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NEWSLETTER: B3TA REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2010 A TO Z

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B3ta Review of the Year 2010 A to Z
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We weren't going to bother writing a newsletter
the day before Xmas as we quite fancied the day
off. Then an email came through offering to buy
some last minute advertising and a thought
occurred to us: this is the best job in the world.
Someone is offering money to sponsor the
newsletter and we can write what the hell we want.

So let's pretend some fancy newspaper has been
stupid enough to commission us to write a review
of the year. Think of us as some kind of "Cyber
Clarkson" (on a 100th of the pay) and you're
halfway there already.

There's a version formatted on the B3ta site with
pics which you can read or just keep scrolling and
keep it old school:
http://b3ta.com/features/b3tareviewoftheyear2010atoz/


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A is for Apps
-------------------------------------------------

People keep asking us, "B3ta, what are your
favourite iPhone apps of 2010?" Actually, they
don't, but here's a quick list, just in case they
might:

1. Official Twitter app. Addicted to this until
our eyes are melting. Official B3ta Wife says,
"put down that bloody phone, it's 12:30am and
you’re worse than our eldest child and his DS."

2. Scrabble. We played so much scrabble this year
that on seeing an Esso garage we thought, "what a
waste of S's"

3. Spotify. Yeah it's £10 per month but having
billions of random tunes in your pocket is worth
it.

4. Air Video. Stream your DIVX collection (legally
sourced of course, officer) to your phone or iPad.
Top fucking notch.

5. Hipstamatic. Yeah, like every other tosser on
the internet we went through the phase of making
our crappy phone snaps look like they were taken
in the 70s. Despite basically loving it, we
finally knocked it on the head upon realising how
naff we'd think our parents were if all our
childhood pics had been specially treated to look
like old, brown sepia prints.

6. Maps. Yeah this is built into the iPhone, but
for the first time in our sad lives we've been
able to get around London without doing the "walk
in a random direction and hope to hit a Tube stop"
method that we first developed when moving here in
1997 and never bothered improving on.

7. Kindle. Fuck buying an actual Kindle. They are
shit and the buttons fall off. But the Kindle app
on the phone? Great! Catch 10 minutes bonus
reading time on the bog / tube / whatever without
having to remember to lug a book / extra device
with you. Because, if you're like us, your phone
is always in your pocket, giving brain cancer to
your right ball bag.

8. Fuck this list. Screw the tyranny of lists
having to have 10 items. We're stopping here, as
we'd start having to write absolute horsewank
about loving Cut The Rope when we only played it a
couple of times and got bored. We were shit at
Angry Birds too. Sorry.


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B is for Brian Blessed-enabled satnav
-------------------------------------------------

Brian Blessed is one of those B3ta memes that
never die. His image is never off the board, Jonti
booked him for real on his Weebl & Bob DVD, and we
once fantasised about getting him to do the
audiobook version of the Sick Joke Book.

But B3tan Richard Gardner managed to do the
impossible. He turned a whimsical idea from a
Facebook campaign into a real product. You can now
buy this bloody thing, in the shops.

Richard then got in touch asking whether we wanted
Mr Blessed to do something for B3ta - and although
"The Brian Blessed Swearing Keyboard" would have
probably been the iPhone app hit to make us all
rich beyond the dreams of Rupert Murdoch, we
forgot to suggest that and instead did a phone
interview.

If you've got a spare half an hour, copy this to
your MP3 player and listen us chatting with Brian.
We burst into manic giggles after putting the
phone down as the whole experience was so very
very peculiar. "WE'RE ON THE PHONE TO BRIAN
BLESSED!"
http://www.b3ta.com/links/B3ta_Interviews_Brian_Blessed


-------------------------------------------------
C is 4 Chan
-------------------------------------------------

Very, very much loved the campaign this year to
send Josef Fritzl Christmas cards.
http://goo.gl/RVbLx

BTW: We've stopped calling B3tans B3tards because
people were getting confused with B/tards.


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D is for Dan Bull
-------------------------------------------------

2010 was Dan Bull's year, we just lived in it. We
couldn't decide which song to pick so watch his
whole YouTube channel. EVERY LAST BASTARD ONE.
Then listen to his album on Spotify. He's ace.
http://www.youtube.com/user/douglby

BTW: Dan is known on our boards as B3tanhousewife,
and on YouTube as Douglby. It's confusing innit?


