_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2000-05-12_ o join! mail an empty message to
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| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v v / o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Flash is everything Java applets were supposed to be.
People are putting it in cars and cell phones. I think it's
the way to display ads in Times Square or read books in an
e-book. It's an exciting time to be a Flash developer."
- PHILLIP TORRONE, excited Flash developer
...don't get a lift home with this guy
>> HARD NEWS <<
dearth of clues
A hushed public awaits: and, in the pages of Time magazine,
Bill Gates puts THE CASE FOR MICROSOFT. But years of
conviction play with a man's recollection. Every every one
of Bill's arguments points to the company's guiltiest
moments. With a split Microsoft, he begins, a future MS
"tablet PC" with handwriting recognition would not exist,
because Microsoft's OS and App developers need "real-time
collaboration" to pull it off. But MS had designs on a
"tablet PC" before: when they wrote Pen Windows, a
piece of FUDware designed to kill Jerry Kaplan's GO.
Back then, Microsoft bristled at any suggestion that their
OS and App departments colluded. Now the party line is that
it's vital for the consumer. In 1991, Gates goes on to
explain, MS Office developers invented the toolbar. "Had
toolbars been created elsewhere, they no doubt would have
been patented and never incorporated into Windows [as the
taskbar]". How very true: except toolbars *were* invented
elsewhere. In MacPaint. In 1984. At that point, Gates
entered into a secret agreement with Apple to use
Mac-ish features in the Windows OS, in return for developing
apps for the Mac (no monopoly here: yet). Moving to modern
day concerns: Bill says that the DOJ scheme would slow down
innovation, impeding "Windows updates that could protect
against attacks like the Love Bug virus". As opposed to now,
when Microsoft denies liability for the jelly-weak security
of Outlook? Gates end with his own horrific vision,
post-Microsplit: Apps and OS mini-Bills that could never
work together, because the DOJ demands that "no technical
information can be discussed that is not 'simultaneously
available' to the entire computer industry - which would be
a practical impossibility". An impossibility, of course,
which open source projects - and hell, most of the rest of
the industry - manage every day. Except, that is, when
Microsoft sues for publishing MS's proprietary extensions to
their work. And this is the case *for*?
- well, that is where my theory just falls to the ground
- cute pictures of old Mac apps to take bad taste away
- this isn't helping, is it
- the smoking gun! (see centre right)
More ILOVEYOU anthems: The DERBY EVENING TELEGRAPH reports
that the Tory leader of Derby City Council was sent a
mysterious fax, containing the secret code of the virus. The
police recommend that she send them a copy for forensic
study, then destroy it: demonstrating that it still had
destructive viral properties, even in this weakened form.
Similarly, the Guardian gave a clue to the Nam-Shub nature
of the attachment when they revealed it was written in
"Virtual Basic". When the alleged creator was caught - as
prophesied, in the Philippines, his sinister black-ice
powers served to hide his trail. Scrambled news reporters
variously listed his name as Reomel Ramones, Rommel
Lamores, Rommel Lamore, Rommel Ramores, Riomel Lamores,
Reomel Ramones, and Reonel Rameon. And the mutations
are increasing at an exponential rate.
- for tracking the name changes
- for creating some of them
- for best coverage
They say that Vegas in its heart hates Comdex, because geeks
never bet. So, in the hope that we're not playing into their
loss-leading, addict-begging, ever-loving arms, here's an
intriguing offer from William Hill's offshore gambling site.
You get a 50% cashback on your first bet, up to 50UKP. So:
find an event with only two outcomes. Bet 100UKP on the
favourite. Bet the 50UKP return on the alternative. Sign
off, delete the cookie, and return to your non-sporting life
to spend the cash on a proper addiction.
- the first one's always for free
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
"I built it" - and made it rather too "easily" accessible:
http://www.ntk.net/2000/05/12/doheasily.jpg ... new BT TV ad
depicts mum getting "engaged" tone while daughter online;
daughter miraculously maintains connection... meta tags at
http://www.alton-towers.co.uk/ cross-promote Legoland,
EuroDisney... because "METALLICA's integrity" on eBay went
already: http://www.ntk.net/2000/05/12/dohmetallica.gif ...
