"We have always done a good job of safeguarding privacy. I
don't think we've done a good job as we could have on
getting the message out there about privacy."
- DoubleClick's KEVIN RYAN
...although if you had detailed knowledge about the sites we visited,
you could probably work it out
>> HARD NEWS <<
nuts and screws
If you were wondering why this week's Private Eye had an
advert for www.portia.org.uk, an apparently empty site,
here's why. PORTIA is - or was - a site that documents
suspected cases of false convictions in the UK, run by the
eighty-year-old journalist, Ken Norman. On February 9th of
this year, the small ISP who hosts the site received a
letter from lawyers acting on behalf of the Police
Federation. The Police Federation is currently seeking
action against the BBC for a Trial and Error program on the
Eddie Gilfoyle case, and sought to have a page covering the
case removed, and replaced with "a full apology". Eddie's
conviction has been found unsafe by the the Criminal Cases
Review Commission, and following an investigation by a
neighbouring police force, officers involved have been
recommended for disciplinary action. Nonetheless, under the
weight of the Federation's legal threats, the ISP felt
obliged to remove the entire site.
- although, of course, censorships' just a caching problem
- best dealt with backups
- at multiple sites
Of course, we have our own battles to fight. Not quite in
the same league is our two year campaign to hold Bill Gates
to his promises. As founder subscribers will recall, back in
1997 we challenged Bill on a promise he gave some years
previously: to release the source for the original, 4KB
Altair BASIC. Since then, he has persistently mentioned
"getting around to it". We guess he's been too busy
forgetting stuff for the DOJ trial to recollect this
particular commitment. Or has he? IT WEEK recently reminded
him of the deal, and Bill said that "anybody who wants a
copy can just ask." You heard the man: wonder what license
he's going to pick?
- next, he has to get Win2000 to run in 640KB
- the story so far
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
http://www.softwareparadise.co.uk features ISO9002 "qulaity"
(sic) accreditation ... ... MATT DRUDGE demands bongo and
flute backing to his audio book ... THE THE in Amazon's top
ten pre-ordered albums: but *how*? ... BBC reveal that in
futuristic Finland, "Some girls change the covers to suit
their clothes - if they're wearing a red dress they'll have
a red phone that day." ... SUNDAY TIMES recommends users
"jiggle their mouse" to beat online time-outs ... AMAZON not
learning much from that purchase circle feature:
(try Bill Gates) ... they're just trying to wind up Tim BL,
right? http://www.g-wizz.net/errordocuments/404error.swf ...
still, there are worse industries to have a doh file:
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
OK, so the word is that long-time anti-virus varmint (and
friend of the Sunday Times) DK MATAI will be the "guest" of
that notoriously cynical First Tuesday crew on, er, Tuesday.
Or you could think up some equally tricky questions for
erratic soft-spoken "Microserfs" scribe DOUGLAS COUPLAND, who
(we think) is promoting his new novel, "Miss Wyoming" from
Monday next week at some branches of London's Books Etc. Ask
your local bookseller for details - ever since reading his
"Generation X" (and that dreadful Lara Croft book), we've been
just too slack to care.
- "First Tuesday/ I gave you a worm...
- but the very next day/ you gave it away..."
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
GRAPHVIZ is one of programs that make you
realise that (a) everyone else has the same problems as you
and (b) a few of them are *much* better at getting around to
solving them. It's a suite of programs for UNIX
and Windows that takes a simply organised text file of
directed or undirected nodes, and constructs an accurate and
aesthetically rather lovely graph of them. And it saves the
shame of borrowing Marketing's copy of Visio. No recent
changes (although it did slip quietly into an Openish Source
license last September). We only just found it. We're fools.
- Tony Buzanariffic
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
hmmm : www.dos-truth.com ... not exactly 24 hour access:
http://www.xtml.co.uk/managedserver.html ... TV Go Home +
Davros = http://tv.cream.org/gorilla/tvmenu.htm ... X-MEN
teaser still manages to beat the presidential candidates
sites: http://mutantwatch.com/ ... Private Sector Takeover
of Mir - Sterling one, Gibson nil ... we stole the quote, so
here's the link: viva http://www.ditherati.com/ ! ... from
our Ambassador to Moscow, to Lord Pembroke: greetings
http://www.ntk.net/2000/02/25/moscow.gif ... swede imitates
ONION: http://220.127.116.11/smart/index.htm vs.
http://www.theonion.com/archives/monkgloats.html ... at
least it's not a VIRGIN group site: http://www.hymen.com/
... "look after yourself - and your SIMS!"
