_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "The bespoke chip uses full 128-bit architecture
throughout, meaning you get not just a four-fold increase
in speed, but potentially a 2^96 increase in subtlety..."
- king of understatement, STEVE BOXER, explains new
Playstation 2 CPU, Telegraph Connected, 1999-09-16
...yup, 2^96 (=79,228,162,514,264,337,593,543,950,336)
is *pretty fucking subtle*...
>> HARD NEWS <<
One week into his Net adventures, and it's still unclear
what kind of newbie TONY BLAIR is going to be. At the launch
of the government's new e-commerce push, he tapped
mournfully on a PC with just his index finger, spoke of his
"sense of humiliation" while watching Cherie use the Web
("who are you talking to, darling?"), and promised the
nation he'd take a course. But then, just like a newbie, he
immediately started lecturing everyone on how it all should
work. Also rather typically, he seems to be trying a
*little* too hard to impress the old guard - especially with
his choice of the new "E-Envoy", Alex Allan - ex-high
commissioner of Australia, ex-Demon user, and continuing
Deadhead. Very 1995 - but is he really one of us? Well, if
he isn't already, we reckon few blackmail notes regarding
the flagrant lyrics copyright violations on his Website
could "turn him", easy. Yeah, he's our warez king E-Envoy,
baby - and it freaks us out!
- oh, my. those Well "pern" are going to lap this up
- lyrics.gov.uk! lyrics.gov.uk!
- Visual Basic on Windows NT? Oh dear.
Meanwhile, in the good old Elite universe, it looks like the
trading between the systems of BELL (Anarchist, some trade
in medicinal plants) and BRABEN (Feudal Capitalist, major
export: buggy releases of Elite sequels) has broken down
completely. At the alt.fan.elite HQ, just outside Lave,
co-creator David Braben has denied that he idly shot down
Ian Bell's CIX Web site when he thought no-one was looking.
On the contrary, he says, he was on a special mission to
*help* Bell by inquiring whether Bell still held his half of
Elite's copyright. He innocently asked Cix whether Bell
really did have the legal right to offer binaries of the
old game on his site, and - booom - suddenly the ISP was
sending in the Vipers. Nothing to do with him, honest. So
why didn't Braben contact Bell directly, instead of via Cix?
Braben reports that Bell could not be reached - he doesn't
reply to e-mail hails, apparently, and is currently living
in some sort of unnavigable Witchspace where normal contact
is impossible. Odd, given that it took us less than two
minutes (via Cix's own "show resume" feature) to get Ian's
phone number and ask him ourselves. Nope, Bell said, Braben
had never e-mailed him about this. And no, as far as he
knew, no personal approaches have ever been made. The first
he knew about the matter was when "incoming legal missile"
sirens started wailing. So, who's the fugitive, and who's the
honest trader? Or have they - as it seems to the wailing
Elite fanboys - all been replaced by Thargoid agents?
- talk very cheap at this station
- Website in exile
Nice one BT, for managing to avoid any of those awkward
"major site security breach" headlines regarding the
WWW-to-SMS gateway at Genie , where for the best part of the
week, idle users could check out one another's messages by
just fiddling with the message numbers in the URL. You know,
you'd think that some of the cooler British cypherpunk
companies would be jumping up and down trying to publicise
this flaw. Oh, oh - but hold on: weren't those cooler
cypherpunk companies actually *working* on the contract?
- mentioning no nyms
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
"Can humans create life?" enquires SLASHDOT, apparently
unaware of step-by-step instructions on alt.sex.stories...
YAHOO ticker makes everything sound like terrific news
http://www.ntk.net/doh/990917wahey.gif ... QXL Website
announces share offer, falls over... more "accutate"
spellchecker needed at http://www.dyslexiauk.com/ ... "the
ideal Corporate Web Site usually contains approximately
6 pages, although this will differ according to the
corporations specific needs" reveals (page 3) of
http://www.weirperf.com/webdesi3.htm ... a little SIMPLER
than expected http://www.simple.net/ ... Pseuds Corner-ish
Wankometer-fodder http://www.augustone.com/company.htm ...
http://www.plagiarism.org/ steals cheat site meta-tags...
