_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2001-03-09_ o join! mail an empty message to
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Oftel has just published the latest instalment of the LLU
guidelines, which lay out the rules for allocating space for
DSL equipment in exchanges. The rules also specify how space
for equipment will be located in toilets, offices, car parks
and other areas of existing local exchanges."
...BT encourages new providers to install "near the Blue Goldfish"
>> HARD NEWS <<
who's taunting who?
Biggest excitement at COMPUTERS FREEDOM AND PRIVACY this
year? Wired News' DECLAN MCCULLAGH getting nabbed by
government agents after the Carnivore debate. Sadly for
Dec's rep, the pair weren't after him for "knowing too
much" - or even *writing* too much, for which they'd have a
much better case. No, this was just another weirdly
scattershot subpoena in the Treasury's ongoing case against JIM
"Assassination Politics" BELL (also known as the one
net.kook more libertarian than Declan). MCCULLAGH now joins
JOHN "Cryptome" YOUNG in unwilling witnesses called in the
case. Boy, you'd think that if you were forcing people to
reveal supposed threats to the State, you'd choose people
who were known to *stop* blabbing about them from time to time.
- you'd also think wearing an NSA t-shirt would protect you but nooo
- we sense the gubbermint may be a little ... codependent with these folk
Meanwhile - and we'd say in accordance with prophecy, but we
never thought it'd pan out like this - after buying up a big
bunch of The Big Breach (and obviously selling *all* of
them, clearly, no problems there), noted secrecy/privacy
busters 192.COM have apparently liberated their own content,
and are now offering a free bookz version of the Tomlinson
autobio. Of course, now it's readily available and you don't
have to go through the fun of self-righteously mirroring it,
the book itself is kinda boring, but you can get it in Word
format, presumably with KGB Macro virus and MAC number of
Tomlinson's desktop PC included. Think we'll wait for the
seven-line Perl precis.
- have we recommended that anonymizing proxy yet?
Sure, we've all wondered about the accountability of charities
who receive large sums of public money from time to time - but
few of us have had as much opportunity to do something about
it as WIPO who, next week, we believe are due to decide the
fate of leonard-cheshire.com, "a work of interventionist art"
constructed by disabled people - who happen to occasionally
criticise UK charity THE LEONARD CHESHIRE FOUNDATION (who,
naturally, own the non-profit leonard-cheshire.org). It's
impressive to see just how much ill-will this apparently
well-meaning care-provider has generated (over its alleged
institutionalisation of disabled people and priorities in
distribution of funding); leonard-cheshire.com's defence in
the domain dispute argues that it clearly identifies itself as
an "anti-Leonard Cheshire Foundation website", and should
therefore not be mistaken for the "real thing" - unless of
course the "real" site also includes such playfully satirical
content as "What can I do if I do not like disabled people
and want to see them banged up in institutions away from the
community and only let out in controlled groups with lots of
'carers' to protect the public from their hideous presence?"
- "fast facts" at http://leonard-cheshire.com/pages/fast.htmlhttp://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/cases/2001/d0000-0199.html
- that .sucks TLD got here just in time
- conference to "improve public confidence": sounds expensive...
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
"total UK internet marketing expenditure" = UKP600 this year:
http://www.ntk.net/2001/03/09/doh600.gif - enough for 75
race meetings: http://www.ntk.net/2001/03/09/doh8quid.gif ...
NETSCAPE users "may not be able to take full advantage" of
UK WEB DESIGN ASSOCIATION: http://www.ukwda.org/netscape.html
... PETER TATCHELL forwards ONION's "Eminem Releases Single
About Hugging Elton John Then Ripping His Dick Off With
Pliers" to mailing list, later apologises for perpetrating
"hoax"... http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/17420.html vs
BBC off chasing WOOZLES http://www.machaon.ru/pooh/chap3.html :
... counting the days: http://www.aolwatch.org/bush.htm vs
outright DENIAL: http://realguide.real.com/channels/ ... your
MUM's so uncool, she watches: http://yourmum.mtv.co.uk/ ...
http://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/ "not suitable for an 8-YEAR
OLD CHILD"... does the Geneva Convention cover CHINESE BURNS?
