_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2000-08-11_ o join! mail an empty message to
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Will machines soon be smarter than people and could children
born today live forever? That's what top British
futurologist Ian Pearson says may happen. Pearson is used by
communications giant British Telecom ... to make sure
companies don't go down the wrong road by developing
technologies that date too quickly."
- REUTERS, on "top British futurologist" Ian Pearson
- see? you *won't* be dead by the time ADSL comes out
>> HARD NEWS <<
It's curious that the row over KATIE.COM, the
privately-owned UK domain appropriated by Penguin as the
title of a chatroom abuse novel, took so long to become
public, when the book first came out in May. But hey, if you
discovered a major publisher was cheerily libelling and/or
driving traffic to your site, wouldn't *you* try and do a
quiet little deal with them first? Proving it is possible to
take on the big guys and win is the owner of STING.COM, who
fought off an attack by the well-meaning rainforest-warrior
of the same name, partly on the grounds that more people
might have heard of the site owner (who plays Quake using
the handle "Sting") than the middle-aged pop-jazz has-been.
And completing the craze is upcoming garage vocalist CRAIG
DAVID, whose soft-spoken accounts of "What I Did Over The
Half-Term Holidays" have proved so popular among the UK's
now largely pre-pubescent record-buying public. Craig
apparently namechecks the URL "www.cd.com" extensively
during the "Booty Man" track on his new album (out on
Monday), seemingly under the impression that this is his own
website. Of course, the URL he *should* be publicising is
www.craigdavid.co.uk , because cd.com is a domain owned by
Digi, "the world's leading supplier of multi- function
adapters for server-based communications systems."
- leaves you feeling oddly violated
- of course, Sting could just change his name to "Sting.Com"
- installed it on a Monday, had better LAN performance on Tuesday
Despite the recent "online credit card details" hysteria
(isn't it the merchants and CC companies who are liable for
most fraudulent use, a fact they obviously prefer not to
publicise), you can always rely on DEMON to come up with a
more low-tech method of exposing that ultra-valuable customer
info. Their latest exploit reportedly involved velvet-gloved
cat-burglars, who "climbed up the scaffolding and nicked
a NT server (which paged down but no on NOC duty knew what the
machine did, so they did nothing)." Police were called to the
scene, but after they left, the master-thieves (possibly "the
same ones", our source believes) "climbed in again and nicked
another NT server, this time one that holds company files,
templates and manages office printers. Some staff then went
home as they could no longer do their work."
- hey, why not cancel your card every time you use it?
- it's the *only* way to be sure
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
you've got to admit, "Translate into French/ German" adds to
the tasteful tone: http://www.concordejokes.com ... home
Internet use "growing" unearths BBC ONLINE ... ah, the other
meaning of "last": http://www.icalltelecom.com/ ... heard at
BOOB night: "Look around: these people are young, they're
rich, they want to be in a hip venue. Camden's too far
north". And seven foot down's not deep enough, either ...
BT's http://www.trustwise.com : not to be confused with
http://www.trustwise.co.uk ... JAKOB NIELSEN's fifteen
seconds of celebrity download time almost over, so get those
parodies in fast: http://useitorloseit.cjb.net/ ... playing
to the biggest "at large" constituency of all:
http://members.icann.org/nom/cp/1.html ... oh yeah, the
folks behind "Rubberburner" and "Super Greg" are *real* smart:
... QUEEN MOTHER "may already be dead" concurs NEW STATESMAN
http://www.newstatesman.co.uk/200008070003.htm - in accordance with
NTK prophecy: http://www.ntk.net/?b=a98/now0130.txt&l=103#l ...
life imitates BBC imitating TVGOHOME (note lack of direct link):
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Al Gore, inventor of the Internet, has sadly stepped in to fix
his http://www.dems2000.com site after our old pals the DATA
NETWORK SECURITY COUNCIL had confidently predicted that it
might be defaced by the likes of "G-Force Pakistan" if it
continued to offer "full read/write and shell capabilities"
via default Microsoft Remote Data Services settings. Of
course, it would merely be unfortunate coincidence if this had
occurred during their annual DNSCON 2000 conference in
Blackpool (from next Fri 2000-08-18), where you can check out
"Beer, Sandcastles and Computer Security" - and maybe (if we
don't make it along ourselves) obtain documentary evidence of
a (reputed) "NTK Bar" somewhere in the area.
