__ __ _12/09/97 _ _ _____ _ __ <Nasty, British and Short>
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[ Hi. Danny here - or "Starchild" as I am now known. Since
my life-changing experience at Burning Man, the
"Californian Glastonbury Without Any Decent Music", I am
much more interested in constructing large sculptures of
transgendered aliens from Playa mud than reporting in a
hoity-toity voice the latest technology news. At least, for
now. But hell, you can make do with yet another MiniNTK,
can't you? Can't you?]
"Since the tragic news concerning the death of Diana,
Princess of Wales, many of you have contacted us to ask how
the event will be affected at the weekend...
There will be no change to opening times... the show will
be going ahead as planned."
- The show must go on at last weekend's ECTS games trade fair
(www.ects.com). Hey, at least it wasn't Lara Croft, or Sonic...
>> SHORT ON NEWS <<
We'd hate to see the blood tests for that other hastily
commandeered driver, Steve Jobs, as he ploughed through
Apple's licensing deals this week, then reversed back over
to pick up the Newton unit that was *almost* getting away
from the scene of the accident... meanwhile, an unscheduled
Apple board meeting implied that maybe that long-awaited
abdication is, if not imminent, certainly eagerly
awaited... OK, no more mixed Di metaphors (for now), just a
swift plug for the very quick-off-the-mark unofficial tie-
in video game, PAPARAZI (sic - www.fairgame.org/paparazi/ )
and, obeying NTK's first law of "you can always undercut them
by doing it for free", at last, a decent conspiracy site,
at http://www.mcn.org/b/poisonfrog/diana/ ... COMPUSERVE
members sold to AOL for a sum that the casual reader might
misread as one of their email addresses, while MINDSPRING
buy up the remaining US DELPHI subscriber base - a base
that recently hit ten figures. Ten *binary* figures, that is...
>> TINY ANTI-NEWS <<
real-world contributions from Mike Paterson
Americans "astounded" to discover games reviewers take
back-handers... NSPCC survey shows "lots" of kids watch TV
after 9pm watershed... WHICH? report says rail passengers
over-charged and often given wrong travel information, esp.
in SW region... Dominik Diamond (sic) claims next series of
GAMESMASTER will "definitely be the last" (he *always* says
that); show will then transfer to netcasting to allow "more
adult content"... "Chip Inventor Amazed By Musical
Neckties" - Reuters... Report: LONDON SCHOOLS run by
inexperienced or temporary headmasters... Motorola and IBM
decide Mac clones probably not a great idea anymore... SGI
planning Intel stations... MICROSOFT boast reliability
Suck, and MSNBC go down (what - no-one noticed?)... 56kbs
modem standard still not fixed...
>> CULTURE <<
the great indoors
Well, still scoping some of the interesting stuff getting
pulled - new KYLIE album retitled "Kylie Minogue" instead
of "Impossible Princess"; new DENIM single "Summer Smash"
delayed indefinitely; though YUMMY FUR's double A-side
"Always Crashing In The Same Car" will be released as
planned... NTK reader A Riley reports an interesting
"controlled experiment" which involved leaving a photo of
PRINCE CHARLES at Di memorial sites. Many visitors picked
it up, noticed "Be strong, Charles - for the boys" written
on the back, then replaced it, though usually face down...
IN OTHER NEWS: AUSTIN POWERS may be "less funny" due to
excised Royal gags, UK version of YOU DON'T KNOW JACK now
delayed to remove disrespectful Di references... In, as
they say, "other news", the first "Sex and Online-Shopping"
novel looks to be a Wired staff Roman a Clef by Carla
Sinclair... Congrats to NTK reader Kass Schmitt for winning
that International Form Art contest we plugged in
- "I suppose this makes me an artist", she writes. Don't
worry K, you're still a geek to us...
http://remote.aec.at/form/competition.html >> TRACKING <<
if you can't plug it in, we ain't interested
Sorry, more Diana fall-out, but at least involving some
serious hardware: French military laser specialists CILAS
may have a solution for "personalities who feel their
movements are being tracked by photographers". They claim
that their 7-kg "Sight Laser Detector 400", originally
designed to pinpoint concealed snipers, could be adapted to
detect "all optical lenses at distances of up to 4km". And
yet supermarkets still can't come up with one that scans
yoghurts or plastic bottles properly...
