_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "We are completely network agnostic. In fact, we would
invest in broadband carrier pigeons if someone could find a
way for them to deliver two megabits into the home."
- BRUCE LYNN, group manager of network solutions at Microsoft
...and they didn't threaten our monopoly of shitting on the customer
>> HARD NEWS <<
As NTK readers' attention spans collapse under the barrage
of our saturation RIP coverage, we thought we'd enter a bit
of a quiet period. But afore we go, one final glimpse at the
one remaining pressure group still supporting the Bill:
self-proclaimed protector of the kids, BARONESS THORNTON
(wife of anti-RIP rentaquote, John Carr). In the dying
moments of the Lords debate, the good Baroness launched a
spectacular, and somewhat desperate, attack on critics of
the Bill. To a rapt house, the Baroness unveiled a
conspiracy in which RIP critics "would like to have the
regime which exists in America, which is protected by the
First Amendment and which has no constraints at all." And
what could such extremism lead to? "In America, children are
kidnapped. In America, there is no restriction on the
paedophile activity which can take place... I do not want
the Internet in the rest of the world to operate under that
regime." Unfortunately for the Baroness, the kidnappers have
already taken over by fooling us into signing the European
Convention on Human Rights. We'll see whether RIP makes it
past that. Oh, and the eagle-eyed Baroness "noticed that not
a single childcare organisation or organisation involved
with the education of the young and their relationship to
the Internet is involved in [the RIP] campaign." Well,
Baroness, maybe you'd like to visit www.peacefire.org, where
views of "the users with whom we are concerned - the
children, the young and those who are vulnerable" are given.
Weirdly, a lot of kids seem to quite like this free speech
filth. Hope that doesn't mean you won't listen to what they
have to say. Or give them a chance to say it.
- of course, RIP has little to do with Free Speech
- unless, of course, they're planning to use it to silence critics
On the other hand, those God-fearing Yanks who regularly
pepper Demon subscribers with accusations of Satanism must
have felt vindicated this week, when DIS's ancient
sacrificial pit at Finchley finally burst into flames.
Recollections are a little confused: initial reports
suggested that the remaining staff had self-immolated;
subsequent enquiries showed it to be a tar boiler on the
roof. Brave descriptions of company directors battling it
out on the rooftops of North London contrast with more
anonymous messages from Demon employees complaining about
having to stand around in the rain. We did, though, like the
dry Demon de-briefing report which paused in mid-drama to
not that just as everyone was running around with
extinguishers, "a passer-by came in through the front door
and explained that the building was on fire". The man was
thanked for his powers of observation. You see, all that
diplomacy on demon.service proved useful after all...
- piccie moved just in case it's a sackable offence or something
- this is because they run those dirty newsgroups
- unfortunate use of phrase "hardcore option"
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
RAILTRACK finally spring for a disk drive for the BBC Micro:
http://www.ntk.net/2000/07/14/dohtrain.jpg ... no, JIMMY
SAVILLE Have I Got News For You "transcript" cannot be "for
real" ... Q Magazine looks close to home for its Website
picks: http://www.ntk.net/2000/07/14/dohq.jpg ... "Around
75pc of Britain's dotcom millionaires live within a 10-mile
radius of Notting Hill, W11" - ie: *in London*, reveals
DOTCOM.TELEGRAPH ... English innings collapse again, thanks
to "triangle" http://www.ntk.net/2000/07/14/dohsport.jpg ...
. Our Campaign to Keep Small Business Off The Internet, Pt
2: http://www.briarmistcats.btinternet.co.uk ... taking the
title http://www.useit.com/ a bit *too* literally:
http://www.classicbookshelf.com/ ... more advertising truth
http://www.macthings.net/ webmaster apologises for "the
Japanese Porn website which was replaced with Mac Things" -
but did the Japanese Porn fans notice? ... wash mouth out
with SOAP http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/reg/soap4j.nsf/resultsQ4www >> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Rather more on-the-ball (than us) reader Michael Bluett
pointed out that ARS DIGITA's LONDON 3-WEEK BOOT CAMP [NTK
2000-07-07] has been full since "3rd July", boasting that he
is "attending the event along with 19 other initiates". So, by
way of apology, this week we've pulled out all the stops to
find the dream assignment for NTK's core demographic: the OPEN
AUDITION FOR STAR TREK CREW MEMBERS - from 9am, Thu 2000-07-
20, Science Museum, London. The positions involve showing
punters round the Museum's forthcoming "Star Trek: Federation
Science" exhibition from Sept 2000 to April 2001. Salary
(full- or part-time) is a Ferengi-esque UKP6.07 per hour
though "all successful applicants will be provided with Star
Trek costumes" (wear it to the audition if you've already got
one); candidates should additionally bring a CV, a 200-word
piece on "What I see the role of a Star Trek Crew Member at
the Science Museum to be", and - presumably - an inability to
distinguish fantasy from reality.
