"[British] children open their gifts on Christmas afternoon,
following a meal of goose or roast beef and a dessert of plum
...then ride around in their open-top Bentleys showering
gifts on the poor and shouting "Hoorah!"
>> HARD NEWS <<
Naturally, we were stunned by a site we saw this week which
purported to be the detailed log of workplace bullying,
together with some pretty specific and damning accusations.
Sadly, since, British law says ISPs are liable if notified of
defamatory material on their servers, all it took was
correspondence between a worried employer's solicitors and the
hosting ISP to have the site shut down. The press release by
the site creator is suitably outraged: "'[They] have shot the
messenger,' says the author of the site, RICHARD ASHTON.",
"'Do they not know that the Internet doesn't work like that?'"
Well, maybe they don't - but we're a bit surprised by Mr
Ashton's reaction. For isn't this the same Richard Ashton who
was ongoing technical consultant and supporter of LAURENCE
GODFREY? Lo, and was it not Godfrey's case against Demon that
established the precedent that ISPs are publishers in English
libel law? In other words - this *is* how the Internet works,
apparently. Ashton's done what everyone else does, and has
moved the site to a US host: best of luck. Sadly, as Laurence
has pointed out to us in the past, we could be liable for even
*linking* to libellous material, so fear of a similar libel
suit really means we can't publicise Richard's new location.
- this space intentionally left blank
Worried that it's getting too late to send that seasonal
deaththreat? Your Noel gift of loosely-packed icing sugar
lost in the post? Armchair hoodlums the world over, twiddle
your moustachios with relief: EVIL ANGELICA and her "Xmas
Giveaway" hacking offer have returned. As involuntarily
advertised by www.meet-victoria.com (and later by
pittsburghrock.com , www.eunhyang.net , www.gibnews.com, and
www.eprofessionalsinc.com ) web-defacing haxx0r Angelica
will gladly replace the perfectly innocent front page of a
semi-obscure domain with festive gr33tz of your own
devising. Deadline is 2001-12-23, so send your requests to
email@example.com where Angelica - as well
as, we're sure, the National Crime Squad - will select
the most creative and/or incriminating for further
examination. Have fun, but do remember: that 4am knock on
the door is not *always* Santa Claus.
- you're already taking that mailbox down, aren't you another.com?
Perhaps understandably, the one "titsup.com" story that THE
REGISTER haven't been crowing over this week involved the
layoffs of half their own writing staff. As reported in THE
GUARDIAN blah blah irreverent approach blah blah advertising
downturn, but it was left to relatively-gloat-free Reg-in-
exile THE INQUIRER to name those made redundant, including
reader's favourite Kieren McCarthy, whose work in particular
we've had the honour of linking to on oh so many occasions.
Tech journalism, we fear, will be an even duller place without
them. Plus, with THE TIMES INTERFACE and DOTCOM TELEGRAPH (nee
CONNECTED) also among this year's casualties, we've got to
pray that BBC NEWS ONLINE keeps going next year, or we're
going to be completely stuck for material.
- Point-Counterpoint: Register Loses Four Journalists
- vs: experts reject "Register For Gays"
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
FOXTONS attack stereotype of boring, non-cross-dressing estate
agents: http://www.foxtons.co.uk/shortlets/images/arnaud1.jpg ,
http://www.foxtons.co.uk/shortlets/images/tim1.jpg ... it's
Craig *David*, dad: http://www.ntk.net/2001/12/21/dohcraig.gif
... BBC illustrations don't get much more literal than this:
... the capable JEEVES provides topical hint for US military:
http://www.ntk.net/2001/12/21/dohjeeves.gif ... inappropriate
*hic* banner ad: http://www.ntk.net/2001/12/21/dohalco.gif ...
http://widdecombe-of-the-week.museum ... sales starting early:
GeForce 2 MX 400 graphics card - fast enough for 11.7GHz CPU?:
... if you like [Channel 4 News], we also recommend "Edge Of
Darkness": http://us.imdb.com/Title?0239164 ... run them down,
using your car: http://www.ntk.net/2001/12/21/dohsf2.gif ...
