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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Today, we are declaring war on software piracy.
The message is clear: Don't copy that floppy."
- president manque AL GORE, on another distracting threat to the US
...CD-ROMs, Zip drives, the entire iMac range still fair game
>> HARD NEWS <<
it barely moves
Over UKP500,000 of DVDs were taken from an Essex laserdisc
store last week - and the organisation we'd apply the word
"suspect" to is the FEDERATION AGAINST COPYRIGHT THEFT.
According to the Basildon Evening Echo, police seized
"imported items which are either banned in this country or
are in an uncertified format" - in other words the US market
Region 1 DVDs which everyone has been buying until the
official launch of UK Region 2 systems next week.
Coincidence? Surely not. FACT apparently plan to prosecute
on criminal charges of copyright infringement (ludicrously,
outside their home territory, legitimate Region 1 DVDs are
regarded as pirate copies), and for selling films that
haven't been certificated by the BBFC (presumably much too
busy finishing Carmageddon 2). Inexplicably, FACT seem to
have tolerated *exactly the same situation* among imported
video games for some time now, though - on the other hand -
legal UK games don't suffer from "compression artefacts",
"white spots", and "peoples' faces going the opposite way to
their heads", as some Region 2 DVDs appear to.
http://www.dvd-debate.com/ (see under "October 1st")
- not quite the "extra footage" we were hoping for
- "Region 2", "Airstrip One" - same shit, different decade
Come into my parlour, says the spider to the... other
spider. Why did LYCOS feel it had to spend $83 million
buying WIRED DIGITAL, when their own patent lawyers say that
the only profitable bit of it - HotBot - is in breach of
Lycos's own search engine patents? We reckon that, like
almost everyone else connected with the last days of Wired
(including us), they're just doing it for revenge. For that
"Wired: Inktomi, Tired: Lycos" dig in Wired 3.12. For 4.09's
prophetic recommendation to sell Lycos short ("The search
engine market is ripe for disaster"). For... oh, what's the
use. You can do Hotbot searches for "Lycos" as well as we
can. Let's all just wave goodbye with a suitably apt
pull-quote from issue 2.06, out the month Lycos, Inc was
formed (and Wired ran a big blurb on Yahoo): "Most things
people do", wrote Gary Wolf, "shouldn't be remembered.
Maybe forgetting is good." Grope for the snooze button,
WiReD, and wave goodnight.
- "time to look at your job-hunting strategy"
- or hit the booze
They're baaack. Just as you'd forgotten about that
long-promised crypto legislation, the old familiar faces
begin to make those old, muffled grumblings. DTI Minister
BARBARA ROCHE announced her enthusiastic - but vague -
support for e-commerce this week, which is traditionally a
prelude for some monstrous error or another. Watch closely
then for more strange hints leading up to Monday 19/10/98's
ICX conference, the moment voted most likely for the new
proposals to be revealed. As befits such an important new
law, the consultation period would have to be jammed into
November, and a Draft Bill pumped out by December to get it
into next year's legislative session. Which means you'll
have to act fast if you want to spot those flapping "Access
for Law Enforcement" provisions hanging out of the bill's
- go Hutty! go Anderson!
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
IMPERIAL got *their* Sun Ultras nicked last month - who *is*
this criminal mastermind?... is DEMON's technical department
empty yet?... just when we sort out a server for BACKSPACE,
everyone tells us evil property developers are throwing them
out of their space anyway... COMPUTER ACTIVE rolls out
*another* huge ad campaign, slashes cover price - not quite
what you'd expect from the "UK's leading computer
magazine"... PSYGNOSIS close Manchester office in
"restructuring"... ZIFF-DAVIS promise 10% workforce cuts
(Barry! Barry!)... NETLY NEWS becomes "Digital Daily"
(rumours of Need To Know becoming Needily Nudity unfounded)...
MECKLERMEDIA falco'd by Penton... N2K falco'd by CDnow (can
we have the domain please?)... NEWS24 faking Stephen Hawking
endorsement... NOVELL says they're "not competing with
Microsoft" - you got that right... Riven, Starship Titanic
and MindGym all slow enough for elderly BAFTA judges to
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
When we read that BRUCE STERLING wanted to gather together
artists to fight for future of the planet, we were looking
forward to an excellent Running Man-cum-Golgafrincham-B-Ark
bloodfest, with us technical sorts chuckling in the corner
until our leader told us it was okay to come out.
