_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the UK>
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "How can you come around ere, finking you're all flash and mighty
and wasting my time. Now go and sort yerself out with the newest
version of flash and shockwave or go and fuck off to another
site, because I warn you, I will do, you some major fuckin'
damage if you come round here again."
...not quite the "Download Now!" button Macromedia were looking for
>> HARD NEWS <<
but who's whose?
So, we *keep* getting this NETNAMES, MICROSOFT rumour, to
the point where we're beginning to smell a rat. Who could
possibly stand to gain from persuading us to print it? And
then the BBC start pulling out from the battle to win
bbc.com from Boston Business Computing. But might there be
another way they could "own" that domain? And would the
licence payers mind? And what about this scribbled note
here, that says that Cliff Stanford was seen sniffing around
LINX2, wanting to own a chunk of the UK Internet after all?
You can't even trust 'whois' anymore: we could have *sworn*
their were a bunch of porn sites with addresses not
unadjacent to the Progressive Networks offices, but now
they've all disappeared too. Won't anyone stay still for one
- at least this is still here: the only fan site the beeb
BT has been showing off its net savvy once again, with an
EASYREACH PAGER press ad showing a page of "amusing" cartoon
net user stereotypes, each with a vaguely realistic email
address. Perhaps too realistic, adds privacy activist MARK
DZ, whose own whois antics reveal that, of the 18 domains,
12 actually exist, belonging to hopefully understanding
organisations like Agency.Com, Arabia On Line, and Computing
Engineers Incorporated (who must be overjoyed to be depicted
as email@example.com). Still, perhaps mindful of the US Virgin
Cola ad that produced 1500 replies to a "made-up" address, 3
of the other domains are unregistered, 3 more are
incorrectly formed, and 3 of the real ones give "No MX
record (no email possible)". What's the message here - BT
email only has 50 per cent reliability?
- Dziecielewski.com still available, Mark
If one thing stays constant, though, it's people. When we
finally tracked down the identity of the World's Worst
Internet Columnist, "SPYDER" of Time Out London, it came as
no surprise to discover his past life as an
ex-keyboardist for Hawkwind and creator of "Shot Down In The
Night". More disturbing was the revelation that
RICHARD BARRY, the World's Equal Worst Internet Journalist,
once held an all-night vigil for Brandon Lee. But
pipe-smoking, avuncular JACK SCHOFIELD of the Guardian, lead
writer on a French skateboarding zine? Now you're scaring us.
- *incredible* Photoshop skills too
- "Astrology.net is its name - and heavenly bodies are its game"
- Jack's on holiday right now, grinding. And ollying. And filing.
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
TONY BLAIR announces anti-terrorist measures from Downing
Street - behind him is copy of Spycatcher. Will he turn
himself in?... JOHN ROMERO *not* dead, despite rumours and
appearance... BROWSERWATCH headline: "Netscape v4.06 Is
Still Available!"... STUDENTS rate Web more "in" than
drinking beer, survey reveals... copyright owners now
threatening NEGATIVLAND's CD pressing plants - so why don't
they give 'em away as MP3s?... NYU study reveals affluent
have better access to Net... The MICROSOFT BOYCOTT CAMPAIGN
(http://msbc.simplenet.com/msbc/) send their newsletter from
a Windows machine... MICROSOFt "lose" key bit of source code
in DRDOS dispute... "Surprise plans to launch third beta"
of NT, uncovers COMPUTER WEEKLY - just 8 months after
Microsoft announced the decision... new-look PCW includes an
exploration of Linux: article begins "Danish programmer
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
MARTIN MILLAR's novels are packed full of lovable but schizy
dolites dragging themselves upright in a half-fantasy,
half-realite, Brixton. That said, he sounds a bit pissed off
with living like that himself, and as fans will know from
his Website, he's had a horrible time trying to flog his
latest book, LOVE AND PEACE WITH MELODY PARADISE. Now it's
been picked up by a publisher, and he's embarking on a book
tour with characteristic grumpy cheer. The book is all about
free festivals, and hippies, and travellers, and, after
bundles of rejection notes, Millar would be the first to
concede that it might not be any good. But you could pop by
one of the readings and see whether he's right. Maybe make
him a cup of tea either way. The tour starts in London on the 7pm
2/9/98 at Blackwells, Charing Cross Road, and ends on the
29/9/98 at Waterstones, Sauchiehall St, Glasgow, with all
- not to be confused with Richard Miller from Time Crisis
It's the time of year for the ICA's acclaimed Radio 1-style
touring Roadshow: "Hello Skegness! Is everybody ready to
identify, explore and critique the notions and metaphors of
cyclic completion?". Well, it may as well be given the
impenetrable descriptions provided by ISEA '98, the
INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM FOR ELECTRONIC ARTS, 02-07/09/98.
