_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __1999-11-05_ o join! mail an empty message to
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o email@example.com
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v v / o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Little did he know that applications such as online
auctions, MP3 or network gaming would come about and change
the face of the Internet forever, despite being virtually
unknown and technically impossible only a year ago."
- EVA PASCOE, The Independent, 1999-11-01
... actually, finding MP3s has been "technically impossible" since 1996
>> HARD NEWS <<
So it seems we've now spent over 200 man-hours redialling
the CallNet registration line, kept sane only by elaborating
our revenge fantasy of arranging a date between the
CallNet0800 hold lady and That Turkish Guy. But we've spent
that time growing wiser, stronger, more... clueful. Rather
than a NAG-centric piece of work as we thought last week,
they do say the 0800 system is mainly a World CallNet
operation. It's got upstream bandwidth from NAG, C&W, AT&T,
and Cybernet, with outs at Lynx, LoNAP and Manchester and
(via NAG) Telehouse NY. Yes, they will throttle
registrations when the lines start doing a Screaming.Net.
And lest we sound too positive - and we're always too soft
on ISPs that turn out to be managed by NTK subscribers - we
still think that they're going to hit that limit a damn site
quicker than they thought, and we're *still* coming up with
horrendous abuse scenarios that could push demand even
further. Plus we have no idea what their business model
could be, apart from praying for a swift kick to that NASDAQ
share price. Oh, hell, let's ride it for as long as we can, hey?
- 0800 058 0800 this is worse than when everyone
- 0800 058 5855 thought we were in the pay of Freeserve
- 0800 058 5555 *and* we don't have an account yet. damn
If Internet time is measured in femtoseconds, government
crypto time continues to grind away in terms that make
geological epochs seem a bit flighty. So, if you're still
with us, here's where it's at. The DTI Select Committee
report on the Electronic Communications Bill slid out last
week, stating the obvious: that it still smacked of key
escrow, and trying to prove you never had a decryption key
[see NTKs passim] was, while nothing like what some
"hysterical" commentators were gabbling [qv ibid], still
damn iffy if you asked them. Two conclusions of the report
were clutched at glacial pace by the DTI. Firstly, that the
spook-led wiretapping clauses should be punted off to the
Home Office's own Interception of Communications Bill (the
DTI duly leaked to the FT their intention to do just that).
And secondly, that the industry should hurry up with their
own self-regulatory crypto code of practice. Cue the latest
DTI fall-gal Patricia Hewitt trying to scare the Alliance
for Electronic Business board into action. Fine: but short
of turning in all their private keys to the spooks, what are
we supposed to be regulating again?
- hurry ... up ... you ... e... business ... slouchers...
- Patricia Hewitt: "twitchy"
- inoculated! no returns!
Talking of wiretaps, how exactly did CHANNEL FOUR NEWS
manage to "intercept e-mails" which revealed an impending
cyber-attack on News International, planned by
cyber-terrorists for their city-shaking November 30th
cyber-riots? Might they have been obtained for them,
perhaps, by one Mr D.K. Matia, star witness of Monday's
item, and employee of - you guessed it, conspiracy
rentaquotes MI2G [NTK 03/09/99]? You know, we don't want to
sound like we're scaremongering, but MI2G seem to know an
awful lot about these Net anarchists. And given that there
were only 2000 hits on www.n30.org at the time, and no UK
contacts, there surely can't be many other people who
*could* be the British masterminds behind this Global
Internet Menace. Yes, we'd definitely keep a close eye on
these people. Especially if we were a gullible member of the
proper media with a gap to fill in the schedule.
- "Who was behind such an international uprising?"
- "The answer was no-one"
- MI3G and *two* NTK employers... how could we not put it in?
- more made-up news
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
* SPECIAL "NO KEVIN WARWICK" MEDIA BLACKOUT EDITION *
NT error of the week: "Insufficient disk space to delete
file" ... THE SUN's two-step guide to online news gathering:
http://www.ntk.net/doh/19991105sun.png ... TONY BLAIR
promises to make Net access "as cheap as a local phone
call", says MIRROR - and we all know how cheap that is ...
LINUX ANSWERS editor says site *doesn't* crash Linux
browsers (and, anyway, it's fixed now) ... LINUX ANSWERS editor
quieter on the whole LINUX ANSWERS Website running on NT issue
... BT's http://www.comeback.bt.com/ reconnect number
gets disconnected ... WATERSTONES starts previewing books
due in 1900 : http://www.ntk.net/doh/19991105water.png ...
TIMES INTERFACE claims "56K modem can transfer 56 kilobytes
of data per second ... "An English message will not be
understood by the growing number of non-English Web users",
reveals NUA ... you don't want to know what OS your plane is
running: http://www.ntk.net/doh/19991105virgina.jpg ... and
you thought REAL'S Jukebox was privacy busting:
... "Security is our only business", say ADT:
http://www.adt.com/3bussec/medco_action.cfm::$DATA says not
... LINUX ANSWERS editor not commenting on
http://www.ntk.net/doh/19991105la.jpg name-calling ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
It's time to uninstall those installations and hastily
unplug the pirate radio stations: the CLINK STREET kids are
quitting their all too temporary autonomous zone.
