_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ ____30/10/98_ o join! mail 'subscribe ntknow'
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o to firstname.lastname@example.org
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v v / o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Internet Time is absolute time for everybody. Now is now
and the same time for all people and places. Later is the
same subsequent period for everybody. The numbers are the
same for all."
- NICHOLAS NEGROPONTE at http://www.swatch.com/internettime
...also, emotions are energies vibrating faster than the speed of light
>> HARD NEWS <<
The Net's very own degentrified no-go zone, USENET, fell
further into screeching chaos this week. The newsgroup's new
street drug of choice, HipCrime, is spreading fast - a
simple script which replaces legitimate newsgroup posts with
unreadable nonsense (and yes, the two are separable to an
expert eye). No-one knows who's behind Hipcrime - some
suspect it's a concerted effort by a small group, others
asuume it's a generalised act of self-destruction by the
usual script kiddies. Or maybe it's just like the Sixties,
and the CIA are flooding the market with uncut HipCrime to
prevent the Randian revolution from spilling out of
- like anyone goes there now 'cept to score warez and whores
- more street craziness
Germany's Chaos Computer Club lost one of its leading lights
(in a suitably decentralised, Erisian way) with the death of
hardware hacker TRON. One NTK correspondent recalled "he
possessed superior nads", but Tron may be better remembered
elsewhere for his work in exposing security holes in
smartcards and the GSM telephone network, as well as the
first probing of the new German digital TV set-top boxes.
Tron's body was found in a Berlin park. The police are
treating the incident as suicide: CCC demur.
http://www.ccc.de/CRD/CRD241098.en.html Happier news on our oh-so-right-on cyber-rights campaign.
Word on the Downing Street is that the DTI finally unveiled
the technical proposals to a few real experts. They pointed
out that, as it stands, the law would preclude all but three
commercial encryption systems from being used, and even they
would require major design changes. The DTI (whose functions
include encouraging competition, and controlling restraint
of trade) had not considered this, and have now retired to
patch the proposals. Which is fortunate, as we discovered
that our "voter empowerment" ruse planned for this week may
have contravened the Prevention of Terrorism Act. And people
say we don't check this stuff out.
- meet like-minded friends
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
Interface's Dr KEYBOARD recommends people ignore ISP advice,
install Microsoft Internet Explorer... Time Out's SPYDER
apologises for misnaming "Macromedia Shockrave" - it should,
he explains, be "Shockrave's Shockwave"... NT 5.0 renamed
2000 (blame rounding errors in the math library)...
JIM BARKSDALE saw himself as "Stalin", reveal e-mails...
Interface's Dr KEYBOARD says alternatives to NT "for experts
or enthusiastic amateurs with too much time on their
hands"... new Freeserve-fearing A4-size AOL mailout uses the
word "Free" 27 times (not counting uses in body copy)...
Interface's Dr Keyboard recommend you use Microsoft Hotmail
with Microsoft Internet Mail or Microsoft Outlook Express...
VM Labs rename "Project X" NUON, don't realise www.nuon.com
already belongs to Dutch folk history museum.. AUDIOSTREET
overestimate Prince revival: http://www.ntk.net/doh/audio981023.gif >> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
"The gradual co-opting of Halloween to celebrate science
fiction mythology rather than supernatural tradition is
symptomatic of a society that now projects its concerns
towards technology rather than the metaphysical unknown.
Discuss." Whatever, any excuse will do for uber-webcast
SCIFI CON 3.0, the SciFi Channel's weekend-long online
jamming-on-the-net sort of thing, with Real Audio author
readings (KW Jeter's new Noir - from 4am GMT, 31/10/98,
Bruce Sterling's Distraction - from 5pm GMT, 31/10/98), and
endless scrutinising of the original Halloween/ sci-fi
crossover, Orson Welles' "panic-inducing" War Of The Worlds
radio show. Though we bet Jim Cameron doesn't touch on the
theory that the whole "mass panic" myth was *made up* by the
authorities to "prove" there'd be chaos if first contact was
made, thus justifying cover-ups of all subsequent alien
- note to SFX readers...
