back to article Web 2.0rhea hack mistaken for end of universe

Kids these days. Used to be, when you were mad at your parents or your professors, you'd write an email worm in Visual Basic and spread it around via Outlook clients. Hacks like that didn't take a lot of talent, but they had some comic value. As a tech person, it's entertaining to watch someone who's not savvy work a machine …


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  1. Frank

    I was ok....

    ...until he said that SF airport and public transport were closed for two hours - then I laughed.

  2. Ian Ferguson

    I think I love you

    that is all.

  3. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

    Not all the kids fault.

    Ah, fond memories. Jumpers for goalposts, balmy evenings wardialling, knocking out TSR code in 8086 assembly (complete with siren and "Hard Disk explosion imminent, abort" message) and disinfecting the school network in the inevitable detention.

    Times have changed though - these days I'd be competing for control of the school computers with russian mobsters looking for credit cards, and assuming I was caught it's still a stern talking to and detention, followed by an FBI investigation, Interpol warrant and deportation to Gitmo.

    Be gentle on the kiddies - the landscape has changed, the innocence has gone. But yeah, Bill O'Reallys was a wasted opportunity...

  4. Lionel Baden
    Thumb Up

    gotta be done now !

    Or maybe the evil geniuses will crack YouTube and, in a demonstration of original comedic thought, redirect every video to a copy of "Never gonna give you up" by Rick Astley.

    Oh that would make me so LOL !!!!

    I would be cracking up for days !!!

  5. Lee Stacey


    Brilliant post. You hate script kiddies, don't you? Go on, admit it. I can tell anyway.

  6. Alex

    I can't help but think..

    Ted sounds like he could do with a good poo.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    not again!

    el Reg, when will you stop printing this unmitigated drivel!!

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Chris


    Ted's on fine form. Two Downs syndrome gags, a stab at Coldplay, and this gem:

    "Fuck, the internet got lame. I've tried programming Ruby on Rails, following TechCrunch in my RSS reader, and drinking absinthe. It doesn't work. I'm going back to C, Hunter S. Thompson, and cheap whiskey."

    If email signatures weren't so fucking lame I'd be using this for my one.

  10. Code Monkey

    "like making fun of a kid with Down syndrome"

    "like making fun of a kid with Down syndrome: It's only funny the first couple of times"

    In your efforts to make your column seem edgy (or whatever it is you're aiming for) you often come across as a juvenile wanker. The above quote is a new low.

  11. Colin

    WEB 2.0RHEA. Damn right, and the article's author has it bad.

    It's "Down's syndrome" btw. Next time you do any research, look further than Wikipedia. Taking the piss out of Down's syndrome kids isn't funny, ever. My brother, who has Down's syndrome, generally smacked other kids on the nose when they took the piss out of him, which made their nose bleed and then they started crying. Now, THAT was funny.

  12. Gerard Krupa

    The 21st Chromosome

    What's with the Down Syndrome hatred? Or does it take someone with an IQ of less than 70 for you to be able to outwit them?

  13. Stuart Elliott
    Thumb Down

    Funny ?

    As a pundit, though, I can tell you that making fun of Twitter's feeble attempt at engineering is like making fun of a kid with Down syndrome: It's only funny the first couple of times.

    Since when was making fun of down syndome kids funny even once ?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Shoot the author

    People with Downs Syndrome are not, I'm afraid, a valid source of vindictive amusement for penile twerps like this author (who seems to embody all that is worst about the very group he is criticising).

    This article is offensive and should be removed immediately.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Hacking Twitter is like convincing a Down syndrome kid that Santa Claus exists: It's only funny if you can use it to get him dressed up as an elf."

    I nominate quote of the month.

  16. Matt

    Not funny and a bit offensive

    The references to children with Down Syndrome as objects of fun mean that this article should be removed.

    Yes I have got a very good sense of humour, but this is just offensive without being funny.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    A "Fail and You" that's actually got decent sarcasm instead of potty-mouthed swearwords. Good job!

