_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "An *operational* Dalek from the television programme Dr Who
fetched UKP6,670 yesterday at an auction of memorabilia..."
- "News In Brief", 1999-08-19, DAILY TELEGRAPH (our emphasis)
...SOLD! to the squawking, grey-faced man on the knobbly silver podium...
>> HARD NEWS <<
We didn't make it to last week's SECONDARY DNS (it's okay,
we've got last year's cached somewhere). But why bother,
when the ongoing trend of Hackers Do Press Packs is still
alive and kicking? In the traditional cannily-worded, yet
alternatively-spelt press release, the kids revealed to the
Proper Media that both the Royal Mail and the Scottish
Executive sites are running exploitable versions of
Microsoft IIS. "These weaknesses will eventually be
exploited", they say, slowly so that everyone can
understand, "by criminals, terrorists and other enemies of
the UK". Or a bunch of script kiddies, depending on
reads the conference notes first. The Royal Mail
responded quickly with a statement that security patches
were put in place "in the last year" (in other words: the
day after DNS e-mailed them with the details). And the
Scottish Executive? Oh, we're sure they'll get around to it
sooner or later. A few minutes too later, if past experience
is anything to go by.
- white "kiss me quick" hats
- naked girls, naked guys, naked SERVERS...
It's always nice when someone decides to join the Anarchist
Internet Conspiracy. Imagine, then, the interest at the UK's
Earth First! Action Update when Jo, a "committed
environmental and anti-corporation activist", e-mailed to
ask how she could get involved in future campaigns like J18,
which she "really enjoyed". Particularly intriguing was the
Hotmail address that "Jo" sent her request from: "Jonathan
Ungoed-Thomas" <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Could Jo be somehow
related to JONATHAN UNGOED-THOMAS of the Sunday Times, whose
recent work has included a searing expose on how "J18
activists" have become "cyber-terrorists", "trained in
hacking techniques to attack the computer networks of banks
and financial institutions"? Amazing that a journalist so
well-versed in infowar didn't realise that creating a fake
hotmail account involves putting a false name in the sign-up
form. Still, he is learning. Previous Ungoed-Thomas pleas
have come from "Laura", who contacted eco-advocate George
Monbiot offering her assistance as a "committed
anti-corporatist". That time, the canny Laura e-mailed her
kind offer directly from Jon's Sunday Times work e-mail:
Jonathan.Ungoed-Thomas@sundaytimes.co.uk. Jonathan - get out
of the building! Those cyber-terrorists are IN THE ROOM WITH YOU!
- more biting-the-hand-that-feeds-us coverage
- sneaky double agent "Laura" poses as journo from Sunday Times!
And with paranoia at an all-time high in the news, we
sincerely hope there's no connection between the flash
floods that hit Las Vegas during Defcon, cyber-terrorists,
DNS con, and this week's three-storey flooding of DEMON's
headquarters at Gateway House. Demon blamed the fire
service, but hell, if "They" have infiltrated the Post
Office, Scottish Office, the Sunday Times and Global Climate
Control, who can you trust? Incidentally, kudos to Demon for
managing to maintain all their network services during the
attack. Everything was back to normal by Wednesday,
in time for Demon's POP servers to fall over entirely
of their own accord. Normal service, indeed.
- insert "devil and deep blue sea" joke here
- "smiting" is *so* Old Testament; now He re-routes DNS
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
"LINEONE says portals are future for ISPs" reports this
month's PC DIRECT (special 1997 retro edition)... presumably
it kept melting in the post: http://www.baskinrobbins.com/
... in NME interview, MEL C concedes Spice Girls "partly to
blame for... much shit"... singer/ guitarist of yelping
Scots popsters BIS sustains "horrific injury to his
testicles" (ibid)... in accordance with NTK prophecy
[1999-07-16], PSX and N64 down to 80UKP... KANSAS CITY STAR
illustrates National Clown Week with pic of John Wayne
Gacy... one connection that'll make you say "JESUS" at
http://www.jesusconnection.org/guestbook.html ... JARED
DIAMOND believes German beer industry inefficient relative
to American: neglects obvious "tastes less of piss"
rejoinder... Falco: NETSCAPE SERVER... amazon.gr accuses
AMAZON.COM of hacking, claim "they pinged our banners"...