- ..."Orson Scott Card" is not a publisher of CCGs
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
For those of you who tire of watching John Glenn's launch
take just over five hours to "real time stream", allow us to
present X-FILE. This utility can dump RealMedia files to
disk even from servers using the "pnm:" protocol. So when
you try to do a "Save link as..." on a RealMedia file, and
all it gives you is a stumpy little ".ram" file, you'll
still be able to grab the genuine article for later,
full-speed playback. Unpleasantly, it's a Windows shareware
utility with all the hallmarks of that ancient form
(time-limited demo, "unusual" user interface, weirdo
installation), but it does the job. And, hey, if he *does*
die, you're going to want a permanent memento, aren't you?
- oh, yeah, as if you hadn't thought it
- next: RIAA ban Playstation
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
Star Wars trailer spoiler (feel the evil rising in you):
http://www.darkhorizons.com/news4/swtrail.htm ... too geeky
for your wrist: http://www.orang-otang.com/ ... local
weirdness: http://bltc.com/domains.htm ... John Romero and
Bill Gates share birthday (28/10)... Is Your Kid A Hacker?,
asks Kevin Poulsen and http://www.zdnet.com/familypc/ ...
using thetrip.com to track corporate jets; deals... how
about a HOWITZER? http://www.briwebsite.com/ ... NETLINK
rehiring previously fired employees?... Self-Important
Newspaper Explains Onion To Dumb Americans Who Don't Get It
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-10/25/063l-102598-idx.html >> GEEK MEDIA <<
may contain strongly-typed language
TV>> the co-opting of Halloween continues - but no
complaints from us - with LWT late-night abducted by ALIEN
INVADERS (from midnight, Fri, ITV). Phenomena include sci-fi
quiz UNIVERSE CHALLENGE (12.50am, hopefully Craig
Charles-free), the forgiveably titled STARSHIP BLOOPERS
(12.15am), and surely a repeat of that wildly inconclusive
UFO docu, AREA 51 (1.20am)... cackling, witch-faced Davina
McCall "trick or treats" around Brighton and Manchester via
the mild pimping/ matchmaking overtones of STREETMATE
(9.30pm, C4, Fri)... still, the big guns are out at the
weekend, with twitchy Nick Broomfield's character
assassination of KURT AND COURTNEY (9.30pm, Sat, BB2)... C4
hope to prove there's more on their film channel than just
Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, The Madness Of King George and
ultraconformist feelgooder FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL (9pm,
Sat, C4)... but any sane TV will be chasing THE FUGITIVE
(10.25pm, Sat, ITV) - "I didn't kill my wife!" "I *don't
care*!" - then that rare original-equal remake, John
Carpenter's best film, THE THING (12.55pm, Sat, ITV)... oh
and we can't not mention Australian geek-hobby homage MEN
AND THEIR SHEDS (7pm, Sat, C4)... Mark Kermode indeed looks
like he's been watching 25 YEARS OF THE EXORCIST (12.40pm,
Sun, BBC2)... but he's missing ADAM AND JOE'S FILM FOUR
SPECIAL (about 9.20pm, Sun, C4), followed by an explanation,
then the film, of hilarious new-heist puzzler THE USUAL
SUSPECTS (from 9.30pm, Sun, C4) - and a bunch of Ewan
McGregor vehicles... Paramount prove "Master Of Their
Domain" with the famed abstinence classic episode of
SEINFELD (9.30pm, Mon)... who would you least to want to see
on TV? Armando Iannucci presenting a "Zippergate"
retrospective from an oddly familiar 2028 in CLINTON: HIS
STRUGGLE WITH DIRT (10pm, Mon, BBC2)? Or Mac lamer Douglas
Rushkoff rambling on drugs in "experimental" narco-doc FATAL
EMBRACE (11pm, Mon, C4)?... your weird friend who's into
Coen Brothers films will bitterly fail to comprehend your
disappointment at gangster drama MILLER'S CROSSING (12.05am,
Tue, C4) (attention all "weird friends": we're joking, so
don't write in, OK?)... an extended EPK promises a look
INSIDE THE X FILES (11.35pm, Wed, BBC1)... leading into
little-known Kurt Vonnegut thought-control satire HARRISON
BERGERON (12.20am, Wed, BBC1)... HORIZON (9.25pm, Thu, BBC2)
sounds deadly serious about drug-free laughter therapy for
ADHD kids... but the hilariously Reaganite patriotic
synth-pop over the end titles will always be the best bit of
RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II (9.35pm, Thu, C5)...
