_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "The core of the Amiga Foundation Layer (AFL from now on)
and of the whole new Amiga architecture is the Virtual
Processor. As befits something that is virtual, it doesn't
- FLEECY MOSS, Amiga's VP of Technology in Snoqualmie (no really)
...so what else is new?
>> HARD NEWS <<
About a month ago, an NTK reader noticed that the reference
codes for two orders he placed via http://www.oddbins.co.uk/
were WEB00001881 and WEB00002394, implying just 513 purchases
in the intervening period of 46 days - an average of less than
11 per day. Clearly an opportunity there for someone to open
up the lucrative e-alcohol market, and that someone happened
to be FOODNDRINK.CO.UK who, on Wednesday, were spotted running
what could only be described as a "great alcohol giveaway".
Perhaps inspired by those UKP5 Amazon voucher schemes
[deconstructed in NTKs passim], registered users got UKP20
credit to spend at madAboutWines.com, and could recommend
friends, who also got UKP20 credit, and you got another UKP20
for each one who signed up. And so on, until their servers
started 404ing and, "due to overwhelming response", the scheme
was "suspended for the time being" later that day. Their main
rival for rabid "customers at any cost" enthusiasm came from
Yahoo Europe's TOYZONE who, also on Wednesday, inadvertently
listed *everything* at a very special "Sale Price": UKP0.00.
- typically, more people told us about this one...
- than the "great alcohol giveaway". Ya geeks.
Rumours have long circulated over the future of ailing sci-fi
weekly 2000AD - they were believed to be "keeping it going" to
exploit the extra publicity of "the Dredd movie/ the turn of
the century/ the events prophesied in the 'Judge Child' saga
coming to pass". So it's *probably* good news that creative
control of the whole operation (character rights and all) has
been picked up by Oxford-based "super-developer" Rebellion,
arguably well-matched in terms of their comic-book tie-ins
(the various versions of Dark Horse adaptation Alien Vs
Predator) and mild retro credibility ("major" releases for
Atari Jaguar). For now, 2000AD seems destined to live on as
some sort of vanity publishing/ videogames marketing tool
(rather than, say, returning to its 1970s 8p-an-issue pulp
glory), after changing hands for an undisclosed "seven figure"
fee (Earth money).
- hey, good to see *someone's* still buying it...
- extensive additional research carried out by DAILY RADAR
No, we didn't win any ONLINE JOURNALISM AWARDS, thanks, due
to to our Serbian competitor getting ingeniously arrested
for his proper journalism, the big cheat. But it was nice to
see a nomination for NTK's "The Trials of Jonathan
Ungoed-Thomas". Maybe one day when he realises what we've
been saying about him, he'll try and get us put away. But in
the meantime, here's his latest attempts at deep undercover
(to a deadline) with the haxx0r underground. Enjoy.
- and he probably got a piece out of it
- mind you, we got four or five
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
shouldn't someone be campaigning to Keep Small UK Businesses
*Off* The Net?: http://www.alamin.co.uk/ ... KEVIN WARWICK
now seeking "sonar vision" ... the meta tag text of ad firm
http://www.ogilvy.co.uk still includes CHARLOTTE BEERS, who
left two years ago to become worldwide CEO of arch rival J
reference" results "inappropriate for children and offensive
to some adults"... search for "tits" on http://excite.co.uk/
gets you satire instead ... NATHANs, nicely rounded up for a
quick cull: http://www.brandfever.com/htmlFiles/bios.html ...
"the prime way, almost, of getting a virus, is by listening to
[online] radio stations", "sometimes that cookie might have a
virus in it" warns QVC sales pitch for Norton Internet Security
2000, before advising concerned users to send suspicious code
to the "Symantec Anti-Research Centre"... woman so terrified by
DALEKS that she can't differentiate between robots and cyborgs
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Linux for the Enterprise" is the tempting theme of this
weekend's LINUX 2000 UK LINUX DEVELOPERS' CONFERENCE (in fact,
you've probably missed Alan Cox already, but we did mention it
- briefly - back in NTK 2000-06-09: Imperial College Medical
School, Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith, London, approx
UKP100 for all 3 days, various concessions, membership extra).
