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- hard-hitting new ELSPA anti-piracy campaign
...offenders will be smacked, sent to bed without any dinner
>> HARD NEWS <<
Headlines on the banner-ad-tabloids this week: Wired took a
long hard look at Tech Company Perks (dental care schemes
vs. massages at selected Silicon Valley corps); ZD Net lead
with UK Website Accuses Other of Copying Site ("John Morris,
owner of JM Comms claims the HTML code on his site has been
'lifted' ... in such a way that a number of characteristic
spelling mistakes are still present."), and The Register,
rising gloriously above everyone else's desperation, went
headfirst into their revelation that "a little-used
newsgroup that calls for the annihilation of the Internet
has received a lyrical endorsement from a Net user in
Norway."News? There was no news. There wasn't even USENET
news. It's too hot in this hemisphere for news.
So the Evil Corporates, run (they say) with people like us
all, did what we all do now we're bored and hot and
crotchety: they quit the real work and futzed around the LAN
trying to crash one another's servers. AOL and Microsoft,
listlessly sizing each other up before their big cable
fight, settled on wasting time with ICQ, slapping the
protocol about like two schoolboys baiting a puppy to bit
the other. In steaming Seattle, jumpy young Microsoft
marketeers hurled a "sacrificial lamb" Webserver to the
Linux weenies milling outside the firewall. Pre-installed
with a Windows 2K beta, anyone was invited to hack into it,
provided they did so in "an interesting way". One noisy and
permanent crash later, Microsoft publicists emerged to blame
a rash of thunderstorms in the area. Which, you
have to admit, is a pretty interesting denial-of-service
attack if you can arrange it. But then, if you're
burning a sacrificial lamb out at Redmond, who knows
what Loa you're paging?
- well, *Somebody's* a Linux user
Whatever it was, it got around. SYMANTEC went down next,
with Peter Norton's still fresh face ground into the
bone-dry gutter, his laundered shirt foully sodden by
punks with a passing vendetta against the Brazilian
government. And GLOBALCENTER, whose services serve Netscape
and Yahoo, blew a router out in Arizona, trashing all that
eager e-business for a chunk of the long day. All
unconnected events: the usual cracks and crashes that make
up the noise under the news these days. But, there's natural
noise, and there's noise you make yourself. BOL.COM - "The
British Internet Bookshop", as it likes to call itself, or
Bertelsmann Online as the Evil Corporates spell it, chose a
quiet week - and a single hour - to give away 20,000 books.
A desperate attempt to poke their head above Amazon's brand,
but all publicity is good publicity right? Well, we hope so:
the screams of the straining servers, and the pain of
thousands of new users being introduced to BOL via the 404
page, certainly made a splash. Somebody new in PR just
learnt very publically about viral marketing, server load,
how to spell the names of their books properly, and the
- this is news? No. This is not even anti-news.
- our Bol Summer gallery, sent in by our still cool readers
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
"Jane Goodall condemns CHIMP CHANNEL", reports NY POST...
http://www.indianrailway.com/ trumpets unfortunate slogan
"Bringing People Together"... OUTLOOK doh, via Samuel
Beckett: http://www.ntk.net/doh/19990804outlook.gif ...