Worryingly, Mr Sterling seems to be sincere. He will have to
be destroyed. In the meantime, expect more artistic
protests along the line of this weekend's XFM demo, where
crowds of alternative culture lovers, furious at new owner
Capital FM's wanton disregard for their playlist, will
cause havoc the likes of which has not been seen
since the Campaign for Unmetered Telecomms riots. So that's
outside CapitalFM, Leicester Square, 1400GMT, 10/10/98.
Next stop - global warming!
- don't worry, fans. It's just a clever ruse...
- if it's your birthday, you could smash postmodernism!
But if cyberpunk's dead, we're hopeful that JEFF NOON was
far enough away from the implosion to survive. Sure enough,
kittlings, the Mancunian allergist is on the road again,
with his first primarily non-Vurt book. PIXEL JUICE, Mr Noon
says, is definitely not "one of those rubbish collections of
old articles", with electric haiku, homo karaoke and
junior pimp being just a handful of the chapters we haven't
read yet. Catch him reading his words, out loud, at
Forbidden Planet, Saturday 10/10/98, 1300GMT.
- it's not proper sci-fi until he does the technical manual
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
Hey, that WINZIP's great, isn't it? I've been using mine for
years... you too? Really? So you won't mind me asking you
for YOUR REGISTRATION NUMBER, then? Up against the
wall, this is a FACT bust! What's that? You were waiting for
the latest version? With a bunch of ugly icons, but a
convenient 'Expand to folder' shortcut? Hmm. Well, okay.
But remember, you've only got 21 days on that evaluation
version. Has it got an annoying reminder built in? Why,
yes, it has - a little dialog that pops up every time you
use it. Why do you ask?
- these DVDs, officer? Perfectly innocent
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/3906/apple.jpg - is
this the portable consumer product we've heard so much
about?... http://www.hack.net/ - oh go on, they're asking
for it... "I find your lack of pants disturbing" -
http://www.powerup.com.au/~jdc/pants.htm ... looks like this
whole sixdegrees thing is GETTING REALLY TEDIOUS... Is
Prince Charles The Antichrist? (requires Java, cup of tea)
http://www.prophecyhouse.com/ ... one for our many AOL
readers: if you phone AOL and say you're cancelling to go to
Dixons, they'll give you a free month's access... Jeff
Minter "busy developing entire system around more
psychedelic version of Tempest" - yup, it's another GAMES
ONION: http://www.nationalgamereview.com/ ... a *very*
external floppy drive - http://www.ohmslaw.com/robot.htm ...
http://www.rips.com/ ... unfortunate URL choice of the year -
http://www.rightsexchange.com/ ... self-defeating Trojans at
http://www.waste.org/~oxymoron/pingpatch.cgi ... wonder
what tastes more disgusting - Salon Magazine Coffee, or
Benson & Hedges Coffee?... Senator Hatch: anti-trust,
pro-hummable tunes - http://www.hatchmusic.com/ ...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
may contain strongly-typed language
TV>> we still think that Wallace and Gromit could beat up
MTV claymation import CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH (11.05pm, Fri,
C4)... and a good argument for a Cthulhu spin-off series in
Lovecraft compilation NECRONOMICON (1.15am, Fri, C4)... big
kids up and down the land will be hiding behind the sofa for
zany, irreverent etc BLUE PETER NIGHT (6-7pm; 8.55-11.05pm,
Sat, BBC2) - oops, sorry, wrong cult TV cliche... we do hope
it wasn't Morgan Freeman passing inside info to Kevin Spacey
to further complicate the drizzling nightmare of SE7EN
(9.05pm, Sun, BBC1)... at last, another zany, irreverent etc
look at the week's news, but the amiable idiots running
STUFF THE WEEK (11.40pm, Mon, ITV) are probably breathing
easier now they're not up against the erratically amusing
but respectably slick 11 O'Clock Show... an extraordinarily
camp Jeremy Irons sets Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson
ridiculous puzzles, not least of which is to extract some
coherent storyline from DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE (9pm, Tue,
ITV)... you kind of hope that Charlie "the not very funny
one from The Fast Show" Higson is going to do all the
interviews in his new movie series KISS KISS BANG BANG
(11.05pm, Tue, C4) like the "Ah, Ted" sketch - the title is
the Japanese name for James Bond... why should C5 have all
the fun, asks C4, with its new 3-part series on the sexual
revolution or something, explosively titled SEX BOMB (9pm,
Wed-Thu, C4) - or is it another Chris Morris spoof?... if
it's the same "eyes in the back of the head" nanotech repeat
of THE OUTER LIMITS (11.15pm, Wed, BBC2), then it's truly
the worst The Fly rip-off of all time... and surely new ITV
consumer affairs show WE CAN WORK IT OUT (7.30pm, Thu, ITV)
must be tempted to tackle whether viewers of BBC's Watchdog
are really getting what they expect, considering almost
every edition is followed by an upheld complaint by a
featured company over its unfair treatment on the show...
