"I'm not prepared to talk about specifics but we have
seen organized criminal groups using the proceeds from software
counterfeiting to pay for terrorist operations overseas."
- BRAD SMITH, Microsoft general counsel
air strikes on Norwegian warez sites to follow
>> HARD NEWS <<
Remember, remember the fifth of - I'm sorry, it's gone
again, pleaded BILL GATES this week, as his taped testimony
to the DOJ Truth Commission revealed an inability
to recall the details of his own e-mail outbox. We guess
then he won't remember the words of the NYT column where he
noted "I can remember all the moves of many chess games that
I've played. I can still remember all my lines in a high
school play, 'Black Comedy... I remember financial data very
well, too. I can visualize the source code to the version of
BASIC that I wrote for the first microcomputer, back in
1975." But I can't *quite* remember sending a three-line
e-mail which included the phrase "Do we have a clear plan on
what we want Apple to do to undermine Sun?"
- fifth of... fifth of... fifth of amendment?
- I deny having developer relations with that ... platform
- there can be no red faces at the Redmond
Another e-mail that Gates failed to recall was, of course,
the Halloween Document, a sharp memo shoved into Eric
Raymond by a masked "brother" on the run from Redmond
Asylum. But was it meant as a trick or treat? While the
gathered Free Softwarelings scared themselves into even more
recursive states ("We shouldn't read it! That's exactly what
he'd *expect* us to do!"), author Vinod Valloppillillilloopp
returned in - Halloween Document II. In this sequel, he
tries Linux, and likes it. "The feeling was exhilarating
and addictive", he writes, "as it was when first I heard the
screams of the OS/2 evangelists in Sub-Level Five".
- well, the mark-up's a little hard to read sometimes
- we refer the honourable gentleman to his previous page
- Gaddafi-lover Cringely speaks sense
- Winer writes "I am not a gorilla". Nobody tell Glenn!
- still no-one knows what "de-commoditizing" means
Over the next month, 20,000 UK companies will be sent a
survey by the anti-piracy body, the BUSINESS SOFTWARE
ALLIANCE. It's the usual stuff: How many employees are you
responsible for? How many PCs do you have in your company?
Do you realise that as MD, you are responsible for the
legality of software? Do you realise that if you don't fill
this in and return to the BSA within 21 days, they'll put
you on a special "blacklist" of companies that they suspect
of harbouring illegal software, and blitz you with mailings
and possibly even begin investigations into the legality of
your software purchases? Do you think there's anything odd
in being penalised for *not* returning a junk questionnaire?
- would you like to join our book of the month club?
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
Finally, someone paid http://www.hotwired.com to lose the
colours... COMCOMCOMCOMCOMCOMCOM.COM currently "on hold"...
LLOYDS BANK Website closes between 0400-1000AM (server
needs a nap)... DANNY KELLY gets big plug for www.m365.com
in Guardian, despite its current non-existence... Brain
Structure May Play Role in Children's Ability To Learn To
Read, reveals study... DIGICASH runs out of money... N2K
"forget" to pay Ticketmaster $3 million... Human Error
Responsible for Most Data Loss, uncovers survey... IE5.0 to
feature "Go" button, for users who don't know you have to
press return after an URL... APPLE claim to have "patented"
the colour Bondi Blue... PC DIRECT illustrates computer
security article exclusively with stills from WarGames movie
- mentions WarGames in first sentence... Falco! SYQUEST
crashes - but they took backups, right? ... Microsoft buy
LINKEXCHANGE for $250 million - but how are we going to
break it to http://www.stopgates.com/ ?... BBC.CO.UK now
"Millennium Product" (ie will be usable sometime in next)
... who will find a future for http://www.streetmap.co.uk?
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
stop! scanner time!
Pity the traditional craftsfolk, outmoded by rapid
technological change - craftsfolk like DJ SCANNER, whose
live mixes and recordings of mobile phone calls were the
talk of the town back in the heady days of the early '90s.
Obviously this hasn't been quite such a poignant artform
since digital mobiles hit the scene, and he's now reduced to
hanging around near London tourist attractions, recording
and photographing the ambience - and, we believe, somehow
"converting the digital images into sounds". Scanner will be
performing the resultant "Surface Noise" on a travelling
double decker bus between St Paul's Cathedral and Big Ben
from 6pm on 12/11/98-14/11/98 (UKP12.50, advance booking
essential), and hopefully providing some sort of tour
commentary, since his voice - oddly - sounds exactly like
the lead singer out of Jamiroquai.
- is it just us, or does the B*Witched Rollercoaster single
- ...sound just like "Get on board, get on board"?
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
You know how everything in UNIX is supposed to be a file?
