"We worked with [the movie's creators] to make the AOL
experience that you'll see in the movie something that our
members will see as realistic as possible"
- AOL's Wendy Goldberg on Hanks/Ryan vehicle YOU'VE GOT MAIL
...though maybe "Sling Blade" is a slightly closer metaphor...
>> HARD NEWS <<
nothing to lose
All the .com's disappeared again this Wednesday, but this
time NETWORK SOLUTIONS had an explanation. According to
David Holtzmann, NSI vice president of engineering, it
wasn't their fault: it was the "F" root nameserver that went
rogue. And that's run by Net legend, Paul Vixie.
Unfortunately, Holtzmann seems to have been confusing
Vixie's "F" rootserver, f.root-servers.net, and NSI's own
"F" rootserver, f.gtld-servers.net, which they recently
installed in Palo Alto (right next to Vixie's) to
considerable fanfare. As it happens, Vixie's server *was*
corrupted (NSI's machines messed up the file transfer), but
correctly told DNS servers that it was down. Unfortunately,
NSI's F, J, or K servers were snafu'd too, and were proudly
insisting to the world that they were fine, just fine, and,
by the way, did you know every .com in the universe just
vanished? It's still not clear why NSI called their server
"F" after the same letter as Vixie's long-established
machine: some cynical voices suggested at the time that they
were trying to squeeze out the old boys. Or maybe they
just haven't got the hang of this whole "naming" business yet.
- update! original article may have regurgitated NSI line
- ratio of journo to sysadmins on NANOG now 2:1
Big surprise: JUSTIN PETERSEN, aka Agent Steal, aka Agent
Squeal, aka the one-legged guy with the big hair who informed
on Kevin Mitnick, has done a bunk. FBI marshalls have been
checking his usual haunts on Sunset Boulevard, nervous that
the running man won't be returning for his star witness
appearance in the Mitnick trial. Mail to 2600 mag's Emmanuel
Goldstein purporting to be from Petersen, claims he's
skipped the country to work for some "CIA-funded black ops".
Well, aren't we all? And will he be back for Mitnick? "Let
lying dogs sleep" says the... uh, unconfirmed report.
Meanwhile, we're wondering - wasn't it the *other* guy who
had an arm missing in the Fugitive?
- the "other Kevin" reports
- pay your domain name bills before you go
TOMMY FLOWERS sounds like something from a Captain Britain
comic: the cheerful engineer sidekick of Turing and the
Bletchley Park eggheads. In reality, he was Dr Flowers, -
the man behind the design of Colossus, the electronic
processor that helped break German encrypted messages in
WWII. Colossus, if not the first computer, certainly counts
as one of the first electronic hacks: it was constructed
almost entirely from standard telephone parts. Flowers also
tweaked the cutting edge: he insisted on using fragile
vacuum tubes, rather than relays - his experience at the GPO
told him that if they just kept his machine turned on, the
tubes would rarely blow. Oh, and Flowers upped the speed of
the Colossus fivefold in two years, beating Moore's Law
before it even began. Dr Flowers was 92 when he passed away
earlier this month.
- geek days out
- "the most brilliant engineer"
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
oh God, JON KATZ has found Slashdot... WIRED "interactive"
news at http://www.ntk.net/doh/wired981109.html ... looks
like WEBMONKEY is learning on the job, too -
http://fuchs.stanford.edu/schtuff/monkey.gif ... BRITISH
PATENT "search engine" shows no hits for "Dyson".. DAVID
BRAKE now promoted to BBC OBITUARIES DEPARTMENT...
"Sun-Microsoft rivalry one of dislike", reveals USA TODAY...
REVOLUT!ON asks its online directory members to update their
details - by fax... AntiNews of the Year:
GEOFF BOYCOTT's "Hit For Six" game cancelled after he beat
up his partner, reckons THE SUN... ROBERT X CRINGELY fakes
professorship from Stanford: hell, next they'll be saying he
made up the name... BBC ad for Website suggests that a good
cure for running out of memory is to "close some of the
programs, and reboot" - what, just some of the programs?...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Oh, those swanky West Coast WEBZINE 98 guests may be living
the high life this weekend, quaffing the complimentary
Chardonnet and waving to their adoring crowds from their
large, specially-commissioned floats, but we know our roots.
