>> HARD NEWS <<
Just in time for the Campaign for Unmetered Telecoms
Christmas party (sponsored by AOL: oh, the rich historical
irony), BRITISH "LOLLIPOP-MAN" TELECOM finally announced
flat-rate deals for those over-exuberant Internet children.
Dateline is March 2000. The deals: 35UKP a month for 24/7 Net
access, 26UKP for unlimited daytime calls, 7UKP for either
free weekend or weekday evening use. The charging system is
based on a new 0844 number, so you'll have to use an ISP
that signs up for the new connection, and you'll have to
have a BT line. And the ISP will be using BT's own local IP
infrastructure, which should stop them getting any sick
ideas about investing in their own networks for when
the local loop unbundles in 2001. BT: they may be monopolistic,
but they're not *stupid*.
- okay, not short term stupid
- and stupid enough to have an infinite loop on their homepage
The GNU/Linux General Public License to Print Money
continued on its stockmarket roll, with ANDOVER.NET and VA
LINUX both profiting from "Jesse Berst mentioned that once.
Buy!" daytraders. As of Thursday, Andover shares were
running at about 400% of the initial offer price, giving
Slashdot kids a potential eight million dollars to play with
(on top of the two million cash they scored when they sold
out). VA LINUX was hit an insane 700% price hike on its first
day, valuing the company at ten billion dollars,
about the GDP of Papua New Guinea.
- perfect Christmas gift for CmdrTaco
Reasons to stay out of broadband: On November the 30th, the
UNDERCURRENTS video-journalist Charlotte Wilcox was bundled
away by the police whilst recording the N30 mini-riots in
London. Her tapes and camera were confiscated - indeed, the
police arrested her on suspicion of stealing her own
equipment. A female officer conducting a search threatened
to "throw her down and break her back". No property sheet
was given for the seizure of her property. Not that sticking
to words and pictures helps: as the NEW YORK TIMES noted
this week, the prosecution against Tony Geraghty, author of
The Irish War, is still on. GERAGHTY is accused of
breaking the Official Secrets Act with his descriptions of
the computerised surveillance systems used by the military
in Northern Ireland. Good thing too: who could imagine
that our government would ever misuse that tech?
- Blair says he's sick of "libertarian nonsense masquerading as freedom."
- journalists masquerading as dangerous video-camera thieves
- IRA "bug selves", says expert
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
LYCOS insist on rebranding Wired URLs, unaware of the subliminal
effect of "suck.lycos.com"... loss of MARS LANDERS bears "eerie,
prophetic" resemblance to Voyager season 6 episode "One Small
Step", reports STAR TREK magazine... "Virtual" NHS at
http://www.nhsdirect.co.uk replicates features of real NHS: slow,
unhelpful, falls over because of too many users... urban
folklorewatch: GUARDIAN 1999-12-08 runs "McDonnell Douglas
warranty registration card", almost certainly *not* posted online
"by an employee", who would know that the F-14, F-16 and F-117
are not, for instance, McDonnell Douglas planes... your credit
card details "are NOT sent over the Internet" reassures
http://www.ferrysavers.co.uk offering understandably high
insurance premiums for Y2K trips: "£247866.00 pp for the 247877
days you intend to be away"... oh, the airports will be *fine*
over New Year: http://www.tahallah.demon.co.uk/gatwick1.jpg ,
http://www.tahallah.demon.co.uk/gatwick2.jpg ... closing for
notoriously slow pre-Christmas period: http://www.argos.co.uk ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
A hectic week ahead for the transgressive cultural terrorist who
regularly redefines society's so-called "boundaries" between art
and entertainment. (And who lives in London.) From 8pm tonight,
VXSLAB take another of their experimental "things" to the old
Lateral offices above Backspace (which clearly hasn't been
demolished yet, unless this is part of the process). The ICA's
resident net-spazzos at last hit on something the public will
definitely like - FREE ICE CREAM (from 1pm, Sat 1999-12-11, the
ICA, London). And Richard "the beret" Barbrook's SCIENCE FICTION
CYBERSALON (Tue, 1999-12-14) is so "new edge", it's already
altered its location once (from noted cyber-murder crime scene
The University Of Westminster on Regent St, to the campus
building at 115 New Cavendish St, free before 7pm). Pray it does
not have to alter it again.
- Pat Cadigan! Manga man! (hopefully in robot suit)
- and what if you *like* the taste of frozen pig fat, eh?
- "do what you like with this flyer" - except IGNORE IT!
