Readers' Letters: It's a biggy

You write to us, we tell everyone else

[Email on mobile phones, grammar, dead girls, loonies. What more could you possible want from The Reg's letters page]

Email with your mobile - but it's a pain in the arse

[We discovered that you could send emails using your bog-standard mobile. Since no one we spoke to seemed to know about this, we thought it was worth a story. We also put a disclaimer asking those that knew not to email us. They, of course, ignored us]

BT Cellnet have allowed you to send emails via SMS for at least a couple of months - same sort of deal (email address then message) but you send it to 222 or somesuch number. Costs (off the top of my head) slighly more than a standard SMS to send.
Tim Auton
(Adrian Miliner pointed out the same thing)

The most popular recommendation from


readers was

. Thanks to (in no order) James Nicholls, Mark Coffey, Anthony James Chapman, Ronan Waide, Gustav Rosell - there may have been more. Apologies if you're not mentioned.

: Philip Taylor

Virgin mobile: Gavin Nottage


An italian operation,, have been providing a similar service for quite some time. I think I first heard of it two years ago, and I've used it intermittently (although now that my <gadgetfreak>palm
III can get a net connection via my mobile phone</gadgetfreak>, it's not so obviously "useful". You can use it without registering, and it's completely free. If you register, you can set up an address book, .sig file and a few other bits and bobs. I think it can gateway to ICQ as well.

Eircell, Ireland's "no we're not a monopoly, we've just been around longer" cellphone company, have a service called e-merge which provides free email and a few other bozo things; one of the more useful gadgets is a filter on the email that'll send matching items (match on from, subject or body) to your mobile via SMS. It'd be great, except it sends you a message saying "you have a mail message", rather than sending you the subject line or some sort of customisable string. I've not used this at all because of this misfeature. They also provide a "read my email to me" service, which is sort of cute, but utterly useless to me because of the aforementioned palmIII/mobile phone hookup.

Ronan Waide

PS. WAP is rubbish. I know, I've been working with it. Absolute crap.

This message was received from mobile telephone +447989223*** :

this is so much better

Reading your piece on The Reg re: sending of emails as text messages from normal phones. You've been able to do it for years (literally) via andrews & arnolds gateway, totally free of charge from the gateway unlike IOBOX. Just send a message consisting of the email address followed by the message i.e. just like you do with iobox but without the leading "m " to +447973577510 from ANY networks' mobile phone.


Speak in the Queen's English my son!

[In last week's letters, Simon Wilson objected to improper use of English grammar. It's an old subject but push far enough and everyone has an opinion]

I'd like to start by saying that I am an American, tough I'm certainly not Anti-European. I don't know what your policy on reader mail (that is, weather you put it all up, or screen it), but the letter from Simon Wilson (a.k.a. Big-Ass "I'm-better-than-you-are" Shit Head) quite frankly pissed me off (can you tell?). Who the hell does he think he is anyway? Okay, you guys made a stupid little grammar mistake. Happens all the time. This rat bastard goes on to point out (as if it's quite obvious) that all American schools teach a "bastardised" version of the language. I hate to inform Mr. Wilson of this, but I'd be willing to bet that there are quite a few illiterate Europeans as well as Americans. Anyway, heres the point: This is a frikin' (yes Simon slang... *GASP*) technology news page, not the grammar department at Oxford... Get off your high horse and read. Or go away.

I must agree with Simon Wilson and his "get your grammar right" (even though I was taught never to use the word "Get"). We do all make the odd mistake, however, especially in rushed web editorial and, since most of the site is excellent, both in content and grammar I think you can be forgiven, as long as it doesn't become a habit.

I am setting up a site called and intend to put all illiterate advertisers on it. If you would like to turn from poacher to gamekeeper and send me any I would be very pleased to receive them. I do believe that if advertisers cannot take the care to ensure grammar and syntax is right in something as expensive as an advertisement, whether on TV, in the press or on-line then they are unlikely to care about other things like customer service, training etc. either. Thus I believe they should be boycotted and a site such as onetoavoid can help achieve this, by ensuring advertisements are modified. Comments?

