_ _ _____ _ __ 20/06/97 NEED TO KNOW NOW
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ _____ __ o A week's worth of news,
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o views and mini-Yahoos,
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ V V / o for UK geeks and their
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\ |_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o so-called friends...
"It's potent. There's instant gratification. The normalcies
for time and space disappear."
- psychologist DAVID GREENFIELD on Net addiction, AP
the definition of 'instant' being the first to go
>> HARD NEWS <<
Brit-based PDA old-schoolers PSION have popped the SERIES 5
palmtop out of their sleeves. It costs from 400 to 500UKP,
with an almost full-action keyboard, stylus-sensitive
screen, and up to 8 meg RAM into about the same size as the
now-discounted Series 3. Early impressions are broadly
positive (big apps compared to PalmPilots, plug-and-go PC
connectivity), let down by a couple of indicators (no Mac
cables, no Net software) that maybe they rushed it out to
beat the Windows CE machines to market.
- ask when they'll port Speccy Horace Goes Skiing
IRIDIUM LLC, the bazillion low-orbit satellites zooming
around in space communication system, announced details of
its forthcoming service. The 66 satellite network will
provide global mobile communications by 1998: receivers
will cost $2000-$3000 with single channel data speeds at
2400Kbps. Sound dull? That must be why investors Motorola
immediately announced details of the new CELESTRI system, a
much more exciting, 63 satellite, $750 receiver, super
high-speed broadbandy kind of Internet thang. Competitors
Teledesic say Motorola is pre-announcing to spread Fear
Uncertainty and Doubt against Teledesic's own whizz-bang
288 satellite monster, which won't boot up until 2002.
Teledesic is part-owned by Bill Gates, so they know anti-
competitive behaviour when they see it.
- We only run these stories because of the trippy animations
USR announced the patch codes that allows its X2 standard
56Kbps modems to operate in the UK. Elsewhere,
manufacturers that use the other 56Kbps standard, K56flex,
have begun to undercut one another in an gentlemanly price
war to the death. Upshot? Wait until all parties nuke one
another, then buy a software modem (cool tech, flexible
another to emulate the winner, and gonna be dirt cheap.
http://x2.usr.co.uk we get confused - which one
http://www.k56flex.com has Woz on Sky TV?
The oxymoronic AOL UK has switched to fixed-rate charges.
For #17 a month, AOLers can now spend as much time as they
want doing ... whatever it is they do. AOL has also
announced a membership of 200,000 users in the UK, although
where they all are beats us. Why aren't they 'me too'ing in
uk.net, like the rest of the online service newbies?
http://www.aol.com churn, baby, churn
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
news we knew you knew
woman dumps own kids for Net... INTERNET TODAY to close...
Electronic Commerce On The Threshold of Genuine
Productivity Gains, say LOTUS... MacArthur grants reveals
Net legal advisor is "genius"... ASA rules ad which asked
"ever received oral sex from someone with braces?" not
distasteful to readers of Escape magazine... Jim Clark
tells Europeans "Bill Gates wants everything"... PIPEX
Webmail hacked... new European cyberphilosophy analysis
titled "De Vagina is De Baas op Internet"... DES
insecure... BBC runs a two week series called "Computers
Don't Bite", then show "Westworld" and "Demon Seed" double-
>> CULTURE <<
the petri dish you live in
Remember that funny OSWALD/JACK RUBY picture where they're
all playing in a band, and you put on your desktop and
laughed at every day until you noticed how much it slowed
down your machine and then you deleted it? Well, to
celebrate its popularity, the creator of the GIF is
launching an Essay Contest and Call for Papers. From cult
to sociological treatise in two months: snappy!
http://www.tw-zone.com/cosmo/contest.html The folk at geek house WWW.THEHOUSE.ORG are conducting a
more practical study. They're developing a pattern-
recognition system for spam, and they need your help.
Redirect any spam you receive to their program's mail
address, and help it to learn wisely and well. To learn how
to help, go to the instructions at:
http://www.spesh.com/ntk/spam.html "How can you 'kill' that which does not 'live'?" argue SCI,
whose ultraviolent PC death-racer CARMAGEDDON hits the
streets next week. Following concerns voiced in the
tabloids, it now encourages you to run over "zombies"
(which spurt green ooze) rather than the red-blooded human
pedestrians featured in preview versions of the game. The
change seems unlikely to affect the title's high review
scores, and continues a trend of replacing human enemies
with either robots (as in Sega's shoot-'em-up Gunblade) or
the undead (Sega's House Of The Dead).
http://www.sci.co.uk/ - where's the catharsis in that?
>> TRACKING <<
good bot - fetch!
