"I left my PC on for 30 hours just to download them."
- JAIME GORMAN answers the mail for his Cyberstrike campaign in .NET
...which undoes the effect of the 24 hour Internet strike, admittedly
>> HARD NEWS <<
Anti-trust trial? More like a nasty brawl at a Demo Party.
This week, the elite scene team from Microsoft attempted to
outhack Princeton prof Edward Felton's demo that removed
Internet Explorer from Windows 98. Their own demo showed
that, sure, EF may have found and removed some of IE4.0, but
we hid another bit in the Windows help system! C00l! The
Department of Justice (excellent name for a hacking crew)
fought back the traditional way, by claiming MS faked it .
As always, it ended it tears, with the Microsoft posse
working overnight in a hotel room with their Amigas, err,
Thinkpads to fix the bugs, and abandoning the best bits (the
much-acclaimed "Win98 runs even *more* like a dog without
IE" sequence) in the process. And to think, they might have
gotten away with it, had not the DOJ team spotted a tiny
change in one of the Windows title bars in the original demo
- a subtle indicator that it was a mock-up, but one which
passed Microsoft's Jim Allchin's notice entirely. To be fair,
it can be difficult to spot subtle changes in the most
familiar interfaces. For instance, we're sure the management
at http://www.multimap.co.uk/ must have been staring at
their homepage's title banner every day this week, without
noticing the giveaway change:
- bet you they'll have fixed it by the time you read this
- but we'd like to submit new evidence...
- by contrast, demo scene not dead shocker
- meticulous attention to dull trial details
We're laying off the Internet Service Providers' Association
this week. True, Yaman Akdeniz did did manage to firm up his
accusation that they've been having secret meetings (no, say
the ISPA, just "private") with the Association of Chief
Police Officers, and submitting secret ("private") documents
explaining exactly what info on their own subscribers they
could hand over to the police. But these days, ISPA seem to
be incredibly touchy about any press coverage at all - even
taking a break in their e-commerce submission to the DTI
select committee to rail at "countless, poorly researched
press articles" that suggest they were doing anything
untoward. Well, excuuuse us: I mean, we're only the people
who pay your *wages*, whiny boy. Tell you what - how about a
"private" meeting with your members' subscribers - maybe a
note or two in the newsgroups, or a Website to discuss the
what *they* want, rather than an ad hoc bunch of of police
officers? Okay, okay, just a suggestion. No need to call the
- maybe you could hire Yaman to do publicity
- still, can't knock their anti-crypto stance
Response to HEATH BUNTING and RACHEL BAKER's SUPERWEED prank
("invulnerable to herbicides", "designed to attack corporate
monoculture") was a bit, well, weedy. The hoax managed to
hit just the right targets, with a small mention in the Big
Issue and gullible anti-GM activists e-mailing us
practically in hysterics. And if you are going to launch a
media hack, isn't having a press conference at the ICA a bit
of a giveaway? The irational kids are going to have to work
a bit harder to beat the real-world genetic pranks of
MONSANTO: The WASHINGTON POST revealed this week that the
Zaibatsu is hiring private detectives to take snippings off
Canadian farmers to catch them using unlicensed copies of
the company's GE crops. MONSANTO then reads out the names of
these seedz pirates on local radio, and encourages other
farmers to shop their neighbours using a FAST-like hotline.
In this country, FOE reports - improbably - that the
government is to use loyalty card stats to trace the
long-term effects of GE food - now this sounds like they're
actively *baiting* Heath to come up better. One suggestion:
given that a recent study showed a quarter of shoppers
aren't loyal to their supermarket at all (they said they'd
shop elsewhere "given the choice"), maybe he could combine
the two - with "treacherous" consumers named and shamed over
shop tannoy systems? Or is this just giving Them ideas?
