_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Muslim insurgents battling Philippine troops in the south
have a new weapon. When the shelling and gunfire let up, they
send a barrage of scathing insults to Manila's forces by cell phone."
...W SHL FGT U N V BCHS! W SHL NVR SRNDR!
>> HARD NEWS <<
the P. of A.U.'s
As the anti-spamming civil war enters another round of
mud-slinging, allow us to slide into the only language the
computer press understands: a straight fight between good and
evil. Mainly, GOOD PAUL VIXIE vs EVIL PAUL VIXIE. If Vixie
is bad, he (and his boss at ABOVE.NET, Dave Rand) have been
route-blackholing the anti-spam database ORBS just because
they're on the board of fellow anti-spam list MAPS. And MAPS
is going to start charging for some of its services, and
they want stop ORBS from queering their pitch. That's what
Alan Brown, ORBS' one-man anti-spamming army, rather
enthusiastically intimated when he shut down his service in
protest this week. And Alan Cox concurs. So it must be true.
And if Vixie's *that* evil, then YESMAIL's law suit against
MAPS is right too: the intimation there being that Vixie is
putting Yesmail into MAPS' known spammers blackhole list,
because he's on the board of WHITEHAT, Yesmail's main
competitor in the lovely opt-in commercial e-mail world. But
hold on: isn't Vixie a net.god? Didn't Vixie maintain BIND?
Isn't Vixie running MAPS as a non-profit corp? And if Vixie
is a *honourable* man, then Above.net is dumping ORBS
connections internally because ORBS is breaching Above.net's
Acceptable Use Policy by proactively scanning remote
machines. And since ORBS's upstream provider is an Above.net
customer and has chosen to *tell* people to route ORBS
connections through Above.net (rather than more viable
alternatives), that means Above.net's re-routing only
*accidentally* routes non-Above.net connections into
/dev/null . It's mainly ORBS' upstream provider that's
caused the problem. And - wait a minute - if Vixie is
*good*, then Yesmail is being blackholed because loads of
people have complained to MAPS about Yesmail signing them up
without their permission. Which they have. Good? Bad? Strap
him into the IETF-approved witch-dunking apparatus immediately!
- if that wasn't clear enough...
- and Vixie is an honourable man
- money: the evil of all roots
The UK government's new TrustUK scheme was unveiled this
week, designed, no doubt, to stop PowerGen from storing
7,000 credit card numbers on its Website ever, ever, again.
Compliant Websites will be able to wear the little Java logo
- a guarantee of security, and good old British corporate
responsibility in e-commerce - with pride. Typically, on
their first day, their validation program didn't work, and
the e-mail and complaints form bounced with a mail loop.
Also - MAPS take note - their code of practice explicitly
permits unsolicited commercial e-mail. No, we're not making
that up. Why doesn't the rest of the world just quarantine
us now, and get it over with?
- oh, and the Java logo was written in Canada. Sigh.
- Section 6.10. By all means read it twice to be sure.
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
"serious trouble" is JOHN YOUNG's middle two names:
http://cryptome.org/fbi-psia.htm ... one of those "beyond
satire" weeks at: http://mosr.net/macosrumorz/ ... FAST
COMPANY oddly excited about "Ideavirus" meme^H^H^H^H ideavirus
JIMMY SMITS still battling "fiery Hispanic" typecasting:
... http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ does cover version of
http://www.amazon.com ... SCOOT search for "B&Q" in Hull:
prefers category "Xxchristmas Novelties in Gipsyville"... "A
revolution is happening - it's called e-business, and it is
based on the largest communications network in the world, the
internet", confides http://www.oracle.co.uk/crm11ipartners/
... asked to help find a new name for freebie HomeSite clone
1STPAGE, 14% of users vote for - a dummy list box item!:
... software store at http://www.amazon.co.uk recommends running
FREEBSD 3.3 on "Platform: Linux"... Ninfo-FALCO-mania! ... "PhD
programmer" required to make sense of latest MARK WARD scare:
"IT'S TOTAL DEVASTATION" boasts http://www.thorpepark.co.uk/ :
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid%5F845000/845267.stm >> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
"How about giving those of us way up North a bit more notice
[of upcoming events]?" inquires reader TONY BLEWS. Well,
admitedly, we've left it a bit late to plug non-profit get-
together WEBZINE 2000 (Sat 2000-07-22, San Francisco), where
the theme is: how the tide is turning against professional,
well-funded content operations, with the long-term goal of
*running those varmints out of town*. But, if you're in the
area (that left-hand half of the USA, we mean), why not make a
week of it, dropping by SIGGRAPH (from 2000-07-23, New
Orleans) en route to DEFCON 8.0 (from 2000-07-28, Las Vegas) -
what better way to celebrate http://www.sysadminday.com/ ?
- also, out of this lot, the highest female:male speaker ratio
- Siggraph 27? That '73 show must have been a real stormer...
