_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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a few 'practical memetics' projects at the moment... We have
been trying to work out how we can upgrade the idea of a
'brand communication' to make it as resilient as the chain
letters that flow around the net."
- SALIM FADHLEY, UK-NetMarketing mailing list
...VERY SICK CORPORATION MICROSOFT WANTS TO GET IN GUINESS BOOK
OF RECORDS FOR MOST PRODUCT REGISTRATION CARDS SENT
>> HARD NEWS <<
Now that it has the sword of truth, the shield of fair play,
and, most precious of all, the orb of scaredy-Cat ISPs, who
will stop the GODFREY vs DEMON judgement from
spreading through the land? This week, OUTCAST!, the gay
magazine run by Chris "no, the one who took the age of
consent law to the Court of Human Rights" Morris, was shut
down by ISP NetBenefit, on the merest suspicion that its
articles might be defamatory. When the Campaign Against
Internet Censorship in Britain ran a story on the Outcast
shutdown, its ISP was advised to remove their page too. This
time the warning was from LG himself, complaining that the
article's title could be construed as libellous to
Godfrey himself. Worried yet? But surely, can we not move
all our poor and huddled Websites away from nervy British
ISPs to America? Not according to LG, who has suggested that
he'll sue UK companies that even run the DNS of allegedly
libellous sites. To escape the threat of legal
action, you'd need to switch domains too. But then, what
about those local proxy caches? Could Freeserve be sued,
merely for transporting the contents of these offshore
sites? This could get interesting. Too interesting.
- should be over the sea by now
- the same Pink Paper who used to cry "free speech" against
libel writs from Duncan "Echelon" Campbell
When the the London Stock Exchange trading computers crashed
*just* at the point that the US stock market bubble wobbled,
it's tempting to see more than the usual invisible hand
manipulating the market. Was it truly incompetence on an
unparallelled scale, or could this "accident" have been a
deliberate denial of service prevent further instability?
Well, given Andersen Consulting's involvement, we're
assuming the former. On the other hand, we're still curious
about the sudden bounceback in the US markets on Tuesday.
Who was behind Goldman and Merill Lynch's purchase of stocks
around 1PM? Did the market really pick itself up using the
bootstraps of post-lunch bonhomie? Or as New York Post
columnist (and Whitewater conspiracist) John Crudelle
implies, was it a staged intervention by the Feds into the
punch-drunk market's fall?
- (via Robot Wisdom, out of Drudge)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/business/newsid_703000/703859.stm Hard news, or April Fools? Microsoft guilty - maybe, but
then why aren't they *acting* guilty? A Jet Set Willy Academic
Conference - yeah, we can see that; but Netscape 6 launched
when Mozilla isn't even in beta. Nah. Apache for PDAs - okay,
there's already Jim Rees' Palm webserver, after all. But QXL
suddenly a "good buy"? Oh, it's all too confusing. And
it's not as if this entire industry hasn't been an extended
practical joke for the last decade or two...
- this has to be true - the Register says so ...
- or did a few minutes ago...
- when it's not even news
- jump Netscape out of its AOL skin
- Memory Palaces: Spatial Mnemonics, Virtual Reality, and
Why I Never Finished JET SET WILLY
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
http://www.cyrix.com/ liberated by Puerto Madryn!... KRAYS
fans of TVGOHOME: http://www.ntk.net/2000/04/07/dohhammer.jpg
... this week's Scandinavian fakesite [CAUTION: STRONG SEXUAL
IMAGERY] http://www.math.helsinki.fi/~ville/tekomuna/ ... kids who
carry weapons more likely to use illegal drugs, says new
study... secrets of running a top e-commerce site:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/000406-000018.html ... PC WORLD
sees future: http://www.ntk.net/2000/04/07/dohpcworld.gif ...
