"[it is] sickening to know that our art is being traded like
a commodity rather than the art that it is."
- LARS ULRICH, Metallica drummer, announcing their suit against Napster
...next: sue those philistines that sell it for hard cash
>> HARD NEWS <<
oh, to be in their shoes
In these days of plunging markets, it's hard to pinpoint
just one story that illustrates our own holding position:
that Net stocks are a device to transfer money from the
innocent to the guilty. But the tale of QXL's NASDAQ price
in the last week will do. Start from last Thursday, when SG Cowen
analyst Tom Bock announced that QXL was a "strong buy", and
predicted its eventual rise to a $333 stock value. Why?
Because - well, heck, they're the European Ebay, right, and
Europe's bigger than the US - so any minute now they'll get
an Ebay-like valuation. That call was based on some
interesting assumptions - that EBay hasn't made in-roads
into Europe, and that there are no other European
auctioneers of note. It took us ten minutes to spot another
five or so major auction sites in Germany (one of QXL's
longest established turfs) just by browsing yahoo.de. And
running a "links" count on altavista shows around 280 pages
pointing to qxl.de - compared to 1800 for ebay.de and 1700
for ricardo.de, another German auctioneer. Bock's timing was
particularly cute, given that the "strong buy"
recommendation came on the same day as a three-way split,
which has a habit of confusing casual investors into
thinking that the stock price is unnaturally low. After a
brief spike to around $110, the stock slumped to close to
$20 - a ride in which only the little guys got seriously
hurt. And we're sure it was pure coincidence that the hype
was days before the end of the six-month lock-in
of shares by the institutional investors...
- co-underwriters: SG Cowen
Crazy give-away time in the wonderful world of VIRGIN's
Internet experiment. In the US, the company offered this
week to give away 10,000 WebTVish things in return for
audience data (you'll remember this ploy from about a year
ago, when everyone else tried it). In the UK, VIRGIN NET
gave away their entire design staff to ZEFER, as head
designer Rik Gadsby and most of his colleagues stepped
outside for a breath of fresh air... and never... came...
back. But hold: surely they were all set to become as rich
as Rich in the real-soon-now Virgin Net IPO?
- wow. even the hypertext links are imagemaps. thass the future!
- yeah, yeah, we got your Falco nominations, people
And so to Infosec 2000, where the exhibitors handed out
their scaremongery fliers, and tried to shut up the DNS Con
guys, who found exploits in at least sixteen exhibitor
websites. K3yn0te Sp33k0r RLoxley seemed very excited by
the much-rumoured "gathering of the ten", in which a bunch of
"the planet's greatest hackers" will combine to form a
company to provide commercial security services
- or battle Galactus, we're not sure which. But his
glee was no match for the enthusiasm of the London 2600
regulars. Approached by a BBC producer keen to do yet
another hacking documentary, they happily regaled her with
details of the dark, illegal - and strangely captivating -
lives they led. The producer stood by, rapt with fascination
at their elititude. As did the Network Manager of a major
British Police force, who was standing about ten yards away.
Looks like the show's already on the road, kids!
- okay, nothing to see...
- go home
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
"RSI code" is, presumably, typing out every key by hand:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/000413-000013.html ... MS aims
to reverse DOJ ruling, turning time back "Superman"-style:
... "in the wrong hands", warns SHADOW DEFENCE SECRETARY
- stolen guns "could be lethal"... will the public *ever*
tire of seeing WINDOWS crash on large indoor displays:
http://www.ntk.net/2000/04/14/dohairport.jpg ?... WORD
"Revision control" on http://www.eurostar.co.uk/cond.doc
reveals added legislation against toddlers, longbows...
http://www.ntk.net/2000/04/14/doh550percent.gif - they pay
you 5 times the price?... MS aims to electrocute cable users:
BT announce ADSL "scheduled downtime" between 11.30-12.30 today
- at 11.29 ... if any page deserved a 404, it's www.lordlucan.com ...
Office 97 Professional CD contains large file titled PRON.wav ...
"Up My Street is fantastic - the guys who created that must be
pretty amazing" says TOM LOOSEMORE - whois upmystreet.com ?
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
It's not often that reforming '80s bands pose such profound
philosophical issues as SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK - did we miss
their notional cyberfuture at some point during the last
decade, does it still lie ahead, or is it currently taking
place in a neon-lit arcade in a parallel reality Tokyo?
