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> | \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ ____05/12/97_ o Join! Mail 'subscribe ntknow' | \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o to email@example.com | |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ V V / o Website (+ archive) lives at: |_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "It came as shock to learn that much of the system relies on volunteers." - Sally Tate, MD of Prince Plc, on the co-operative Net and people *pay* you to be this ignorant? [On which note, apologies to anyone who received three times the Knowledge last weekend. We'd like to claim all the credit, but actually it was mostly down to a bunch of "professionals" radically misconfiguring their mailserver further down the line from us. We've put some safeguards in to stop it affecting the list in the future, but then again, we're volunteers: what do we know?] >> HARD NEWS << continuing sagas The ONE IN A MILLION gamble that didn't come off: two kids, just out of college, who thought they were on to a money- spinner reselling domains like "spice-girls.net" and "marksandspencer.com". Instead, they got billed 60,000UKP legal costs this week, and banned from ever registering domains again. What future have they left? Can we suggest that they partner with some unscrupulous lawyers, and pursue a career in nailing all the big companies that the litigants conveniently ignored? Like RBR Group, perhaps, a computer hardware reseller who unaccountably owns scaryspice.co.uk? Or what about virginbrides.co.uk, owned by "Associated Computing Ltd" but hosted by NetBenefit - who also run virginet.co.uk (owned by the mysterious Virginet Ltd)... Then there's Bijoux Accessories' marksandspencers.co.uk and Megatronix' spice-girls.co.uk - the "unofficial home of the Spice Girls on the Web"? Or maybe even that irrepressible NetNames millionaire Ivan Pope, who probably thinks he got out of domain-squatting just in time, but still, we notice, has "nscape.com"? http://www.ntk.net/names/uknames.zip (1.8MB) - one week only! The complete "co.uk" list legal starter kit! Ongoing confusion at MSN, who last week said they were pulling out of content, and this week were said to be packing in the ISP business. That pretty much leaves them in charge of forwarding their customers' mail, so some backtracking was in order. To get this straight: MSN UK and US are "toning down" content, but still providing connectivity. MSN France and the rest of the world are pulling out of connectivity, not sure about content. In the meantime, MSN employees must be looking enviously to Redmond's cosying up to big-bandwidth providers, and thinking "why did we end up in this Web backwater"? http://www.msn.co.uk - well, that goes for all of us, I guess Weird WIRED coincidences: one year ago, Wired Ventures, after two failed IPOs, manages to get private funding - presumably with strings attached. Six months later, after a flurry of restructuring, colourful Wired founder Louis Rossetto steps down as CEO; six months after *that* (this week), there's another restructuring, and Rossetto quits his publisher role too. Could it be that Wired Ventures isn't hitting some performance milestones, and that Rossetto's increasing distance from the centre of operations are part of that deal? Au contraire - "I gave myself a promotion", he told reporters at C|NET. Regarding all these scurrilous stories, he added "what part of 'no truth' do you not understand?". Tell you what Louis - we'll admit not understanding your "no" if you admit losing contact with "truth". Would that be fair? http://www.weird.co.uk/ - other coincidences: we resume slagging off Wired... http://www.spesh.com/danny/wireduk/ - days after they go to press with an NTK review. Spook! >> ANTI-NEWS << berating the obvious PC GAMER gets exclusive Quake II review/coverdisk, after running cover stories on 2 other Activision releases (Heavy Gear, Dark Reign) earlier this year... BILL GATES "not buying home in Notting Hill"... Campaign's REVOLUT!ON not quite leaping off the newstands... "Schools Buying Computers, With No Assurance Of Payoff" reveals NEW YORK TIMES... EMAP give "Golden Joystick '97" awards to SUPER MARIO 64, QUAKE, LARA CROFT - and three of their own magazines... JANET stamping down on Quakeservers (they account for >10% of some unis' Net traffic)... PLAYBOY to launch CYBER BACHELOR PAD... BT "hamstrung by bureacracy", uncovers expert report... producers admit to "homosexual subtext" in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS... C4 will not be recommissioning SPACE CADETS, HERE'S JOHNNY, BRASS EYE... GUARDIAN reports software piracy in Russia at "an all-time low" - of 91%... 