"Due to the conflict in Kosovo, we will not be showing the
pay-per-view movie 'Wag the Dog'. Instead, we will be
offering 'Mortal Kombat:Annihilation'."
- Cable and Wireless cable TV customer helpline, 1999-05-10
...sure, don't offend war-torn Albanians, but what about
all the viewers in the "Outworld" reception area?
>> HARD NEWS <<
lack of clues
As lists of SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE spies go, it wasn't
exactly the most credible. Its source (allegedly) was an
agent who'd barely completed his training. As well as names
and dates, it included additional information like "wanker"
(potential weakness, or special skill?). And it appeared on
Lyndon LaRouche's site - tucked between tirades on how
Prince Philip runs the world heroin trade, and how Tony
Blair's government tricked the US into war with Iraq. Even
they seemed unsure of it: it had vanished by Wednesday. At
that point, the only person who ever seemed to have spotted
it was harmless Usenet eccentric Raymond Amundson, who
reposted it in a flurry of noise on alt.talk.royalty ("O
Geez...even the loony bin is HOSTILE to me.", added
Amundson, clarifying his reputation). And this, no doubt, is
where it would have languished - had the Secret Intelligence
Service not abruptly announced to all media to definitely
NOT look for or publicise a list which they exclusively revealed
"identifies a large number of SIS (MI6) officers". Oh, and
certainly don't look for a list with around 110 names on it.
And don't look on a Website in America. Astoundingly,
instead of running standard disinfo tactics to delay the
spread of the list as they quietly shifted the agents out of
harm's way, the SIS actively confirmed the story, then
encouraged thousands of Net users to seek out, mirror, and
propagate this juicy bit of info. Not very
intelligent, not much of a service to anyone. And not, any
more, very secret.
- like you didn't already know
- "widely disclosed or discussed"? Well, it is now.
- and this is the treatment Apple gives its traitors!
Sadly, we're under a D-Notice ourselves, as dozens of people
e-mail us with FALCO nominations for one of the UK's most
distinguished Web houses <cough>. While we examine how the
damage of this disclosure might be minimised, we ask you to
not spend time working out who it is from the fact that
they're thinking of relaunching the company based on a demo
Website two of their staff hacked up in five weeks as an idle
exercise. Two people who, we note, who have already left...
- FALCO! (because you're always asking what it means)
And we're probably not supposed to tell you that the Trade
and Industry SELECT COMMITTEE REPORT on E-Commerce is
due next week, and that it's going to give the government a
kicking over key escrow. And we're probably not even meant
to *know* that the government are going to publicly
abandon all their krazy krypto key-management by the end of
the month. And if we catch any of you grinning about how,
occasionally, Net activism does work and even governments
can listen, we'll deny we said a thing.
- it doesn't sound like the sort of thing we'd say
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
MICROSOFT breach copyright on ELSPA "age rating" logo...
DAVID BOWIE to appear in video game... "Anyone with a
computer is a potential pirate", says RIAA spokesman... AOL
*not* going free this week... newly launched 24 HOUR
MUSEUM http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/ claims to be "UK
Museums, Galleries and Heritage for Everyone"- except if
you're blind/disabled/using a non-frames/non-java/non-flash
browser... marketeer asks "Does anyone know of any published
books that have a comprehensive list of web addresses?" on
UKNM; has "http:\\" in his .sig... ABBEY NATIONAL tells its
consumers to check websites for SSL or "Secure Socket
Locker"... FUTURE do a GameBoy magazine - a full decade
after the console is released... THE PHANTOM MENACE opens
with timeless, self-fulfilling dialogue "I've got a bad
feeling about this"...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
SchNEWS launch their new book on Wed (from 7pm, Bar Centro,
Ship Street, Brighton), and the ACM are showing their
holiday SIGGRAPH movies on Thu (6pm, The Faraday Room, IEE,
Savoy Place, London WC2R). But we suspect the real hardcore
will be hoovering up the tea and biscuits at UKIP11, a
gathering of radio amateurs with a shared interest in TCP/IP
networking (Sat 1999-04-15, Woking, Surrey). Last we heard,
transmitting anything other than "messages relating to
technical investigations or remarks of a personal character"
was officially frowned upon - maybe they're evolving the
wireless protocols of the future from subtle variations in
"Hello how's things?" "Not too bad thanks - and yourself?"
- gives NGR for GPS, map users, cruise missiles...
- hope it's compatible with these guys
- but is their "ELITE" group really e133t?