Either way, several chances to re-enjoy their quaintly old-
fashioned futurism (and Giorgio Moroder's thumping techno-
billy basslines) as SSS play a number of high-profile gigs -
London's LA2, 2000-04-23 (Easter Sunday); Whitby Festival,
North Yorkshire 2000-04-29; Sheffield HALLAM University Students
Union, 2000-06-03 - no doubt prompting headlining quibbles
along the lines of "Noooo! I said 'Fifth Generation Of Rock
And Roll' *above* 'Puppet Show'..."
- 1st generation of HTML, as well
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
What we've been frenetically tracking this week: Last
Sunday, one of NTK's oldest pals and regular Tracking
contributor, Yoz Grahame, was admitted into the Royal Free
hospital intensive care, after a fit. He was diagnosed as
suffering pressure on the brain, and remained unconscious
until Thursday. The doctors are still not sure what caused
the problem (trust Yoz to discover an obscure, white-label
import virus), but we're pleased to report that he's now
awake, and seems to be rebooting just fine. Yoz, kid, next
time use the *scratch monkey brain* for these experimental
kernels. And get well soon. We love you.
- in bookstores soon
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
you do the math: http://www.calculusgirls.com/ ... this week's
modified sci-fi humour: http://www.quinnarama.com/futurama.htm
... you want one, it wants you too - this week's CTHULHU
merchandising: http://www.tccorp.com/outsider/doll.html ...
of course, it should actually be "PORTILLO! I choose - YOU!":
http://www.drinkfromthefurrycup.com/news/51.shtml ... 0-day
JAMZ: http://web.ukonline.co.uk/chilled/jam.html ... REBOOT vs
PLAYBOY: http://x46.deja.com/getdoc.xp?AN=603778658 ... taking
de-LINTING too far: http://www.feargod.net/fluff.html ...
caption compo: http://www.nbarker.demon.co.uk/demon.jpg ...
OFFICE 97 Professional CD contains large file titled PRON.wav
... http://www.lordlucan.com/ still missing... and, if this
takes off, a clarinet with SMS-downloadable ring-tones:
we heart http://newstrolls.com/ ... http://www.sylloge.com/5k/ ...
stalk your favourite Web authors at: http://www.byliner.com/ ...
makes a (dangerous) change from the weird Christian sites:
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> without wanting to sound too much like the Sally Phillips
fan page http://www.w2s.net/sally-phillips/ , if only *all*
female comedians were as attractive as the ones in SMACK THE
PONY (9.30pm, Fri, C4)... in case you were worried that there
were *two* Gail Porter-fronted Graham Norton-style wacky web
round-ups at large, DOTCOMEDY (11.10pm, Fri, C4) was formerly
known as "That Internet Show" - possibly a homage to "That
Show With That Guy" (the working title for "Seinfeld"), and
presumably not changed to tie in with the seemingly unrelated
domains dotcomedy.co.uk or dotcomedy.com... plus: a tongue-in-
cheek disaster double-bill with Kevin Bacon big-wormer TREMORS
(11pm, Fri, BBC1) and pre-Airplane nuclear chuckle THE BIG BUS
(12.35am, Fri, BBC1)... Saturday night's Paul Verhoeven mini-
season continues with ROBOCOP (10.20pm, Sat, ITV), described
by worldly NTK reader Paul Blez as "the most violent film he's
ever seen"... millennium Illuminati ritual JEAN MICHEL JARRE
AT THE PYRAMIDS (11.15pm, Sun, BBC1) apparently features "a
sudden blanket of fog" (fnord)... and Kim "Sex In The City"
Cattrall dates a guy with a thing for naked shop-window
dummies in MANNEQUIN (3.30pm, Mon, C5)... it's Arnie week on
C5 - again - with near-actionless gameshow satire THE RUNNING
MAN (9pm, Tue, C5) plus Brigitte Nielsen beat-em-up RED SONJA
(9pm, Thu, C5)... Harry Enfield touts his own teen-
observational accuracy with REAL KEVINS (9.35pm, Thu, BBC1) -
none of whom, interestingly, are actually called "Kevin"...
