_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "First Tuesday is my revenge on socialism... I keep looking
for John Galt."
- JULIE MYER, First Tuesday founder and ATLAS SHRUGGED fan, Wired 8.10
...oh, is he disguising himself as a sweaty guy in a cheap
suit, begging double-barrelled investment bankers to bankroll
"golfing-supplies-limited.uk.com" these days, then?
>> HARD NEWS <<
You wait three hundred and twelve years for an embodiment of
the rights of man in law, then thirteen come along at once.
Next step: enforcing a few of them online. Coming soon:
4DMEDIA's Chris "no, not that Chris" Morris' test case will
investigate whether ISP's shared liability for defamatory
Websites is a restriction on free speech. The Civil rights
group LIBERTY is still scouting around for the perfect RIP
test case. And we've had enquiries from Mike and Trish
Mahoney of BLUEYONDER.COM, asking if the HRA might help them
fend off the 18,000 e-mails and countless mis-hits they've
received from the subscribers and staff of Telewest's
BLUEYONDER.CO.UK. We're not sure if protection from
"intimidation" by mistyped URLs and (in this case),
messed-up bookmarks on Telewest's own installation CD is a
fundamental human rights issue *per se*, but, hell, why not
have a go? God knows, we'd like some court to decide whether
domain names are personal property, commercial trademarks, a
private address, the copyrighted property of Network
Solutions, or - as some extremists claim - a mnemonic to
remember IP numbers.
- although it's not *really* common carrier status
- right, Clive?
- oh, we'll support anyone against The Man
Good to see the sickening knee-jerk liberalism is
spreading: Russia's SUPREME COURT ruled last week that
the security services were obliged to inform ISPs of any
surveillance orders, as the providers were legally
responsible for insuring the confidentiality of their
clients' communications. Contrast with the freedom-lovin' UK,
where telco employees get thrown in jail for five years if
they let anyone* know of the existence surveillance order,
even after its expiry date passes with no police action. That
said, we're still lagging behind some countries on the
technological fronts: In Malaysia, the cabinet have slapped
a universal ban on videogames "in view of the serious
menace" caused by the degenerate entertainment. Deputy Prime
Minister Abdulla Badawi says the games "become like opium to
the younger generation. They have to go and play the games
daily or they feel uneasy when sleeping." Like any of us
- no more registration! new york times, are you listening?
- did we mention what your boss can do now?
- shame they didn't ban overlong URLs at the same time
At 23:55 on Thursday, the CGI script running KEVIN WARWICK
WATCH became sentient for the first time, and decided our fate
in a microsecond. In fact, we hadn't heard anything from the
UK's foremost cyber-pioneer for a couple of weeks, but he may
well have spent that time plotting his latest headline-
grabbing foray into the realms of sense - and sensuality. In
addition to the fruition of his long-hinted plans to provide
himself with bat-like echolocation abilities, his new implant
will, via a similar device connected to his wife, relay her
experiences directly to him, with such perhaps-too-revealing
applications as "never faking an orgasm again". Full details -
with the exception, of course, of exactly how Kevin might
achieve this near-miraculous feat of neurological wiring -
appear on the main KWW page, under the headings "Technology
Spells Doom For Popular Relationship-Maintaining Deception"
(2000-10-05), "My Supersonic Sonar-Radar Will Help Me" (2000-
09-20), and 2000-08-25's "Kevin Could Be 'Excited' By Wife
Looking At Other Men".
- Half man. Half machine. Not much cop.
- hard-hitting Register satirists nicking our jokes again
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
JOBS calls worldwide Apple hiring freeze: still, needs to eat:
... book for kids with ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER - only 1 page
long: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0962162981/ ...
"porn" appeared on-screen, and everyone just gathered round:
"Windows Free Zone" store http://store.linuxjournal.com/ vs
KELLOGG'S send out G-R-R-R-REAT! big 1MB email to list
members, from "Tony the Tiger"... "What's WAP" area at
http://www.vizzavi.co.uk has setup details for just Nokia 7110
and Ericsson MC218 - a spot-on snapshot of WAP as of November
1999... "Logic Bomb" cyber-commentator STEVE BEARD debuts on
JG Ballard mailing list, tells everyone about his IDLER
article, then sends unsub request to entire list... search
THE REGISTER for "Dave the Goth"... IT workers strangely not
immune to drug-taking seen in all other well-paid businesses:
"Many chinks in China's stellar FDI inflows", gaffes
Amazon's PENS now compatible with Win95 *and* 98, NT, 2000!:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004XS51/ ... soft-
launching with fists flying - it's INDUSTRY STANDARD EUROPE:
http://www.thestandardeurope.com/article/display/0,1151,11469,00.html >> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Yes, approximately 97% of NTK-featured events take place in
either London or California, but there's just something about
those two venues that seems to actively invite our heartless
mockery. Fortunately other regions have been getting in on the
act recently, thanks to the touring efforts of cod-corporate
"edutainments" like BBC FUTUREWORLD, drawn to our attention by
reader DAVID DEANS, and enthralling the inhabitants of both
Bristol and Portsmouth until at least the end of October.
