>> HARD NEWS <<
G's and Q's
Mac users celebrated APPLE's increasing ability to suck
money off them this week, as the company revealed profits of
62UKP million for the last quarter. Gross margins were up,
thanks to the elimination of all those unnecessary
clone-makers, and inventory problems eliminated by
selling just three ingeniously demarcated product lines: the G3
laptop, the G3 server, or the G3 desktop. But the "any model
I want, as long as it's Mac" brigade haven't got *just*
themselves to thank for the company's return to healthy,
quasi-monopolist form. As vital on the balance sheet was
British Acorn remnants ARM, whose IPO earlier this year
handed co-founders Apple a cool 20UKP million. All those
Archimedes owners will be *so* pleased.
http://www.arm.com/ fruit and nut cases
http://www.microsoft.com/ *cough* $1.36 billion *cough*
A young - but slightly unbelievable - couple choose to leave
the innocence of a virginal relationship and allow everyone
on the Net to watch them as they attempt to screw one
another for the first time. Yes, REAL NETWORKS and their
minority shareholders MICROSOFT, ostensibly partners but
frankly gagging for a punch-up, finally let the fists fly
with Real's official beta release of G2, their new
RealAudio, RealVideo, RealPix, RealKitchenSink streaming
system. As from now, Microsoft's currently piss-poor Netshow
will not be compatible with streamed Real content. Nor will
Microsoft support SMIL, the newly proclaimed standard for
synchronising these kinds of multimedia hijinx. They say
that's because it's "unnecessary". Unnecessarily compatible
with G2 - which does support it.
- G2, G3 : are those brandname consultants on strike or something?
- not the same people as http://www.ourfirstanalsex.com, it seems
Distributed computing. "Hive minds". Network effect. Pah.
Everyone knows that money buys you real power around here,
even if no-one expected the eminently decentralised JOHN
GILMORE to prove the point. With 250,000UKP and a nifty
piece of dedicated parallel hardware, he snapped the back of
the latest code-cracking DES challenge in an embarrassing
two and half days - hardly time for his chief rivals,
distributed.net, to get their latest key-crunching client
out the door to their thousands of volunteers.
- now to set it on Shimomura's ASS
- bunch of time-wasters, as it were
- routing around the whole damn thing
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
.NET magazine wants ten of its readers to test their
personalities online - optimistic in oh so many ways...
... MARKS AND SPENCERS may sell Microsoft products - looking
forward to that "no questions asked" return policy... FRANCE
rails against US cultural imperialism, plays STAR WARS theme
at World Cup Final - how imperial can you get? ... POINTCAST
IPO "postponed"... Giant 'Z' in sky was meteor, not return
of 2000AD's ZENITH ... SOUTHERN COMFORT run "Southerners
have their own rules" ad during showing of DELIVERANCE...
www.bedepot.com runs on Windows NT... Cameo, the Electoral
Roll database [NTK 19/06/98] "rethinking" site after
around 3,000 free trial requests per day... artists at
http://www.triggerhappy.org describe own work as "a folly...
self-defeating... meaningless"... URL for Lycos Spain?
http://www.es.lycos.de/ of course!
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
It's all far-flung, far-future farragos this week. If
you're quick, you might be able to book a flight to Las
Vegas for DEFCON VI, the incrementally calm rating for the
exponentially riotous annual hackers' convention. Sights to
see during the 31/7/98 weekend will include GSM hacking, the
setting off of hotel fire extinguishers, Lorenzo "infowar"
Valeri, teenagers getting arrested for curfew, Bruce
"counterpane" Schneier, disoriented would-be screenwriters,
Se7en's notes on social engineering airlines and hotels
(vital for DC7) and the release of the Cult of the Dead
Cow's new remote Windows administration tool, Back Orifice.
We'll have to leave you guessing just how remote that
administration can be...