in accordance with NTK prophecy [1999-04-02], DECADENT ACTION
call last "phone in sick day"; no-one cares (why not just
stick your phone *in some sick* instead?)... overclocking
... PHANTOM MENACE finally released on DVD - in 2007!... in
W3C-style analysis, BBC reveals hell is - PHIL COLLINS
... CYBER PATROL blocks uk.rec.competitions, Sunsite Europe
- also www.need1now.co.uk - phew, that was close...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
It's Official! At last week's GEEK PRIDE in Boston, voters
helped us establish ALAN TURING as the "top geek role model"
of both fiction and reality, beating off tough competition
from Linus Torvalds, Steve Jobs, Eric S Raymond, The
Terminator, Hannibal Lecter, Roy Batty from "Blade Runner",
and Sandra Bullock's character in "Demolition Man". So, now
you know. Next week promises to be an altogether more sober
affair, with the Gordon Joly-promoted BBCNC 6TH BIRTHDAY PARTY
(a pub, in London, 8pm Thursday 2000-04-13) unfortunately
clashing with the opening night of THE ART OF STAR WARS at The
Barbican (from 2000-04-13 to 09-03) - which, perhaps
disappointingly, just seems to be some an exhibition of the
"art" involved in making the films, rather than like that book
which re-interprets scenes from the saga in the style of the
- again, if you need to ask...
- and it's not as if they're the Lego ones or anything
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
So you made the leap from Windoze gaming kiddie to Linux dev
god: you live in vim, gcc and cvs, you've got mpg123 getting
playlists off MySQL and displaying on an LED readout, you've
got so much connectivity between your devices that your
room's in danger of becoming spontaneously sentient, and if
you really feel the need for some blasting you've got GPL'ed
Quake and an ultra-smooth 5-button non-MS mouse. (Or
nethack. Or "Pingus") So what to do with that lonely,
unloved joystick gathering dust in the corner? With
Mordechai T. Abzug's jsd it'll be reborn as the
controller-lightning-wand-powerstaff of your technology
throne. And being the very model of an Open Source
individual, you'll happily send Morty your patches...
- or just tell him to ensure the archive's gzipped, 'cos it aint
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
Canana hothousing world-beating COUNTDOWN athletes (rule 5
at): http://www.freelotto.com/Rules.asp ... MSX-BOX revisited:
http://www.faq.msxnet.org/kay-nishi.html ... TERENCE MCKENNA
attains deeper, more permanent trance-state than ever before
... feeding MR T cgi output through http://www.askjesus.org/ -
then back to Mr T!... "Hey nonny nonny nooooo!", part 2:
http://www.njlong.ndirect.co.uk/agm_minutes_1999.htm - tone
oddly reminiscent of "Thorin starts singing about gold"...
DARPA continue getting all their best ideas from sci-fi films:
http://www.darpa.mil/baa/baa00-34.htm ... hello CTHULHU!
*two* feature length REBOOT movies... Cardassian BARBIE:
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Cavern/7733/Barbie/CustomBarbie.html >> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> OK, for the clarification of everyone who writes in
moaning that we didn't plug this week's episode of "Jam" /
"Blake's Seven" / "the repeats of Spaced on the Paramount
Comedy Channel", NTK TV policy is, wherever possible, to alert
you to the first episode of a new series, then allow you to
make up your own mind if you want to watch more of them...
exceptions are made (or satellite output covered) when we know
a show or series to be of unusual quality, as is indeed the
case with US import GOOD VS EVIL (formerly G VS E - 9pm, Wed,
Sky1), perhaps best described as Buffy The Vampire Slayer in
the style of Starsky And Hutch. Almost worth the On-Digital
subscription *on its own* - which is handy, because MTV seem
to be repeating *yet again* last year's THE TOM GREEN SHOW
(10pm, Tue, MTV)... back on terrestrial, it's quirky sci-fi
weekend, with a typically entertaining Verhoeven dystopia in
TOTAL RECALL (10.15pm, Sat, ITV), space-time wormhole sequel
THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT 2 (12.10am, Sat, BBC1) - featuring
a parallel future where the Nazis won WW2, as opposed to, for
instance, the Allies having won it, but *in a different way* -
plus Roger Corman's recut-from-other-f/x-sequences cheapie
BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (5.50pm, Sun, BBC2)... an ADHD-crazed
PANORAMA (10.05pm, Mon, BBC1) imitates the Onion gag
"Potential Picasso Prescribed Ritalin"... the trailer-spoiled
Mel Gibson thriller RANSOM (9pm, Mon, C5) loses out to Sam
Raimi's Sharon Stone designer Western THE QUICK AND THE DEAD
(10pm, Mon, C4)... yes, you're kicking yourself that you never
got round to registering FILM2000.com (11.15pm, Tue, BBC1)...
and the appallingly entitled WHEN LOUIS (THEROUX) MET JIMMY
(SAVILLE) (9.30pm, Thu, BBC2) offers perhaps just enough
temptation to the continuity announcer who must then introduce
cultural fad analysis THAT THING (10.20pm, Thu, BBC2) on the
Pokemon "Pocket Monster" phenomenon...
