_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __1999-04-23_ o join! mail 'subscribe ntknow'
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o to firstname.lastname@example.org
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v v / o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "But something snapped in the minds of Eric Harris and Dylan
Klebold that turned their harmless computer games into a
real-life version of the popular computer game DOOM and sent
them on a bloody rampage, shooting up their high school and
killing 13 people before taking their own lives."
- DAN WHITCOMB, Reuters report, 1999-04-22
...hold on. If it was Doom, how come they could shoot under tables?
>> HARD NEWS <<
light the fuse
Anonymous e-mail, hey? Completely unaccountable, able to
create mental anguish over vast distances with little
possibility of redress, and the haunt of faceless
non-entities who don't give a damn about the consequences.
And that's just the legislators! Yes, the EU are at it
again. This time - oh, what is it this time? Drug dealers?
Cyberterrorists? Nope, it's *child pornographers* who are
the excuse for a blanket ban on all anonymous e-mail on the
continent. To be honest, we can't even work out at what
stage this legislative proposal is at, nor how the
committee's insistence that anonymous e-mail should be
verboten is going to make it into the final law. All we
know is that the URL is longer than the the thinking time
these apparatchiks spent on the ramifications.
- search for "anonymous". Weep.
- let's stamp this out!
- signed confessions
If you'd spend more time ploughing through uk.telecom, you'd
know this already: LOCALTEL and TEMPO (the wannabe Dixons
in oh so many ways) are stumbling closer to officially
announcing their "really free" ISP. The deal is that by
switching your BT account to the LocalTel reseller, you can
sign up for an ISP service with free phone calls (at off-peak
times) *and* no subscription charge. We have no real
confirmation of this, apart from the same panicky
non-confirmations from LocalTel representatives (which could
just as easily be an *ingenious* sales technique). Is there
a catch? Quotas? Automatic sign-offs? We damn well hope so,
otherwise it'll be just days before the system gets so
congested you'll be praying for someone to take your money
away from you...
- which is why more people are returning to BT
- previously twinned with uk.telecom.mad.old.duffers
Of course, if every telco offered a flat-rate tariff option
for their local calls - one that actually reflected the cost
of running a local loop - we wouldn't have this problem.
Hell, there are probably thousands of you who, like us,
would pay big fixed-rate bucks to have a chance to keep a
machine online 24 hours a day. While we're at it, how about
if the telco's stopped muttering about "ADSL trial periods",
and actively rolled out cheap high-bandwidth connectivity
for the masses? Mad as hell yet? Then cue the marching bands
of the EUROPEAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOYCOTT. Sunday
1999-06-06 is the date when users from Belgium, France,
Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland
and the United Kingdom are planning to down phone lines in
protest at Europe's shoddy treatment from its telephone
companies. And, yes, it is a bit like all those other Net
strikes you hear about, only this time it's had a tad of
forward planning; it doesn't appear to have been organised
by 15-year olds; it's in the Summer so you can go
out into the park and play; and with over half of the call
traffic in the UK now consisting of data calls, it might
even serve as a wake-up call for our evil network executives.
- mind you, BT charges for wake-up calls too
- they'll make the money up on "call in sick day"
- insert "making sure the prices drop on time" joke here
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
TRENCHCOAT MAFIA "played DOOM"... "without advertising,
there would be NO TV, NO radio, and NO INTERNET", reports
CYBERCRAFTS NEWSLETTER: no-one tell DARPA and the BBC...
TRENCHCOAT MAFIA used AOL... PRINCE PHILLIP rages against
Net, still pissed off at having Prestel account hacked...
... TRENCHCOAT MAFIA "had Website"... NINFOMANIA archive
page ("may take a few seconds") is staggering 237KB in
size... MICROSOFT mail-out CD warns of dangers in "sharing
software CDs", advises "hand this CD to a colleague" on
packaging... TRENCHCOAT MAFIA "spoke German"... BBC SCI/TECH
NEWS is running/recycling the space tourism story *again*...
REUTERS run story on HOAX Web page - includes passwords...
AVID dump Mac (or at least until Mr Jobs comes a-callin')
... DAVE "Gaylord" MCCANDLESS peruses www.davesclassics.com
for Telegraph - even though site closed two weeks ago...
TRENCHCOAT MAFIA "wore trenchcoats"... largest doh! in universe:
... lying fallow: http://www.gardenersworld.beeb.com/ ...
cover of new WIRED: it couldn't be STAR WARS, could it?...
