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with the order by turning off the Internet in its entirety,"
- KEN BASS, attorney, after libraries forbidden net-filter software
...this could take some time
>> HARD NEWS <<
tastes like spew
JIM "how much for my beautiful daughter" BARKSDALE finally
got the downpayment this week, selling his NETSCAPE beauty
for four billion dollars to the first dodgy merchant
to pony up. And while STEVE CASE ogles his new bride with
his SUN MICROSYSTEM pals, making her dance in the Penthouse
window to spite the Microsoft neighbours, Mozilla's first
and only loves sit in bars across the world, drinking too
much and nuzzling up to Opera and pretending it's all the
same. Our angle? Forget it. We're all doomed.
- there goes the Network Neighbourhood
- guess this means I'll go back to mixing cocktails for Gates
- Rob McCool? Gone? You still haven't PAID for NCSA httpd, man!
- or, "You've got malloc"
CLIFF STANFORD'S REDBUS announced their first funding move
this week. In an exciting move away from cliche, Cliff has
invested in the British film industry: an
underexposed sector with great potential for growth. Living
up to his expressed intent to fund "unique" ideas, the first
Redbus film - unlike any other British film we've ever seen
- is a gritty expose of the gangster underworld of South
London. Tellingly, it's called "Out of Depth".
- The British are... oh, what's the use.
The world of new media TV continues to attract innovative
approaches in marketing: take DIXONS, who with admirable
pluck, have been attempting to sell ON DIGITAL digiboxes in
areas where no-one can receive a digital signal. Not a
problem: rumour has it that some demonstrations of "digital
quality" are being arranged by hiding a DVD round the back of
the showroom models. Well, that's *technically* a
demonstration of the quality, isn't it? No problems with TV
coverage for ONLINE MAGIC's Rob Passmore, who was so
involved in working out the confidential fee for OM's
Interactive TV pitch to British Airways, that he sent the
spreadsheet as an attachment to all his competitors on the
public I-TV mailing list. Now *that's* broadcasting!
- no archive. That's odd.
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
ABC, Business Mag, ZDNET UK discover best way to increase
hits : slag off Linux... JIM GOAD in gaol -
http://search.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=414597297 ... only
four more days before "pornographic or offensive" material
held on SEMA's internal servers will be "extensively
investigated... "If there had been cameras in Diana's car we
wouldn't have all this conspiracy theory stuff.", says
popular media-related death expert, NOEL EDMONDS... JON KATZ
believes Netscape created in 80's... Heavy weather at the
BBC: http://www.ntk.net/doh/bbc982711.gif ... time for that
BBC SPORTS PERSONALITY chain-letter again... BT buys into
EXCITE UK, yawn... Government looks for NET CZAR, yawn...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
You can just smell the endorphin analogues wafting over
London, as today sees the clash of the INTERNATIONAL
FESTIVAL OF CHOCOLATE (Royal Horticultural Society Hall SW1,
until 29/11/98) and smaller decaff rival THE NATIONAL HONEY
SHOW (Kensington Town Hall W8, 26-28/11/98) - their promise
of "other hive products" does not, of course, refer to Dark
Skies merchandising. EROTICA 98 (London Olympia,
27-29/11/98) looks seedy enough to make you side with
anti-porn campaigners, while hardcore S&M enthusiasts can of
course torment themselves over whether it really is a
"proper" APPLE EXPO just next door (London Olympia, until
- cover yourself with chocolate...
- ...get someone else to lick it off
- euphemistically "co-locating" with Total Design Technology
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
We all have our own reasons for not using Microsoft Office.
