back to article Fish mentality: If The Rock told you to eat flies, would you buy my NFT?

How can you tell if a fish is upset? It doesn't grind its pharyngeal teeth, clench its fins or utter moist oaths. And it's not as if you can see tears streaming down its face. Well, there's an app for that. OK, not an app, at least not yet, but lab boffins at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a wireless …

  1. JassMan Silver badge

    They forgot..

    The information gathered by the 2.4g device should help scientists determine what stresses a fish out – climate change, human infrastructure projects, that kind of thing.

    The most important stress is being treated as a fishy guinea-pig. It stresses out humans if they haven't given permission, so I don't see why a fish should be any less strressed. Its not as if they can sign a release document stating they absolve the scientists of any unforseen side effects from being attached to a pen-cap sized device.

  2. Erix


    Next step: Fish-as-a-Service.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Lab-on-a-fish

      Why not? Phish as a Serivce is already a thing.

    2. CuChulainn Silver badge

      Re: Lab-on-a-fish

      Personally, I prefer fish-as-a-main-course.

      Mostly wrapped in a crispy batter and with a side of chips and mushy peas.

      But that's just me.

      1. Little Mouse Silver badge

        Re: Lab-on-a-fish

        I'm a fan of Pot-Fish: Synthetically and artificially fish-flavoured instant snack products in a plastic pot-shaped container.

        But I avoid pale imitations such as Cuppa-Fish and I Can't Believe It's Not Pot-fish.

        Blimey! That's good!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lab-on-a-fish

        ...but not wrapped in newspaper!!!

        (Not going to comment on 10 years of articles - just last week's)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Lab-on-a-fish

          "(Not going to comment on 10 years of articles - just last week's)"

          Yeah, but the battery and memory hungry Retina screened iPad3. It'll never catch on!!

      3. VicMortimer
        Thumb Up

        Re: Lab-on-a-fish

        While that sounds good and all (honestly not sure about the mushy peas, never had them, and maybe skip the chips and have some fries instead) I think fish are generally even better raw with a bit of rice, soy, seaweed, and wasabi.

        1. CuChulainn Silver badge

          Re: Lab-on-a-fish

          For the record, 'chips' = 'fries' (more or less - chips tend to be thicker than fries).

          I know 'chips' are what Americans call 'crisps' - not the same thing as French fries/chips at all. It's a language thing.

          And mushy peas are dried Marrowfat peas which have been soaked in sodium bicarbonate solution (not much, but enough), then boiled until they turn mushy (with a little oil or butter and seasoning), If you get a chance, try them. Over here, Fish, Chips, and Mushy Peas are a staple.

          And also for the record, mushy peas with whole, solid peas in them are awful.

          Indeed, Mushy Peas with mint sauce (a mixture of mint and vinegar) are a snack in their own right in some places in the UK.

        2. trindflo Bronze badge

          Re: Lab-on-a-fish

          I've been heavily motivated at times to develop the habit and have never been able to. Sashimi is not for everyone. But then again I've never cared for strawberries. There's no accounting for tastes.

    3. stiine Silver badge

      Re: Lab-on-a-fish


  3. Franco Silver badge

    The fish is probably upset because it's owner didn't get it the matching earpods that it wanted. Either that or because the tank doesn't have rounded corners.

    1. JassMan Silver badge

      More likely it wasn't fish friendly plastic and it is releasing bisphenols into the water.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      At a guess the fish was previously very unhappy because it didn't have any of the cover it would have had in its natural environment. It now has somewhere to hide and defend and this is being interpreted as looking grumpy.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        They don't seem to smile a lot any way.

        But I find your thesis beguiling. I'm the Fish King of the Castle !.

  4. JassMan Silver badge

    "Before I go, allow me to add a footnote to say that this week's column marks 10 years of SFTW. A whole decade of this, just imagine! Yes, I know, it seems longer. And it began here. Every column is still on The Reg for your reading displeasure, so as hologrammatic AI Angeline Jolie says, eat them up now."