IRIDIUM CEO resigns - F-f-f-falc... shootout your own foot
at http://www.ntk.net/doh/sql19990423.gif ... TRENCHCOAT
MAFIA were teenage boys...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
"Unconventional *spellings*, too" say those who've seen the
Viz ads for this weekend's FORTEAN TIMES UNCONVENTION '99,
featuring the usual hotch-potch of outright superstition,
Agfa digital camera sponsorship (clearly taking the piss),
Ken Campbell and TV's Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe. Only 250
tickets are on sale on the door (UKP15 for one day; 25 for
both), and the fun begins at 10.30am at - you've guessed it
- London's Commonwealth Institute, Kensington W8 (location
of two former sightings of "Linux wildmen" Eric S Raymond
and Richard Stallman). Sources close to NTK inquire: anyone
know any other good, potentially cheap, London
conference-style venues? Just curious, that's all.
- "Monsters and Marvels from Old Natural History Boks" (sic)
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
"And remember, Lee, when this finally blows up - I TOLD YOU
SO!". Those were the assembler comments greeting archaeologists
peering for into the lead coffin of 1984's GEM source code
for the first time this week. GEM (and its low-level buddy
GEMDOS) were Digital Research's last attempt to kill Windows
before taking that final plane ride to oblivion. Now, thanks
to Caldera, the fifteen-year old source is wide open and
GPL'd for all the old Atari ST and Amstrad PC fans to touch
and feel and painfully tweak. Customise GEM Draw! Change the
desktop from that horrid check pattern! But mostly, stare
and mutter "but where are all the Easter Eggs?".
- Lee's got the last laugh now
- kind of like when Buddy Holly died
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
moral issues *and* speeder bike implausibilities at
http://www.ihatestarwars.com/ ... but still no link to the
king http://www.daveprowse.com/ ... FERAL CHERYL... WINDOWS
only: http://www.web2go.com/coolstuff/ ... LINUX only:
http://www.microsoff.com/linux ... that's the attitude:
... TeX macro viruses... Salsa Gum Tape ... more bloody
wavelets... Vitamin C-enriched coffee... spot the difference:
http://www.nssc1.org/reporter/checklist.htm ... Video-CD
warez of The Matrix... Steven E De "Die Hard/Judge Dredd"
Souza for LARA CROFT film... and so on:
http://geeknews.net/... in case stopthewar.org doesn't work:
http://www.imaginet.fr/nomemory/ ... user interface
equivalent of BIRTSPEAK: http://www.bbcresources.co.uk/ ...
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe: Anthea Turner
on fire, off the shoulder of Orion:
http://www.mentski.freeserve.co.uk/anthea.mpeg >> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> new Antoine de Caunes vehicle LE SHOW (10.30pm, Fri,
C4) promises "top names in British and French comedy" - be
very afraid... C5 revitalises its Saturday afternoon with a
new series of Beavis & Butthead spin-off DARIA (5pm, Sat,
C5), plus post-apocalyptic teen soap THE TRIBE (5.25pm) -
which sounds more like the "Kids Rule OK" strip in IPC's
Action comic than the recent Anna Friel kit-off drama of the
same name... and the best EXECUTIVE DECISION (9pm, Sat, ITV)
was to kill Steven Seagal as soon as he gets off the Stealth
plane, leaving Kurt Russell and Halle Berry to hunt the
Psion-wielding hijacker... XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS (7pm, Sat,
SkyOne) will not be scheduled episode "The Way", pulled
worldwide after offending Hindus by "implying that Krishna
is a fictional character"... narrating the SDI episode of
COLD WAR (8pm, Sun, BBC2) is as close as Kenneth Branagh
will get to Star Wars, bwahaha... and one of the worst
directors of the '90s pays interminable tribute to one of
the worst directors of the '50s in
never-bad-enough-to-be-good ED WOOD (10.30pm, Sun, BBC2)...
season 5 of STAR TREK: VOYAGER (8pm, Mon, SkyOne) returns to
find someone's switched all the lights off... Abba, Roxette,
Ace Of Base, The Cardigans may be products of sinister
Swedish eugenics policy, posits EQUINOX (9pm, Mon, C4)...