It should be slightly easier to pursuade your boss to pay
for your ticket to PERL CONFERENCE 2.0, which is oooh, yonks
away (16/10/98-20/10/98) and in San Jose to boot. We don't
really have to say why you should be going (Larry Wall?
Netscape keynote? "Guru-is-in" tutorials? A chance to talk
entirely in regexps?), we just thought it was time to remind
http://conference.perl.com/ CPAN live!
>> TRACKING <<
no ftp, no comment
Netscape 4.5 is a whole half better than Netscape 4, and
includes lots of mildly useful, slightly desparate attempts
to up the Netscape Website hits by redirecting keyword
searches to the site, and a new "find related links"
feature. First reactions are that these capabilities are
intrinsically evil; closer inspection shows some neat
configuration possibilities (so you can pick your own related
site server - even tie it into Altavista). IMAP's noticeably
better, and the mail client looks a bit less
slapped-together, but the really cool extras to let you
remotely access your bookmarks, address book and calendar
are yet to come. We'd say wait. For about two days, then
capitulate to your craving and download it anyway.
- is this another bloody Godzilla tie-in?
They always say, don't they, that what Linux really needs is
a few decent games - and what better place to plunder than
the past works of David Braben. Taking its title from the
impressive-at-the-time 1989 Archimedes original, ZARCH is a
sort of cross between Lander and a 3d version of Defender.
Almost exactly as you remember it - and twice as
disappointing - this was one of the only reasons the
nation's school computers ever got used. We're still
waiting for XFrak though...
- Not really a virus, but since it's a binary we can't
say for sure...
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
Things We Can't Tell You, I: which Website provider was
raided after the attempted IRA London bombing... Leave
Robert Denby *alone* ... where were you when you first heard
about the Challenger explosion movie?... Somerfield take
over Kwik-Save ... Bianca's Smut Shack bought by - Zapata?
... Dummy Cow! http://www.gencor.ca/imv/dummy_cow/ ...
Things We Can't Tell You, II: crash the NT Executive, win
valuable passwords ... subliminal Bill: Starship Troopers
"United Citizen Federation" single, track 2, 1:03secs, ...
who wants to write the Linux Martyr HOWTO?... laughing at
Amazon Sales Rankings... Clan Light Lunch? ... now what are
we going to do with all these Northern Ireland/Orange phone
gags? ... US readers! Watch PBS for once in your lives for
the eye-opening PLANE CRAZY with Robert X. Cringely - 22/07/98!
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
may contain strongly-typed language
TV>> we're pleased to announce that sports coverage has been
suspended due to over-running of quirky B-movies: John
Hughes auditions Macaulay Culkin in similar, superior Home
Alone prequel UNCLE BUCK (8pm, Fri, BBC1)... Robert Powell
traps the inspiration for Ghostbusters' Slimer in
paranormally good '70s Brit-schlock, THE ASPHYX (12.55am,
Fri, BBC1)... Jonathan Ross lays waste to "so bad they're
good" myth with hideous overdose of GODZILLA DAY (11am-10pm,
Sat, Sky Movies Gold)... and the line "Objection, your
honouAAAARRRGGHH!!" does not appear in THE TRIAL OF THE
INCREDIBLE HULK (3.15pm, Sat, some ITV), though it does have
visually-challenged superhero Daredevil and "Slider" John
Rhys-Davies... Neil Morrissey inexplicably returns in a
whole bloody series of THE VANISHING MAN (7.45pm, Sat, ITV),
just after Carrey vs Cox in the always-remarkable ACE
VENTURA: PET DETECTIVE (6.15pm, Sat, ITV)... yup, MIAMI
RHAPSODY (9pm, Sat, C4) is a bit like Woody Allen lite - or
a very good sitcom episode... and Frank Black strives to
find anyone who cares about a new run of MILLENNIUM
(10.30pm, Sat, ITV)... a season of Stephen King's famously
unfilmable fables starts with DOLORES CLAIBORNE (10pm, Sun,
