_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Slurping a bowl of tortilla soup in a Dallas restaurant,
Romero is fed up with the criticism. Daikatana will give
fans an 'awesome' ride through 4,485 years of human history,
...what, until it's released?
>> HARD NEWS <<
So, *are* BT going to introduce free weekend calls for Net
users? And would they be so cheeky as to announce it on the
weekend of the Trans-European Net Strike, 1999-06-06? Well,
something weird's going down, that's for sure. The telco who
says it's good to talk (because actually doing anything for
once might derail up the gravy train) is behaving verrrry
strangely. From hemming-and-hahhing just months ago about
ADSL, they've gone to shipping out truckloads of the tech.
And from the standard bleating that "Oftel wouldn't like
it", they're planting rumours of limited free local calls to
everyone but the supposedly all-powerful regulators. "We did
an internal report", we hear BT people say, "and realised
we must devour our own business before someone else
does": words previously uttered only by readers of Fast
Company and unhygienic paranoid schizophrenics. So, what's
better? A sedentary BT that we can all complain about? Or
the unedifying site of watching a tripping Buzby eat itself
whole rather than have anyone else in on the action?
- feel sick
- what we want? Oh, ta! When did we want it? Now? Cheers.
Also partaking in the clue lucky dip, that CABINET OFFICE
unit set up to provide solutions to the government's crypto
mess [NTK 1999-03-05] doled out its recommendations on
Wednesday. Sense prevailed - to a point. Key escrow nutty,
stop now: check. Key warrants to be signed by Home Secretary or
other big time politician, rather than just your friendly
local copper: check. "The onus is on the recipient of a
disclosure notice to prove to the authorities that the
requested keys or plaintext are not in his possession" -
uh, hello? They're going to try and draft a law where you
have to prove you *don't* have something? "I have forgotten
my passphrase". Prove it. "There are no files concealed in
my pornographic photograph collection". Prove it. "I am not
guilty". Prove it. Prove you're not guilty.
- exciting, colour PDF file with intro from Prime Minister
- from which we extract more fresh sigs. Prove it ain't his!
"Throwing another book on the barbie", is how the
Australian's are describing their government's ingenious new
Net censorship law, which perceives the Internet as
pornography, and roots around futilely trying to stop it.
We'll just stick to the usual fun, pointing out that among
the sites that Australia will miss out on will be BUGTRAQ
("detailed instruction in: matters of crime"), Anonymiser
(because you'll be able to reach the whole Web from there),
any shell account on any non-Australian machine (ditto),
Google (cached pages), and Altavista's Babelfish (can access
banned pages - and they'll sound even ruder in French).
- what do we have to do to get banned around here?
We didn't put a link to Duncan Campbell's Echelon report in
last week's issue. Either that, or it was taken out en-route:
- Cue that ANSI Twilight Zone theme we mentioned last week
http://www.textfiles.com/art/twilight.vt - Ta.
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
FREESERVE mailserver down (fortunately, everyone too ashamed
to use their freeserve mail account anyway)... AOL user
tries to sell 8 year-old daughter online: doesn't have sense
to try Ebay http://www.denverpost.com/news/news0525l.htm ...
MS OUTLOOK can't even remember when US Memorial Day is...
AMAZON return anti-Scientology book "A Piece of Blue Sky" to
catalog: sales put it in Amazon's top 200... USENET2 dying
... people get angry with their computers, blame BILL GATES,
GOD, uncovers survey... official FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
proposals are corrupt and unreadable (and that's just the
PDF file!)... google touted as "the next best thing to the
CIA" - best not to use it to find embassies then ... BARBRA
STREISAND addicted to day trading: stocks collapse ... "why
will criminals use government-supported crypto?", asks a US
congressman; WILLIAM REINSCH, govt. crypto spokesman: "Never
underestimate the stupidity of some of the people we have to
deal with"... wrong kind of tunnelling on the line:
http://www.ntk.net/doh/19990525railtrack.gif ... this week's
winner on the http://www.cynicalbastards.com/wankometer/ :
http://www.imc.com with an astounding 9.79... uniquely
timely: http://www.ntk.net/doh/19990525xstream.gif ... BBC's
WATCHDOG complains about games needing patches: often
runs its own - from the Press Complaints Commission...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
If you've been putting off revisiting the regular 2600
monthly meetings until you've found the perfect rollerblades
and mirrorshade combo, it may be time to cut to the chase.