Leading one to suspect that they comprise bits of stuff that
were part of a failed Millennium Dome bid, Deans reports that
the exhibitions are "run by some odd part of the BBC which
tells us how excellent it is", as well as heavily sponsored by
BT. Attractions (at the Bristol one at least) include free
admission, a manga Peter Snow, endless digital TV propaganda,
and trying to view pr0n on the inadequately firewalled PCs.
"Crap," Deans concludes, "but in a cool-spazz0 sort of a way."
- hey, if it was a "Westworld" theme event, we'd be interested
- in Leeds, 2 days of "convergence" bollocks; and in London...
- now, *this* doesn't sound like a corporate publicity prank
- "Top people trade small talk over big drinks." KILL US NOW!
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Excuse From The NT Fascists That You Can't Run UNIX on Your
Desktop Machine #478: "We use Netmeeting a lot here". Yeah,
right. The smug answer comes courtesy of, you'll be pleased
to hear, an obscure telephony standards initiative. OPENH323
is a set of drivers supporting the ITU's videoconferencing
protocol, which just happens to be the same standard used by
Microsoft's Netmeeting. The 1.1 version has just slipped out
of beta. The whole thing is a bit of a beast to install, and
not quite past the "hello? helloooo?" stage, but then what
Internet telephone isn't? Video4Linux and FreeBSD
videograbbers are supported. Confirm that those conference
calls aren't worth your precious time today!
- remember: shots of your genitals may contravene workplace etiquette
- "we're not getting complaints about sexual content any more"
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
with http://palmfun.multimania.com/en/MainFrame.html to make
*more* little autonomous robots... if NATHANs spoke in
... no wonder he's been forced to go back to professionals:
http://www.punternet.com/board/posts/42678.html ... reassuring
chaperone-style emphasis on not leaving individuals alone with
NUCLEAR WEAPONS: http://www.contrast.org/onkruit/lessons.html
... "viewers complained about the contents of five episodes
from the [6-episode] series" of Chris Morris' JAM, reports
- implying one episode got *no complaints at all*: is Morris
"losing his touch" a little nowadays?... hack 'n' slash
GAUNTLET: http://www.vex.net/~smarry/yip/gauntlet.html ...
METALLICA not too worried: http://www.eminemesis.fsnet.co.uk
... GUARDIAN Christoper Walken imitates ONION Christopher
Walken: http://www.theonion.com/onion3011/walkeninla.html vs
... ELTINGVILLE COMIC BOOK, SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, HORROR,
AND ROLE-PLAYING CLUB - The Animated Series...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
the not on-holiday http://www.tvgohome.com/ TV>> cndb reports extensive "shower nudity", speculates Sly's
penis may have been "edited out" of Stallone/Stone bomb
disposal bomb THE SPECIALIST (9pm, Fri, ITV), filling in
between now-every-other-week Bond films... speaking of Bond
films, it's a very special week for dodgy movie franchises,
with HIGHLANDER (10.30pm, Fri, BBC1), the enthusiastically
daft video game adaptation MORTAL KOMBAT (10.50pm, Sat, ITV),
OMEN III: THE FINAL CONFLICT (12.40am, Sat, ITV), CANDYMAN
(10pm, Mon, C4), BATMAN AND ROBIN (9pm, Thu, C5), and the
perhaps too-revealingly-titled DARKMAN III: DIE, DARKMAN, DIE!
(11.20pm, Mon, BBC1)... and MTV VJ Trey Farley makes a bid to
control all Saturday morning as he hosts both late-night porn
clip-show LOVES LIKE A DOG (2.20am, Fri, C4) and the new-look
LIVE AND KICKING (9.15am, Sat, BBC1)... decision time for fans
of all-American retards as the COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS (9.05pm,
Sat, BBC2) go up against FORREST GUMP (9pm, Sat, BBC1)...
meteorologists are issuing a double "Richard E Grant" warning
on Sunday, incorporating JACK AND SARAH (9pm, Sun, C4) -
instead, watch Chris Farley's BEVERLY HILLS NINJA (9pm, Sun,
C5) - and KEEP THE ASPIDISTRA FLYING (10pm, Sun, BBC2) -
instead, watch SWINGERS (11.05pm, Sun, C4)... while EQUINOX
(9pm, Mon, C4) and HORIZON (9.30pm, Thu, BBC2) go head-to-head
in the exciting-science stakes with shows about fast cars and
giant tidal waves, respectively... like Tupac Shakur before
him, death seems to have done wonders for Gene Roddenberry's
productivity, with the arrival of his latest space-opera
ANDROMEDA (8pm, Mon, Sky1) - also look out for Tia Carrere
Tomb Raider-alike RELIC HUNTER (1pm, Sun, Sky1)... and sure,
we thought http://www.everyonehatesattachments.com would come
out funnier, but we'll give ATTACHMENTS (9pm, Tue; 11.20pm,
Fri, BBC2) one last chance to make some more really hideous
technical errors before we give up on it altogether...