- sequel to last year's "Secondary DNS" titling quandry
- "secure" folder something of a misnomer
- no wonder there's no customers in the database
"Out of curiosity, do you play Magic: The Gathering?",
inquired JAMES HEAVER, in perhaps the scariest piece of reader
feedback we've ever received. "If so, whereabouts do you
live?" Tragically, the answers to both queries remain strictly
classified, but we suspect James might have been able to find
more like himself at the real-life "Eltingville Comic Book,
Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Role-Playing Club" get-
together GENCON 2000 (Midwest Express Center, Milwaukee,
started, er, yesterday). Attractions include not just Anthony
"C3PO" Daniels, J Michael "The Great Maker" Straczynski and KW
"Noir" Jeter, but also the unveiling of DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS
3RD EDITION. "This marks the beginning of the attempted
assimilation of the entire roleplaying hobby into Wizards Of
The Coast's open-licence-but-not-quite-open-source 'D20'
mechanic system," writes NTK's resident 7th-level Magic User,
"which resembles nothing so much as Chaosium's 'Basic
Roleplay', circa 1978."
- "demographics" make predictably depressing reading...
- 1996 still a big year for The X Files (see Top 10 chart)
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
We don't usually mention alpha software unless it looks like
the developer needs help. And if anyone "needs help", it's
RON AARON, author of VINE, a complete POP mail, calendaring
and newsreading for Vi. Or its gamma-irradiated descendent
Vim, at least. Aaron mutters darkly at Microsoft and the
Mutt developers for pushing him into this insanity. With
this final keystone, its only a matter of time before Vim 6
includes a shell buffer, folding, vertical split windows,
Zippy the Pinhead emulator, Aztec Calendaring, a Lisp
interpreter... and then it will TECO's turn to rise against
- the Law of Software Envelopment strikes again
- you will never escape. :q! ^C^C:Exit
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
back in those days, everything was drawn with vectors:
http://www.willowsp.u-net.com/andy/atari/ ... new, less
cluttered, YAHOO design: http://wap.yahoo.com/ ...
from the Powerpoint presentations of the WEYLAND-YUTANI
corporation: http://www.iseran.com/Steve/alien.html ...
probably not what the visitors meant by "too dark":
NATHAN BARLEY's don't *just* work in new media, implies
http://www.lukasburton.com/ of http://www.shippingbabes.com/
... while waiting for the official NTK merchandise to arrive:
http://www.cafepress.com/moose2000/ ... several weeks on,
and the "Channel Four News" fans have found that IMDB entry:
http://uk.imdb.com/CommentsShow?239164 ... we'd comment, but
I don't think we're allowed: http://sbz-s01.websys.aol.com/
... as if HOTMAIL users don't get enough spam as it is:
http://www.samurajdata.se/~cj/hotmail.html ... oh, god, yes:
http://www.malemultipleorgasm.com/chats/ch970514.htm ... the
lighter side of private geopolitical intelligence-gathering:
http://www.stratfor.com/asia/commentary/0008040046.htm ... some
sperm more sacred than others: http://clonejesus.com/ ... at
last, a Japanese, educational version of http://listen.to/swearing/http://www.honmanolondon.com/swearing.html ... What's that, Lassie?
How many rems? http://www.x-entertainment.com/messages/333.html
... how about we throw in a *free* staircase with your purchase?
http://www.oxford-instruments.com/nmr/index.cfm?page=/nmr/900mhz/ >> GEEK MEDIA <<
the less sold out www.tvgohome.com TV>> ostensibly experimental slot ALT-TV (7.30pm, Fri, C4)
enthusiastically confuses physical constants with "lucky
numbers" and "numerology"... what began as just the annual
four-week fly-on-the-wall docusoap EDINBURGH OR BUST (11.35pm,
Fri, C4) is now acknowledged by veterans as more entertaining
than the actual Festival... and it's a cross-channel "classic
movie" weekend, with Bruce Lee's subjunctive-not-imperative
ENTER THE DRAGON (9.55pm, Sat, BBC2), dated Dustin Hoffman
dweeb-a-thon THE GRADUATE (9pm, Sat, C4), Cadfael-inspiring
monk whodunnit THE NAME OF THE ROSE (10.55pm, Sat, C5), plus
the symbols re-aligning once again for this year's showing of
STARGATE (8.35pm, Sat, BBC1)... Charlize Theron helps Liv
Tyler re-tell the early days of Aerosmith in Tom Hanks vanity
project THAT THING YOU DO (9.05pm, Sun, C4)... Lance "Aliens"
Henriksen, Nancy "RoboCop" Allen - together at last! - in
chemical weapons actioner DUSTING CLIFF 7 (9pm, Sun, C5)...
and expect War-Of-The-Worlds-style panic in the streets from
elderly viewers of as-it-happens history hoax NEWS 40: THE
ATTLE OF BRITAIN (12.05pm & 11.30pm, Mon-Fri, ITV)... Channel
4 criminally neglects their own back-catalogue - something for
the weekend, the minipops - in search of a more biologically
determined anatomy of disgust (10pm, tue, c4)... family-feud
festen (11.35pm, tue, c4) begins a series of dogma 95 films
that combine hard-hitting drama with the production values of
eastern european camcorder porn... and, is it just us, or are
the seductively-voiced "face-to-face encounter" trails for
cousins (7pm, wed, bbc1) implying that the beautiful presenter
is personally investigating that old "90-something percent of
dna in common" claim - by travelling the world and having sex
with as many primate species as she can find?...