    P.S. Following the advice given by a Reg hack on the comments thread of one of the first FaYs, I have been habitually ignoring FaYs and only read this one by accident, so perchance some others have been good too...

  18. Arun Marsh

    Twitter and UK Media

    The papers over here have started using famous people's twitter posts to quote the m on various stories if only the hacker had thought about it more - he could have got egg on a load of newspapers faces.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    aahhh classic

    quite a nice read, thanks ted

  20. Peyton

    @not again!

    Maybe when you stop reading it? (Comments also drive up click stats, so you should give that a miss as well)

  21. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Arun Marsh.

    Too true, too true. I read that as the point of the whole article though. These arsehats were given the keys to the kingdom*, they could have done anything, but they used 'em to open the fridge and take some free cans of coke.

    *Ok. A very small kingdom populated entirely by sad gits with no life, but the analogy's sound.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Down's Syndrome

    The man from Anonymous, he say, "Down's Syndrome jokes are funny." Keep up the good work!

  23. KenBW2

    Good, but not good enough

    Nice to see less pointless swearing today. But the Down's bit was too far. Live and learn, eh Ted?

  24. Michael Warburton

    Ted Dziuba... a retard.

  25. Paul McConkey
    Thumb Down

    Wot no subs?

    Clearly taking her own advice (from comments some time ago) not to read FaY articles so as to avoid offence, El Reg's erstwhile sub-editor Sarah Bee seems to have missed out on correcting Ted's use of Down Syndrome to Down's Syndrome.


  26. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Wot no subs?

    God. I only have two hands, you know. Also, two middle fingers. Inadequate all round, I find.

  27. Pierre
    Thumb Up

    Funnny enough

    And the comments by the Politically Correct 'tards made it even funnier.

    Ted, you should know that jokes may only mention white middle-aged males of christian culture and average fitness and health. Unless you are from another social group. Fat black chicks with a cancer might, in addition, do jokes about fat or black or female people (or any combination. Possibly even about cancer) for example. Ted, live and learn -or pretend you have Down syndrome. All will be OK then.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    You just don't get it do you

    For all the commenters taking issue with the Down's Syndrome gags, go back and re-read them. We all know that making fun out of Down's Syndrome kids is bang out of order, of course it didn't stop most people doing it when they were 8 did it? The point is, by likening hacking Twitter to making fun of Down's Syndrome, you just see how lame and purile the Twitter hackers are.

    Go back and read it, then read a definition of sarcasm, then read Ted's article again.

    Great article Ted!

  29. Kanhef

    re comments

    Given the general tone of comments, perhaps we should rename it 'Fail and Me'.

    ← heart for Sarah, who always makes my day.

  30. Greg

    @Down's syndrome whiners

    Oh hush up. If an obviously tongue-in-cheek joke about some Down's kids is the limit of your sense of humour, you need a new one. I've heard far worse on an almost daily basis, and laughed at most of it.

    This comment cheered me up at the end of my day, and if you're too bloody sensitive to deal with it, sod off somewhere else.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Frank Zappa?

    Oi! What's Frank Zappa got to do with Hacking?

    I'll thank you never EVER to take Frank's name in vain. Or in Vein . . . or in vane . . . wtf ever.

    Penguin, because Frank had an amusing song about one. I doubt you'll find it in the U.K. though, as that kind of activity is now classified as extreme porn.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Humor is like testes..

    Some have it, some don't.. In its original form, this tirade was pure genius.

    Mine's the one stolen from the Down Syndrome kid.

  33. Anonymous Coward


    Truly I am.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    While publishing an article on the general pussification you then withdraw a couple of gags about mong kids. The Reg has turned pussy!

  35. Anonymous Coward

    The Human Race is Doomed

    " These arsehats were given the keys to the kingdom*, ..... *Ok. A very small kingdom populated entirely by sad gits with no life, but the analogy's sound."

    What, you mean they hacked that other mind wrenchingly pointless institution..... Second (Lack of) Life?

