back to article Furious Stephen Fry blasts 'evil' Reg and 'TW*T' Orlowski

Official British National Treasure Stephen Fry has responded to El Reg teasing last week with an emotional defence of his TV voice-over work, in two impassioned audio burps this weekend. "It doesn't upset me," Fry insists. "I am a voice-over artist, I have read every one of the Harry Potter novels - and I'm proud to have done …


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  1. david 63

    Upsetting luvvies...

    ... #winning

    1. Mips

      Re: Upsetting luvvies...

      Seems like the words dick and head should appear in the same sentence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Upsetting luvvies...

        A sentence linking Stephen with dick or provision of head would definitely be cruel, vicious and unkind as well as, more importantly, not having any IT content.

        1. Francis Boyle

          Well I for one

          am happy to wish Stephen Fry as much dick and head as he could possibly want. Not offering mind you, but whatever floats your boat. . .

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Upsetting luvvies...

      Come on Andrew, lets have a handbags at 10 paces.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Upsetting luvvies...

        Dear Celebrity Deathmatch.....

        New episode for your consideration......

    3. LarsG

      Watch out guys

      This man may be part of the group that wants to censor newspapers and publications.

      Is he part of the lobby group 'hacked off' funded by some unsavoury luvvies?

      It would be the end of El Reg.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Watch out guys

        Stephen Fry is inter alia a prominent advocate of free speech.

    4. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Upsetting luvvies...

      I like Stephen Fry, but that doesn't mean that I accept what he says on technical matters as correct. Sometimes it's said in a tongue in cheek way and is plainly for comedy value, others it seems that he's just bullshitting out of habit which is more worrying as people do believe him - but then this does separate the idiots from those that might question what is said.

      However he does have a lot of very valid points and is entertaining as well, which ranks him above a lot of other entertainers and miles ahead of the vacuous reality show "stars".

      1. The last doughnut

        Re: Upsetting luvvies...

        Someone (I forget who) said he was a stupid persons idea of a clever person. I think that sums it up perfectly. But I have absolutely nothing against him and as far as I remember he is a capable comic actor.

  2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    None are so clearly upset ...

    as those who repeatedly claim not to be upset.

    1. reno79

      Re: None are so clearly upset ...

      Like the spouse who, when asked "are you alright" merely respond "I'm fine!". You know the solid waste is rapidly approaching the rotary blades.

      (Note, this applies to BOTH sexes)

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: None are so clearly upset ...

        It's worth noting that Orlowski's response to the the genuine humble request from a comentard for him to clarify exactly what in Stephen Fry's take on Turing's contribution was "You're having a stupid moment".

        Orlowski was down voted more than two dozen times, and no other commentard could provide a concise answer either, so the absence of AH's explanation means that this match defaults to Mr Fry.

        Anyway, sod all this, I want the following (spoof, d'uh) to be bought to the small screen:

        The Alan Turing Adventures

        Mark Gatiss, fresh from the success of his adaptation of HG Wells’ The First Men In The Moon, has been given a lavish (by BBC 4 standards) budget to create this pilot for a proposed series of lavish new detective stories, in which he stars as the titular hero. Based upon a never filmed script by recently deceased BBC veteran Ted Vaaak, The Alan Turing Adventures is set during an alternate history Second World War. Turing here has been re-imagined as a dashing and flamboyant secret agent careering around behind enemy lines in a desperate attempt to steal and decode Hitler’s childhood diary, en route to which he gets locked in a deadly game of cat and mouse with Nazi rocketeer Wernher von Braun (Benedict Cumberbatch).


        Maybe some luvvies can be found to appear in it. Despite Nvidia's recent efforts, we still need them.

    2. Lost in Cyberspace

      Re: None are so clearly upset ...

      True. Like those on a night out claiming not to be pissed

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: None are so clearly upset ...

        Unless they add the proviso "yet"

  3. El Presidente

    The lady doth protest too much.

    And so too doth Dr Sue!! Black ;-)

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: The lady doth protest too much.

      Is she still around? Had to live through one of her talks. Who the fuck gave her a degree let alone a PhD?

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: The lady doth protest too much.

        It's ok it was South Bank University and it was in Software Management iirc. Thats dangerously close to basket weaving.

        As for Fry, I can't remember who said it but there was a quote along the lines of "he's a stupid person's idea of an intelligent person". It's not that he isn't smart, he's probably very good at english lit, but owning an iphone and using twatter does not make you a technical expert as noted by his comments about gps (which if he stopped to think about it would be ridiculously hard to implement, gps is fairly simple as a concept) etc. You have to love someone saying they aren't upset that many times. How old is he?

        1. Kubla Cant

          "a stupid person's idea of an intelligent person"

          This delightfully barbed phrase seems to have been coined by Julie Burchill, everybody's idea of a conceited media cow. Sadly, that's not as funny.

          1. Rampant Spaniel

            Re: "a stupid person's idea of an intelligent person"

            Don't let Adria see that! She'll post a picture of it on twitter and then you'll be in trouble!

          2. Matt 21

            Re: "a stupid person's idea of an intelligent person"

            Conceited cow or not she's got a point. Having a good memory is not the same as being smart and the comments about GPS and the internet show this well.

        2. streaky

          Re: The lady doth protest too much.

          "if he stopped to think about it would be ridiculously hard to implement"

          It's not that it would be hard to implement so much as it'd eat power for fun and profit. GPS being totally passive (unless you're dealing with the crypted signals) doesn't use much power, so you can put it in say, a mobile phone..

          1. Rampant Spaniel

            Re: The lady doth protest too much.

            Sorry, perhaps impractical would have been a better word :-) Basically, you would need a multichanel transmitter which would probably need some minimal aiming, a significant amount of computer power on the birds and also quite a bit of transmission capability between the birds. You would also have an extra margin of error in there because the data would have done an extra trip from space back down, not an issue if you are stationary but for satnav it might be an extra m or 3 out unless you factor in interial compensation, at least I think so, I don't have an Eng lit degree so I'm no expert ;-)

            All rather complicated compared to a relatively simple passive system

  4. Miek

    "However, he didn't seem entirely unruffled, calling your correspondent a "Twat" and The Register "cruel and vicious" during a series of Tweets, which also referred to a Mr "Orlowsky"." -- Well, I may dislike Stephen Fry, but, I can't fault his assessment and to be fair, it's the Cruel and Vicious reporting I come here for.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Jimmies rustled - Mission accomplished

      "has responded to El Reg teasing last week"

      That would be a "tearing", and to be fair, the first issue of Mr. Orlowski's article just rolled over Mr. Fry in a T-34 from nowhere without explaining what the exact problem was nor giving link to reference materials [citation needed].