WHOIS hitlerdance.com ... EUDORA also lacks self-knowledge:
"[They] are using a technique similar to that used to
compress MP3 music files to produce a compact version of
Shakespeare" reports TIMES INTERFACE - what, lossy
compression? What do they do: delete the quatrains that
no-one bothers reading?... http://www.digiguide.co.uk/ lists
Gerry Anderson's UFO under "Documentaries"... new DUNE
channel authentic voice of Frank Herbert, aged 12... SUNDAY
TIMES believes Gates giving away entire fortune to cure
"malaria and AIDS"; Gates Snr begs to differ... taking the
security out of securities, REDHAT uses Matt's Script
Archive: http://www.redhat.com/cgi-bin/formmail ... USAF
genius "invents" black-hole strategy, calls it "infowar":
... DISNEY now unable to release films without nudity and/or
erections http://www.drudge.com/1999/08/080499.html ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
It lasts approximately two minutes, and has been described
as "the grandest sight in nature": yes, there'll be plenty
of rhapsodising over the bit where the planet blows up in
Defender at the CALIFORNIA EXTREME CLASSIC ARCADE GAMES SHOW
("Building 10", San Jose Town & Country Center, CA
1999-08-21/22). Admittedly, that is 2 weeks from now, but
maybe you can persuade someone to fly you out to SIGGRAPH
(LA, from this Sun 1999-08-08) and stay over. And for those
of us stuck in the UK, there's going to be some not-at-all
anti-climactic Cornish solar eclipse on Wed 1999-08-11: what
with water shortages, overcrowding and encouraging
Ecstacy-fuelled crowds to stare directly at the sun, it's
gonna be like Day Of The Triffids down there...
- "not synonymous with martial arts and gun violence". Aw...
- "My eyes! My eyes! Wow, these VR goggles really sting..."
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
"WE PAY YOU TO WATCH TV" chortles this (provisional) job ad
from a major UK TV channel, seeking a content editor to
maintain sassy but affectionate fan-style listings site.
Would suit responsible first-jobber with alarming enthusiasm
for off-beat TV, Web publishing proficiency and own copy of
Photoshop, Gimp or image-editing equivalent. Cheap but
entertaining reviewers also required. Candidates for both
should email email@example.com with: a brief CV; an
episode-guide-like summary of a late-night TV show you've
recently enjoyed (in 100-150 words); plus (ideally) URLs of
previous web-published material. Applicants for previous
NTK-advertised positions are encouraged to re-apply as we've
probably lost all your details by now.
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
STAR TREK - The Poems... "what service do you require -
police, ambulance, fire brigade, locksmith, plumber or
TAXI?" http://www.smi-group.co.uk/999/ ... capture the
excitement, if not the images, of aptly named Asteroid
BRAILLE: http://eis.jpl.nasa.gov/~mbareh/ACS/ ... DREAMCAST
launch titles include 3D Hedgehog Adventure, Giant Fighting
Teenage Headcases, Childish Computer Pet 2000, Super Generic
Driving Game, and one of those quirky Japanese "real life"
sims, Doorway Urinator XL5 ... when CS academics lose it:
... just when you had SCISSORS PAPER STONE all worked out:
ALEXEI SHULGIN'S 386DX has *left* the building... so who
else is going in for that BAFTA Comedy Award? Gex 3D? the
(now-defunct?) rant.co.uk? the iBook?... MEGADETH vs DUKE
NUKEM... LOCAL HEROES guy enjoys local "facilities":
http://www.hd.org/Damon/photos/toilets/ ... how you imagined
SF New Media Hip Hop would sound: REBECCA EISENBERG caps her
career with http://greenrocket.com/mp3/body_unfmix.mp3 ...
CAUTION - contents may have unsettled during transit:
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
the less rude http://www.ntk.net/tvgohome/ TV>> following last week's Withnail back-slapping, C4
continues to promote drug-taking and youth licentiousness
with its SUMMER OF LOVE season (from 11.05pm, Fri, C4),
harking back to the last time the CIA had to bombard the
population with hallucinogens to undermine a Democrat
presidency... watery-eyed Ray Liotta and - of course -
Lance Henriksen lead the futuristic convicts in faintly
homoerotic prison sci-fi NO ESCAPE (11.40pm, Sat, BBC1) -
contrary to the impression given by the cinema poster, the
full title was never "No Escape (From The Penal Colony)"...