2000AD features Blair droid... GILBERT & GEORGE screensaver quite literally shit... non-tech workers resent geek salaries, observes WALL STREET JOURNAL... >> EVENT QUEUE << for the LaserJet Set No big events this week (well, there's apparently some sort of Java thing at the weekend, but everyone says that'll be rubbish). Never mind: we have the perfect cheap date instead. Pop out with your loved one between 4.30pm and 8pm this weekend, and look up at the Moon. Surrounding it, you should be able to spot Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and - with a telescope or strong pair of binoculars, Uranus and Neptune. If your partner hasn't got a Masters in Astrophysics, you could probably even make out you spotted Pluto. Tell him or her that the planets won't be lined up like this for another century. Then go quiet and sigh. You'll come across as deep, and will probably have saved at least a tenner on food and entertainment costs. http://www.cybersky.com/ - Wintel planetarium simulator, sans "Pink Floyd" evenings http://www.lerc.nasa.gov/WWW/PAO/warp.htm - meanwhile, re: warp - NASA asks "are we nearly there yet?" >> TRACKING << really? for me? There is a santy claus, after all - and his name is Carmack. The final production copy of QUAKE II went to gold on Monday, and is now being pressed ready for sale. CDs are expected to hit the UK on the 12th, but those who aren't afraid of premature spooge can peruse the online manual, which has sneaked its way onto the Id servers. Trivia to be gleaned: the Quake II theme song is by Rob Zombie (not, one suspects, the name he was christened with), while soundtrack is by Sonic Mayhem (who were asked that their work should have a "Doom" feel to it). Net play hasn't yet been tweaked for TCP/IP, although the much improved single- player mode should allow Id breathing space to release a suitably enhanced patch. Ah, who cares. Let the Yule giblets fly! http://satan.idsoftware.com/q2manual/ - there's life in that OpenGL clan yet Expect plenty of hoo-hah about I/O/D 4, the new piece by net.art veteran MATTHEW FULLER and Escape. Critics will be astounded to discover an artwork that actually does something, rather than just some fat Director file padded out with some school-of-ZX81 animation. But what *does* it do? Well, as far as we can see, I/O/D 4 represents a ingenious rediscovery of the concept of a net spider (exciting concept circa 1994) in the form of a (Director) program which grabs Web pages by repeatedly sucking up the HTML and then searching through the hyperlinks while drawing pretty patterns. The artists themselves believe this to be "an astoundingly good program", which is dangerous talk about something that a CS graduate could knock up in an evening. Of course, we're sure CS graduates wouldn't understand the deeper ramifications of the work. http://www.backspace.org/iod/ - Nice interface though. We add, just as patronisingly. http://www.polbox.com/a/aris/scene.htm - *Real* astoundingly good programs. And better art, too. INTERNET EXPLORER 4.01 is out. Lots of extras for deaf or blind computer users (the only ones Microsoft believe haven't yet installed the original), some tweaks for those high publicity security flaws that no-one will ever exploit, and improved functionality for those who "may have experienced difficulties in installation". So this time "hyper" Active Desktop won't completely trash our system so we can't de-install? Oh, gimmee-gimmee. http://www.microsoft.com/ie/ - where would you like to attempt to return to today? And meanwhile, on the beta front: you can see the future look of ICQ with C|Net's download.com preview release. Also kicking about: the QuickTime 3.0 preview developer release. http://www.download.com/ - ICQ 98 : it's in here somewhere http://quicktime.apple.com/preview/ - those Apple guys. >> MEMEPOOL << hasta la altavista www.handykey.com ... who owns trademark to "Internet Explorer"? Hint: it's not Microsoft... alcopop market collapses as teenyboppers move to port, cigars... a staggering "1 out of every 130" Icelanders own footy sim CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER '97/98, estimates CTW... fanfic of the week: www.geocities.com/SoHo/Studios/7708/... emulator page o' the month: http://ds.dial.pipex.com/town/estate/dh69/ ... do Microsoft webservers serve Explorer clients first?... www2.gol.com/users/zapkdarc/ ... amateur rocket of the century: www.hafan.demon.co.uk/manhole.htm ...playing the Beastie Boys' Sabotage over the opening scene from STAR WARS (as Darth emerges from smoke)... www.alexchiu.com ... www.fsc.fujitsu.com/language/home-e.html ... 