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Jimmies rustled - Mission accomplished

        To be fair AO's articles, especially on a Friday are very clearly written in a manner designed to incite us to argue and drive up page views \ ad clicks over the weekend. He seems to do it rather well :-)

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: Jimmies rustled - Mission accomplished

          I must have missed something, I always read El Reg as a leading on-line lesbian magazine...

  5. Ketlan

    Thank God it's (not) Fryday

    "The ubiqutious thespedian appeared 189 times on British TV in two weeks over Christmas - not including voice overs."

    Yet another good reason not to own a TV.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Thank God it's (not) Fryday

      Does that break Vorderman's record?

      1. kbb

        Re: Thank God it's (not) Fryday

        No, but it puts her nose out of joint.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Thank God it's (not) Fryday

      Bl**dy hell it is Fry again, I think I will play a game.

      In goes Little Big Planet.

      Oh wait!!!!

  6. dont care what ever


    just proves that just because smart ( tv smart that is !!) you can still be a twat !!

    1. Jedit Silver badge

      "you can still be a twat !!"

      Interestingly, "twat" is Neil Gaiman's past tense for "tweet". Example: "Stephen Fry twat six times today".

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: "you can still be a twat !!"

        "Interestingly, "twat" is Neil Gaiman's past tense for "tweet". Example: "Stephen Fry twat six times today"."

        I did not know this.

        I like it.

        1. Oninoshiko

          Re: "you can still be a twat !!"

          I have a hard time not liking Neil Gaiman.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "you can still be a twat !!"

            "I have a hard time not liking Neil Gaiman."

            I used to feel like that (especially after all the Sandman, Good Omens and of course the delightful Coraline and The Graveyard Book).. then Amanda Palmer happened. The epitome of an entitled, whiney hipster, le gag. Sadly, I am unable to look past this rather unpleasant carbuncle whenever his name is mentioned.

            Hopefully, he will come to his senses and kick her to the kerbside sooner rather than later.

        2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: "you can still be a twat !!"

          I like it too.

          Richard Porter occasionally calls his @sniffpetrol twitter feed "sniff twat". I don't mind an immature giggle from time to time, and it seems neither does Richard Porter.

  7. sabba

    TGINFD -

    Thank God it's not Fry-day, perhaps!!

  8. Chris Miller

    Luvvie reacts badly to criticism, throws toys out of pram.

    In other news, Jorge Bergoglio believed to be Catholic.

  9. bonkers
    Thumb Up


    BTW, on GPS, "nor does the process involve any relaying of signals from satellite to satellite." - sure it does, absolutely, they constantly renegotiate their local time and local position between each other, and with respect to the ground stations. Oh and it is this process that relies on the atomic clocks mistakenly attributed to the internet.

    As I said in the previous comments, the latest outrage regarding Turing's machine was not very far at all off the mark, and love or hate his voice-over earnings, he does have the humility to mention he knows nothing of Riemann's conjecture, or the Zeta function. ~The fact that he is interested enough in these things to introduce them to a mainstream unfed consciousness is a big plus point, even is it goes a little wonky in the translation.

    1. pepper

      Re: GPS

      Agreed, he is actually quite right. Yes he has his moments, but then again who doesnt? I find this whole thing predominantly silly.

    2. NinjasFTW
      Paris Hilton

      Re: GPS

      ~The fact that he is interested enough in these things to introduce them to a mainstream unfed consciousness is a big plus point, even is it goes a little wonky in the translation.

      And I applaud him for that. The problem is that if you present something as fact then please make sure you get it right! Especially as he puts himself forward as a knowledgeable chap. Said mainstream unfed consciousness now may be fed but its just gorged itself on the equivalent of a 2am kebab that isn't going to really do anybody any good :)

      1. Terry Barnes

        Re: GPS

        " if you present something as fact then please make sure you get it right!"

        I'm not convinced it matters all that much. Using Stephen Fry as a factual source on technical matters is a couple of rungs down the ladder from Wikipedia and no-one who intends to actually use the information in any kind of even vaguely important fashion is going to do that.

        No DBA is going to make some kind of monumental cockup and then blame it on Stephen Fry sending a factually incorrect tweet about how database backup technologies work.

        He mentioned Turing in the context of some thing that he wanted people to vote for. It's not a thesis on the development of multi-purpose machines, it's a bloody tweet saying 'vote for Turing, he was clever'.

        I'm not sure how well any of us would stand up to writing a novel, presenting a TV show, or doing voiceovers and I'm reminded of that thing about people who live in glass houses....

    3. SkippyBing

      Re: GPS

      Not true, all the time synching is controlled by the master ground station in Colorado Springs (two doors down from Stargate Command, on the left). The satellites are told the time, the almanac and their exact orbit from there and have it transmitted to them by one of the ground stations, there's no renegotiating going on. The atomic clocks are to allow them to maintain the exact GPS time with minimal correction (and they're adjusted to allow for the effects of special and general relativity).

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: GPS

      While he isn't completely wrong, neither is he completely right.

      Problem is, he is sufficiently wrong to sound like a complete tosser to anyone who has an inkling of how whatever it is works, while (due to his self-proclaimed position as a "techie") passing off the same not actually correct information as "fact" to the general public - who deserve a better explaination of "how stuff works".

      1. hplasm
        Thumb Up

        Re: GPS

        Sometimes 'Lies to children' are necessary.

        hat-tip to Mr Pratchett.

        1. BinkyTheHorse


          I distinctly remember there being something mentioned about usefulness of those "lies". In this case, said usefulness would stem from the ability to create understanding of the subject matter at hand in the audience.

          Please look at the choice quotes ridiculed by the Reg and rate them for comprehensibility on a scale from 1 (utter technobabble) to 10 (Feynman-level clarity). To be honest, I would give them 3 *tops*.

    5. Naughtyhorse

      Re: GPS

      absolutely agree, and anything with Fry in it is worth at least a ten minute chance to see if it's any good (mostly it is) and his books are great. Certainly the closest this media obsessed age will get to a true renascence man...

      but apple, and twatter????

      sorry steve, but you are a bit of a bellend - but a long way from making it only my list of 'ten people not to get stuck in a lift with'

      (alan sugar, lindsay buckingham, jedward, cowel, cowel, that twat that does arts stories on C4 news, cowel, matt lucas, and mick hucknall - if you must know) - i know cowel made the list a few times, but i really really don't want to get stuck in a lift with that wanker. I mean with this face, a 20 year prison sentence would be hard time indeed :-D

      1. Alex C

        Re: GPS


        The only think wrong with being stuck in a lift with Cowell is that it would be so easy to work out who'd done those things to him. Having said which after his crimes against music there isn't a court in the land that'd convict...