- some streams more popular than others: http://www.h2korgy.net/ Back in the UK, we're stuck with the multi-layered ironies of
eco-unfriendly direct action BOYCOTT THE PUMPS WEEK (ah, but
what if they were going to spend that petrol tax on funding
RIP measures, eh?) - potentially bad news for the presumably
petrol-powered ROBOT MAYHEM, the live "Robot Wars" event (from
Mon 2000-07-24 to 2000-08-03, St Albans). Unless, that is,
they've taken advantage of recent "gastrobot" developments,
and modified Sir Killalot, Matilda, Sgt Bash et al to feed on
animal and/or human flesh...
- taking that FBI "Carnivore" concept a little too literally
- "Mayhem" does have those mass [human] slaughter connotations
- text is all one huge GIF; meta tags include "tax, car, sex"
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Thanks to the usual sources for pointing us to the APACHE
JAVA project, which, like you, we'd heard of but not yet
investigated to point of gibbering system shock. They're
doing *far* too much here: as well as now being the home
reference implementation for Java Servlet spec, they're
branching out into terrain reserved for
world-domination-level open source projects. To wit: a bunch
of groupware frameworks, including JAMES, the inevitable JSP
for sending and receiving e-mail. Gulping back our natural
scepticism regarding Big Projects, java.apache.org does seem
to be where all server-based Java action is occurring these
days, and if your knowledge of that language extends only as
far as that test Pong game you wrote in 1997, this might be
the place to have another look. Wish them luck: apart from
anything else, this looks to be where the last stand against
Microsoft's .NET and C# is going to happen.
- bugger all docs. a *good* sign
- how Apache pulled our arses out of the fire last time
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
sod the BIG BROTHER residents - snoop on the dev team via
directory browsing: http://www.bigbrother.terra.com/live/ ...
next APPLE wireless mouse not optical - but GPS... HARRY POTTER
turns to dark side: http://www.nationallampoon.com/potter.htmlhttp://www.fflibraries.org/Book_Reports/HarryPotter/HarryPotterTakesDrugs.htm
PIGDOG *almost* got RMS to call it "Linux", rather than "GNU/
Linux": http://www.pigdog.org/interview_with_stallman.html ...
"Five criminals. One line up. No coincidence"... NEIGHBOURS'
Harold Bishop "forgot" experiments with body-melting drugs:
keep http://www.weblife.org/humanure/chapter8.html away from
http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/000705/ca_shaman_.html ... speaking of
POOH: http://www.compsoc.man.ac.uk/~assassin/poohbear.mov ...
over-literal interpretation of the phrase "drinking game":
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> over on On Digital, BBC Knowledge is having some sort of
"Sci-Fi Night", profiling Aldous "Brave New World" Huxley in
BOOKMARK (8pm, Fri) and - hopefully more insightful than last
week's Blade Runner "Future Noir" knock-off - Dick, Dick and
yet more [Philip K] Dick in ARENA (9pm, Fri)... back on earth,
there's David Cronenberg's atypically entertaining body-horror
midlife-crisis metaphor THE FLY (12midnight, Fri, BBC1)...
and, in the ongoing absence of "Starship Troopers: The
Series", viewers seeking an early-morning animated rush are
advised to wake up to Hanna-Barbera manga-alikes THE POWERPUFF
GIRLS (8.30am, Sat, C5)... BBC2 chases those early-Saturday
morning ratings with HARD QUESTIONS, SOFT ANSWERS's look at
object-oriented programming (9.35am, Sat, BBC2)... I LOVE THE
SEVENTIES, declares BBC2 (from 8.55pm, Sat), largely because
they're such easy source material for 10 themed nights of
cheap archive clip-shows... while Emmerich, Van Damme and
Lundgren - together at last! - pay tribute to "The Terminator"
in bus-powered shoot-'em-up UNIVERSAL SOLDIER (11.20pm, Sat,
ITV)... Garry "Larry Sanders" Shandling and Tea Leoni guest in
another self-referential X FILES (9pm, Sun, Sky1)... bad-taste
Zucker-style spoof HIGH SCHOOL HIGH (9pm, Tue, C5) starts
well, until it actually turns into "Dangerous Minds"... NTK
staffer Danny O'Brien claims to be "spoofing" futurism in
repeated PREDICTIONS (10.20pm, Tue, BBC2)... and the spectre
of Meridian's "Cyber Cafe" haunts the late-night schedules
once again - as THE WEB REVIEW (12.30am, Tue, ITV), with
Richard Topping, fresh from that noted hotbed of new talent,
".tv" http://www.tvchannel.co.uk/tv_shows/presenters/ , and
Kath Harvey - former pundit on Carlton World's Net.Comedy
http://www.jgpm.co.uk/kath_harvey.htm ... *someone* sure likes
Bruce Willis caper-flop HUDSON HAWK (9pm, Wed, C5) - last
shown about 8 months ago on ITV... and LAMARR'S ATTACKS
(9.30pm, Thu, BBC2) begin with his lambasting of "morality" -
not specifying whether he's objecting to "conventional"
morality, "Judeo-Christian" morality, or just "the overall
concept of having some sort of moral framework" in general...