FILM>> you're surrounded by clever plotting, strong
performances and an actual satrical edge - but in the end
THE TRUMAN SHOW (imdb: morality / boat / insanity /
mother-son / car / tearjerker / traffic-lights / ego /
small-town / identity / movie-studio / reality / god /
bridge / futuristic / fantasy / crazed-producer / storm /
performance / simple-man / rain / 1990s / media-hype /
relationship / bravery / father-son / original / betrayal /
hidden-camera / prison / imprisonment / vending-machine /
pursuit / adoption / product-placement / blockbuster /
revenge / producer / chase / escape / tv / corruption /
surreal / beach / fake-death) just turns out to be a big
Hollywood movie after all! Plus, we're convinced that the
www.photomosaic.com guy fiddled the edges on the posters,
possibly after not getting image approval from Carrey (or
his agent)... plenty of what www.screenit.com calls "Tense
family scenes" in above-average Merchant Ivory period
costume drama A SOLDIER'S DAUGHTER NEVER CRIES (imdb:
based-on-novel), though this time, it's the period costumes
of Paris and the USA in the 1960s!... and Tinseltown
Cinderella Drew Barrymore gets her big break in fairy-tale
re-telling EVER AFTER (imdb: leonardo-da-vinci / cinderella)
- better than you might think, with some almost-Princess
Bride elements, but not quite enough "Leonardo Da Vinci"...
EDIBLES INTERNATIONAL>> there's little to tempt the UK
palette in the way of new confections, what with NESTLE's
not particularly ace VENTURA ("The Chocolate Covered
Bubblegum Chew Bar"), and the revolting "CHUNKY" - yet
another desperate attempt by CADBURY'S to come up with a
Christmas Creme Egg, with truffles and toffee in it... so,
why not ask your US friends to send over a box or two of
official SOUTH PARK CHEESY POOFS? - like cheesy Wotsits, but
with a coarser texture... also Stateside, libertarian sf
author (aren't they all?) Victor Milan has been warning of
the MCDONALDS Y2k-style "XX billion burgers served" bug -
only two digits on the signs and they're due to hit 100 any
day now... still, not quite as scary as the Dawkinsburgers
at http://www.brunching.com/toys/toy-hamburger.html ...
JAPANESE KEBAB fan site http://www.hh.iij4u.or.jp/~arg/ acts
as a powerful warning against mixing too many cuisines, so
you could stay here and look forward to exotica like FRED
FRUITY CHEESE SPREAD (a "natural soft cheese strawberry
flavoured product"), KP/BRANNIGANS DELICRISPS ("a thicker,
harder eat with an appetising darker colour"), or ORIENTAL
EXPRESS NOODLE POTS, which aren't plastic tubs but genuine
US sitcom-style cardboard cartons (that we've never been
able to find when we're actually in America)... we want:
http://www.lightvision.com/ ... and finally, this
over-helpful shelf-talker seen in MARKS AND SPENCERS: "Did
you know that Whole Milk is naturally 95 per cent Fat Free?"
Well, thanks for sharing, M&S, as well as for inadvertently
(or deliberately?) revealing that all those "95 per cent fat
free" products are at least as fattening as whole milk...
>> 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 "Falco getting out of hand"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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