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: GPS

        Cowel only 4 times?

        I would make it 5 and Jedthing 5

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      My faith in the readers of The Register is restored.

      Mr. Fry is an easy target and quite honestly, the *wrong* target.

      Yes, he is exceptionally prevalent on the telly, the media etc. - successful could be another term...

      BUT, he's actually a damn fine fellow and does, quite often, wear his heart on his sleeve.

      As I said, easy target - and a pointless target. The man is a geek at heart and counted amongst his friends was one Douglas Adams. In my book, that speaks volumes, for no geek would *dare* to speak badly of that fine fellow.

      So, Mr. Fry may get a few technology facts wrong - don't we all?

      I like the man. I love his comedy, his wit and the fact that, as a celebrity, he comes across as fallible and human.

      As for The Register, well, sometimes it is absurdly childish, which *can* be funny when directed the right way.

      This isn't the right way, give a fellow geek, a *very* successful fellow geek, a break.

      1. Stevie

        Re: Thankyou

        "The man is a geek at heart and counted amongst his friends was one Douglas Adams. In my book, that speaks volumes, for no geek would *dare* to speak badly of that fine fellow."

        Oh no? The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Umptet is at least two volumes too big, Dirk Gently was a waste of my money twice and Douglas Adams' implementations of computer games suck balls because he either did not understand the basic difference between experiencing the Adamsverse passively and being landed in it or did not care enough to fund effective playtesting of same. I offer up both the HHGTTG text adventure and Starship Titanic in evidence M'lud.

        Must get back to my Raspberry Pi.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Thankyou

          Contrary to popular opinion, it IS possible to finish the HHGTTG text advernture wihtout resorting to cheat sheets.

          I know, I did it. Lots of alcohol at 3am helps.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thankyou

        Fry is an entertainer, no more no less. His pretence of knowledge on QI is transparent, without his researchers he'd be shown up as just another luvvie. Enjoy the show but even his researcher based "facts" too often veer into land of fiction.

        The eagerness to challenge "common misperceptions" is such that "the baby is thrown out with the bathwater". They myth-buster becomes the myth-creator.

        And isn't there some irony to be found in the presenter of a program that sometimes challenges common (mis) perceptions himself making incorrect assertions in a field outside his own area of expertise (whatever that may be). Whereas you and I are equally capable of getting facts confused, we don't have a large credulous twitter audience, we are not presented on national TV as an "authoritative" voice (all be it in an entretainment context). With that surely comes a greater responsibility to check facts and unlike you or I he has access to a team of researchers.

        And when someone explains why I was mistaken I don't feel the correct response is to launch an attack on them.

      3. Eponymous Cowherd
        Thumb Up

        Re: Thankyou

        I quite like Fry, he does come across as rather smug and "up himself", but he does seem to be a rather likeable guy.

        If Andrew wants to target anyone for being a faux-technologist it should be Rory Cellen-Jones. This guy is supposed to be the BBC's chief technology correspondent, yet his articles demonstrate the tech know-how of a year 6 ICT student, and a poor one, at that.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    S Fry a crème brûlée made from turds

    Sounds like Stephen had another Windows moment doesn't it?

    I always felt Stephen was somewhat like a crème brûlée made from turds, the shell is so thin an a single knock is enough to let everyone know that the inside is nothing but BS

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: S Fry a crème brûlée made from turds

      So, man gets attacked for no clear reason on the internet, and that's fun and giggles.

      Man responds in kind, and that's throwing toys out of pram?

      Um, can you explain why you think this is a one way street?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: S Fry a crème brûlée made from turds

        Well the list in quite long but I will stick with

        1. He gets paid to be in the public eye and like other celebrities he should take the good and the bad with equal grace.

        2. He is less than an interested amateur otherwise he would listen to people who do know what they are talking. How about rather than continuously rejecting the facts he learns to speak with in his own field and prefixes every guess with "I think" rather than "It is".

        3. I resent that he is being pushed as representative of technology when in reality he is on a par with "that kid next door who knows about these computer things". He should accept the responsibility for his actions and that includes the cost of lecturing in ignorance.

        So in summary I don't like him, especially when he is presented as representing me. It truly galls me that people who cannot be bothered to learn what Stephen did prior his to stumbling into Black Adder tell me how wonderful he is. Yes I believe in forgiveness for your sins but that requires repentance and Stephen would rather believe and perpetuate his own BS than take responsibility for his actions.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Tyrion

      Re: He's very good...

      >> He's very good... all that literature stuff.

      But is he really? If his depth of knowledge of literature is on par with his technical knowledge then I have serious doubts. To the uninitiated he perhaps seems to know what he's talking about, or when it's scripted for him, but in reality, he could just be BSing all of us, mixing half truths. I know very little about literature except for some of the greek and roman classics and a few modern novella's, so I can't judge if what he says is the true.

      1. Yautja_Cetanu

        Re: He's very good...

        He's got a degree from cambridge on english literature and has written some novels that I've been told are quite good from people who are into books. Also he did loads of megally change how sketch shows work (or so I'm told).

        Meanwhile he is also one of the first people to own an apple computer which just makes him a massive tech fanboy. So on matters of tech he's just a normal person who is really interested in it.

        1. Zack Mollusc

          Re: He's very good...

          I doubt that Fry was one of the first people to own an Apple computer. He didn't start earning money until the early eighties, when he was about 25 years old.

          1. Not That Andrew

            Re: He's very good...

            I suspect he may have been one of the first in Britain to own an Apple Macintosh, which is still a nifty accomplishment.

      2. Wensleydale Cheese

        Re: He's very good...

        ">> He's very good... all that literature stuff.

        But is he really? If his depth of knowledge of literature is on par with his technical knowledge then I have serious doubts."

        Well I think a scholarship to Cambridge and graduating with upper second class honours demonstrates that he does know a thing or two on the subject (source: Wiki if that doesn't scare you)

        1. Steve Knox

          Re: He's very good...


          Well I think a scholarship to Cambridge and graduating with upper second class honours demonstrates that he does did at one point know a thing or two on the subject (source: Wiki if that doesn't scare you)

          Past performance is no guarantee of future (or indeed present) results.

          1. Uffish

            Re: Past performance...

            Like it or not, the sheer quantity of his past, present and probably his future performances do indicate an enviable degree of success.

          2. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: He's very good...

            Steve Knox, I must disagree with you.

            English Literature doesn't change all that quickly, so assuming he hasn't forgotten more than 3/4 to 7/8 of what he knew then, he still knows a lot more than me on that subject.