Amiga MCC FALCO - CEO Tom Schmidt explains: "Amiga was
never about a box. It was never about an operating system"
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1006-200-120890.html - was
never "about to ship" either...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
You don't think that the SCRAMBLING FOR SAFETY folks had a
tip-off about the new Blair-led e-commerce publicity drive,
do you? No, we imagine there must be entirely different
reasons for dropping a new conference (Scrambling for Safety
3.5) straight into the path of the government. Thursday
morning, 1999-09-23 is the date: Whit Diffie, Nicholas Bohm,
Ross Anderson, as ever, are on the side of anarchist
dystopian crypto terrorists, while Patricia Hewitt MP and
Steven Pride of the DTI take the side of pseudo-fascist
privacy-smashing US-funded spooks.
- must be a maintenance release
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
W3M is the rotationally palindromic acronym for text Web
browser "WWW-to-Miru" - Japanese for "See The Web". It looks
like a spankier Lynx (colourful, and with smarter frames and
tables rendering), but its history is as a HTML pager, so
it's trim enough to use as a file reader even when you're
not browsing remote machines. It starts quickly and with just
a few lost features (cookies, internationalisation) works
out at about half the size of Lynx, too. The mouse handling
is better too, with a useful right-hand-click menu, and - OH
COME *ON*, Lynx people! You were going to have to try
another browser EVENTUALLY. Quit bawling.
- oh, yeah: and what's your Japanese like, gaijin?
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
ANGER leads to: http://www.daveprowse.com/editorial.htm -
no comeback as yet from http://www.vader.org/ ... as
distasteful as it sounds http://www.bbcworldwide.com/smeg/
... stick a few trumpeter swans in it, and it becomes a
http://www.betterstarwars.com ... many PLAYSTATION 2
releases to be cheaply recompiled "upgrades" of Playstation
Classic games... see, they don't *all* have to be ONION
rip-offs: http://members.tripod.co.uk/cgreview/ ... "livin
la video card loca" http://www.bxboards.com/bitchin.jpg ...
Britain's THE QUEEN just switched from Solaris to Red Hat:
and doesn't the BEAST OF REVELATIONS hold "prior art" on
http://www.patents.ibm.com/cgi-bin/viewpat.cmd/US05878155__ >> GEEK MEDIA <<
the less rude http://www.ntk.net/tvgohome/ TV>> OK, so it's Chris "Aphex Twin, Neuromancer" Cunningham
on MIRRORBALL (12.40am, Fri, C4) *this* week... one of
Whoopi Goldberg's less irritating IRC action romances in
JUMPIN' JACK FLASH (11.05pm, Fri, BBC1) - followed by the
intriguingly renamed spag-bollocks Western A TOWN CALLED
HELL (aka "A Town Called Bastard")... while, sadly, C5's
late-night 1958 movie AUNTIE MAME (2.10am, Fri, C5) is not
about the various "offspring" of the Multiple Arcade Machine
Emulator... "You want the shouting? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE
SHOUTING!" implies Jack Nicholson of Tom Cruise in mildly
unpleasant military courtroomer A FEW GOOD MEN (10.10pm,
Sat, ITV)... launching a brief season of cult Saturday night
Leo DiCaprio shoots more than just hoops and heroin in THE
BASKETBALL DIARIES (10pm, Sat, C4)... and those lamers from
Trainspotting could have tried to make A LIFE LESS ORDINARY
(10pm, Sun, C4) a bit more watchable - at least compared to
the unauthorised biography of webdesign playboy Matt Jones,
as depicted in Greg Egan fave YOUNG EINSTEIN (5.50pm, Sun,
C5)... oddly, two separate docus on "birth order" on
consecutive days: EQUINOX (9pm, Mon, C4) and the
defensively-titled ME FIRST (9pm, Tue, BBC2)... don't know
what kind of trade descriptions made them take the "Comedy"
out of THE MARK THOMAS PRODUCT (11.05pm, Tue, C4)... and Sky
subscribers will already be setting aside midweek quality
time for not just the UK debut of FUTURAMA (8pm, Tue, Sky1),
but also series 3 of STARGATE SG-1 (8pm, Wed, Sky1) *and*
short-lived movie spinoff TOTAL RECALL 2070 (9pm, Wed,
Sky1), in which presumably the lead character goes on a
different memory- wiping adventure each week, but every time
it all turns out to be - a dream!...