- bet you fell for that marijuana-in-oranges one too
- ah, the good old days
- fact genetically engineered to be stranger
- credit: diversions from the meme
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
TESCO.NET go free (in accordance with prophecy - [NTK
1999-01-15]) - penny to drop with BT CLICK in next few
days... STEVE CASE nominated as Internet Society Trustee -
was Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf not available? ... PIPEX
nameserver down for three hours; no-one notices... NT
servers on the International Space Station - spirit of Mir
lives on... LINX down for ten minutes; no-one notices...
latest Future Gamer e-mail has "problems" (not leas of
which, it's 400KB long)... GAMES DOMAIN lets you find out
which swearwords it *will* accept at
http://www.gamesdomain.co.uk/cheats/swear.pl (looks like
"blow-job" might work)... SKY takes poll on Film of The
Millennium: Star Wars wins. Star Wars, Episode I, that is...
JESSE BERST now has two million subscribers... BT buy
Spanish ISP ARRAKIS - let the spice trading begin!... LOUIS
ROSSETTO'S home domain: forca.com (your joke here)... dodgy
Aussie "One Nation Party" TV ad based around STARSHIP
TROOPERS, as discussed on aus.politics, aus.sf, aus.tv.
(Anyone got a video? Anyone? ANYONE?)...
http://www.lakota.clara.net links to
http://www.reconcile-chile.co.uk - they don't link back...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Yeah, maybe we were a bit cloak-and-dagger about the LSE
Security Colloquia, considering there is full schedule on
their site after all. But then again, we'd never have found
out about Kevin Townsend's upcoming events diary at his
ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF COMPUTER SECURITY pages, and anyway, we
thought you hacker guys liked a challenge. Thanks also to
the guy who mailed to say that the touring IEE Faraday
Lecture, as plugged by us last week, was a "banal advert for
digital TV and radio", and that he'd rather have spent his
UKP2 at Burger King. With that in mind, we'd advise you to
resist the lure of 3D Master Backgammon, the "parade of
animated characters", Microsoft DirectX "Techno Night" and -
of course - Peter Molyneux at MILIA next week, and go
directly to the "trade-only" INTERNATIONAL FOOD EXHIBITION
Sun 1999-02-07 to Thu 11, Earls Court London, where "Sharing
The Stomach" and "Home Meal Replacement" are the order of
- what do we look like, your mum or something?
- now featuring Cambridge *and* London!
- no "demo party" this year; still, more games
- "user-friendly" registration, if you know what we mean
Oh, and genetic overlord RICHARD DAWKINS ("The Most
Dangerous Man In Britain Today", Daily Mail, 1999-02-01,
p10) will be wrestling rogue psy-op STEVEN PINKER to
establish alpha-male dominance on the question "Is Science
Killing The Soul?" in the Guardian Dillons Debate, 7pm, Wed
1999-02-10, Westminster Central Hall, London SW1. Dawkins
will no doubt be drawing on his special powers, as detailed
by the Mail's Paul Foot, of militant atheism, a willingness
to clone his own daughter, and "possible armies of homicidal
zombies, churned out of underground factories or - another
frightening prospect - squads of identical terrorists, with
explosives strapped to their bodies, programmed to carry out
suicide missions". We're not making this up you know. We
wish we were. Box office: 0171 467 1613.
- dillons.co.uk still "finalising its 1999 schedule"
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
Hotmail is all very well, but... alright, we lied, Hotmail
is an utter pain. You have to clunk through all those
forms, mentally tippex out the banner ads, squirm under the
bright lights of those Microsoft logos, and worst, you're
paying to stay online throughout it all. C-WEBMAIL is a
Windows 95 app that wraps Hotmail with a POP3 interface - so
you can read it with Eudora or Outlook or Netscape Navigator
or (if you want to be perverse) ICQ. We imagine that
Microsoft will keep jiggling the site designs so as to
regularly break the program: but C-Webmail is one of the
Crazy Israeli start-ups, and they *never* give up. Thirty
days free trial, ten American dollar for the supported
version, or several million in mixed currency if you're MSN
looking for a buy-out.
- Yahoo Mail and others to come...
DirectX 6.1 SDK now out. PROS: New software is always
exciting. Contains thrilling new "DirectMusic" feature, aka
finally sensible MIDI support under Windows. Only available
for a month online - than you'll have to buy a CD (or a game
that uses it). PentiumIII support. CONS: File length: 7.2MB.