FILM>> following "Fever Pitch", Nick Hornby continues his
"blokes, relationships and their obsessions" theme, though
instead of picking one of the more interesting fixations -
World War Two, or retro video games - he gives John Cusack the
relatively socially acceptable pastime of listening to old
records, in HIGH FIDELITY (http://www.screenit.com : "Iben
Hjejle plays [Cusack's] most recent live-in girlfriend who's
recently cheated on and broken up with him and has sex with
him in both the past and present [as well as with another man
and reportedly had an abortion in the past]") - which, for a
film supposedly obsessed with pop music, hardly seems to be
based around the "Kids From Fame" song at all, to the extent
of not even including it on the soundtrack!... Hugh Laurie,
Geena Davis, that speccy kid from "Jerry Maguire", and a CGI
mouse - together at last! - in kids' cross-species adoption
comedy STUART LITTLE (imdb: cat-versus-mouse / part-animated /
central-park / part-computer-animation / fake-parent /
adoption / mafia / anthropomorphic / based-on-novel / cat /
family-gathering / family-life / boat-race / family-
relationship / kids-and-family / cat-actor / family / mouse)
... so, our - reluctant - recommendation of the week goes to
Christopher Lambert's patently ridiculous space-prison sequel
FORTRESS 2: RE-ENTRY (http://www.cndb.com : "Liz May Brice
[10th Kingdom, A Touch Of Frost]... reveals her taut, olive-
complected body a couple of times in some juicy albeit
somewhat discreet co-ed shower scenes. Fans of Pam Grier will
enjoy her over-dressed, scenery-chewing role in this cheeky
sci-fi number") - if only for retaining the "Men-Tel"
Corporation, which everyone immediately assumes is pronounced
MAGS AND BAGS>> "You thought the sealed PVC wrapper that EDGE
came in was stupid?" chuckles too-much-time-on-his-hands NTK
correspondent BEN MOOR. "Wait till you see the cut-throat
competition in the Free-Bags-With-Women's-Mags arena!" He goes
on to list no less than *four* current examples, ranging from
MARIE CLAIRE's "Only Bag To Be Seen With" (UKP2.70) down to
MORE's "Free Bag... For Lazy Beach Days And Sexy Club Nights"
(UKP1.45). Most distinctive at this stage is SHINE's "Funky
Summer Bag In A Choice Of Three Colours" (UKP2.50) - a lurid,
i-Mac-like selection of "zingy yellow", "tangerine orange" or
"hot pink", while comparatively best value for money is the
"Worth UKP20" "Overnight Bag" that doesn't necessarily lead
you to any particular conclusion about the readers of WOMAN'S
JOURNAL (UKP2.70)... bags of comments too (and none of them
good) about new Future Publishing "for the online creative"
effort CRE@TE ONLINE - presumably pronounced "Cre-at-te", or
maybe just "Crete". Following the throwing-himself-at-our-
mercy approach pioneered by Times Interface's Dr Keyboard [NTK
2000-05-12], they actually sent us the first issue, goading us
to spot the "obvious errors". Tragically, by that point, MATT
JONES had already bought a copy, and was already frothing over
the contents - by issue 2, SIMON BATISTONI had joined the
fray, citing "horrendous cover-price, over-designed layout,
exclusive focus on people who think a 'useful website' is one
with a 5mb flash intro and no 'skip intro'" (as opposed to,
say, http://www.createonline.co.uk/ ), and, on the strength of
ads like http://www.ntk.net/2000/07/21/dohnathan.gif ,
nominating it "Nathan Barley's all-time favourite magazine",
triumping over even the similarly punctuation-mark afflicted
"Wallpaper*"... which brings us to recent revelations that the
anonymous "boss" of TVGOHOME was - as even the most cursory of
whois lookups revealed - former PC ZONE misanthrope CHARLIE
BROOKER all along (did you guess, readers?) who, perhaps more
surprisingly, has part-sold his scathing critiques of soul-
destroying, unimaginative TV to none other than GMG Endemol,
makers of - well, Big Brother, Ground Force, The Pepsi Chart,
Ready Steady Cook and Changing Rooms. The full story appears
at http://www.zeppotron.com/press_release.html - in a personal
communication, echoing nothing so much as Robert Oppenheimer's
famous "Shiva" quotation, "I *am* Nathan Barley," Brooker
admits. "Woo hoo." Hey Charlie, don't feel bad about it: all
NTK's "proteges" are destined to turn against us in the end -
a process we secretly foster and look forward to - and we
won't stop linking to it in Geek Media. Or *should we?*...
>> 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
"completing the series: God, Satan, Nietzsche ..."
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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