_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the UK>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ ____07/08/98_ o Join! Mail 'subscribe ntknow'
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o to email@example.com
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ V V / o Website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/
[Last week, some subscribers were lucky enough
to receive up to four bonus copies of NTK. To those who
took the time to reply with comments more sarcastic than
we could ever dream of being, thanks. To prevent this
ever happening again (again), we have a brand new
remailer, written by unpaid genius hacker labour while
under the influence of prescription medication. *That*
should sort things out, don't you think? think? think?]
Because if we truly desire world domination, we've got to
get our LSD into the corporate elite's conceptual water
supply and alter the beast's consciousness. That means we
need to co-opt the media that shape decision-making at the
highest corporate levels of the Fortune 500.
- ERIC S RAYMOND, the Abbie Hoffman of Open Source
Eric, you're scaring the straights
>> HARD NEWS <<
MICROSOFT's "Cheeky Monkey" defence strategy against the DOJ
anti-trust charges continues to unfurl. Top of this week's
"Strange... but Truish" claims was that they were
planning to snick an Internet browser into the OS waaaaay
back in April 1994. "Netscape wasn't even on anybody's
radar screen back then", said Microsoft's legal team to the
New York Times - showing that Gates had planned Net
integration with no intent of CRUSHING ALL COMPETITION UNDER
THE HEEL OF HIS JACKBOOT, as some critics had implied. Same
critics will not be silenced however: it's a pretty
short-range radar that wasn't picking up *some* noises of
Andreessen and Co back then. Was nobody at the Microsoft's
April 5th Internet retreat (when the OS integration was
allegedly first mooted) aware of the formation of the
Netscape company *the day before*? And how long did it take
Gates to put his masterplan into operation? The HTML core
for Internet Explorer was licensed from Spyglass on December
16th of that year - again, one day *after* Netscape 1.0
shipped. Had the far-seeing Gates not managed to persuade
his team to write *any* code before then? Microsoft might be
able to pursuade a judge the Internet time is fast - but
proving it runs backwards might be tougher assignment...
- if you're going to rewrite history...
- start with your own archives
As the proper media backtracks over their BACK ORIFICE tales
of terror ("Sir Dysticís claims collapse around his
contrived infamy" - Richard Barry, ZDNET News), the true
tale of this year's DEFCON highlight - PH0N-E's public bust
by FBI agents - is beginning to emerge. From a report by the
man himself (allegedly - no PGP signature on this defcon
list post) the Feds were all too interested in Ph0n-E's
promise to show his HERF GUN prototype at the show.
Intimations during their chat included putting Phon-E on
"the list" ("so give me your address and I'll put you on my
christmas list too"), and flagging him as a dangerous crim
("I'm actually nice, I'm just misunderstood because of my
artistic hair."). With nothing sticking, the suspect was
released avec HERF GUN, and off he strode... in the
direction of Area 51. To heckle the UFOS, we guess.
- just don't point it backwards
- or get it mixed up with this
- bad animated gifs/attitude
- Back Orifice bad! Good! Dangerous! Harmless!
Thanks to everyone who sent in BBC management quotes,
showing their exemplary approach to online services.
Rummaging through the slushpile, we were particularly drawn
to: "The Internet is no better than Ceefax. I'm not
convinced it's going to appeal to anyone other than the
anoraks." (so *close*) and "Microsoft's Blackbird offers a
far superior way of presenting and distributing commercial
on-line content." (July '95 - a year after Microsoft had
decided the Internet was the way to go, of course). Our
fave, though, has to be the BBC exec who ran into the
canteen on the day the DNS root servers broke down, and
crowed "The Internet's dead! It's dead! Hahahahaha!" right
into the face of one young Online lady. It's attitudes like
that which make the BBC such a pleasant place to work.
- yeah, and look how they treated Dr Who
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
NT 5.0 beta 2 "down to last 100 major bugs"... ION STORM's
newsletter runs "all joey" edition - yeah, we had that
figured... from Japanese invention press release:
"Armrest Reduces Strain, Provides Relaxing Smell"... doomed
true product slogans of our time: "I can't believe I've just
eaten SPAM"... "In general, less-educated individuals tend
to agree most strongly with the X-FILES perspective",
uncovers ZOGBY'S REAL AMERICA... HARRY KNOWLES reports that
Ulysses 31 movie will feature Barry Gibb as star, Eric
Cantona as Zeus - hmmm... 11% out-of-the-box failure rate
for iMacs, says CRINGELY... NETSCAPE programmers prepare for
Y2K - http://www.ntk.net/doh/ns980800.gif ... RICHARD BARRY
WATCH at www.zdnet.co.uk/news : "A new Internet service
aimed at the over 60s is proving to be as popular with
pensioners as it is with school children. Full story to
follow." But can we wait?... GUARDIAN warns its readers
"if a microwave oven blows up because its chip fails at the
millennium" you will not be covered... techies at "New"
DEMON taught presentation skills - meanwhile, pop3 service
collapses... 49,000 people signed up for Lego MindStorms beta
test, 200 will be chosen...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Fancy a trip to the cinema, but forgotten your glasses?