            After all, the famous dead authors haven't written anything new lately.

            It's not like technology, where last year's cutting edge is now really out of date, or even physics, where the theories of any given decade are likely to be proven as lies-to-children during the next.

          3. Killraven

            Re: He's very good...

            Indeed, past performance is no guarantee of present/future results, but it is a fair INDICATOR, which is the point that the post you referred to was making.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. BioPeek

          Re: He's very good...

          Actuall, his series was superficial and not all that accurate. It was as dumbed down as a fox with a dunce's hat on.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: He's very good...

        "But is he really? If his depth of knowledge of literature is on par with his technical knowledge then I have serious doubts."

        It isn't. His technical knowledge is that gained by poorly paid researchers and a boyish interest in the shiny.

        He does actually know about literature.

        Doubt no longer.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a competition

    Who can solicit the "best" 140 character explanation of the technical/scientific from Fry. Bonus points if it is a question based around something that involves his surname, i.e. "@stephenfry What happens to a CPU when the thermal paste is not applied properly?"

  13. Martin Milan

    Let's call it a draw...

    Having actually met Stephen Fry (during TwitterJokeTrial) I can assure you that he's not merely a pontificating buffoon speaking as an expert on what he doesn't understand - he's also a decent chap with decent values.

    OK - so he carps on about some things in IT of which he has a rudimentary understanding... That's how half of my colleagues - hell, even me from time to time - make their living.

    As for the Reg being vicious - no Stephen, it normally isn't... I learn more about happenings in IT from El Reg than I do from almost any other source...

    1. Irongut

      Re: Let's call it a draw...

      I've met him as well, actually I worked with him on Blackadder, and he is indeed a very decent sort of fellow. That doesn't stop me screaming at the TV when he talks about anything to do with science or technology though.

      1. Richard 81

        Re: Let's call it a draw...

        I've never met him, but these two posts pretty much describe my assessment of him via the various media I've seen/heard/read his work.

        What's wrong with a little enthusiastic baffoonary anyway?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Let's call it a draw...

          Are you saying that he is to technology what BoJo is to politics?

          1. Terry Barnes

            Re: Let's call it a draw...

            "Are you saying that he is to technology what BoJo is to politics?"

            How so? Boris's job *is* politics. Fry's job isn't technology.

            1. Not That Andrew

              Re: BoJo

              Yes, and pretending to be an amiable buffoon has netted Boris Johnson the position of Mayor of London and a good shot at leading the Tories the next time the position is up for grabs. He's certainly the most popular Tory at the moment.

              1. Rampant Spaniel

                Re: BoJo

                The only popular one no? Boris is a legend and an excellent actor although the two are strongly linked. If only he could remember to park his bike in the right shed more often.

    2. Luther Blissett

      Re: "decent chap with decent values"

      Especially, at one time, when the values were attached to credit cards.

  14. ChrisM

    Complains about grammar in story

    Spells journalists name wrong...

    Cosmic karma/Murphys law...

    1. fixit_f
      Thumb Up

      Re: Complains about grammar in story

      It's called "Muphry's law"

  15. Joe Harrison

    He's not too bad

    Can't say I'm a fan but he's not that bad. If we're looking for genuinely deserving targets for the Reg's fully operational deathstar then I am sure forum members would be only too willing to come up with suggestions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He's not too bad

      I don't think anyone's personally lambasting the bloke - the point is, at least a few of us have had our day-to-day made challenging by People That Know Better Than IT. Public misinformation only stokes this lot up even further into what I call the Tomorrow's World effect - they've seen a couple of bits about computers on telly and have adopted the poseur white jacket, specs, and reel of tape. It the same cause of emails espousing that we should 'take inspiration from Steve Jobs / Apple for their innovation', etc. Someone suspects a certain revisionist tome was a Christmas present. Anyway, I digress, but the influence results in the same end effect.

      Granted - Fry has a doubtlessly genuine interest in IT, but's heavily consumer oriented and I would think he probably shouldn't pontificate on things from any other angle, because that's where his experience heralds from - a consumer's perspective. To suggest otherwise is just a bit silly.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: He's not too bad

        Yes but Fry is officially 'very smart' and unlike you and I, mere mortals, we cannot elevate a passing understanding of a subject into an authoritive position. Think about the comments on el reg, for most of us, when we step outside our comfort zone (the zone where we have a masters degree and years of experience) we often qualify our comments with a statement like 'i think' or 'iirc' and are open to (and welcome) suggestions we are wrong.

        We do not go on TV and Radio and act like because we own a few phones and laptops we are an authority on everything tech related. You may be able to pull this off in a 'soft subject' such as English or art history but in the sciences you are liable to make a glaring error and look a fool. I think a lot of the ridicule is because Fry puts himself forward as the last word on everything and sadly this results in many people believing him and therefore in incorrect answers.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh bollocks !

    Everyone knows that TV is actually operated by imps, who receive the information by clacks and paint it lightning-fast on the inside of the screen. I know this for a fact, because every now end then an imp crawls out to complain one of the colours is nearly finished and I have to run out to the arts supply store for refills for fear of my screen colour turning funny. (*)


    (*) Thanks very much Mr. Pratchett !

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Oh bollocks !

      That explains NTSC then = drunk imps

      1. Muscleguy

        Re: Oh bollocks !

        Since all imps are over 21 this made them ideal for a broadcasting standard over all US states. We got all the teenage imps. They migrate over the Atlantic when they mature. When your set has a colour hickup it's because as you no doubt know it's not hard to get a drink underage in the UK, or it's a long shot of the England Cricket team which has caused the white balance to go snow blind.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Other Twitterati detected no misogynistic intent in the piece, but noted the author of the offending article was in possession of a penis - which may be the same thing."

    Just be careful to not make any jokes about dongles, please.

    1. Crisp

      Re: Dongles

      And forking.

  18. jason 7

    The great communication void of the internet strikes again!

    Had this been two blokes having a leg pulling session in a pub over a packet of crisps and a couple of pints.....

    TL;DR - Leg pulling doesn't really work on the internet.

  19. Longrod_von_Hugendong

    Exists only to be nasty...

    No, it also has playmobile models.

    If you can stand the heat, dont be a pretentious twat - and get orf the internet :D

  20. Barbarian At the Gates

    Gordon Deitrich

    I thought Steven Fry was brilliant playing himself in 'V for Vendetta'

    1. Dr Stephen Jones

      Re: Gordon Deitrich

      He plays himself in everything.

      1. Locky

        Re: Gordon Deitrich

        That's rather unfair, in Blackadder Goes Forth, he played a caricature of Field Marshal Haig, who just happens to be identical to all his other characters

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gordon Deitrich

          Haig was actually played by Geoffrey Palmer, when Blackadder tried to call in a personal favour and was given poor advice...

