[Yes, our enforced two-week "leave" continues, but a
skeleton crew remain here in the sweltering offices,
sweeping up the tired old URLs and stacking them into this
moderately compact place-filler. Instead of our usual hard-
hitting news headlines, this week we've resorted to
ridiculing other people's coverage; instead of the regular
up-to-date info on the latest applications, there's a rap
sheet of our own little contributor plug-ins. Thanks for
bearing with us - NTK will be "super size" again soon.]
__ __ _21/08/98 _ _ _____ _ __ <Nasty, British and Short>
| \/ (_)_ __ (_) \ | |_ _| |/ / o Join! Mail 'subscribe ntknow'
| |\/| | | '_ \| | \| | | | | ' / o to firstname.lastname@example.org
| | | | | | | | | |\ | | | | . \ o Website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| |_|_|_| |_|_|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Following the announcements of various warlike activities
(that I won't bother mentioning here) both MSNBC and CNN's
websites basically blew up."
- CmdrTaco, slashdot.org
...Clinton unleashes "denial-of-service" attack to gag net!
>> META NEWS <<
"ISDN-like speeds over existing phone lines without the
price premium of ISDN", trumpeted ZDNet UK about BT's HOME
HIGHWAY, launching mid-September. Well, two out of three
ain't bad: Home Highway does have a different analogue
socket to BT's existing ISDN2e service, but - you've
guessed it - nearly all of the cost. Other concerns are
whether there'll be enough rack space at the exchange end
if there's high take-up, and (ZDNet again), the implicit
"thumbs-up to e-commerce, video and graphics-intensive Web
sites". Hey, at 128kpbs, Lynx really rocks.
- their big chance to keep ADSL expensive
- telcos must *love* those stammerers...
Newspapers at last seem to have stopped running free ads
for SONY now, following the remarkably well-publicised
recall of the company's supposed "X-ray vision" camcorder.
Of course, most CCD cameras are sensitive to the infra-red
end, as enthusiastic TV remote-control experimenters will
know. Subscriber Paddy Smith says that NTK fave the Tyco
Kiddie-Cam "can see at least as well in IR as in visible
light", and advises using black bin liners as impromptu
filters. Stick them over your light sources, kids, not over
- next: Kryptonite cellphones
And do-it-yourself conspiracy theorists are having a field
day over Bill Clinton's latest diversionary tactics -
though he could just use the "Basic Instinct" defence:
because his actions were so effectively predicted by lame
Hollywood satire Wag The Dog, *he'd be much less likely to
actually try it*. Most prejudiced reportage so far:
cnn.com, who at 9am this morning launched their poll with
"Do you think the attacks were primarily meant to be: a) A
strike against terrorism; b) A distraction from the
Lewinsky investigations" - then only put a clickable radio
button next to the second one.
http://www.ntk.net/doh/cnn980821.gif - fixed it now, doh
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
Radio Channel Networks sue BROADCAST.COM for $7m over use
of phrase "Radio Channel" on their site... WEBCOMPUTERS'
new "Commodore 64" really a Win3.1/DOS box plus emulator...
VISUAL C++6 ships two weeks early, but without help
system... MICROSOFT patents memcpy... http://www.mi5.gov.uk
runs on Apache/Unix, yet job ads seek only "NT skills"...
"Matt Drudge stories sometimes 'not 100% reliable'",
confides news.bbc.co.uk's CHRIS NUTTALL (possibly the new
Richard Barry, in case you missed his slashdot-inspired
"Newsgathering On The Net" retraction)... punk bands REO
SPEEDEALER and FURIOUS GEORGE both "in discussion" with
owners of original trademarks... http://www.infind.com
*always* lists a COMPAQ "Copyright" page (under Misc.
Commercial), despite search terms like "satan worshippers",
"child murderers" or "makers of dodgy PC clones"...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Oh god, more "World Of Amiga" flashbacks as the second MIND
SPORTS OLYMPIAD relocates to the Hammersmith Novotel,
London (24-30/08/98). Perhaps more surprisingly, the
BABYLON 5 WRAP PARTY (21-24/08/98, Radisson Edwardian
Hotel, Heathrow, London) is hosting sessions that are
almost as cerebral as the bone structure of the Minbari:
drama, talks by Bryan Talbot and Harlan Ellison, plus
workshops on "Terraforming Mars". The show's producers have
also announced a "strategic alliance" with NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory, to assist B5/Crusade's portrayal of
science, technology and astronomy. NASA will presumably
benefit from B5's experience in alien politics, space
station construction and maintaining long story arcs.
- also features JMS, aka "The Great Maker"
"All-Time Greatest Mind Sports Champion"? Now that's stupid.
>> TEENY TRACKING <<
you know who to blame
Our original plan [see NTK 14/08/98] to print the names and
URLs of our usually unnamed contributors hit several snags,
not least of which was that many of them would no doubt
prefer to remain anonymous, given the nature of their
employment and/or other activities. Instead, we'll be
creating a dedicated opt-out webpage for our "special
friends" somewhere off the NTK site, complete with all the
useful news sources we access, so if you're insanely
determined to produce your own version, you'll be in with a
fighting chance. Open source - it's not just a saying. It's
>> KIDDIE'S MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
return of CURSE OF THE CROW... the real STAR WARS PREQUEL:
"Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle"... good attitude, but no
taste: http://www.pinkysplace.com/thezone.htm ... why not
nominate http://www.netstudio.com/makeover/ for their own
http://www.netstudio.com/muddies/ awards - "Haven't you
heard of ALT tags?", asks NTK top tipster Lloyd Wood.