FILM>> Julia Roberts continues her one-woman war against
traditional feminism in sassy legal thriller ERIN BROCKOVICH
(http://www.capalert.com/capreports/ : bold display of
tattoos; excessive cleavage, breast exposure, and leg
exposure; child arrogance against fair parental authority;
using sex appeal to get ahead; underwear showing; a great
pretend dad for the kids but also a source of immoral sex) -
but, hey, it's Steven "Out Of Sight" Soderbergh, and anything
he does is fine by the arthouse crowd... a largely unknown
actress turns in a moving, highly acclaimed, utterly
convincing performance as a young man - but that's enough
about Kathy Burke in Harry Enfield's upcoming teen comedy
"Kevin And Perry", apparently there's some sort of cross-
dressing twist in recent Oscar winner BOYS DON'T CRY as well
(imdb: independent-film / murder / rape / sexual-identity /
small-town-life / sexual-identity-crisis / small-town /
transgender / alcohol / time-lapse-photography / based-on-
true-story / transsexual / transvestitism / transsexualism /
violence / birthday / intolerance / white-trash / karaoke /
love / lesbian) - all together now, *not* based on the
Ultrav^H^H^H^H^H "The Cure" song of the same name... great
cast, no action in talk-heavy LA actor-wank HURLYBURLY (MPAA:
Rated R for constant drug use, pervasive strong language and
sexual material) - we say: wait for the one where Garry
Shandling plays a talking alien penis - though, promisingly,
in this one, Meg Ryan does get pushed out of a car... and,
perhaps inevitably, Kathy Burke pops up, with the usual gang
of "Final Cut" idiots, in unsurprisingly dire gangster comedy
LOVE, HONOUR AND OBEY (imdb comment: "the main reason for this
film seems to have been that the cast wanted to play with a
load of guns")...
CONFECTIONERY CORNER>> being largely an excuse to say: that
guy who tried to get in touch with us that time about his
"American snack imports" - could you mail us again, this time
to email@example.com - as Danny seems to have "eaten" your
previous one?... overall, an unusually disappointing month for
newsagent / petrol station produce, with the highest profile
launch - QUAKER'S "95% (+/-5%) fat free tasty rice and corn
snacks" CRISPY SNACK A JACKS (49p for 35g bag, look "near the
crispbreads") - largely resembling giant dessicated sugar
puffs, sprayed with a range of unappetising flavours:
Chocolate (95% fat free), Caramel (97% fat free), and of
course Cheddar Cheese (90% fat free) - by far the most
palatable of the lot, though almost identical to that WALKERS
SUN DOG CHEESY POPCORN we were hooked on back in 1999-04-16...
also scoring 1 out of 3: the relaunched "FRY'S SPIRIT" cream
liqueur bars (RRP42p - FRY'S of course being merely a front
for notorious new-product dabblers CADBURY'S), in "Berry
Margarita" (identical to strawberry-centred Black Magic),
"Pina Colada" (weird pineapple & coconut) and "Velvet Dream"
(pleasantly neutral) - "Don't they have a vaguely suggestive
strapline?", reports our faintly amnesic correspondent.
"Something like: 'Soft as a penis on your tongue'?"... because
we registered miniegg.co.uk 2 years ago and never did anything
with it, send us *your* samplings of the wide range on offer:
price, number per packet, how many you could consume before
feeling ill... sightings also required on the following new
products rumoured but not yet confirmed: CADBURY'S WISPABITE
(like Wispa but with biscuit bits, due to launch on the same -
epic? - scale "as WispaGold in 1996"); non-mentholated
strawberry TUNES (to be "aimed at clubbers"); and this year's
new crop of summer ice-creams, including WALLS' SOLERO ICE,
and a selection of NURISHMENT-flavoured tubs (2.79 for 500ml),
based on the crack addict's favourite milky energy drink...
>> 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 "Lamers vs Kramer"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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