_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ ____04/12/98_ o join! mail 'subscribe ntknow'
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o to email@example.com
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v v / o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "A Sedgwick County Juvenile Court judge will decide today
whether four children should be removed from a home police
found littered with animal waste... Police also found an
abundance of Star Trek magazines, posters and memorabilia,
and couldn't understand the father at first because he spoke
to his wife and children in Klingon."
- THE WICHITA EAGLE, http://newslibrary.infi.net/wichita/
...why we don't have kids
>> HARD NEWS <<
Looks like it's not just Pinochet who thinks diplomatic
immunity protects him from the truth. This week, it was the
turn of the US's "crypto ambassador" DAVID AARON, who came
bounding out of the Wassenaar conference in Vienna crowing
that almost every other country in the world had agreed to
adopt America's dumb-ass "no export of crypto beyond an
NSA-crackable 64 bits" policy. Well, up to a point,
Ambassador. Odd that the less-developed nations (like
Germany, Canada - and even the less than strident UK) had
switched from their semi-official "no buggering Yank spooks
are going to tap *us*" stance in one day. Odd too, that
Aaron's press release was out by 3:30, when agreement was
only reached at 3:00. Could it be that Aaron was offered a
sop to take home to Clinton: that the Wassanaar signatories
agreed to *allow* control of 64+ bit crypto, while at the
same time making sure that all the signatories could
"disappear" any obligation to enforce such a control?
- ambassador, with your unusual assumptions you are spoiling us
- what, no "shut that idiot Aaron up" clause
- those details in "full"
Mind you, the US security services aren't the only ones to
have an easy ride in their snooping. The EU, it seems, are
planning to mirror the Anglo-Americans' Echelon surveillance
system with a dandy new network of their own, designed to
tap into mobile and Iridium communications Europe-wide. Of
course, the cops were too busy planning this foolproof
tapping of their citizens comms to notice when
someone of them reversed the polarity on the paper - and
leaked it to the excellent Telepolis. Straight back at ya,
- hasta la babelfish
MP3 bootleggers found some unexpected converts to the cause
on Tuesday, when hip-hop old schoolers PUBLIC ENEMY
unilaterally planned to stick their underpromoted album
Bring The Noise 2000 online - all 27 tracks of it. By
Thursday, the show had been officially "bum-rushed" by
record label, Def Jam (or "Def Scam" as PE previously
described them), and the page replaced by highly critical
invective against "execs, lawyers and accountants",
concluding "Let 'em all die". Probably not what Def Jam had
in mind, but not quite as hilarious as US ska-punk outfit
Less Than Jake, who inadvertently placed 3 entire albums on
their site, due to a "mistake on the website manager's
part". There's clearly only one way to stamp out this
dreadful piracy problem - ban music altogether.
- this one goes out to the Ninfomania crew...
- ...we're shorter, funnier - and later than you
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
now *that's* a comeback (see 1960 in the dateline):
... FT Business Website Award for BBC News Online
misengraved to "BBC Online"; News plan to "burn it in middle
of office" ... oh those original ad writers: NETWORK
SOLUTIONS claim to be the ".com people", SUN reckon they're
the "dot in .com"... GUARDIAN runs "Chinese mistranslations
of film titles" http://www.topfive.com list as real (well,
if the NYT ran it, it must be true, right?) ... are DIXONS
trying to tell us something about the new PalmPilot?
GUARDIAN fills column by running press releases through jive
filter... ID SOFTWARE up for a *serious* man-beating with
http://www.ntk.net/doh/id981203.jpg ... and what's the instant
prize at the bottom of the http://www.camelot.co.uk/ tree?