Next Friday (1999-06-04) is international FREE KEVIN day,
and Mitnick symps from Moscow to Spokane will be rallying,
somewhat futilely, outside court houses and embassies to
protest. New York gets "Free Kevin" skywriters: no such
luxuries for the London and Manchester 2600 meets, who'll
have to swim over and wrestle him out of prison with their
- yep, he's still in prison
- yep, there are still 2600 meets
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
Talking of which, here's a mail from John Drake, aka
smiling Mark Bennett, erstwhile editor of 1993's leading
cyberpunkzine, Black Ice (issues still available). Mark's
branched out into other media since those heady days: mainly
the new 2600 T-Shirt, for which he needs scans of old
newspaper hacking headlines to spruce up the rear. If you or
your solicitor have kept "Freshly born child could have
brought ASDA to its knees"-stylee headlines, get in touch.
Mr T is on firstname.lastname@example.org. Scanning protocols follow.
- and no forgeries! Oho. Put the idea into your head
Many of you e-mail us - oh, thrice a day tops - to suggest
that we repackage NTK so that you can read it on your
Pilots. A few of you may have received our standard reply
that we cannot do that because we're going bowling now.
Well, we also serve Open Source, we who bowl and wait,
because it's exactly that kind of offhandishness that
encouraged Justin Mason to write his excellent SNARFNEWS
program. Snarfnews grabs NTK, parses it into a Palm DOC
file, and squirts it into your Palm, all in one tidy Perl
script. Win and Unix supported - as are a bunch of other
sites that we never look at or nick links from, including
http://tbtf.com/ , http://www.robotwisdom.com/ ,
http://lwn.net/, and any RDF-supporting site..
- must be annoying to see these URLs on your Palm
- of course, now Muffett's going to want the name changed
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
oh, it's easy to knock: http://www.gluetrain.com ... WILLIAM
SHATNER has been attending Trek conventions in disguise - as
who? His parallel universe twin?... VideoCD STAR WAREZ ...
gettingit.com - dooomed! doooooomed!... unpleasant GIFs
at http://www.dirtdirt.com/dreems.htm ... "It seems the only
aspect of Microsoft NT which scales well is the price"...
http://www.oakland.edu/~zztasesk/jarjar.html ... TERENCE
MCKENNA sick (and not just on those shrooms): he asks fans
to think of him, 2200GMT 1999-28-05... guys, it's 25 years
... STAR WARS personality tests - there were personalities
in that film?... WALTER MILLER never left the building:
... and you thought turning the monitor off was going to
work http://www.forbes.com/forbes/99/0531/6311070a.htm ...
"Disturbed by the fact that I'm gonna bone you in EPISODE
TWO?" http://www.deja.com/=dnc/getdoc.xp?AN=481263843 ...
better than that ASCII WARS rubbish:
http://world.std.com/~buzzard/meatwars/ ... suddenly, not so
hungry: http://members.xoom.com/gnulix_guy/geek-gourmet/ ...
what he would have wanted:
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
the less rude http://www.ntk.net/tvgohome/ TV>> the last ever ADAM AND JOE SHOW (11.05pm, Fri, C4) in
this tired old format has to be, sadly, a good thing...
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (8pm, Fri, Sky One) reappears on
Sky soon after leaving BBC2, due to complex cross-licensing
deals... the evidently still-alive Jimmy Saville joins other
sinisterly well-preserved freaks on HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU
(9pm, Fri, BBC2)... and the cinema-to-terrestrial holdback
of just 13 months doesn't bode well for transsexual romace
DIFFERENT FOR GIRLS (9.35pm, Fri, BBC1) - still, it's got
Charlotte Coleman in it... with MAD MAX 2 (10.50pm, Sat,
ITV), PSYCHO (10.40pm, Sat, BBC2) *and* PSYCHOS (11.10pm,
Sat, C4) all scheduled against each other, does this make
EUROVISION (8pm, Sat, BBC1) the only sane choice?... well,
no - there's always above- average fake-news meteor drama
WITHOUT WARNING (10.45pm, Sat, C4)... only 7 months since
last showing on 1998-10-30; C4 clearly can't get enough of
MEN AND THEIR SHEDS (3.45pm, Sun, C4)... more Hitch peeping
out his REAR WINDOW (10pm, Sun, BBC2)... ITV's thinly
disguised Notting Hill promo FALLING FOR A STAR (10pm, Sun,
ITV) oddly coincides with another outing for
ultra-conformist toff-com FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL (9pm,
Sun, C4) - still, it's got Charlotte Coleman in it... and
FOR THE LOVE OF (2.05am, Sun, C4) repeats the one on Diana
Conspiracy Theories... Bank Holiday highlights are largely
restricted to THE GREAT ESCAPE (1.40pm, Mon, ITV) plus C4's
celebration of '70s homoerotic cop partners, STARSKY AND
HUTCH NIGHT (from 9pm, Mon, C4)... this past week has
already seen some rather more surprising "insights and
contributions from friends and ex-boyfriends" than expected
by SOPHIE: THE NEW PEOPLE'S PRINCESS (8pm, Tue, C5)... and
readers of "I Am Spock" will recall that NEVER FORGET
(1.10am, Tue, BBC1) is Leonard Nimoy's very own Schindler's
List... of course, the movie WIRED (1.25am, Wed, ITV) hasn't
got anything to do with the San Francisco tech mag; it's the
story of John Belushi's death through excess - though, then
again... that really is Charlie "Superkaylo" Brooker
presenting new On-digital tech show THE KIT (10.30pm,
Wed-Fri, BBC Knowledge)... Jonathan Ross presides over
idiotically titled panel game IT'S ONLY TV BUT I LIKE IT
(10.05pm, Thu, BBC1)... and despite being made by the same
folks as Vidz, it seems unlikely that the 3 "glamorous babe"
presenters of 4Later's video game round-up BITZ (12.15am,
Thu, C4) will be making the same liberal use of the phrase
"wanking with envy". Still, here's hoping, eh?...