Some don't like the bloated feature set. Others are using
unsupported operating systems, like Linux, or Solaris, or
OS/2. And a few of us don't use it because our intern was so
horrified that we wrote NTK using Word, he made us
uninstall it and convert all our macros to Vi. During that
difficult crossover period, we briefly learned to love
Stardivision's STAROFFICE, a multi-platform clone of the
Office suite. This package replicates the Office look 'n'
feel to an eery, doppelganger extent - right down to the
menu settings, file formats and an ability to slow a
turbo-injected PC to a crawl when the whim takes it. We've
heard better things of the newest version, although there's
still an element of "Microsoft software has bugs: everyone
else has understandable teething difficulties". It's free for
Personal Use, and now available in a tangy Windows flavour,
as well as OS/2 and that weirdo hippy freeware UNIX-clone
- off to ditch those wizards
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
"sticker-type disposable bras"... Darth Vader: Geek Gone
Bad... not quite what LEGO had in mind, part 394 -
... pity the fool who don't hack
... notice how faster the Net is when the Yanks are on
holiday? could mixing cold remedies be causing ECSTASY
DEATHS?... proximity detector also plays Tetris
EUROPANTO... why don't they just fork the
Op*n S*urce trademark?... and when the football fans have
destroyed themselves, we shall TAKE OVER THE WORLD:
http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Field/6261/ ... KOREA's
favourite HTML software: +"illegal copy" +"Namo WebEditor"
..."and what's worse, Michael Parkinson has 'J Fox'
disease!"... JACK WOMACK to make comics... CLAIRE RAYNER vs
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
may contain strongly-typed language
TV>> novelty Elvis cover artist The King may help ensure
FRIDAY NIGHT'S ALL WRIGHT (10.40pm, Fri, ITV)... BBC2
struggles to get through an hour-plus of dance culture
without using adjectives "banging", "wicked" in Pete Tong's
CLUBLIFE 98 (12.10am, Fri, BBC2), featuring The Prodigy,
Fatboy Slim, Massive Attack, and - possibly unrelated - bad
language and male nudity... while comic book wannabe DARKMAN
(11.40pm, Fri, BBC1) chases Frances McDormand away from Sam
Raimi into the arms of - the Coens!... missing Comic Relief?
Here's hoping STEPHEN FRY'S LIVE FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE (9pm,
Sat, C4) will deliver that tricky mix of bad-taste humour
and heartfelt sermonising, including Mel, Sue, and a sort of
"Rock'N'Roll AIDS Years" from the folks who brought you
controversial Radio 4 comedy quiz, King Stupid... if only
those krazy cultists weren't so keen to commit
Jonestown-style suicide, ponders WACO: THE RULES OF
ENGAGEMENT (10pm, Sat, BBC2), maybe we'd find out if they
really are destroyed evidence of CIA mind-control...
similar-themed EVERYMAN (10.30pm, Sun, BBC1) and LOCKERBIE:
A NIGHT REMEMBERED (7.45pm, Sun, C4) veer towards
unfortunate mid-air collision... and too much footie, not
enough autism in Nick Hornby's obsessive romance FEVER PITCH
(9.30pm, Sun, C4)... "sensationalist tell-all documentaries
exaggerate, make things up" reveals sensationalist, tell-all
documentary ON AIR: THE TRUTH ABOUT TV (11.15pm, Mon,
BBC2)... admit it, you were hoping that Robin Williams
vehicle SEIZE THE DAY (10.55pm, Mon, C5) was the Dead Poets
Society spin-off TV series, where a different pupil kills
himself every week... pointless sci-fi comparisons continue
in the "Bionic Woman" series opener of QED (9.30pm, Tue,
BBC1)... no obvious explanation for ratings-grabbing star
fests STARS IN THEIR EYES CELEBRITY SPECIAL (8pm, Wed, ITV)
- Vorderman as Cher - and inverse-sexism charity slave
auction MEN FOR SALE (9pm, Wed, ITV)... and, classic nuke
comedy status aside, kudos to DR STRANGELOVE (12.05am, Thu,
BBC1) and its "no fighting in the war room" humour - for at
least partly inspiring hacker fave WarGames...