Oh, and there's a UK UNIX USER GROUP conference in Cambridge next
week too, which we know nothing about, except someone sent us the
cryptic message: "Sun, C and SENSS with Bruce in Cambridge -
crack Alec Muffett's latest toy", which is kind of funny, if you
think about it.
- the first bit, we mean, not "cracking Muffett's toys"
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
Sometimes the most traditional presents are the best-loved:
the hand-carved wooden dolly, the old tin soldier, the huge
lunking overfeatured wrist-worn watch/PC hybrid. Sure,
ONHAND PC is an anglicised version of 1998's Ruputer, but
age has not withered its terrifying specs. Three month's
battery life, 38400bps IR and serial ports, 2MB RAM, 16bit
RISC processor (with double the clock speed of the old
Ruputer) and, to quote our correspondent, "Beautiful
architecture: RAM is on-chip, so while MOV Dn, Dm takes 1
cycle, MOV Dn, [An] also takes 1 cycle! (also [An+imm8]).
God it's lovely). Also, screen (102x64) is laid out in
vertical bytes. It's like they designed it for my
Wolfensterin-style raycasting app!" How does he know such
things? Because with every OnHand you purchase, you get two
huge geek manuals, and a CD with GCC, docs, and ALL THE
LIBRARIES. Now, *that's* holiday. The OnHand PC: available
online for $249.
- although "off the wrist" would have been so much more accurate
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
what *is* it with these obscene DREAMCAST comedy fan sites?:
http://www.tgfn.com/dc/ vs http://www.ukresistance.com ... not
the NAKED QUAKE NEWS site you'd hoped for (still, "Carrie"
appears in full Klingon headgear): http://www.bluenudes.com/ ...
as heard at USENIX: the 12 Days of Y2K, http://www.kiai.org/ssh/
... MP3 POETRY READINGS... no wonder THEY haven't been in touch:
http://pass.maths.org/issue9/news/oops/index.html ... sending
"Matsushita held a cocktail party at their swanky new skyscraper
in Scunthorpe on Saturday. I bumped into Dick Feltcher, whose
haircut was a little shaggy. He'd accumulated quite a pile of
buttered scones. The subject of blow-jobs never came up, however.
What a chump" via EMAIL A FRIEND on any http://www.bbc.co.uk
page... PUBS - for The Autistic Geek in your "social" circle:
http://www.sirc.org/publik/pub.html ...POTTER - pawn of Satan:
http://www.family.org/pplace/pi/genl/A0008833.html ... wahl
+host:co.uk as altavista search term produces FAKE MANGA TITLES:
"Drunken Girls Mega Control Reproduction Wahl", "Extreme Hot
Bikinis Drew UK Wahl", "Public Beach Bikini Dover Wahl Bestiality
Encounter Club"... personal nipples: http://www.cultofmarms.org/ ...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
the less rude http://www.tvgohome.com/
TV>> only 6 more years to go before 1970s dystopia LOGAN'S
RUN (1.30pm, Sat, BBC1) itself turns 30, and must submit to
the "carousel" for scifi movies that dare to be even duller
than their spin-off shows... THE HISTORY OF THE POP VIDEO
(9.30pm, Sat, C4) was originally going to be called "Video
Killed The Radio Star", so will hopefully feature The
Buggles' Midi Karaoke classic in all its glory... and, hey,
anything's preferable to a sub X-Files "EBE" episode of
JONATHAN CREEK (8.55pm, Sat, BBC1)... John Travolta fritters
away much of his post-Tarantino goodwill by playing an
overweight angel in MICHAEL (9pm, Sun, C4)... a timely
reshowing of that episode of DISPATCHES (10.55pm, Sun, C4)
which allegedly caused the ALF to brand their initials on the
reporter's back - that guy who did "Macintyre Undercover"
probably lives in similar fear of the Elite Modelling
Agency... plus the early, fitfully amusing MONTY PYTHON AND
THE HOLY GRAIL (11.35pm, Mon, BBC1) - actually quite closely
based on the ZX Spectrum adventure of the same name... more
heavy-handed satire from the Drop The Dead Donkey team,
sensationally asking "how far will TV sensationalism go?" in
SEX 'N' DEATH (9.30pm, Tue, BBC2), featuring Ulrika Jonsson
"as herself"... while somehow you wonder if even Jamie
Theakston can prevent you sympathising with the "growing
epidemic of crime against Britain's phone companies" in
phreaker's how-to PHONES, ROBBERS AND VIDEOTAPE (8pm, Wed,
FILM>> impressively, intermittently brutal Arnie apocalypse
comedy actioner END OF DAYS (http://www.hollywoodjesus.com :
gratuitous breast shots; vaginal lubricant; a young girl whose