- no mention here; it was a job ad in "The Metro". No, really.
- Ars Digita threaten even *more* intensive "long weekend"
- "cause ev'ry girl's frightened/ of a Star Trek fan"
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Far be it for us to intimate that MOZILLA has been hijacked
by the same naive completeness fanatics that collapse so
many free software projects into development black-holes,
but ... oh come on, two years and counting? Seventy
megabytes of swap? Per *window*? Hello? Is there some kind
of AOL/ crack cocaine stock-swap going down at Mountain
View? The beauty of Open Source, though, is that say you
*could* do without Mozilla's built-in WYSIWIG HTML editor,
Mail handler, News reader, IRC client, xterm replacement,
run-time XML UI interpreter, cross-platform high-level C++
widget set, and re-implementation from scratch of
Microsoft's entire COM system, you can. And, thank God,
someone has. GALEON is a Gnome application that uses Chris
Blizzard's minimalist wrapper around the Mozilla HTML
rendering routines. It's little. It's fairly stable. It
takes less than an hour to load. It lets you look at Web
pages. Think of it as salvage.
- you'll still need to download Mozilla for now
- we're on a mission from God. Still.
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
BUENA VISTA FIGHT CLUB ... off-cam and well out of order at
Jennicam: http://www.latitude11.com/laststory.html ...
Gameboy Slim: http://remix.overclocked.org/ ... HOLY GRAIL
found: http://home.earthlink.net/%7ebhami/rosetta.html ...
will the public ever tire of pictures of puppets having sex?
http://www.kama-sooty.co.uk/ ... the anti-Martin Lewis:
http://www.brutal.com/ ... how about "because it crashes
Netscape?" http://www.whynotchemeng.com/ ... the ASDA
... first blue "Cheese and Onion" crisps, now GREEN KETCHUP
... I am not a hideously deformed NATHAN BARLEY - I'm a
human being! http://www.hoki.com/hoki_newmedia/flash/who.htm
... Diana may have been decapitated by sheet of glass:
http://dccsa.com/greatjoy/anti.html ... DIY MACOSrumors:
"Adam & Joe Show" makers WORLD OF WONDER imitate THE ONION
at last! a site *entirely* devoted to (dismissing rumours
about) BRITNEY SPEARS' BREASTS http://bsrumor.8m.com/ vs
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
the less rude www.tvgohome.com TV>> hopefully realising that the film is effectively *about*
the artificiality of "authenticity", Mark Kermode grills
Ridley Scott about what's "really going on" ON THE EDGE OF
BLADE RUNNER (11.10pm, Sat, C4) - preceded by the rubbish
voiceover-free "DIRECTOR'S CUT" (9pm). Most plausible theory:
the film's full of wacky continuity errors ignored by style-
over-content director Scott, then over-analysed by detective-
mystery-crazed fans... almost exactly a month and 2 years
since its last orbit comes above-average Arthur C Clarke
adaptation TRAPPED IN SPACE (12.10am, Sat, BBC1)... and C5
interrupts its epic "Disaster Weekend", for blaxploitation
classic ELECTRAGLIDE IN BLUE (12.30am, Sat, C5) - not based
around the Apollo 440 album of the same name... even their own
"panel of experts" have swiftly spotted the glaring flaws in
the "best" e-business ideas sent in to THE E-MILLIONAIRE SHOW
(9pm, Sun, C4) - we tip humble wheelchair guy to win the
final, helpfully preceded the day before by laboured historo-
analogy WHEN MONEY WENT MAD: THE STORY OF THE SOUTH SEA BUBBLE
(7pm, Sat, C4) and immediately followed by the aptly titled
MISERY (10pm, Sun, C4)... TV's "other" neurological Susan
[Greenfield] wheels out more brain-damage deficit edutainment
in BRAIN STORY (9pm, Tue, BBC2)... Davina "Face of Evil"
McCall hosts overhyped survival-webcam yawn BIG BROTHER (9pm,
Tue, C4)... while so-called "personalities" discuss their own
*fascinating* life stories, in YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE (10pm, Mon,
BBC1); their drink/ drugs "hell", in CELEBRITY REHAB (8.30pm,
Wed, C4); and how to set the world to rights in terrifying
"comedy debate" HEAD ON WITH JO BRAND (10.50pm, Thu, BBC1)...