Another imminent deadline we've just spotted is for ARS
DIGITA's LONDON 3-WEEK BOOT CAMP (from Mon 2000-07-10, free!)
an intensive Full Metal Jacket-style "short sharp shock"
introduction designed to cure persistent users of proprietary
web-building software. But, for the real nutcases (sic), there
are the conceptually intriguing events of INTERNATIONAL MAD
PRIDE WEEK (in Oregon, Syracuse, and - perhaps unsurprisingly
- London), an attempt by the mentally ill to reclaim the word
"mad" and its associated iconography, kicking off with a vigil
on Archway's famed "Suicide Bridge" from 6pm Sat 2000-07-08:
"bring an instrument and humorous poems".
- c'mon, you didn't think Starfleet still used Windows?
- "I don't know but I've been told/ NT Server's full of holes"
- they're mad as hell, and... well, that's kind of the point
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Look at the size of that thing! USELESS TELNET is an
OpenGL-distorted terminal prog which displays its output in
a giant Star Wars crawl, complete with star background and
slanty perspective. It's not fully VT100-compliant ("I
wouldn't recommend trying to use vi under it", says Robert,
a tad unnecessarily), but then neither is the standard
Useless Microsoft Telnet, and which would you rather have
scrolling your remote logfiles in the background? At under
150K, it's nigh perfect in its uselessness, and the only
extra feature we'd like to see added is a huge star
destroyer that looms into view when you log out. Oh, and
maybe some cheesy John Williams MIDI that you can't turn off.
- Windows only; but how long is that going to last?
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
ohmigod - they've been keeping KENNY alive in a nutrient-
filled tank: http://www.platrix.com/ ... BOO retributions
lasting longer than company: http://www.ernstmalmsten.com/ ...
we've all worked here: http://www.mag-sol.com/Recruit.html ...
hey, FASCISTS have feelings too: http://www.bnp.org.uk/poems.html
... "No 1" vid http://amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004TL9G/
supports "obsessed with kids TV" stereotype... "seven seals"
of Revelations are in fact the seven HARRY POTTER books...
http://us1.samba.org/samba/docs/ documents proprietary "pizza
places in Canberra" protocol ... who bashes the FROSTIE BASHERS?:
... those cutting edge comparison sites getting frit:
http://it.uk.freelancehq.com/nocomment.shtml against close
equivalent http://punternet.com/board/posts/17673.html ...
http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/finalmeals.htm - many choose DR
PEPPER, reinforcing "Try it - what have you got to lose?" ad
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> a lethal virus has eliminated everyone over the age of
12, posits distressing new Turner-sibling gameshow YOUR KIDS
ARE IN CHARGE (6pm, Sat, BBC1)... we're hoping for at least a
jabbering cameo from Tom "The Victorian Internet" Standage in
obvious ripoff HOW THE VICTORIANS WIRED THE WORLD (7pm, Sat,
C4)... and the gag "What wood doesn't float? Natalie Wood!"
seems unlikely to feature in the all-star recreation of the
"Brainstorm" star's FINAL DAY (11.15pm, Sat, ITV) - not to
jump to any conclusions, but let's just say career creepy-guy
Christopher Walken was known to be nearby... "Green Eggs and
Ham"-style wedding vows enliven Sarah "Sex In The City"
Jessica Parker's Woody Allen pseudo-homage MIAMI RHAPSODY
(9pm, Sun, BBC2)... Cameron Diaz, Harvey Keitel - together at
last! - in lame Norwegian "Weekend At Bernie's" remake HEAD
ABOVE WATER (9pm, Sun, C5)... while C4 ingeniously attempts to
divert anger over the two remaining "postponed" Babylon 5
series by showing the even-worse CRUSADE instead (2.15am, Sun,
C4)... from those incredibly clued-up folks who brought you
"dotcomedy" comes venture capital face-off THE E-MILLIONAIRE
SHOW (8pm, Mon-Fri, C4) - which, we're sure, sounded like a
really good idea, about 3 months ago... linking with the start
of http://www.madpride.net comes sensitively titled DIY
psychopathology round-up NUTS (10.20pm, Mon, BBC2)... when C5
runs out of DIRTY HARRY films (9pm, Tue, C5), they just loop
back to the beginning again... we slagged Rutger Hauer sov-
bloc cyberthriller REDLINE (9pm, Thu, C5) when it was last
shown almost exactly one year ago, but it turned out to be
surprisingly good... and the postponed kids' inventions final
of LOCAL HEROES (8pm, Thu, BBC2) segues neatly into demolition
derby MASTERBLASTERS (8.30pm, Thu, BBC2), a "see our website
for details of how to make your own explosives" show...
