_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "I can remember one occasion, taking a shower with my wife while
high, in which I had an idea on the origins and invalidities of
racism in terms of gaussian distribution curves,"
- CARL SAGAN provides rather more info than we required
....and a whole new meaning to "butt-head astronomer"
>> HARD NEWS <<
O'Reilly's OPEN SOURCE CONVENTION didn't end with a bombing,
which was a surprise - with the leading lights in Perl,
Python, Apache, and Sendmail all in the same hotel, sense
trigger-fingers in the Redmond silos must have been
twitching. Or else - every hacker's nightmare - they'd set
upon each other. Extending the invitation to speak to the
Emacs/GNU heartland to Bill "vi/Java" Joy didn't seem too
politic, for starters. And didn't anyone notice the start of
comp.lang.perl.misc's open season on Python programmers?
Even kindly Larry Wall shot off a few snipes, and given his
State Of The Onion theme ("chemicals") and the tear-gas
quantities of real chopped onion he released, you could see
it was only a short step to weedkiller and sugar. And adding
nitro to the glycerin: who invited Dave Winer? Proprietary
Dave set upon the free software like Carlos the Jackal at a
World Trade Organisation shin-dig. Open source, he
translated for Scriptiny News, was an "open sore", Brian
Behlendorf and co. were "dictators", ESR "an asshole", Perl
a "hacked-up language", and the "cheezy" Unix boxes in the
network room couldn't even do cut and paste properly (until
someone showed him how). Man, it was almost as if Tim
O'Reilly hired him to distract everyone from each other's
throats. Hey, wait a minute...
- Tom Christiansen gets an award: gnu.misc regulars caught with semtex
- "manifestly full of shit" - John Perry Barlow (who should know)
- if we had Xanadu you'd realise how out of context all these quotes are
Along with all the other cyber-terrorist organisations that
peddle their hate-speech on the Net of Fear, we're still
fascinated by crusading Sunday Times journalist, JONATHAN
UNGOED-THOMAS and his mission to get the hang of
fakemailing. He's almost cracked it now, we think, with
"email@example.com", who recently made contact with
those anarchist desperadoes The Legal Defence and Monitoring
Group. Ms Jones says she is "particularly violently opposed
to animal testing and genetically modified food", and "is
good with computers." Not quite good enough to go to the
LDMG's homepage, though, where she would have learned they
disbanded in October of last year. Double-plus, Ungoed - but
keep those e-mails coming!
- compare and contrast
- Ungoed's recent article. Note expertise provided by mi2g
- and respect for mi2g held by rest of world. (May 29th)
With reports that an outbreak of syphilis in San Francisco
was traced to users meeting via a AOL chatroom, it's not the
most auspicious week for AOL to launch NETSCAPE ONLINE, a
free ISP targetted at "single young men". Still, there's
even weirder vibes emanating from other side of the Netscape
alliance. Take the invite Silicon Valley residents received
this week, advertising a special seminar by by Carol
Montgomery-Adams, Vice President of Customer Loyalty at the
Sun/Netscape Alliance. Intrigued? Then be sure to RSVP to
the reply address: The Church Of Scientology, Palo Alto
Mission. Now, we're not ones to slag off the Scientologists
(for compelling legal reasons), but it'd be fair to say that
the last thing anyone can teach them about is ensuring
customer loyalty, no?
- You've got E-Meter
- You've got ... well, it's not mail...