Well, obviously you don't need to sit in the front row for
RESFEST, the low-resolution digital film and video
festival, which presses play on its worldwide tour today in
London at the hated ICA [07-09/08/98]. There's CGI animation,
"digitally enhanced live action", and - as ever -
underground pop promos, plus experts who you can ask about
the persistent rumours of unofficial attempts to revive the
Fisher Price Pixelvision format. C'mon, surely it's just a
Tyco kiddie-cam soldered onto a high-speed Walkman...
- entrants over 320 x 240 need not apply
Forced to double-bill with a moon waxing too gibbous for its
own good, the PERSEID METEOR SHOWER will be gigging the
skies on Wednesday and Thursday next week
(11/08/98-12/08/98), with their best set at 4AM on the final
date. Yeah, we always forget to check it out too: the real
date for your Meteor Lovers Diary, though, should be
17/11/98, when the LEONIDS get a chance to steal the
chondrite-light in what promises to be their most
spectacular show for 33 years.
- trained meteors? this I want to see...
- I saw one first!
>> TRACKING <<
mostly significant bits
You know, once you've mastered the small bats, fast balls,
and extreme rebound-angle options, only one real PONG
challenge remains - *who can code the smallest version?* An
impressive 144 bytes is the current leader over at the HUGI
SIZE CODING COMPO, confirming the depth-of-gameplay concerns
raised by some early reviewers about the analogue-joypad
classic. Further nostalgic dreams fade in the cold light of
day at the COMPUTER EXCHANGE RETRO SHOP at 143 Whitfield
Street, London W1 (voice: 0171 692 1213), which opened a
while back - but only now can we bring you this exclusive
unofficial site preview...
- ironically, unviewable on most Spectrum browsers
- just like real tennis, not a Brit in sight...
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
Save Mir: http://www.space-frontier.org/PROJECTS/MIR/ ...
first SOHO comes back, now Pioneer 10 says hello - anyone
heard from Sputnik?... CELERON finally gets that L2 CACHE...
how long before WWW.QVT.COM jewelry gets to QVC?... plants
soothed by aspirin... bye bye, about:jwz ... CYBERJUNKY --
legit? *married*? What kind of rumours are these?...
http://www.spacebastards.com/attack.htm for the vicious
games exec inside all of us... "What goes down more, Monica
or SLASHDOT?"... kick up WORD 97, go to Tools|Languages,
choose English (United States), type "I'd like to see Bill
Gates dead", select all, shift-F7... Smack my BitchX up...
NT guy at USENIX gets snappy with heckler who criticises the
version of ksh he's demonstrating on NT. Heckler turns out
to be David Korn... "WARGAMES Y2K"... saving trashed Websites
by asking friends to pick through their NETSCAPE cache...
Tomi "DOOMer", Swedish Quake champion says "I truly believe
that 40 or 50 years from now, when I tell my grandchildren I
played against Thresh and DeathRow, it will have
significance for them."... http://www.auschron.com/mrpants/ >> GEEK MEDIA <<
may contain strongly-typed language
FILM>> it's been described an "all-out attack on the arts
and traditions of film-making" - in other words, a
big thumbs up from us for ARMAGEDDON (imdb: action /
sci-fi / thriller / romance / blockbuster /
space-shuttle / meteor-threatens-earth / disaster / bravery
/ father-daughter / space-station /
astronauts / training / oil-platform / hero / rescue
/ swimming / space / asteroid / nuclear-weapons /
greenpeace / paris / sacrifice / apocalypse). Expect a
fairly basic all-action CGI saving-the-world
ensemble epic, albeit one that Michael "The Rock /
Bad Boys" Bay has edited the living shit out of. Then come
home and play the unofficial online game! (
http://huey.jpl.nasa.gov/~spravdo/neat.html )... "The
world's most private detective" amusingly sums
up the reclusive empath detective hero of quirky,
arty noir ZERO EFFECT (imdb: thriller / comedy), with Ben
"Reality Bites" Stiller as Bill "ID4" Pullman's Watson-style
assistant... "Only the rainbow can duplicate its
brilliance!" was the 1938 tagline for Errol
Flynn's Technicolor treat, THE ADVENTURES OF
ROBIN HOOD (imdb: action / adventure / outlaw / prince /
based-on-novel / revolt / robin-hood / swordfight /
historical / castle / swashbuckler / classic /
england / famous-score / archery / knights / love /
medieval) - here's hoping the new print still includes,
while Will Scarlet is getting off his horse,
the background shot of a car...
