_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2000-02-18_ o join! mail an empty message to
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There's a reason they didn't call it 'The C Files.'"
...because only cable would show pointer arithmetic in prime time?
>> HARD NEWS <<
RSA hacked? My God: are not even the highest citadels safe
from the heterogenous swarm of DoS script kiddies? Well, not
quite: it turned out to be just the usual "lone hacker"
using DNS poisoning to redirect the requests. Although the
traceroutes leading to Columbia were a nice touch - and
doesn't poisoning sound exotic? Certainly a bit more
dangerous than January's VIRGIN NET e-mail password breach.
Despite hushed comments in the papers about the coteries of
sophisticated cyberterrorists holding the company to ransom,
the truth turned out to be a little simpler. Virgin's
managed to lose the machine with the data on. One minute, it
was sitting there happily in their ultra-secure operations
center. The next: gone. Or at least, nobody could find it,
so they gave up, and passed the onus onto their customers.
The lessons? Always change your passwords: and do try to
remember where you parked that drive.
- pretty l33t
- "on the Net you can have criminals coming from countries with no
extradition treaties". Or from the dodgy market down the road
Of course, ISP's data centers are going to be the last place
safe from external interference if the new Regulation of
Interception Powers bill makes it to the statute books. A
distinct lack of the usual governmental grinding on this
one: second reading is on March 8th, giving just three weeks
for doubters to marshal their objections. But never fear,
SCRAMBLING FOR SAFETY, the rapid response security con, is
out to intercept. Given the time limits, the organisers
would like to be able to get an idea of numbers to pass on
to sponsors and interested spooks^H^H^H^H^Hparties. So if
you'd like to hear the details of the how, exactly, the
government plan to drop a black box in between you and the
rest of the Net, e-mail your interest with a message to
firstname.lastname@example.org saying who you'd like as speakers,
and other topics you'd like discussed. Your privacy is
- while it still can be. (this is last year's event, btw)
And while we're in an updating kind of mood, such was the
response - from journalists, students, and sentient AI
consciousnesses hiding in the telephone network - following
our casual made-up reference to "community robotics monitoring
group" KEVIN WARWICK WATCH [NTK 2000-01-28] that we've
actually had to invent it. Get in touch if you'd like to help
with NTK's continuous assessment of just how close we are to
Kevin's nightmare future coming true (like that nuclear
"doomsday clock" in the Watchmen comics), or if you've got any
good "ones to watch" suggestions (Dr Mark "internet addiction"
Griffiths? Jon Katz? Edge Magazine?). Plus, if you try typing
in other likely domains, you may find the secret "mirror"
site, complete with embedded MIDI of the Terminator theme!
- dah-dah-dah DAH DAH DAH! dah-dah-dah DAH DAH-DAH DAH!
- and you thought the *lecturers* were bad!
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
ex-Borg "spokesman" Patrick Stewart launches Win2K...
CAMILLA "flattened by tornadoes" claims Yahoo "RoyalWatch":
http://www.ntk.net/2000/02/18/dohyahoo.jpg ... less "unique"
than they planned: http://www.ntk.net/2000/02/18/dohsmile.gif
... maybe that name="generator" content="An unholy combination
of BeyondPress, BBEdit, and QuicKeys" has something to do with
crashing Netscape 4.7... *someone* update the wankometer:
http://www.bootstrap.org/vision_mission.htm ... BBC gives
everyone a pay rise: http://www.ntk.net/2000/02/18/dohbbc.gif
... TMS INTERACTIVE? Falco! ... ALIVE AND KICKING - in toxic
agony: http://www.bbc.co.uk/kicking/magazine.shtml ... "Being
Britain's leading technology magazine, T3 was on the ball from
the off" claims current T3 MAGAZINE re MP3 - clearly unable to
afford enough RAM to remember June 1998 when they dismissed
the whole idea of MP3 walkmans as "prohibitively expensive"
... AMAZON still touting that famed "10-year lead" in e-commerce:
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Well, you've missed "Whatever Happened to HAL?" (hint: he
dies, though he's brought back to life in 2010: Odyssey 2, but
then he dies again!), but the goddamn ICA keep wheeling out
the old cyber chestnuts with tomorrow's DEMOCRACY.COM: NEW
TECHNOLOGIES & THE CITIZEN, featuring the usual chumps you've
never heard of and their unfeasibly long book titles, plus
Techgnosis author and Wired writer Erik "The Viking" Davis and
EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow (Grateful Dead lyricist?