FILM>> "It's not Mission: Difficult, Mr Hunt," Anthony Hopkins
opines. "It's Mission: TEDIOUS!" Yup, even John Woo's top-
notch stunt-scenes don't do much to enliven another all-too
accurate recreation of the TV show's preposterously dull
tearing-off-the-rubber-masks storylines in M:I2 (imdb:
sunglasses / motorcycle / sequel / action / scientist / spain
/ thief / twist-in-the-end / virus / chase / computer /
australia / gun / blockbuster / mountain-climbing / helicopter
/ slow-motion / flamenco / spy) - hey, it's better than
"Mission: Impossible", but it's nowhere near as good as
"Face/Off"... otherwise a bunch of limited-release arthouse-
fodder, best of which is real-life Blair Witch docu-chuckle
AMERICAN MOVIE (http://www.bbfc.co.uk : Passed '15' for
frequent strong language, moderate horror and moderate drug
references), continuing the loosely-linked series of
"American" films which have to date included "Psycho",
"Beauty", "Pie", "History X", "Graffiti" and, of course,
"Werewolf In London"...
FROZEN WITH TERROR>> not much UK confectionery action until
Cadbury's would-be Milky-Way killer SHUSH (15p) shows up,
although http://www.cybercandy.co.uk have a new range of US
*and Australian* candies now in stock - full reviews coming
soon... demonopolisation of single-brand chiller cabinets has
fuelled uncontrolled innovation, with CADBURY'S cryogenecists
combining ice-cream and *raisins* in the oddly inoffensive
Cornetto-style FRUIT AND NUT cone - a far more interesting
contribution to the genre than the exactly-as-you'd-expect
DAIRY MILK on a stick... the Almond-coated MAGNUM seems to
have been entirely replaced by the disappointingly puny
"Winner Taco"-alike MAGNUM CARAMEL AND NUTS (65p)... but
"Taste Abomination" of the month goes to STEPHEN FULLJAMES'
isolated sighting of NESTLE's "Raspberry, banana and
strawberry ice lolly with popping candy centre" EXPLODING
ZOOM. The "WARNING: Exploding banana particles" indicated
early on that this was "going to be a travesty," Stephen
relates. "Zooms are supposed to be kinda fruity and refreshing
- but the space dust attacking your throat ruins [the effect].
An outrage!"... also down at the cooler end of dairy, reader
ADAM RICE recommends "cold milky coffee" drink NESCAFE ICE
"for people missing the weirdness of Japanese refreshments",
citing "Mocha" Flavour as "probably palatable" to British
tongues, while "Vanilla" is for "hardcore deviants only"...
both MILKY WAY and MILKY WAY MAGIC STARS are threatening to
take liquid form, in chocolate, strawberry and banana variety
milkshakes... but the big story remains, in accordance with
NTK prophecy [2000-06-09], the MCDONALD'S MCFLURRY, as "Nessy
Jr" proclaimed that the McFlurrying technique had been known
in Northern Ireland "for some weeks now - get a liberal dollop
of strawberry sauce added to the Dairy Milk one!", while
ADRIAN MOULDER clarified many people's continued bafflement
over the "weird, square-shaped spoon", having witnessed the
curiously labour-intensive process first-hand. "The McFlurry
spoon fits onto a sort of whisk thing, which whizzes it
around, creating the 'flurry' within," Moulder explains. "The
white plastic whiplash collar prevents the insides from flying
out. If you think about it, it's actually quite a clever way
of whisking the topping into the ice-cream without leaving
half of it stuck to the whisking device, but oddly McDonalds
don't advertise this element and most consumers believe it's
just an ordinary ice-cream with some Smarties on the top." 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
"some ex-journalist who stays in bed all day,
uses the internet and writes stuff about it".
( http://www.handanova.com/ )
NEED TO KNOW
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