"Gates also said that making the Windows
secret source code public, a remedy suggested
by some, would be bad for consumers... It would
be bad if 'when people buy Windows they don't
know what is in it,' he said."
...isn't that kind of the point?
>> HARD NEWS <<
leave no bruise
In accordance with prophecy, NAPSTER got peppered with RIAA
lawyer shrapnel this week, but sensing that they had the
will of the people (and an army of slashdot anonymous
cowards) on their side, continued to release betas of their
snazzy MP3 distribution system. In preparation for the
inevitable next step, free source implementations of the
client appeared for Linux - and strong rumours of a Perl
server waiting in the wings, should the Napsters get kill
-9ed by the music industry police. Do you think we should
tell them about Hotline next?
- or maybe we should shut the hell up? Vote in our readers poll!
- hey Napster! Napsteroonie!
The problem with exposing the villainy of the Net on
consumer action problems is, short of doorstepping Tim
Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf, there's nobody obvious to *nab*.
Naturally, that doesn't stop our protectors having a go.
Facting us until we fart next week are Sue Lawley and her
CRIME SQUAD, who have been exposing hacking and software
piracy online where'er they find it. And if they don't find
it - what then? That's the question that some Web companies
have been asking after they were contacted by the program,
and asked to "hack their own servers to show how it's done".
When, naturally, they declined, the programme makers hinted
that they really should, because otherwise the squad and
their new mates would do it anyway. And to whom are we
supposed to complain about that? Also making the Net safer
for the rest of us next week, an upcoming "Here And Now"
looks into Web fraud. At least they had the decency to
invent a *funny* fake threat:
- ... you know, I'm sure someone was touting this at First Tuesday
- watch out for *two* appearences by NTK platinum subscribers!
- you lay *off* her, Anne Robinson!
After the war, the decommissioning. NSI have begun working
out the conditions of their pax with ICANN, including this
week, the announcement that they'd be redirecting the
rs.internic.net whois server to the registry whois at
whois.nsiregistry.net. So from December whois *won't* tell
you who owns the domain, but instead refer you someone else
who should know who owns the domain. Sound confusing? Well,
just wait until automatic domain lookup programs
start breaking on 1999-12-01 - then you'll have confusion by
the lorry-load. The format to the new whois is completely
different to the old service, even though it should have
been possible for NSI to set up a backwards compatible,
cross-registry whois (a la www.geektools.com) with just a
little more coding. There could have been good tech reasons
for not doing that, but we'll never know, because NSI knows
best. Even, we note, when it comes to leaking out personal
info on their prospective shareholders...
- bit unfair. But you'd think they'd use a *proper* database, right?
- try out the new whois. try to fix your code in time
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
DAVID BRAKE doin' a Weblog ... "MP3s Popular With Students",
uncovers NEWSBYTES ... MP responds to e-mail - 381 days
after it was sent ... www.phonebusters.com - paging Mr Jimmy
Cauty ... that's no way to talk about the Holy of Holies:
http://www.ntk.net/doh/19991119pope.gif ... The MAHIR
Nightmare continues: http://kiss.to/mahir ... FUTURE's
futuregamer.com proudly display their top 100 web site award
- from Future's .Net mag... EASYEVERYTHING block DIY nuke
info ... APPLE dump British personalisation into the
... how desperate for hits can you get?
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
WHIT DIFFIE, who looks so like Uncle Sam that the irony is
almost suffocating, is in town again. Barring heckling from
Mallet, he'll be speaking at the British Museum on "cracking
later codes" - and given that it's being organised by the
Egyptian Antiquities department in connection with their
Rosetta Stone exhibition, we'd imagine that "later" here
covers a lot of ground. It's on at 1800GMT, Tuesday,
1999-11-23 - call the British Museum on 0171 323 8312 for
tickets and more info.
- a superstar, that's what you are
- earliest example of a HOW-TO document
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
No matter how many time Steve Job's minions crop-dust their
homes with Agent Orange, a hardy crowd of user interface
loyalists keep the MacOS look-and-feel flame alive. Their
latest samizhack is SHERLOCK II WINFIX - a patch that'll
remove all those ugly pseudo-metallic trimmings from the
latest Sherlock app, and squeeze it back into a normal
Macintosh window. Now, could somebody do the same thing for
- nice imagery
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
AI for cats: http://www.bitboost.com/pawsense/index.html ...
GOOGLE text ads ... TIM BERNERS-LEE invokes "special powers"
to get E-pinions to remove trademark on "Web of Trust" ...