BLOCKBUSTER unveils secret video-on-demand backbone:
http://www.ntk.net/2000/05/12/dohblock.jpg ... for once, not a
novelty auction: http://search.ebay.co.uk/ ... "This is hyped
to be bigger than lastminute.com IPO floatation", reassures
http://www.toca.co.uk/ ... importance of staying "on massage":
(top left at) http://www.kofex.com/english/kofex/ceo.asp ...
... ROB ZOMBIE to make horror movie... yeah, like LOS ALAMOS
wasn't goading Nature to "have a go"...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Best excuse for not going to E3, with its zany reports of
Bleem for Dreamcast and all: "I have to take part in
'Coagulum', this Saturday's direct-action art prank intended
to clog the main thoroughfare of KINGSTON SHOPPING CENTRE
with a large, circular, rugby-style scrum." Apparently
they're meeting at Fairfield Recreation Ground, Kingston,
1.30pm 2000-05-13 - could be a complete washout of course,
but could rival even "Chu Chu Rocket" if it caught on.
- or continue fantasising over new, *younger* Lara Croft
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Too paranoid to use your shell account from those unusual
cyber cafe machines? Sure, you're using ssh - no problems,
right? You'll be glad to know some of the more frustrating
compatibility snafus with ssh may be going away now that the
knights of OpenSSH have wrestled the ssh2 protocol away from
the dark side. So, that's the network sorted - but what
about those pesky local key-loggers? Well, for on-the-road
access we'll packing a PDA with OPIE, an open replacement
for Bellcore's (apparently abandoned) One Time Password S/KEY
system. With support for OTP in openssh we'll soon be able
to sit back, sipping our overpriced lattes, worrying about
some of the more obscure vunerabilites.
- maybe ssh.com should move to a t-shirt based funding model?
- persuade your boss you need a Palm "for work"
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
ASA takes on RSA: http://www.asa.org.uk/adj/adj_4765.htm ...
R[o|i]ver Phoenix gags... searching for CHRIS MORRIS, found:
- "salmon ladder needed on east river"... so where's MR T vs
LYMPHATIC CANCER http://members.tripod.com/mtvsblair/page4.htm ...
and the "evil" of NAPSTER cancels out the evil of Flash:
... never mind "negative energy", tell us about the CURRY
GRID: http://members.xoom.com/mr_theremin/geop~2.htm ...
http://www.alancoxonachip.com/ ... duller than the real
thing: http://www.conceptlab.com/simulator/ ... BeebWAP:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/mainmenu.wml ... product
shipped to you only after full crash investigation:
http://virtualairport.lufthansa.com/english/ev/fs_flugzeugsitze_sell_e.htm >> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> tough call for fans of Smack The Pony's Sarah
Alexander, as she appears simultaneously in Steven "Press
Gang" Moffat's sniggering sex-com COUPLING (9.30pm, Fri
(ahem); 10.50pm, Sat, BBC2), hopefully to feature loads more
contrived set-ups with mobiles and answerphones... not
wishing to overload the cybernetic circuits, the hotly
awaited "Orac" episode of BLAKE'S SEVEN (*not* this Sat pm)
has been contemptuously replaced by a "Gene Kelly double
bill" leaving Saturday night for ROBOCOP (2) (again -
11.10pm, Sat, ITV), with Weller/ Allen sleepwalking through
Frank Miller's usual recycled script ideas... Chris Rock
heads up rap-umentary spoof CB4 (12.20am, Sat, BBC2) - not
to be confused with the similarly themed "Fear Of A Black
Hat"... while neurological deficit edutainment PHANTOMS IN
THE BRAIN (8pm, Fri, C4) leads neatly into brain-damaged
Sandra Bullock hacker-virus nonsense THE NET (9pm, Sun,
C4)... Errol "Fast, Cheap And Out Of Control" Morris
hopefully uses different criteria to select the naive
execution expert profiled in TRUE STORIES: MR DEATH (9pm,
Mon, C4)... Adam Hart-Davis cycles through another run of
DIY historical inventions slot LOCAL HEROES (8pm, Tue, BBC2)
- more welcome than the return of stand-up manque Michael
Moore in his self-descriptive THE AWFUL TRUTH (11.30pm, Tue,
C4)... and in one of those ironic twists that no-one else
mentions, SEX AND STOPPING (10.15pm, Wed, BBC1), a
"light-hearted" history of contraception, is presented by
none other than Nick Hancock, one of the single most
persuasive arguments in favour of it...
