[Hello. This being mid-August, when everyone goes on
holiday and there isn't any real tech news, NTK takes a
short summer break to be replaced by the ironically named
MiniNTK - a mysteriously lengthier cache-clearing
collection of other moderately entertaining snippets we've
stumbled across in our spare time. Rest assured, normal
service will be resumed in two weeks' time, with the return
of the impeccably rigorous, industrial-strength NTK
"Classic". We'll be back...]
__ __ _14/08/98 _ _ _____ _ __ <Nasty, British and Short>
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"There are things which I wish I had never experienced. I
shall leave here with horrendous memories of the screams of
women being tortured, memories of horrible gang rapes and
women being strung up from the ceiling..."
James Ferman, ex-head of British Board of Film Classification
(The Daily Telegraph 13/08/98)
...well, everyone goes a bit wild at the office party
>> LITTLE NEWS <<
Now, normally we'd take these stories and write them up in
a wry and amusingly insightful manner. But, as we
explained, we're on holiday - so here's the basic leads if
you want to follow them up yourself. "Searched At UK Border
For Net Porn" is the says-it-all subject line of KENNETH
CUKIER's alarming claims that Customs officers at the
Waterloo Eurostar terminal wanted to search his laptop for
illicit files using some sort of "scanner" last Friday.
Suffice to say, the officers' understanding of the Internet
was sketchy, and he swiftly escaped by the ingenious
loophole that not all Johnny Mnemonic-style illicit data
couriers use Wintel compatible machines.
- smuggled into the UK from the POLITECH mailing list
Of course, not all international terrorists actually carry
their tools on their person - maybe the over-zealous
Customs were hunting the enigmatic "French" hackers
believed responsible for continued attacks on SOUTHAMPTON
UNIVERSITY (home to the UK's "ninth biggest domain", adds
one correspondent, anonymously). Incidents included sending
explicit emails to every student, apparently coming from
the Head Of Computing, but things seem to be almost back to
normal now. Or are they?
- "University Puts Information Security First." (They do now.)
And, of course, it's that time of year when the media
commences its first annual feasting on the saintly ROYAL
CORPSE. For now, forget Channel 5's "Di! The Musical" - ABC
news reveals that the bloodline that spawned the speeding
beauty is also that of Monica Lewinsky; CBS reports on a
plan to offer "last drive" reconstructions to dangerous
sports thrill-seekers; and the Telegraph warns that Harrods
is attempting to register the trademark "Dodi" for a wide
range of products, including cash registers, Christmas tree
decorations, and "headgear" (crash helmets, perhaps?),
claiming it's only to prevent others from cashing in.
Attention all domain-name squatters - dodi.org remains
unclaimed at this time.
- six degrees of SINISTER KNIGHTS TEMPLAR CONSPIRACY!
- "not an approved fundraising activity" - Memorial Fund
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
GEOCITIES sells database to spammers... GINGER PRODUCTIONS
*not* to launch ISP, despite PRACTICAL INTERNET claims...
http://www.barclaysquare.com features household names "2001
Domestic Appliances", "Discount Television and Video" and
"On-line Hi-Fi Store" - surely not just fronts for
BARCLAYS?... DOLLAR weaker than previously suspected at
om=USD+&To=GBP ... US SECRET SERVICE: "Though assassins fit
no physical or psychological profile, most share a pattern
of behavior" - ie trying to kill public figures
MGM ships WARGAMES: DEFCON 1 with Windows virus - pirate
version believed to be clean... whois wwcomedy.com (sic)...
http://www.winfiles.com/about/faq.html runs UNIX, Apache...
Sensible's SEX N DRUGS N ROCK N ROLL canned... POINTCAST
CEO David Dorman tells abcnews.com: "Technically, we don't
push anything. We do user un-aided pull"...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Think "free speech" rather then "free beer"... then think
FREE BEER! The O'Reilly-sponsored OPEN SOURCE TOWN MEETING
follows the Open Source Developer Day on Friday 21/08/98 in
San Jose, CA, US (itself following the Perl Conference we
plugged a month ago). Highlight is a panel discussion
featuring the big names in OpenSource development (rms,
esr, etc), and - possibly as an symbol of an industry that
positively encourages user modifications - there will also
- and whatever happened to the singing Stallman mix?
We know some NTK readers harbour "artistic" inclinations
(despite our evident disapproval), so a quick plug for
CONSCIOUSNESS REFRAMED 2, next Wed-Sat 19-22/08/98. It's
run by CAiiA-STAR, which is neither a demo coding group nor
a Gundam mech, but the combined forces of the "Centre for
Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts" (University of
Wales College, Newport), and the centre for "Science,
Technology and Art Research" (University of Plymouth). And
the "consciousness" element? That's what you try not to
lose after reading the abstracts' opening paragraphs.
- and no Jeremy Beadle discussing Cartesian dualism...
>> TEENY TRACKING <<
mostly significant bits
We don't usually credit our sources - not just to make
ourselves look good, but also because, since most stuff
comes via several paths, any attempt to credit everyone
would just turn NTKnow into one of those monstrous bulk
email lists. But with Danny O'Brien (NTK's "Stan Lee"
figure) out of the bullpen for a couple of weeks, we've
decided that you - our tipsters - should use the
opportunity to have *your names* be the ones rapidly
scrolling, unread, across several thousand terminal screens
and dotmatrix printers, in our second annual subscriber-
plug-a-thon. If you've sent us hot info recently and would
feel either pleased (or aggrieved) to be included (or left
out) then do mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, URL and
the tip you claim - plus other interest. And should we
credit the guy who suggested this? Well, what do you think?