          1. graeme leggett Silver badge

            Re: Gordon Deitrich

            Palmer also had a go at the Kitchener look for "Fairly Secret Army"

  21. Forget It
    Thumb Up

    Video reply by Orlowski / Baldrick

  22. Chris Long

    It happens

    On starting a job a few years ago, I was given an RSA SerurID fob by someone from the IT department, who went on to explain that the contantly-changing six-digit numbers on the display were received from a satellite. I had to quickly suppress a smirk when I realised that they were serious.

    We were in the basement of a three-storey building at the time...

    1. jason 7

      Re: It happens

      Well in all fairness when staff asked me to explain them as I was the IT trainer, I just used to say "its magic!"

      Surprisingly effective answer it turned out.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Crisp

    Register dot co dot uk - exists merely to be nasty.

    I think Mr Fry is confusing El Reg with 4Chan.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Register dot co dot uk - exists merely to be nasty.

      True. On 4chan, you at least get acceptable images.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: Register dot co dot uk - exists merely to be nasty.

        "True. On 4chan, you at least get acceptable images."

        I think they can be considerably more dangerous if upset.

  24. Tyrion

    Stephen Fry lacks a sense of humour when he's the subject. He also jumps on any bandwagon he can find. Anything to be in the limelight I suppose.

    Amusing article by the way ;)

  25. Miss Lincolnshire

    Trades Descriptions violation

    I saw the words "Orlowski" and "Twat" and immediatley clicked. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered it referred to Andrew not Teresa........

  26. Baudwalk
    Thumb Up

    Congrats, you've made the big time

    And you're still my fave Unkind, Misogynistic Lesbian Online Publication.

  27. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Jim Dale does it better…

    at least when it comes to reading the Harry Potter books.

  28. KirstarK

    For some reason I cannot understand Mr IOrlowski has taken a personal dislike toi Mr Fry. I usually ignore his insulting articles. I am sure if the click rates went down he would stop being such a twat.

    1. Don Jefe


      No. In don't think he would. He enjoys it.

  29. The Mighty Spang

    to my mind the only thing julie burchill did right

    was come up with her description of fry.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: to my mind the only thing julie burchill did right

      The thing about Julie Burchill is that she doesn't seem to be all that knowledgeable either. Whereas Fry is affable, avuncular and slightly misinformed, she is a total bitch who thinks she is much cleverer than any available evidence would seem to support.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: to my mind the only thing julie burchill did right

      Heck, I can't imagine anyone paying her to do a voice-over.

      1. graeme leggett Silver badge

        Re: to my mind the only thing julie burchill did right

        "Heck, I can't imagine anyone paying her to do a voice-over"

        she's quite squeaky voiced I believe. Not a drawback when writing books or pontificating in columns in the newspapers but not what an advertiser or TV producer is really after.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: to my mind the only thing julie burchill did right

        Fry just has that voice, I would say one of the best voice over voices on UK TV.

        Who else could be the voice of Sackboy?

  30. John H Woods Silver badge

    Let's be fair...

    ... it's not just Fry. Yes he sounds authorative, but that may be an error of the listener rather than something he is deliberately trying to convey. Didn't I read, just last week on ENGADGET (which I think thinks it is a serious tech site, although I know of no serious techs who agree) that Tim Berners Lee invented the INTERNET?

    My old dad (sorry to bang on) was a highly sociable bloke who met a lot of interesting people, many of whom were experts in some field or other. He came to the conclusion that whenever you met an expert in X, they would usually tell you that a lot of things reported in the popular media about X were wrong. After meeting sampling for enough values of X, he concluded that the popular media are mostly wrong about EVERYTHING.

  31. Gordon861

    Time For an Interview?

    Perhaps now would be a good time for someone from El Reg to contact Stephen Frys people to see about an interview. It might clear the air and maybe get him to realise that if he puts him self over as a font of all knowledge and gets it wrong he probably does more harm than good.

    1. Terry Barnes

      Re: Time For an Interview?

      How so? I can't think of a single instance where someone would be in a position to employ technical information, where they would have gained the required knowledge from a celebrity posting on Twitter.

      What harm has been done to the world by him telling people that atomic clocks run the Internet? Barely anyone will remember, and even amongst those who do, no harm will come of it. It matters not one jot. If you have a job where knowing how the Internet works is important, you'll know that the clocks reference points to an earlier era and the operation of PDH and SDH line transmission and circuit switching. If you don't have a job where knowing how the internet works is important, who cares? The worst thing I can conceive happening is that the answer to a pub quiz will be wrong.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Time For an Interview?

        But what if terrorists try to extract all the radiation from the atomic clocks in their modems to make a dirty bomb?

        Remember, loose lips don't just sink ships. They can also blow up trains and fly aircraft into famous landmarks.

      2. Tequila Joe

        Re: Time For an Interview?

        Because when information is broadcast to millions of people that information should be as accurate as possible, especially if it is being presented to them as authoritatively correct.

        Still, your post is on-message with the BBC: 'We are the good guys so anything we do or say is, by definition, always right and good, and so anyone who opposes us must be evil. When we tell a fib it is good - what's the harm? Barely anyone will remember. But if someone tells a disagreeable truth we will smear them or ignore them. It's a good life we are writing over British society.'.

  32. Thomas 4

    Umm, I'm not sure how cool I am with this

    One person's "affectionate teasing" is another person's "bullying bastard". I was on the receiving end of an awful lot of "affectionate teasing" in school and it made my life a misery. Mr Fry has said he isn't cool with it, so maybe knock it off?

    He is also, by and large, a fairly harmless individual and Christ knows there's more deserving targets out there for a verbal shoeing. You should also bear in mind that it's other people that have described him as a "national treasure" and all that crap - not Mr Fry himself.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: Umm, I'm not sure how cool I am with this

      " I was on the receiving end of an awful lot of "affectionate teasing" in school and it made my life a misery."

      A fair point and in a 1 to 1 workplace environment can be very nasty.

      However he has somewhat set him self up as a a bit of an all round know it all in public and in that situation you should either be very well prepared when you talk about something or admit your ignorance if called out. After all he is likely to earn considerably more money for doing it than anyone informed or smart enough to trip him.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Umm, I'm not sure how cool I am with this

        @John Smith 19 - It would have been nice if the article lambasting Mr Fry for getting something totally wrong, actually said where he got it wrong and why this was such a cardinal sin. I though he made a fairly okish statement about a pretty complicated area of Computer Science. While I realise it wasn't totally correct, it certainly wasn't the gaffe about GPS or atomic clocks and TCP.