FILM>> in a far-off, decadent age, lower-class "barbarians"
brawl and cavort to the mock-horror of their more "civilised"
audience - but enough about Sex Pistols rebellion-nostalgia
biopic THE FILTH AND THE FURY (imdb: independent-film / music
/ punk-rock) - what about Ridley Scott's semi-CGI beat-em-up
GLADIATOR (http://www.capalert.com/ : gruesome defensive
killings; lusting after blade fighting and gladiatorial
killing; intentional trampling of a 8 year old boy; flatulence
as a street puppet show "weapon")? Battle scenes are, indeed,
judderingly spectacular, interspersed by agonisingly dull
dialogue and occasional Blade Runner references - but not
quite, as James King of Radio 1 seems to think on the poster,
"Truly the most epic movie of the last decade" (or even of
this one)... otherwise a selection of, shall we say, more
"female-friendly" flicks, in the form of WW2-era teen sex
romance SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS (http://www.capalert.com/ :
"clothing falling on the ground", more like!)... and what
looks like Nora "Sleepless In Seattle" Ephron's sisterly
remake of "The First Wives' Club", with Diane Keaton, Phoebe
Kudrow and (natch) Meg Ryan's extended phone metaphor HANGING
UP (http://www.capalert.com/ : most atypical of [Cloris]
Leachman's usual parts such as Granny of "The Beverly
Hillbillies" where what I would like to believe is her true
genius was revealed)...
PRO-CELEBRITY PUBLISHING FEEDBACK>> yup, we know, we did mags
and stuff last week, but felt we should try to defuse the
sheer ferocity of this week's mailbag as soon as possible -
almost all of it directed toward other NTK readers, we were
reassured to note... JACK SCHOFIELD kicked off by defending
Guardian Online's "Will Pokemon catch on?" headline [NTK 2000-
05-05] as "ironic" - that's nothing Jack, you should have seen
what they wanted us to put... several wrote to applaud last
week's attack on TV's DOTCOMEDY, described by one of you as "a
show that seems to be amazed that humans have sexual organs
and can't keep its excitement to itself"... and at least two
people bought MEN'S QUEST magazine, on the strength of last
week's (sarcastic) "recommendation", only to pronounce it
somewhere between "awful" and "shite". In another of his
(humorous) flights of fancy, Angus "Rough Guide To The
Internet" Kennedy reveals that it's not him, but "an
imposter" behind MQ magazine ("I believe he chose the name
because he thought it sounded very masculine"), which would
explain why none of the heartfelt, windswept creator bios at
http://www.mensquest.com/irishtimes.html make any mention of
(presumably) substantial royalties from a regular top-10 non-
fiction bestseller... again from NTK 2000-05-05, DARREN
SOMETHING [nee IRVINE] hit back at Connor McLaughlin, unable
to "believe McLaughlin has the nerve to describe [Internet And
Comms Today] as 'crappy' when he and his fellow Fidonetteers
used to fawn over myself and John when we deigned to grace
them with our august presences"... while WENDY GROSSMAN bravely
asserted that she "used to write for Internet and Comms Today.
And was friend to no-one" - this, we hope, in reference to the
claims of alleged editorial cronyism, rather than a more
general outlook on life... and, finally, "Don't forget to
tease me about this", mailed someone claiming to be "CHRIS
WARD-JOHNSON AKA DR KEYBOARD" (is that how he introduces
himself - "Chris Ward-Johnson - aka: Dr Keyboard"?), linking to
another of The Register's meticulously researched stories on
him: http://www.theregister.co.uk/000510-000018.html . Oh,
come on Keyboard (if it really *is* you, our old arch-enemy),
this is hardly playing the game now is it? Where's the sport
>> 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 having "more rigidity
as well as a 'flatter' back surface to minimize bending and
flexing of the package during clamping."
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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