_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2000-09-15_ o join! mail an empty message to
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o firstname.lastname@example.org
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v v / o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Users in the survey who spend more time online were found to
be more likely to provide information about themselves, the
study found. However, users who expressed 'little to no
concern' for Internet privacy were less likely to provide
details than those who were 'somewhat concerned.'"
- REUTERS, on new Andersen Consulting report
...and just how did they find this out?
>> HARD NEWS <<
Crisis? Which crisis? Locally, we share subscriber CAM
WINSTANLEY's analysis that there's nothing useful petrol can
do that "two part epoxy glue with industrial floor wax in a
shopping bag, inhaled deeply" won't replace. However, your
local apocalypse may be trickier to evade. En France, they'd
moved on from the Europe-wide MadMax style armageddon to the
Waterworld-themed Mac Expo, where an unfortunate sprinkler
mishap drowned most of the exhibitors stalls. Like everyone
else, we're assuming this was last week's Apple rebels [NTK
2000-09-08] commenting on the premature release of Aqua. And
in Australia, riot police fenced off the streets around the
Crown Casino to prevent suspicious crowds of scruffy-looking
weirdoes from disrupting the World Economic Forum. Or
administering their co-loc boxes, as the sysadmins running
boxes at the nearby Globalcenter DCO discovered. Hey, let us
in! We're fascists too!
- Nice LART, man! Where'd you get it?
- oh yeah. that'll work, Apple.
- oh, and that BP "Fuc You All" pic...
- ...is from a) Australia (natch), and b) weeks old
Windows Me: but not *you*, PAUL MARITZ, who resigned from
Microsoft this week on the eve of the new product launch to
spend some quality time down at The Village. Maritz, who
according to himself *didn't* say "We are going to cut off
[Netscape's] air supply. Everything they're selling, we're
going to give away for free", no matter what the DOJ, the
New York Times and an Intel Vice Prez claimed, was a senior
VP in charge of Visual C++ and Handing Out Crates of New
APIs to Goggle-Eyed Developers. Now he's just a regular
seventy-millionaire Joe. So, who's next? JIM ALLCHIN,
mild-mannered janitor, who is due to return from a two-month
"vacation" any day soon? Could be...
- like you wouldn't quit at this point
- son is a Redhat user, a dismissable offence
Seems no-one watches, or cares about, the MERCURY MUSIC PRIZE
any more - or, at the very least, can be bothered to keep an
eye on its website. Consequently it provided visitors with
surreal updates throughout the evening, courtesy of some
"security enthusiasts" off IRC, who managed to award the
honours to "Toby Slater" (believed friend of Daniel Pemberton
- see NTKs passim), "Purple Munkie" (sic) and "Badly Drawn
Boy's hat", before the site was eventually fixed at 10am the
following morning. Kudos, however, to LEGOLAND UK who have
stood firm on their company policy of "encouraging youthful
curiosity" and, at time of writing, are still hosting both the
DeCSS source code and step-by-step instructions on how to own
their SQL server, after originally being hacked on Monday.
- Nitin Sawhney admits "not even he knows who he is"
- hey, trust a Lego fan to give detailed cutaway diagrams
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
so, just how long did it take the security geniuses reading
SF-NEWS@SECURITYFOCUS.COM to spot it was an open listserv?
... RADIO TIMES stumbles from Watergate to another "whitewash
makeover": http://www.ntk.net/2000/09/15/dohradio.jpg ... BT
suspends service guarantees: no-one notices ... zero-DAILY
RADAR warez: http://www.ntk.net/2000/09/15/dohradar1.gif ,
http://www.ntk.net/2000/09/15/dohradar2.gif ... "Defragmenting
really speeds up Windows NT machines" uncovers the latest
http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/contents/ ... ah, but what about
copyrighting all those images in the *current* directory?
http://www.masterlock.com/general/Legal.html ... formerly free
movie mag FLICKS http://www.flicks.co.uk/ has yet to master
directories at all... not to mention the 46% who don't know
how to use CMS: http://www.ntk.net/2000/09/15/dohcontent.jpg
...chiselled from finest FRONTPAGE: http://www.draper.co.uk ...