- bet they get a lot of false positives from spectacles and
>> KIDDIES' MEMEPOOL <<
shallow, obsessed with Teletubbies
Former "TINKY WINKY" Dave Thompson to do live appearances
for cyberpet Fin Fin... slashfic of the week - RENTAGHOST:
www.mitt.demon.co.uk/slash.html ... PUFF DADDY is "MC
Hammer" of the '90s... 'TUBBIE MC' record banned by BBC for
unauthorised samples... TOMB RAIDER record (now due
10/11/97) "not so bad after all"... CONSOLES to go to 100
quid before Christmas... David "Se7en" Fincher now setting
up RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA movie... PERL is "net Yiddish"...
www.geog.ucl.ac.uk/casa/martin/atlas/atlas.html ... AVALON
(comedy management company - think Skinner, Baddiel) to set
up funny website... www.geekcereal.com in death-throes?...
http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~stephenbalchin/tubbies.html >> GEEK MEDIA <<
watch more TV
TV >> schedules seem to be returning to normal now, though
VR5 (11.15pm, Fri, BBC2) is still rubbish, and it's a tough
call between Sam "Evil Dead" Raimi's bizarrely under-par
Coen-brothers collaboration CRIMEWAVE (12.55am, Fri, BBC1)
and Jackie Chan's cheerily incoherent POLICE STORY II
(12.35am, Fri, C4)... one reason why GLADIATORS (6.15pm,
Sat, LWT) had to be cancelled last Sat is, apparently, that
one of the contestants is an undertaker and the commentator
keeps making gags about coffins (ditto for BLIND DATE,
immediately after?)... Jimmy "Cracker" McGovern's THE LAKES
(9.05pm, Sun, BBC1) purports to be a Brit Twin Peaks, but
almost certainly isn't, though it does have a romance
between two actors most famous for their phone ads: John
"Cellnet" Simm and Emma "No, I want to talk to you, Dad"
Cunniffe... EQUINOX (9pm, Mon, C4) reckons Britain could
have nuked the Yanks and taken over the world if only we'd
been a bit prompter with our grant applications... the
SEINFELD/LARRY SANDERS double bill (11.15pm, Tue, BBC2)
gets off to a shaky start, and, come on BBC2! - why only
once a week?... the world's best video diary show is
deservedly repeated AS SEEN ON TV (6.45pm, Wed, BBC2 -
after Star Trek: TNG)... on the other hand, Steven "Press
Gang" Moffat's teacher sitcom CHALK (10.15pm, Wed, BBC1),
tries hard, could do better. See me..
MOVIES >> 187 (imdb: "drama") - as www.policescanner.com
fans will know - is a police code for "homicide", and also
an interesting (if confused) school-gang movie from Kevin
"Prince Of Thieves/Waterworld" Reynolds... probably a mild
improvement on elderly Harrison Ford's patchwork Die-Hard-
on-a-plane antics in AIR FORCE ONE (imdb: "thriller /
action / aviation / terrorism / president / refueling"),
whose best feature is that, whenever anyone says the title,
you can come straight back with "Stirling Albion: Nil"...
MAGS >> FRANK is apparently just like all other women's
magazines, but "with a bit of New Labour" thrown in...
COVER MAGAZINE (due next week) claims to summarise all the
month's papers in one handy volume, which presumably keeps
them much too busy to have a website... current 21C (like
Mondo 2000, but with the design under control) has good bit
by Mark Dery on brand tatoos (in accordance with prophecy -
search NTK archive for "tattoo")... the current issue of
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING asks "Do You Have *That Certain
Something*?", implying a feature inside that attempts the
logical paradox of *defining* "je ne sais quoi"...
>> FAQ THIS <<
your answers questioned
Q. No no no no! You've got me all wrong. I claimed 'Weekly,
Brutish and Short', not 'Nasty, British and Short'. I
couldn't bare to lose the lovely 'brutish'.
- Steve Bowbrick, Webmedia
A. Sorry Steve, you were edited for space reasons. Here,
for any concerned readers, is Steve's original mail:
"I also want to point out that, while I think it's
perfectly OK for you to say 'Nasty, British and Short, you
should understand that we at the wholly-unlamented Tired
http://www.tired.co.uk/ ('soon' to be re-launched) said
'Weekly, Brutish and Short' months ago. Can you put a
little form at the web site for people to post their own
variants on 'nasty, brutish and short'? Then we could get
it in the back of one of the Sunday Supplements."
Q. OK then, why is "MiniNTK" now often substantially longer
than "NTK Classic"?
- various logic-concerned subscribers
A.Aha, we're not called "Britain's Most Sarcastic Weekly
Tech Newsletter" for nothing. Though obviously it would
be even more ironically appropriate *if we were*.
Q. Joke's over guys. When is the *real* NTK coming
A. Two weeks. We promise. Two weeks. Keep holding on in
>> SMALL PRINT <<
Need To Know 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 "not going to mention her again".
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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