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E is for Ed Vaizey
-------------------------------------------------

Being old men of the internet, we've taken to
writing crank letters to government ministers
about their frankly dreadful proposals to fuck up
our internet. In this case it's Ed Vaizey who
wants an "anti porn lock" on all web content, a
concept that would likely categorise B3ta and lots
of forums as porn, as it's based on a shitty thing
they already do on mobile phones and it doesn't
work there either. We even managed to get The
Telegraph to quote our letter, which was fun:
http://goo.gl/Btwmm


-------------------------------------------------
F is for Fotoshopping (saving P for something
else)
-------------------------------------------------

After nearly 10 years of furious keyboard pounding
the B3tans have lost none of their enthusiasm for
imagefwapping.

Here's the top 10 photoshops this year (by your
votes)

1. Advertising in the Science Fiction Universe -
Tart cards (An Eagle in Your Mind)
http://b3ta.com/board/9928536

2. Parallel Universe - a b3ta in-joke. (McPete)
http://b3ta.com/board/10196308

3. Big Ben on the pull (Bad Horsey)
http://b3ta.com/board/10130915

4. Infographics and Flowcharts: how to vote. In
retrospect it's amusingly Lib Dem. How things have
changed. (benito vaselini)
http://b3ta.com/board/10016663

5. A periodic table of memes - something to print
out for your wall if, like us, you do webby shit
for a living. (Mighty Nibus)
http://b3ta.com/board/9983709

6. Inappropriate Memorabilia: The second
appearance of the twin towers in our chart. B3tans
love those towers. http://b3ta.com/board/10256480

7. Make Art More Awesome: Pong vs Mondrian
(custurd) http://b3ta.com/board/9971945

8. Remaking Films With Animals: The Shinning.
(Faceburger) http://b3ta.com/board/9989723

9. Opposite Films: Downs. OUCH - this makes us
cringe more than any 9/11 gag. (Mystery Bob)
http://b3ta.com/board/9953731

10. Animated Albums - Beatles Get Back. Actually
this looks like a great challenge that we'd
totally forgotten about, make sure you check out
the others. (E Dubya)
http://b3ta.com/board/10068074


-------------------------------------------------
G is for GODS of B3TA
-------------------------------------------------

There's a big list of people who work tirelessly
behind the scenes at B3ta, and here's us saying
thanks and suggesting you follow them on twitter
just to make them paranoid.

Mike Trinder - he runs the QOTW and recently gave
£80 to a tramp.
http://twitter.com/chthonicionic

Fraser Lewry - image challenges, and runs websites
for Word Magazine and Mixmag.
http://twitter.com/blogjam

Alistair Coleman - the QOTW second in command, he
has a book out you know.
http://twitter.com/duckorange

Cr3 - he mends the board when it breaks, also the
secret ruler of the internet.
http://twitter.com/cr3

Rob Tinsley - he also does codey stuff. Very
clever, awesome stuff.
http://twitter.com/robtinsley

David Stevenson - newsletter co-writer, stand up
comedian and brilliant illustrator.
http://twitter.com/divstivs

And of course, your Ginger Fuhrer:
http://twitter.com/robmanuel


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H is for Hexachordal
-------------------------------------------------

Good old Tom Milsom, he posted about 16,000
messages on our site, wrote some songs that we
stuck in the newsletter then actually became a
proper pop star with bright blue hair, billions of
followers on Twitter and really selling records
and stuff. Go Hexy, Go!
http://twitter.com/hexachordal


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I is for "I Made This"
-------------------------------------------------

On our links board, dreadfully creative people
make the most amazing shit then click "I made
this" to make it clear, well, that they've made it
and it's not just some another crappy thing off
the web.

Thought we'd do a little top three of the best
stuff from 2010 as made by B3tans and as voted for
by B3tans.

1. LEGO PRINTER - so ingenious that we got media
enquiries FROM THE MEDIA asking us help hunt
'squirrelfantasy' down so he could do awesome shit
for telly too. http://b3ta.com/links/Lego_printer

2. CYCLES - Cyriak has pegged out a corner of
animation that's entirely his own - take a loop
and see how far you can push it. We wish he'd do
us a video for one of our poxy tunes so it would
get a bazillion hits on YouTube.
http://b3ta.com/links/Cycles

3. CAT VS PRINTER - Slurpy J proving the best
stuff on B3ta isn't always about showing off your
crazy tech skills, but a nice bit of V/O work on
an already great YouTube vid can do the job very
nicely indeed.
http://www.b3ta.com/links/The_cat_vs_the_printer_Translated


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J is for Julian Assange
-------------------------------------------------

* For reminding us of that exciting moment in the
90s when geeks got together and muttered, "OMG.
The internet will change everything."

