_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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discussion on the best way to achieve world peace."
- KARL DALLAS' "Stop The War" site (content length: 2193 bytes)
...yup, thanks Karl - that ought to do it...
[ http://stopthewar.org ]
>> HARD NEWS <<
What is it with April? Is it some ancient hormonal trigger,
that causes grown men and women to become flitty, and
gallivant from one job to another? Or is it just that it's
the start of a new financial year, and they're shifting
before they get sacked? In such matters, science cannot
inform, merely record. MARK "only half decent person there"
FROST from BBC Online has wandered off to CAPITAL (Britain's
most commercially-driven yet curiously limpid Website). In
an unrelated move, JULIAN HARDY from Capital's running off
to IPC. Less parochially, KAI KRAUSE morphed seamlessly from
founder/chief design officer of METATOOLS to "that guy who
used to work here". And HAKON WIUM LIE (whose name is pidgin
english for his old job: inventing and hacking those
dastardly cascading style sheets) left the W3C. Now he's
back in his home country of Norway as the new CTO for OPERA
SOFTWARE. Okay, okay, it's not quite Marc Andreessen and
Netscape all over again, but at least Hakon'll ensure that
one browser will implement CSSs correctly. And, believe us,
that's as exciting as the Web gets these days. Yes, you did
choose the wrong career. Go back to that rock and roll band.
- Howcome, he's our CTO! I dunno, how come he's our CTO?
- No, Howcome, he's our CTO!
- management no longer surrounded by Yes men
- yeh, some real sounds comin' at ya now. yeh!
You can always tell when a company is thinking of going
public, because suddenly its product turns to cack. Well,
FREESERVE appears to be hitting that scalability wall with
1.5 million customers (our favourite omen: some customers
have been dialling into the service, only to find themselves
at a admin router prompt instead). So it's a great relief
that all these other freewheeling ISPs are there to take up
the slack. Including, of course, Demon's new In2Home
service. Except it actually belongs to Scottish Telecom,
Demon's evil sibling company, who apparently didn't tell
Scottish Power (parent of both) about the free service until
just before they were about to launch it. Which meant that
when Power did find out, and insisted that Demon got
involved too, the poor guys only had two weeks to work out
what the hell was going on. Meanwhile, everyone's still
looking curiously at Easynet, and wondering - when will the
final shoe drop?
- something a bit sinister about the two names combined...
- like something out of The Exorcist
It's a weird war that sees us siding with Wired (over a
copyright issue!), but Brit-based "contemporary NewzFeed"
NINFOMANIA seems to be dropping its habit of mailing its
subscribers word-for-word transcripts from wired.com, with
maybe an extra introductory paragraph and a cheeky "(c)
Wired Nuwz" at the end. Obviously this would be of little
interest to anyone who doesn't subscribe to the Ninfo
mailing list (we read it so you don't have to), except they
claim to be planning a "complete archive" of past issues on
their site, intriguingly duplicating the efforts of some of
the original publishers, who have their own archives in
out-of-the-way little places like wired.com, cnet.com, and
- NTK supports copyright theft for non-profit purposes only
- not "non-profit" because they want to be
- before you start feeling sorry for Wired
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
rebadged FATBRAIN.COM register "fartbrain.com" (also
phatbrain.com, fatbrin.com and fatbrian.com)...
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION "too noisy" (can't believe the
neighbours complained) ... extra-solar planet discovered,
again, prompts "are we alone?" editorials - again... NISSAN
spams 24,000 potential Xterra customers - with the addresses
of the other 23,999 ... ORACLE pursues Benetton-style
branding at http://www.ntk.net/doh/oracle990416.jpeg ...
HUBBLE finds oldest thing ever, again... GREAT-BRITAIN.COM
registered by French guy... STAR WARS queues get ADSL:
http://starwars.countingdown.com/lines/ ... news.bbc.co.uk
run the old "exam howlers" meme as news... URI GELLER
believes paper pyramid spun by hands' convection currents is
"psychokinesis in its simplest form" - in TIMES INTERFACE...
PAM's surgery more profound than first thought:
http://www.ntk.net/doh/max990415.jpeg ... Louis ROSSETTO to
do a new magazine about - spirituality?... Serbian spam...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Unsanitary toilet facilities; endless queuing; and when you
get to the front, some scary big bloke says "Your name's not
down, you're not coming in". You can see why clubbers might
sympathise with the plight of KOSOVO REFUGEES - though of
course Club 247's Charity Weekender site provides a more
tasteful, humanitarian rationale. From next Fri-Sun (1999-04-
23 to 04-25), the plan is that participating clubs will
donate UKP1 per punter to the Kosovo Crisis Appeal - there's
still time to get involved, though they probably don't want
you to organise local collections of used clubwear and dodgy
E's. We wouldn't normally feature club events in NTK (it's
all bang bang bang and you can't concentrate properly on the
PlayStations), but it's a good cause, and, on balance, less
chance of getting caught up in sectarian violence than the
Windows/ Linux rumble at Comdex Spring '99.