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
TELETEXT radically mutates "Men Are From Mars" movie pitch:
- http://www.ntk.net/doh/990827mars.gif ... how do I get my
domain to "point to some web pages?" inquires net.veteran
DAVID BRAKE, on CIX... SEGA delay UK DREAMCAST launch for 3
weeks - till after creation of dedicated uk.* newsgroup?...
http://www.theweekly.co.uk now fortnightly... "If the rest
of this mail is in *computer language* [our emphasis], your
e-mail program is not capable of reading HTML mail" chirps
THE ECONOMIST's "Business This Week" newsletter... record
GCSE results - *again* (and only 3 or 4 deaths!)... CD-ROM
"loads up GREATXSCAPE onto your computer website", believes
http://www.telnetresidential.com/mainhtm/faqs.htm ... for
all our eyes only: http://www.colourspace.co.uk/ ... "spam
people to get traffic for your YAHOO store, but don't use
your Yahoo address to do so" is largely accurate paraphrase
of http://store.yahoo.com/vw/tracklink.html ...DAWN FRENCH
to voice cartoons featuring - fat women... BBC using GPS for
page formatting: http://www.ntk.net/doh/990827gps.gif ...
NTL pioneering "spit-second business" (- and first...?)
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Still reeling from the postponement of Boston's GEEK PRIDE
FESTIVAL from October to "Spring 2000"? Need *something* to
drag you away from TIBERIAN SUN? Fortunately, next Thursday
(7pm, 1999-09-02, University College London) sees the
inaugural event of the conveniently acronymed SAGE-WISE
(The "System Administrators Guild for Wales, Ireland,
Scotland and England"), with a talk on how there's more to
the job than just "making sure the printer is working and
that the boss' daughter can access the Web" (though, in
most places, that's a start). Admittedly, it's probably not
the BOFH fanclub the world has been waiting for; we just
like the phrase "System Administrators Guild" 'cos it
sounds like the "Spacing Guild" in Dune...
- unless they're face-dancers from the filthy Tleilaxu!
- Dune drinking game (if not a contradiction in terms)
- haven't updated their front page yet. The geeks.
- "[techies] acknowledge their contribution to our world"?
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
Normally we don't feature software we haven't actually
tried, but since TOTALLY MAD (Windows CD-ROM, US$70) is a
7-disc archive of 564 complete back issues of Mad Magazine,
we feel we *have* been incrementally testing this product,
over the course of the last 46 years. "High-quality images
of low-quality humor" are promised, letting you view pages
with "startling (and disturbing) clarity".
- "totally mad" = world's most depressing search term
And, sounding like it should be a parody, but isn't: Ayn
Rand meets Sim City is the theme of yet-to-be-completed
ATLAS SHRUGGED INTERACTIVE - a bold attempt to adapt the
famed libertarian tract into videogame form. The inventor's
got the rights already; he just needs a few programmers,
artists, actors, actresses to help finish the project.
Obviously this will be via the rational expression of their
individual "will to power" - not the ever-present spectre
of encroaching collectivism!
- excitingly, looks just like "Robotron X"
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
David "Angel" Boreanaz as new BATMAN... asking JEEVES: "are
you gay?"... "FLIP ME!", as they say in ITV-edited movies:
STARSHIP TROOPERS - the TV series... http://www.shush.com vs
www.shhh.com.org ... "some DIVINE INSIGHTS achieved":
(what, only "some"?)... nah, nah, CASSINI - missed us!:
http://www.ozemail.com.au/~loomberah/Cassini.htm ... AMAZON
PURCHASE CIRCLE for Ireland features handy how-to's: "The
Unified Modeling Language User Guide" (no 10), "Design
Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software" (no
7) and - no 1 with a bullet - "The Committee: Political
Assassination in Northern Ireland"... SUPERBUGS spreading
into wider population... "Over here, son - on me head!":
STREETMAP of the future http://visualroute.datametrics.com/ ...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> attention observational comedians: JERRY SEINFELD LIVE
ON BROADWAY (12am, Fri, BBC2) has "retired" all his old
material - why can't you?... catch Michel Gondry's
