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May 5, 2008

Wikipedia: The Inquirer

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The Inquirer
Alexa rank ~7000
Commercial? yes
Type of site technology tabloid
Registration no
Available language(s) Dutch
Owner Incisive Media Investments Ltd.
Created by Mike Magee
Launched 2001
Current status active

The Inquirer is a British technology tabloid website founded by Mike Magee after his departure from The Register (of which he was one of the founding members) in 2001.

The magazine is entirely Internet based with its journalists living all over the world and filing copy online,[1] and with Mike Magee as the overall editor. In addition to the English site, as of 19 June 2006 following its acquisition by VNU Business Publication Europe, The Inquirer has editions localized for Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and Spain.[2]


Writing style

The site hews to The Register‘s slogan, “Biting the hand that feeds IT”, and is known for its early access to industry news based on insider sources. When served with “cease and desist” orders, the website sometimes publishes them in full, with commentary.[3] It has also recently started publishing information regarding hardware available in the UK, USA, France and other countries.[4]

The Inquirer‘s articles are written in a subjective and opinionated tone, with much the same style of reporting common in British tabloid newspapers.[5] In the English version of the site, slang terms, particularly those common to Great Britain, are used. On each visit to the main page of the website, The Inquirer shows a random comment or quote (usually sarcastic) at the top of the page.

The Inquirer has a diverse writing staff coming from many different countries, with Paul Hales being the news editor and Mike Magee the overall editor. Some people[6] suggest that several of The Inquirer‘s writers are actually pseudonyms. Among these are Adamson Rust, an anagram of Nostradamus, and Eva Glass, an anagram of Las Vegas suggesting that these names are really pseudonyms of other staff members. Inquirer writer Charlie Demerjian, who uses the nickname Groo_ on the Ace’s Hardware messageboard, more or less confirms this in one of his posts there.[1]

‘Everywhere Girl’

The Inquirer has run a series of stories about the “Everywhere Girl”, a model thus referred to by the publication due to stock photos of her appearing in a large number of different advertisements, particularly advertisements of technology companies.[7]


Despite getting scoops, some of the reporters for The Inquirer have a policy against signing non-disclosure agreements.[8] The publication has various connections with the industry; Intel in particular has acknowledged that its staff have a tendency to send details of meetings to The Inquirer.[9]

Some of The Inquirer‘s articles include information unconfirmed by official sources within the companies they report on. When dealing with such information, they typically preface the article with a statement such as the following, “We’ve heard an odd, but strong whisper on the grapevine . . .”[10] As such articles lack official confirmation, some consider them rumor or speculation.

Playstation 3 Graphics Processor

As is the case with most publications, some stories published by The Inquirer cause controversy, such as a 31 August 2005 story about a claim that PlayStation 3’s GPU is less powerful than the GeForce 7800.[11] NVIDIA, manufacturer of GeForce, responded to this claim[12] by stating that the Playstation 3’s RSX (which NVIDIA worked on) is more powerful than the GeForce 7800.

Sony Laptop Battery Scandal

One of The Inquirer‘s greatest scoops has been its reporting during 2006 of laptop battery problems that affected Dell, Sony and Apple as of September 2006, with rumours of problems at Toshiba and Lenovo. In June 2006, The Inquirer‘s report[13] and dramatic photographs of a Dell notebook PC exploding in flames at a conference in Japan attracted global media attention. Many renowned publications, such as The New York Times, reprinted The Inquirer‘s photographs.[2] The Inquirer was also the first publication to report Dell’s subsequent decision to recall all 4.1 million of the faulty batteries, according to BusinessWeek.

The Inquirer‘s successful reporting of the story relied on information supplied by readers and later by a confidential source at Dell. “I attribute being on top of the story to old-fashioned print journalism standards — cultivating, and, if you’ll excuse the pun, not burning such contacts,” The Inquirer‘s founder, Mike Magee, told BusinessWeek.[14]


In July 2006, The Inquirer posted images to show cheating by NVIDIA Windows device drivers in Rydermark 2006.[15] The images were alleged to be fake by a number of sources.[16] The Inquirer denied any wrongdoing and quoted the maker of Rydermark calling the allegations against them “irresponsible”.[17] About 8 months after the original Rydermark article, The Inquirer ran another article claiming that Rydermark was still being developed, but was near release.[18] In response, one of its critics offered $1,000 to a charity of the Rydermark articles author’s choosing if he could produce (breaching his NDA) a version of Rydermark that showed the alleged screenshots in full-motion video before a set deadline (which gave the author 10 and a half hours, beginning at 6:30PM UK time). No one produced the program before the deadline passed.[19]

Independent verification that RyderMark was genuine, first appeared in TweakTown in May 2007.[20] RyderMark developer Ajith Ram denied ever sending the Inquirer NVIDIA cheating allegations. [21]

ATI Intel front side bus license revocation

On 24 July 2006, The Inquirer wrote that, in response to AMD’s announced intent to purchase ATI, “ATI had its chipset license pulled, or at least not renewed by Intel.”[22] ATI responded by stating that its license had not been revoked and that they continue to ship Intel chipsets under license.[23] On 23 August 2006, ATI showed its chipset roadmap to motherboard vendors which showed that next-generation chipsets for the Intel platform are cancelled as X-bit Labs reported. On March 1 2007, AMD said that they will continue developing chipsets for Intel platforms.[24]

Nicknames and terminology

Following the standards Mike Magee set at his previous publications, The Inquirer uses nicknames for many IT firms and persons:

  • Another Place (aka Other Plaice) – The Register. This is a pun on the term used in the House of Commons to refer to the House of Lords (another place) and vice-versa.
  • Bogger – Blogger.
  • Cappuccino – Cupertino
  • Captain Canuck – ATI
  • Chipzilla – Intel, coined by Terry Shannon, as known as Charlie Matco [25]
  • Chimpzilla – AMD
  • DAAMIT – The merged ATI and AMD. Coined by Brian Briggs of BBspot.[26]
  • Toy maker – Apple
  • Graphzilla or the Green Goblin – NVIDIA
  • Hocus Pocus – The merged HP and VoodooPC.[27]
  • iAMD64 – Intel version of x86-64, the EM64T or Intel 64
  • Itanic – Itanium
  • Mozzarella Foundation – Mozilla Foundation
  • Nintendo Wee – Wii.[28]
  • Open Sauce – Open Source
  • PR Bunny (as known as Spin Paramedic) – a Spin Doctor
  • Wackypedia/Wonkypedia – Wikipedia.
  • The Boy Wonder – Anand Lal Shimpi of AnandTech.
  • The Pabster – Thomas Pabst of Tom’s Hardware Guide.
  • The Vole – Microsoft – see also Microtus,

Many believe that using Microsoft software helps feed a Giant Vole currently kept in a secure basement in the Seattle area. Once the Vole reaches critical mass it could devour half the western world, many fear. [29]

Other nicknames are available in The Inquirer guide to Inquirer jargon.[30]

In talking about Wikipedia or Whackypedia, The Inquirer once referred to it as an “Internet comic”. [31]

This text comes from Wikipedia. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikipedia.

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