_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2000-06-02_ o join! mail an empty message to
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "We want to prove to the world that Gnutella is more
than just music piracy and child porn."
- GENE KAHN, on the new search engine utilising Gnutellanology
...it's also a great way to search for them!
>> HARD NEWS <<
A little lesson in what you can do if you try very hard (and
spend your evenings pouring over extremely dull policy
documents). As BRITISH TELECOM scrabbles to comply with
Oftel's uncharacteristically strident requirement that it
provide ISPs with cheap flat-rate access, sans strings, to
the local loop, give a round of applause to the CAMPAIGN FOR
UNMETERERED TELECOMS. In two years, CUT went from a ragtag
group of powerless online protestors (complete with baths of
custard demos outside Cable and Wireless HQ) to a
significant advisor to Oftel in the face of BT. Two years
ago, no-one - not Oftel, not AOL, and certainly not BT would
concede that flat-rate calls were even possible. Now, BT's
last gasp attempt to face off the inevitable with its costly,
confusing SurfTime service has been summarily bypassed:
replaced, at Oftel's insistence, with a system very similar
to what CUT recommended all those months ago. Cheers, kids!
- metered calls: FRIA(L)CO!
- oh how young we were
And, in another brief trip into a parallel universe where
common sense prevails, the Electronic Communications Act
(nee E-Commerce) quietly received its assent on 2000-05-25.
Quiet, because its original raison d'etre - as a trojan
horse to sneak in government controls on strong cryptography
- failed utterly when the Department of Trade and Industry
refused to fight any longer with the same long-haired Net
types that scared BT in the previous news story. Now, it's a
rather pleasant eunuch of a bill whose sole function in the
real world is to give a legal footing to digital signatures
(which they would probably have already had under existing
law, anyway). Of course, in that real world, all the nasty
stuff about access to keys has now passed to the RIP bill -
but it's nice to see a few battles won, right?
- you feel happy already, don't you
It was about time that Microsoft fell into a fight where we
felt sorry for them. And so they have: the DIGITAL DIVAS
(hoarders of the "grey day" concept [see NTK 1998-10-01]) are
taking them to court for using the Digital Diva term for
their own site. A few questions for the court: Exactly *how*
long does it take to come up with the name "Digital Divas",
anyway? It's a big Net and a small namespace: we
counted at least a dozen other uses of the term, including
porn sites, queer theory, two conference panels, and an
Activision game. Microsoft didn't steal the name: the
stumbled on the same, kinda hackneyed, trope. Dammit, when
the blessed Donald Davies (who passed away this week) came
up with the idea for packet switching at the same time as
Paul Baran, did they duke it out over whose idea it *really*
was? Did they fight in the courts over the fricking *name*?
Or did they care not a jot about who got their first, on got
on with the fun bit: creating the next, great idea?
- "toad the fucker"? Does anyone want this phrase?
- slashdot stole these news stories from us! and vice versa!
- our best ideas last longer than we ever will
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
FASHIONMALL imitates DOONESBURY:
(and http://www.myvulture.com leads to..) ... remember: good
eggs sink: bad eggs float ... not bad stocklist as of "1899"
http://www.ntk.net/2000/06/02/dabs-doh.gif ... ... DREAMCAST
to be repositioned as "interactive device": f-f-f-fal ... no
no, Carmack: sack *everyone*, redo COMMANDER KEEN! ... SMITH
CORONA - somewhat obviously Falco! ... BBC: TV in the pubic
sector: http://www.ntk.net/2000/06/02/dohbbc.jpg ... IMDB vs
BT INTERNET: http://obsess.com/junk/imdb ... Best headline
of week: "VIA renames chipset in Holocaust gaffe" (C|NET) ...
http://www.kashpureff.org/ekashp/ : odd, no mention of
"went on run from FBI" ... frequently unanswered, more like
http://www.netbenefit.co.uk/services_faq.html#6 ... Aussie
dentist has "Marathon Man"-like interest in "gadgets"
http://www.edgedent.com.au/tech.html ... what's that down in
the bottom frame? http://www.radionow.co.uk/intro.htm ...
TESCO's foray into "nouvelle cuisine":
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
And, lo, a hardy band of LINEONE users didst look upon BT's
attempt to sell them on a chatserver known for its lack of
moderation. And, by cover of darkness, they didst vow to set
out into the wilderness, to found a new chat environment,
free of such blasphemies as (their choice) "#jesus_sucks_cock".