- SchNEWS Survival Guide: best of issues 151-200, UKP6
And for anyone who missed last week's "National Masturbation
Day" (1999-05-07), interactive award-winners AUDIOROM are
doing a talk and workshop at some gallery in Sheffield.
- nowt about it here
- nor here (are they the same as "AntiRom"? oh who cares)
- perhaps more info than you required
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
Is it so *very* unfashionable to love your poster of Darth
whose scary frame is made up of hundreds of ickle stills
from the original trilogy? Well, possibly, yes: partly
because you're supposed to pity the treacherous brat, but
principally because hey, *anyone* can knock out those
photomosaics nowadays. Just downloading TYLER allows people
with no artistic (and worse, no programming) skills create
their own feasts of pixelated myopia. Just throw it a target
GIF, and a huge stack of images and voila! Recursive
- well, two levels of recursion anyway. Unless...
- Lara Croft constructed from porn snapshots. As if that was news.
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
"specific Biblical threats relating to the Apocalypse, End
Days, Armageddon or Tribulations are interpreted differently
from Client to Client": http://www.hardenstructures.com/apoc.cfm
... GORE launches competition for open source screensaver:
jwz resigns - could this be the dream ticket?... BT hint
ADSL launch in Autumn... for your work colleague with the
monitor shield: http://www.berk.com/~lessemf/personal.html
TEXAS INSTRUMENTS oral tradition: http://listen.to/sass ...
Kevin Smith's "CHASING AMIDALA" ... worth it (just) at
http://www.cant-be-arsed.com ... "There shall be no peace
until KIRK lives!" http://www.BringBackKirk.com/main.shtml
... the smart way to harvest girls' email addresses:
... bring back the old days with http://www.deja.com/=dnc/
... "Everyone's free - to spoof SUNSCREEN":
http://bofh.gits.co.uk/pfy/leatherman.txt ... LINUS as Yoko:
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
the less rude http://www.ntk.net/tvgohome/
TV>> deranged Euro co-pro sci-fi LEXX (10.50pm, Fri, C5)
somehow makes it to a second series... not sure how this
affects the licensing of BBC's "Record Breakers", but
GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS (9pm, Fri, ITV) starts as it means to
go on, with a round-up of the world's freakiest
disfigurements... and U2's Bono is among those paying
tribute to the Scandinavian "The Smiths" in THE ABBA STORY -
THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL (9pm, Sat, ITV)... ROBOCOP 3
(10.15pm, Sat, ITV) succeeds where OCP and Frank Miller both
failed, and kills off the movie franchise for good...
wife-beating martial arts action with Jet Li in THE LEGEND
OF FONG SAI-YUK I (2.30am, Sat, C4) - did they ever make
FONG SAI-YUK II?... and it's a bit harsh devoting only 10
minutes to the best of 4 LATER (10.20pm, Sat, C4)... well,
obviously science will ultimately explain the arts, but the
arts can never fully explain science - which should settle
once and for all which is the best out of THE TWO CULTURES?
(11pm, Sun, C4)... Bill Maher's overrated topical chat THE
POLITICALLY INCORRECT SHOW (11.45pm; then 11ish, Mon-Fri,
C4) spends a week in the UK, and oddly acquires the prefix
"THE" and postfix "SHOW" in the process... and THE EQUINOX
SHOW (9pm, Mon, C4) chips in with some helpful hints on
ethnically targetted bioweapons... as far as we can recall,
the terrible Van Damme / Minogue / Steven de "Tomb Raider"
Souza live-action STREET FIGHTER (9pm, Tue, C5) is in fact
based on the game Street Fighter II - which is presumably
why they never made a sequel based on the film's own
spin-off video-game, or they'd have had to call it "Street
Fighter II: The Movie: The Game: The Movie II" or
something... ubercomic Simon "League Against Tedium" Munnery
creates his own ON-digital weirdness slot and calls it THE
FUTURTV SHOW (9.30pm, Tue & Thu, UK Play)... and, sorry, we
forgot to plug the planet-of-the-whip-women Space: 1999 last
week, but enthusiasts can still look forward to a futuristic
female-dominated society in Gene Roddenberry's one-off
nonsense fun PLANET EARTH (1.05am, Mon BBC1)... it's US
government vs cypherpunks in a paintball battle - to the
death! - in HOSTILE INTENT (9pm, Wed, C5) described by one
imdb user as "An outrageously fascist movie!", though it's
unclear whether that's intended as a recommendation...