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
"The UK hacking scene is all but dead: most of the
community's leading lights have retired, no new hacking
conferences are planned", writes MICHAEL MCCORMACK in this
week's Telegraph - with his usual perfect timing, three days
before the biggest conference of the UK haxxor calendar,
CONSPIRACY. Here, the British computer underground will be
celebrating their non-existence with ten hours of
alcohol-fuelled oblivion, games of "Blinds Man's vi", and a
old tales told around a roaring Unix LAN ("servers in a
seperate room ... for various reasons including local
exploits and puke"). The wake will take place at
Manchester's Tapas Tapas Nightclub, from 1600GMT this
Saturday 4/12/98. The venue holds two hundred persons, so be
sure to turn up early to avoid bumping into McCormack
sitting on his own, eyes shut and singing "lah-lah-lah" to
block out the decks.
http://www.dac.org/conspiracy/ - the men in cider and black
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
Professional Web content systems companies, switching to
Open Source - as recommended by their own *venture
capitalist*? That's *sick*. ZOPE is a PERVERTED hybrid of
the widely-regarded BOBO object-oriented CGI replacement,
and the previously commercial PRINCIPIA Web application
system. It's also got the Aqueduct relational database
system thrown in. It's all free, source code is included,
and even more horrifically, it's centered on the PYTHON
language, that politically-correct, nicely-formatted,
easy-to-read OPEN BLOODY SOURCE scripting language. ZOPE's
creators will be releasing the source later today, so we
haven't had a chance to play, but we hope it's bloody
rubbish, otherwise we'll have nothing nasty to say at all.
- nice clean well-written Website too. CURSE THEM!
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
if LARA CROFT *is* nominated as British Technology Ambassador,
does she get diplomatic immunity for all those people she
shot in South America? ... SIEGEL finally eats his words -
Internet Explorer "Platinum Channels" now Windows Media
Showcase... http://www.planetquake.com/titanic/ ...
http://sgi.impact.nl.com/ - what did I miss ? ...
http://cvs.anu.edu.au/andy/beye/beyehome.html ... DOUGIE
COUPLAND wants a $1 mill for his next novel... we're
assuming this isn't an official TELE*UBBIES site:
http://newgrounds.com/tubby/ ... as if life isn't depressing
- STALLMAN for Chewie!
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
may contain strongly-typed language
TV>> yeah, we know, we should be doing a TV version of NTK
for this groovy new 4 LATER strand (after midnight, most
nights, C4 ), maybe like a webpage version of VH1 pop
subversion classic POP-UP VIDEO (1.15am, Fri, C4)... oh, and
please note that it's a subjunctive, not an imperative in
the title of Bruce Lee chop-socky cracker ENTER THE DRAGON
(10.20pm, Fri, BBC1)... more martial arts lore with Beat
Takeshi's acclaimed SONATINE (1.10am, Sat, BBC2)... and
Verhoeven uses the "and then I woke up and it was all a
dream" excuse for the euphoric violence (and hair-trigger
Sharon Stone performance) of class Arnie sci-fi TOTAL RECALL
(9.55pm, Sat, ITV)... 4 Later offers North London slacker
sitcom TOTTENHAM 2 (12.20am, Sat, C4) followed by '70s cop
spoof (and "Funky Squad" inspiration) THE MOD SQUAD
(12.50am, Sat, C4)... and further Sharon Stone shenanigans
in underrated Sam Raimi designer Western THE QUICK AND THE
DEAD (10pm, Sun, C4)... disappointingly, new pathology
one-off MCCALLUM (9pm, Mon, ITV) isn't about the adventurs
of eternal special guest star David McCallum, trapped in
endless series of satellite sci-fi shows, struggling to find
his way back home... ADULT RICKI (10.45pm, Tue, C4) tackles
the very modern dilemma of how to get sex videos back from
your ex (Pamela Anderson, Kelsey Grammer please note)... a
buttock-numbing *two-and-a-half hours* devoted to animation
in new run of DOPE SHEET (11.30pm, Tue, C4) - probably
without even a Disney musical number to change the pace -
seems unlikely to trouble the intermittent return of
SEINFELD/ THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW (11.10pm, Tue, BBC2)...
the showing of stupid-dumb overlong Queen video HIGHLANDER
(9.30pm, Tue, BBC1) is inexplicably "postponed in some
regions from 24 November", presumably due to some clashing
news story about decapitation, immortals or Sean Connery...
and you'd hope that, coming from Roger & Me / TV Nation
leftist prankster Michael Moore, CANADIAN BACON (10pm, Thu,
C4) would be a cooler, funnier version of "Wag The Dog".