http://www.ntk.net/2001/03/09/dohira.gif ...is this the lamest
ONION ripoff of all time? http://www.theschmews.com/ ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
We've been a bit slack over this year's COMPUTER SECURITY
COLLOQUIA at the LSE (Wed 2001-03-14: "Future Technology/
Future Information Security", with David Lacey of the Post
Office). After that, there's always the looming threat of the
complex emotions elicited by COMIC RELIEF - sure, you'd like
to help, but there's always the lingering doubt that you may,
in some small way, be unwittingly prolonging the careers of
Lenny Henry or Richard Curtis. One initiative we feel we can
give our typically half-hearted support to is the DUBBLE BAR
(RRP around 35p) - "Milk Chocolate With Caramelised Crisp
Rice", produced in keeping with "Fairtrade" principles and
perhaps uncharitably described by NTK readers as "rather too
sweet for me - each rice grain seems like it's been injected
with sugar" (Tim Aidley) and "just a really thick version of
Dairy Crunch with not very good chocolate" (Mike Gray). We,
however, kind of liked it - though it does pale in comparison
with the shockingly tasty Organic range launched this week by
NTK e-commerce affiliates CYBERCANDY, our personal favourites
being the bars with big chunks of apple and orange and ginger
and stuff in.
- tell your friends that the turtles are "chocolate starfish"
- yet no link to http://www.divinechocolate.com/http://csrc.lse.ac.uk/colloquia.htm
- hair-raising anecdotes on envelope sniffing and stamp fraud
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
You know the problem. You've upped your BogoMips, padded out
your address space with cheapo SDRAM, slotted a couple of
forty giggers in your bays: your desktop is at eleven.
Except for one thing. Your average load: a pathetic 0.01.
That needs to be rounded up. But with such conspicuous
consumption tendencies, you're just not the type to donate
them to some fly-by-night key-cracking, ET-searching,
AIDS-curing distributed "effort". No, you need MGM. Written
by Ogg Vorbis' very own Xiphophorus, MGM (which stands for
Moaning Goat Meter, you crazy WIPO people) is a load meter
with a catch: the principal load is itself. It's written in
Perl-TK. It thrashes itself silly measuring system params
about once every other instruction. It take plug-in. It show
spinning fish. It look real pretty. It take up more RAM than
Emacs. No, really.
- worth it for the FAQ alone
- first plug-in: measures MGM's own RSS bloat and so on and so on
>> MEMEPOOL <<
frott the hotbot
new craze in JAPAN - artificial nails that glow when you're
receiving a mobile call... ALL YOUR BASES is new "Mr T Ate My
Balls": http://www.maficdesign.com/ayb/mrt.swf ... US wire
... loathe TREES? here's your big chance to have your say!:
... barmy-looking NASA boffins imitate start of INDEPENDENCE
... Dr Phlox: from C5's "Pepsi Chart" to infinity and BEYOND!:
http://www.trektoday.com/news/040301_01.shtml ... BT network
capacity: http://www.labs.bt.com/news/00-12-15.htm imitates:
... http://www.char.tv/ ... Scientologists now targeting
BURROUGHS fans: http://www.ntk.net/2001/03/09/harmaline.jpg
... http://www.jesuschristsuperstore.net/ more heavily armed
than http://www.trainupachild.com/ ... very "special" SAILOR
MOON attack: http://www.tcp.com/doi/smoon/char/taiki.html ...
got some gags out of New-Zealand-census-email, the BBC have:
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> former Simon Quinlank sidekick Kevin "Alan" Cecil co-
stars in the extended Robot Wars/ Fight Club spoof episode of
SPACED (9.30pm, Fri; 12.25am, Sat, C4)... commemorating a
decade when the undead once again walked the earth, EVIL DEAD
II (10.35pm, Sat, BBC2) and Kathryn "Point Break" Bigelow's
NEAR DARK (11.55pm, Sat, BBC2) follow on from I LOVE 1987
(9.05pm, Sat, BBC2) - which, by the way, had better not
overlook the publication of the "Watchmen" graphic novel and
the release of "Beat Dis" by Bomb The Bass - events which, as
far as we're concerned, effectively marked the start of the
modern era... while this week's autistic spectrum appearances
include idiot-savant exaggeration docu FRAGMENTS OF GENIUS
(7.40pm, Sun, BBC1), a fictionalised version of the same thing
in RAIN MAN (10.55pm, Sun, BBC1), plus a pair of high-
functioning Asperger's syndromers in FIRST SIGHT (7.30pm, Thu,
BBC2, London only)... despite its title, 3-part manned-mission
docu DESTINATION MARS (8pm, Mon, C4) isn't a sci-fi movie from
