_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2001-06-01_ o join! mail an empty message to
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o firstname.lastname@example.org
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "On the web, it can be hard to distinguish between something
run out of a bedroom and a major company..."
- Elaine King, genius behind "the phonebook for the web"
...ie, the bedroom one might still be going in 6 months' time?
>> HARD NEWS <<
you win they lose
Four years ago, top Labour advisors told us that the next
election would be "fought on the Internet". And they were
right! We've spent the last month fighting with all these
Flash games with photos of politician's heads clumsily
pasted into them, and, boy, we still can't get enough! That
new innovation apart, we have to admit: politician turnout
online *has* been low this year. We put it down to general
apathy on the part of the elected: they've realised that
spamming policies doesn't really change anything, and don't
really see the point in discussing the issues in a forum
where the inflexible electorate are just going to ask
awkward questions. Meanwhile, those greedy, unprincipled
voters appear to have been after the one thing they love:
the corrupt allure of facts. The GUARDIAN and the TELEGRAPH,
it seems, have been a bit taken aback by the number of
people interrogating their MP and electoral databases. It's
almost as if people online *are* interested in politics:
just not politicians. Unless they're in a funny game.
- politicians playing funny games, too. but not that funny.
If anyone's lived the wacky geek activist life to the full,
it's H KEITH HENSON. He co-founded the L5 society in 1975,
to promote space colonisation (it merged to become the more
stately National Space Society). He was somehow a friend to
both Tim "LSD" Leary and Tim "Cypherpunks" May, the carved
wooden bookends at the far edges of any gonzo futurist's
bookshelf. He shares two patents with Eric Drexler, the
godfather of nanotechnology. He's been involved in
cryogenics. He was married to Carolyn Meinel, "Happy Hacking"
hate figure for the haxx0r underground. He's the toastmaster
for the extropian Far Edge Party, where the cloned copies of
every uploaded human meet up at a prearranged point on the
other end of the Galaxy in 10 million years, and show each
other holiday slide shows of where they've explored. And, as
of this week, he's 63 years old, bankrupt, and stuck in a
maximum security jail, after being arrested by six Canadian
Emergency Task Force officers in full battle gear. They'd
been tipped off that he was a dangerous pipe-bomb wielding
fugitive. He's certainly a fugitive; he's currently pleading
asylum in Canada after being convicted of interfering with
the Scientologists. He could well be someone you secretly
hoped existed: his defence fund has a PayPal account.
- what *is* it with Russia hosting all these free speech sites?
- academic interests
- see also "The Great Mambo Chicken & The Transhuman Condition"
Following on from the bargain half-price PS2s offered by
THESLAMMER [NTK 2001-04-06], THE DVD FORUMS is becoming *the*
place to compare notes on pioneering online business models
and, more to the point, how much they've deducted from your
credit card. Annoyingly, you have to register to read it, but
highlights include one 11-page thread, under "Suppliers", with
wild reports of companies with no stocks of DVDs at all,
sysadmins threatening to pull the plug on their hosting unless
they receive full payment (in DVDs, natch), as well as
representatives posting to defend various companies and ending
up admitting they haven't been paid for a month and hereby
resign. It's the innovative "zero-stock" business plan we're
most intrigued by - sure, we run out of t-shirts from time to
time, but visiting an e-commerce site where you can't actually
buy anything is a bit close to that old practical joke of
ringing up bookshops and then, when they say "Can I help
you?", you reply "It's OK, thanks - I'm just browsing..."
- also at http://groups.google.com/groups?ic=1&th=7acda5d62de648f5,7 >> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
"Make no mistake: we've only scratched the surface of all the
Internet can and will do" admits the blurb for INTERNET
WORLD UK 2001 (Tue-Thu, 2001-06-05/07, Earls Court, London,
should be free if you pre-register). This thrillingly dull
event is handily co-located with the likes of E-FULFILMENT
2001, CUSTOMER CONTACT CENTRES 2001, SERVICE MANAGEMENT EUROPE
2001 and, of course, ENTERPRISE CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT 2001, just
in case the ranks of depleted .coms have problems filling out
that cavernous Earls Court exhibition hall.
- there is such a thing as a free "networking lunch"?