FILM>> intended as an academic exercise - to see how just many
different Eddie Murphy roles, CGI/ prosthetic special effects,
and bodily function gags could be crammed into Janet Jackson
Touretting-genius slapstick NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS
(http://www.capalert.com : portrayal of oral sex by an old
woman; flatulence, even to music; animal copulation [twice];
feces as missiles from a giant hamster; rape of a human male
by a giant male hamster with interest in continuing the
relationship)... the highly-public cutting of Ben Moor's role
is just one reason to boycott lame "and you thought 'Human
Traffic' was behind the times" clubs 'n'n drugs rave SORTED
(imdb: Tim "Rocky Horror" Curry, Jason "Rocky Horror" Donovan,
Tim "Blue Peter" Vincent, Kelly "Big Breakfast" Brook -
together at last!)... so, frankly, your only real hope is
advance previews of Tom Green's peripatetic "American Pie"
remake ROAD TRIP (imdb: fraternity / politically-incorrect /
room-mate / road-trip / sex / snake / marijuana / college /
party / dirty-videotape / sperm-bank / french-toast / drugs /
story / girlfriend / cheating / gross-out-comedy / mistaken-
mail / foot-fetish / mouse / person-eating-mice)...
CONFECTIONERY THEORY>> a mixed verdict on this month's major
arrival, the CADBURY'S SNOWFLAKE: DERYCK RAWLINGS reported
that, although white chocolate gives him migraines, his "young
lady" pronounced it "absolutely yummy", enabling Cadbury to
"regain my favour after the Shush disappointment"... "white
choc doesn't taste of anything," analysed trainee chemist TOM
ANDERSON: "[Snowflake] also lacks the top-drawer chocolate
that makes this architecture work for Ripple", while adding "a
truly alarming cross-sectional appearance" and a "nasty
aftertaste" which he promised to investigate using his gas
chromatograph... so the casting vote goes to SIMON GREENWOOD,
who persuasively argued: "There is a vague delineation between
the white and milk chocolate but [the bars] are made all the
more delicious by the spectacle of the airhead Turner and her
new hubby [appearing in] such a crappy picture"... on the
import front, the ground-breaking http://www.cybercandy.co.uk
crew have now added New Zealand, Japanese and Chinese faves to
their line-up, as well as US classics such as ThinkGeek-style
PENGUIN CAFFEINATED PEPPERMINTS (UKP2.65, also available in
"Decaff" form). Kiwis specialise in choc-covered marshmallow
bars - as with CADBURY'S PINKY (UKP1.20, pink marshmallow),
CADBURY'S CHOCOLATE FISH (69p, also pink), and PASCALL'S
PINEAPPLE LUMPS (UKP2.45, pineapple flavoured, yellow) - while
the ever-expanding Japanese range includes such beautifully
packaged delights as MEIJI CHOCO BABY (UKP1.45 - normal or
strawberry varieties) and LOTTE CHOCOLATE SNACK KOALAS
(UKP1.89, empty box makes excellent desk-ornament), as well as
the inevitable taste-surprises like CHELSEA YOGURT SCOTCH
(UKP1.37, boiled sweets with "The Taste of Old Scotland"), and
HI-SOFT GREEN TEA flavoured toffees (UKP1.23)... reassuringly,
our UK sweet-industry seems to be more than holding its own,
as DAVID CHALLENDER alerted us to "the ice cream version of
those green triangle chocs found in Quality Street"; DAN
CALLADINE unilaterally awarded new FOX'S JAM 'N' CREAM ROCKY
BISCUITS the prized plaudit of "nicest Rocky ever"; and WAYNE
WILLIAMS enthused over KELLOGG'S TOFFEE FROSTIES, the "coming
soon" NUTRIGRAIN ELEVENSES ("am incredibly excited by the
prospect of being able to replace all my meals with small
chewy bars") and, inexplicably, WESTLIFE BUBBLEGUM, "spotted
at a service station on the M6"... great work team - your
targets for this month include CADBURY'S TANGO CRUNCHIE (rrp
35p), MARS' "WHO NICKED THE NOUGAT?" LIMITED EDITION SNICKERS
and, leaked to us from a Mars secret test-site, SKITTLES MINTS
http://www.ntk.net/2000/10/06/skittles.jpg - sub-flavours
include "Coolmint", "Peppermint", "Spearmint", "Sweetmint"
and, of course, nature's very own "Toffeemint"...
>> 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
"if he had actually *talked* to us, he'd realise we like cereals
much, much more than the next guy"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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