Peter Johnston

Simon Wilson, in his heart of hearts, might want to cling desperately to the idea that grammar can only be correct in one rigid way, but sadly he's missed a very important point: Strict grammar only works in formal constructions. When written in a colloquial or conversational style (such as

The Reg

), odd contractions are not only permissible, they actually enhance the tone of the piece. Therefore, using the speech-type contraction "There's good and bad PR bunnies" is perfectly acceptable, doesn't corrupt

the meaning of the sentence and, most importantly of all, really annoys anyone guilty of pedanticism*.

The Reg is in the right on this one, and long may it be so.

*Pedantry joke - publish this and I bet you a pint there's someone writing in within an hour complaining.

James (writer and sub-ed, so I should know what I'm talking about)

Drew's phone piece does not hit the mark

[Possible piece of interesting info: Drew is a fertile lad and has four little Drews running around and a fifth on the way]


I usually enjoy reading The Register every day, however today your article - "Mobile phones kill pedestrians" quite frankly filled me with anger and nausea.

Your flippant remarks were not only tacky, they were actually repugnant.

If Rebecca's parents, relatives, boyfriend were to read this story I doubt they would have casually laughed at the insightful and witty way in which you have tackled this, I think it more likely they would not only be extremely distressed but desperately angry as well.

Losing a child, at any age, let alone fifteen, when her true personality would just have been blossoming is an unthinkable ordeal. Rebecca would have been discovering her independence, asserting her individuality and finding romance, and now her family will have to come to terms with a simple and painful fact, that will NEVER happen

She is now dead.

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but due to your tone on the subject I can only assume you fail to grasp the actual impact an event such as this has on friends and family. I have only one question I would dearly love answered if you would be so kind, what exactly do you feel your "story" has added to the world today? short of showing us you can make a joke from a child's death?

I suggest before you post another story for global perusal, you hand it to a human being (you know, those bits of meat you write about occasionally) for appraisal, I think a human reaction might help you avoid email such as this in future.

Once again, I am bitterly disappointed that you have treated what is a tragic matter as if it is another piece of tittle tattle for you to pass your witty and sarcastic opinion over. In future, stick to slating multi-national faceless corporates rather than turning a fifteen year old girls sad death into a schoolyard joke.

John Mackinnon

We got told off by the rozzers

[It's was all over the tabloids - genius 15-year-old girl disappears and sends father email telling him he was a nightmare. The police found her in the end but we posited that perhaps the police ought to sort themselves out. A Chief Inspector wasn't in total agreement]

C'mon, Kieren, fair's fair - even the hungriest of hacks surely can't boil down the facts to justify your story and its headline!

I could equally put an article in "Police" magazine saying "Vulture Central no idea about Police" on the basis that there is no such thing as "UK police", because there are 43 Home Office forces in England & Wales, eight Scottish forces who have a completely separate legal system, and a handful of non-Home Office forces such as British Transport Police. All of them are responsible for operational matters within their own areas, and - yes - there is an issue there about policing and Net issues, but then the same problem arises across the world - who polices the Net?

But I wouldn't - it doesn't help policing, and we aren't short of things to do.

So no-one explained how Sufiah was found. Why should they? If a magician explains how the trick is done, you can work out for yourself that it won't be successful next time round. And what is wrong with "good policing" if she DID conceal the originating IP address (probably allocated dynamically - and do you have any idea how difficult it is to get any information out of an ISP or to get a warrant to force them?)

So let's think before we print, eh? The Register is a great resource, but this non-story let you down.

Chief Inspector R M Crorie
Information Systems
Cheshire Constabulary

In the Navy, you can put your mind at ease

Subject: Re: US Navy carrier to adopt Win2k infrastructure

I can picture it now:

Captain: Launch the strike aircraft!
Flight Comdr.: I would, sir, but I can't seem to get rid of this sodding paper-clip.
Captain: Well fire a Tomahawk, then!
Missile Comdr.: I would, sir, but that option isn't available until SP4. It's something to do with 63,000 focus points, sir.
Radar: Incoming missiles! Range 20 clicks and closing at mach 1!
Captain: Activate the Phalanx!
Defence Cmdr: We have a consultant coming to see us about that on Tuesday, sir. Apparently they haven't come across this sort of problem on other ships, sir.
Captain: Hard about!
Helm: As soon as we have upgraded the server with another 256Mb of RAM, sir.