FILM>> "It's a competent Elmore Leonard adaptation!"
trumpets everyone who cares, but George Clooney, Jennifer
"Anaconda" Lopez crime romance OUT OF SIGHT (imdb: murder /
jail-break / prison / robbery / bank-robbery /
based-on-novel / boxing / diamonds / kidnapping) is written
by the guy who did the last "good" Elmore Leonard
adaptation, Get Shorty, so be warned... style wins again
over average content as cop shrinks Kevin Spacey, Samuel L
Jackson phone-battle to decide who deserves the title THE
NEGOTIATOR (imdb: hostage / police) - yet surely they could
have been talked out of a 140 minute run-time?... and
another well-worn theme, the '70s Jewish family sex/class
teen comedy, er, comes of age among the SLUMS OF BEVERLY
HILLS (imdb: black-comedy / coming-of-age / sexual / drugs)
- it's The Fresh Princess Of Bel Air!... take your pic from
the latest wacko Brit-made restricted release romances, with
Jude "Shopping" Law's THE WISDOM OF CROCODILES (imdb:
vampire) rather darker than alternate Sliding Doors comedy
IF ONLY (imdb: also known as The Man With Rain In His
Shoes), featuring Charlotte "Marmalade Atkins: The
Naughtiest Girl In The World" Coleman, and Notting Hill. "If
only men and women were exactly the same", ponders the
poster for this one, missing the rather obvious evolutionary
reasons why they aren't...
CONSUMERISM WILL EAT ITSELF>> *two* new instant meal thrills
this week, with the long-awaited debut of CROSSE & BLACKWELL
NEW YORK TAKE OUT microwaveable frozen noodles, in US
TV-style top-opening cartons! Faint bitter odour of hot wet
cardboard while cooking (a la microwave french fries), and
at UKP1.99, they're replicating both the recognisable
flavour of a "real" Chinese takeaway - *and* a substantial
portion of the price... clocking in at a more reasonable
UKP0.99-1.49 (vegetarian-top predator) are TESCO
PASTA/RICE/NOODLE POTS, 350g of fresh carbohydrate with
thick, tasty sauces - a real high-end Pot Noodle competitor,
though with much-reduced shelf life (4-7 days?)...
meanwhile, delightfully named reader JAY GOOBY points out
that never-actually-seen-in-America take-out cartons are
available from WOK WOK in London's Soho (and possibly other
branches) - a matter on which our transatlantic
correspondents remain suspiciously, tellingly silent...
random, desperate mix-and-matching continues in chocolate,
throwing up semi-sickly treats like CADBURY'S NUTS ABOUT
CARAMEL, which would be quite pleasant without the nagging
doubt that "Nuts In Caramel", or even "Caramel About Nuts"
would be a far more accurate description... still, now we
know that Mint Crunchies have appeared intermittently since
the 1970s, thanks to Nicholas Whittaker's SWEET TALK
(Gollancz, UKP16.99), UKP), a largely subjective geek-tone
social history of UK confection. Much better on stuff he
remembers (1960s onwards), and - fatal flaw - no index!...
probably a proper books round-up next time, but also
tempting your Amazon account this week: the various TOP
SECRET RECIPES ("Kitchen Clones of America's Favourite
Brand-Name Foods") by Tood Wilbur (Penguin US, US$10.95).
KFC, Egg McMuffins, even Mrs Fields' Cookies carefully
reverse-engineered, but obscure US ingredients/measurements
made our DIY Mars disgusting... which leaves us with this
month's official "taste abomination" award, tied between the
self-explanatorily revolting TREACLE TOFFEE ROLLOs and the
ill-advised NESTLE TOFFEE CRISPMAS ("Toffee, Crisped Rice
and *Spicy Fruit* Filled Milk Chocolate"). Crap name, foul
taste, and the pseudo-fascist slogan "The special recipe of
Toffee Crispmas is enhanced by Nestle's proud chocolate
heritage" gives it a fighting chance: we'll leave it to Bad
Candy headquarters http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/2066/
to taste both and decide...
>> 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 "those two guys on the left"
NEED TO KNOW
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