    Are we seriously living in a world where an unfunny, sad, pointless little hack shutdown SFO and had the entirety of Silicon Valley weeping into their Collective Paradigms?

    Fuck, we're doomed, we are so fucking doomed.

    PS I'm with Sarah on the "insufficent middle fingers" thing

    PPS Still, the article made me smile for the first time today.

  36. Pierre
    Thumb Down

    ... two references to Down's Syndrome that were in poor taste.

    No they weren't. They were actually quite funny *and* not the least offensive. I would say that they were in *very* good taste actually, which is difficult to do in such situations. The article is *massively* less amusing without them. The fucktards who felt offended should remember that there is quite a difference between _mentionning_ a disability -even in a tongue-in-cheek context- and being offensive. PC terrorists:1 ; El Reg: 0.

    A great Frenchman once said "English humor is bitterly highlighting the world's hopeless absurdity. French humor is making fun of my mother-in-law" *, but when I read some comments here -and the apology-, I feel like English humor is actually about not being too bitter or saying anything about our absurd world. I could be about making fun of my mother-in-law. Except that I can't even mention her if I am male because it would be sexist. Also I can't mention her in a joke if she is fat or black or jew or muslim or disabled or old or dead or red-haired or blond or pregnant or sick or foreign or whatever I am not. English humor is about not being very humorous nowadays it would seem. Even self-irony is disregarded because the PC brigade fucktards are so filled of self-importance that they can't imagine that someone might not be. You can bet the Monty Python are silently weeping in their, hem, graves. I say, we -> orbit ; nuke -> site.

    *forgive the home-made translation

  37. Joe Cooper

    Love it

    I loved this one.

    Although I read it after the down's syndrome jokes were removed. Go figure.

  38. Greg

    You removed the jokes?

    Aw come on, guys. Don't give in to these miserable humourless fucknuts. Post a link to Sickipedia and replace the Paris icon with a goatse!

  39. Anonymous Coward


    Why is it that it's acceptable to take the piss out of an average male/female etc. but as soon as you start taking the piss out of the disabled it makes too many people see red? Those people are usually fucking hypocrits, they're the kind of people who try to see disabled people as equals and want everyone else to see them as equals - well doesn't having the piss taken out of disabled people put them on an equal footing with able bodied people?

    As someone with Aspergers Syndrome I'd just like to say: where are all the Autism jokes? Bring em on!

    Meh, screw you guys, I'm off to re-watch episodes of The Big Bang theory because I understand /all/ the jokes.

  40. Ian
    Thumb Up

    A title is required.

    "While publishing an article on the general pussification you then withdraw a couple of gags about mong kids. The Reg has turned pussy!"

    Amen to that. Thankfully, the commentards quoted the original text and I still managed to appreciate the jokes.

    Good work, Ted.

  41. Will Tisdale

    PC Idiots

    Well, unfortunately the PC nobheads get their first, get 'offended' by something that really isn't anything to do with them, and spoil it for everyone else, but personally I just think they are sad attention seekers best ignored.

    They should look at their own sad lives before criticising other people, because of numpties like this you cannot say anything in a humorous way these days without it 'offending' someone. Fucks sake.

  42. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    good grief

    Er, guys, I hate to point this out to you but tasteless as those bits may have been, they were *satirical* ie it was taking the piss out of *the idea* of taking the piss out of disabled people. Neither their original existence nor their removal is some kind of clarion call to everyone to start going "ha ha spackers" in the name of free speech and anti-hypocrisy, as far as I'm concerned.


  43. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)


    I'm nixing you if you're going to really scream and swear about this issue because, well, one set of people were upset yesterday and now it's your turn, but after both sides have Had Their Say I'm not going to go on letting the screamy-sweary pile up because it's giving me a headache. And if you think about it for a second there's no way we could have pleased everybody. If you're still unhappy, email the author.

  44. Lol Whibley


    for allowing the original Down's syndrome jokes to appear in the comments, i would never have seen 'em otherwise.

    why are they in less poor taste being in the quotes than the actual text of the article? or is it that you can Chastise Ted but not the readers?(ted like being chastised methinks)

    one of the better articles and removing the two refernces didn't harm it at all. the apology just made me read the comments to find out what was said that was so offensive..