You know Perl lets you do everything you'd ever want to do?
You know that means, logically, you can return UNIX to its
pure, pre-Fall state, where everything *is* a file -
anything you want? So you could, say, chdir to
"http://www.yahoo.com/", then chdir to all the links on that
page? And you know that there's only one person insane
enough to thus let you write your own filing system - in
Perl? Yes, from the people who brought you the Turing
Machine using only dd and sh, we roundly announce:
- next: X-Windows servers using trained cellular automata
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
that's not a Millennium Bug - that's a *feature*:
http://www.go2zero.com/... are you wearing L'OREAL
"Industria" Barcode transfer tattoos (Sainsburys, 2.99UKP)
on *your* forehead? well, you will. It is foretold ... when
arty Mac types go Windows NT, can firearms be far away? -
http://photo.net/wtr/mac-to-pc-migration.html ... IONICA -
with Sugar or without? ... BOB KANE slips away from
Commissioner Gordon for the last time... the "Catch The
Chicken" Quake mod... let's see MICROSOFT try to
de-commoditize www.windows2000.com ... apart, TV nostalgia
and Macromedia Flash are execrable, together -
http://625.simplenet.com/tv_logos/flash.htm ... blue
nitro... http://www.pretext.com/ ... analog transformer
watches... just how patronising can an RFC be?
... "So we did what any bereaved FURBY owner would do - we
cut him up and took pictures." http://www.phobe.com/furby/
... it's the subjective IMDB - http://www.mrqe.com/ ...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
may contain strongly-typed language
TV>> we've been personally assured that the new series of
ROBOT WARS (6.45pm, Fri, BBC2) *will* be more violent,
though not due to the presence of new Clarkson-replacing
rent-a-cyber-presenter, Craig Charles... still, Jeremy
reappears spouting his knee-jerk reactionary nonsense on
pseudo chat-show CLARKSON (9pm, Sun, BBC2) - "I've thought
of the only tube station that doesn't contain any of the
letters of the word 'Mackerel'"; "Well, I don't live in
London, don't know the names of any tube stations, and
therefore *don't care*"... Lee/ Cushing '60s sci-fi scare
NIGHT OF THE BIG HEAT (12.10am, Fri, BBC1) sounds a bit like
the pilot movie of Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea... and
another excellent arguing-Niles episode of FRASIER (10pm,
Fri, C4)... sadly, doesn't look like Armando Ianucci will be
doing a special "Remembrance Day" edition of Saturday Night
Armistice this weekend - scariest look back should be the
subterranean WW1 tunneling tactics in THE UNDERGROUND WAR
(7pm, Sat, C4)... use of unnecessary violence in the
avoidance of THE BLUES BROTHERS (10.30pm, Sat, ITV) *has*
been approved... dated, dull, featuring Nancy "RoboCop"
Allen - once-acclaimed telekinetic teen scream CARRIE (10pm,
Sun, BBC2), frankly, doesn't live here any more... full-on
Will Smith/ Tea Leoni Miami Vice rip-off BAD BOYS (10pm,
Sun, C4) is still Michael "The Rock" Bay's best film ever -
and possibly the greatest cop buddy drama of all time...
surely new Linehan/ Matthews sketch series BIG TRAIN (10pm,
Mon, BBC2) - starring Kevin "Simon Quinlank" Eldon - isn't
*all* understated slice-of-life weirdness featuring '80s pop
stars?... speaking of which, Christopher "Nigel Tufnel"
Guest directs, but doesn't appear in pre-The Player
Hollywood satire THE BIG PICTURE (10.55pm, Mon, C5), with
Kevin Bacon, Teri Hatcher, Michael "David St Hubbins"
McKean... among the new lot of - deeply disturbing -
MYSTERIES WITH CAROL VORDERMAN (8.30pm, Tue, BBC1): "An
explosion in the sky in the Outer Hebrides which has aroused
local suspicion"... CUTTING EDGE (9pm, Tue, C4) seems to be
somewhat blunted on the cut-throat competition between
celeb-porn rags OK! and Hello! (9pm, Tue, C4)... and let's
not get our hopes up for the acting skills of fresh young
cast in "music biz satire" drama THE YOUNG PERSON'S GUIDE TO
BECOMING A ROCK STAR (10pm, Tue, C4) - and you were hoping
it was a '90s version of Rockschool... former Sunday Show
irritation Peter Kay mutates into fly-on-wall spoof motorway
services staff, a justifiable experiment from C4's COMEDY
LAB (11.30pm, Wed, C4)... Emergency 999 meets Fantastic
Voyage in endoscope-filmed BODY STORY (9pm, Thu, C4)...