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
the less rude http://www.tvgohome.com/
FILM>> a good week for noble, well-crafted Oscar-bait = a bad
week for gunfights and explosions! Tom Hanks gets together
with Shawshank Redemption director to essentially remake the
same homespun Stephen King tosh, though not as well, in THE
GREEN MILE (http://www.capalert.com/capreports/ : rehearsal of
an electrocution; beating by crazed father; rear male nudity;
porno comic book; urination as entertainment) - though you've
got to admire the stamina of audiences for a three-hour film
that is (largely) about Hanks desperately needing a piss...
Matt Damon plays a murderous bisexual Rory Bremner who wows a
bunch of upper-class tossers in dark lah-di-dah yawn THE
TALENTED MR RIPLEY (http://www.capalert.com/capreports/ :
homosexual embrace of a dead body; forgery; impostering;
cohabitation; excessive posterior exposure [bathing suits];
drowning suicide; homosexual behaviors, some exceptionally
bold)... and we should have already reviewed Jerry "Sliders"
O'Connell's sub-Swingers adventures in the parallel universe
of the the LA singles scene via not hugely amusing relo-drama
BODY SHOTS (http://www.cndb.com : "[Ron] Livingston's buns are
prominent in the frame"; Jerry O'Connell - "brief rear
exposure... showering in the lockerroom"; Emily Procter -
"only a brief glimpse of her breasts... fans of the actress or
into seeing bondage sequences in mainstream movies will
probably want to seek this out"; Tara Reid - "you can briefly
see her lovely rear... great views of her breasts and from
many different angles"; Brad Rowe - "partial rear views during
an intense sex scene... against a chain link fence")...
TV>> a scenario instantly familiar to any QL owners out there,
as Clive Sinclair "calls" with an 8 and a 7, *though there's
already an Ace and a King on the table*, in all-new episodes
of LATE NIGHT POKER (1.25am, Fri, C4)... BBC2's ironically
titled "Comedy Zone" plumbs new depths with the return of
increasingly desperate stereotype-reiterating in GOODNESS
GRACIOUS ME (9pm, Fri, BBC2) plus that loathsome Dennis Pennis
guy playing a loathsome ad exec in PERFECT WORLD (9.30pm, Fri,
BBC2) - not a spin-off show from the Kevin Costner film of the
same name... and there's a good reason why the "Kurt Godel"
character doesn't use the Jerry Maguire catchphrase "You
complete me" in zany Meg Ryan Albert Einstein boffin romance
IQ (10.25pm, Fri, BBC1)... like "The Matrix" and "Back To The
Future", they filmed (and are showing) both sequels back to
back for '70s subway Walter Matthau black comedy THE TAKING OF
PELHAM 1, 2,(&) 3 (8.55pm, Sat, BBC2)... C4 kicks off its
happening peak-time Saturday night with a *2-hour* repeat of
soporific crypto-history STATION X (7pm, Sat, C4)... we defy
even dedicated fans to tell the difference between this and
any other series of HARRY HILL (9.30pm, Sun, C4)... and Jamie
Lee Curtis (then Mrs John Carpenter) has an uncredited
voiceover in cyber-noir Kurt Russell romp ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
(10pm, Sun, C4)... alleged NTK reader and former Watchdog co-
host Charlotte Hudson inexplicably reappears in "bizarre" new
sketch show BRUISER (11.20pm, Mon & Wed, BBC2) - frenziedly
alternating with yet another BBC "minority comedy" show,
BLOUSE AND SKIRT (11.20pm, Tue & Thu, BBC2)... the Radio Times
implies that this week's HOME FRONT (8pm, Wed, BBC2) makeover
is to transform a garden (and a house?) into a liveable
facsimile of the Teletubbies set... while DISPATCHES (9.30pm,
Thu, C4) breaks from all that hard-hitting political stuff for
some well-meaning tech product placement by *putting a whole
street on the internet*. What *will* they think of next?...
INTENTIONALLY BLANK>> Dave is otherwise engaged this week,
training in the Nevada desert in preparation for what he
claims will be an inevitable post- http://www.kevinwarwick.org.uk/
nuclear armageddon. Dave, if you can hear this: everything's fine.
Come back home. Wolfie? Wolfie's just fine, honey. Hello?
>> 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
"actually, we did have a third news item, but we thought
we'd done enough vagina stories for one century. Mail tips
for your free copy and WAV file. Sickos."
NEED TO KNOW
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