Review of '97, big TV, readers' efforts, Happy New Year!
Microsoft smacks back, OpenGL losses, Paarty!
Yahoo hacked, OpenGL victories, DOJ smack Microsoft
Cybersquatting blues, MSN puzzles, and the return of the FiReD
Bactel spurned, hackers liberated and the erotic olympics
Gates as Caligula, ISO Java and .NOT
FOOF bug, Easynet goofed, good food
E-on bust, Kashpureff nicked, Apple silly.
StrongARM tactics, laser ban,
Sci-Fi Con 2.0
Microsoft naughtiness, Quake II, Mark Leyner
Cassini, Survival Research Labs, SlashCon
Sun vs Gates, Pickering and the ZX Psion
Worldcom, IE4.0, and Negativland
Crypto weirdness, Easynet moneymaking and Win95 cracking.
Holiday Special #5
MiniNTK - by the seaside.
Holiday Special #4
MiniNTK - the nation mourns.
Holiday Special #3
MiniNTK - to "Di" for.
Holiday Special #2
MiniNTK - "the one with all the urls".
Holiday Special #1
MiniNTK - live from Mir.
HIP fallout, surveillance and kites.
Jobs & Gates, game.com and HIP '97.
Boys for the Jobs, Clan Negroponte and Sci-Fi Archaeologists.
LINX update, Virus wars, ECAL '97.
Internic spazzes, fibre slashes, and the dreaded Ecstacy
Amelio goes, NHS hate TTP, and Hard *ptuii* Wired.
Windows 98, Mars, and no "Independence Day" references.
CDA, Cousteau, Access All Areas the third.
Psion, Iridium, and Lee Harvey Oswald.
Comcast, Viewdata Revival Movement, Osmose.
Microsoft in Cambridge, Arthur C. Clarke Award, Earplugs
Sega/Bandai, Robert Anton Wilson, Perl Conference
Crypto, Ken Campbell, the Beeb. Michelle.
Final Beta - Rhapsody, MIDI Karaoke, Jimmy Hill.
Second Beta - BIB, The Hugos, Geek Golf.
First Beta - Brandname tattooing, bad Deep Blue predictions.
Appalling first efforts.
_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the UK> | \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ ____08/08/97_ o Join! Mail 'subscribe ntknow' | \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o to firstname.lastname@example.org | |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ V V / o Website (+ archive) lives at: |_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o www.spesh.com/cgi-bin/now * APPLE JUDAS! * UUNET LYNCHINGS! * MY NAME IS PRINCE, AND I AM .. UM * GAME.COM ARRIVES! * PLUS SIGGRAPH SPECIAL REPORT, "BREASTS" * "We will be looking at how we can move large data files around this year... The aim is to find golden nuggets of technology that may have been developed by someone else. We are taking lots of commercially available off-the-shelf equipment and seeing what it has to offer." - British Army Officer, Joint Warrior Interoperability Demo '97 announcing: the world's first military warez site >> HARD NEWS << soft heads Capturing the spirit of the classic APPLE 1984 advert, Steve Jobs announced to a rapt MacWorld Expo that MICROSOFT was investing $150 million in Apple, that Microsoft had always been Apple's friend, and that Apple was now at war with Eurasia. Proles and Apple Developers alike then chanted at a huge telecast image of "Uncle" Bill Gates (Bill has not been seen outside his Seattle bunker since the attempted Netscape putsch of 1995). Evangelists from the Ministry of Truth later enthused about how Microsoft had agreed at the last minute to a) invest in a company whose share price was at an all-time low, b) make its browser the default on all new Macs, and c) get out of any outstanding Apple patent suits for a widely-assumed pittance. It was also revealed that Lawrence Tesler was never chief technical officer for Apple, and Mike Makkula had never been a board member since the old garage days. Victory to Apple! Down with Emmanuel Andreessen! http://www.apple.com - if you want to see an image of the future, Winston, http://www.microsoft.com imagine a boot taking forever MICROSOFT'S new policy of evading anti-trust actions by throwing money at the competition (just how *does* that work?) continued in the streaming Net video market. A few weeks ago, Microsoft bought 10% of PROGRESSIVE "RealAudio/ RealVideo" TECHNOLOGIES. Now they've bought out Progressive's main competitor, VXTREME, the