* For living out a story better than any fiction
that we've read in yonks.

* For giving us crazy shit to read. We recommend
anyone who's run a website to read the mailing
list stuff that an ex-Wikileak person leaked, from
when they were setting up the site in 2006/7.
These people are nerds arguing about logos. This
is what our life is like - except ours doesn't
involve mind-boggling plans to change governments
using a truth bomb.

* For getting himself arrested on (possibly) rape
charges for what amounts to shagging the fans.
Long-term b3tans will remember the lesson of John
[*1]. Never, ever, shag the fans.

* For creating real-world theatre that shows us
how the world works. Hippies go, "it's a fascist
dictatorship man" but when you've got the US
Airforce closing down access to the Guardian
newspaper - well, isn't this literally the actions
of fascism? The world has been given a mirror and
it's ugly.

* For making us believe that the Guardian
newspaper is something worth fighting for. Balls
of steel. They should have a tip jar where we
could give them money or something.  'Coz it's not
like we want to buy the actual paper, as it's all
papery, and paywalls just remove you from public
debate. So, yeah, a big "IF YOU LOVE US, SUPPORT
US" button.

* For being a twat who turns up in comedy rap
videos. Osama never did this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXbCwq4ewBU

[*1 We changed the name to protect the innocent.]

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K is for Kunt and the Gang
-------------------------------------------------

We've been the main supporters of Kunt in his
obviously doomed attempt to drive his song "Use my
Arsehole as a Cunt" to be UK Christmas number 1.
Here are our campaign highlights:

1. Getting Kunt to re-record his song to make it
about Nick Clegg - as the official B3ta wife
reckoned the chorus was a perfect fit for Clegg's
political compromise.  Watch the video:
http://goo.gl/WCTxH

2. The track charting at number 66. Kunt writes,
"It's official - we have a hit on our hands! Use
My Arsehole As A Cunt is no. 66 in the Official UK
Chart! I know it wasn't top 40 but because we
finished in top 75 it is registered as a hit and
will appear in the Guinness Book of British Hit
Singles!"

3. Seeing the #66 news spread like crazy across
Twitter and forums with messages like, "Have you
seen what's at number 66? WTF?"

4. Backing Kunt's new campaign to get a top 40
entry by Boxing Day. Suddenly everyone is talking
about Kunt and this seems possible.

5. Organising 20 or so people off Twitter to do a
letter-writing campaign to various newspapers to
complain about Kunt. "My daughter was on iTunes
and was disgusted to find..." etc. This worked for
Joe Orton in the past and it might have worked for
us. As far as we know nobody actually printed
these mental, but oh wonderful letters, but if you
hear differently please let us know. (BTW: Thanks
to the legend that is CCC for this idea.)

6. Recording a podcast (ok just a phone call) with
Kunt. Best line? Kunt saying, "You make a deal
with the devil and you end up fucking yourself up
the arse."
http://goo.gl/iN228

7. THEN BOO HISS. iTunes booted off the
best-selling Nick Clegg mix without giving a
reason, probably dooming our chances for a higher
placement. Kunt believes there are dark political
forces at work.

Anyway - for Boxing Day placement please buy the
single (any of the 7 mixes) from Amazon.
http://goo.gl/T3R0h


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L is for LOL SLANG
-------------------------------------------------

Our favourite bits of new slang we heard in 2010
include

KMT - meaning 'kiss my teeth' as in 'Nick Clegg is
a twat. KMT' ENDZ - meaning where you live. "I'm
getting me bus to me endz" REFUGEE PHONE - meaning
a Nokia, as favoured by, well, refugees. MEGALOLZ
- sometimes just saying lol isn't enough.

And our favourite playground joke:

"Why did Nick Clegg cross the road? Because he
said he wouldn't"


-------------------------------------------------
M is for Mutated Monty AKA Cyriak
-------------------------------------------------

Prodigy69 writes, "Respect to Mutated Monty for
still making things for b3ta and for the TV and
for not fucking off and leaving us as soon as he
found a bit of fame."

Mutated Monty is better-known to the world under
his real name Cyriak, and his latest gig is an
animation for the American TV company Showtime -
who make everyone's favourite serial killer rom
com Dexter.
http://goo.gl/A7i4e


-------------------------------------------------
N is for Nina (aka Jessie)
-------------------------------------------------

Barryheadwound writes - "The massively-loved b3tan
and Derby Bash supremo was tragically taken from
us in May of this year, and Prof Kenny Martin now
faces the daily bummer of life without her. Big
thanks to Mrs. Trellis for sorting out the whip
round that realised over 2 grand in her memory.
And to Jahled for christening a baby snow leopard
after her."