FILM>> gun-mad Arabs start spontaneously shooting Americans in
morally ambiguous Samuel L Jackson / Tommy L Jones courtroom
shoutfest RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (http://www.capalert.com :
apparent homosexual pair in a crowd; Tommy Lee Jones was his
usual excellent self [...] but with a potty mouth this time.
Probably a dozen times more potty that "The Fugitive") -
supposedly based on different events, but it's almost as if it
was designed to "re-educate" the public about the massive
foreign policy embarrassment of 1993's "Battle of Mogadishu"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0140288503/ ... else
it's the usual crop of kiddie flicks: MY DOG SKIP (imdb: bully
/ dog / kids-and-family / family / mississippi / tearjerker /
baseball / based-on-true-story / 1940s / animal / dog-actor /
based-on-novel / bootlegger / cemetery / segregation /
football / boy-and-dog / sport / wwii / coming-of-age) - "Air
Bud", but without the basketball... or dire Brit stag-night
comedy WEDDING TACKLE (imdb: Tony Slattery, Leslie Grantham,
the other guy from "Game On" - together at last!)... though of
course you fanboys will be saving yourselves for Thursday's
advance previews of X-MEN (imdb: blockbuster / wwii / boat /
basketball / telekinesis / magnet / flashback / psionic-power
/ telepathy / motorcycle / helicopter / shapeshifter / spit-
in-the-face / magnetism / melting-man / new-york / school /
ostracism / morphing / based-on-comic / nazi-germany / senator
/ showdown / new-york-city / marvel / superhero / anarchy /
mutant / paraplegic / statue-of-liberty / runaway /
concentration-camp / government / prison / staten-island /
tongue / wheelchair / holocaust) - arguably the best feature-
length "made for TV" series pilot since "The Matrix"!...
CONFECTIONERY THEORY>> something of a "crunchy" texture to
this month's sightings, with the national roll-out of NESTLE
COLA SMARTIES prompting widespread reaction, from "officially
rank" (DAVID GENTLE) to "FLASH" WILSON's more complex theory
that preferences are occupationally determined: "The web team
eat Cola Smarties, the backend team eat Jelly and Icecream
Fruit Pastilles - but I eat strawberry Campini"... while MARK
SAVAGE defended the antipodean trend for making sweets out of
malted-milk drinks [NTK 2000-07-28], claiming that "the
ballerina's favourite - Malteesers - are just chocolate-coated
Horlicks powder. Think about it"... PepsiCo-owned Smiths-
absorbers WALKERS are up to something, with what they claim is
a new "Spicy" version of MONSTER MUNCH debuting in August,
plus some sort of legal battle in Ireland (where the Spicy
flavour apparently originated) with previous MM licensees,
Tayto, who have continued to manufacture a rival brand called
"Mighty Munch"... MATT HALL meanwhile describes Golden
Wonder's response, WOTSITS WAFFLES, as "cheesy powder OD, huge
maize squares guaranteed to choke anyone under the age of
fifteen"... as SIMON BRADBURY launches his one-man mission to
find out what's happened to GOLDEN WONDER'S WORCESTER SAUCE
WHEAT CRUNCHIES - are they being edged out by these fancy new
Walker's brands, or perhaps just replaced by GW's own Salt n
Vinegar Wheat Crunchies? Bradbury considers both possibilities
"unacceptable"... but product-spotter of the month award goes
to former face of Cadbury's Creme Eggs MATT LUCAS, who
"returned from France" with what's believed to be the first
example, captured in the wild, of a TWIX TOP - "about the
shape of two Twix sticks side-by-side, but maybe only half as
tall." Word is that nationwide sampling of these will continue
through August, with a full "back to school" ad campaign (79p
for a pack of 6) in September. "It's mainly a bland biscuit,"
Matt reports, "but has a small amount of chocolate and caramel
on top. Hence the title." Either that, or it's an allusion to
"Lager top", to create the impression of a lighter, less
potent variant of Twix: Classic...
>> 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.
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