We'll eating simpler fare at the ATARI COMPUTING CONVENTION
at Bingley Hall, The Staffordshire Show Centre, Stafford,
this Saturday 14/11/98 (1000-1600GMT). The simple bran of
the monochrome Atari ST: the healthy spring water of its
still cheery exponents. And we'll be breaking bread with the
Atari's traditional enemies, too. By a happy coincidence
the Atari Convention takes place at *exactly* the same time
and place as the ALL COMPUTER SHOW, which will be
chock-a-block with ageing Sinclair fans, Einstein
enthusiasts, Coleco Adam advocates and, we're sure, the
occasional Amiga loser. Entrance fee UKP3, and bring your
boots. There's still time for one more kicking.
- "but I've *OOF* got a *OOF* blitter *OOF*"
- Freaks. GET A JOB!!
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
JOHN WALKER is one of those luminaries who you know, even if
you don't recognise the name: his DEMORONISER is a program
that fixes symptoms you'll recognise even if you've never
known the disease. This Perl hack fixes HTML generated with
programs like PowerPoint and Microsoft Word, dropping back
the apostrophes and smart quotes which the apps otherwise
knacker beyond belief. As Walker points out, if you don't
fix the code, Web readers using Macs or Unix will think
you're an ungrammatical idiot or - worse - suspect you own
PowerPoint and Microsoft Word. Walker was also the founder
of AutoCad, and the guy in Rudy Rucker's THE HACKER AND THE
ANTS who tries to take over the world using an army of
super-intelligent ants hatched from his secret Switzerland
- don't let the domain name put you off, little hacker
- ...he's one of us
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
offshore GORE PATCH for Carma players, all ages:
http://www.carpocalypse.com/ppfiles.htm ... now, this is
shit: http://www.doodie.com/ ... China recognises "MAGIC:
THE GATHERING" as an "official non-Olympic mind sport"...
http://www.scottmccloud.com/ ... random ICQ numbers in your
.sig, just to annoy people... they've got your number:
http://telephonesex.net/ ... EPISODE ONE trailer US debuts
next week - FRANK "Yoda" OZ comments: "Fucking incredible
[it is]"... tragic floods in CHINA delay delivery of BEAVIS
& BUTT-HEAD action figure collectibles...
http://www.leeandherring.com live tryouts start at
Riverside Studios next Thu 19/11... unfortunate title-bar
typo of the year: http://www.nukeproof.com/ ... SISTERS OF
MURPHYS ads annoy Irish goth tribute band of same name,
reports uk.people.gothic ... Brighton KILLER NET house burns
down, police suspect arson - by TV fans... IEE NEWS warns RF
streetlight interference "likely" - story has been on and
off so many times, it's causing interference of its own...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
may contain strongly-typed language
TV>> very average character sketches/ spoofs that really
would have you muttering GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME (10pm, Fri,
BBC2) - if they weren't so excitingly, adventurously
Asian... but at least they haven't scheduled it against the
increasingly excellent sibling ribaldry of FRASIER (10pm,
Fri, C4)... plus plenty of self-confessed "macho bullshit" -
and a weirdly camp villain - in early Arnie guns-and-puns
fest COMMANDO (10.25pm, Fri, BBC1) - "I let him go!"... not
officially "girl power" night on the SciFi Channel, but
clearly something's fuelling immortal-female spin-off
HIGHLANDER: THE RAVEN (8.30pm, Fri, SciFi), the TOMB RAIDER
SPECIAL (9.30pm, Fri, SciFi), and that other post-feminist
(post-watchable?) icon TANK GIRL (10pm, Fri, SciFi)...