The infamous personal encryption program PRETTY GOOD
PRIVACY has gone all business-like and professional with
version 5.0. Features include integration with Eudora,
keyserver utilities, and a nice, humanly-comprehensible
front end. Of course, full power PGP is still technically a
munition, and banned from being disseminated outside the
US, so ... but hold on! What's on this European site?
- ohh, how *could* they?
- guys OCRing the 6000 pages of source to do it legally. Wow.
re-ahhhhhhl-skrttch---R---ealMedia version 4.0 is out. You
can skrttchchc-do-do-do-do-do-download it
attatatatatattatat ------ at this addr -
The RADIO TIMES is on the Net, although the 'easy to join'
registration system seems to be about par with join the
Bavarian Illuminati. Do you think that if we don't
register, they come round in little cookie-detector vans?
http://www.radiotimes.beeb.com oh very funny
>> MEMEPOOL <<
well, technically the disinfectant footbath
"have good ventilation socks"... the sci-fi boom goes
bust... still got your Digicash?... has US Robotics ever
actually made a robot?... digeradoes... 'ladyhacking'...
the Curse of Winder hits www.minds.com... Stupid Datamining
Tricks... so what *did* happen to Nick Rosen?... If
alcopops are aimed at kids - just who is the target market
for www.wankerbeer.com? ... How to join LineOne: First,
download your 6MB ActiveX component...
>> MO' MEDIA <<
eat your television
TV >> Jonathan Ross's UFO variety special THE ALIENS ARE
COMING (10.05pm, Sat, ITV) launches both ITV's Into The
Unknown season, and a cross-channel celebration of vivid
body horror, including the 1977 version of THE ISLAND OF DR
MOREAU (11.05pm, Sat, ITV), THE FLY/SOCIETY double bill
(from 10.05pm, Sun, BBC2), the frankly underrated Se7en
tryout ALIEN 3 (10.40pm, Mon, ITV), John Carpenter's
triumphant arctic F/X fest THE THING (11.40pm, Tue, ITV),
and, er, the childishly disappointing GHOSTBUSTERS 2
(7.55pm, Sat, ITV)... other sci-fi highpoints include TB-
ridden Manchester-set dysto-drama POLICE 2020 ( Sun, ITV),
and next weekend's terrestrial debut of Silence-Of-The-X-
Files series MILLENNIUM - not to be confused with the
rubbish time-travel/plane-crash movie of the same name
that's on BBC1 on Tue, presumably being run as a
"spoiler"... back in the post-cyberpunk present, Carol
Vorderman (the real-life Sarah Connor?) continues her one-
woman war on technology in TESTING TESTING (8.30pm, Fri,
ITV) and new Tomorrow's World spin-off HOT GADGETS (7.30pm,
Wed, BBC1)... multinationals (well, BP, mainly) go to war
in WORLD IN ACTION (8pm, Mon, ITV)... and spoof
rockumentary 500 BUS STOPS (11.15pm, Tue, BBC2) sounds like
a rather long half hour in the company of John Shuttleworth
(think Harry Hill with a Casio)...
MOVIES >> Even if you've never heard of foul-mouthed uber-
geek Howard Stern, it's probably worth going to shock-jock
biopic PRIVATE PARTS simply to salute him for his on-air
savaging of rank amateur Chris Evans... even Brad Pitt
didn't much like simplistic IRA drama THE DEVIL'S OWN (Brad
Pitt, Harrison Ford)... while INTIMATE RELATIONS (Julie
Walters, Rupert Graves) is one for all you fans of British
tragedies of sexual obsession set in the 1950s...
MAGS >> The August issue of US satire mag SPY (about UKP2
from most big newsagents, also branches of Tower Records)
has Gillian Anderson on the front, and a spot-on manifesto
of "pulp science" inside - "while knowing the truth can be
unusually gratifying, having a *theory* is a more than
passable alternative"... back in the UK, Fortean spin-off
BIZARRE struggles on with a "special sex issue" (not
usually a good sign?)... Britain's Factsheet 5, BYPASS #7
arrives on our doorstep, and we like: over 500 zines
reviewed by non-lunatics: #1.20 from Bypass, PO Box 148,
Hove, BN3 3DQ... check out PLAYSTATION PLUS for its article
on how to "chip" your PSX - maybe they're planning on
launching "wArEz d00dZ m0nThLy"...
>> SMALL PRINT <<
Need to Know Now is a useful and interesting UK digest of things that
happened last week or might happen next week. You can read it
on Friday afternoon or print it out then take it home if you have
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(K) 1997 Special Projects. Copy at will, but retain this SMALL PRINT.
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