people whose plug-in crashed when you were trying to watch the CNN coverage of the Mars landing. Both companies have now decided to support Microsoft's own streamed video client, claiming that it is the industry standard. Well, it is now. http://www.vxtreme.com oh, and Bill holds a board seat http://www.real.com at VDOnet. No monopoly here, uh uh. UUNET, the granddaddy of PIPEX, received the Dreaded Usenet Death Penalty last Friday. Following the D-UDP, all UUNET users' postings to newsgroups were automatically cancelled by a diddy 78-line bots put in place by a worldwide alliance of vigilante newserver operators (scary, huh?). The lynch-team had good cause - at one stage, one administrator reported, only 20% of the newsgroup postings emanating from UUNET were "legitimate" (people asking for warez or porn on just the one newsgroup). The death penalty was lifted Wednesday when UUNET announced anti-spam measures - ie, blamed its resellers. Meanwhile, in the darker waters of Usenet, a more pro-active hacker released the complete password files for top spammer SANFORD WALLACE's machine. "His userid is wallace,", the bad hacker reports, "with a [crypted] password of 'sTUv6x8r.' Guessed the root password yet?" Err... god? Err... sex? Ummm... http://www.usa.uu.net/ hilariously, uu.net want to sue http://cyberwerks.com:70/cyberwire/howto.html - Brock Meek's mailing list, where we stole the Spamford tale http://www.intraday.com/spam/spam/spam/ - unrelated, but still the most annoying page on the Web A British judge refused to comment on a fight over the ownership of the 'PRINCE.COM' domain name, effectively passing .com battles back to the US courts who, it's suspected, may favour US-based companies. The two litigants were the PRINCE SPORTS GROUP, a US firm, and PRINCE PLC, a Brit computer services company who we'd describe as 'plucky' if they'd actually done more with the domain than point it at the Pipex Worldserver Website, the wimps. The judge, Justice Neuberger, went against the precedent set by a previous UK case, which determined that the singer- songwriter "Prince" was not a member of the British Royal Family, and could not use the title on UK soil. Prince complied by adopting an obscure Zapf Dingbats character as his moniker. http://www.prince.com relax - we're just trying to freak out the US readership >> ANTI-NEWS << berating the obvious Music videos glamorise tobacco and alcohol use, reports study... 30% of City execs use "a sexual position or abusive name for the boss" as password... AMAZON/Updike story "not very good"... Pathfinder has problems, fix is to upgrade software (uh-uh)... UFOs were secret plane project, "reveal" CIA... 16% of City execs use their partners' name or nickname as password ... WIRED designers, faced with major overhaul, losses, decide mag is "basically fine"... Excite looks for "the real Dorothy Com!" (or failing that, some tacky brand publicity)... automatic docking system on Mir fails... Could *any more* film mags put MEN IN BLACK on the cover?... Internet "creating computer junkies" - THE GUARDIAN... NEWTON 130 price drops to #299... 8% of City execs use whatever they first saw on their desk... >> CULTURE << it's what separates us from the controls Not much going on at the moment - possibly because everybody (including NTK) is off to HIP '97, Amsterdam's open air, 100 Megabit-networked hacking, phreaking, singing, political agit- propping and all the trimmings show. In a brave show of idiocy, NTK has sent its least-travelled editor along, possibly in a deliberate attempt to kill him. You can check his daily (ha!) reports via our special site, or try and track him down yourself. Danny says "Yes. Come and chat about NTK, or just say hello to me. I'll be the one wearing a 'STAY ASLEEP' T-shirt; or I will if I remember to wash it." Eww. http://www.spesh.com/hip97/ - please don't let him come back http://www.hip97.nl excess for all >> TRACKING << something "wicked" this way comes Waiting eagerly for the Mac port of Quake? Want to download it right now? Want to