and another god-awful WEBWISE campaign (from 7.30pm, Mon,
BBC2) boots with what sounds like a net-lagged version of
"Treasure Hunt", followed by further inevitable lameness in
TOMORROW'S WORLD (7.30pm, Wed, BBC1) plus apparently
net-free Hale & Pace variety abomination H&P @BBC (9.35pm,
Wed, BBC1)... bizarre '80s retrospective MARGARET THATCHER:
WHERE AM I NOW? (7.50pm, Mon-Fri, C4) has pics by Guardian's
Steve Bell, direction by Bob "Roobarb And Custard"
Godfrey... Joe Queenan argues that Eastwood OAP romance THE
BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (8pm, Wed, ITV) is based on
Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" - and, no, it doesn't feature
brotherly acting duo Jeff and Beau Bridges... while animated
DILBERT (8.30pm, Thu, SkyOne) is almost *too* weird -
frankly there's more office-hell chuckles temping for psycho
Kevin Spacey in SWIMMING WITH SHARKS (9pm, Tue, C5)...
FILM>> Kev Costner's overlong nautical-metaphor
closure-weepie MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE (imdb: romance) supports
the "Sleepless In Seattle" thesis that what modern women
want is a bloke totally obsessed with another woman,
preferably his dead wife. And no, it's not based around the
Police song of the same name, though the soundtrack does
inexplicably break into the opening line of Queen's "We Are
The Champions" from time to time... you'd have thought the
plot of 8MM (imdb: snuff-film / private-detective /
porn-makers / surveillance), in which a man tries to find
the makers of a badly made, universally offensive piece of
cinematic trash, might have had more resonance for Joel
"Batman & Robin" Schumacher, here mauling Andrew "Se7en"
Walker's interesting script with the help of Nic Cage
looking like a bewildered Ross from "Friends"... otherwise
the usual limited-release arty nonsense - including this
year's *third* kooky prison camp comedy, THE BRYLCREEM BOYS
(MPAA: rated PG-13 for language, violence and sensuality) -
avoid if you can in favour of London-only microgravity Mir
docu OUT OF THE PRESENT (imdb: russia / space), which
implies cosmonauts spend their free time watching 2001 and
RED BOOK AUDIO - "Who needs MP3 to rip off other people's
songs?">> yes, everyone thought that GERI SPICE's "Look At Me"
was a witless imitation of "History Repeating" by The
Propellerheads featuring Shirley Bassey, but NTK reader Ben
Smith reckons "it's based around the bass jingle from those
IBM TV ads [Solutions For A Small Planet]". We'll know for
sure if her next single uses Intel's distinctive synth-riff
theme; meanwhile the world waits to see if label-mate GARTH
BROOKS sues her for using a lower-case "g" as her logo, as he
attempted with WARREN G... another good month for tracks that
sound oddly reminiscent of other recent hits, with - of course
- BILLIE's "Honey To The B" (aka All Saints' "Never Ever"),
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN's "Rust" (aka Whitney Houston's "One
Moment In Time"), SUPER FURRY ANIMALS' "Northern Lites" (which
has a line just like Garbage's "Special") and the intro to
B*WITCHED's "Blame It On The Weatherman" (aka Natalie
Imbruglia's "Torn")... on the subject of which, not only does
MARTINE MCCUTCHEON's "Perfect Moment" sound like she's singing
over "Drive" by The Cars but, contrary to the impression often
given, the song was originally written for one "Edyta Gorniak"
(the Polish Mariah Carey) - DOM "The Dominator" MCCLANE has
the full story: http://www.geocities.com/~festive/news.htm ...
in other copyright news: unable to get the rights to his
master recordings back from Warner Brothers, THE ARTIST
FORMERLY KNOWN AS PRINCE is believed to be re-recording his
entire 17-album back-catalogue - the world's first rock star
to become his own tribute band... oh, and new CDs: easy-
listening classic themes on STAR WARS: COCKTAILS IN THE
CANTINA by the The Evil Genius Orchestra... continuing their
covers of the work of Madonna, Oasis, George Michael etc,
watch for THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Plays the Music Of
U2... and it's taken us this long to save up for it, only to
find that old-skool retro-fest PRODIGY DIRTCHAMBER SESSIONS
VOLUME ONE http://www.isk.kth.se/~id96_kko/dirtchamber.htm has
nothing like the pace or attitude of The Chemicals' excellent
"Brothers Gonna Work It Out" or "Live At The Social Volume 1".
Good to see that albums with more than two good tracks on them
are now recognised by the music industry to be worth even more
("Dirtchamber" is UKP16.99 in HMV for what looks like a double
CD, but isn't) - still, almost worth buying Brothers Gonna
Work It Out as the lengthy mix tracks create enormous MP3s...
>> 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
the "bloody revenge of Internet nerds obsessed with Satan and Nazis"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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