back to article Terrorists stamp on Indy's Kate Middleton jelly bean

It's hats off today to whoever it was who discovered that you can stick any text into an Independent URL, as long as you leave the terminal numeric identifier, and then used the technique to stamp on the claim that Kate Middleton had manifested in a jelly bean. In case the Indy fixes the problem, here's a screen grab of the …


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  1. David Gosnell

    BBC News

    You certainly used to be able to do this on the BBC News site. I think they stomped on it after some similar misuse.

  2. Studley

    Not exactly uncommon

    The only remotely amusing thing about the whole episode is how many people thought that this was a genuine Indy-sanctioned URL.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Not exactly uncommon

      Oh yeah? You should see some of the URLs I used to compose here. Nothing too fuckish but a lot of very silly stuff. It's entirely plausible that a mad-as-hell sub could have slipped this one through the net - newsrooms are busy places, you know. I'm just sorry that's not what happened.

      1. amanfromearth

        Dear Ms Bee

        Can we please have the ability to put proper links in comments?

        And Nuke icon has been asked for an awful lot of times...

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Dear Ms Bee

          Don't ask me, I'm just the monkey - you want the techie organ-grinder.

          You can request new icons over on Lester's bit about requesting new icons - front page now folks!

  3. Paul Johnston
    Thumb Up

    That has just made my day!

    Stunning :-)

  4. Code Monkey
    Thumb Up


    Splendid stuff!

    1. seanj

      a title.

      My favourite is actually the keyword tag at the bottom of the article:

      "# Depiction Of Future Royals In The Medium Of Confectionery"

    2. Jedit Silver badge


      How is someone posting a fake article to the Indy's website lacking in an IT angle? Do you also think that World War II suffered from not having Germans involved?

      1. CatNinja

        Read the URL

        I think he was commenting on the wonderful Reg URL.

      2. Invidious Aardvark


        Read the article again. Not only have you completely misunderstood all 90 or so words of it - I take it you're a shining example of our wonderful education system (that isn't getting worse, just "differently better") - but you've even failed to notice the humourous URL used by El Reg itself for the article.

        In case you're from the tl;dr; generation (I know 90 is quite a large number of words) here's the short version: The final part of Indy URLs can contain any text the *user* enters, as long as they end with the article number.

        1. Marvin the Martian


          I can haz sumarie of yr post plz?

  5. jpaylor

    Works on Twitter Help Center too!

    Although not as good, I noticed a few weeks back that the Twitter Help Center uses the same technique and is also open to abuse, for example:

  6. Samuel Williams

    Widdecombe of the Week

    NTK: Anyone remember this? Need "those were the days" icon.

    1. /dev/null

      Almost, but not quite?

      To be a true Widdecombe, didn't the arbitrary text in the URL have to be used to generate the text in the page?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh go on then...

  8. John G Imrie

    Looks more like

    Alice Cooper to me

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Looks more like

      That's exactly what I thought.

  9. Stretch


    many many many sites work like this.

    TRWTF is that people think this is novel

  10. lurker


    But of course you can always add #whatever_you_want onto any URL, most people wouldn't understand the difference.

  11. Matt Hamilton

    OMG... works on El Reg too!

    We are all dooooomed!

    1. JP Strauss

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      I know you think you're clever, but using the pound sign (#) at the end of a URL simply means that you are pointing to a named anchor within the HTML page at the particular URL. It is an entirely different example to changing the actual URL.

      1. yoinkster

        @JP Strauss

        A what sign? Pound sign? It's not even remotely near what a pound sign looks like!

  12. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Very clever (not)

    Now "Need to Know", when it was(?) running, had "Widdy of the Week", where readers would send in web sites where tampering with the URL would give you a web page whose TEXT incongruously mentions Ann Widdecombe, or any other unexpected appearance, such as (Tweeted[?] by "Giles Thomas", currently high in Google for WOTW)

    "Colonel Gaddafi Uninstaller - How to Remove and Uninstall Colonel Gaddafi?"

    "Run a free scan to check for Colonel Gaddafi and related files on your PC now!

    "Uninstall Colonel Gaddafi manually:

    "Removing Colonel Gaddafi thru Add/Remove Programs on Control Panel is the most common way used by many computer users. Generally, you can take the following steps: ..."

    The "libya" bit doesn't appear to do anything, maybe it's a non-functional flourish like yours.

    Yes, mostly childish, but also a demonstration in how to make a strictly not hacked web server produce deceptive content that the owner probably would be sorry to see, and in some cases could be used for fraud or worse.

    Or just to type in words like (buy grandmother) and have Google side-serve you adverts like,

    "Grandma For Sale Sale

    Save up to 62% on

    Grandma For Sale Bargains! For Sale"

    Just (granny) is genuinely NSFW, I am not kidding, it really is. Don't say I didn't warn you.

    1. Baskitcaise

      Just (granny).....

      Argh! What has been seen cannot be unseen, my brain... bleach... I... Well.... Eek.... click... [NO CARRIER] brrrrrr....

  13. pete23


    I'm a bit ambivalent about marmite AND nipples. Does this make a nonsense of existence?

    Bit upset - I was hoping the Indy had fallen foul of "render a query argument as a title"-itis. This... not so innaresting.

  14. Andy Farley


    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: *cough*


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sadly everywhere

  16. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Jelly Bean?

    Maybe it looks like her, but what I want to know is does it taste like her?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How Many

      How many people know what Miss Middleton's jelly bean tastes like?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        IT Angle

        Ask around Henley

        I bet quite a few upper class fuckwits, on her way up the class pole...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    beans means ....

    I thought this was going to be some reference to her 'flicking her bean' or some such

    Although that would be more Daily Sport territory than the Indy

    Paris, surely an example of a well flicked bean

  18. takuhii
    Thumb Up

    Been there done that

    We had a similar problem on my companies website, except you could actually inject HTML into it. We replaced a member of staffs picture with a donkey

  19. Philip Hands

    or any other nonsense you feel like, as it happens

  20. NoneSuch Silver badge

    Actually, if you look her up on Google

    That jellybean looks like Patty Hearst...

  21. Shane8

    feed the troll....


  22. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Am I the only one...

    I'd better be going now.

  23. MichaelBirks

    Yay for mod_rewrite

    See title

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