    2. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Up

      @Thomas 4: Re: Umm, I'm not sure how cool I am with this

      Why am I waiting for someone to day "But it's just a bit of fun!"

      (PS it wasn't much fun from my POV at school either...)

    3. BinkyTheHorse

      Re: Umm, I'm not sure how cool I am with this

      No no no no no no no no.


      Mr. Fry is not an innocent schoolboy being singled out for psychological torment for no reason other than being vulnerable. He's a public person who has spouted nonsense in public, multiple times, out of his own volition (unless the Reg has misreported something, which I doubt in this context, but correct me if I'm wrong).

      It is completely natural to feel empathy towards a target of ridicule, however, don't you think you might be simply projecting right now?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stephen Fry is notoriously pissy over being criticised on Twitter. If he knew anything about the tech world, he'd know El Reg is one of our finest publications.

  34. ukgnome

    I thought Fry liked pedantry

    Lets not suck the vultures dick on this one, El Reg, is sometimes nasty mainly funny and occasionally informative (well the bits I read) It doesn't pretend to know anything about the arts and I have a feeling it wouldn't try to. Essentially if Fry wants to wade knee deep in the tears of fallen users then he has to be prepared for a dose of heavy weight pedantry.

    1. Tequila Joe

      Re: I thought Fry liked pedantry

      How's he going to improve if no-one corrects him?

      Now he's a bit better informed, would he care to clear up the errors with all the millions he has misled, or will he instead prefer to maintain his 'expert' image?

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I thought Fry liked pedantry

      >dose of heavy weight pedantry.

      Pedantry is usually in the form of "Man said ABCDF, man should have said ABCDE [as any fule kno]"

      What we had on Friday wasn't that, but something closer to "Man said ABCDF, screw him, screw his friends, screw the miserable hag he rode into town on"

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, bless

    Of course Saint Stephen may be being a bit thin-skinned and precious about it all, but let's be fair to him:

    Andrew Orlowski *is* a bit of a tw@.

    1. edge_e

      Re: Ah, bless

      can't believe I got to page three before somebody said that

    2. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Ah, bless

      but that is what Andrew (and Mr Dabb's) are paid to do. Write in a style which results in 4 pages of comments. If el reg simply dropped Mr Fry a polite email pointing out his error I doubt it would generate as many page views or ad clicks.

      Don't forget Fry puts himself in public view as an expert on everything. I don't dislike the guy, I just think if you set yourself up as a font of knowledge on all subjects (and to be fair, modest he is not on that front) expect people who do know to pull you up on it, don't expect them all to be all that polite. Let's be honest, many of us spent years in higher education and collected many beer glasses and the occasional letter before and after our name. We then worked for years , gaining experience and certifications. Mr Fry has a decent degree from a very good university in English Lit. A decent achivement after a rocky childhood but do expect us to not be entirely courteous to someone erroneously purporting to know our field because he read up on it on wikipedia and he has too many mobile phones. If you stand on a box and yell very loudly, you need to be correct.

      Nobody is taking potshots at his personal life or publishing pictures of his playing the sausage game with tinky winky, that would be uncalled for, but we are having a bit of fun at someone who is a self confessed hexpurt on everything getting things wrong.

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Re: Ah, bless

        Rampant Spaniel wins the thread.


  36. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

    Not quite right anymore

    The "lightning-fast painting" method is old hat these days, due to the large amount space required for the lightning. Nowadays the imps just flip little doors in front of colored flames open and closed. This explains the lower quality of TV nowadays, since the imps are bored.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Not quite right anymore

      And when they are too rushed they open big groups of doors, that is macroblocking!

  37. cheveron

    Quite Interesting

    I like Stephen Fry. But I'd rather take IT advice from Alan Davies.

  38. Jim 59


    Fry's explanation of the Turing Machine last week was for more accurate than his previous contributions to satellite navigation etc. It was a mistake for Reg to lampoon it and further articles should not happen unless he makes a genuine howler. Given that, I don't blame the chap for being overwrought at the injustice.

    Fry is touted as a brilliant mind. His "brand" in TV involves amusing pedantry and the display of knowledge for its own sake. It is therefore amusing, and tickles our vanity, when he publicly gets it wrong in matters we would find trivial. Fry may be a brilliant mind, but even Turing would look stupid if he made pronouncements well outside his area.

    Time for a Reg/Fry love-in I say. At least part of him wants to be an engineer. And after all, he is one if us, being a home computer freak dating back to the 80s. I look forward to a Fry authored article, long overdue in these mildewed pages, sprinkled with a few latin quips and hopefully the odd mistake to make him look human.

  39. Primus Secundus Tertius

    Furious Fry Fulminates Frantically Forever

    How about that for a headline?

  40. Oninoshiko

    you know,

    If I made what he makes being wrong, I would read what you said about me, give a chuckle, and flip over to the next page. If I sent anything, it might be a quick note saying "good one, there. Always amused by the national treasure bit"

    Yes, all penii barers are, by definition, sexest pigs. </irony>

    I'm not really sure genocide is related to bad table manners (barring, possibly, a surname of "Dahmer").

    1. Lone Gunman

      Re: you know,

      Yes, all penii barers are, by definition, sexest pigs. </irony>

      Anyone baring that particular appendage are likely to be arrested for indecent exposure (which isn't of itself sexist).

    2. Irony Deficient



      Oninoshiko, the barers of such would be something like calvatores penium.

    3. Phil W

      Re: you know,

      Quite so.

      It would be more accurate to say that, saying you were cruel and also unkind is akin to being accused of genocide and also murdering a lot of people of a particular race.

      Unkindness essentially just being a lesser level of cruelty.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    too many tweets make a ...

    twat. Not one for taking "criticism" is this luvvy

  42. Greg J Preece

    Followers of computer science lecturer and Twitter celebrity Dr Sue!! Black ;-) also dubbed us "misogynistic"

    Is that just a go-to word when arguing with a man? I don't recall any reference to her gender beyond her name, just that she said something stupid.

  43. Mr Young


    Reminded me of University Challange - Stephen Fry ftw just for being part of that gem! Is that the same one Vyvyan get his head chopped of wif a train as well? rofl

  44. fredco

    Bring 'um back...

    Perhaps it's time to bring 'um back.... The half penny, the Dragon 32, the FriDay... ?

  45. Irongut

    Aww is Stephens medication not workiing today?

    He should stick to topics that he actually understands. So that would be greek, latin and perhaps comedy.

  46. Chris 3

    Poor old Stephen...

    .... You'd think he'd been on the Internet long enough to know that the first rule is "Don't feed the trolls", or "Don't feed the person after page impressions"... as the case may be.