My own thoughts? Sink the ship and claim on the insurance. Otherwise this will almost certainly end in tears. God help the reputation of the US Navy, let alone the poor sods who will have to serve on the ship.

Our answer to cybersquatting

[We came up with an original idea to solve the cybersquatting issue. So far, it's proved pretty popular]

This is brilliant.

It's an easy solution plus no one will have their domain viciously striped from them. Make sure this idea gets under the eyes of the decision makers.
Faithful Register Reader
Paul Grisillo

Beautiful idea in the above mentioned article. I'm on a co-op work term at a company called Delano Technologies Corporation, and they've implemented the idea that your talking about, and I think it's great.

Great thinking. Now why does everyone else have such a hard time with logic...

Chris Kelly

Too sensible to ever work!

Gordon Sande

The one flaw in your solution is that corporate customers (for Vulture Inc, in your scenario) must go through the squatters site at least once. This inconvenience for many can be exploited by the squatter as a revenue stream for adverts, possibly for competing products. The whole point in having a unique name for a business is that it is unique. In 99% of so called cybersquatting, there is a clear motive, satirical or financial, to exploit another's name.

An analogy would be; me setting up a soft drink company called CocaCola (one word) making red & white cans of cola, and as long as shops put a little arrow pointing at the shelf with the other Coca Cola I would be OK.

No, the way it is now, where you are rewarded for original thought, as long as it's cheaper than a court case, seems fair.

Dave Bancroft

PS, If I put a photo of a Ferrari in my car window, can I call my car a Ferrari?

Your suggestion is eminently sensible and workable, some sites do this already.

Chris Ross

The God squad get miliant

[Caught up in the flow of an article we let loose with a common expletive with a religious tinge. This happens frequently and we receive these messages just as frequently]

You guys have been my portal close to 2 years now. I guess that solves that problem.

I know your suppose to be irreverent but could you avoid using my Lord's name in vain? In the article you claim "But then Netscape's not as nice as us." Somehow I feel certain that Netscape's portal wouldn't use Christ the way you have even with their supposed low standard.
(BTW, ever notice no one says "Buddha Dammit" or "Mohammed!") :]
At the end of your article it reads "and our goldfish society forgets all about it. Why not? It's happened many times before now." I think an article pointing out those time would be an interesting read.

Please don't mark me as a crank. I love reading your coverage of the IT business.
Kevin Macken

And now for some fun

Following on from your article last week, I thought you might like to hear about my merriment in a BT shop on Saturday 8th July.

Whilst walking around with a friend in town on Saturday, said friend wanted to enquire about some BT services in the nearby BT shop. I wondered in with him and whilst doing my best to amuse myself with the staff lacking knowledge in ISDN services, I soon got bored. Much to my amazement, I then heard tell-tale modem dialup noises coming from a nearby PC they had on display.

"Oh ho.'" Thinks I, and wander on over to begin poking around. Yes indeed, they had a modem dialup occuring as a scheduled event in Windows 9X. I had a quick surf around, then left the store with the headline "Fifty BT stores fail to open'" looming across the screen.

Well it made my Saturday afternoon. I'm now curious whether the staff know how much trouble this auto-scheduled dialup could cause them if someone more malicious than I were around. ;-)

James Cope

The picture in your X-file script has been proven to be a fake which destroys the credibility of the entire article [

Top Secret US plane 'caused Chinook crash'


Steve Wilson

Andrew replied: Er, what credibility? It's a joke. Cheers, Andrew.

Look out, another nutter

Dear Lucy:

The biggest enemy of INTEL is not AMD.

This One comes from Taiwan and its name is:
Via Technologies, Inc

Take care


And finally

We got a load of letters about our "WAP is crap" stance. All of them agreed with us. So did CEO of Cable & Wireless Graham Wallace. Oh, and Orange CEO Hans Snook called it "primitive".

And that is that for another week. Don't forget to send any letters etc


. ®

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