_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __1999-09-03_ o join! mail 'subscribe ntknow'
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "By the time we are done reading 2000 AD, we will have a
confident understanding of how today's world will not only
accept, but embrace the coming anti-christ."
- featured review of 2000 A.D. : ARE YOU READY? : How New
Technologies and Lightning-Fast Changes Are Opening the Door for
Satan and His Plan for the End of the World
...people taking that "Judge Child" saga a bit too literally
>> HARD NEWS <<
Ubiquitous publicity for Microsoft's new "blackmail.com"
feature for HOTMAIL, wherein the peace-loving Swedes uncover
that the password question hint for all accounts was
effectively "Password, what password?". A simple CGI exploit
blew Hotmail wide open - yet tragically, it still wasn't
simple enough the UK media to comprehend. Poor Vic Keegan at
the Guardian became an instant net.celebrity for his
assertion that "e-mail sent throught Hotmail differs from
most other e-mails because it is routed through the
internet" (big Fidonet fan, our Vic). Channel Five Teletext
simplified that whole confusing "e-mail" jargon by referring
to problems with "cyber posts". Online, Slashdot descended
into a strange loop of "HAHAHA! MICROSO~1 WINDOZE LAME!"/
"Actually, Hotmail uses Solaris"/ "HAHAHA! MICROSO~1 USE
SOLARIS!" posts. Oldbies declaimed smugly that they'd never
trusted Hotmail for vital mail anyway - then remembered that
it had all their shell passwords in its pop3 download
utility (View Source on the config form, suckers). Ziff Net,
among others, did an excellent follow-up on a new batch of
Hotmail hacks that had sprung up. These new exploits were
even simpler: for full Hotmail admin privileges, you just
e-mail your username and password to
email@example.com for admin
privileges and - DOH! In all the confusion, the real
culprits - Microsoft, remember? - managed to exit unharmed
through their own publicity backdoor. In the words of the
Guardian again: "If Microsoft - probably the company with
the greatest intellectual firepower in the world - cannot
achieve [security], then what can mere mortals do?". Not be
so fucking stupid as to engineer out the password checks in
their scripts, maybe? Just a thought.
- you want a real Microsoft security backdoor? Ask the NSA.
Look forward to an interesting month for press coverage of
the always nutty free ISP market. Let's get this straight:
EMAP's mags are heavily involved in the well dodgy
FREENETNAMES ISP (which offers you domain names for a fiver
with your login, on the understanding that they'll charge
you a fortune for moving it). They'll be far too busy
slagging off the online competitor BBC's utterly impartial
sponsorship of FREEBEEB to cover that story. And the
always-objective FUTURE PUBLISHING won't have space to cover
either - not without plugging *their* exclusive deal with
AOL'S NETSCAPE ONLINE service. Brings a whole new (and
opposite) meaning to the phrase "free press", doesn't it?
- that's free as in "free publicity", not as in "free beer"
- 94UKP to send an e-mail to Nominet? Banner ads? "Free money", too!
Was he in the bathroom? The master bedroom? The toilet? No,
but, after over two years of wandering the levels [NTK
1997-10-10], the current location of Matthew Smith,
reclusive genius behind Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy has
finally been determined. In a tell-all interview with
comp.sys.sinclair regular Peter Mella (and a drink-all pub
night with ex-Software Projects/Bug-Byte Chris Cannon),
Matthew exposes the truth and lies behind his decade-long
disappearence. FACT: He did move to a commune in Amsterdam.
FICTION: He never phoned up Caesar the Geezer to bemoan his
diminished status. FACT: He hasn't got a job right now, and
can't work on games because his PC isn't up to it. FICTION:
He doesn't want you to send him money, or offer him a job in
your multi-million business you'd never started, if it
wasn't for the addictive nature of POKE-ing his games. Get
to it, manic moguls.
- if they think he's the real thing, we're convinced
- "Not deed poll. I am Matt from Earth though."