FILM>> they rave about the head-spinning f/x but it's the
psychological horror that really shakes the bed in
unbettered classic THE EXORCIST (imdb: priest / religion /
vomit / based-on-novel / blockbuster / demon / devil /
exorcism / occult / ouija / possession). That, and the scary
X-ray machine, and the fact that nothing much happens in the
first 45 minutes... an even worse first-date-movie is
extreme Austrian Natural Born Killers-style shocker FUNNY
GAMES (imdb: controversial / hostage / murder /
psychological / torture / violence) - we certainly find
violence more titillating when it's presented as a critique
of the media portrayal of it... and not many laughs either
in so-bad-it's-awful Brit Vampire trash RAZOR BLADE SMILE
(imdb: filmed in Kent and Buckinghamshire)... "It's The Full
Monty meets Spinal Tap!" says the PR for Clement/ La Frenais
rock reunion scam STILL CRAZY (imdb: comedy / romance). Er,
no, it's not... famous heterosexual Emma Thompson
intriguingly cast as Hillary in tiresomely accurate
behind-the-times Clinton spoof PRIMARY COLOURS (imdb: "Set
in 1992, features Lucent phones. Lucent wasn't spun off from
AT&T until 1993")... and you'd have to be sick indeed to
become sexually obsessed with Rachel "Chain Reaction" Weisz,
as shown in harrowing Northern drama I WANT YOU (imdb:
sexual-awakening / suicide / tape-recorder / color-filter /
hairdresser / murder / mute / probation / psychological /
puberty) - which *does* seem to be based around the Elvis
Costello song of the same name (though not the ones by The
Beatles, Cheap Trick, Savage Garden, Bob Dylan, Melissa
Etheridge or Cabaret Voltaire)...
BONERS>> Thanks to everyone who wrote in complaining that it
*isn't* Dana Carvey in the movie version of Blue Thunder
[see NTK 02/10/98]; his role is played by Daniel Stern
(Billy Crystal's pal in City Slickers, also the "inner voice
of Kevin Arnold in the Wonder Years")... also, ALISTAIR
BURNS clarified that U2's Sweetest Thing [NTK 16/10/98]
first appeared on the B-side of When The Streets Have No
Name, which, in August 1987, was released a month before
T'Pau's Bridge Of Sighs album (featuring China In Your
Hand). But, still no clearer on just *who copied who*...
reassuringly, no-one queried our claim that "China In Your
Hand" is in fact a tribute to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein,
so that must now be considered irrefutable fact... two
people asked for the URL of the "Dominator" page of current
UK music releases (one of which turned out to be the guy who
runs it), so for all of you whose search engine of choice
doesn't let you use highly distinctive terms like
"Dominator", it's: http://www.sonicstate.com/dom/reviews.htm
... oh and NEIL MILLAR correctly pointed out that it's "Ace
Of Base", not "Ace Of Bass" [NTK 16/10/98, again] - those
wacky Swedes preferring to name themselves after a street
term for cocaine instead of the perhaps more obvious
low-frequency audio... WAYNE WILLIAMS proposed that "LM"
[NTK 23/10/98] didn't stand for "Leisure Monthly" but
"Lively Magazine", or possibly "Lloyd Mangram" after the
ego-tripping editor of Crash who (briefly) ran it. Frankly
who cares - does anyone remember weekly multimedia newspaper
BANG? Or what about SPEED AND POWER?... also last week we
recommended MacOS 8.5: you might like to read
http://www.macintouch.com/m85_diskdamage.html before taking
our advice again... boner to the power boner! We omitted to
mention in the last BONER that Michael Wolff doesn't write
for the NY Times magazine, but New York magazine.
Apparently, there's some subtle difference...
>> 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 "we blagged our way into the
BAFTA Awards ceremony, and all we got was this lousy special citation"
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 email@example.com with 'unsubscribe ntknow'.
Subscribe? Mail firstname.lastname@example.org 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
email@example.com for commercial license details.
Tips, news and gossip to firstname.lastname@example.org.