FILM>> presumably it's the backs of Kirsten Dunst, Kirstie
Alley and Denise "Starship Troopers" Richards on the poster
for erratic bad-taste beauty-pageant mockumentary DROP DEAD
GORGEOUS (http://www.capalert.com/capreports/: vulgar
gesture; teen underwear; long series of camera angle to
focus viewer on private regions of teen females; strong
thread of likening "Christian" to guns; many subtle and
disguised comments regarding superficial and off-target
love for the Savior). It does include the monologue from
Soylent Green, yet does not appear to be based around the
Republica song of the same name... still, probably more
(intentional) laughs than distasteful Travolta army
thriller THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER (imdb: rape / military) -
repeated shots of naked corpse staked to ground may
"attract wrong element"... or Anthony Hopkins going native/
to jail in Cuba Gooding derivative monkey weepie INSTINCT
(http://www.capalert.com/capreports/: prison ugliness;
violent beatings to escape lawful custody; nudity of a
third-world child; party drinking ; muffled words of foul
language; dog threat)... otherwise there's the usual
limited release arthouse efforts: non Star Wars spinoff THE
TRENCH (imdb: English), Charlotte "Marmalade Atkins"
Coleman politico-romance BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (imdb: comedy),
plus Van Damme redux in UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: THE RETURN
(http://www.capalert.com/capreports/: human form on fire;
punk music and dress; changing clothes in a car; nude bar
brawl scene with multiple full nudity; murder by gunfire to
head and body; murder by strangulation; murder by
electrocution; murder by explosion; murder by fire; murder
by neck break). Apparently, not as good as the first one...
BUMPER BONERZ BONANZA>> thanks to everyone who realised that
we meant *Simon* Singh's THE CODE BOOK [NTK 1999-09-10]
rather than "David Singh's THE CODE", though only regular
steampunk correspondent, TOM STANDAGE (ESQ.), appeared to
have actually read it, commenting "very good - even if it
does get Babbage's Analytical Engine and Difference Engine
No.2 in a twist"... in that same paragraph, we also gave
the date of Birkbeck lecture "Renaissance Cryptography and
Johannes Trithemius" as 6pm, 1999-09-10 - as keen-eyed
ROGER BURTON WEST pointed out, allowing readers a "generous
43 minutes to get there". In fact it's on at 6pm today; the
clock is ticking... NIAMH FOLEY objected mildly to our
"WANKOMETER needs upgrading for these guys" comment re
http://www.labyrinth.ie/approach.asp [NTK 1999-09-10],
revealing that she was a) a "gal", and b) on a "coffee
high" when she wrote it... SCRIPT_KIDDY makes a rather more
urgent observation, requesting "Please append ::$DATA to
all URLs you publish ending in .asp", believing that we
have some sort of knack for "for picking just the
vulnerable ones" - http://www.labyrinth.ie/login.asp::$DATA
, say. If you, the readers, agree, then why not start a
petition on your website (or someone else's)?... EMAP's
ROGER GREEN (rightly) questioned what evidence we had
linking EMAP to Freenetnames owner ITG [NTK 1999-09-03] -
will http://www.itg.co.uk/new/emapmetro.htm do?... and
finally, JOHN HARTNUP argues that "only the chorus" of
S Club 7's new single sounds like The Spice Girls' "Say
You'll Be There", advising that "The verse sounds like
'Check It Out' by the Stereo MCs". ANTONY ESPINDOLA went on
to list 3 more points of similarity between the bands:
they've got the same manager (Simon Fuller); the video's
the same; and they're "doing a film" which "[quote] 'will
be about us as a gang and what we get up to'". NTK regrets
that this correspondence is now closed...
>> 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
"Mini-NTK postponed due to too much time"
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