- It's still called "disco dancing". Groovy!
- delegates include top execs from "US Army"
- now that's what we call e-business interactivity!
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
NTK subscribers? Dutiful prospective employees? HAHAHAHAH-
Ahem. Nonetheless, C2.NET (a company that's *so* a front for
Neal Stephenson's "Secret Admirers" cabal) would like to
speak to you about a job they need filling. You might get
along - last time we met one of their senior staff, he was
setting fire to a 2KG lump of magnesium in the middle of the
desert. The guys in the UK branch (who are a little calmer,
we understand) are looking for a C programmer with
experience in cryptographic implementations to work on their
Apache and OpenSSL development. Applications along the lines
of "I have encoded my CV indetectably within the
packet-number sequence of this SMTP session" will be
admired, but won't get you a second interview. US citizens
may not apply for this job, as apparently your brains count
- submissions from anon remailers aren't going to get far either
- why they're not advertising on slashdot
TIMES INTERFACE, 1999-04-14, p7: "www.reminds.co.uk: claims
to be the only reminder service in the world." Yes, but what
if it *wasn't*? What if there were thousands of them, each
with their own clunky interface? Wouldn't you be tempted to
make your own too, out of bits of Web you found lying
around? Why not set up a cronjob to call the telephone call
back demo form at http://www.realcall.net/index2.ihtml with
your own phone number whenever you need a reminder? You'd
never need to use BT's hideously expensive AlarmCall service
again - plus you'd have the pleasure of explaining to a
telesales operator that you didn't want to buy their product,
- but thanks for waking you up anyway.
- there isn't a Telephone Misuse Act, is there?
- and when they fix this, there's always their customers
- and before you complain that's not tracking, that's just
some smart alec friend of ours coming up with a dumb idea,
here's some rubbish Perl that will show your current BT bill.
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
the most important decision of your life:
http://www.cocovote.com/ ... S CLUB 7 has more members to
deter tribute bands - and is it like a Heinlein "S-group"
where they are all each other's "husbands" and "wives"?...
if you tolerate this, your DUPLO will be next:
http://lsp.fortunecity.co.uk/ ... this year's best:
http://bme.freeq.com/people/addsub/ ... that's
GNU/Linuxchick, dammit - http://www.linuxchick.com/ ...
PIZZA vending machines... AMAZON Prosecutes Shoplifters...
... going, going, BLAM! - http://www.sellguns.com/ ...
salvage experts going after the sunk MERCURY capsule: bet
Gus Grissom is glad he died in 1967... QUAKE Movie Oscars -
unlikely to be eligible for best short... The "A" List:
THE MATRIX guys have got their eyes on V FOR VENDETTA...
where's the RFC? http://www.remotecontrolsextoys.com/ ...
truly, you get the readership that you deserve:
... well, that's one way to seed the consumer market:
http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=89148265 >> GEEK MEDIA <<
the less rude http://www.ntk.net/tvgohome/ TV>> "Action League Now" (until recently on C5's "Kablam!")
http://www.nick.com/docs/tv_shows/p150t1c1.html upped the
stakes but the dumb toy parodies always were the weakest bits
of THE ADAM AND JOE SHOW (11.10pm, Fri, C4)... an unexpectedly
short run for Julian Clary's Mr And Mrs, swiftly replaced this
week by sodding HOLIDAYS FROM HELL (10pm, Fri, ITV)... and
yes, you do remember seeing a younger version of celeb-spotter
THE WAY THEY WERE (9pm, Sat, ITV) on the BBC a while back,
called "Before They Were Famous"... apparently without
provocation, former music list TOP TEN (9.30pm, Sat, C4) veers
dramatically off the rails and starts covering political
scandals - other pop shows take note... following the bizarre
spectacle of BBC1's "Red Hair Day" [NTK 1997-12-05], C5's
BLONDE WEEKEND (from 11pm, Sat, C5) tosses its golden locks
with Pamela Anderson mind-swapping sci-erotica NAKED SOULS -
yet horrifyingly includes Rutger Hauer's parallel universe
Aryan thriller FATHERLAND (9pm, Sun, C5)... plus, if anyone
could make a slapstick comedy out of "Fantastic Voyage", it's
Joe Dante - as INNERSPACE (2.55pm, Sun, BBC1) aptly proves...