You'd be wrong...
FILM>> turning a bug into a feature, top-notch non-stop
action spoof RUSH HOUR (imdb: police / trust / bravery /
detective / friend / hero / hostage / kidnapping) neatly
sidesteps Jackie Chan's delicate grasp of the English
language, and lets The Fifth Element's Chris Tucker - and
Jackie's fists - do all the talking... George "Mad Max"
Miller ditches the farmyard promotion milieu of the first
film for the darker, crueller, more ironic odyssey of BABE:
PIG IN THE CITY (imdb: animals / kids-and-family / sequel /
talking-animal), doing for singing mice what Scream did for
slasher films... and seeing Kathy "Waynetta Slob" Burke and
Meryl Streep on the same screen may be the only reason for
oestrogen-heavy Oirish blarney DANCING AT LUGHNASA (imdb:
based-on-play / sisters) - no pronunciation info available
at present, we suggest you try "Lufthansa" and the box
office people will understand...
DEAD TREE>> it's following in the steps of Martin "Invasion
Of The Space Invaders" Amis, but LARA'S BOOK (Prima,
UKP15.99) is one of the one-in-three terrible Douglas
Coupland novels, with maybe one perceptive comment (around
p18), dull tips (no Tomb Raider 3!), an appalling
"action/adventure comic" that sounds like it's written by a
12 year-old ("and then there was a hurricane and Lara got
blown up into the air onto an aeroplane and she climbed in
through the window") - plus many many renders of the
overexposed heroine looking increasingly like a blow-up sex
doll... despite the usual uncritical fawning over Tomb
Raider, Myst etc, pricey video game coffee table tome
RE:PLAY (Laurence King Publishing, UKP19.99) scores bonus
points for including shots of Speccy classic Way Of The
Exploding Fist, big maps of Sim City and Zaxxon, and
printing Goldeneye grabs small enough so you can't see the
horrible N64 anti-aliasing... taking a slightly broader
view of life, John Horgan's THE END OF SCIENCE (Abacus,
UKP8.99) purportedly ponders the future of empirical
research via the hilarious technique of going round and
interviewing the biggest names in philosophy of science
(Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Noam Chomsky, Steven Jay Gould,
Marivn Minsky - even Roger "Quantum Consciousness" Penrose)
- and then *taking the piss out of them*... could make
useful reading before attempting Greg Egan's masterful
compilation LUMINOUS (Millennium, UKP9.99), featuring
post-cyberpunk science-heavy shorts from '93 to '98, and
confirming Egan's rep as the *hardest* sci-fi author ever.
Also good to see he's not spending all his time indexing:
http://www.netspace.net.au/~gregegan/IZ/index.htm ... and
finally, Andrew Calcutt's WHITE NOISE: AN A-Z OF THE
CONTRADICTIONS IN CYBERCULTURE (Macmillan, UKP14.99) is
pretty much the mix of provocative concepts and sociologist
nonsense you'd expect from someone who's worked for Channel
Cyberia and LM magazine (Living Marxism, not Leisure
Monthly), and has learned everything from reading The
Guardian, the Telegraph's Connected section, and .net
magazine. Living up to its contradictory subtitle, the front
even claims that the book is "Copyright 1999" so you've got
a whole month to rip it off if you like...
>> 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 "ahem! cough cough"
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with 'unsubscribe ntknow'.
Subscribe? Mail email@example.com 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
firstname.lastname@example.org for commercial license details.
Tips, news and gossip to email@example.com.