  45. Paul McConkey

    @ Sarah Bee "nixing"


    In hope of more middle finger action - it really should be 'offence' (unless we have our US English spell checker swithed on, of course).

    Keep smiling!

  46. Anonymous Coward

    PC people just dont get it

    I have a friend who is very, very camp and gay. He has heard all the gay jokes. Said in good humour, by people who are accepted as mates, they are funny to him too.

    So we are out with him (bear in mind our circle friends including him go back to when we were 5 years old, and we are now in our 30's) and there is some new girlie along with the group.

    Someone makes a joke, the same ones we have done for years (don't worry he gives as good as he gets, remarks like "you wish dearie" are sometimes enough), and this girl suddenly jumps on the PC moral high ground and starts having a go.

    Suffice to say, our mate first points out that he is not a pussy, is insulted that she thought he could not stand up for himself, that she has no business having a go at people who have been friends for 25 years, and really should stop being such an annoying whiny bitch. Yes - it was a very pissed off reaction - he was very, very offended by her assumption that he was somehow the underdog, and that he needed defending.

  47. Joe
    Thumb Down

    you got anything else to say?

    Here is a summary of your literary efforts so far - Web 2.0 is pointless- I'm jealous of Google - Tech bloggers don't know jack-shit - Valley people are liberals - Programmers working on new programs/languages aren't rocket scientists. And thanks for telling us .. we didn't know all this until you put your mighty pen to work and it was funny the way you described them the first time around. So, you got anything else to say?

  48. Anthony


    I think both sides of the disabled party have been satisfied, by removing the references one side is happy, by quoting them in the comments, the other side can still appreciate them.

    In future when editing an original post, quoting it in full in the comments section is a valid tactic. Personally I fail to be offended, me.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: PC people just don't get it


    " I have a friend who is very, very camp and gay. He has heard all the gay jokes. Said in good humour, by people who are accepted as mates, they are funny to him too.

    >snip snip<

    Someone makes a joke, the same ones we have done for years (don't worry he gives as good as he gets, remarks like "you wish dearie" are sometimes enough), and this girl suddenly jumps on the PC moral high ground and starts having a go.

    >snippety snip<

    he was very, very offended by her assumption that he was somehow the underdog, and that he needed defending. "

    No-one has ever suggested that gay people should be classed as "vulnerable adults". Down's Syndrome sufferers are vulnerable as kids and adults -- they are vulnerable all their lives.

    For this, we look after them; as a society, as families, as individuals; because they can't look after themselves. Your pal *could* look after himself -- the offense was suggesting he couldn't, but this is in no way an offense when it comes to Down's sufferers.

    Gay jokes and jokes about Down's Syndrome are completely incomparable.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    @ Joe

    As funny as parts of Ted's articles can be, you have very succinctly summarized all of them. So do what the rest of us do and take it all with a huge grain of salt in an effort to find the chuckles along the way. Cos expecting a new or different effort from any FaY article is an exercise in futility.

  51. Jemma

    Downs Syndrome... and Serial Whiners Disease


    Enough with the aww poor lil downs syndrome kids. Most of them are caused by mothers who drank/drugged/stoned their way through pregnancy.. and most of the whiners are those who should have made the point to family members who had these poor children - that it was their epic fail not society's. Although kudos to the lad who used the point'n'punch interface to make the point to the bullies (not that I am going to say anything about supporting violent behaviour... perish the thought)

    There is a bar in my town that does Kareoke - and a poor Downs girl always gets up and sings.... try to imagine something that sounds like a busted clutch on a kenworth played at 10x speed (ah think when the 'puter gets confused it just runs back to momma...). The people who bring her know full well that all the applause isnt because she did it.. its because she gives the slappers and squaddies a good laugh.. and it makes me cringe because her 'carers' put her through this humiliation once a week every week.