consummate camera trickery with Bjork, Massive Attack and
"Lucas With The Lid Off" in MIRRORBALL (1.40am, Fri, C4) -
but not that new Chemical Brothers one (or indeed "Music
Sounds Better With You"), which he made afterwards... and
some spurious anniversary seems to be the excuse for *yet
another* WORLD WAR TWO WEEK on C4 (from 7pm, Sat), plus the
BBC's backslapping celebration of themselves for employing
a DJ who knows a bit about music: JOHN PEEL NIGHT (from
6.20pm, Sun, BBC2)... Bank Holiday Monday perks up with two
hacking movies: the still-matchless WARGAMES (11.10am, Mon,
BBC1), and the franchise-killing SUPERMAN III (1.35pm, Mon,
BBC1)... BBC2 devotes a day to what it loosely describes as
"the weather" - including meteors, killer viruses, and THE
DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE (2.05pm, Mon, BBC2)... and C5
*must* be taking the piss with an entire afternoon themed
around THE OSMONDS (from 1pm, Mon)... no, the idea of
animated celebs having their problems solved doesn't sound
at all like US import "Ask Dr Katz", right down to
unconscious title-homage "All Aboard The *Cat* Bus" - just
one idea that wasn't funny enough to get its own series,
currently languishing in THE COMEDY LAB (11pm, Tue-Thu,
C4)... and surely when the "real world" docu-soap clips are
called REALITY BITES (12am, Tue-Thu, C4) in the Ben Stiller
film of the same name, it's *supposed to be ironic*. Oh,
FILM>> yes, we've already said more than enough about SOUTH
PARK: BIGGER, LONGER AND UNCUT (imdb: sequel / devil / war
/ visions-of-hell / vulgarity) - see VCD section for
technical review. Perhaps *too* big/ long etc, but when
you're dealing with history's rudest musical ever, that
kind of seems like nitpicking... plus, it's an unashamedly
original alternative to Eddie Murphy's epic convict comedy
LIFE (http://www.capalert.com/capreports/ : "Booze,
cussing, more cussing, some brutality, and bloody murder by
police. That's the first 56 minutes, anyway. And a couple
[of] homosexual suggestions. That's about all I can say
about the movie.")... or indeed Drew Barrymore's nerd
makeover Wedding Singer re-tread NEVER BEEN KISSED
(http://www.capalert.com/capreports/ : vulgar maneuvers;
adult female in teen boys' locker room ; inhuman cruelty
toward a "misfit" girl; posterior exposure - about 40% of
FERROUS PARTICLES' DAY OFF - TECHNICAL REMARKS ON CURRENT
VCD WAREZ, OBTAINED "FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY">> as
suspected by legions of downloaders, those big patches of
colour in SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER AND UNCUT compress very
nicely; our version had added advantage of Oriental- looking
subtitles that you can attempt to cross-reference with the
regularly repeated expletives... constant camera- movement
in THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT doesn't fare quite so well,
though no motion-sickness was reported, so that's one
advantage over the big screen... upcoming neo-Porky's comedy
AMERICAN PIE was slightly disappointing: proper aspect ratio
and no subtitles, but fuzzy picture, and muffled sound
distorting on louder scenes... pick of this bunch: a
subtitled EYES WIDE SHUT (1587M over 3CDs) - contrast way
better than some VCDs, sound near-perfect apart from barely
perceptible hum in (frequent) quiet, contemplative scenes.
Appears to be digitally censored US cinema print, comes in
professional-looking shrinkwrap with Chinese (?) text on it
plus catchy tag-line "After learning of his wife's
flirtatious behaviour, Dr William Harford goes on an odyssey
of his own"... in an (intended?) nod to the alpha-male of
gorilla tribes, the guy at the market called pressing-plant
output (like the Eyes Wide Shut copy) "silverbacks" to
differentiate from home-recorded CDROMS... conclusion:
certainly more reliable than pirate VHSs ("It's your
tracking, mate"), not too pricey to buy (usually UKP10 or 2
for UKP15) if you'd rather not pay for download times, and pay
no more than UKP35 for a PlayStation adaptor card:
http://www.surfers.demon.co.uk/stock.html >> 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
"given Internet Magazine 'some stick' in their time"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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