What, he did the words to a couple of their songs once?). If
coolness exclusion prevents you from going within 100 metres
of the Mall, there's always Hugo Sommer's LSE COMPUTER
SECURITY COLLOQUIA, which continue at 5pm, Tue 2000-02-22 with
good old Alistair Kelman discussing "Shadow Watching" which is
something to do with personal data-mining, not Babylon 5.
- Will I dream?
- Of course, *all* intelligent creatures dream...
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
The three phases of geek lust are thus: first, when you have
to hand-hack everything yourself, and the world thinks your
an obsessive goon (pre-1.0 Linux, in-car MP3 homebrews, the
Apple I). Second, a decade later, when one of your fellow
goons brings out a neater version, and the auslanders begin
to concede your point (KDE, WinAmp, trainers). Third, about
two months later, when the mundanes excitedly inform you of
the "brand new thing" you would definitely like, if only you
could spare an hour listening to them explain it badly
(theories of "Grey" alien invasion, 3D avatar chatrooms).
The X10 home automation craze has defiantly entered stage
two with MISTERHOME, an integrated management system for
Linux and those light-switches-with-a-serial-port that Steve
Ciarcia went mad trying to popularise. Nothing that you
haven't already imagined in your wet Asimov fantasies
(semi-automated TV listing/ VCR programming, GPS tracking of
your stolen car, Web-based administration and burglary
invitations), but it's nice to see it all in one place.
That place being your flat.
- don't mention to Philip Kerr. Or Kevin W.
- Steve hasn't been able to escape "the cellar" for some years now
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
misunderstanding that "to clock chips, keep 'em cold" rule:
http://www.nudeoc.cwc.net/ ... BARCODE BATTLER for the Net
generation: http://www.retokyo.com/fiber/37/ ... TIM BL going
understandably insane: http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI
... nice idea: can you spot the problem, BIND fans?
http://www.i-DNS.net/download/db.cache ... WIRED imitates
... http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjbrain/SpecOS.html - could be the
next HARRIXOS!... http://paradigmviolators.com + NICK ROSEN =
http://us.imdb.com/Title?0098354 ... no help if you ask for a
ELASTICA covering "Da Da Da"... not that they're *rockin'*
bitter: http://www.buddyhead.com/other/hessian/love/page/ ...
mp3.magazine.co.uk ... also applies to weekly newsletters:
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> some BBC scheduler clearly likes the idea of penis
transplants, with the second showing of Hywel "Shelley"
Bennett's PERCY (12.25am, Fri, BBC1) in just 15 months... ITV
hits back with acclaimed sci-fi containment drama LIFEPOD
(12midnight-ish, Sat, most ITV regions)... and presumably any
future series of THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN (10pm, Fri, BBC2;
repeated 9.30pm on Sun with "making of" docu) will abandon
jokes altogether to concentrate on suburban gothic horror -
but there's always the "revised repeats" of FOCUS NORTH
(12.35am, Thu, C4)... no Buffy repeat but "It's Scary Out
There" compensates with John Carpenter Cthulhu clunker IN THE
MOUTH OF MADNESS (10.50pm, Sat, BBC2) and George Romero's
shopping mall consumer satire DAWN OF THE DEAD (12.20am, Sat,
BBC2)... new kids show HYPERLINKS (9.20am, Sun, BBC2) is
bugger all to do with the net; another series of shouty
runaround SUB ZERO (11am, Sun, BBC2) is bugger all to do with
video games and/or an entertaining viewing experience... while
Jude Law/ Sadie Frost ramraiding romp SHOPPING (10pm, Mon, C4)
resembles a low-rent Michael Bay directing an episode of "The
Bill" - but in a good way!... the docu-soap barrel bottom
scrapes along with THE SECRET WORLD OF YEAR 3 (9.50pm, Tue,
BBC2) featuring the everyday lives of a class of 7 year-
olds... Sherilyn "Twin Peaks" Fenn pops out of the "Where are
they now?" file for trashy MIB chiller THE SHADOW MEN (9pm,
Wed, C5)... and C4 combines two ratings-winning formats -
cock-up compilations and WW2 documentaries - into the
undeniably appealing GREAT MILITARY BLUNDERS (8pm, Thu, C4)...