TV>> of course, "Director's Cut" took on a new meaning for
mad Brit Richard Stanley when he was kicked off
The Island Of Dr Moreau, but his version of DUST DEVIL (Fri,
2.20am, C4) still features an African spirit made
flesh, and not the manical home appliances you might have
exepected after seeing his 2000AD-"inspired" debut, HARDWARE
(Fri, 11.50pm, Sky Movies Gold)... anyone hoping for
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 (Sat, 12.00pm, Sci-Fi?) on
Astra will be doubly disappointmented to find that Sky have
handed the post-12am transponder slot to the pay-porn Adult
Channel, seemingly without telling viewers - unless you
count the ironic scheduling of Sci-Fi thriller DEAD BY
MIDNIGHT (Thu, 9.00pm, Sky Movies 1). Still, the sounds of
moaning and screaming can't be that different from anyone
watching, say, Planet Mirth... Go Ricki! John Waters'
CRY-BABY (Sat, 12.10pm, BBC2) features Ms Lake when she
actually looked like a freakish talkshow guest... David
Cronenberg emerged from his coma and forsaw a Stephen King
movie that works: THE DEAD ZONE (Sun, 10.00pm, C4)...
WATCH THIS OR THE DOG DIES - THE HISTORY OF YOUTH TV (Tue,
9.30pm, BBC2) hopefully offers another chance to make sense
of the seminally info-dense "Network 7" - not to be confused
with the volunteers ingesting powerful hallucinogens in drug
docu SACRED WEEDS (Mon, 10.55pm, C4)... we still prefer
Tarantino's "Sleep With Me" homoerotic subtext
to TOP GUN (Wed, 10pm, BBC1)... and it seems even its
creators are sick of the monster they've created, judging by
the subtitle of DARKMAN III: DIE, DARKMAN, DIE (Thu,
1.30pm, Sky Movies 2)...
UPDATE YOUR HEAD>> due to recent "restructuring" here at NTK
towers, some facts were unavoidably omitted from recent
issues. In case you were wondering, they were largely...
from the Siggraph '98 report [NTK 24/07/98], the following
lowlights: SUN's "laughable" multi-pipe ENTERPRISE 3D
system, jerkily running Java3D, and having to sign an
"injury waiver" to get into the 25th celebration party at
the Disney World of Sports. Plus, highlights: at last, a
lag-free VIRTUAL AIR HOCKEY game ( http://www.mr-system.com),
and the ILM quiz bowl team calling themselves "Let The
Wookiee Win" (they lost)... CLEM CHAMBERS (from the
fantastically generically named On-Line PLC) was less
excited about the arrival of the SONY VAIO 505 [NTK
24/07/98], describing how the previous 707 model was "full
of hardware bugs. If you suspend it or simply close it down,
[it] goes to sleep and won't wake up unless you take the RAM
out and swap it. Sony tell you not to transport it with
battery in or else it might not re-boot without surgery! (I
carry a screwdriver with me instead)"... both JENNY COLGAN
(upcoming stand-up comedian) and MATTHEW "KUJI" BEVAN (the
"biggest threat to world peace since Adolf Hitler") queried
our lack of coverage of the elusive TIZER ICE "tastes cold
even when it's not!" drink, Bevan calling it "fizzy pink
dentist's mouthwash" that "makes yer mouth go numb", and
Colgan focussing on "the nasty chemical tang" of this "crown
drink of disgustingness". That's nothing, wait till you try
Dairy Crest's CRAZY SHAKES, flavoured milk which comes with
"a 3.6g sachet of popping candy which, when mixed and shaken
vigorously, creates a popping sensation in the mouth"... oh,
and [.tv]'s 404 NOT FOUND is shown on Tuesdays, not Thurs -
apologies to anyone accidentally exposed to BLUE SCREEN
instead, which turns out to be neither the "adult" side of
the Computer Channel, nor a Windows NT error miniseries...
>> 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 "*****"
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, THE ILLUMINATI and UNFORTU.NET.
They worry about us, but we don't worry about them.
(K) 1998 Special Projects. Non-business copying is fine,
but retain SMALL PRINT. Contact
firstname.lastname@example.org for commercial licence details.
Tips, news and gossip to email@example.com