C4)... though more nudity, less coherence in TWIN PEAKS:
FIRE WALK WITH ME (11.45pm, Sun, BBC2)... sadly, it doesn't
seem to be former page 3 model Gail McKenna among Terry
Nutkins' BRILLIANT CREATURES (4.50pm, Mon, ITV)... but it
is oafish Bob Mills hosting new trivia panel game NOT A LOT
OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT (11pm, Mon, BBC1)... not just another
example of the BBC ripping off American titles for their own
shows - WEIRD SCIENCE (12.05am, Mon, BBC1) is genuinely a
spin-off from the 1985 John Hughes movie... Mad About You
retread LOVED BY YOU (8.30pm, Tue, ITV) returns with a VR
episode... Stephen Jay Gould believes Stephen King's THE
TOMMYKNOCKERS (10pm, Tue, C4) to be the best evolutionary
allegory ever... Clarkson and co battle a nightmarish Mad
Max flooded-Earth future in TOP GEAR WATERWORLD (8.30pm,
Thu, BBC2)... and let's raise a glass to unsubtle product
placement in three-part carbonated retrospective THE
COCA-COLA CONQUEST (11.55pm, Thu, C4), "tracing the history
of the soft drink, and its lifelong competition with rival
Pepsi" (The Radio Times)...
FILM>> au contraire, GODZILLA (imdb: action / sci-fi /
godzilla / giant-monster) appears to be entirely in the
spirit of the originals, in that it's largely rubbish. But
c'mon, who really expects monster movies to make sense
now?... sub-aqua kiddie fun resurfaces after 9 years in the
form of THE LITTLE MERMAID (imdb: animation / children's /
musical / romance / sea / underwater / little-mermaid /
ocean / family / disney-animated-feature / comedy) - but of
course the search term you're looking for is really +"little
mermaid" +"obvious penis"... and to commemorate the launch
of MicroSoft's sinister purple robot child-minder ("Clean
Up! Clean Up! Everybody do their share!"), sing along with
BARNEY'S GREAT ADVENTURE (imdb: children's / family /
dinosaur) - though, despite the implicit suggestion of the
title, the film does *not* depict Barney's first sexual
PRO-CELEBRITY FEEBDACK>> thanks to all who wrote in with
eye-witness sightings and tastings of Callipo Shots and
Winner Tacos [NTK 03/07/98], especially Connected columnist
MICHAEL BYWATER for his mouth-watering depiction of the
"magnificently chundrous" Winner Taco - "the heavy
insulating wafer clamshell protecting the tradition Walls'
pigfat-style icecream from unsightly heat-exchange
phase-shift, sealed at its lip with thick and somehow
unconvincing chocolate". Michael generously describes NTK as
"the best-written publication in Britain" - coming from the
man who invented Starship Titanic's "Pulsating Inconvenience
from the Planet Sprod", high praise indeed!... sticking with
self-indulgence, tubby cyber-subscriber BRUCE STERLING
queried our gag that his 'Triple Xtra Large' feature in the
new Wired "strangely omits himself": "The heck you say; my
Triple Xtra Large self is not only on the cover, it's inside
a little monorail... it's even packing on the pounds in Le
Jules Verne... You should get up from the keyboard and eat
something." Cheers for the tip Bruce, but we're comfy eating
where we are... this reader's URL
http://ourworld.darq.net/p.hampton-forbes/ revived fears
that NTK "may be attracting the wrong element"... and
"Funny. Very funny. Hilarious." writes bedroom techno
boffin, Q Magazine demo compo winner, and former Doom
champion, DAVID MCCANDLESS, no doubt referring to the fact
that instead of giving "a plug" to his site
http://www.wakeywakey.com, we inadvertently registered the
address http://i.am/a.gaylord, pointed it at his page, then
printed that URL instead [NTK 10/07/98]. NTK regrets the
>> 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 "too bloody distributed".
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
Archive - http://www.ntk.net/
Excuses - http://www.spesh.com/ntk/
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