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
EMMA NICHOLSON announces that government "moving from 16-bit
encryption to 32-bits" ... "Finland is home to Europe's most
virile men," according to study cited by LINUS ... CHINA.COM
nicks taiwan.com domain ... NETSCAPE, as ever, gives answer
to the wrong question: http://www.ntk.net/doh/990903yes.gif
... WWW.ALLTHEWEB.COM say it took them ten years to develop
their Web search engine (you can see how they'd get bogged
down pre-1993) ... MILITARY still struggling with CAPS LOCK
in disclaimers: http://18.104.22.168/ ... BBC WALES Online
Editor job "not for a techie", says ad (the BBC is an equal
opportunies employer) ... MICROSOFT lets their Commerce
Server speak for itself: http://www.ntk.net/doh/990903server.gif >> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Most fun you can have at next week's ECTS: asking awkward
Dreamcast questions at the SEGA stand. Suggestions so far
include: Why was the launch delayed to sort out the online
services, when there aren't any online-play UK games due
until April? (No, split-screen Sega Rally 2 doesn't count.)
Since the ad campaign trumpets a possible "six billion
players" worldwide, doesn't the incompatibility between Euro
and US/ Japanese machines make that an overestimate of, hmm,
about five billion? Is the DC browser really a) developed by
the Japanese and b) therefore "rubbish" (ie no RealAudio,
its own proprietary MP3 audio format, and a grasp of
cascading style sheets akin to NTK office fave, Netscape 3)?
And finally, have the Japanese in fact given up on DC
already, abandoned the much-touted WinCE SDK, and now
desperately hope the spurned Microsoft will buy up the tech/
company for their own CE network games machine when they
finally go under next year?
- still, JC "Mega" Herz should be there
- and will need 3D/CPU upgrades every 6 months
- Playstation marketing still contemptuously poor
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
Not quite the free local weekend calls everyone's hanging on
for (see NTKs passim), but sinister sounding price plan BT
TOGETHER will reputedly offer half-price national calls (and
1p/min local evening rate) from 1st October for a monthly
charge of UKP12. In an act of noble, self-sacrificing
generosity, it also triples the laughable new "allowance" of
one free hour of local weekend calls (per *month*) - obviously
less of a big deal if you're currently logging in through on
of those "shared" BT Internet accounts. Still, it's
fractionally more palatable than their other free calls
deal, currently trialling in Bristol and Newcastle: BT
FREETIME tempts users with up to 10 mins of free calls (per
*day*!), assuming you (and the person you're calling) can
tolerate amateurish local radio-style adverts every couple
of minutes. Data, faxes and calls to the operator are
understandably forbidden, but maybe there are still ways of
ringing up BT and making them listen to their own
- "easy to remember", says BT (ie more competitive with cable)
- hope the ads aren't all 3 minutes long...
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
more signs of the apocalypse: FUTURE to launch Linux mag ...
Attention. CARMACK has learnt Perl. This is not a drill ...
DAVID FURNISS quits DEMON ... YODA and BEEKER, DAVROS and THE
NUN: http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/log/sitcom.htm ... so why
is the MoD buying 100 copies of FONTOGRAPHER a week? ...
for all you Trekkie, Web-surfing, e-commerce crazy
technophobes: http://www.ludditereader.com/ ... protect us
from the AMISH threat: http://home.earthlink.net/~demainz/ ...
incoming PHRACK set for the End of File bug day, 9/9/99...
hope the THE BLAIR WITCH COMIC is written on bits of
leaves and bark: http://www.onipress.com/blair.html ... FAQ
jeopardy : http://www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/faq.asp ... honesty
in brochureware: http://www.fbn.bc.ca/index.html ... DUKE NUKEM
doing Monster Cable endorsements ... UINs have *credibility*?