  47. wolfetone Silver badge

    Whoever gave Mr.Fry the broken nose should be recalled to finish the job.

  48. IT Hack


    Comes across as an adorable national treasure....but is really like one of those crap authors who writes his own Amazon reviews. Creepy.

    Funny in Blackadder...but not much else.

  49. Lazy Gun

    Would it be unkind to suggest Mr Fry...

    ..."man up" and deal with it?


  50. 45RPM Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    I'll support Mr. Fry on this one

    From a point of view backed-up with no evidence whatsoever, I'm going to call it for Mr. Fry. Why? Well, ElReg used to be my first port of call in the morning - it was erudite, well informed, entertaining and (fairly) balanced. Just what I wanted.

    Sadly nowadays, like Viz, it just isn't as funny as it used to be. This would be forgivable if it was still well informed - but it's now yer barely informed, link-baitin', troll-attracting* Currant Bun of an IT site. Out of it's remit, out of it's depth and, sadly, out of charm.

    Stephen Fry, on the other hand, never fails to entertain (even when he is ill-informed, he's still funny). All the Reg has going for it now is the Special Projects (yes, I still like the spaceplanes).

    * and yes, I am aware that after this post I probably count as one of the trolls. So be it.

  51. Captain DaFt

    Normally, I try to be a good person...

    But today, I'll post a link to this.

  52. Spider

    Telly tax sink...

    Heard Fry described as "the type of person thick people think of as clever". The more I inevitably see of him, the more it seems apt.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Mr. Fry is living proof that "even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day" :)

  54. Trollslayer
    Thumb Down

    Steven, accept it

    You don't understand technology so please stop pretending.

  55. graeme leggett Silver badge

    If I wanted technical things explained by a man off TV I wouldn't pick Fry, there's that Dara Ó Briain (O'Brain?) or James May for that. And I suppose James Burke is still kicking....

    But if I wanted to explain things to people, I would use Fry and I'd have the script checked first.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      "that Dara Ó Briain (O'Brain?)"

      The fellow with the Physics and Maths degree.

      Probably a better choice.

      Youu might add that Rowan Atkinson's degree is Electronic Engineering.

      So probably quite a good choice for GPS or computers.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      I actually like O'Briain and May, both are intelligent, enthusiastic, and at least know what they are on about. Even James May go at advertising was for his favourite beer.

  56. Anonymous Coward

    End of day = much improved

    > It's like being accused of genocide, and at the same time, of having bad table manners

    This one really made the end of my look a little bit brighter. Thanks =)

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Undeniably, though,

    Sloths are adorable.

  58. A. Lewis

    '"And I'm proud to have a few more followers on Twitter than you, Mr Orlowski," he concluded.'

    Ah, the ol' 'quantity of twits following you' measure of self-worth.

    I'm entirely unsurprised that Mr Fry subscribes to this particular method. My respect for him declines with everything I see him do. Well, the things that aren't scripted by someone else, anyway.

  59. Wang N Staines

    There are a lot of 1 down votes ... is that you Stephen?

    1. IT Hack

      @ Wang N Staines

      I have that's be Fry and Laurie amirite?

  60. Piro Silver badge

    Well.. people do make mistakes..

    He didn't seem to take it it very well. If you misinform by accident, apologies and move on. Some people struggle to do this. I do enjoy Stephen Fry, but I would say The Register is a national treasure also. I couldn't be without.

  61. Jim Birch

    OTOH The Register

    The Register, OTOH, is always correct on science, presents balanced arguments, never engages in bitchery and doesn't sink down to the level of presenting opinion as solid research.

  62. Esskay

    "Orlowski is a twat"

    It sounds like one of those statements on QI where it's so obvious that you expect the klaxon to go off....

    But it doesn't.

  63. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Indeed, the whole point of packet switching is that;s it's IRRELEVANT what order or when the packets arrive at their destination, the packets are sent labelled saying which packet they are, and they are assembled at the destination into their correct order.

  64. davidp231

    Programming languages

    This reminds me of an article I read where a Beeb tech journalist referred to HTML and CSS as programming languages, whipped up a few pages, and went on to claim he had learned a new progamming language in a day.

    It was always my understanding that programming languages and markup languages were two totally separate entities. If anyone fancies a gander.

    Nuke - for the potential fallout.

  65. nicboyde

    OK, I give up

    What's a thespedian?

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: OK, I give up

      An actor/actress whose performances are so bad, you always end up walking out on them.

    2. Irony Deficient

      My guess is

      thespian + comedian - in coma

  66. crisis

    I love reading stuff written/quoted by Fry

    I always hear it in his exact voice in my head

    1. fredco

      Re: I love reading stuff written/quoted by Fry

      Bad luck old chap...

  67. RAMChYLD

    You got me at the GPS one

    "Also, just in case you've dropped in from somewhere else, GPS receivers simply pick up the timing signals transmitted by the satellites in orbit and calculate their own position using them. A receiver does not transmit any signals to the spacecraft, nor does the process involve any relaying of signals from satellite to satellite."

    Funny, I was under the impression that Fry's explanation is correct. Since that's not the only source I've heard of how GPS works. I think a old college textbook I had to study off back in the days also explained that GPS works in that way... So it may be because his research is being done from unreliable sources?

  68. Long John Brass

    What I would like to see

    Is Mr Fry provided an account here on the dear old Reg.

    He would need to understand the the Reg is a hive of scum & villainy; That asbestos undergarments would be a requirement.

    But the thought of the esteemed Mr Fry eviscerating the commentards here fills me with a feeling of delight and evil glee

    Perhaps he would consider the post of moderatrix?

  69. JaitcH

    Fry is a certifiable idiot ...

    which explains why he gets employment from the BBC.

    Doesn't explain how he got free iPhones, though.

  70. Killraven

    Ironic though...

    Oh, the humour of Mr. Orlowski's veiled annoyance at publicly being called a twat, when he so freely calls those that disagree with him retards, or some similarly veiled derivative thereof.

  71. Dana W

    You don't say?

    You JUST figured this out NOW?

    "The Register, whatever that is, the magazine - Register dot co dot uk - exists merely to be nasty."

  72. Skymonrie

    What is his alias here?

    I have respect on one hand and realism on the other with regard to Stephen Fry. Some of the stuff he does is both informative and amusing. However, I'm glad to see the Reg trolling in the cases given as it is all due.

    What I want to know is his screen name on this site! Without doubt, he is the kind of person who subscribes to the Reg. My guess....Stephen!

