_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the UK>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ ____02/10/98_ o Join! Mail 'subscribe ntknow'
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o to email@example.com
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ V V / o Website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Gordon Moore and Intel have greatly speeded up science by
improving computers. I know because I'm Intel inside myself!"
- STEPHEN HAWKING, on Moore's donation to Cambridge Uni
...those dancing bunnymen must piss you off, though?
>> HARD NEWS <<
As indentured servants on the Murdoch plantation, we're
obliged to cover the launch of SKY DIGITAL as our headline
story. Catastrophically for them, no-one invited us to the
UKP1million party, making their stupid new service nothing
more than bunch of Digera-doo-box losers with a "mmm I'm a
first adopter how many Discovery channels can I take in one
go, mmm?" rip-off starter pack, especially that [.tv]
rubbish. Now, what's the excuse of the websites for Capital
Radio and the Daily Star? They replaced their front pages
with 640x480 Sky banner ads, praising the revolution in
television non-viewing to the heights. An astounding
rebranding, given that the Capital site consists almost
entirely of attempts to establish its own micro-brand, and
the Daily Star is actually owned by United News & Media,
sworn enemy of Murdoch and investor in competing multiplex,
SDN. So, how much does the front page of your flagship site
cost? Would 50,000UKP sound about right?
- don't click on the dingo! DON'T CLICK ON THE --
A few branding cock-ups with BT's big launch too.
BTClickPlus, as the penny-a-minute, dead-on-arrival Net
service is now called, launched yesterday to a chorus of
slapped foreheads. Not only has that whole Dixons thing
queered the pitch, but - it seems - Oftel insisted that the
service have the "Plus" suffix added (so competing telcos
can make clicking noises too?). Continuing the naming
disasters, BT launched www.talk21.com, their hotmail-clone
which manages to incorporate the worst aspect of freemail
systems - those stupid numbers at the end of your username -
INTO THE ADDRESS ITSELF. Fans of BT senior management
figures immediately grabbed the two most promising usernames
- firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com.
"Ian" even e-mailed the head of the service, and asked him
to phone his enclosed mobile immediately. Which he did. And
was very put out when "Ian" turned out not to be the MD of
BT, but a normal punter. On a Cellnet phone.
- Click! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...
- Ingenious! A Y199* bug.
BACKSPACE, the relaxing Net club in London's medieval
district, has a problem. Not the most affluent of dives, and
still some centuries away from that lucrative public
offering, they've always had a bit of a slack server
presence. Well, after scraping enough money to buy a Sun
Ultra-1, they spent three weeks moving over the many
non-profit Websites they've hosted for years. Then, a couple of
Apache conf file statements away from going live, those
bloody London Sun thieves popped in and took it to wherever
all these boxes are going. Unlike the ICA, whom we hate,
Backspace don't have any sponsors or insurance, and are now
stuffed. So here's their plea: if you've got a spare
box, and want to put the Web space back into Backspace,
contact Harl at the address below. They haven't said what
the reward would be, but I reckon it'll work out at free
lifetime membership and guest of honour status at the NTK
Christmas party (right guys?)
- we still think there's going to mafia-run prime-cracking nest
- "corporate tattoos" also offered
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
EASYJET to diversify into creating "first chain of
cybercafes" - hey, they could call them EasyNe-- hmm, hold
on... HOMEHIGHWAY uses unique byte->bit compression scheme:
... TOMB RAIDER movie script "really bad"... AMAZON down
again... HOTBOT moves from UNIX to NT - "Server Busy!"...
HUMANS have destroyed "30% of world", says eco report (hope
it wasn't the bit we were standing on)... APPLE pull out of
Apple Expo UK - say it's "insufficiently Mac-oriented"...
DUBLIN uploads Y2K bugfix - traffic grinds to halt...
NINFOMANIA uncover ingenuous "jive" filter... Inevitably,
THE CROW III... victims of school bullies often anxious,
younger than bully, avers BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL ...
ALTAVISTA EUROPE - say Falco to the camera! ... the folks
who did "Toilet Mouth Bob Hope" move into IT consultancy -
http://www.netscape.com/download/ -- doh!...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Sadly, UK TECHNOLOGY WEEK doesn't seem to be a national
7-day celebration of the practical applications of
scientific principles, but just the sinister tri-partite
confluence of UK COMDEX, NETWORLD + INTEROP, and the equally
oddly-named EXPO COMM 98 rewiring the entire Earls Court
complex from Tue-Thu, 06-08/10/98 (free entry if you
register online). No-one's heard of the Telecommunications
Users' Association, who present their UK COMMS AWARDS on the
evening of 07/10/98, but they surely deserve a little prize
of their own for Most Creative Spelling - or Clumsiest OCR -
On An Official Webpage, with "catergories" like "Best
Costomer Service", "Most Innovative Use of LANIWAN", "Best
Corporate Web of Internet", or even "Best Advertising
- "What will I see there?" "Manufacturers and providers!"