Yes, Backspace (and the associated AudioRom and Coldcut
satellites) are being evicted, and to commiserate, there'll be
an orgy of critical self-examination with film show and food
called <BLINK>, tonight at 1999-11-05. Fireworks will no doubt
play a part, but instead of the usual audience going "ooh,
ahh", expect more "yes - I see - how very ingenious" over
the gentle rustling of stroked goatee-beards. Meanwhile,
VXSLAB are putting on a party at the Clink-in-exile, THE
FOUNDRY, next Wednesday 1999-11-10. Entertainments will
include "geek DJs, live MIDI and Perl poetry". All sounds
eerily familiar, but hey that's life in the avant garde,
- last one to leave, close the bloody tag
- no RMS though, the lamers
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
There's some very tortuous "GIF awk" joke under the surface
of today's "Burn All GIFs" protest, but you won't find it
here, because WEB2PNG is written in Python. It's a utility,
written by ESR and included in his GIF2PNG distribution,
that'll romp through your Web directories and optimise away
any of those evil patent-law-suite-beckoning GIFs, replacing
them with deliciously topical PNGs. As if you hadn't
guessed. We're going to wait just a leetle bit longer (until
those non-PNG compliant browsers die off a bit more, and we
can work out how to do animated PNGs) but, hell, if *you*
did that too where would you be? Looking down the wrong end of
Eric's .45 when the revolution comes, that's what.
- consider that to be your final warning and or resting ground
Official NTK policy is that if you're not reading this in
its definitive, non-proportional e-mail form, you're a
fricking girl. And all the best fricking girls these days
have a Palm, so JUSTIN MASON has been kindly running the Web
page through his brilliant sitescooper (aka snarfnews)
program, and dumping the results for download at his site.
NTK is available in DOC and iSilo formats, as are all kinds
of other girlish, lavender-smelling Websites you may want to
read, like The Register and the Linux Weekly News. And "Dr
Koop's Health News".
- it's unnatural, we tell you
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
ZDNET UK get threatened with writs from *two* top Linux
hackers after blurting off-the-record business plans online
... porn Prisoner parodies ... being sentenced to online
community service ... Wrestling surveys : this time it's
very personal http://www.wcwmayhem.com/hack2.html ... Telcos
tell customers not to pick up the phone at 00:01, 2000-01-01
to "see whether they're still working" ... COMPUTERGRAM vets
leave to form "new media company" ... ATLAS SHRUGGED - the
TV mini-series? ... slamming meets trolling meets JOY meets
RMS: http://x34.deja.com/=dnc/getdoc.xp?AN=542860398 ... E:
just say no - http://www.persistence.com/e-nough/ ... 11
O'Clock Show's http://corrdev6.smallpla.net/cgibin/alig.pl
vs DIGBY's http://www.spinnwebe.com/todd/ ... Debuggles:
http://www.boo.com/default2.htm - as if Flash wasn't evil
enough, View Source ... unique approach to credit card
transactions: http://www.omo-norma-kamali.com/celebfrm.htm ...
>> GEEK MINI-MEDIA <<
get out even less
TV>> Despite the deceptive spelling, PYRATES (00:35, Fri
night, BBC1) isn't an Iain Softley-style take on the warez
scene, but a Kevin Bacon arson comedy... Sky One suspends
normal, American, programming for the weekend, instead
celebrating all forms of televisual Australiania - Mel
Gibson guests in a new SIMPSONS (18:30, Sun, Sky1) and, not
being a station that could be accused of cheap
cross-promotion, the gala opening of Fox Studios
Australia... After only a few minutes of Schumacher's Dark
Knight in BATMAN FOREVER (22:00, Sat, ITV) you'll be
scrambling for the Lament Configuration of HELLBOUND:
HELLRAISER II (23:05, Sat, C4)... which of these two sounds
more like a TVGoHome entry? C4 examining testicular problems
in EMBARRASSING ILLNESSES (20:30, Tue, C4) or AIRBORNE
(21:00, Tue, C5) - a Steve-Guttenburg-action-vehicle?...
proof that even if you've got a Michael Crichton script
peppered with gratuitous tech references and a cameo from
Bruce "Ash" Campbell, it's still not going to distract
anyone from the fact that CONGO (22:30, Wed, BBC1) just a
really bad monkey movie. Bad monkey!
FILM>> Majestically dull, effects-free kiddie frightener THE
SIXTH SENSE (imdb: fear / supernatural / twist-in-the-end)
is released this week, featuring Bruce Willis in his least
violent role since "Look Who's Talking", a patently obvious
"twist" and, as http://www.capalert.com/capreports/ points
out, "a child in underwear urinating"... C4-funded EAST IS
EAST (imdb: comedy) is like "Goodness Gracious Me" meets
"The Grimleys" - but in a good way... Robin "no beard"
Williams' JAKOB THE LIAR (http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : "Passed
'12' for moderate violence and wartime horror") looks like
it's "Life Is Beautiful" meets "Good Morning Vietnam",
but'll mostly be remembered as headline fodder during the
forthcoming useit.com backlash... and THE OUT OF TOWNERS
(capalert: transvestism / *more* urinating in public) tries
to recapture the magic of "Housesitter" by reuniting Steve
Martin and Goldie Hawn, with John Cleese as - get this - a
DAVE'S ON EXTENDED FOOD LEAVE >> SEND NO CHOCOLATE FOR NOW
>> 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 "now *that's* a bonfire"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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