    I have a IS condition myself... that is no fault of my own.. that is genetically and environmentally linked. My parents havent been near booze, wouldnt know how to take drugs - they can barely manage pills - but because my father worked with agrochemicals I have a condition that has had me put in hospital twice from assaults and I get verbal almost daily..... you dont hear do-gooders whining on my behalf? no? funny that.

    Frankly, I would prefer that severely mentally damaged people, or those who are violent from mental disorders be put in institutions and properly cared for. I dont want to see ... innocent teen stabbed by care in the community nutcase... on widsets.. and find out he thought he was King Arthur at the battle of Camlann and had confused a teenage girl on her driving test for Queen Mab in a Ford Escort. I also dont want to see carers humiliated on buses by bunches of teens knowing full well they may likely get knifed for their troubles.

    Put them in safe, good accomodation with everything they need and let that be an end to it.

    Oh and personally... I love a good laugh when Ted really gets going... its about the only thing worth laughing at on this website at the moment... all the rest is either econojustshootme or bobbing for celebutards...

    But you know whats really ironic.... most of the Downs Syndrome people you are leaping to the defense of dont give a monkeys tadger anyway because as part of it they are perennially happy and relaxed... and even if they did get upset or whatever by it... you'd still need to spend a half hour explaining what there was to get upset about in the first place.

  52. Pierre

    @ Joe

    "you got anything else to say?"

    C'mon pal, you KNOW you feckin want to read this shit. You didn't feckin land here by a feckin accident. You feckin came here to get your feckin dose of feckin swearwords hell-feckin unleashed upon the feckin lusers that feckin pump your feckin oxygen*. Get the feck out of the closet already (or just GTFO).

    Best regards,


    *Or bandwidth. Or both.

  53. Greg Kerr
    Thumb Down

    @ Ted

    Glad to hear you're going back to HST.

    This time, try noticing that he was a gifted writer as well as being 'edgy'. He usually had an interesting point too.

  54. Alicia


    Well, just to add my tuppence, in response to a previous post. People can make fun of me as much as they like. I can fight back. I know what they're doing and I choose to either dismiss them as completely unimportant, or take a less than subtle revenge.

    However, I have a fully functional awareness of the social rules and relationships around me. I get upset and offended when some one who doesn't understand or appreciate what is happening is taunted. I also feel nothing but contempt for those who are willing to hurt people who can't strike back.

    I get satire. I'm in general OK with that. I don't find the jokes I read in the comments to be funny, but perhaps in context they were? What does amuse me is the irony of all those who were so desperately offended that anyone else dare be offended by something they don't care about.

    I wonder if this is troll feeding?

  55. AB

    The good, the bad & the find your own style and stick with it

    To quote John Payne: "[So many writers are] ruining themselves by trying to emulate Thompson. I last tried that when I was 16, and I left it there where it belongs. Thompson was sui generis, trying to emulate his style will only lead to suffering. In my view, a writer shouldn’t consciously try to ape anyone but instead find their own voice."

    Indeed. Fear & Loathing in Silicon Valley this ain't. Also, note that HST did not make a habit of attacking those who weren't capable of self-defence*

    On the other hand, it's always interesting to read about the lack of perspective endemic in Silicon Valley. More, please - but next time just write it. Don't go over your prose in an attempt to make it look like someone else is sitting at the typewriter.

    * for clarity: I am referring here to disparaging comments directed against Down's Syndrome sufferers, as opposed to your rather more valid observations re: self-obsessed Californians clutching Crackberries and feeding the input-only device that is Twitter...

  56. Roger Hughes

    @ Paul McConkey

    "Down Syndrome" is normal American usage, "Down's Syndrome" is normal UK usage, so it only needs changing if Sarah's going to rewrite the whole thing in British English.

    In my role as parent-of-kid-with-Down's, I'd probably have shrugged off the stuff deleted from the article, but some of the comments are downright poisonous. Jemma in particular sounds like someone in need of a punch in the face.

  57. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)


    This one is ripe for the closing now. Thanks for all your comments.

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