desperate Cilla tries to find *any romance at all* in the
lives of ex-contestants on THE BLIND DATE EXCLUSIVE (6.45pm,
Sat, ITV)... *surely* Iranian hostages docu 444 DAYS (10pm,
Sat, BBC2) will touch on the theory that Bush kept them
there till Carter lost to Reagan... and, inexplicably, C4 is
re-showing DARK SKIES (12.20am, Sat, C4; 11.50pm, Sun,
C4)... visible wires, painted f/x, straight-faced Leslie
Nielsen fail to detract from archetypal sci-fi classic
FORBIDDEN PLANET (5.20pm, Sun, C4)... a comprehensive look
back at the highlights of a month's digital TV in NOUGHTS
AND ONE (8.50pm-9pm, Sun, BBC2)... seen John Dahl's
neo-noirs Red Rock West or The Last Seduction? Then no need
to KILL ME AGAIN (10pm, Sun, C4)... especially when Luc
Besson is lamenting the uselessness of work experience
placements in rapid-fire assassin assignment LEON (10.10pm,
Sun, BBC2)... why should C5 viewers have all the fun, ask
competing channels with completely educational, not at all
sensation-seeking VICE - THE SEX TRADE (9pm, Mon, ITV), and
- just after, on the same night! - ANATOMY OF DESIRE (10pm,
Mon, C4)... 60 years of cereal box evolution compressed into
10 mins of brand-nostalgia 6-parter WRAPPERS (10.20pm, Tue,
BBC2) - part two free inside!... and it's rubbish sci-fi
rip-off week on C5 - again - with The Relic-alike DNA (9pm,
Tue, C5), and scary black contact-lens ad THE SILENCERS
(9pm, Wed, C5)... has Davina McCall *killed* Gaby Roslin to
take over all her old jobs, like THE REAL HOLIDAY SHOW
(8.30pm, Wed, C4)?... and, for comparison's sake, CARRY ON
CAMPING (11.15pm, Wed, BBC1) is followed by the second-worst
British sex comedy of all time, pseudo-sci-fi
penis-transplant sequel PERCY'S PROGRESS (12.40am, Wed,
FILM>> Buffy, Ultraviolet, Razor Blade Smile, John
Carpenter, and now Wesley Snipes in frenetic beat-'em-up
BLADE (imdb: based-on-comic / vampire) - just what have
people got against the undead again all of sudden? "The
whole film is bad right through," said the Jamaican Film
Board, then banned it... lovely Sandra Bullock plays the
local "Queen of Corn", directed by "King of Corn" Forest
Whitaker, in chick-flick by numbers HOPE FLOATS (imdb:
divorce / mother-daughter / old-age / photography /
small-town / talk-show) - and if she'd seen The Philadelphia
Experiment, she'd know not to trust that guy this time...
Matthau and Lemmon together again - like they ever work with
anyone else - in tottering THE ODD COUPLE II (imdb: divorce
/ marriage / odd-couple / road-trip / sequel) - imagine
"Home Alone" with OAPs... and battle for the most
vomit-packed movie of the week: is it Hal Hartley's
limited-release touching scatological poetry web-publishing
romp HENRY FOOL (imdb: drama/ comedy) - sounds oddly like
John Waters' upcoming Pecker... or Terry Gilliam's
nauseating f/x fest - with Benicio "Bakersfield PD" Del
Toro, and Johnny Depp as what looks like a '70s Elton John -
to elicit both FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (imdb: 1970s /
drugs / las-vegas / sequel). As Ben Moor puts it: To
describe it as 'Gonzo' journalism is to ignore the influence
of all the other muppets...
DEAD TREE MEDIA>> yeah, we know, we did "magazines"
recently, but we had to get the word out to someone: issue 1
of much-trumpeted Future Publishing multi-format mag ARCADE
(UKP1 launch price, due Tue 17/11/98) is, reportedly,
"awful". Symptoms include Total Film design,
ultra-impenetrable text (2000 words/page?), only 2 (out of
73) games getting "below average" scores, 20 pages of tips,
and a big cover close-up of Lara Croft's head with headline
"The New Face Of Videogames" - clearly not a usage of "New"
that we were previously familiar with. Intriguingly, the
press ads - a charming tableau of two blokes playing games,
chomping pizza, while bored girls look on - supports our
long-standing claim that the mag was going to be called
"Arcadia", as this is written on one of the joypads in black
marker pen, presumably to prevent them from being nicked
from the office... apparently the makers of Edge, OPM,
Frontiers, Decoration Cake and the (perhaps too literal)
Redline are also planning a "technology lifestyle mag",
called CODE, described as "like Wired - but not so up its
own arse" (and where did we hear that disclaimer before?)...
in more encouraging news, http://www.salonmagazine.com
reported that West Coast uberzine MIGHT is reincarnating as
MCSWEENEY'S, helmed by David Eggers, author of "Never Fucked
Anyone", the best bit in the Might book by far. Further info
now online at http://www.mcsweeneys.net ... oh, and
http://www.obscurestore.com is currently sheltering ultimate
temp nomad updates DISHWASHER #14 and #15... thanks to
everyone who pointed out that LLOYD MANGRAM not only never
edited Crash, but was also a made-up pseudonym who never
even existed... heck, even the ex-ed of Horticulture Week
can find themselves running a REVOLUT!ON nowadays:
>> 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 "on time, for once in our lives"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
Archive - http://www.ntk.net/
Excuses - http://www.spesh.com/ntk/
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