among the meat-free performers at A CONCERT FOR LINDA
MCCARTNEY (10.30pm, Sun, BBC1) are Ladysmith Black Mambazo -
advertisers of veggie staple Heinz Beans... you can bet they
scanned the film for radiation-induced "fogging" when DISASTER
(8pm, Mon, BBC2) shot an episode inside the accident-prone
reactor at Windscale... and sure, "Mars Needs Women" '60s sci-
fi THE NIGHT CALLER (2am, Mon, ITV) sounds nutty, but it's got
to be more fun than SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE (10pm, Mon, C4) -
which, 10 years on, we'd still rather see as a headline pun
than as a film... despite constant stunt-casting, and a script
from the "Invasion Earth" bloke, we'll rather miss THE
GRIMLEYS (10.30pm, Mon & Tue, ITV)... hmm, must remember not
to call CGI art slot ONE.ZERO (12.05am, Tue, C4) "the usual
blurry nonsense"... the web-porn plot hots up in newly re-
theme-tuned NEIGHBOURS (1.40pm, Mon-Fri, BBC1)... and Knight
Rider turbo-boosts off into the sunset, leaving C5's 7pm slot
to trash gameshows and genius Naked Gun prequel series POLICE
SQUAD (7pm, Wed, C5). Sadly, there's only 6 episodes, and the
middle 4 are patchy to say the least - "We would have come
earlier, but your husband wasn't dead then"...
FILM>> after the hilarity of last week's The Faculty, another
good week for New Geek Cinema, with masturbation, obscene
calls, and Twin Peaks' lovely Lara Flynn Boyle contributing to
Todd Solondz's ultra-dark disturbo-fest HAPPINESS (imdb: black-
comedy) - currently on London-only release (yes, provinces,
that's how disturbing it is), and not, it appears, based
around the Ken Dodd song of the same name... stock market
social satire AN IDEAL HUSBAND (imdb: based-on-play) is as
relevant now as beautiful ladies and gentlemen swanning around
in evening dress ever was; Oscar Wilde may be witty, but he's
no Kevin Williamson... and finally: "Swingers' Vince Vaughn,
swingin' Anne Heche put real take on Prisoner's Dilemma game
theory" was what we said last time RETURN TO PARADISE (imdb:
drama / romance / thriller) was due for release last November,
and we see no reason to change our story now...
BEST BEFORE BUYS>> CADBURY'S rumoured to be introducing both a
pre-packed FLAKE '99 CONE (99p) plus ENVY (99p): an "adult
indulgent product" (half-Magnum, half-Feast) designed to
tackle consumer objections that "other stick products are just
too big"... no kidding: violating nature's law that two
objects cannot occupy the same physical space (q.v. "The
Fly"), WALL'S MAGNUM DOUBLE (UKP1) is a slightly smaller
vanilla-choc Magnum that's teleported *inside* another,
slightly larger Magnum. Cumulative effect revolting...
"Innocent on the outside, Wicked on the inside" proclaims
NESTLE MEGA TRUFFLE (UKP1), fair warning that the "sumptuous"
orange liqueur ice-cream "hidden inside" is evilly repellent.
Maybe it's that lesser-known use of the word "sumptuous" -
meaning "of, or resembling, a sump"... MAGNUM CLASSIC CONE
(UKP1) ain't so bad if it's nut-free Cornetto you're looking
for, though Nestle have the edge here with the choc-vanilla 2-
scoop EXTREME DUO (UKP1; sounds like a superhero tie-in,
isn't), the frankly self-explanatory TOFFEE CRISP (65p), and
the bizarrely continental MAXIBON (80p) - a lolly/choc-ice
hybrid where you actually *eat the stick*. Well, the "Two soft
cookies, half dipped in milk", to be precise... fruit-ice (and
adulterants) round-up next time; still with chocs, this
month's "taste abomination" goes to JAFFA CAKE FLAVOUR FRIJJ
(79p) http://www.frijj.com/specials.htm - "the bitterest
milkshake experience yet!", our taster reports. "If this was
the best to come out of DairyCrest labs, the rest must have
been so *vile* they had to be tracked down and destroyed by
Michael Madsen"... surprisingly, "Cheesy Grin" flavour WALKERS
SUN DOG SAVOURY POPCORN (99p reduced to 59p for giant 100g
bag; small packs 15p) isn't bad at all - well, not after the
first few startling mouthfuls... and finally, a universally
sticky thumbs-up from NTK readers for NESTLE KITKAT CHUNKY (30-
35p), vividly described by Mathew "Kuji" Bevan ("The Biggest
Threat To World Peace Since Adolf Hitler") as "Yum Yum...
Single finger of kit-kat with elephantitis... Lots of choccie,
quite a generous amount... not bad... v.nice". Inexplicably,
we received this email more than 5 times, creating the
alarming impression that Mat was chomping through a box of
them, Cookie Monster-style, eliciting *exactly the same
comment each time*...
>> 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 "IPO won't change us"
NEED TO KNOW
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