Furthermore, they're having a "spectacular evening" to
celebrate their successful secession this Sunday,
2000-06-40, from 7pm at the Fornex And Firkin in Harrow,
North London, with live bands, slaying of a fatted calf,
that sort of thing. And before you ask, we're convinced that
this is for real, rather than (say) a spoof site put
together by some mean people...
- hey, that's what chat users look like...
- and, for Nathans, a Manc music thing later in the week
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Now that Terminus is almost out, and Elite IV is almost
certainly doomed to be a perfectly horrid travesty (although
we're happy to bet both ends at William Hill on that
eventuality), we're almost reaching the end of our endless
pining for the One True Successor to Elite. But in the mean
time, please allow us to air our obsession one more time in
the worthiest of causes. Giles ("1080") Goddard's VOID is,
as far as is inhumanly possible, Elite for the PalmOS
platform. Palm IIIc users get school-of-CGA colours: the rest of
us can revel in almost BBC Micro monochrome. Our souls are
at rest; or they will be when we fork over the $9.95
registration fee. Can we pay in narcotics?
- altho, actually the BBC had several lines of colour,
thanks to an incredible VBI interrupt hack that...
- i'll get my coat
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
"never mistake our silence for being asleep" - or, indeed,
being dead: http://www.amiga.com/corporate/053000-mcewen.shtml ...
running a sniffer on the Yahoo Java chat protocol ... the
new Lego Millennium Falcon: "at only 16 cents a piece it
compares very favorably with the French Knights castle as a
source of grey bricks" ... 404 God Not Found:
http://freethought.tamu.edu/extreme ... searching
http://www.open.gov.uk/search/search.htm for 'eyes only' ...
www.metallicster.uklinux.net seem to have toned it down
since heady days of http://www.theregister.co.uk/000511-000023.html
... leccie cars! http://www.evuk.co.uk/ ... Fatboy RMS:
... The Search for The Real Nathan Barley - contender 1:
http://www.runningmanonline.com/about/people.htm ... euhuhh!
my-name's-Log: http://www.log.dial.pipex.com/playground/ ...
to fill those junkbuster gaps: http://bak.spc.org/antibanners...
and some filler for filling the next Filler:
http://ojr.usc.edu/content/story.cfm?request=382 ... oh, fuck *off*:
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,15398,00.html >> GEEK MEDIA <<
the less rude www.tvgohome.com TV>> "achievement has been supressed, all must wear a headband
that scrambles intelligent thought" reports the Radio Times,
hopefully describing the premise of Vonnegut-dystopia HARRISON
BERGERON (1.20am, Fri, BBC2) rather than the "making of"...
still, could be amusing if it makes the whole population as
retarded as those guys in DUMB AND DUMBER (6.55pm, Sat,
ITV)... while Robin Williams semi-imitates The Onion
appalling man-child reverse-pedophile over-indulgence JACK
(4.55pm, Sun, C5)... cool production design, but no action,
cripples Sean Connery "High Noon" sci-fi remake OUTLAND (9pm,
Sun, C5)... this week's rash of "dot.com" related shows kicks
off with THE MONEY PROGRAMME (6.15pm, Sun, BBC2) praising /
critiquing the acquisitive Cisco... prime-time consumer show
HARD CASH (7.30pm, Mon, BBC1) examines online fraud plus "the
pitfalls of devising a website in the hope of making a
million"... and maybe worth fast-forwarding through 4-parter
INSIDE DOT COMS: TALES OF THE ELECTRONIC GOLDRUSH (11.20pm,
Mon-Thu, BBC2) in case anyone you know makes fools of
themselves... Stephen "Bill And Ted" Herek's erratically
plotted DON'T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER'S DEAD (9.30pm, Mon, C4)
nonetheless features Christina "Married With Children"
Applegate, David Duchovny, and Joanna "Zhora the replicant"
Cassidy... THE CANDIDATE (7.30pm, Tue, BBC2) gives a postman
just 7 days to find a job as a web designer - like it normally
takes that long... Keith Chegwin strips off to host nude game
show NAKED JUNGLE (10.55pm, Tue, C5), preceded by mild Sly
Stallone/ Kurt Russell (but not Teri Hatcher) nudity thriller
TANGO AND CASH (9pm, Tue, C5)... and Kirk-killer Malcolm
McDowell seems to have continued playing the same role in his
current "I want to define my own universe" LineOne ads as he
did in STAR TREK: GENERATIONS (7pm, Wed, BBC1)...