Tendency to crash range of games (Hexen 2, Rogue Squadron,
some Quake IIs) of type played by people mad enough to spend
years downloading new DirectX drivers. Pentium III not out
yet. Conclusion: maybe you should wait a bit.
- wait until the video comes out, eh, Microsoft?
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
not your usual bunch of Interrailling backpackers -
http://esu.simplenet.com/ ... yes, we should be using
http://www.dict.org/ ... Stallone for Boba Fett? Hmmm... and
you thought FHM covers were contrived:
http://www.lileks.com/institute/frahm/ ... ATARI TEENAGE
RIOT's Alec Empire from Germany, but Glasgow (oh, and they
use Amigas) ... BA execs really *are* going to be in the
air, midnight 2000-01-01 - suckers!... +"y2k virus"...
BLONDIE now fronted by MADGE FROM NEIGHBOURS... TV captions
positioned for widescreen... DEMON CRYPTO whisperings... get
out less: http://www.york.ac.uk/~mpf103/ ... Doncaster man
gets *arrested* for SMS SPAMMING: maybe a test case?...
producers of new Duke Nukem film say: "We're still on a
search for the Duke. We asked the original Duke, John Wayne,
but, you know, he couldn't do it."... mixed-up Mac kids:
... tattooed Generation Girl Barbie... *naughty* 3Dlabs,
cheating on your CDRS benchmarks like that... "Attention
webmaster - your trademark hitlersthirdreich.co.uk is
unregistered in the following countries..."
http://www.hamsterdance.com/ ... more cheating at Channel Four -
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
may contain strongly-typed language
TV>> oh my sides: the fat one writes all the songs
(chortle!) in formula Take That spoofumentary BOYZ UNLIMITED
(9.30pm, Fri, C4)... not to be confused with Svengali
godfather Ronan Keating imploring amateur wannabes to GET
YOUR ACT TOGETHER (6.25pm, Sat, BBC1)... repeated
first-series FRIENDS (9pm, Fri, C4) does observational sex
novel humour via Chandler's guesting mum... the "giant
heads" Jean-Claude Van Damme/ Lance Henriksen face-off is
the only bulletproof bit of John Woo's HARD TARGET (10.25pm,
Fri, BBC1)... and Roger Corman trash classics resurrected in
deserted supermarket time travel romp THE UNDEAD (12.55am,
Fri, BBC1), then Vincent Price tinky-winky Poe adaptation
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (2.10am, Mon, ITV)... war
again on Saturday, with THE DIRTY DOZEN (9pm, Sat, BBC2)
seeing off FORCE TEN FROM NAVARONE (8.55pm, Sat, C4)... the
COLD WAR (8.10pm, Sat, BBC2) goes nuclear... and isn't that
an Abrams M1 main battle tank in dire Dudley Moore/ Eddie
Murphy DARPA farce BEST DEFENCE (11.50pm, Sat, BBC1)?...
Henriksen returns with Natasha "2 Girls And A Guy" Wagner in
zany brain-eating Alien knock-off WES CRAVEN'S MIND RIPPER
(10.50pm, Sat, C5)... geek movie of the weekend: either
Chess prodigy tradegy INNOCENT MOVES (1.15pm, Sat, BBC2)...
early Sandra Bullock romp BIONIC SHOWDOWN (3.35pm, Sun, LWT
only)... or James "Rockford Files" Garner in true-life
Nabisco boardroom drama BARBARIANS AT THE GATE (11.55pm,
Sun, BBC1)... no Buffy on Wed, but the young Willow - and
her future on-screen beau - pop up in MY STEPMOTHER IS AN
ALIEN (10pm, Mon, C4)... should have called the "race to
clone first human" edition of PANORAMA (10pm, Mon, BBC1)
"The Clone Wars"... and, despite the BT-bashing trail for IF
I RULED THE WORLD (10pm, Mon, BBC2), we are contractually
obliged not to recommend anything with Tony Hawks in it...
