I still don't know how I managed it. I was giving a conference paper on information security strategies. The audience was attentive and I was nearly at the punchline - when it happened. Somehow, I managed to mangle the phrase "must not lose our users..." into "must not use our losers..." - a fairly fundamental flaw when computer users made up the majority of the audience.
Perhaps fortunately, I didn't realise what I had said until later, when the atmosphere in the lecture theatre began to crackle with ice. People still mention it years later, so it must have been a memorable occasion.
John Gilbey is honorary lecturer in the department of computer science, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
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