There's the "Revolution" Symposium in Liverpool (page reads
like a Markoff generator fed phrases like "utopian-dystopian
discourses of cybercultural futurology") and, in Manchester,
the promising-sounding "Terror" Symposium. Whether you
attend is a matter for your own conscience; the real debate,
we feel, is how to pronounce "ISEA" without it sounding like
"IKEA". Best suggestion so far: "I see", followed by a
20-second goatee-stroking pause. Then: "I see" again.
- not to be confused with http://www.isea.org/ >> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
Featuring on Future Publishing coverdisc is surely the
*apex* of the Summer-Linux-hypeathon. This month's PC PLUS
features teutonic distrib S.u.S.e as well as plenty of
gushing comments in the mag. Actually, it's not the first
time "+" has featured Linux - it was on the Oct 1994 CD,
then fastidiously ignored in the intervening years. For the
already converted, there's some bonus warez on the CD -
including an incredibly buggy Netscape beta that wouldn't
normally be worth the download.
- cheap CDs without the accompanying tree
- four years of catching up to do
The street finds its own use for things, particularly when
the things in question were a bit useless to start with.
While the appeal of Bandai's FISH FINDER FOR GAMEBOY
seems a bit limited at first, we can't wait to see what the
growing legion of GB hackers will make of this
ultra-cheap ultra-chirp sonar. Within just a few weeks of the
Gameboy Camera and Printer release, the coders had already
reverse engineered the printer protocol (allowing both screen
dumping to the printer, and backup of the camera images to
PC). And given that they've pretty much firmed up the C
development kit, as well as the GB BASIC interpreter, and the
ingenious "morse code" text editor, it shouldn't take them
that long to whip up... oh, a self-steering car? Guidance
system for the blind? Super Mario Doom?
- another device for "seeing" through "clothes"?
- you shall have a fishy via this little dishy
- meanwhile, the Newton gets new life as a beatbox.
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
http://www.spork.com ... painful browser integration implied
by http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~wwl/internal.html ... more
skeleton passwords for the AWARD BIOS - "q_l27&z" ...
http://YourMom.com/ ... the revenge of CP/M -
IMAC inspired by http://www.myna.com/~zippy/adm_mac.jpg ? or
or was it http://smokedifferent.buds.com ? (oh, and you
*can* plug monitors into it - if you can find the socket)...
BEASTIES BOYS release MP3s... the brighter side of launch
disasters : http://www.flatoday.com/space/gshop/ ... tying
in with new Lord Of The Rings movies, SIERRA to release
multiplayer Middle Earth, 10000+ players - but will there be
enough rings to go around?... eturn of QUAKE TALK SHOWS:
http://www.planetquake.com/latenite/ SOUND BITES tooth-music
lollies distributed in Japan under name "SILENT SHOUT"...
maybe they've installed a backdoor for Bill Gates:
http://www.microsoft.com/industry/justice/pressroom/releases/epic.stm >> GEEK MEDIA <<
may contain strongly-typed language
TV>> wonder if they considered putting the soothing
psychoanalysis of double FRASIER (10pm, Fri, C4) *after* the
double horror nonsense of THE HOWLING/ STRAIT JACKET (from
11.35pm, Fri, C4)?... things get "groovier" on Sat, with
rare successful TV spin-off THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE (9pm, Sat,
BBC1), another themed SOUL NIGHT (from 8.10pm, Sat, BBC2),
the repeated endless wailing of THEREMIN: AN ELECTRONIC
ODYSSEY (1.10am, Sat,C4), plus a couple of shows proclaiming
HEY, HEY WE'RE THE MONKEES (9pm & 11.05pm, Sat, C4)...
surely another one-off game show, FAMILIES AT WAR (8.15pm,
Sat, BBC1), can't resuscitate Reeves & Mortimer *again*?...
a different season pops up on 4, with CARRY ON CRUSING
(10.30pm, Sun, C4) cruelly juxtaposed next to Gus Van Sant's
gay art yawn MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO (12.10am, Sun, C4) - most
promising is warts-and-all expose CARRY ON DARKLY (9pm, Mon,
C4)... it's the original proto-Tomorrow People kids who
ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (2.10pm,Mon, BBC1), pursued by
arguably the best Trek film ever, ST VI: THE UNDISCOVERED
COUNTRY (3.45pm, Mon, BBC1)... marvel at the timing of Diana
dying on a Bank Holiday, with tributes depicting "The Diana
Years", "The Unseen Diana", "The Art Of Diana", "The
Extraordinary And Irreplaceable Diana" and, of course,
"Diana: One Year On" (still dead, apparently)... we say:
stick with double bill BEAST WARS (8.20am, Mon, ITV)...
cable-owning completists can enjoy the frankly ropey
from-the-very-start repeats of SEINFELD (9.30pm, Tue,
Paramount)... ironically, no-one foresaw that cod-prophetic
IN YOUR DREAMS (8pm, Tue, C4) would get postponed after the
Omagh bombing... he missed being in T2, but Michael Biehn
climbs another consonant in K2 (10pm, Wed, BBC1)...