plus: hacking, biotech, set in 2012, - no chance *at all* of
FUTURECAST (9pm, Thu, C4) being just more "Killer Net" cyber-
FILM>> "Why didn't I just stay at home like last time and play
with some batteries?" wonders Gary "Apollo 13" Sinise and
photogenic other astronauts en route to confused 2001 homage
MISSION TO MARS (http://www.capalert.com/capreports : graphic
death by rotational ripping apart; excessive cleavage;
physical attack; teaching of evolution and false origins of
life) - mostly rubbish but, hey, it's big-screen sci-fi...
unimaginative film critics consistently trumpet their
incomprehension of junior object-oriented tutorial POKEMON:
THE FIRST MOVIE (http://www.capalert.com/capreports : lust for
power, control, and independence; rampant confrontation with
finality and with doubtful consequences; sensual drawing of a
female character, the intent of the viewing angle was clear; ;
"Circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant"; misguided and
often absent concern for the "death" of a "living, thinking
being" - a pokemon) - and they're not referring to the
replacement of the moody Japanese soundtrack with upbeat teeny
pop. Team Rocket are hardly in it and don't even do their
catchphrase, but it's still our pick of the kid flicks... at
least compared to Disney's ultra-sanitised THE TIGGER MOVIE
(http://www.capalert.com/capreports : a real family movie;
only two instances you may want to address one-on-one with
your kids) or ASTERIX AND OBELIX (imdb: based-on-comic /
historical / live-action / sequel), of which Time Out seemed
to genuinely complain that it's been dubbed, rather than in
the original French with English subtitles... and following
our success with Esquire's "The Magazine You're [Not]
Embarrassed To Read On The Tube" campaign [NTK 2000-02-18],
Aston Villa fans will know exactly which word to block out on
the poster for Sean Penn, Kristin Scott Thomas lah-di-dah
romance UP [AT] THE VILLA (http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : passed
'12' for moderate sexual references and threat and infrequent
DEAD TREE PUBLISHING>> three words: AMIGA FORMAT - FALCOOOOO!
Future Publishing's long-running Amiga mag (arguably the
"Off'al Playstation Magazine" of its day) has published its
last, with long-standing editor Nick Veitch heading up new
launch LINUX FORMAT (due Fri 2000-04-28) - all traces of the
hilariously NT-served http://www.linuxanswers.co.uk/ [see NTKs
passim] having been mysteriously erased... this being Future,
no sooner is one struck down than three more spring up in its
place, the other two being the UK edition of BUSINESS 2.0
(content 60% sourced from over here, with "the rest from the
US" - ex-Wired UK staffers, get your CVs in now!)... plus, out
now, the wildly underpriced MP3 MAGAZINE - only UKP4.99 for
*98* glossy pages (not quite as many legitimate applications
as they thought?) Great site http://www.mp3magazine.co.uk/
too!... on to happier news, with first-time caller KEVIN CECIL
guest-hosting this month's Covermount Corner, and recommending
the "very good free CD of Easy Listening Lounge music" on the
front of LATER, including a "sitar version of 'I Can See For
Miles'" - either the entire CD, or this track alone, is "well
worth the UKP3 cover price" - Kevin fails to specify. Plus,
"The CD is designed to look like a CD that you have bought
rather than a 'shit magazine one' which seems a major advance
in free CDdom. The magazine itself is rather poor"... but, for
once, atrocity of the month goes to EMAP ACTIVE, for their
staggeringly daft Edge-alike "PS This Publication Is Not
Authorised Or Approved By Sony. PS2 And Playstation2 Are
Trademarks Of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc" (UKP3.99) - a
largely unnecessary disclaimer given that the content is so
ridiculously pro-PS2 even Sony would be embarrassed to run it.
Amid the Designers Rupublic [(c) Edge Magazine, May 1999]
knock-off graphics, shamefully blocky screengrabs, and sub-
Off'al Dreamcast "fashion shoots", there's even the typically
on-the-ball opinions of "style journalists" from The Face and
The Big Issue - the latter disappointingly not providing, in
counterbalance to all the tedious "Trojan Horse" propaganda
elsewhere, an analysis of exactly how the Playstation 2 will
revolutionise digital entertainment possibilities available to
>> 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 (ha!) 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
"just biding our time, just hiding that bottle"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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