_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __1999-12-03_ o join! mail an empty message to
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o firstname.lastname@example.org
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Protecting e-risk is best seen in terms of the medieval
period because you require a range of defences, moats,
ramparts, portcullises, watch towers and alarms, guard dogs
and blood hounds. Similarly you need a bespoke security
architecture that can continually adapt to the rising
threat of hackers."
- our old friend, D.K.MATAI, "Mi2j" (sic)
...illiterate priests to scare the serfs also available
>> HARD NEWS <<
It'd be tempting to demand - a la the Department of
Justice's rumoured plans for Microsoft - that BT be split
into completely separate companies, but frankly, they're
acting schizoid enough as it is. Good BT: The pricing for
ADSL finally came through, and it's ohhh-kay. 150UKP connect
fee, with a monthly cover of 30UKP charged to ISPs (boiling
down to around 50UKP a month when you include ISP add-ons).
Bad, *bad*, BT: Sir Iain Vallance, at a Brighton conference
for telco managers, said that ADSL wasn't ready for the
mainstream. Hell, he said the *Internet* wasn't ready for
the mainstream: "in its infancy, and not yet fit for
purpose", he said, adding that he felt like a "lollipop man
restraining over-exuberant children." "The computing world has a very
long way to go to match the standards of reliability and
ease of access of broadcasting and fixed telecommunications
worlds." Well, Iain, if you'd actually let them get on with it
rather than standing in the middle of the road like an
idiot, maybe we'd all get there a bit quicker.
- cribbing from ZDNet? What is *wrong* with us this week?
- arrgh! arrgh! aaaaarrrggrgggh!
It's the quiet period... too quiet, it seems for those folk
at agency.com still waiting for their new stocks to vest. So
instead they amused themselves last week by staring at a
Excel spreadsheet, accidentally e-mailed to all, containing
the salary details of their fellow employees at the Web
shop^H^H^H^Had agency^H^H^H^Hstrategist hive-mind. @NY has
the overdue diligence for those of you looking for Crimbo
pay review ammunition:
- apparently sender ran around trying to delete it from every machine
NSI - AN APOLOGY. In last week's NTK, we apologised for an
article which have suggested that NSI's modification to the
whois registry (to show registrars, not actual, useful,
contact addresses) might break existing whois utilities. NSI
protested that it wasn't their fault, and they were
maintaining an old-style system at
whois.networksolutions.com, which any sensible sysadmin could
easily switch to. On the day of the switchover, NSI's own
Web registration system broke. They were pointing to the
wrong server. NTK would like to apologise for the apology.
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
NINFOMANIA fall for the old "fuck-you, fuck-me" joke ... how
lazy can you get? http://www.lazysoft.com/news.htm ...
HAMSTER DANCE heading for Christmas number one ... FREE PC -
FALCO! ... Microsoft SMS - FALCO! ... 27.7 million Americans
try Internet, decide "it's not for them" ... CHANNEL 5 gives
away computer with "64k of RAM" during Internet Night ...
GRAHAM NORTON fakes now so obvious, they're funny again ...
Samurai swordsman breaks into religious congregration and -
wait. Is this Snowcrash? ... CHANNEL 5 states "the 404 page
was invented in 1900 by Berners Lee" during Internet Night
... MELANIE PHILLIPS claims in Sunday Times that "the latest
[video] games feature rape, torture and mass killing" -
rape? Is this the Quake groin gesture? ... great 3DFX
discounts at: http://www.outpost.com/entry?sku=A52003 ...
Take advantage of the low Canadian dollar at:
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Representing, no doubt, the 4 "bases" of human DNA (adenine,
cytosine, thiamine, and, er, riboflavin) Brit would-be
ribofunkers MICHAEL "SPARES" MARSHALL SMITH, SIMON
"HEADLONG" INGS, JIM "HABITUS" FLINT, and HARI "WHO?" KUNZRU
will be intermingling their genetic material at the Biotech
Lounge, Lux Centre, London N1 from 8pm on Mon 1999-12-06 -
presumably to create one "super-author" who'll produce some
decent books for a change. In an ideal world, their
"enhanced" offspring would go on to be judged by JOHN DE
LANCIE (Q from ST: TNG) when he puts humanity on trial at
the signing of his new book, at 12noon that same Monday at
London's Forbidden Planet, New Oxford St.
- Hari Kunzru vs Hari Seldon
Of course, those RTMark guys would *claim* to be appearing
at a discussion at the ICA tomorrow from 1300GMT to 1600GMT
to talk about the etoy.com controversy, and their attempted
GATT coup-de-cappuchino in The Battle For Seattle this week.
But you know how slippery these media pranksters can be. Whose
to say we haven't been compromised too? Other speakers
faking their so-called presence will be Kate Glazer, Heath
Bunting, Rachel Baker, James Stevens, George W. Bush and
someone who says he's from UNIT (the United Nations
Intelligence Taskforce in "Dr Who"). Entrance fee: 1.50UKP.
Ask vaguely for the thinktank/mindpool talk: it's part of
the Crash exhibition - confirmed to be not based on the
Primitives song of the same name.
...like we haven't compromised enough
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
We *quite* like Backflip, in that "Website that does
something that we'd prefer to have a desktop app to do" way.