Vorderman takes her revenge for being kicked off Tomorrow's
World with WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF NEXT? (7.30pm, Thu,
ITV)... and shame there isn't more of Rodney "subsumption
architecture" Brooks or the mole-rat guy, but that's what
you get when your geek obsession documentary is FAST, CHEAP
AND OUT OF CONTROL (11.15pm, Thu, C4)...
FILM>> someone should have reined in Robert Redford's animal
weepie THE HORSE WHISPERER (imdb: romance / adventure /
drama / horses / based-on-novel / tragedy / tearjerker), at
least according to the website that's a crucial part of the
... Brit Tarantrainospotting romp LOCK, STOCK AND TWO
SMOKING BARRELS (imdb:comedy / thriller) doesn't just
deliver footie hard-man Vinnie Jones, but also two villains
still sought for international taste-crimes: chirpy Julia
Sawalha boyfriend Dexter Fletcher, and Sting... we kid you
not, but almost every US review of David "House Of Games"
Mamet/ Steve Martin con-trick feast THE SPANISH PRISONER
(imdb: thriller / film-noir / twist-in-the-end / drama)
painstakingly points out that there are, in fact, no
"prisoners" in it, nor is it set in Spain... Kelsey
"Frasier" Grammer and Amanda Donohoe re-team in likeable
family-friendly Cyrano De Bergerac-er THE REAL HOWARD SPITZ
(MPAA rated: PG "for language and mild thematic
elements")... and finishing last, appropriately enough, is
MR NICE GUY (imdb: action / bloopers-during-credits /
comedy), aka Jackie Chan cooking up his usual
stomach-flipping stunts as an example to dull TV chefs
TALES FROM THAT CITY>> Fog descends on San Francisco,
closing in on the Multimedia Gulch: thwarted attendees of
the cancelled ROBOT WARS conference wander the streets with
their spurned, murderous machines. Members of Survival
Research Laboratories seek sharper kicks at the
http://www.whorechurch.org/ where, in an insane inversion,
the city's strippers, dressed to the nines, perform to
audiences composed of naked men. HotWired drifts rudderless
with rumours that Mr Newhouse will pounce again:
http://www.reel.com/, ignorant of the portents, repeats its
TV ads for "Titanic", hour after baleful hour. Down in the
Valley, the OPEN SOURCE gurus meet. RICHARD STALLMAN plays
stern paterfamilias, opining that it's better to quit
programming forever than take a penny off a proprietary
company ("become a waiter instead", he suggests)). Chewing
thoughtfully on his own hair, he delivers a broadside on the
diabolism of those who profit by selling unfree manuals for
free software. TIM O'REILLY, chairman, sponsor, and founder
of O'Reilly Books, looks on charitably, a Medici inviting
Savaranola for tea. JAMIE ZAWINSKI talks of his forthcoming
sabbatical from Netscape (about time, too, judging from
http://www.jwz.org/). ERIC S. RAYMOND mentions that he's
seen a tooled-up LINUS TORVALDS shooting at an undisclosed
location. "Part of a long-term plan", he smiles, planning
the Free Software Militia. And the sun chases the mists away
later every day; and no-one knows whether Burning Man
(http://www.burningman.com/) will work its unsympathetic
magic on the share option crops this year; and the city's
saviours, the geeks, play games of Quake II, as if
rehearsing for the end of their world.
>> UNCLASSIFIED <<
NTK seeks work-experience-style INTERN/ RESEARCHER to assist our
ever-desperate attempts to sell out to obscurely scheduled TV
shows. The ideal candidate will be an embittered net.cynic with a
surprisingly cogent awareness of real-world happenings, and a
lively penchant for locating pertinent websites and then taking
the piss out of them. Alternatively, you might just be interested
in working in telly. You will be London-based, able to work for a
small (but non-zero) pittance, and shockingly contemptuous of what
currently passes for net journalism. To demonstrate their
suitability, applicants are invited to hack the homepage of a
major UK web design agency, or - what the heck - just email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Do NOT attempt to contact our last intern.
>> 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 "gifted social isolates""
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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