DAVID BRAKE posts *another* animal sex URL to SILENT
... "This site is not yet on the worldwide web" reckons
http://www.whsmiths.co.uk/ ... if this car was any less AUDI,
it'd be a FORD: http://www.ntk.net/doh/990820topgear.gif ...
record A-LEVEL results - *again*... rude replies to: "what
is a security BACK DOOR?" at http://www.askjeeves.com/ ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Now in its third year (as we are), and we're getting a
bit bored of plugging THE MIND SPORTS OLYMPIAD, next week
from tomorrow 1999-08-21 at (appropriately enough) Olympia
Conference Centre, London. With a few exceptions - "Creative
Thinking", "Mental Calculations" (but no sign of 1997's
"Computer Programming" contest) - it's just a load of silly
board games: Backgammon, Bridge, Chess, Countdown, Scrabble,
and "Skat" (assuming that's not the art of irritating jazz
rapping). Why no genuine real-life skills, like Quake or
- or a "Scanners" stare-out to make each other's heads explode?
Probably more brain-stretching at the first ever UK
SKEPTICS' PICNIC, this Sun 1999-08-22 at Clarence Gate,
Regents Park, London (near Baker St Tube). "Bring your own
food, drink and homemade UFO," they advise. "A prize will be
offered for the UFO that flies the furthest." According to
the site, chief unbeliever Wendy Grossman recently appeared
on "This Morning" unsealing a "cursed box" claimed to bring
death to all who open it...
- hope she doesn't mix it up with all the hampers...
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
Well, it's old news in some sense, but then when you're
discussing updates to the SINCLAIR QL platform, anything in
the last decade is a bit of a scoop. The Q40 is a *red-hot*
new implementation of the QL hardware, using Motorola's
blistering 68040 40Mhz microprocessor, to attain speeds
comparable with a 1995 68K Macintosh - plus it runs all your
favourite QL software, such as... umm... SBASIC, and ah..
oh, all that Psion office stuff, we guess. RRP for the QL40
is 330UKP, merely twice the cost of a second-hand Macintosh
LC475. The machine has been around for a few months, but the
latest news is that the ongoing reimplementation of the
cutting-edge QL operation system, QDOS, now supports full
audio. And does it run Linux? To which the answer is "hell,
yes". Followed by a muted scream.
- QDOS floppy disk support! Up to 32MB of RAM!
- world domination, one micro-platform at a time
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
BRION "LEON" JAMES' incept date kicked in last week... YES!
YES! GOD! YES! http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/lmstorms/ ...
SNUFF IRC: http://www.giggage.com/scott/ ... Nazis bombed a
lot of cemeteries - to prevent allies creating ZOMBIE ARMY?
memo to Jerry Hall: you know PAUL ALLEN likes his "slashes"
the "wrong way around", don't you?... SKOOLDAZE '99 out for
it's playing "Yankee Doodle" on the TRS-80 all over again:
http://jya.com/tempest-cpu.htm ... retro-emulate THIS:
http://www.gameandwatch.com/ ... Kevin Smith's Christian-
baiting DOGMA due for UK release on Boxing Day... Calista
Flockhart and Diablo skellingtons? As sick as ZDNET gets:
... ROSS ANDERSON researches back-up sources of funding:
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/lottery/lottery.html ... THE
BEWITCHED PROJECT: http://home.att.net/~chmilnir/bewitch/
... and which frickin' website was DR EVIL referring to:
http://www.sh.com/ or http://www.shh.com/ or what?...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
the less rude http://www.ntk.net/tvgohome/ TV>> hard-faced Michelle Gellar takes encouraging steps back
towards her old, cuter haircut, but still bites off the
funny lines in neato long-take series 3 opener of BUFFY THE
VAMPIRE SLAYER (8pm, Fri, Sky1)... pop-promo profile
MIRRORBALL (12midnight, Fri, C4) reflects on Jonas "Smack My
Bitch Up, Ray Of Light, My Favourite Game" Akerlund... Jean
Claude Van Damme uses the excuse that he's some sort of
TIMECOP (9.30pm, Fri, BBC1) to nip back and marry Ferris
Bueller's girlfriend... and nice set pieces (and chess
pieces - spoofed by Austin Powers 2) but not much else in
archly scheduled '60s style-over-content soundtrack vehicle
THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (3.30pm, Sat, ITV)... C4 seems to
have kept those "Vidz" blokes away from BRUCE LEE WEEKEND
(from 10pm, Sat, C4), including arguably the best comic
adaptation of the '90s, THE CROW (10pm, Sun, C4)... Holly
Hunter, Sigourney Weaver swap psychotically large email
attachments with Harry Connick Jr in sub-Silence Of The
Lambs serialer COPYCAT (9.30pm, Sun, BBC1)... since VIDEO
DIARIES (11.45pm, Sun, BBC2) normally only lasts 5 minutes,
would it be cruel to point out this one - by a stammerer -
takes 50?... and a female video game designer hacks bank
accounts in promising sounding '80s cybertrash THRILLKILL
(2.35am, Mon, ITV) - nothing, it appears, to do with the
cancelled Virgin beat-em-up (widely available at a warez
streetmarket near you) or the band "My Life With The Thrill
Kill Kult" of nearly the same name...