strangle us when we tell you that LION ENTERTAINMENT, who were porting (by all accounts rather successfully) Quake to the Mac, went bust on Wednesday? The MacQuake project is now very much up in the air, although it's assumed that MacSoft will be able to pick up the pieces. Sorry about that. God, we're cruel. http://www.grayphics.com/3dmacgames/macquake/about.html - Didn't you Mac people have enough good news this week? Techno toymakers TIGER have at last trotted out GAME.COM, their new 80 quid hand-held personal organiser/game system that (with a modem and net cartridge out next month) also reads email and browses (text) web pages - via Dircon, of all people. The games (Virtua Fighters, Duke Nukem, William Arcade Classics) ought to freak out anyone still trying to play on a PalmPilot, Psion or Newton, though may suffer a little from translation to an 8-bit CPU and B&W (stylus- sensitive) screen. That other sound you hear is Nintendo audibly kicking themselves for never pushing the productivity apps or doing a TCP/IP stack for the world's top-selling portable computer, the equally shockingly underpowered Z80-based Game Boy. Anyway, how much is a VT100 and 1200/75 modem nowadays? http://188.8.131.52/tigertoys/gamecom.htm - counter seems to be *way* off http://www.mitt.demon.co.uk/tiger.html - Moose, as usual, is spot on http://www.game.com but... there's nothing there! Dynamic HTML. Oh god. It's a mess, no browser supports the same standard, there's no clear use for it, and it's got "Microsoft Crack Cocaine" written all over it (no development tools FOR AT LEAST SIX MOMTHS?) - but, dammit, every geek instinct in your body is telling you to snort it up. Then may we suggest you visit Macromedia "w-w-we're d- d-doing ok-k-kay" Incorporated's Dynamic HTML site, and do your wallowing somewhere vaguely civilised? http://www.dhtmlzone.com/ - oh, if *only* we could make that URL fly around your desktop >> MEMEPOOL << hasta la altavista relationshippers... www.theobvious.com/wired... laser pointers with programmable X-Y modulation (like K-9)... dies BURROUGHS eighty-three, WILLIAM aged... CD players that can read MPEG3 files... Quake Rally... Ecstasy hits Japan... BBC clamp down on Teletubbie pages for "compromising the programme's intentions" (and we went to all that trouble, too)... MacDonalds accidentally use Nazi map of Austria on Austrian placemaps... Tamagotchi movies... mini-beasts... Tomb Raider single delayed *again* - what, is it rubbish or something?... Bus plunges! www.users.interport.net/~tcs/... ICQ to charge?... file directory exploring converted to shoot-'em-up (we're not kidding)... Pentium 133 what people want; shame Intel stopped making them... VR hardware as fomite... Industrial Ship Printers... www.spesh.com/louis/ - it's funky disco ex-CEO of Wired, Louis Rossetto!... >> MO' MEDIA << as if your social life wasn't busy enough as it is TV >> Maximum US comedy tonight with an extra-special flashback-funnies FRIENDS (9pm, Fri, C4), nutty younger brother Niles stepping up to the mic in FRASIER (10pm, Fri, C4), and sex ed southern-style in KING OF THE HILL (10.30pm, Fri, C4)... apparently this series of BUGS (8.10pm, Sat, BBC1) is concentrating more on "relationships" than on high-tech thrills (god help us all); stick with the true horror of THE OMEN (10pm, Sat, C4)... it's "primates perplexed by 20th century customs" when they somehow ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES (5.45pm, Sun, C4), not to be confused with dark incest comedy SPANKING THE MONKEY (10pm, Sun, BBC2)... HARD DRIVE (11pm, Mon, C4) hopes to avoid scaring America's top luddites with its infernal TV camera contraption... Shatner returns triumphant, with new guests including Angela Rippon and Bruce "Iron Maiden" Dickinson, in the cleverly can't- decide-if-I-hate-this-or-is-it-actually-alright SPACE CADETS (6pm, Tue, & 10.15pm, Wed, C4)... compellingly dull Jon Ronson chat show FOR THE LOVE OF (12.25am, Thu, C4) is back with 65 minutes on "Trees", but probably won't get the same ratings as 22 topless