at least the computer salesman in WORKERS AT WAR (9.30pm,
Tue, BBC1) ain't got problems like League Of Gentlemen
inspiration THE WICKER MAN (12.40am, Tue, C4)... the "true
love dating ageny" (sic) who own LOVE.CO.UK (10.30pm, Wed,
C4) haven't even put up a page to exploit the free plug -
and we bet it's announced as "Love - Dot. Co - Dot. Uk"
instead of "Love. Dot-co. Dot-uk"... Jack "City Slickers"
Palance, Keir "2001" Dullea, Barry "1999" Morse shoot it out
in '70s cowboy mind MUD nonsense WELCOME TO BLOOD CITY
(12.05am, Thu, BBC1)... and swiftly cancelled mock-Darwinist
sci-fi cult PREY (12.05am, Thu, C4) promises to be the new
Tomorrow People for the serial killer in us all...
FILM>> evidence that Antz was rush-released to punish Jobs/
Apple/ Pixar? Well, compared to the the full-rendered
gorgeousness of A BUG'S LIFE (imdb: food /
computer-animation / kids-and-family / circus / ants /
insect / inventor), Antz had those terrible *painted
backgrounds*. A Bug's Life lacks the big-name voices, but it
tackles Antz's third-act problems (or "thoract", if you
will) with startling action scenes - plus too many
characters (natch), but when they look this good, who
cares?... John "Hairspray" Waters seems to have calmed down
a little for photofit Henry Fool comedy PECKER (imdb: satire
/ stripper / sugar-addiction / thief / ventriloquist /
art-gallery / art / baltimore / blasphemy / exploitation /
gay / homeless / laundromat / miracle / perversion /
photography) - which, in the dogshit-eating department, can
only be a good thing. Still likes Ricki Lake-style stunt
casting though, hence Edward "Terminator 2" Furlong and the
- perhaps ironic? - presence of Christina "ubiquitous"
Ricci... elsewhere, it's all middle-aged women recapturing
their youth, either through straightahead Angela Bassett
wish fulfilment HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK (imdb:
romance)... all-out weird parallel-reality romance with
Danny DeVito, as in LIVING OUT LOUD (imdb: comedy / drama /
romance) - the "Liz Bailey" character (played by Queen
Latifah) is *not* based on net journo Liz Bailey... or hippy
chick flick travelogue HIDEOUS KINKY (MPAA: Rated R for some
sexuality and language) - the title derived from the
adjectives most often used to describe Kate Winslet fans...
COMIC BOOK CONFRONTATIONAL>> STAR WARS: PRELUDE TO REBELLION
(Dark Horse) leads into some film or other that's coming out
in the summer. Good thing: it's canonical; bad thing: it
therefore has to be set in some far-off galactic backwater
so it won't affect the main plot anyway. To be honest, this
is sub-Dune galactic economics, enlivened only by
cute-looking aliens who haven't mastered basic English
sentence structure (a common SW universe failing, we
find)... PLANETARY (Wildstorm) launches with a superstrong
first issue, featuring a cameo by an evil JLA in a gentle
dig at Grant Morrison... but not as excellent as Alan
Moore's THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (America's
Best Comics) starring all the 19th century adventure fiction
greats - Capt Nemo, The Invisible Man - as rendered by Kevin
"Marshal Law" O'Neill, the only artist to have his entire
*style* banned by the Comics Code Authority. Good to see
Moore back with the big companies again - his America's Best
Comics is a subline of Wildstorm, itself now a subline of
DC, so we should get good runs of all his new books - as
hilariously previewed in this month's WIZARD... and finally,
sticking with the O'Neil(l)s, we are assured that the "Bill
O'Neil" credited as writer on the record-breaking
good-girl-art fest WITCHBLADE/ TOMB RAIDER is *no relation*
to the "Bill O'Neill" who runs that other action-packed
high-tech tit-thrills rollercoaster, the "Online" section in
>> 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 "Y0Ua00YOua-00Y00Aa0000e""
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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