Nina is beautiful:
http://goo.gl/Tk7VP


-------------------------------------------------
O is for One Joke Tumblr sites
-------------------------------------------------

2010 was truly the year that Tumblr stopped being
whatever it was designed for and became the home
of single gag photo memes. We're sure the owners
are so proud.

Here's 8 of the best:

http://hungoverowls.tumblr.com/
http://lesbianswholooklikejustinbieber.tumblr.com/
http://kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com/
http://breadpeople.tumblr.com/
http://davidmitchellwithpizza.tumblr.com/
http://julianassangeisgorgeous.tumblr.com
http://gifsofpopularrappers.tumblr.com/
http://sexyalevels.tumblr.com/


-------------------------------------------------
P - is for Person of the Year 2010
-------------------------------------------------

Your nominations are a little eccentric and
occasionally in-jokey but it's what you voted for
and we didn't flush them all down the bog like
Time magazine:

1. Julian Assange - internet "terrorist"

2. Some guy who robbed a Range Rover off a
dangerous driver who'd nearly mowed down a
cyclist.

3. Jessie - sadly-missed B3tan 

4. Terry Pratchett 
5. Cr3 who does codey stuff for our lovely site

6. YOU, yes you dear B3tan.

7. Jahled for naming Nina, the snow leopard, Nina.

8. Beekeepers who set bees on hippies

9. Aung Sung Suu Kyi for showing us all that
incredible things can be achieved by staying
at home and not speaking to anyone.

10. A German student who mooned a group of Hell's
Angels and hurled a puppy at them before escaping
on a stolen bulldozer.
http://www.b3ta.com/questions/b3tapersonoftheyear2010/


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Q - is for QED: Question.Explore.Discover
-------------------------------------------------

QED is a weekend celebration of science, reason
and critical thinking. Featuring top speakers like
Jon Ronson, Jim Al-Khalili and Robin Ince, QED
will be held in Manchester on Feb 5th-6th 2011.
Because science is awesome.
http://qedcon.org/xbSM

BTW: This is our second sponsored link. And it's
very handy that it's filled up our Q for us as
what the hell could we have stuck here? Quims?
Anyway, this QED thing sounds like something we'd
have happily linked to without sponsorship, so yay
for good people supporting B3ta and bunging us
money. AH FUCKING HELL. Obviously Q should be
Question of the Week. Let's have TWO Qs. No one
will notice.


-------------------------------------------------
Q - is also for Question of the Week
-------------------------------------------------

The best story on QOTW in 2010 as voted for by YOU
was for "The Tale of the Cornflake" by
frightfullybored and, for those who didn't read
it, here's your chance.

"Many years ago, my aunt had a friend who was a
serial complainer/consumer terrorist. She used to
fire letters of complaint off to all manner of
unsuspecting companies regarding their shoddy
wares or, in this case, food. The usual response
was a fistful of money off vouchers or a cheque
from the unsuspecting company to calm the rabid
bitch's fevered brow.

"Anyway, one day, Kelloggs appeared on her radar
because they'd committed the heinous crime of
palming a large box of cornflakes off on the
unsuspecting masses (in this case her) with a
burnt cornflake in it.

"The sternly-worded letter of complaint was duly
written and dispatched post-haste to those fine
people at Kelloggs. She really went to town on
them over how outrageous it was that such a fine
upstanding company should be peddling this sub
standard filth on the general public and what were
they going to do about it regarding compensating
her for this impurity in her breakfast cereal.

"Their response?

"A 'With Compliments' slip with a single
replacement cornflake taped to the top right-hand
corner..."

If you fancy reading the best ever QOTW answers,
this link is your friend: every single answer, of
all time, in order of votes. Print it out and
stick it in your toilet. It would make a great
book.
http://b3ta.com/search/answers/everyone/best


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R is for Rim Jobs
-------------------------------------------------

No, nothing to do with licking your lover's anus
with your tongue, but a bizarre bit of marketing
from Blackberry phones - how can they not know?
http://goo.gl/4lRgw


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S is for Sodding it up
-------------------------------------------------

Here's a story about when one of our sponsored
links went wrong.

Someone approached us to buy unused ad space in
the newsletter by suggesting that we stick in a
link to their video chart for viral ads and we'd
get pennies for each click.