- next week, Larry Wall launches "YAPC::America::North"
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
WOMEN prefer gifts bought at AMAZON over ones you can't buy
- AMAZON research reveals... hat-wearing ex-tech-journo starts
weblog: http://www.mediacooperative.com/users/blog/ ... bad
day at DEMON: http://www.ntk.net/2001/06/01/dohdemon.gif ...
"Arriving in November 2000 - The POPTEL WORLDWIDE Website":
http://www.poptelworldwide.com/ ... when will we tire of
IRONIC BANNER ADS in "every pixel is sacred" Nielsen columns:
this week's mistranslated hilarity - "Internet, which refers
to as virtual platform does, held space-time spellbound":
http://sg.netor.com/ , "a village that keeps a mystery and the
natural cleanness": http://www.hwachon.kangwon.kr/english/ ,
and, of course, "WE MEANS WHAT PROMISED BASE ON THE HIGH
QUALITY": http://www.jinyuan.com/ ... what, no DAVE LEE?:
... at least they're not BITTER: http://www.pcxl.com/ ...
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
The best Free Software projects have two attributes in moderation:
complexity and competition. Oh, and comprehensibility. Oh, and
coolness. And compactness. Well, anyway, we think that the current
friendly tussle between UCLIBC and DIETLIBC is producing all these
wonders; both look great projects to mess around with. Here's the
plot: glibc is now about as bloated as can be, and really not usable
for bootdisks and embedded systems. What could be more fun than
reimplementing the 90% of it that's needed for most programs, and
super-optimizing it as much as you can? uClibc is the classic old
Linux project turned corporate-sponsored contender, pulling most
enthusiasts along in its wake. DIETLIBC is the new, slightly
idiosyncratic, Dan Bernstein-ish implementation, with some shiny
coolness (regexps, spirited pleadings not to port to Windows), and
some philosophical omissions (it's not a shared libe yet, although it
could easily be). Both are in a virtual spiral of development; both
have just reached the stage of being linkable to most programs, and
there's still fun to be had tweaking them further.
- big math
- pthreads! dns!
>> MEMEPOOL <<
oogle the google
HOLY GRAIL action figures: http://www.flyingwebsite.com/ - no
match for Japanese PLANET OF THE APES Lego-style minifigs:
http://184.108.40.206/kubrick/apes/cont1.html ... read the
fucking MANUAL: http://lumthemad.net/shadowbane/labor/ ... not
clicking on anything that comes with a recommendation to "turn
your speakers up LOUD!"... OLD MAN MURRAY remembers DOUGLAS
ADAMS: http://www.oldmanmurray.com/realnews.shtml (05/14)...
POPBITCH now hosted by http://thebunker.net - fearing wrath of
celebs with nuclear capability... in a DECADE far, far away:
"frustrated by an inability to see yourself, er, we mean, 'a
character' as you've imagined?": http://www.heromachine.com/
... death of net predicted: http://grc.com/dos/grcdos.htm -
DDoS at 11... PCs of the future to look like 1992's Amiga
... polite BILLBOARD MODIFICATION says "Tapping your phone":
http://www.ntk.net/2001/06/01/dohposter.jpg ... direct
DEMOCRACY: http://www.kickboxthequeen.com/ ... maybe after
another 4 years, people will have stopped doing this joke by
then: http://www.systemed.net/allyourvote.html ...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
the back-from-holiday www.tvgohome.com TV>> unless it's another late April Fool like we ran last
week, Giles more than survives tonight's BUFFY THE VAMPIRE
SLAYER season finale (8pm, Fri, Sky1) [CAUTION, SPOILERS]:
... C4 pulls in the post-pub crowd with a necrophiliac 'n'
retard double-bill of KISSED (12.25am, Fri, C4) and SLING
BLADE (1.55am, Fri, C4)... and ITV finally shows the last -
and worst - in the trilogy DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE (9pm,
Sat, ITV)... the editor of BBC in-house magazine Radio Times
slams porn, sex and violence drama MEN ONLY (10pm, Sun, C4) as
"a vile, disgusting programme that would have been better not
made", without having seen it... even worse, it clashes with
mild Jenny Agutter nudity horror classic AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF
IN LONDON (9pm, Sun, C5)... while ITV2 is making an
inexplicably big thing out of its repeats of Leslie Grantham
bodysnatcher thriller THE UNINVITED (10.30pm, Sun, ITV2)...