FILM>> stand by for Moloko's remixes of "The Mikado" shooting
into the top ten on the back of the hit soundtrack to Mike
Leigh's touchingly overlong Gilbert O'Sullivan tribute TOPSY
TURVY (MPAA: rated R for a scene of risque nudity), though,
disappointingly for fans of Leigh's previous work, he hasn't
set the story on a mock-working-class housing estate... Chris
"Who?" O'Donnell has 24 hours to marry Renee "Jerry Maguire"
Zellweger to inherit $10m in exactly-as-you'd-expect romantic
fluff THE BACHELOR (http://www.capalert.com/capreports/ :
several references to male and female anatomy with clear
intent; dialogue and imagery to further the general decay of
inhibition and standards of acceptance; a lot of excessive
breast and upper leg exposure that is not commonplace in the
"real world" except in entertainment; though, oddly, no
objection to the whole concept of marrying for cash)... and
with the same Scottish girl in it and everything (no, not the
one from Space Precinct) chirpy cancer last-wish frolic ONE
MORE KISS (http://www.bbfc.co.uk : Passed '12' for one use of
strong language) is basically "The Crow Road - The Movie" -
and that's not meant as a recommendation...
TOP BONER BONANZA - A COMPILATION OF (LARGELY) GENITALIA-
RELATED RECENT ERRORS THAT EVEN PAUL BLEZ DIDN'T SPOT>> eagle-
eyed LUCIE MELAHN was the *only* reader (not NTK's only female
reader, we're sure) to query NTK 2000-02-04's description of
Hepburn as "XY-rockers", adding "of course, you're aware that
girl bands really have XX chromosomes". Er yeah, unless we
were trying to imply that they're secretly men (we weren't)...
"What on earth are those parentheses supposed to achieve?",
inquired JOHN HARTNUP of NTK 2000-01-28's "(.*)sex(.*)"
regexp, "The only purpose I could imagine would be if you
wanted to extract what came before and after the sex (wine and
a cigarette?)" "Actually I just stuck them in so because
.*sex.* looked wrong," responds NTK's irredeemably laddish
Essex correspondent, "and I got to do a breasts joke"...
and don't write in that saying breasts aren't funny (nor,
technically, genitals - we'll come to that), as proved by
MARTIN BACON's correction of NTK 2000-01-28's Celebrity Nudity
Database quote, "a huge aureole that seems to cover a third of
her ample bosoms". "Aureoles," says Martin, "usually surround
heads, at least in illuminated manuscripts and stained glass
windows. Perhaps the author meant areola, the skin around the
nipple. Or perhaps the film industry has different views on
where holiness resides nowadays"... in less sexually-related
corrigenda, Bob Crispen proposed "Let me be the 10,000th
caller (and probably the first from Alabama) to point out that
it's 'cui bono' not 'qui bono': 'to whom the good', not 'who
is good'" [NTK 2000-02-11]... "AFAIK the Hebrew system *adds*
the letters in a name to get a numeric value, so if w = 6,
then www = 6 + 6 + 6 = 18... and anyone living at that time
could work out it was Nero," confided IAN DOUGLAS [NTK 2000-
01-28], probably just to late to halt that "www = Satan" meme
(eg see this week's Telegraph Connected)... and, sticking with
archaic communications systems, "Little Computer People was
also available for the ZX Spectrum, albeit '128K Only',"
revealed ROD BEGBIE [NTK 2000-02-11], hoping for "a suitably
disparaging remark about how trainspottery I am for pointing
this out". Not here Rod, you must have us mistaken for a top
PlayStation magazine!... ADRIAN MOULDER accused our last "dead
tree" round-up [NTK 2000-01-28] of omitting "the new Esquire
ads on the London Underground", where the word "not" in the
slogan "THE MEN'S MAGAZINE YOU'RE NOT EMBARRASSED TO READ ON
THE TUBE" is both in a different colour and "conveniently
positioned for being obliterated by a swift magic marker or
piece of gaffa tape", producing the catchier (and still more
honest) "THE MEN'S MAGAZINE YOU'RE EMBARRASSED TO READ ON THE
TUBE"... but, back with genitals: DYLAN TOMLINSON felt oddly
compelled to send us http://www.ntk.net/2000/02/18/dohbike.gif
for our "collection"... and finally, "Why do people think
vaginal fisting is funny?" asked, er, ANON, in response to the
swiftly-deleted Amazon bestseller craze [NTK 2000-02-11],
"[the book] is terrific, if a touch introductory." (Send us
*your* reviews for next week's hard lit round-up!) "Please use
just my first name, not my company," added a followup mail
five minutes later, "Anonymously is even better"...
>> 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 "how can we fail, when we
have the international banking conspiracy behind us?"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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