"Sentiment is against us. We can and must turn this around ... We
need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger."
- JIM ALLCHIN, Microsoft, e-mail subpoena'd for DR-DOS trial
... puts that little paperclip chap in a whole new light
>> HARD NEWS <<
bunch of rubes
So, the question is this: given that we know they're nice
people, and that they've got Steve "spinmeister" Bowbrick on
board, *how* did FUNMAIL find itself the proud owners of
"yid.co.uk", "jewboy.co.uk", and "nigger.co.uk"?
Overenthusiastic intern hoping to exploit the recent boom
in racist violence? Insufficiently parsed dictionary fed to
registration bot? Or, most sinisterly of all, controversial
micro-story leaked the week prior to full launch? No, no, no
- that's *too* cynical. Oh, but we fell for it too! Doh!
- "mailbomb" jokes will be bounced at source
- watch horrified net.marketeers wish they'd thought of it
- Leslie "Pooter" Bundle scoops everyone with his whois searches
Last week's stories continue to bounce around like bonus
balls in an Arkanoid clone. Lo, and TEMPO did announce
"free" free Internet access, with BT instantly ricocheting
back with some dumb "free calls with an ad every 2 minutes"
service that no-one will adopt. And the EU's anonymity
proposals began to look increasingly low on lives, with
smart folk in the Netherlands and UK publically supporting
ZERO KNOWLEDGE's Freedom network, which promises an
international anonymous network, with -cough- distributed
liability. Or in other words, Europe's too small a place to
stop this kind of thing.
- we hope. remember anonymous digicash, anyone?
- you know, with two lines you *could* do something with this
- Localtel/Tempo without the IE5 (or the free local calls, natch)
Let's get this straight. ARM bought out ACORN, its own
parent company, which is a bit sick. Only it didn't, because
even though Acorn was paid for in ARM shares, the shares
belonged to MORGAN STANLEY: so it was this bank who now own
Acorn. Except that everyone's saying that was just a tax
dodge, and ARM will end up buying up the Acorn shares off
Morgan Stanley in the end (which is still a bit sick).
Except that the only bit of Acorn that has any emotional
appeal, the bit that used to make RISC PCs, wasn't sold to
Morgan Stanley - it was sold to PACE TECHNOLOGIES for 200K.
So it's not so bad, because Pace is an oldskool company too.
Except that, actually, the only people interested in
supporting RISC OS now aren't Acorn at all, but RISC OS
LIMITED, who bought the license for RISC OS before all this
happened. Except that Acorn used to own 20% of RISC OS Ltd.
So who owns that? And why in God's name can't these companies
go Falco in a dignified fashion?
- of course, this Morgan Stanley isn't called Morgan Stanley
- and this Acorn isn't called Acorn
- and: you know, this is what drives the Register kids to drink
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
same subnet, and spot the diff: http://www.msn.co.uk/ vs
http://www.whsmith.co.uk/ ... MARK LAWSON announces STAR
WARS to premiere on May 17th (may be including 2 days
queuing time)... patriotic "new British bookshop on
Internet" BOL.COM of course stands for BERTELSMANN ONLINE
... GUARDIAN's Annie Leibowitz "on-set" photos include young
Obi and Darth Maul duelling with *real lightsabres*...
WALLSTREET.COM sold for $1.03 million... DAILY MAIL thinks
Jill Dando site was "run by a company called Celebrity
Webring"... ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH registration system falls
over - access suddenly improves... PATHFINDER.COM - FALCO!
(Noah, come and collect your prize after class)... extensive
Net-wide research shows geeks bullied, misunderstood at
school... SEGAWORLD London - F-f-fal... DAILY MIRROR's
guide to Net jargon defines: "HACKER: Idiot who thinks it's
clever to break through computer security. CRACKER: A
criminal hacker."... "Faster access for BT customers is
already available through services such as ISDN 2 and BT
Highway. Effective demand is, therefore, being met":
... BITS (games version of 4Later show "Vids") to be
presented by three "gaming babes in their mid-20s"...
... 75p with an Aussie animal inside? "YOWIE!", indeed...
"Dandoh!" tributes reached us at a rate of 4 a minute;
the best: http://www.ntk.net/doh/dandohrt19993004.jpg ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Of course, May 1st marks the 223rd anniversary of the founding
of the Bavarian Illuminati, and what better way to dazzle the
mehums than the digital trickery of ONEDOTZERO3 - "exciting
new forms and hybrids of moving image work from the most
innovative and cutting-edge talents in the field". In other
words, CGI FMV and pop videos, at the ICA, London SW1 from 5pm
tonight until Sun 1999-05-09.
