."

Perhaps if BT got a move on and sorted out the supply of dsl in the UK there might be more of an interest. I live in the suburbs of a medium sized city that is fully dsl enabled, yet I am STILL waiting for the upgrade on my exchange. Sure there are petitions and subscriber lists but no one wants to waste their time adding themselves as it clearly has no affect on the dsl supply. The given date for our upgrade is June 2005, Im almost certain adding my name to a list isnt going to make a blind bit of difference. In fact I have every intention of moving.

And to add even further insult. Here I am on my 56k modem, 15.99 a month, 3.5kb/s download speeds and 2hour cutoffs. I can now pick up a radio and tune in to the, let me emphasise, **WORST** quality digital radio, which is broadcasting at 96kb/s!

Its an utter outrage that BT can go around moaning about lack of interest when they dont even supply the facilities to those that DO want it. Sure I can own at quake or sof2 with a ping of 400, but thats not the point. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH B*ST*RDS!

Thx Biomech

Why not give every individual bean it's own IPv6 address?


Why not indeed, Tijl. We think this is an excellent idea, and will begin a letter writing campaign immediately.

A passing thought on the anti-trusting treatment of Microsoft:

Microsoft's argument that "this was the first time in history that a company had been ordered to deliver its "secret technology" to its competitors" is certainly wrong.

The EEC as it was then ordered IBM to handover the specs of it's disk interfaces to third party manufactures way back in the early 80s, to allow them to continue to make disks that could be connected to the new generation of mainframes.


IT directors reckon we'll all be signing in to work with our thumbprints and iris scans. You say: bring it on!

I like the idea of being locked out of the building by mistake. Go home and get paid for sitting there.

For some obscure reason it reminds me of when some of my colleagues did some consultancy work at [car manufacturer] (Coventry I think) and they were not allowed in the gate because they weren't driving [car manufacturer's] cars and only [car manufacturer's] cars were allowed in the car park.

Ten consultants at at least a grand a day each because some jobsworth didn't like the badges on their cars. We still charged them.

So, let the good times roll, I'm looking forward to spending a lot more time at home and still making money. I'm not cynical, honest.


Francis Fish

The day they start iris scanning, I'll fail to get in and the IT helpdesk will insist it's problem with my eyeball and the SLA on a new eyeball is 10 working days.


Next, we'll take a quick diversion around the last letters bag:

I've just been reading this [last] week's letters ('Reg Readers hail NTL abusive message'); In the last letter, 'Dave' says:

"Checking facts before spouting sh*t is always a good idea."

This, of course, is the written equivalent of running around shouting "Kick me! Kick me!". Dave - Magee didn't use a "very accurate long delay device" supplied by Libyans; he used a VCR timer (Secret History, Channel 4). I suppose it might have been supplied by a Libyan branch of Radio Rentals or something.

The Libyans, in fact, don't 'do' very sophisticated timing devices; it was testified at the Lockerbie trial in the Hague that they had to buy timers from a Swiss firm, Mebo Telecommunications.



For the record, no one at The Reg knows much about explosions, Libyan or otherwise, so we are not really in a position to speculate. As for introducing mobile phones on aircraft, we are at something of a loss to explain how this idea is compatible with reducing incidences of air rage. Enquiring minds want to know, and all that.

And while we're talking about outburts of uncontrolled anger produced by mobile phones, we'd like to remind readers of the tale of a woman being knocked to the ground by security officers as they arrested her for talking too loudly on her mobile.

"Overkill, much?" we thought to ourselves, in our best MTV-generation accent. And that is even before you factor in that she was pregnant at the time...

Hi John,

I just wanted to write in support of the Transit Authority security staff. The articles I've read about the pregnant woman seem to intimate that the security guard was over-zealous, but there articles are clearly written from the perspective of someone who has not ridden the metro for the last 5 years as I have.

The behaviour of the riders I'm with for 2 hours each day is generally acceptable, but there are several people who simply do not think the rules apply to them. They have the music playing so loud through their headphones that they may as well not be using headphones at all. They try to force the train doors open if they missed the departure time.

And yes, they argue and swear loudly, perhaps on their cell phones, perhaps with other passengers. Those who misbehave are few and far between, but when encountered, need to be dealt with harshly. They simply will not respond to any other treatment.

The woman who claims to have given "a little lip" to the security officer probably launched an all-out verbal assault on the man. Is this the kind of person that you would like sitting next to you on the tube? Wouldn't you rather see her detained for several hours while she reconsiders her behaviour, possibly coming out as a better citizen?


Jimmy K.

Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. Wake up... Someone's brewing coffee in the next room...

Out in Texas, however, things would have been different. (But then, everything in Texas is different, right?)

Your story is very informative, however maybe it's time you encourage people to stand up to police opression & demand justice. I'm pretty sure the woman in your story could bring a sucessful suit based on police brutality.

I'm not sure what people are like in New York, but if the officer did the same thing here in Texas without good cause, he would be risking being shot by passers by, or brought up on charges to say the least.


More letters, later in the week. ®