women engaging in an hour-long philsophical discussion of BREASTS (10pm, Tue, C4)... a young girl struggles to come to terms with her geekiness in one of the better repeats of SABRINA - THE TEENAGE WITCH (4.45pm, Wed, ITV)... no, we can never remember the diff between Cutting Edge, Modern Times and INSIDE STORY (10pm, Wed, BBC1), this week examining the best temperature (and chefs) for serving revenge... Special Projects co-founder Ben Moor had to leave the country before the first episode, while co-editor Danny O'Brien fought to get his name removed from the credits of new sci-fi sketch show PLANET MIRTH (12.40am, Thu, Carlton + some regions) - tune in and find out why... MOVIES >> GROSSE POINTE BLANK (John Cusack, Minnie Driver, and a remarkably good Dan Aykroyd) is a quirky, indie-ish, black comedy (aren't they all?) about a hitman going to his school reunion; lots of good moments (including a Doom arcade machine?!) but never quite as funny as it wants to be... on the other hand, ROSEANNA'S GRAVE (Mercedes Ruehl, Jean Reno) is a quirky, indie-ish, black comedy about a terminally ill woman hoping for a graveyard reunion with her dead daughter; some funny scenes (Reno tries to stop other townsfolk from dying and taking her plot) but much more sentimental than it should have been... perhaps unsurprisingly, BEAN (Rowan Atkinson, John Mills, Burt Reynolds) is just like three episodes of Mr Bean joined together, so depending if you like the show or not, either a huge laugh, or simply 90 long, long minutes of hell... SIGGRAPH >> The opening party was held at night in the LA Zoo - where an interesting mixture of Hollywood movie types and heavily bearded academics were entertained by DJs and transsexual go-go dancers, as the elephants looked on.... The rest was as per - more high volume bad-Prodigy- imitation techno and fast-cut "flying camera" CGI than most sane people can handle... NewTek refugee Kiki Stockhammer was enthusiastically demonstrating PLAY INC's 8-years in development son-of-Video Toaster product, TRINITY, which seems to provide everything you need to make bad cable TV shows for $5000... No one was surprised by the large amount of WINDOWS NT graphics products on the floor, but despite buying most of the big names (Jim Blinn, Andrew Glassner) there was still little evidence that Microsoft really knows what they're talking about... Much more interesting was the "Electric Garden" which featured a bunch of pretentious video art and hacked together student projects, including an image processing interface for the PLAYSTATION, allowing 2 people to fight on TEKKEN 2 by actually jumping around in front of a screen, and an innovative 360 degree virtual display made from a giant paper dodecahedron and 12 video projectors that the participant was actually sealed into... Showcases at the ELECTRONIC THEATRE included the most impressive impromptu audience-generated laser pointer show I've ever seen, and the new TOY STORY shorts showing were the highlight for the many (at least those who don't get excited by scientific visualisation), but the unforgiving audience actually booed at the MICROSOFT and INTEL sponsored films - email@example.com >> 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 nothing better to do. It is compiled by NTK from stuff they get sent. It is registered at the Post Office as "creating Internet junkies". "I am going off to join the wild boys. When you read this I will be far away." WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS 1914-1997 NEED TO KNOW THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK. Archive - http://www.spesh.com/cgi-bin/now Excuses - http://www.spesh.com/ntk Unsubscribe? Mail firstname.lastname@example.org with 'unsubscribe ntknow'. Subscribe? Mail email@example.com with 'subscribe ntknow'. NTK now is helped by VIRGIN MEDIA, VENUS INTERNET and UNFORTU.NET. They worry about us, but we don't worry about them. (K) 1997 Special Projects. Non-biz copying ok, but retain SMALL PRINT. Tips, news and gossip to firstname.lastname@example.org.