- includes famous "Director's Cut" of G-Police 2
And returning from the US mysteriously "changed", psychologist
SUSAN BLACKMORE reveals to Cambridge, Swindon and London
susceptibles how the unseen forces behind human history were
Richard Dawkins' "memes" all along (from Wed 1999-05-05).
Fresh from her free-will-deconstructing New Scientist piece
"Meme, Myself, I", NTK's ever-vigilant Lloyd Wood advises "you
wouldn't want to go see her, because there really is no you.
And no her. And there's no debate; just a couple of memes
competing for the same conceptual space in the memeplex and
the attention of your selfplex as a potential host for onward
propagation." A fun night out for all the family.
http://www.memes.org.uk/ - tell your friends
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
This side of the utility twilight zone, here's one which
fulfills that "code you'd write, if only you had six months
of your life to waste". KLEPTOMANIA lets you screengrab an
arbitrary piece of your desktop - then uses simple OCRish
techniques to convert the image to text. Snatch directory
listings from Explorer! Save your device list or registry
details in a readable format! Sadly, it can't cope cope with
huge anti-aliased GIFs on lamer Websites (registered fonts
only) - but that's what your next six months are for.
There's a 21 day trial to gawp at, $30 buys the full version.
- come on, he deserves it...
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
run out of swap space? too many PIDs? Share the world's
resources at http://www.urps.org/ ... "Ha! You are too
trusting, Son of God!" http://www.visi.com/~bull/fistsgod.htm
... it may mean "Hope" in Japanese, but to USENET:
http://www.spaceviews.com/1999/04/25b.html ... what CLIFF
STOLL did next: http://www.kleinbottle.com/why_acme.htm ...
CAFES SCIENTIFIQUES... Philip K Dick, patents officer:
... competing with MICROSOFT at their own game
http://www.magister-lex.at/CRASHit/ ... off-the-shelf startup
... but we can do better than that:
... what you will look like to the people of 2039
http://www.mallard.org/more/mtv01.htm ... FUD on demand -
http://www.gingerspice.demon.co.uk/tmp/netspies/... which one
is ANNIE SPRINKLE? Anyway, she's in trouble:
http://www.heck.com/annie/ ... obvious POLICE TROLL:
... at last, the *facts* on MICROSOFT: http://www.thestormcenter.com/
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
the less rude http://www.ntk.net/tvgohome/
TV>> FRASIER (10pm, Fri, C4) is always funniest when it's
about food... David STRASSMAN (10.30pm, Fri, ITV) pioneers the
field of animatronic swearing... and ITV cunningly combines
two of TV's most popular genres as one upcoming youngster
turns out to be DESPERATELY SEEKING STARDOM - in the porn biz!
(10pm, Fri, ITV)... "We can put a man on the moon, but we
can't bomb a minor Eastern European country back to the stone
age" ponders Tom Hanks's reverential 12-part NASA docu-drama
FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON (12noon, Sat, C4)... everyone raves
about doddery Eastwood Western UNFORGIVEN (10pm, Sat, ITV) -
but it's no "The Quick And The Dead"... and the rest of Bank
Holiday weekend is dominated by a foul-mouthed feast for SOUTH
PARK fans, with a 2-hour special on cable/ satellite (from
9pm, Sat, SkyOne) including an hour-long "South Park
Discovered"... C4 picks up the squishy baton on Mon with 5
hours of OH MY GOD, IT'S SOUTH PARK (from 9pm, Mon, C4),
featuring season 2 opener "Not Without My Anus" and Parker/
Stone's "Cannibal! The Musical". Then, as if to prepare you
for the upcoming "Mechastreisand" episode, behold: GODZILLA VS
MECHAGODZILLA (2am, Mon, C4)... both FRENCH AND SAUNDERS
(9.55pm, Sun, BBC1) and RORY BREMNER (9pm, Sun, C4) continue
to confuse dressing up as famous people with actual comedy...