C5's run of entertaining rubbish continues with Whoopi
Goldberg IRC espionage caper JUMPIN' JACK FLASH (8pm, Wed, C5)
plus RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II (10pm, Wed, C5)... NIGELLA
BITES (8.30pm, Wed, C4) ventures temptingly into "Top Secret
Recipes" territory with ham baked in Coca-Cola... and the only
respite from non-stop election coverage on Thu comes with the
last in this series of real-life politicising over in THE WEST
WING (11.05pm, Thu, C4)...
FILM>> connoisseurs of Michael Bay's trademark crane shots,
epic explosions and terrifically tortuous teen-style acting
remain most likely to enjoy the first half of "Titanic" plus
the last two-thirds of "Independence Day" - aka PEARL HABOR
although kids probably don't have access to planes in which to
play "chicken", they might get the idea to do the same and
apply it to some other mode of transportation; [Josh "The
Faculty" Hartnett is] shirtless and [Kate Beckinsale] appears
to be in her bra. She then moves on top of him and they then
reverse that where we then see him nuzzling her shoulder. It's
implied that they have sex)... "Outrageously funny" and "This
year's Blair Witch Project" are among the varied plaudits on
the poster for slightly-too-good-at-imitating-the-banality-of-
reality-gameshows arthouse parody SERIES 7: THE CONTENDERS
a cartoon representation of a penis and scrotum; it's possible
some kids could get the idea to do the same kind of kill or be
killed "game" as shown here). Also features a spoof of a film-
school Joy Division video, and the girl from down the hole in
"Silence Of The Lambs" - all together now: "It puts the lotion
on its skin!"... which just leaves last week's dog-based David
"Scream" Arquette undistinguished kiddie-filth SEE SPOT RUN
(http://www.capalert.com/capreports/seespotrun.htm : impudent
material; dog urinating on a man's leg; several examples of
flatulence; series of electrification of a man; prelude to
intimacy; vulgar suggestive positioning for oral sex)...
PRO-CELEBRITY BONERS>> "Hey, I actually do look like that"
writes MARTIN HAMILTON of his UKUUG Developer Conference pic
http://www.ukuug.org/bios+profiles/MHamilton.shtml [see last
week's NTK], kicking off a special bumper week of complaints
and clarifications, often from the very people involved. A,
er, FORMER ESCAPE STAFFER followed up last week's "Those We
Have Lost" with a comprehensive rundown of subsequent mags
that he and his colleagues have "recently failed to close"
(CRE@TE, COMPUTER ARTS, OFFICIAL DREAMCAST MAGAZINE, FT.COM,
MINISTRY and MIXMAG among them), but with a solid record of
five closures behind him (including the Dreamcast itself), the
implication is it may just be a matter of time... and, while
less personally involved, MARTIN "THE GEEK" and "PROJECT2501"
both observed that some TANDY stores escaped the CARPHONE
WAREHOUSE "Night Of The Long Adaptor Cables", to live on under
the new "T2" brand, especially in locations - Glasgow, Dudley,
West Mids - where Carphone Warehouse still fears to tread...
regarding actual errors, thanks to ANTHONY ELIZONDO (and an
ANONYMOUS TIPSTER) for pointing out that last week's link to
"Counterstrike: The Musical" in fact appears to feature
characters and details from Team Fortress Classic, which
presumably ruined their enjoyment of the entire joke... and
"Discussing your bits and pieces 'on TV news'?" commented JOHN
HANDELAAR of NTK 2001-03-16's inspired anti-RIP campaigning:
"This is Mike Corley of uk.misc fame and I claim my UKP5"...
"Love NTK, but can you not get it out a bit quicker?",
inquired RICK BUTLER, a sentiment echoed by the pithy tip
submission "Hello? why don't you publish before home time on a
Friday? We're not all sociopaths you know". Well, *we* are,
unfortunately, but we're working on it... and, finally, MARC
SPIEGLER at last got the chance to unleash a dinner party
anecdote he must have been honing for months, revealing that
NTK 2001-05-11's "Catch The Sperm" game is almost certainly
not "the first PC game to take place entirely in a vagina",
attributing that honour to http://220.127.116.11/sexjam ,
devised by "French Flash wizards CHman [...] for last summer's
Ars Electronica" and, apparently "a lot fucking scarier than
the Swiss game". The gauntlet has been thrown down, game-in-a-
vagina fans - do let us know if you can beat that with any
>> 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
"a collection of links with funny bits next to them"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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