- "Best Total Sohmun Dealership", "Best IT Manger" - and so on
Um big APACHECON pow-wow is um due next um 14/10/98-16/10/98
in San um Francisco. Chief Behlendorf talk to um geek tribe:
smoke patch pipe with um cypherpunks from c2net. Heap
Big Blue sponsorship mean raids from um forked-tongue
suit-skins. Conference big-wigs see suit-skins: scalp 'um
big time with respectable "conference fee" pricing. Reckon
real hacker might blag 'em discount if they ask right
people. Mail um firstname.lastname@example.org, write um subject line
"thankyou c2net", they cut registration price $695
instead of $1295. Hush mouth you no tell um told you.
- if you squint, you can barely tell how racist this humour is
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
Sure, you can have free Webspace servers, and virtual mail
accounts, and multiple pops, and even a freebie shell
account, but if you want to point your domain where you
wish, you'd still have to talk a Bastard Operator from Hell
into giving you a DNS record. Until, that is, now. Well,
actually, the PUBLIC DNS Server has been around for
ages, but we've only just spotted it, and a straw poll said
that not many others knew about it either. Granite Canyon
lets you insert your A and MX records for your domain into
their server, pointing where'er you want, for free. Simply
register your domain with your local NIC, nominate the
correct NS servers, and away you go. Downside? Well, you do
still have to know what A and MX records are, which
practically makes you BOFH yourself: but then, all newbies
become sysadmins eventually. Just before they transform into
beings of pure energy.
- we *know* YOU knew. Think of the little people...
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
COLIN POWELL on the AOL board? What kind of CD-ROM "roll-out"
are they planning?... uniquely British surname humour at:
coming to BBC2... a whole TLD - on hold?
http://rs.internic.net/cgi-bin/whois?tv17-dom ... MACOS for
the rest of us http://members.xoom.com/yaro/macos/unload.htm
... one more weapon in the war against design:
Cameron's SOLARIS?... ohuh - NEW SCIENTIST has gone mad:
http://www.newscientist.com/ns/981003/editorial.html ... so
AMIGA is still alive - but what's that clambouring out
from a nearby grave?! It's an Atari ST bent on revenge!
http://www.milan-computer.de/html_gb/produkt.html ... NASA,
40 year old organisation, prepares to send John Glenn, 77
year old senator, on Discovery, 15 year old shuttle - per
senilia ad astra... drug driving... Dan says give him your
CACHE - http://www.shout.net/~nothing/cache-cow/http://wwww.upmystreet.com versus
http://www.jang.dircon.co.uk/arse.gif ... from
the makers of REBOOT: Gulliver 3D?... "Let's face it -
people eat with their eyes, right?" - well, no, but don't
let that stop you, http://www.faxfoods.com/ ...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
may contain strongly-typed language
TV>> future Mike Myers sidekick Dana Carvey co-pilots the
surveillance-obsessed movie original BLUE THUNDER (10.30pm,
Fri, LWT)... "Do I look at all funny in this?" inquires
irritating Arabella Weir in Hunter & Docherty ad agency
sitcom THE CREATIVES (10pm, Fri, BBC2) - not quite the
Absolutely reunion we were hoping for... but - wheel out the
Stonehenge set! - it seems to be Unofficial Prog Rock Week,
starting with Yes / Emerson, Lake & Palmer tracing their
ROCK FAMILY TREES (11.15pm, Fri, BBC2), and continuing with
a whole Roger Dean landscape's-worth of MUSIC MACHINE
(4.45pm, Mon-Fri not Wed, Radio 3)... BBC2 gets "Knievel" on
your ass by devoting EVEL NIGHT (8.55pm, Sat) to the cult
'70s accident victim... C5 makes a near-identical copy of
the theme night idea in its CLONE ZONE weekend - with
monozygotic triplets competing on gameshow 100 PER CENT
(7pm, Sun, C5), and docu THE CLONE RANGERS (8pm, Sun, C5)
featuring promisingly named IVF advocate, Dr Richard Seed...