FILM>> yes, everyone else reviewed it last week, but only
now can the rest of the country revel in toothless
paparazzi quipfest NOTTING HILL (MPAA: Rated PG-13 for
sexual content and brief strong language). It'd be edgier
if Julia Roberts was *actually playing herself* (you know,
like Jennifer Grey in "Like, You Know"), but instead it
features - get this - an unhygenic Welsh flatmate (tee
hee!), plus Hugh Grant as a posh bloke - who sometimes says
things that sound a bit rude!... otherwise, a notable lack
of complimentary poster quotes for lame half-term juve-trash
like MY FAVOURITE MARTIAN (imdb: based-on-tv-series /
kids-and-family / sequel)... uninspired animated musical THE
KING AND I (imdb: not to be confused with the upcoming Jodie
Foster remake of the same film)... and indeed by-the-book
Bob Hoskins quest-for-the-real- Captain-Birdseye odyssey
CAPTAIN JACK (imdb: also known as "An Inch Over the
RED BOOK AUDIO>> yeah, we know it's usually "Magazines"
around this point in the month, but frankly we've been
banging on about OFFICIAL PLAYSTATION MAGAZINE for months
now and it still doesn't seem to have had any effect... so,
pausing briefly to commend EDGE on its *two* specially
commissioned Wipeout 3 covers, designed exclusively by the
"Designers Rupublic" (p3, sic), plus FRONTIERS for surely
the worst "Science Of Star Wars" feature ever - "The Force"
is a form of psychokinesis, apparently - time again for more
real-life cases of pop eating itself... having convinced
ourselves that BRYAN ADAMS' "Cloud 9" is mighty close to Air
Supply's "Lost In Love", we're still a bit stuck on who
*else* girl cockney- rockers HEPBURN sound like on their
single "I Quit" - the obvious comparison being of course
"Bitch" by Meredith Brooks. Hey, maybe it's Dubstar... DOM
"THE DOMINATOR" MCCLANE meanwhile fingers JEWEL's
forthcoming "Down So Long" as a soundalike of Shawn Colvin's
"Sunny Came Home" (re-released in May 1998), inquiring if
perhaps other NTK readers might be interested in his DVD
reviews at http://www.sonicstate.com/ . Well, are you?...
but similarity-spot of the month goes to MARTIN FROST, who
thinks "When We Are Together" off the new TEXAS album is a
ripoff of "Science Fiction Double Feature" from The Rocky
Horror Picture Show, and that "Female Of The Species" by
SPACE takes almost all the backing from the Procol Harum
B-side "In The Wee Small Hours Of Sixpence". We must admit
we've never heard either, but why would he make it up?...
following NTK speculation [1999-04-23] over the copyright
in GERI SPICE's lower case "g", reader ED AVIS contends
that "actually, Geri's logo is copied from OpenBSD",
citing both http://www.dotmusic.co.uk/geri/bg.gif and
http://www.openbsd.org/images/openbsdpower.gif as proof...
a bit late on this, but we're pretty sure that DESERT EAGLE
DISCS are still the only upcoming hip-hop act to combine
the name of a popular Radio 4 show with that of an Israeli
firearm http://www.island.liu.se/~i97joajo/deserte.html ...
Now That's What I Call Music To Make Me Shoot My Classmates:
new from famed non-German Glaswegians ATARI TEENAGE RIOT,
noise nostalgia chaos "60 Second Wipeout" (RRP 16.99,
Borders 13.99) sounds almost exactly like long-lost demo
tapes of Mark E Smith yelling over experimental drum and
bass beats from 1992 with someone tuning in and out of John
Peel's punk guitar round-up in the backgroud. Still, over
13 tracks (plus live "Bonus CD"), it does eventually outstay
>> 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
"a bit techy... the best way to stay up to date
on new biscuits and cereals"
[.NET MAGAZINE, June 1999, p52]
NEED TO KNOW
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