FILM>> annoyingly, we couldn't get any preview VCDs of
unhurried, unrequited prodigy-on-the-loose overachiever
comedy RUSHMORE (http://www.capalert.com/capreports/ :
arrogance against fair authority; hatefulness and vengeance
between minors and toward adults; using bees to effect
vengeance; starting a leaf fire on school property) - but
with all the "quirky" reviews plus the incomparable Bill
Murray, we're hoping for Good Will Ghostbusting or
something... some surprisingly good stuff around this week:
John "Die Hard, Last Action Hero" McTiernan's flashy
idle-rich thriller THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (imdb: art-thief
/ billionaire / businessman / insurance-agent / museum /
remake) - a superior remake of that famously ancient heist
romance "Entrapment", released earlier this year... Robert
Altman's chirpy Deep South suicide ensemble COOKIE'S FORTUNE
(http://www.capalert.com/capreports/ : insane behavior; lies
to implicate another; inappropriate touch; hateful talk of
the deceased; graphic suicide by gunshot to head) is fun if
you can stay awake through it... of course Hugh Grant's
"Notting Hill" meets "The Sopranos" lame duck MICKEY BLUE
EYES (imdb: mafia) is terrible... but biggest disappointment
lurks in Katie Holmes cut-to-ribbons Stepford teens drama
DISTURBING BEHAVIOUR (imdb comment: "I always take time to
watch the movies of Dawson's Creek stars"), despite a script
by Scott "Con Air, Things To Do In Denver" Rosenberg -
nothing to do (we think) with the Salon correspondent of
exactly the same name...
FOOD COURT>> some extraordinary accusations flooding in from
shocked witnesses all round the country, including the
limited edition return of your dad's CADBURY'S AZTEC (40p in
a fancy food shop in London) - "based on an original
Cadbury's recipe" (ie basically a Mars bar)... following
their "giant polo" treachery, NESTLE are re-introducing
pudding corner offshoot MINI SMARTIES to the confectionery
counter: 49p for pack with "over 101 inside" - actually an
oddly over-engineered giant plastic smartie that twists
open, revealing a small orifice through which the smarties
queen can birth her tiny offspring directly into your
mouth... and, most heinously of all, the CHAMPAGNE
CRUNCHIE (35-37p) "with the flavour of a splash of bubbly" -
ie covered with foul mini-liqueur-type chocolate (officially
it's "Sparkling White Wine" flavour to stop them getting
sued by wine-lovers, the French etc)... plus, have NESTLE
considered rebranding the single-finger TWIX as "Unix"?...
never mind the new GOLDEN GRAHAMS CD giveaway: Sainsbury's
are bundling a disposable KODAK ADVANTIX CAMERA (UKP8.99)
with a free "Instant Barbecue", appealing to that vast
demographic who don't buy cameras because they don't have
any outdoor meal events to photograph... KELLOGGS' new
CEREAL AND MILK BARS (25p each) aren't bad at all, despite -
or perhaps because - the "milk" takes the form of a curious
white-chocolate coating, not a runny centre. Available in
Frosties, Coco Pops and new Sugar Puff-alike "Smacks"
variants - though, The Grocer points out, kids aren't going
to pester their parents "Can I have a Smack please?"... and
finally, some just-announced sci-fi survivalist treats for
the coming Christmas Millennium: after being named "Official
Supplier of Confectionery to the Millennium Experience",
MARS are launching a giant 2kg CELEBRATIONS selection in a
transparent, Dome-shaped bowl (price TBA) - the ideal target
for NESTLE's missile-shaped TIME CAPSULE (UKP4.99) and its
fun-sized Kit Kat payload... but it's left to PETTY, WOOD -
makers, we think, of the official Barney and Action Man
Advent Calendars - to really push the envelope with their
CHOCOLATE RUSSIAN ROULETTE, whose "spinning gun" mounted on
the box lid can point to one of 11 praline-filled chocs or
the one containing "red-hot chilli" - perfect for settling
those tricky "who lives, who dies" disputes in *your*
family's Y2K bunker...
>> 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 "Geekmedia's gone too."
( http://antinews.com/xtc/ )
NEED TO KNOW
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