FILM>> world's best magazine, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, wears
the joke-crown for funniest summary of negative critical
to largely Scientology-free Travolta vanity project
BATTLEFIELD EARTH (http://www.capalert.com/ : dissension
against tradition causing risk to meager resources of
others; a lot of poor hygiene) - but, hey, it's big-screen
sci-fi! Hopefully the poor reviews won't prevent them from
making the *other* major motion picture, as promised on the
cover of "L Ron Hubbard's" insanely entertaining novel...
otherwise, Harvey Keitel *is* Alan Turing, in apparently
inauthentic Enigma Hollywoodisation U-571 (abridged script
at http://ter.air0day.com/u571.html ) - almost exactly the
same as "Das Boot" but, this time, the Germans are the bad
guys!... Roman Polanski seems to have learned little from
Charles Manson murdering his wife that time, and continues
to dabble in unremarkable devil thrillers like THE NINTH
GATE (http://www.capalert.com/ : claims that Satan drew
etchings in a book)... but nothing compared to the horror
that medical science has now enabled Ben Elton to reproduce,
as documented in vaguely autobiographical usual- suspects
Brit-com MAYBE BABY (imdb comment: "sweetly undemanding...
Maybe I'm biased as I am a major Joanna Lumley fan, but as
soon as she disappears from sight, something goes slightly
RED BOOK AUDIO (or "tracks you're morally justified in
downloading from Napster, because they're clearly nicked off
other tunes already. Anyway, like you care.")>> just hitting
the servers now - "Carmen Queasy" by MAXIM (the guy from the
Prodigy, not the magazine) sounds like LIMP BIZKIT's rockin'
cover of the "Mission: Impossible" theme but played back with
the wrong MIDI instruments on a broken Soundblaster card - and
not in a good way. Meanwhile, over on the official Prodigy
website they've started pirating their own tracks for mobile
ringtones: http://www.xl-recordings.com/news/news.htm ... and
never mind the obvious comparisons with Billie Piper/ her
first single - BEN MOOR boldly proposes that BRITNEY's "Oops I
Did It Again" is based on "Something's Gotten Hold Of My
Heart" by Marc Almond with Gene Pitney... in other pop news,
tipmaster general LLOYD WOOD advocated "listening to [but not
purchasing, eh kids?] 'Hooray For Boobies' by THE BLOODHOUND
GANG. Well, once anyway", largely on the strength of track 5
('Mope'), a eulogy to iconic rapper Falco ("with accompanying
Amadeus samples")... RUARIDH revealed that the "Falco tribute"
[NTK 2000-04-28] *isn't* by Kid 606, but other V/VM artist
including COCK ESP plus REHBERG AND BAUER... and very much
alive (and much less Austrian) MJ HIBBETT AND THE VALIDATORS -
the "Hey Hey 16K" guys - have let us MP3 a load of tracks from
their new album, now at http://www.daveg.dial.pipex.com ...
back with soundalikes, sitcom-mad BD HALL persuasively argues
that "The first few bars of GOMEZ's 'Whipping Picadilly' evoke
the opening bars to Only Fools And Horses," and "THE YOUNGER
YOUNGER 28's 'hit' 'We're Going Out' is a bastardised version
of the theme tune to Are You Being Served?. The YY28 bloke
with the big sideburns admitted it on Sky1's Long Play",
concluding with "MEL C's 'Going Down' has exactly the same
tune as the ALL SEEING EYE's 'Walk Like A Panther' - except it
sounds far worse"... and finally, sticking with TV themes,
PAUL CROWLEY contested our transliteration of the 'Roobarb And
Custard' theme [NTK 2000-04-28 again] (as "ner-ner-ner-ner,
ner-ner-ner-ner, ner-ner-ner NER ner-ner"), preferring the
alternative interpretation "ner-ner-ner-ner, ner-ner-ner-ner,
NER ner-NER ner-NER. Or, possibly: ner-ner-ner-ner, ner-ner-
ner-ner, NER ner-NER ner-NER, ner-ner-ner-ner NER! NER!". NTK
regrets that this correspondence is now closed...
>> 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
"cursing... in a 'pristine' accent"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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