Anyway - one week we didn't get an ad and linked
them up and we thought to maximize click-throughs
we'd take the piss out of an advert. "Look at this
worst ad ever. It's just embarrassing shit" being
a much more compelling phrase than "woo hoo!"

It was an ad for some Barclays thing at the height
of the banking crisis and we threw in a few extra
digs about spending money on rotten advertising
being probably part of the reason we were all so
fucked.

Barclays saw it and got very angry that they were
paying to have their brand rubbished. Oops! And
that was the end for us and the viral chart.

BTW: The newsletter is funded by advertising. This
year has not been easy due to both the recession
and increased competition. However we've survived
in no small part to our wonderful readers, who
keep suggesting us to their clients and also the
even more wonderful W00tmedia who make special
efforts to ensure we don't wither away and die.
Thank you. Especially Bex and Austen. We love you.


-------------------------------------------------
T is for Twitter Hate Mobs
-------------------------------------------------

"Twitter is like uploading a collective liberal
super ego to the cloud - a critical and moralising
voice with the amplifying power of retweeting", we
said pompously.

In 2010 twitter hate mobs came for

Jan Moir - Homophobia Keith Chegwin - Tweeting
stolen gags Stephen Fry - Heterophobia The
Guardian - Lily Allen insensitivity Paperchase -
nicking some art

In 2011 they're coming for you.


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U is for unused A-Z suggestions
-------------------------------------------------

A is for Anonymous calling us an "internet cunt" B
is also for Baldmonkey. King of /talk. C is for
Hunt as in Jeremy Hunt F is for Fwapping. J is for
JMG. King of /talk. K is for Kate Middleton's
lovely norks. P is for Paywalls.


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V for Vuvuzela
-------------------------------------------------

Apparently there was some kind of World Cup going
on but we didn't know because we're sad internet
cunts who got picked last at games.


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W is for Wanking
-------------------------------------------------

Keen internet masturbators tell us that in 2010
they've mostly been tugging off to the porn tubes
that have sprung up. Still, it beats waiting for
30 minutes for some GIF of Pamela Anderson to
download, like what we had to in the 90s. Or, like
we did in the 80s, the fashion pages in Cosmo.


-------------------------------------------------
X is for X Factor
-------------------------------------------------

We didn't watch it. Sorry. If you want shit like
that try a different internet newsletter.


-------------------------------------------------
Y is for Yazz and the Plastic Population
-------------------------------------------------

2010 was another heartbreakingly poor year for
Yazz in the pop charts. The only way isn't up, is
it Yazz? Where's your plastic population now,
Yazz? Melted, Yazz, like your chart dreams.


-------------------------------------------------
Z is for zebra bastard zebra zebra zebra zebra
fucker
-------------------------------------------------

Despite nearly 10 years of B3ta history, we're
probably still known best for the swearing
keyboard. Here's some facts about it we'll be able
to stick in our memoirs one day:

1. Somebody once sent us a photo of a bit of
graffiti they'd spied with a drawing of a
Xylophone and a cock with the label "Xylophone
buggery". This still makes us proud.

2. Xylophone buggery was the official B3ta wife's
idea. We'd previously tried 'Xylo cock"

3. Rectum is Joel Veitch and me, Rob Manuel,
singing in harmony together. Joel did the lower
note and me the higher. Which is probably how we'd
have sex too.

4. Why Buffy? We knew Popbitch founder Neil loved
Buffy and we were trying to make things he would
link to, so people would notice our site.

5. We've got less compressed versions of the audio
kicking around somewhere, and outtakes too, so
should anybody want to pay us about a billion
pounds to release DVD extra special director's HD
cut or something - send the cash to the usual
address: http://www2.b3ta.com/buffyswear/

-------------------------------------------------

CREDITS

Newsletter written in one manic burst starting at
3pm and finishing at 9:30pm by Rob Manuel and it's
currently got a word count of 3,800 words which is
about 10 words per minute, so... not so impressive
when we put it like that.

Proofed by Lucy Reese, David Stevenson and Fraser
Lewry. The poor sods.

And specific thanks for help on this newsletter to
@JonathanEx, @piersroberts, @mattmcd, @SSTRareFM,
@defrost, @twiceydrinker, @Mme_G, @matthewgardner,
@jamesmcgraw, @jetpackmedia, @sh4r0ng,
Whato_Jeeves and The Great Architect.

Also thanks to Pep, Cal, Mystery Bob, Tomsk,
Spacefish, Fnord and Stallion_Explosion. Forever
B4ta.

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