and, according to our records, C5 previously scheduled
low-rent Men In Black rip-off THE SILENCERS (9pm, Sat, C5)
early last November - are they trying to tell us
something?... Kevin Costner, Ron "Bull Durham" Shelton
re-team to praise stubborn bad sportsmanship in above-par
golfing chuckle TIN CUP (9.30pm, Sun, BBC2)... a former
"George" from The Famous Five gets strung out on smack in
repeated kids' drama JUNK (10pm, Sun, BBC2)... BARCELONA
(12.45am, Mon, C4) is *another* 20something chat-fest from
Whit "Metropolitan/ Last Days Of Disco" Stillman... and
frankest title of the week goes to BBC2's impressively
fallible Nietzsche / Heidegger/ Satre profiles HUMAN, ALL
TOO HUMAN (11.15pm, Mon-Wed, BBC2)... THE MAN WITH TWO
BRAINS (9pm, Tue, C5) may be among Steve Martin's funniest
films - for what that's worth... hopefully it's that behind
the scenes repeat of misguided "style" mag Dazed And
Confused in "new series" UPSTARTS (11.30pm, Tue, C4)... and
the culmination of 2 days of pompous pop-science hyping
comes with the hour-long rotation of Jim Steinman's epically
over-extended metaphor TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART (11am,
Wed, VH1) - do not look directly at Bonnie Tyler; permanent
eye injury may occur...
FILM>> sub-Rugrats upgraded-from-video-release TV spin-off
DOUG'S 1ST MOVIE (http://www.capalert.com/ : adolescents in
a forest with no adult protection; adolescent arrogance
against a father's rightful dominion; adolescent underwear;
a Satanic symbol) - doesn't quite fit the Fisher Price-like
"My First Cinematic Experience" niche - unless your name
happens to be "Doug", of course... low-key London releases
for THE MATCH and PLAYING BY HEART (of which more next
week)... while Roland "The Killing Fields/ Scarlet Letter"
Joffe risks living up to the "No one's Ever Been So Good At
Being So Bad" tagline of intricate, trashy Wild Things-esque
neo-noir GOODBYE LOVER (http://www.capalert.com/ : adultery;
homosexual talk; female anatomy ghosting through clothing;
gamming; adult underwear; Ellen Degeneras [sic] - "a
homosexuality statement by itself")...
"FRINGE" WARES REVIEWED>> meaning we're not sure whether
this is a genuinely informed Edinburgh Festival round-up or
just another chance to plug another of our friend BEN MOOR's
quirky one-man shows; his concoction this year, "Poppy Day"
media spoofs with a parallel universe where even the
(autobiographical?) hero has a girlfriend. "Better than the
one with the old woman, not as good as the one with the
string", insiders reveal... apparently modified from the
surefire hit title "Iain Banks Sold Me Ecstacy" comes THE
CURSE OF IAIN BANKS http://www.trt.co.uk/curseofiainbanks -
"every time Iain Banks writes a book, another member of my
family dies". Yes, but does it also work with "M Banks" as
well - who, as everyone knows, is the talented one... typing
"multimedia", "internet" & "virtual" into the Fringe search
the usual parade of curiousities, including Sylvester "worst
Dr Who" McCoy performing BECKETT IN THE AFTERNOON; a play
called THE TRUTH by someone apparently promoting their own
"internet truth cult" http://graffiti.virgin.net/the.truth ;
gameshow satire DREAM.2000 - from theatre company Activated
Image, whose site http://www.activated.co.uk has neglected
to "activate" a few of their gifs here and there; and the
oddly unenticing prospect of a "virtual Richard O'Brien"
http://www.who-is-go4.com ... no Lee & Herring show per se,
though Richard is doing another of his plays, IT'S NOT THE
END OF THE WORLD (featuring Nostradamus); our final tip for
the Perrier-nominating big(ger) time goes to high-tech Spike
Milligan lookalike SIMON MUNNERY AS THE LEAGUE AGAINST
TEDIUM, for incorporating home-made video multimedia into a
thrilling new direction in stand-up fascism...
>> 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 "well, we know now"
NEED TO KNOW
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