30 years ago - these are now reserved for weekday afternoons
in the form of MAROONED (1.10pm, Mon, C4) and time-traveller
QUEST FOR LOVE (1.10pm, Wed, BBC2)... and, once again, there's
something of a shared theme among "The Great Dot.Con" special
of THE MONEY PROGRAMME (7.30pm, Wed, BBC2), "Jamie's Internet
fantasies begin to intrude on reality" in entertainingly
filmed teen trash AS IF (6pm, Thu, BBC2), and the "Searching
for Sex" edition of TROUBLE AT THE TOP (9.50pm, Thu, BBC2), on
17 year-old child prodigy Benjamin Cohen's mission to create
the world's most Jewish porn search engine, or something:
FILM>> essentially a feature-length adaptation of the Spinal
Tap track "Bitch School" - with an extended role for Lt "I'm
joking of course" Hookstratten who shows them round the air
force base - means top marks for the reassuringly barking BEST
IN SHOW (http://www.screenit.com/movies/2000/best_in_show.html
: Phrases: "Sh*tbox," "I sh*t you not, you freak," "Loser(s),"
"Bitch" (for dogs, said several times), "Freaks," "Taking a
dump," "Shut up," "What the hell is this?" and "Nuts")... this
week's other gem is limited-release NY mole people docu DARK
DAYS (http://www.darkdays.com/ - caution: Flash)... otherwise
James "Stargate" Spader plays a cop unhealthily obsessed with
Keanu Reeves' unhealthy obsession with Marisa Tomei in THE
WATCHER (http://www.capalert.com/capreports/watcher_the.htm :
explosively startling programming; teen arrogance against fair
authority; female underwear mag in man's apartment; blow to
the head) - first of this year's major releases featuring
Ernie "Ghostbusters" Hudson... or, speaking of unhealthy
obsessions, there's "strong language and some moderate sex
references" in this year's 'This Year's Love', the postponed-
release Brit comedy BORN ROMANTIC (imdb: Jessica "Spaced"
Stevenson, Sally "Smack The Pony" Phillips, and Jane "bloody"
Horrocks - together at last!)...
NASTY, BRITISH AND SHIRT(S)>> feverish speculation over the
contents of NTK's "Spring Collection" can now be (temporarily)
stilled, as we reveal that our first new T-shirt design -
unveiled today at http://www.ntkmart.com/ - is something of a
timeless "retro classic": a screenshot of BBC Micro "Elite"
with the letters "NTK" pasted into it! Respect is due to
shadowy creators "Violence Through Kittens" for volunteering
to donate their royalties to NTK's adopted PC-recyclers the
Redundant Technology Initiative (and for keeping the original
GIF down to less than 4K in size); kudos also to Elite authors
Ian Bell and David Braben, who we did ask to check that they
didn't mind, and they said "fine"... which makes this month's
Runner-Up that "Bruce" guy again - who, attendees at our
Christmas Party may recall, recklessly agreed to gamble his
royalties from the "I got UKP80million in venture capital"
design on a print run of one of his other ones - specifically
the deviously renaissance-man slogan "iMachiavellian: Think
dissident", printed in a curiously familiar-looking font in
delicate light blue on a gorgeous "graphite" dark grey shirt.
And we've even managed to get some of our old favourites
available in both sizes - Medium *and* XL - next we might even
consider shipping to the US, if they really beg for it...
still, if you think you can do better, the good news is we're
planning at least one new design every month now until we get
bored - plus we're setting up some sort of gallery of entries
that we're still "not sure about", which currently includes
HANDANOVA's surreal http://www.geekparty.net/tshirt.html ,
JEREMY ARDLEY's RIP-aware http://www.ardley.org/shadowsml.jpg
(based on http://www.nara.gov/exhall/powers/shadow.jpg ), and
NICK SZCZEPANIK's text-only back-print "WARNING: I SLOW DOWN
FOR SHOE SHOPS", to be printed in "in women's sizes only",
and allegedly inspired by "his girlfriend". Though we're
definitely calling a moratorium on those fucking Einsteins
who've proposed some sort of "All Your Base Are Belong To Us"
variant - SIMON BATISTONI is partly forgiven for "NTK: They
Set Us Up The Bomb - Now We Have Set Them Up It Back" - but,
attention reader HARRY HARRIS: "All Your Memes Are Belong To
Us"? You're going to have to try harder than that...
>> 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
"They had robbed our restoration nonupdated,
we rob here to her hour behind"
( still amusing ourselves with http://www.telalink.net/~carl/multibabel/ )
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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