searching for "jugs" at DEBENHAMS http://www.debenhams.com/ vs
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
[ Having last week broken our vow to hand-test every Tracking
we cover, tragically the whole house of cards has come
tumbling down. So, while we struggle to reimplement our
ethics using a strongly worded New Year's Resolution list,
alllow us to slip one biased review through the breach. If
only because he's been sending us tips, quotes and bile
for years, if only because his plug-in makes a disturbingly
fascinating screensaver even if you have no clue what you're
looking at, if only because it's Newtonmas: Lloyd - this one's
for (and by, and from) you: ]
See Teledesic fully operational. Run Globalstar without
spending any money. Deorbit Iridium's satellites, one by
one. The only constellations you'll ever get to control are
in SaVi 1.2, which runs under Linux and some of those
unfashionable Unixes, too. Now, if someone can plot a TIE
fighter and supply a Death Star texture-map, we'll be able
to use all this for something people actually seem to WANT.
- now with added lava-lamp mode
- set your controls for the heart of the sun
- it's that man again!
>> MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/
"Well, it looks like *somebody's* not getting any this
... this week's URL pass-the-parcel: http://www.nolgo.com/ ...
disclaimerville, dude: http://home.att.net/~waterses/myeck/
... http://www.monkeon.co.uk/store/ too trendy to stock any of
http://www.martian.fm/singles.htm ... and they call computer
users sad: http://www.cardiffcity.com/Swans_Fan.mp3 ... *too*
viral marketing?: http://www.mainframe.co.uk/christmas.mov ...
http://www.uncleclive.co.uk/ ... http://www.weaselweekly.com/
vs http://www.fascinatingferrets.com/ ... hey, who needs
CRYPTO?: http://www.coincidencedesign.com/q-shutdown.html ...
handouts *will* be available at the end of the presentation:
http://www.craphound.com/misc/doubletree.htm ... Xmas panto at
Sussex University Cognitive Science Dept featured character
called "the cyborg formerly known as Kevin Warwick"... oops:
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> in the absence of any real celebrities, the BBC goes a
bundle on impressions of them instead, in ALISTAIR MCGOWAN'S
BIG IMPRESSION (11.15pm, Fri; 7.40pm, Tue, BBC1) plus Dame
Edna's NIGHT OF A THOUSAND FACES (9.25pm, Sat, BBC1)...
"Rabblemock Ha-Ha Time" returns in the unamusing disguises of
the TRIGGER HAPPY CHRISTMAS TV SPECIAL (9.30pm, Fri; 10.40pm,
Sat; 9.05pm, Mon, C4) followed next Fri by who-cares docuspoof
BEING DOM JOLY (11.20pm, Fri, C4)... but some of the films are
quite good, including against-type De Niro nerdfest THE KING
OF COMEDY (11.5pm, Fri, BBC2), maths-prodigy man-weepie GOOD
WILL HUNTING (9.25pm, Sat, BBC2), and topical desert shoot-em-
up LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1.40pm, Sun, C4)... Sunday night is
particularly poor, however, featuring historo-yawn ELIZABETH
(9pm, Sun, C4), Terry Gilliam time-travel tedium TWELVE
MONKEYS (9pm, Sun, BBC2) and more o' Robert De Niro in sub-
"Mission Impossible" romp RONIN (10.30pm, Sun, BBC1)...
households celebrating a more "non-traditional" Christmas Eve
can pick from quickfire Jackie Chan kickabout RUSH HOUR
(8.30pm, Mon, BBC1), the sophisticated live-action South-Park
humour of BASEKETBALL (10.35pm, Mon, C4), or ITV's bafflingly
regular early-morning showing of TIM BURTON'S THE NIGHTMARE
BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1.15am, Mon, ITV)... on Christmas Day, we'd
still go for THE GREAT ESCAPE (3.10pm, Tue, ITV) over Pixar's
overrated TOY STORY (4.40pm, Tue, BBC1)... and, indeed, Peter
"Lord Of The Rings" Jackson's BRAINDEAD (1.40am, Tue, C4), in
a double-bill with Clive Barker's HELLRAISER (12midnight, Tue,
C4), over ponderous Paltrow parallel-reality SLIDING DOORS
(10.55pm, Tue, BBC1)... the BBC's commitment to CGI continues
with an utterly convincing "Bob Hoskins" exploring THE LOST
WORLD (6.25pm, Tue & Wed, BBC1) and animated Woody Allen
anthropomorphism ANTZ (5.15pm, Wed, BBC1)... and Julia "Press
Gang" Sawalha nips out of Sky's curiously unpublicised TIME
GENTLEMEN PLEASE (10pm, Mon, Sky1) to stand in for Caroline
Quentin in JONATHAN CREEK (9.05pm, Wed, BBC1) - which, if only
they replaced Alan Davies as well, would be nigh-on perfect...