    If you published it all in one massive "A decade of SFTW" on the interweb, some one would be astute stupid enough to pay for the NFT.

    1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      I attended an NFT panel discussion at the Angoulême Festival at which a multimedia artist explained that the value in the NFTs she sold lay in their exclusivity. So if I sold a decade of SFTW as an NFT, I'd have to delete every single trace of the originals from the internet.

      In fact, I think this may end up the theme of next week's column, as the panel discussion turned out quite odd. One of the speakers, an academic who'd been invited to talk about the benefits of blockchain, ended up berating the others over the utter uselessness and environmental vandalism of craptos and NFTs.

      1. JassMan Silver badge


        So if I sold a decade of SFTW as an NFT, I'd have to delete every single trace of the originals from the internet.

        I'm not sure that's true. There seem to be plenty of other "artists" who leave up other copies of their artwork (indeed some encourage other sites to copy their work) and claim that the value of the NFT lies in the exclusivity of that NFT, and that the more copies the art there are shows that the NFT is worth every penny. If it was a work of art that no one wanted to copy, then the NFT wouldn't be worth anything either. A bit like being able to buy 1/10 to 10/10 of a woodcut, which is so popular that a copy of the un-numbered original is published in every newspaper and art catalog but those 10 are owned by the hard-core collectors.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I always thought the opposite was true. There are plenty of images of bored ape around, but only one lucky bugger has *the* NFT.

        When someone tries to explain to me why it is that *the* NFT itself has value, it goes something like the "but ours goes to eleven!" scene from Spinal Tap.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          For some value of lucky. Unless he gets to sell it to someone even luckier.

      3. Insert sadsack pun here Silver badge

        "One of the speakers...ended up berating the others over the utter uselessness and environmental vandalism of craptos and NFTs."

        They're not wrong.

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I doubt there's much difference between actors and actresses influencing the gullible to go vegan or to eat insects. It's the same principle. If the money's right it might even be the same actors and actresses.

    1. swm Silver badge

      "If the money's right it might even be the same actors and actresses."

      If you're rich they think you really know. - "If I were a rich man"

  6. Howard Sway Silver badge

    selling NFTs that come with a diamond-encrusted 24k gold iPhone Max 13

    It's almost the perfect investment, because once the glued in, sealed in irreplaceable battery on the phone dies in two years time, it'll be as pointless and useless as the NFT you bought with it.

    If only the fish-tracker people could have been told about this offer before it was made, they could have done a far more interesting experiment. Simply install a twat-tracker app on the phone, and gather data about everything the sort of person who would waste quarter of a million on this "classy" luxury does for the next 2 years, and we could have a rich source of data enabling us to work towards ending such gaudy wasteful awfulness by publishing it for everybody else's amusement.

    1. John D'oh!

      Re: selling NFTs that come with a diamond-encrusted 24k gold iPhone Max 13

      Wouldn't it be easier to just monitor Trump's Twitter profile? That's if he still had one of course.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "As you have already guessed by looking at the footage above, it's not a hologram, it's the classic Pepper's Ghost illusion in which a moving image is mirrored onto a sheet of glass on stage."

    Ah yeah, but don't forget french hacks generally have lower tech skills than my cats (yes, they have, they learnt how to bypass the cat door security, when there is no battery anymore and should not been allowed in).

    Any serious computer is deemed "a full load of technology", which, in itself, says it all: I can't understand all buzz words ...

  8. lglethal Silver badge

    "smart lightbulb" (do you really need me to explain that one?)

    They're really no longer a bulb shape? (Well unless your going for one of those faux hipster arty farty, super expensive ones, but who does that, really?)

    1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C

      Is it when one uses one's smart phone as a torch?

  9. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Happy Anniversary!

    And thank you not for making me feeling older, as if I was lacking this feeling.