FILM>> for the second time in 3 weeks, controversy-magnet Mel
once again implies that the British are "a bunch of chickens"
in Roland "ID4" Emmerich's overblown revenge-fuelled shoot-
'em-up THE PATRIOT (http://www.capalert.com: Mel Gibson was
perfect for the part of a once-warrior turned pacifist who was
forced to return to being a warrior because of the brutality
at the hands of another perfectly cast actor; even I queried
myself whether I could do what [Gibson] did if one of my sons
was murdered before my eyes and to rescue another from hanging
- the answer was 'Yes')... otherwise it's Bruce Willis'
foolhardily bonkers Vonnegut adaptation BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS
(imdb: based-on-novel / motor-car-dealer / commercial / cross-
dressing / ex-convict / infidelity / lingerie / lounge-singer
/ nervous-breakdown / writing / black-comedy)... or a double-
bill of British-made transport-related romps: Sean Bean, Alex
"ER" Kingston's "inspired by the Rettendon Range Rover
murders" taste triumph ESSEX BOYS (http://www.bbfc.co.uk:
passed '18' for violence, sex, drug use and coarse language) -
hopefully paving the way for further dramatisations of ultra-
recent mass gangland killings... plus shameless Ringo-free
Peter Fonda/ Alec Baldwin Americanisation THOMAS [THE TANK
ENGINE] AND THE MAGIC RAILROAD (imdb: henchman / kids-and-
family / independent-film) - a project dogged by no little
controversy of its own: http://uk.imdb.com/WN?20000710#7 ...
PRO-CELEBRITY FEEBDACK>> after our enthusiasm [NTK 2000-06-30]
for the US Burger King "Chicken Run" tie-in, STEVE LOUGHRAN
added the details that: the TV ad features Aardman chickens
pleading with customers to "Eat more [beef] Whoppers", leading
to accusations of plagiarism from a fried-chicken chain - full
story at http://www.chick-fil-a.com/content/about/news32.htm ,
... still with film, West End theatre star BEN MOOR queried
our dismissal of M:I2 [NTK 2000-07-07], the "slow-mo kung-fu,
gravity-defying stunts, and 'Sydney' locations" leading him to
the inevitable conclusion: "It's the first film to be set in
'The Matrix' universe!"... while MG MILLER irresistibly
combined two of NTK's ongoing fixations by pointing out that
Robbie Williams' new single "sounds a bit like" the theme tune
from best-selling Amazon video "Chorlton And The Wheelies":
a theme continued in Williams' own roller-skating body-horror
video: http://www.nme.co.uk/newsdesk/20000707130211.html ...
Shooting Stars' "George Dawes" and former Creme Egg spokesman
MATT LUCAS slammed last week's NESTLE EXPLODING ZOOM sighting,
stating they were "actually available last year. I like them",
before going on to recommend ROLO BISCUITS: "a delight [which]
far outpleasure the Rolo" (well, the new ones are about 6
times the size)... perhaps inspired by BBC2's "Simpsons" night
[NTK 2000-06-16], CHRIS TAYLER took it upon himself to contact
capalert.com directly over the toon's suitability for family
viewing - and they wrote back, warning of "extreme adolescent
arrogance against fair parental authority, blatant promotion
of freedom from accountability and consequences, too much
independence and autonomy too soon for adolescents, many lies
about nuclear power, full male rear cartoon nudity"... while,
finally, ex-'The Word' presenter ALAN CONNOR thanked us for
highlighting screenit.com , where he enjoys gems like "this
soundtrack from the movie, Grosse Pointe Blank contains very
few examples of objectionable content" - "not including," Alan
notes, "the fact that the first minute includes the Violent
Femmes' 'Blister In The Sun', a paean to wanking"... but we're
sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. Have you tricked a
well-meaning Christian reviewer into unwittingly advocating
self-abuse? If so, NTK would like to hear from you...
>> 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 "between oxbridge and newsgroups"
NEED TO KNOW
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