NINFOMANIA does "sly dig" at NTK: fails to notice that matching
self-indulgent retrospective URL doesn't actually work...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
No definite date as yet for October's BIG BROTHER AWARDS
(presumably the ballots have been packed with wags
nominating "Big Brother", the TV show - ah yes, do you
see?), but our round-the-clock monitoring of Simon Davis
indicates he's planning a free, public INTERNATIONAL FORUM
ON SURVEILLANCE BY DESIGN at London's LSE from 9.30am, Fri
2000-09-22. With a line-up including the ACLU,
ZeroKnowledge, and UMTS surveillance techniques, it's
probably the closest we'll get over here to an all-day RSA
- in the US, the show's made by "Orwell Productions"
- well, at least he doesn't call himself "Simon Magnum (PI)"
Next weekend's YAPC::EUROPE (from 2000-09-22) has been sold
out for months, though there's some consolation to be had
just going through the list of talks and trying to work out
which ones were bolted on to make it "arty" for the ICA:
"Simon Cozens will explain the entirety of the Perl 5
internals. In 5 minutes. In verse." Somewhat forgiveably, we
feel, we've also ignored the similarly conflicted CREATING
SPARKS arts' n' sciences collaboration between The Natural
History Museum, The Royal College Of Music and all the other
fancy buildings around South Kensington (continues until
2000-09-30). At time of going to press, tickets were still
available to see novelist Stephen Baxter and Blur
bass-player Alex James discussing Mars (7.30pm, tonight)
while, on Tue, you can pay 12 quid to hear Richard Dawkins
reading from his own books, accompanied by "actress and
artist" Lalla Ward who, for some reason, the site neglects
to point out, is perhaps best known as "the second Romana"
from Dr Who.
- oh, and as alpha-male Dawkins' wife
- though we always preferred http://www.marytamm.co.uk/ And, presumably not timed to coincide with either, there's
consumer electronics jamboree LIVE 2000 (from Thu
2000-09-21, Earls Court, London), an event unashamedly aimed
at readers of the ever-popular publishing genre "this
attractive young woman on the cover has nothing to do with
the gadget she's holding". Promising "the latest, sexiest
kit" ("I don't know how I survived without a WAP phone!",
says the show's spokeswoman, apparently called Kit), the
site immediately blows it with a contest to win a Sony
Memory Stick Walkman featuring "a robust copyright
protection system" - like *that's* some kind of incentive!
- new addition to the field: Dennis' PC GEAR. Oh, who cares...
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
The embarassing thing about everyone shifting over to the
slim GNOME wraparound of Mozilla, GALEON, is that MOZILLA
itself is finally becoming usable. The new Netscape skin is
tolerable, there have been leaps in its lizardly speed,
memory shag is decreasing, and the bugcount looks to be
finally contained (we think: the Bugzilla chart-drawing page
broke some time back, ironically). But who cares about that,
when there's an even *titchier* wraparound for the 10MB
Mozilla binary. SKIPSTONE spurns all those GNOME libraries
that Galeon revels in, and remains a raw GTK app that you
can compile on anything that's got the Moz libraries hanging
around. It's still relatively cruddy compared to Galeon
(which is getting damn near to an everyday browser), but we
like the way it fobs off the downloading to 'wget'. And the
fact it's only 57K. And that it's already in Debian's
- and that it's different and new and therefore good
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
good precedent for tax-protests on the UK's other favourite
HYDROCARBONS: http://www.dumpthepubs.com/ ... hacking the
HUBBLE: http://www.foxnews.com/science/082500/hubble.sml ...
well, if BRITNEY's diversifying into high-energy physics:
http://www.mchawking.com/ ... and what's "PERL" a euphemism
for? http://walkingdead.net/perl/euphemism (as if we didn't
know)... ANARCHIST COOKBOOK blows up in "author"'s face:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0962303208 ... i feel
so used: http://www.geekculture.com/culture/erotica/ ... "be"
KEV SPACEY (no price given; presumably you can "negotiate"):
http://www.eroi.com/html/negot.htm ... the bulk-buying B2B
BULL ELECTRICAL: http://www.73.com/a/0012.shtml ... cheer up,
... BBC NEWS ONLINE starts imitating ONION "infographics":
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_921000/921923.stm >> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> the process of elimination that's had the entire country
on tenterhooks reaches its spectacular climax, as we at last
get to find out whether Bradley and Rachel really *are*
leaving the band in the second part of S CLUB 7: ARTISTIC
DIFFERENCES (5.25pm, Sat, ITV)... while tonight's SOUTH PARK
(11.35pm, Fri, C4) has mysteriously been moved back in the
schedules, presumably to avoid a clash with excellent CGI
geek-fest TWISTER (9pm, Fri, ITV) - scripted by Michael
Crichton and his wife Anne-Marie Martin, formerly the lovely
assistant to "Sledge Hammer"... the Crichton theme-park re-
opens later the same night with Westworld sequel FUTUREWORLD
(1.30am, Fri, ITV) - oh, the hubris of man and his never-
ending quest for "progress"... a motif continued in what seems
to be a new run of TEAM KNIGHT RIDER (4.05pm, Sat, ITV), the
increasingly surreal impersonations of CELEBRITY STARS IN
THEIR EYES (7.20pm, Sat, ITV), and the triumph of schlocky
snakes-in-ventilation-shafts chiller VENOM (10.40pm, Sat, C5)
over John Carpenter's BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (10.25pm,
Sat, ITV)... jaded schedulers have now realised, since the
original event lasted about 5 years, it's *always* some sort
of WW2 ANNIVERSARY (from 10.30am, Sun, BBC2)... thank heavens
the title explains MY NAME IS JOE (11pm, Sun, C4) because the
lead's broad Glasgow accent is otherwise incomprehensible...