    Melanchon: a guy whose only job was getting elected again and again but who succeeded nonetheless to become a millionaire, and now who claims to be the reincarnation of Lenin conducting the people to fight against the unfair "System", whatever it is. The same system that made him a millionaire.

    I'm so old that I do now know that whatever those 12 candidates say, they won't keep their word when elected and their only goal is to get the Power (and for some from the far-right and the far-left to keep it till the next revolution, if any). All use the same old trick: putting the responsibility of everything wrong on a scapegoat. Only the scapegoat changes: the immigrants, the rich ones, the Left, the Right, Europe, the meat eaters... tell me who is your scapegoat and I'll tell you who you vote for.

    Happy fish in its bowl.

    1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: Happy Anniversary!

      At least Mélenchon became a millionnaire. All the right-wing candidates were born as such.

      1. Semtex451

        Re: Happy Anniversary!

        Only 10 years - it feels a lot longer.

        This Melenchon, did his family invent sadness?

      2. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: Jean-Luc Mélenchon

        Him becoming a millionaire, while technically correct (yes, yes, I know), just happened because of the increase of his Parisian apartment valuation - his declared cash and savings accounts are not much more than middle class.

        His stated political goal is to stop someone like him becoming a millionaire like he did.

        1. Potemkine! Silver badge

          Re: Jean-Luc Mélenchon

          How many people from the real working class are able to buy a flat like the one he has in Paris ?


        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Jean-Luc Mélenchon

          "His stated political goal is to stop someone like him becoming a millionaire like he did."

          Pulling the ladder up behind him.

      3. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: Happy Anniversary!

        Yep. He became a millionnaire by cumulating mandates and getting in return huge amount of taxpayers' money. He's an apparatchik who takes advantage from the system he pretends to denounce.

        On the other hand, candidates from the'classical' right wing (the one which isn't openly racist) don't pretend to help the poors they despise. They assume being on the side of the exploiters.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Happy Anniversary!

        All the right-wing candidates were born as such.

        Not all, but it's hardly surprising. People born into wealth rarely end up as extreme-left politicians for obvious reasons (though some do turn to left-wing activism as rebellion).

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Happy Anniversary!

          How do you tell the difference? Or even is there a difference. The Corbyn/Murray types are definitely left wing and well heeled. Rebellion? None of them seem to have any problem retaining or accumulating the dosh rather than divesting themselves of it. Benn gave up his title to be in the commons, but only the title.

      5. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Happy Anniversary!

        I think the term millionaire makes a lot of comparisons difficult due to its history. When it was first used, a million currency units was such a large quantity of money that was unimaginable for most people in the general public. Nowadays, with the last century of inflation, that's not the case, but yet we still use the word. Take this guy as an example. I don't know how much wealth he has, but if he has €1M including property, it's less than it sounds. The median wealth in France is estimated at $134k (€123k), with the mean at $300k. A million still makes someone wealthy, but it's not the kind of carefree can-buy-anything wealth that used to be the meaning of millionaire.

        This issue is stronger when other currencies are used. I'm not just talking about places like Japan (¥1M = €7393). Even when the currencies are the same scale, the values can be very different. Someone who has a million euros has 9% more than someone with a million U.S. dollars and 46% more than someone with a million Australian dollars. I'm afraid nothing short of complete devaluation will remove the word from general use, but I think we often give it a connotation that's above what it really means. This doesn't make it wrong to use it. Pointing out that a politician has eight times the median wealth is still a useful argument. I just think that more numerical representation might be clearer.

      6. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Happy Anniversary!

        A bit like the Corbynite Labour Left here in the UK, them lot are, then. The born-in-a-mansion sell-an-old-master women and men of the people.

  10. Patched Out

    April Fools?

    I noticed that Pacific Northwest National Laboratory published their announcement about their "Fitbit for Fish" on April 1st. I'm not saying it is a hoax, but it seems very fishy ...