Jon Ronson interviews subterranean enthusiasts on FOR THE LOVE
OF (2.50am, Sun, C4)... and it's a real grab-bag of sci-fi
elements behind ROBIN COOK'S INVASION (9pm, Sun & Mon, C5) -
like The Last Train; a meteor impact or suspended animation
just doesn't cut it any more, you've got to have *both*...
disappointingly, food show BIG KEVIN LITTLE KEVIN (8pm, Tue,
BBC2) is not a rapid weight-loss sequel to the "Fountain Of
Youth" kids' classic... sympathetic Spice-umentary GERI (9pm,
Wed, C4) nevertheless records some of the "criticism and
ridicule" levelled at the talentless ginger trollop... while
hard-hitting heavily promoted mental asylum drama PSYCHOS
(10pm, Thu, C4) comes of course from the writer who translated
"Mad About You" into "Loved By You" for the British screen...
FILM>> "geek heaven" is NTK reader Reverend Joe McNally's
praise for Cronenberg's icky new Videodrome-II VR-parable set
in biotech parallel universe EXISTENZ (imdb: computers /
futuristic / virtual-reality), largely for its spot-on
spoofing of in-game NPCs with dodgy accents and bad AI - were
Mark Hamill and Tim Curry somehow not available? Oddly, the UK
launch is being sponsored by fellow Dreamcasters Sega,
implying (Rev McNally again): "(a) they have a much more
highly-developed sense of humour than one might normally
associate with games companies, or (b) they haven't actually
seen it"... rather less effective art-horror surfaces from
Annette Bening's fruity underwater nightmare IN DREAMS (imdb:
psychological) - remember: "down to earth" Neil Jordan (Mona
Lisa, The Crying Game, The Butcher Boy) good; "supernatural"
Neil Jordan (A Company Of Wolves, Interview With A Vampire)
*bad*!... and while the plot of Adam Sandler's latest retard-
makes-good irritation THE WATERBOY (imdb: football / sport)
sounds like it *might* be lifted from an Oliver Sacks case,
that honour actually goes to vision-returning neurology-
romancer AT FIRST SIGHT (imdb: blindness) - not a fantastic
job by Val "The Saint" Kilmer, Irwin "The Net" Winkler, though
it has provoked the most OTT Christian review seen so far:
DEAD TREES>> you can already hear the ASA sharpening their
blue pencils over the lame "Get some coke for Jamie's party"
campaign for elderly-lads' mag LATER (launch price UKP1.50).
We've no doubt that there *is* a good article to be written
about future-sport violence-movie Rollerball, though Later has
run something else entirely... FHM (UKP2.80) leads, once
again, with "GAIL PORTER: She's Stunning, She's Nude" - And
Missing Her Right Nipple, from the looks of things... oh well,
it was an abridged version of David Scheff's excellent "Game
Over" book on the front of ARCADE (UKP2.80). Still, good to
see their dreadful pic of 4 drongos playing video games over
beer 'n' pizza has been swiftly replaced by 3 even worse
caricatures (p130), the girl of which is so captivated by
their subs offer that she's neglected to put a cartridge in
her Game Boy... "Is PIRACY killing the Amiga?" bravely ponders
AMIGA FORMAT (UKP5.95) - well, either that or someone's
stopped manufacturing the hardware... editorial of current
INTERNET magazine is "such rubbish" it "must be a troll",
readers report - is that why subs cut the last line?... "like
a slimmer, cheaper version of Wired but with Douglas Rushkoff
writing for it" isn't a great recommendation for SHIFT
(Borders, UKP3) http://www.shift.com/ - plus, being Canadian,
it's depressingly obsessed with both US *and* UK style
culture... but STEVE CIARCIA'S CIRCUIT CELLAR INK (Borders,
UKP3), the "Mork And Mindy" to Byte's "Happy Days", drags
itself over here at last, whispering that the BYTE home
automation system isn't Y2K compliant... finally, a swift
round-up of the new "Internet for Idiots" mags: the debut
issue of INTERNET MONTHLY ("The *real people's* guide to the
Internet"; UKP1.99) takes a firm stand against the
"jargonauts", goes on to reveal that those real (patient)
people are logging on with "28bps, 36bps or 56bps modems"
(p139), then concludes with - you've guessed it - a guide to
smilies (p149)... "Don't take too much advice from anyone who
has been online earlier than 1996" chortles Future's INTERNET
ADVISOR (p85; UKP1.99) - yeah, what would they know, eh?...
yet the ultimate irony goes to Paragon's erratically
distributed WEB PAGES MADE EASY (UKP3.95) - we'd have more
confidence in their clunky FrontPage / PageMill / HotMetal
tutorials if it didn't look like they'd borrowed their entire
(dreadful) design from .Net Magazine...
>> 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
"steering away from the celebrity gossip these days"
NEED TO KNOW
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