cute casting (Linda Hamilton, Liv Tyler) fail to get much
sense out of autism drama SILENT FALL (11pm, Sat, most
ITV)... http animal Tim Berners-Lee sure to enliven the
final GLORY OF THE GEEKS (8pm, Sat, C4)... and secret
origins of The Lone Gunmen should stop it from seeming like
it's been 100 episodes of the same old bloody X FILES
(9.25pm, Sat, BBC1)... man unjustly convicted on evidence
that he enjoys sitcoms, eats cake, lives with mum, in
above-average Brit TV movie A LIFE FOR A LIFE (9pm, Sun,
ITV)... "*more* Cringely?" you ask, as Bob X hosts new
"information revolution" series CONNECTED (11.40pm, Mon, C4)
- be patient, they get around to Alan Cox eventually... hard
to imagine how they'll get a '90s romance element into
largely faithful 18th century seagoing saga HORNBLOWER (8pm,
Wed, ITV)... and suitably punishing self-mutilation footage
makes you ask: who is the real "sick man" in SICK: THE LIFE
AND DEATH OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST (11.30pm, Thu, C4)
(- it's the guy who hammers nails through his penis)...
FILM>> our favourite themes, done bad - if there is any
message in Bruce Willis chase thriller MERCURY RISING (imdb:
wine-cellar / cryptography / boy / chicago / autism /
secret-service / based-on-novel / puzzle / drama / codes /
murder / undercover / secret-agent) it's steganographically
buried deep in standard action cliches... is it just us, or
does the Shockwaved site for Brit-made Northern Ireland
journo-violence farce DIVORCING JACK (imdb: based-on-novel /
belfast / ireland / murder / politicians / black-comedy)
look just like the beginning of the You Don't Know Jack
CD-ROM game?... a wider than usual release (ELIZABETH's
kingdom only reaches London) for the exceptionally odd
BUFFALO '66 (imdb: kidnapping / drama / comedy / road /
football), though its plot - convict grabs Christina "Addams
Family" Ricci, pretends she's his wife - surely risks
attracting "the wrong element", if you know what we mean...
BLITTERATURE>> we fear that longtime NTK contrib Ben Moor may
already have purchased the entire UK stock of SHINY ADIDAS
TRACKSUITS AND THE DEATH OF CAMP (Berkeley Boulevard,
US$14.00), the best-of compilation from San Francisco's
erratically brilliant, now-deceased Might Magazine (imagine
a well-written, less insufferably posh version of The
Idler)... reassuringly, it even has a Michael Moore-style
attack on the ever-admirable - yet ultimately disappointing
- Michael Moore ("How do you explain your success as a
political humorist when you know nothing about politics and
you're only occasionally funny?"). MM's recycling skills
once again come to the fore in his new tell-all
behind-the-scenes self-aggrandising ADVENTURES IN A TV
NATION (Boxtree, UKP9.99) - "Most of the 10 million people
who watched our show couldn't figure out how the hell we
snuck this thing on TV"... ricketiest bandwagon of the month
hauls in TOM CLANCY'S NET FORCE (Hodder Headline, UKP6.99 -
4.99 in Tesco's), an awesomely anachronistic attempt to set
Clancy thriller cliches in a) the year 2010, and b) at least
partly in VR. Regular NTK start-quote provider Lloyd Wood
highlights the extent of AOLer Clancy's research at
http://www.xprize.org/press/clancy.html.asp , where personal
computers were co-invented by one "Bob Wazniak"... and good
to see fan webmasters Curtis Saxon and Robert Brown getting
a credit at the back of upcoming STAR WARS INCREDIBLE
CROSS-SECTIONS (Dorling Kindersley, UKP12.99) - though this
slim volume (32 pages) fails to acknowledge their more
controversial conclusions, like the Ewok extermination
caused by the nuclear-winter destruction of Death Star II
"Hi! This is the ezmlm program. Remember me? I used to
manage the email@example.com mailing list. Now I'm here
in downtown Kosovo, explaining the details of my mail
bounce probe to trigger-happy conscript snipers. Thanks
to the NTK guys for sorting out the new gig! I also love
all the mail I got after I told every subscriber that they
were about to be thrown off NTK if they failed to obey my
incomprehensible instructions. Thanks, one and all! I
think my favourite was from "Mil" from Wolverhampton
University, who wrote 'What the hell does all that mean,
then? Should I start hoarding canned food in the cellar?'
I'm not sure, Mil - although my masters do tell me that I
was suffering from "resource starvation" at the time, so
maybe it's me who needs the food!!! Haha. Well, time to
doff the fluorescent target suit and go dance in the
street again. Love you all! Write soon! Failure to do so
will need to your removal from the list without further
notice!! Byeee! xxxx - ezmlm"
>> 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 "haxx0red"
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 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 license details.
Tips, news and gossip to email@example.com.