... as if Y2K wasn't going to be entertaining enough:
http://www.nbc.com/y2k/show.html ... the funny things gaijin
say: http://www.mangajin.com/ezine/bloopers.html ... for all
your RALPH FIENNES Astrology needs:
http://members.aol.com/IsisDawn/RFAstLnk.htm ... Oh No! They
killed Kenny's mum!
after GONORRHEA boxer shorts:
http://photopoint.com/dcm/features/f-micro1.html ... best
embedded MIDI in years:
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV (AND RADIO)>> Yes, the reason we're a bit early this week
is to give you a chance in hell of catching Bill Gibson's
favourite Velvet Underground MP3s in DESERT ISLAND DISCS
(Fri, 09:00, Radio 4)... we warned SO GRAHAM NORTON (Fri,
22:30, C4) last series; if they try faking any more
hilarious "website phonecalls", we will *have them*... and
for some reason TV stations don't want anyone watching on
Saturday night, which is why they're givng us Bruce Willis
vanity project HUDSON HAWK (Sat, 00:40, ITV), Joe Dante's
PIRANHA (Sat, 23:25, C4), Bob Geldof and Mel Smith in NUMBER
ONE (Sat, 00:25, C5), and worthy extended Bosnia APC product
placement army drama WARRIORS (Sat, 21:00, BBC1) - not to be
confused with the 1979 gang movie of the same name... still,
Satellite viewers can tussle with SKYROCKET (Sat, 18:00,
Sky1) some kind of webcast thing featuring The Simpsons/
KotH/ Futurama/ Family Guy/ PJs, and known NTK subscriber,
Ben Moor (crap site at http://www.skyrocket.co.uk/ )... then
console themselves with season 3 of SOUTH PARK (Sun, 23:00,
Sky1), featuring Jennifer Annistonandon... Hugh Grant/ Gene
Hackman medico-thriller EXTREME MEASURES (Sun, 22:00, C4)
comes on like a comatose "Coma"... while the ever-impartial
BBC balances its current "Webwise" campaign with no less
than *three* po-faced investigations into "cyber-crime": THE
MONEY PROGRAMME (Sun, 22:30, BBC2), Kuji-featuring THE CRIME
SQUAD (19:30, Mon, BBC1) [see news], Julia Sawalahalaha's
guide to 21ST CENTURY STALKING (Wed 12/01, 22:15, BBC1) plus
- the inevitable - TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (Wed, 22:20,
FILM>> at last! *another* heavy-handed fly-on-the-wall
satire: ED TV (http://www.capalert.com/capreports/ : noted
lesbian actress as a central figure; vulgar hand gesture,
manipulation of human anatomy, and body gesture; a sexual
T-shirt; homosexual presence). Ellen DeGeneres, Rob Reiner
televise the daily activities (though sadly no real-life
drug-bust antics) of Matthew McConaughey to an audience of
confused FHM readers who inexplicably prefer Liz Hurley over
Jenna "Dharma And Greg" Elfman... clearly having learned
nothing from the ridiculous current ad campaign for Disney's
"moo-LARN", couldn't supposedly brainy Ralph Fiennes and
writer Michael Ignatieff have come up with a pronounceable
title for ponderous Liv Tyler period melodrama ONEGIN (imdb:
duel / russia)? We advise asking for "One Gin" at the box
office - "a double vodka and a packet of crisps!"...
otherwise an exceptional week for offloading nondescript
rubbish: loathsome Ray Winstone romantic comedy FANNY AND
ELVIS; Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale as drug-smuggling
foreign jailbait in BROKEDOWN PALACE; inspiration-free
Redbus horror sequel THE RAGE: CARRIE 2; and, on limited
release, "monks prefer footy to boring old religion"
cultural imperialism celebration THE CUP, whose trailer is
indistinguishable from a Nike ad... finally, it's not a
shelf heading at your local butchers, but the name of
Harrison Ford/ Kristen "Lady Penelope" Scott Thomas's
mid-life desperation romance RANDOM HEARTS (imdb comment:
"'In a perfect world they never would have met.' In a
perfect world filmmakers would think twice before embarking
on adaptations of bad '80s novels"). After this and "Six
Days, Seven Nights", what is it with Harrison Ford and plane
crashes? Doesn't a guy his age have simpler ways of meeting
COMPO>> You! Yes, you! Do you use one of those "out of the
office" autoresponder programs? You know, the one that
ignores "Precedence:" headers? Don't deny it, we've got an
inbox that says otherwise. Well, as a special offer to any
subscribers who mail us anything that matches our magic
regexp, this week we'll automatically send (free of charge)
a special message: It could be an amusing Dave Barry quote,
an ascii-art Bart Simpson, or even a randomly picked Project
Guttenburg e-text. Share and Enjoy! And the best thing is,
if your autoresponder is *really* broken, it's the gift that
we'll keep on giving! (If you're not sure if you're eligible
for our special offer please consult your mail
administrator. If a look of panic creeps across their face,
do let us know.)
>> 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
"the lowest form of wit" (p121, Internet Monthly)
NEED TO KNOW
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