  11. oiseau Silver badge

    Happy Anniversary!

    ... this week's column marks 10 years of SFTW.

    Only been an ElReg reader since early 2013 and although have not read all your articles, I cannot but confess that I've enjoyed the ones I did read.

    So ...

    Happy anniversary Mr. Dabbs!

    Thanks for staying faithful, friends.

    Noblesse oblige.

    Have one on me --->

    And a good anniversary week-end.


  12. Flightmode

    Happy tenth anniversary!

    Oh, and you missed the obvious "yuppie guppies" pun.

    1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      Re: Happy tenth anniversary!

      That's because he was under too much pressure. It was too deep. He needed to keep his karmic scales balanced, so he avoided swimming down that rabbid hole. He's probably trying to not be so crabby all the time, it's just so shellfish.

      I'll get my coat, it's the one with the link to "Wet Dream" in the pocket. =-)p

      1. trindflo Bronze badge

        Re: Happy tenth anniversary!

        I must have picked up your coat by accident then: Wet Dream - Kip Addotta

  13. Dabooka Silver badge

    Ten years?!

    You'd think I would have learned not to bother reading ti by now yet somehow here I am.

    Keep up the good work. It's always a pleasure

  14. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Fish reluctant to go on the scales

    Not all fish have scales.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Fish reluctant to go on the scales

      Not all fish have scales.

      True and those that lack them are considered not kosher.

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Re: Fish reluctant to go on the scales

        We're not all Semetic

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Fish reluctant to go on the scales

        And they struggle to follow recipes properly.

  15. batfink Silver badge

    Cheaper idea

    Replace your existing fish with piranha. It'll be pretty easy to tell when they're grumpy.

  16. Jim Mitchell

    Halestorm video? Alestorm seems more likely to have a song about fish.

  17. TimMaher Silver badge

    Happy Anniversary

    Well. So long eh?

    Absolutely great work Mr. Dabbs.

    Keep going.

    This ones a Duvel.———>

  18. cd

    This is your chance

    The perfect chance to become wealthy yourself, you have access to a random fish and the tech skills to follow the instructions here.

  19. Dr_N Silver badge

    French Political IT ignorance

    Nothing has ever resonated like Les Guignols mocking Chirac by portraying him using a computer and refering to the mouse as a moulot instead of a souris.

  20. Timo

    "I am rich" app

    I remember back when someone created an "I am rich" app for the iphone, with a price of something like $10,000 and all it did was display a red jewel on the screen. And they pulled that one down from the store.

    But now NFT's have taken over and that "I am rich" app seems sane in comparison.

  21. Claverhouse Silver badge

    The One who Looks like a Greasy Marseilles Pimp of the Olden Time

    Never having taken a lot of interest in French politics since the Débâcle, I'm so sitting this one out.


    I am just thunderstruck that M. Macron's Great Idea, somewhat reminiscent of "He Who Does Not Work Shall Not Eat", V. I. Lenin, is that everyone must work harder. There's always an audience for that sort of positivist tripe, but I wouldn't think it a vote-winner.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: The One who Looks like a Greasy Marseilles Pimp of the Olden Time

      Especially as soon as the nurses/postmen/[other underpaid and overworked service workers] are noticed.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[...] and check for those subtle telltale signs such as floating upside down immobile at the surface."

    Apparently that is not a definite sign of a Norwegian Blue - or so my neighbour informed me after I buried one of their fish while they were on holiday. IIRC it has been reported that a drop of brandy in the water can effect a miracle cure.

  23. 4d3fect

    Congratulations on 10 years here. Always look forward to your dabblings--erm, dribblings, I mean scribblings.

  24. trindflo Bronze badge

    Thanks for the decade


    your writing style has allowed me to indulge a fantasy that Douglas Adams isn't really gone. Thank you for the good times!

    1. trindflo Bronze badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Thanks for the decade

      Just watched the video: et cum spirit tu tuo <grin>

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