http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=152398300 >> GEEK MEDIA <<
the less rude http://www.ntk.net/tvgohome/ TV>> something of a special week for fans of overblown
two-hour-plus movies, kicking off with Terry Gilliam's
hideously ham-fisted Terminator remake TWELVE MONKEYS
(9.30pm, Sat, BBC1)... THE SHINING (10.30pm, Sat, C4)
launches a Kubrick season that continues with an arty
"making of" promo for EYES WIDE SHUT (9pm, Sun, C4) and FULL
METAL JACKET (10pm, Sun, C4)... while THE BRIDGE ON THE
RIVER KWAI (8.10pm, Sat, BBC2) lays down supporting fire for
*yet another* WORLD WAR TWO NIGHT (from 6.05pm, Sat,
BBC2)... Keith "Cheggers" Chegwin presides over an ancient,
nobler way of settling European disputes in C5's revived
IT'S A KNOCKOUT (8pm, Fri, C5)... the BBC continues its
decline into prurient porn nonsense with daily strand ADULT
LIVES (from 9.40pm, Sun, BBC2)... season 7 of SEINFELD
(12am-ish, Mon-Thu, BBC2) returns in a near-daily slot -
Soup Nazi next week!... and Monday's pretentious epic is
Ollie Stone's NATURAL BORN KILLERS (11.10pm, Mon, C5);
Tuesday's INDEPENDENCE DAY (9pm, Tue, C5)... atrocities of
60 years ago at last get the ratings they deserve, as ITV
presents - we kid you not - THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN COLOUR
(10pm, Thu, ITV)... while this week's discouragingly
cable-friendly themes - Nazis and sex - come to a
spectacular climax in another of those worthily dull
editions of SECRET HISTORY (9pm, Tue, C4) entitled "Sex And
FILM>> the long-awaited alliance of Katie Holmes (House
Dawson's Creek), Scott Wolf (House Party Of Five) and Jay
Mohr (House Jerry Maguire) comes to impressive fruition in
pacey Swingers / Pulp Fiction / "Driver" on the Playstation
hybrid GO (imdb: black-comedy / grocery-store / independant
/ multiple-time-frames / revenge / scam / comedy / drama /
drugs / gay) - which turns out to have a plot at almost
exactly the same point that "Human Traffic" turned out not
to. Oh, and it's not particularly based around the current
Simon Lewis novel, Moby's 1991 techno hit,or the Japanese
board game of the same name... anyway, it's more fun than
John "Die Hard / Thomas Crown Affair" McTiernan's
ultra-violent Viking fest THE 13TH WARRIOR (capreports:
walls, piles, and pillars of bloody human skulls; rabblery;
child nudity; praying to many gods; implied intercourse by
cohabitation)... ageing hippy stand-in odyssey YELLOW
SUBMARINE (imdb: beatles / surreal)... or Tim Roth's
predictably hard-hitting child abuse whistle-blower THE WAR
ZONE (bbfc.co.uk: Passed '18' for adult theme, language and
PRO-CELEBRITY FEEBDACK>> ROB ROSENBERGER, maintainer of
"Computer Virus Myths", is so impressed with the far-seeing
predictions of not-at-all panic-mongering tech consultancy
MI2G [NTK 1999-08-27], he's devoted an entire page to them:
"We'll win the battle eventually," he confides in a
covering email - and we don't think he means the one
against Serb viruses, "e-bombs" and "cyber warfare
attacks"... both REBECCA EISENBERG and DAVE WINER seem
oddly pleased with their recent mentions [1999-08-06 and
08-27]; perhaps they have different inflections to "career
capping" and "manifestly full of shit" over there... and,
not waiting for us to insult him before getting in touch
this time, "Your zine is fuckin' great. This Ungoed-Thomas
thing kills me. I even read the lame British sci-fi TV
listings sometimes," enthuses BRUCE STERLING, who
(apparently) knows a thing or two about lame sci-fi... most
exciting of all for us fame-hounds at NTK was a missive
from SOMEONE AT NESTLE: "Much as we'd like to take the
credit for Mars's confectionery products," he confessed,
"Twix isn't one of ours" [see NTK 1999-08-20]. Nonetheless,
he did offer to look into a "Chunky Unix - then perhaps
offer it as a trademark to Sun, Hewlett-Packard et al"...
and finally, no sooner had STUART CAMPBELL contacted us to
promote his comprehensively career-spanning archive
http://come.to/worldofstuart/ than we stumbled across his
ideal headgear - at last, you, Stu, can "be" SPIDER
JERUSALEM: http://www.transmetropolitan.com/newsfeed.htm ...
>> 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 "related to Street of Shame?"
NEED TO KNOW
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