38,000 victims of Moldavian porn scam can claim money back - if they dare... weapon of the millenium: http://omnibus.uni-freiburg.de/~jepsen/thz/lassword.htm ... >> GEEK MEDIA << i/o for those too tired to o TV>> rivalling even BBC2's bizarre theme evenings, BBC1 dedicated today's daytime output to a celebrarion of "Red Hair" (Fri, 9am-3.30pm), with a specially freckley Kilroy and "links with asthma", but no really famous gingers - eg Bonnie Langford, Chris Evans, Malcolm McLaren (or Malcolm X)... Danish porn docu STORYVILLE (10pm, Sat, BBC2) "contains some nudity and strong language" - thank you, the Radio Times... Bristolian beatmasters Roni Size and Tricky are (respectively) profiled in THE WORKS (7.30pm, Sat, BBC2) and ARTHOUSE (11.05pm, Sun, C4) - Arthouse is maybe the more prestigious slot, considering that The Works also profiled Bush and Hughie Green... here's hoping for a dramatic "-I'm Spartacus! -No, *I'm* Spartacus" end to the horrifically entertaining I'M ALAN PARTRIDGE (10pm, Mon, BBC2)... Tommy Lee Jones battles cook-turned-commando Steven Seagal over how much they know about cartoons in all-at-sea actioner UNDER SIEGE (9.30pm, Tue, BBC1)... Scully faces brain cancer (caused by alien abduction, or just a warning from the producers not to hold out for a massive payrise?), and the Lone Gunmen return as true heroes of THE X FILES (10.15pm, Wed, BBC1)... oh, and Steve Martin's last *great* film, ROXANNE (9pm, Thu, C5) is actually based on some French literature, and not the Police/Puff Daddy song of the same name... MOVIES>> basically a week of good ideas for movies spoiled by ropey execution, whether it's the gripping casting of De Niro, Stallone, Keitel - and Janeane Garofolo! - in latter- day Western COPLAND (imdb: crime / drama / police / vigilante / small-town / conspiracy)... or the Sister-Act- On-The-River-Kwai singalong PARADISE ROAD (MPAA rated: R - for "fairly graphic scenes of women being beaten and tortured, as well as some nudity")... then there's 2 way-too-unpleasant crime thrillers: Billy Zane and Gina Gershon in THIS WORLD, THEN THE FIREWORKS (imdb: crime / incest / drama), or the remake of the inspiration for Keitel's role in Pulp Fiction, CURDLED (MPAA rated: R - for "violence/gore, and brief language")... big old John Goodman and a semi-Britcom cast will warm the heart of any Micro Machines fan in THE BORROWERS (MPAA rated: PG - for "mild peril and some crude humor")... while for outright seasonal sentiment, check your cynicism for the re-released Capra classic IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (imdb: drama / frustration / angel / suicide / christmas / bank / fantasy) - not to be confused with Nikki Sinn's adult video homage, TITS A WONDERFUL LIFE (imdb: sex / hardcore)... "REAL" RADIO>> pompous discussions of the word "baggy" in I WANNA BE ADORED (9pm, Sun, R1), as Radio 1 mourn the passing of the Stone Roses *only* 14 months after they split... this week, it's secret river bathing that's apparently BETTER THAN SEX (9.15pm, Mon, R4) - well, for Radio 4 listeners, maybe... sporting a pair of Harry Palmer specs a decade before Jarvis, mad lo-fi veteran Jad Fair twiddles Half Japanese's knobs in another session for JOHN PEEL (8.40pm, Tue, R1)... they probably won't be namechecking Sid and Hattie's "Wedded Bliss" agency in Carry On Loving when THE NETWORK (8.30pm, Tue, R4) explores the history of computer dating... foul-mouthed screenwriter Kevin Smith gets 25 minutes to explain just *why* she had that annoying squeaky voice, as the writer/director of Clerks, Chasing Amy (but not Superman Lives) gets interviewed in POSTSCRIPT (10pm, Wed, R3)... FINDING FELLOWS (2.00pm, Thu, R4) is the bizarre title for another of R4's seemingly endless supply of posh geek dramas, this time about "identity on the net"... with Brass Eye incredibly passed over (in favour of Whose Line Is It Anyway) in C4's depressing democratic evening, Radio 1 continues to pass over BLUE JAM (12midnight, Thu, R1), just in case anyone complains about those live reports from crucifixions... >> COMPO << will swap "livelihood" for "shoddy gifts" Only one more week to go in our increasingly perilous hack- an-URL-win-a-prize contest (http://www.ntk.net/compo/ for details and disclaimers). Last weeks' winner is David Cross of... ahh, a government organisation. Congrats, David - you win a "FIGHTING FORCE" disk for the PlayStation (no instructions, but how complicated can it be?) and, fittingly, a life-size poster of James Bond that we nicked from a press launch. We have no idea how we're going to get that it to you, though. Could you just send the boys around? This week's clue is for an URL in the form http://www.********.co.uk, where the blank is filled with the answer to this question: What product "hyper"links pro golfer KARRIE WEBB with ad agency LOWE HOWARD-SPINK? (and you can't do this using normal search strings. We checked.) >> 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 "as seen on the Jennicam". ( http://www.jennicam.org/gallery/j31.jpg ) NEED TO KNOW THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK. Archive - http://www.ntk.net/ 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 NET, VENUS INTERNET and UNFORTU.NET. They worry about us, but we don't worry about them. (K) 1997 Special Projects. Non-business copying is fine, but retain SMALL PRINT. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for commercial license details. Tips, news and gossip to email@example.com.