SCIENCE AT WAR (9.25pm, Thu, BBC2) delivers a harrowing
history of poison gas and battlefield chemical weapons...
still, probably more laughs than Victoria Wood's new sitcom,
DINNERLADIES (9.30pm, Thu, BBC1)...
FILM>> so: can you, with a clear conscience, back
Dreamworks' ANTZ (imdb: computer-animation / ants) against
Disney/Pixar's A Bug's Life? On one hand, the (often
ultraviolent) Dreamworks are going up against Disney (yay).
On the other: it's bloody Spielberg, in "strategic alliance"
with Bill Gates - who, of course, brought the release
date forward to "punish" Steve Jobs for his impudence -
( http://fnews.yahoo.com/fool/98/09/18/trouble_980918.htm )
Then again, Antz is excellently celeb-packed, Woody Allen-esque,
and wasted on kids, apparently... cute camerawork, CCTV
concept, Nic Cage, inevitably ruined by the usual Brian De
Palma hysterics, darting everywhere with his SNAKE EYES
(imdb: hurricane / murder / police / tidal-wave /
assassination / blockbuster / boxing / casino)... Ice Cube
directs worthwhile backstage table-dancing comedy drama THE
PLAYERS CLUB (imdb: catfight / stripper / urban) - less
degrading than Showgirls or Striptease, for both performers
and audience... Swingers' Vince Vaughn, swingin' Anne Heche
put real take on Prisoner's Dilemma game theory in wordy
poser RETURN TO PARADISE (imdb: drama / romance /
thriller)... and going by http://www.lff.org.uk/ , most of
the LONDON FILM FESTIVAL has sold out already (as usual),
though not, at time of writing, weirdie numerological
low-budget sci-fi PI (imdb: judaism / low-budget /
mathematical-equation / mathematics / paranoia / pi /
self-mutilation / surreal / chaos-theory / computers /
cult-favorites / delusion) - full of slogans that sound like
they're out of Jim Flint's Habitus, and also explains what
happened to Clint out of Pop Will Eat Itself:
THUMB CANDY TALKING>> we're too glued to FUTURE COP: LAPD
(EA, PSX) to move right now ("This product [mech-suit
chain-guns crims in nightmare dystopia] is not endorsed or
associated in any way with the Los Angeles Police
Department"), but fortunately we can hand you over to
scourge of the home office and friend to the stars, CHARLTON
"CHARLIE" BROOKER... despite abysmal title, WARGASM (DID,
PC) is itself very good - sort of a cross between C&C, a
high-falutin' simulator, and an arcade game. Rousing Wagner
soundtrack accompanies the gung-ho pornography, excused via
transparently apologetic storyline about it all taking place
on the "World Wide War Web"... APOCALYPSE (PSX), starring
Bruce Willis, isn't as bad as some recent films he's been
in; looks like a 3D one-player Gauntlet with wisecracks and
blood. Bruce spouts almost *every* action-hero cliche you've
ever heard. Cumulative effect hilarious... Jap import
"DJing" game BEAT MASTER (PSX) starting to appear here,
rumoured to require special "turntable" controller. Or check
out HIPHOPMANIA arcade version in some UK arcade test sites
(oh alright then, we mean Namco Wonderpark)... oh, and
HALF-LIFE (Sierra, PC) may be "best PC game ever" according
to - ironically - about 50% of those who've played it
("Resident Evil meets Quake meets Quatermass And The Pit.
Genius.")... and, it being Christmas and all, it must be
time for another illicit "gore" patch for CARMAGEDDON 2 -
anyone got an URL yet?... cheers Charlie, and just time to
close now with games news gossip: http://www.ctw.co.uk
launched... http://www.cex.co.uk/cex revamped... Future
Gamer first email not the promised 256K, but "more like
400"... hacked or just hacked off?
http://www.ign64.com/news/5572.html ... and thanks to
everyone who pointed out the Lionhead interview in the new
EDGE, featuring company staff with curious yet consistent
names like "Mark thingy", "Christian whatsisname", "Irish
geezer", "Jean Claude french bloke", and "Scawen scary
name". The same interview also boasts the snappy call-out
"MOST GAMES 90% LOOK TO THE PAST FOR THEIR INSPIRATION;
COMPUTER ARTWORKS' 50% EVOLVA SCIENTIFIC USES 50%COMPLEX
SCIENTIFIC USES COMPLEX 90% THEORIES 09% THE STATE OF THE
ORGANIC ART" - as one correspondent (and former Edge
contributor) points out: "a phrase so Now that it gets
repeated in edited form on each of the next two pages"...
>> SMALL PRINT <<
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