FILM>> basically, the scenery is like a three-hour holiday to
New Zealand, with some dudes playing a particularly cliched
Warhammer campaign in front of it - probably exactly what you
were hoping for from THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF
THE RING (http://www.screenit.com/ : a comment is made about
what certain characters smoke in their pipes being "weed";
magic, sorcery and the like [...] occurs and/or is practiced
by some characters; kids could be enticed to imitate all of
the fighting and action that occurs in the film)... a decent
supporting cast help make up for Kate Beckinsale grinning like
a lunatic in fatalistic John Cusack rom com SERENDIPITY
homosexual jokes, insult, suggestion; extremely short skirt;
much faith in fate and destiny)... or it's Vinnie "Swordfish"
Jones, Danny "Human Traffic" Dyer and Sally "Smack The Pony"
Phillips - together at last! - in unintentionally homoerotic
Burt Reynolds remake THE MEAN MACHINE (http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ :
passed '15' for strong language and moderate violence) - and
not, it appears, based around the 2000AD/Judge Dredd character
of the same name...
RED BOOK AUDIO>> and kicking off our special tribute edition
to pioneering soundalike-warez enthusiast George Harrison
we're not sure which '80s ambient track the CHEMICAL BROTHERS'
"Star Guitar" reminds us of, but the view-from-a-train video,
directed by Michel "Let Forever Be" Gondry, is fantastic...
furthermore, reader RO BITCHARSE alleges that the intro to
"Rebel Girl" by BIKINI KILL "is exactly the same" as "I Am The
Resurrection" by THE STONE ROSES, prophesying that "Kathleen
Hanna would kick Ian Brown's scrawny little arse if they ever
came to blows over it"... and over by the Top 40 section, BEN
MOOR muses that S-CLUB 7's "Have You Ever" starts "an awful
lot" like THE CARPENTERS' "Top Of The World", and that TYMES
4's "She Got Game" is "exactly the same song" as DREEM's "He
Loves You Not" - "even down to the same video. Nearly"...
among readers' own efforts, SHELDON SOUTHWORTH felt compelled
to warn the world of his seasonally-themed remixes over at
http://www.diffusiononline.net/ , including GREG LAKE's "I
Believe In Father Christmas 2001" and "a semi-official
Clangers one on the way in the New Year", while "Hey Hey 16K"
guy MJ HIBBETT http://www.mjhibbett.com/ continued to remind
us of a modern-day Half Man Half Biscuit - but with a genuine
grasp of pathos and melody - on his new "Milk And Baubles" EP,
which features an undocumented acoustic cover of EMINEM's
"Stan"... which brings us to this month's round-up of "Ads
That Sound Like Songs That Sound Like Other Songs That Sound
Like Videogames, Or Something". NICK DRAGE wondered if the use
of RESIDENT EVIL sound effects in MTV's recent ads for
extremepie.com created "the right mental links" in the viewer,
as MARTIN PARKER questioned the appropriateness of the ISLEY
BROTHERS' "Harvest For The World" ("surely a plea to us
decadent Westerners to try to end world hunger", he argued,
with lyrics like "Half of us are satisfied, half of us in
need") in the TV campaign for "sub-pub grub" chain Harvester.
"Screw you, Starvin' Marvin," he paraphrases, "I'm going for
the all-you-can-eat special". And, to end on a Christmassy
note, one of our own current ad-music favourites: if it's too
loud for the bloke in the bar to hear that the girl wants to
order a Baileys, then *what the hell* is she talking to her
friends about beforehand?...
>> 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
"we said NTK *above* tvgohome"
("Top 10 websites of the year", The Face, p102)
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