"Blind people listen to music too."... http://www.cddb.com
collects user-contrbuted database, sells it... at last!
a more games-based, yet less funny version of THE ONION:
http://www.themushroom.com/mush0105/parappa.html ... good
gag about "Moral Fabric": http://www.dressesforken.org/ ...
http://www.eskimo.com/~billb/amateur/traffic/traffic1.html >> BABY GEEK MEDIA <<
may contain strongly-typed language
TV>> of course, DIANA'S LEGACY: A 999 SPECIAL (Fri,
10.20pm, BBC1) is a landmine thing, not a surprise non-
happy-ending edition of 999... and see why Kevin Mitnick
supporters were furious about the script of Michael Mann's
pre-Heat'ed LA TAKEDOWN (Fri, 11.40pm, BBC1)... cut my heart
out with a spoon, it's a non-Christmas showing for Kevin
Costner's overlong Waterworld/Postman tryout, ROBIN HOOD:
PRINCE OF THIEVES (Sat, 8.05pm, BBC1)... while the line
between cutting-edge sci-fi and wish fulfilment blurs once
again on C5, in "erotic" "thriller" TERMINAL VIRUS (Sat,
10.50pm, C5)... chronological capers in RUNNING AGAINST
TIME (Sun, 12.45am, some ITV, finishes 2.30pm last Wed)...
*and* in Groundhog-Day-style time-loop 12:01 (Sun, 5.45pm,
C4), remake of a 1990 movie featuring Robocop's Kurtwood
Smith... who then reappears a few hours later in Gus Van
Sant's TO DIE FOR (Sun, 9.00pm, C4), as does Matt Dillon,
who stars with Bill Burroughs in DRUGSTORE COWBOY (Sun,
11.00pm, C4)... similar "concidences" beset BBC Wednesday,
with Chris Packham's cryptozoologigal THE X CREATURES (Wed,
7.00pm, BBC1), MYSTERIES WITH CAROL VORDERMAN (Wed, 8.00pm,
BBC1), and QED (Wed, 9.30pm, BBC1) going out with a bang by
solving spontaneous human combustion... but C4 fights back
via unofficial "silly women getting into scrapes" night,
featuring CAROLINE IN THE CITY (Wed, 6.00pm, C4), SUDDENLY
SUSAN (Wed, 6.25pm, C4), ALLY MCBEAL (Wed, 10.00pm, C4),
and DIANA: THE WRONG CRUSADE? (Wed, 9.00pm, C4)...
FILM>> if you've ever wondered what the TV show would look
like with the budget (and set designs) from the Alien
films, that's the only real explanation for enduring
X FILES: FIGHT THE FUTURE (imdb: sci-Fi / thriller /
mystery / action / drama / virus / heroine / agent / twist-
in-the-end / based-on-tv-series / conspiracy / fbi /
famous-theme / blockbuster / aliens / cult-favorites /
paranormal / hero / drunk / caveman / government / dormant-
creature / cover-up / bomb / paranoia / desert / truth /
underground / fate-of-the-world). Otherwise you've seen it
all before: Scully contracts a mysterious disease, and both
Mulder and the conspiracy seem woefully incompetent, Mulder
not even having read any black helicopter FAQs... elsewhere
it's like a competition to have the most obscure release
schedule of all time (THE LIFE OF STUFF? METROLAND? LE
BOSSU?), so we say stay home and rent GOOD WILL HUNTING -
for belligerent underachieving child geniuses everywhere...
MAGS>> Amiga fans are holding their breath for new
machines, but EMAP'S CU AMIGA has gasped its last:
http://www.cu-amiga.co.uk (or maybe they just ran out of
copyright material to stick on the coverdisc)... in
accordance with prophecy [see NTK 10/04/98], Future's first
"real" FRONTIERS (due 04/09/98) will cost just 1UKP...
further info continues to leak about Future's "adult
lifestyle" games mag, now to be called ARCADIA, and edited
by returning flamboyant baseball-cap flaunter, Neil West...
something of a month for unfortunate headgear, with Dave
"not the famous one" Perry continuing to tout his upcoming
PSX mag STATION (due 04/09/98, with Tomb Raider 3 demo),
while Rapide's existing TOTAL PLAYSTATION takes advantage
of OFFICIAL PLAYSTATION's all Tekken-3 disc with its own
playable covermount round-up. NTK always suspected you
could get OPM-style sales with an exclusive demo disc and a
mag that simply consisted of the word "arse" printed over
and over again - this could be our chance to find out...
our favourite tip: THE GROCER (every week, still only 95p),
and not just for recent readers' letters querying those ads
for Werther's Original Butter Candies: "Placing myself at
the same age as the grandfather figure, this would make him
a young child in the early 1940s. Anyone who lived then
would surely know that... anyone caught selling or buying
German confectionery would not have been very popular" -
but also for the year's first Christmas preview, including
attempts by Walls to "deseasonalise ice-cream eating" with
their Honey Nougat Magnum... and finally, a quick browse
through the racks at our local TOWER RECORDS: there's a pre
X-day STARK FIRST OF REMOVAL (UKP 2.79); top Japanese
titles GET NAVI and GOODS PRESS (no idea of the content -
like we say, just top titles); plus the truly remarkable US
import PERFECT 10 - which, unlike those men's mags that
have semi-topless women on the front and endless pics of
gadgets inside, is *exactly the other way around*...
>> 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
"NTKnow's surly redneck cousin".
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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