Jean-Claude Van Damme battles himself once again in TIMECOP
(10pm, Mon, BBC1) - last shown August 1999 ... "not as good as
the other two" is the Radio Times' sage verdict on RAMBO III
(10pm, Wed, C5)... and, in a hint of trends to come, Michael
Caine plays the central "Woody Allen" role in arguably the
pinnacle of Allen's numerous New York comedy-dramas, HANNAH
AND HER SISTERS (12.40am, Wed, ITV)...
FILM>> it's Samuel L Jackson vs American Psycho - nice touch
getting Chef from "South Park" to do the theme tune, though -
for competent but uninspired cop-show retread SHAFT (imdb:
basketball / limousine / murder / witness-protection / mugger
/ racism / desert-eagle / sequel / racial-slur / chrysler-
building / racial-injustice / crooked-cop / professional-hit /
urban / foot-pursuit / violence / car-wash / undercover /
cocaine / new-york-city / defenestration / police-brutality /
drug-dealer / new-york / chase / hitman / uncle-nephew /
media-coverage / revenge / twist-in-the-end / detective /
brother-sister / drugs / private-detective / vengeance)...
lovely Jennifer Lopez borrows "Dreamscape", "Coma" movie-tech
to find that the nightmarish inner thoughts of a serial killer
resemble nothing so much as bad 1980s pop videos, in stylishly
daft psychoanalysis nonsense THE CELL (http://www.capalert.com
: using [child] for an ironing board; corpses "dolled up like
dolls"; spooling of intestines on to a "rotisserie" as it is
pulled from the gut of a live man)... in the arthouse ghetto:
critics'll love it, but not even a gurning George Clooney can
generate any box-office for yet another self-consciously wacky
Coen effort O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU? (imdb: crime / adventure
/ comedy / musical)... or it's Bjork and Lars Von Trier -
together at last! - in harrowing mental torture singalong
DANCER IN THE DARK (imdb: drama / musical) - not based around
the Bruce Springsteen song of nearly the same name... so our
surprise, low-expectation recommendation goes to Ben Stiller /
Edward Norton/ Jenna Elfman religious There's Something About
Mary-alike KEEPING THE FAITH (http://www.capalert.com : sexual
drawing; crotch hit; crotch kick; cohabitation; sex song) -
not based around the Bon Jovi track of nearly the same name...
FEEBDACK>> in accordance with prophecy [NTK 2000-09-01],
response to our exciting website redesign has been
overwhelmingly negative, with a lone voice ("FWIW *Love* the
new look!") swiftly drowned out by a combination of ALAN
CONNOR ("I think I'll find it 'virtually unreadable' and
suggest 'you may as well go and write for Wired or
something'"); PETER J SMITH ("OK apart from the BODY tag which
uses marginwidth and marginheight instead of leftmargin and
topmargin"); and, of course, a hail of invective from self-
appointed compliance officer LLOYD WOOD, who slammed us for
*not* having changed many of the expiry date, doctype and
table problems he first pointed out in Christmas 1997. It's
heart-warming pedantry from readers like this that really
makes doing NTK worthwhile - keep it coming!... thanks to all
of you who submitted your own suggestions for the Kabalarian's
"Choose The Ideal Name For Your Child" generator [NTK 2000-08-
18], including YOG-SOTHOTH and CHEWBACCA... and to the totally
unalarming number of readers who, after our sex offenders gag
[2000-08-18], felt we'd also enjoy ALIEN VERSUS CHILD PREDATOR
while a clearly-chastened CHET from the nearby "Portal Of
Evil" was prompted by numerous responses to the same issue's
http://www.portalofevil.com/eatme.shtml link to politely
inquire "You guys know we are just playing over at POE, right?
Some of your countrymen have sent me some crazy misguided
emails, what can I say... I am bound to respond publicly".
Hey, c'mon Chet - maybe they're just "playing" too? Where's
that famous American sense of humour?... NICOLA PEARCE, after
reading NTK 2000-08-04, claimed she'd "have to wash [her] hard
disk out with soap and water. First we have a German guy being
Hitler. Then we have the BNP. And lastly we have Rec.Guns.
Have you been infiltrated by gun-worshipping fascists?" Ho ho
Nicola, of course not - links from NTK, particularly to
extremists such as the BNP, or Mac users, are often satirical
in intent and should not be taken as endorsements. You should
see the links we *don't* run, like this charmingly Freudian
refugee from alt.sex.stories.catfights.sex.with.your.mother :
http://www.seakingsfemfight.com/storymikejv1.html ... and
finally, to the anonymous tipster who commented "Why have you
taken to saying 'fricking' you fucking pussies? Cancel my
subscription etc", can you please supply quantitative evidence
(a la http://www.ntk.net/?back=archive98/now0522.txt&line=314#l )
- but wait until we've done our next expletive-packed "Cunt"
round-up in two weeks time!...
>> 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
"yet another media outlet falls for the 'Dave Green' hoax"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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