The Register

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The Register ("El Reg" to its staff) is a British technology news website focusing on the computer industry. It was founded by John Lettice and Mike "Crazy Brit" Magee in 1994 as a newsletter called "CHIP CONNECTION", initially as an email service. Mike Magee left The Register in 2001 to start The Inquirer after some controversy.

The Register has run Simon Travaglia's BOFH stories since 2000. Comment pieces are included along with the news, such as "Bootnotes" and "Opinion". Letters and "Flames of the Week" are often run, and as well as carrying its own content, licensed articles from other sites are included to augment their coverage. The Register aspires to provide an objective viewpoint, and most subjective pieces are labelled as such. It does not aim to be popular with the powerful corporations -- its tag line is: Biting the hand that feeds IT.

The Register frequently uses sarcasm in its articles and often provides an iconoclastic stance (e.g. referring to Google as the worlds largest text-ad broker). Some think its reportage is closer to that of British tabloid newspapers than other technology web sites, terming it a Tech Tabloid . Articles are listed on the home page with most recent at the top, three to a line, allowing easy access to breaking news. Much to the amusement of its readers, The Register occasionally runs articles satirizing selected people (e.g., Captain Cyborg, aka Kevin Warwick).

[edit] In-jokes

The Register is famous for its many long-running in-jokes:

  • Articles dealing with Yahoo! will often have each word in their title punctuated with an exclamation mark, e.g.: "Yahoo! Is! A! Search! Engine!"
  • When talking about the RIAA or the MPAA, the organizations are always referred to as the "Recording Industry Ass. of America" and the "Motion Picture Ass. of America," respectively, deliberately shortening "Association" (to one letter shorter than the usual "Assn." abbreviation).
  • Articles which deal with the growth of artificial intelligence technology and technological mishaps are often reported in tongue-in-cheek "alarmist" fashion, and grouped under the heading "Rise of the Machines" (RoTM). In cases of technological mishaps, the incident is always speculated to be the work of an evil alien race called the Lizard Alliance and that they are being fought back by a group called the neoLuddite Resistance Army (or NRA, quite possibly a play on the acronym of the National Rifle Association).
  • "Otto Z Stern" is a contributor for The Register. Otto's persona is that of a controversy-courting right-wing American technology commentator. Stern's articles specialise in criticism of topics such as open-source software, blogs, Google and the perils of the Asian Invasion as well as other things that Stern considers to be weak and unmanly. Many of Stern's comments are considered deeply racist especially towards Asians (mostly Chinese.) It is suspected that Stern's stories are written by Julio Stantore, based on frequent references to him in Otto's articles as well as attributing quotes to him.<ref>My dead, much mourned friend: Jimmy Wales An article that refers to Julio Stantore.</ref>
  • Haiku competition results often include entries from a list of usual suspects who, intentionally or unintentionally, break the rules of the competition for comic effect.

Many readers take The Register's spoof articles seriously. To the amusement of The Register's regular readers, their anger-filled letters are commonly published a few days later. Many of these letters are left unedited, leaving in misspellings, grammatical errors, and errors in logic. In fact, the Register publishes many of the letters they are sent, usually on Friday afternoon.

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