It lets you upload your bookmarks to a server, which'll
index them regularly, so you can search your own selection
of Webpages. We *quite* like Dialpad, a Windows-only
voice-over-IP system that lets you call any number in the US
for free (it's okay if you don't try using it during peak
hours). And we *quite* like e-tunnels, a MP3/ICQ/FTPish
system for people too lame to run their own servers. But
we'd wait until the first fifty-or-so "massive security
hole/privacy violations ahoy/new open source program does it
better" news stories before we'll use any of them, ta.
- URLs here so you can go "cool!"
- then in six weeks look witheringly at the twentieth person
- to show them to you. Unless that's us.
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
can't put "reebok" or US swearwords on your nike iD's
(www.nike.com) - will allow "slag" and "dontdoit" ...
what is this earth emotion you call "filled with chocolaty
goodness"? http://www.emotioneric.com/ ... goldie capslocks:
... Americanocentric RSAC ratings forbids "pasties" on
topless dancers ... lest we forget:
http://www.e-sheep.com/almostguy/30g.html ... let's hope
they're not counting the names of God:
... tips for getting to Mars: never, ever, take the piss:
http://188.8.131.52/msss/mardi_hardware/releases/98_launch_release/edl4.gif >> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> hopefully, semi-reverential pomp rock tribute QUEEN FOR
A NIGHT (Sat, from 21:00, C4) will cover the peculiar
coincidence of Freddie Mercury dying at the same time as the
UK release of Nightmare On Elm Street VI, resulting in
cinemas across the country displaying celebratory "Freddie's
Dead" posters (and who would have won that epic "Battle of
the Dead Freddies", we wonder?)... C5 wheels out the
original pilot movie of KNIGHT RIDER (Sun, 17:40pm, C5),
which should at least clarify the bizarre "man who does not
exist" voiceover at the start of each episode... and tedious
anti-Japanese Michael Crichtoner RISING SUN (Sun, 22:00, C4)
features Sean Connery as future saviour of humanity "John
Connor"... Sue Lawley's CRIME SQUAD (Mon, 19:30, BBC1)
continues inventing threats where none exist, in a seasonal
round-up that includes bogus perfume street traders and "the
trade in stolen Christmas trees" (believed to be worth
billions every year, funding thousands of shed-based "chop
shop" operations)... 1970s sub-Edge Of Darkness nuke
eco-thriller DOOMWATCH (Tue, 21:00, C5) is revived on C5,
now featuring Amanda Ooms, last seen changing into a
werewolf in ITV's "Wilderness"... TOTP2 (Wed, 18:00, BBC2)
devotes 45 minutes to Shania Twain's two UK hits to date...
while female RoboCop romp THE DEMOLITIONIST (Wed, 22:15, C5)
stars Nicole Eggert, formerly of "Baywatch" and "Charles In
FILM>> a rather more literal follow-up to "The Lawnmower
Man", David Lynch's hypnotically dull return-to-form OAP
weepie THE STRAIGHT STORY (imdb: road) apparently gets its
name because the mower the old guy is taking across America
has a massive turning circle, meaning he has to drive it in
a near-straight line through trailerparks, henhouses etc...
further smalltown wackiness in pseudo-gay Steve "Reality
Bites" Zahn, Jeremy "The Net" Northam stereotypical designer
indie mistaken identity caper HAPPY TEXAS (imdb: comedy) -
might be an improvement on the current glut of unremarkably
worthy mother/ daughter movies, all of which seem to star
Susan Sarandon... and finally, experts cite "2.4 Children"
and "Allo Allo" among the sitcoms people would rather see
made into movies than Rik Mayall/ Ade Edmondson's shamefully
anachronistic "Bottom" and, in that arena alone, dire
slapstick Fawlty Towers knock-off GUEST HOUSE PARADISO
(BBFC: Theme: Comedy, hotel; Language: Occasional strong,
some coarse; Sex: Frequent, moderate reference; Violence:
Frequent, comic) fails to disappoint. Suffice to say, it's
not the unofficial sequel to "Cinema Paradiso" that
international audiences had been hoping for...
TESTING POSITIVE FOR "ASTEROIDS">> last Saturday's RETRO
GAMES event http://users.powernet.co.uk/wibble/odyssey.htm
lived up to its almost medieval reputation, choosing a
location - Cranfield Agricultural College, in the heart of
rural Bedfordshire - no more than 20 or 30 muddy fields from
the nearest rail station. Nonetheless, there was a fair
turnout of (clearly) dedicated individuals, mainly mourning
the recent loss of both Spectrum tape-mag OUTLET and
excellent Sinclair hacking zine THE ZX FILES, whose
publisher has, in a search for even more obscurely rarified
enjoyment, has moved into the still-thriving field of gaming
on the Z88: http://www.menaxus.demon.co.uk/z88/z88home.htm
... still going strong: both RETROGAMER
http://retrogamer.merseyworld.com/ and pioneeringly
foul-mouthed Speccy/demo/porn scene zine CRASHED
, which (we think) was responsible for the scoop that the
upcoming (unofficial) Spectrum conversion of TOMB RAIDER in
fact consists of screengrabs from the PlayStation version
presented in a "create your own graphic adventure"
package... it's all looking promising for next year's
"enthusiast only" get-together BRITMEET 2000
http://www.gyruss.demon.co.uk/ccnuk/britmeet98/ - to be
held, you've guessed it, somewhere in Bedfordshire...
>> 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.
Registered at the Post Office as "dashing young North London blades"
NEED TO KNOW
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