>> KIDDIE'S MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
certified LINUX ENGINEERS... war of the ROBOT WARS:
http://www.clineworks.com/robotica.html ... American BULL:
http://www.gatewayelex.com/gadgets.htm ... former Lara
Croft RHONA MITRA complains boyfriend "prefers
PlayStation"... reverse-engineering LEGO MINDSTORMS:
http://www.crynwr.com/lego-robotics/ ... it's the ANTI-
UNABOMBERS: http://makrolab.ljudmila.org/ ... BBC to use
onscreen "bugs"... http://web.mit.edu/rec/orca/orca.html
... TIBERIAN SUN to star James Earl Jones, Michael Biehn,
girl off Team Knight Rider... from the "MATT DRUDGE OF
PORN", http://www.lukeford.com: "the widow of John Holmes,
dead from AIDS at the end of the 1980s, has published a
book in which she accuses the American government of having
injected the virus into her husband" - hey, how *else*
could he have caught it?... top UK games-biz swearing
action: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Atrium/8820/ ...
"Commerce is our goal here at Tyrell Mr Deckard. MiniDisc?"
http://freespace.virgin.net/ben.tyrrell/catal.htm >> BABY GEEK MEDIA <<
may contain strongly-typed language
TV>> continuing the never-ending season of "rubbish films
with rubbish actors who later became famous", Leonardo
DiCaprio, tragically, does not play one of the CRITTERS 3
(Fri, 11.20pm, BBC1)... other nutty selections include John
"3rd Rock From The Sun" Lithgow multiple-roleing in RAISING
CAIN (Fri, 9pm, BBC2)... plus tame '50s sci-fi about a man
propelled "seven seconds into the future" by some sort of
TIMESLIP (Fri, 1.40am, C4)... C4's "Queer Street" strand
gets more mainstream with INVASION (Sat, 11.35pm, C4) on
Xena's lesbian subtext... and C5 goes from Warrior Princess
to THE PEOPLE'S PRINCESS: A TRIBUTE (Sun, 8.00pm, C5) -
bizarre musical reconstruction, more like... BILL AND TED'S
BOGUS JOURNEY (Sun, 5.45pm, C4) features both the lines
"Most atypical" and "Get down with your bad self!"... if
only Sandra Bullock had stuck with dweeby parts like in
erratic future spoof DEMOLITION MAN (Mon, 9.00pm, BBC2)...
credulous new docu series IN YOUR DREAMS (Tue, 8.00pm, C4)
has a man who "passes his dreams to MI5 to help track down
terrorists"... conform-obey teen comedy DON'T TELL MOM THE
BABYSITTER'S DEAD (Tue, 10.00pm, C4) stars Christina
"Married With Children" Applegate (natch), a bit of David
Duchovny, and (bonus points only) Joanna "Zhora The
Replicant" Cassidy... the "Dancing Baby" CGI (real name:
Baby Cha Cha) debuts in ALLY MCBEAL (Wed, 10.00pm, C4),
soon to transfer to an upcoming ITV episode of
Millennium... and it's the beginning of the end - the start
of the final series of SEINFELD (Thu, 8.30pm, Sky 1)...
FILM>> so, who will avenge THE AVENGERS (imdb: action /
adventure / based-on-tv-series)? Not Fiennes and Thurman,
who stab at the stunted dialog and surrealism of the
original series (nice bears), but fast give up in what
looks like Batman Returns made by the production team from
"Bugs"... you'll get more drawn into Samuel L Jackson's
swampily intense EVE'S BAYOU (imdb: drama / voodoo / afro-
american / multiple-perspectives / dream / bayou /
physicians / family / black-widow / children / dreams /
psychic / louisiana / dysfunctional-family / south / murder
/ family-secrets / flashback / memories / poetic / adultery
/ black / sex / period / philander / 1960s / small-town /
prophecy / family-conflict / sexuality / affair-
extramarital / incest / black-cast / southern)... and they
shot Tupac Shakur after uninspired cop corruptioner GANG
RELATED (imdb: crime / drama), but why couldn't they have
killed Jim Belushi?
LIT>> sadly, THE VICTORIAN INTERNET (UKP14.99), by Tom
"ex-Telegraph Connected" Standage, isn't all steampunk/
Difference Engine-style comparisons between TCP/IP and the
telegraph system (online romances, crypto, hacking etc),
but kicks off with quite a lengthy Longitude-like history
of the telegraph too... still, better than Nan McCarthy's
cute but overpriced email-romance trilogy CHAT, CONNECT,
CRASH (UKP 3.99 each), packed with dull (and non-RFC
compliant) mail headers - also not to be confused with
Astro Teller's mis-marketed AI thriller EXEGESIS (UKP 6.99)
- fatal flaw: no page numbers... oh, and please share your
opinions on these ones that we're planning on reading but
haven't got around to yet: Michael Wolff's tell-all new-
media VC rollercoaster BURN RATE (UKP 9.99), Julian Cope's
"guide to the neolithic sites of Great Britain"
Joe Queenan's scathing celebration of US pop culture,
AMERICA: RED LOBSTER, WHITE TRASH AND THE BLUE LAGOON (UKP
6.99), plus Jim Flint's debut Euro-cyber-novel HABITUS
(between UKP 10.99 and UKP 197.82 at bookshop.co.uk) -
apparently so-called because it's "about the size of a
>> SMALL PRINT <<
Need To Know is (usually) a useful, 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 "genetically unengineered"
- yet still *lethally dangerous*.
( http://www.independent.co.uk/stories/C1408802.html )
NEED TO KNOW
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