Republica's Saffron picks her THE MUSIC OF THE MILLENNIUM
SHOW (12.20am, Wed, C4) - surely a toss-up between "Drop
Dead Gorgeous" and "Ready To Go"?... and worthwhile Star
Trek title sequence compilation THE "THE PLANETS" SHOW (9pm,
Thu, BBC2) unapologetically extends its remit to tackle that
notoriously non-planetary satellite, The Moon...
FILM>> the director of lame Brit crime comedy The James Gang
at last gets his act together for twisty-turny US-set
neo-noir BEST LAID PLANS (MPAA: Rated R for language and
sexuality), featuring Reese "Pleasantville" Witherspoon and
the geeky bomb-making younger brother from Face/Off... the
real TRUE CRIME (imdb: adultery / journalism /
lethal-injection / murder / prison / womaniser / zoo /
capital-punishment / car-crash / death-penalty / death-row /
failing-marriage) is of course doddery Clint Eastwood
passing himself off as an irresistible journo Lothario,
racing against time to save a condemned man (journalists and
deadlines, eh?) - one for James Woods/ Denis Leary
completists only... together at last!: Chris Rea, Felicity
Kendal, John Cleese, Joanna Lumley, Bob Hoskins, the late
Oliver Reed *and* Michael Winner combine to make
terminal-illness revenge farce PARTING SHOTS (imbd:
black-comedy) incomparably strange... and Jackie Chan 1992
separated-at-birth knock-off TWIN DRAGONS (imdb: concert /
farce / hong-kong / martial-arts / mistaken-identity /
twins) is showing its age a bit too... leaving you a tricky
choice between Lars von Trier's latest controvo-Danish
art-porn THE IDIOTS (imdb: dogme-95 / cult /
fake-documentary / essay / experimental / group-sex /
improvisation / mental-illness / nudity / sex / stupidity /
community)... which at least has more "spazzing off" than
touching gay Grange Hill feelgooder GET REAL (imdb: not a
movie version of the 1998 Lindsay Duncan/ Simon Godley ITV
sitcom of the same name)...
FEEBDACK>> a flurry of responses to our quest for "internal"
music biz piracy, [NTK 1999-04-23] with MARCUS AUSTIN - of
"Internet.Works" magazine fame - claiming that the "first 5
seconds" of Martine McCutcheon's "Perfect Moment" is "When
Love Breaks Down" by Prefab Sprout, and that The Offspring's
"Why Don't You Get A Job" is The Beatles' "Ob-bla-di
Ob-bla-da"... never mind whether the new Chemical Bros
single is more like the KLF's "What Time Is Love?" or the
theme from "Knight Rider", argues ADRIAN MOULDER, who's
spotted even more imaginative soundalikes: Robbie Williams'
"Strong" (Oasis' "Champagne Supernova"), Westside's "This I
Swear" (Bette Midler's "The Wind Beneath My Wings"), plus
"the music off the new Mobil ad with the Tron cars racing
through the engine is *obviously* off the giant generator
bit of Total Recall". Moulder concludes that "the so-called
New Radicals are clearly soluble in the Old Waterboys" and
further inquires: "are Gay Dad the band off 'A Young
Person's Guide To Being A Rock Star'?"... forced to
re-record his old '80s stuff on the discs "Yin" and "Yang",
Fish out of Marillion was in fact the first person to become
his own tribute band, contends TONY BLEWS, adding - perhaps
unnecessarily - that his new album is "a bit of a dog's
log"... "Surely GEM predates any Microsoft Windows attempt
by some considerable period?" corrects ANDREW MARSHALL [re
NTK 1999-04-23 again], adding the laudable disclaimer "My
brain may be faulty (I am over 40 now, after all)"...
"Easynet already has a free ISP", asserts SIMON H LE G
BISSON [re NTK 1999-04-16], poignantly pointing out "they
took my old baby UKOL free nearly a month ago, without
telling anyone"... and finally: last week's namecheck of
Christopher Bidmead prompted widespread unsolicited
reminiscing over Dr Who episodes, including "Frontios",
which apparently has characters called "Kerningham and
Ritchie" in it, plus "Logopolis" itself - "There's a scene
where Adric has to comb through ten pages of hexadecimal by
hand to find a bug that's making weird evil things happen,"
recalls IAN HOLMES, "though why he couldn't have just done a
'diff' I'm not sure". NTK regrets that this correspondence
is now closed...
>> SMALL PRINT <<
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