    Place your bets

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it is all down to you stupid

    the number of times he is heard multiplied by the number of stupid points he makes equals the number of times he should be ridiculed

    this is the law of "pomposity in media" and always results in reflected diatribes in the vain (sic) attempt to make the recipient realise he is pissing off everyone that comes across his continual posturing

    1. ISP

      Re: it is all down to you stupid

      Not sure if you are talking about Fry or Orlowski...

  74. Gadget Rage is BAD

    People like Stephen Fry aren't the problem

    Its those who take interest in anything ANYONE says on Twitter that are the problem. How about we just all ignore twitter and it might go away and leave us all in peace? Giving a voice to every moron, brain dead celeb and simply ill informed celebs was the stupidest IT decision ever.

  75. Wang N Staines

    Bugger me, Fry's PR machine is at full speed with its down voting.

  76. Michael C.

    I did a presentation about GPS..

    .. as part of a compulsory communications module in the first year of my Computer Science course. Knocked it up in about 5 minutes. If I've still got it somewhere I might send it to him.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fry's wrong some of the time....

    ...but he's clearly right some of the time.


  78. pewpie

    Bibble Babble Wibble Wobble

    Bumble Fumble.

    That's how a Fry works!

    (I'm much more of a Jonny Ball man)

  79. Displacement Activity

    Pot, meet kettle?

    No problem with the FryDay, as long as you have an an OrlowskiDay. Only fair. My favourite is the "retired chemist in the audience" episode. I don't suppose you've got this on video, have you?

  80. Maharg


    "It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what."

    - Stephen Fry

    although since this was found on the internet it may be the same as this one

    Don’t believe quotes you read on the internet, just because they mention someone famous, doesn’t mean they actually said it” -Abraham Lincoln

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At the danger of..

    ..jumping on the too-obvious "but Orlowski *is* a twat" bandwagon, I know which one I would prefer to have a cup of tea with..

    1. Jim Carter

      Re: At the danger of..

      Agreed. I'm by no means blameless for ad-hominem insults, however I would rather have a cup of tea and a biscuit with Mr Fry.

      1. Wang N Staines

        Re: At the danger of..

        Make sure your biscuits are not too soggy.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think its you with the problem guvnor

    Whether Fry is, or is not, pissed off seems to have missed the point, which seems all but ignored here. So Orlowski gets a little bit cross when Mr Fry attempts to explain tech concepts that aren't 100% accurate. Why? Who does he think he's misleading? Devoting a whole blog to slagging off Fry? really? It sounds to me like Orlowski protest too much.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: I think its you with the problem guvnor

      "Orlowski gets a little bit cross when Mr Fry attempts to explain tech concepts that aren't 100% accurate. "

      Garbage In, Garbage Out, Garbage All Around!

      It's the producer's fault as much as anyone's. I grew up in the 1970s when the presenter of a science or technology program had a decent technical education. Think James Burke - much mocked at the time, but he was able to talk about the material at length.

      Wrong explanations are not "less than 100 per cent" right, they're wrong. That is all.

      1. cyborg

        Re: I think its you with the problem guvnor

        "Garbage In, Garbage Out, "

        Your article generator algorithm.

  83. Normski

    No sexism please!

    Can't you sign up Dr Brooke Magnanti to write articles for El Reg? That way you couldn't be accused of being misogynist anymore.

  84. Maryland, USA
    Thumb Up

    Don't resent the Reg's snark; embrace it

    That's what my colleagues did at the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) in 2007. Shortly after DHS published my article about S&T's LED Incapacitator (, The Register dubbed the device a Puke Ray. Within 24 hours, the blogosphere lit up. Big-name news outlets interviewed our developer. Our Under Secretary embraced the nickname. And the device went on to win one of Time Magazine's 35 Inventions of the Year for its ability to spare lives.

  85. corcoran

    I have no idea what this article is about but it seems toppermost.

    Additionally Fry follows me on twitter and I don't follow him back. Snubbed.

  86. John Savard

    Well, It's Partly Right

    Internet messages are sent in packets, and it's true that they may not arrive at the destination in order. So they are timestamped by the sender. However, since these timestamps don't get rewritten by the stations in between according to their own clocks, it doesn't matter how accurate the clocks are. (And there are also serial numbers involved; otherwise, when your web browser was retrieving an image from a slow server, it might wait forever for two packets between every packet it got if it just used the time.)

  87. Sam Therapy

    Poor old Fry

    I don't dislike the bloke but he really should grow a sense of humour. The reported story makes him seem like a complete tit. And a whingeing ninny. :)

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yet more Fry-bashing? really?

    it is getting a little tedious - not so much the article, but the fact that the contents of these articles is made up of far more copy/pasta from the previous articles than it is on anything new. methinks Mr Orlowski gets paid by the word, regardless of what the words are?

  89. alviator41

    Never change, Reg

    ...don't ever change.

  90. rwerkh

    Dont't know a joke when you see one

    You link to Fry's TV explanation etc.

    Has it not ocurred to you that those explanations ar obviously a joke?

    Anyone watching QI is assumed to be smart enough to know that is just silly and is not really how things work, I;ts ludicrous.

    To take such a ludicrous explanation and fail to see that it is a joke shows a comprehension h=problem with this author. Stephen Fry clearly knows it makes no sense - and Orlowski is either dumb enough, humourless enough or deliberately deceptive enough to take it as a serious explanation gone wrong???

    OK Fry read a script that had the timeline a little messed up maybe?

    Not the same as having the lack of sense to know what an obvious science joke is.

    Are you upset Daniel Luvvie? Seems you have a been in your bonnet about anyone not being 100% accurate in all cases. I'd get that looked into.

  91. Wombat 1

    In Defense of Stephen Fry

    Mr. Fry means well. He would like to offer technical explanations to his audience, even though he knows they don't care. The problem is that he doesn't care enough either, to research his business or to study any discipline that might qualify him as a technical authority. What Mr. Fry has studied, and knows well, is how to ingratiate himself to his lovers and to television executives. Given that most people in the world fail at those two objectives, Mr. Fry is to be congratulated.

  92. koolholio

    Would send a correction in...

    But, you would probably disagree.

    Since the basis of network packet transmission is on syncronised time, and thus you get timeouts for applications within networks, and the WAN is no exception.

    But hey there would go someones tech cred ehy!? ^_^

  93. Velv
    IT Angle

    In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is King

    And so it comes to pass that the nations favourite luvvie appears to be technical because he says things with authority. And it's easy to laugh at him when he gets the techie wrong.

    And so it comes to pass that an El Reg hack appears to be technical because he says things with authority. And it's easy to laugh at him when he gets the techie wrong.

    People who live in glasshouses (Andrew Orlowski) should be carefull what stones they throw.

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