father is watching her, along with her mother, have sex with
Satan while NIN's "Closer" song blares in the background) manages
to: a) directly address the old "monster not scary enough"
problem in Terminator 2; b) answer that old joke "What happens if
you dial 666? A policeman comes round upside-down!", while c)
recklessly spoofing that entire "The Omen" trilogy - "Satan must
impregnate his bride between 11pm and midnight on New Year's
Eve!" "What, Eastern Standard Time?". Also features truly
appalling Arnie acting, plus three (count 'em!) refs to The Usual
Suspects, not including the casting of Kevin Pollak and Gabriel
Byrne... a close second for limited-release geek-cred junior
rocket scientist OCTOBER SKY (http://www.capalert.com/capreports/
: sky-high impudence; "potty-mouth" language; could have been a
great movie if the goodness of it was not buried beneath new age
entertainment ignominy)... elsewhere, THE LIMEY (imdb: crime /
drama) appears to be a largely successful LA-set arthouse OAP
remake of "Get Carter" - the flashback clips of Terence Stamp
actually come from some old Ken Loach film, rather than, say, his
excellent "General Zod" in Superman II... closer to home, THE
LAST YELLOW (imdb comment: "contains two curiously pointless
homages to the children's TV series The Double Deckers")
continues modern British cinema's almost pornographic fascination
with the criminal underclass... while Peter Greenaway's 8 1/2
WOMEN (imdb: comedy) continues his almost pornographic
fascination with numerology, and porn... finally, Albert Brooks/
Sharon Stone head up the latest in an increasingly unamusing
batch of Hollywood films trumpeting Hollywood's own creative
bankruptcy THE MUSE (http://www.capalert.com/capreports/ :
portrayal of unholy goddess in control of human lives; adolescent
use of sexual expression to portray worldliness; excessive
cleavage, including before a child, much like the poster for
FEEBDACK>> first, the chance to clear up a couple of old
chestnuts: in accordance with NTK prophecy (of about 2 years ago)
the SGI/ Microsoft "Fahrenheit" project fell apart recently, and
one, er, ex-SGI employee was good enough to send us this
"translation" of its future http://www.ntk.net/ads/opengl.txt ...
talking of "blasts from the past", ex-"The Word" presenter ALAN
HAMILTON (you know, little Alan, with the big jacket) mailed to
point out an "incorrect baseref" in our (now fixed) EU redirect
page http://www.ntk.net/anoneu/ . Can't wait to hear from Amanda
De Cadanet (or "Huffty") about their problems viewing the site
under Lynx!... and while we're on the subject, FROSSIE objected
to NTK 1999-11-05's assertion that "if you're not reading this in
its definitive, non-proportional e-mail form, you're a fricking
girl", countering that "Real girls read NTK in an XEmacs window
running VM under Linux, ta very much". Sadly, her additional tip
(a local news story about someone who *received an email* from
one of the victims of the recent Honolulu shooting) was deemed
too "Hawaii-centric" for even our Tiki-Tiki lifestyle... MATT
BACON leapt to the defence of Denise Richards' "Lara Croft"
costume in NTK 1999-11-26, constructing an elaborate conspiracy
along the lines of "Lara Croft = big star on Playstation.
Playstation made by Sony. Sony recently been seen off by Ma
Broccoli in lawsuit to prevent them making another rival Bond
movie (the Thunderball/Never Say Never Kevin McLory factor). So
I'm thinking big in-joke about copyright in characters". For
those who don't know him, Matt *looks* a bit like a Bond villain,
too... and finally, LOCANDEZ cast doubt on NTK 1999-11-12's claim
of "canine erections" in the Lycos TV advert, though the whole
dog-pulling-car sequence does now seem to have been edited out.
"It's not an erection (if it was, you'd be looking at 5 inches of
red flesh)", explains Locandez, concluding with the all-purpose
conversational corker: "It's just a tuft of fur around his
sheath". Undeterred, reader TONY BLEWS picked up the baton with
this scan http://www.ntk.net/doh/991210dog.jpg from page 717 of
the current Argos Catalogue which, Argos insiders reveal, is "the
most complained about thing this month". 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.
Registered at the Post Office as "finest *and* most literate"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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