_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2002-01-18_ o join! mail an empty message to
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "It should be easy for users to specify appropriate use of their
information including controlling the use of e-mail they send..."
- Gates "leaks" security "plans"
( http://www.komotv.com/stories/16351.htm )
...we're currently testing our e-mail control enforcement system,
so please forward this test message to all your friends and
I'll personally give you $1000 and a trip to DisneyWorld...
>> HARD NEWS <<
within their purviews
RAISE DEFENCES TO DEFCON ONE OR THREE! By dint of the jittery
and overblown last few months in the cybersecurity arena,
anti-virus anti-hype curmudgeon Rob "Billy Bob" Rosenberger
has singlehandedly revived his COMPUTER VIRUS HYSTERIA AWARDS
for a calming 2002 outing. His vmyth crowd (themselves
hoping to snatch the "Most Ingeniously Repetitious Use of the
Phrase 'Exudes Hysteria'" crown) have a rack of awards to
humiliate those who tried to trick the world into unnecessary
panic attacks, to which they naturally request NTK
subscribers' expert nominations, votes, and clarifications.
The call for nominations will continue throughout the year,
with a tally at the end. Despite the catchy name, the subject
matter, Rob says, can be any computer security fracas you
wish. And remember: if you don't vote, then the terrorists
will already have won. And God knows what use they'd put
a prepaid phonecard to.
- yet another poorly planned CIA trap
It's already been a great month for the BBC's department of
literal illustration, with many of you submitting the spartan
"Rusty Iron Gates Locked With Padlock And Chain", for the
caption "Experts are looking for better ways to lock data up":
- a deliberate echo of their earlier "broken chains" motif?:
- and culminating in the spooky overkill of "Will broadband get
the green light?" (or a whole load of them, for that matter?):
Yet our favourites remain their treasured forays into genuine
surrealism - the haunting "I Have No Face, And I Must Teach":
plus the story which, if we didn't know better, we'd suspect
had been run purely to use up some time-restricted clip art -
from reader Phil Marley, it's a vacuum cleaner, it's a newt,
it's this year's weirdest BBC illustration so far. Ladies and
gentlemen, we proudly present: "VACUUM CLEANER SUCKS UP NEWT".
- reassuring readers that "no newts were harmed"...
- Guardian, meanwhile, has Roy Hudd re-burying Donald Dewar
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
"1.72 Unique Users" boasts DOTMUSIC marketing .sig ... lest
you "forget": http://www.ntk.net/2002/01/18/dohalz.gif ,
http://image.linkexchange.com/01/43/36/95/banner.gif ... maths
whiz DR KEYBOARD once read "by around 1,000,000 million people
per week": http://www.drkeyboard.com/words/about.htm ... when
will the public tire of all these "fickle job market" ads?:
... making an "iguana salad"? check out our great deals on
FETAL PIGS! http://www.ntk.net/2002/01/18/dohpig.gif ... giant
wormlike insect offspring wrecks town, reports TIMES headline:
http://www.ntk.net/2002/01/18/dohlarv.gif ... ARNIE's
Science/Factual debut: http://qwer.org/arniedocumentary.html
... "FOR BEST VIEIWNG RESULTS PLEASE close window" advises:
http://www.vietnampix.com/timeline.htm ... not the impression
of "creativity, innovation and quality" the FOREIGN OFFICE
were hoping for: http://www.ntk.net/2002/01/18/dohfco.gif ...
GUARDIAN implies sell-out of "rock bank [sic] Chumbawumba":
... SHAKIN' STEVENS "fully cop-operative", alleges BBC Wales:
... not even YAHOO can find their old ADAM ANT records any more:
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
To be honest, there's not that much to add about the 2002
SYMPOSIUM: MARS ON EARTH: LIFE ON MARS (from 9am, Sat 2002-01-
19, UKP20 + concessions) - though the National Hockey Stadium
Conference Centre, out on the windswept dunes of Milton
Keynes, is surely the ideal venue to discuss terraforming a
futuristic habitation in an unforgivingly alien environment.
(Did you see what we did there? Milton Keynes, Mars - oh never
mind.) Further cutting-edge topical humour will no doubt form
the backbone of SATIRE WEEK (from Mon 2002-01-21, Greenwich
Theatre, London SE10, events priced individually), with
intermittently unamusing social commentators Jeremy Hardy and
Rory Bremner, a handy libel workshop on Friday afternoon and,
kicking the whole thing off on Monday evening, The Institute
of Ideas-sponsored debate "The Future of Satire - Safe and
Smug or Edgy and Offensive?", featuring some guy from "yes we
*are* still going" tabloid digest http://www.anorak.co.uk/ and
occasional NTK reader Stewart "Lee and Herring" Lee, who we
hope will be punctuating the proceedings with his arch goatee-
stroking catchphrase: "Ah, yes - do you see?"
- guest of honour: Carrie Anne "Red Planet" Moss?
- plus: "Spitting Image: was it ever actually any good?"
- but don't mention the website that saved satire, The Onion
- further "Amusements" from next Tue ("trade only")
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
So what's Andy "MacOS" Hertzfield been doing with himself
since Eazel imploded last year? This week he submitted a
nifty addition to the ongoing NAUTILUS codebase which may
provide some clue. It's a gnome-vfs module to browse Usenet
binaries (images, and MP3s) as directory trees. Multi-part
postings are collated into single files or directories,
depending on content, and with the latest Nautilus, you can
preview pictures and music on-the-fly. It's still a bit
flaky, and like any GNOME code, you'll need to burn in hell
for several hours to get it to compile, but it's a nice
hack. And when people post code to simplify browsing Usenet
binaries, you know *exactly* what they've been doing with
- why, checking out those bootleg mp3s and Star Wars posters, of course!
>> MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/ pedestrian equivalent of speed-camera spotting for New York:
http://www.appliedautonomy.com/isee/info.html .... I will HUNT
YOU DOWN, Doc-tor!: http://www.shcarter.freeserve.co.uk/ ...
free TOTAL FILM mag when you go to the cinema - while stocks
last: http://www.warnervillage.co.uk/newyear/voucher.html ...
http://www.amibiosornot.com/ ... life imitates 1980s ACTION
MAN accessories: http://www.solotrek.com/mjet/index1.html ...
damn, that World Wrestling Federation has a lot to answer for:
if thieves now target mobile phones, won't that be a bigger
problem with the pricier SEGWAY - or are they fast enough to
outrun a mugger?... this week's HARRY POTTER lookalike:
(from http://www.nwfusion.com/power01/50most/thinkers.html )
... email-filter-triggering pseudo-Widdecombe-of-the-week:
apparently even NATHAN BARLEY has a girlfriend these days:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000088K0/ ... for
all those wimps who don't know what an overclocked heatsink
is for: http://www.hardwareoc.com/usbmod1.php ...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> Patrick Swayze and Meat Loaf play rival truckers in
poorly-disguised exploding vehicles videogame BLACK DOG
(11.05pm, Fri, BBC1)... it's near-non-stop juvenile sci-
fantasy on Saturday, starting with Disney's original THE CAT
FROM OUTER SPACE (9pm, Sat, BBC2) and WW2 bunny allegory
WATERSHIP DOWN (11.50pm, Sat, BBC2)... a 1960s English village
is invaded by oriental-looking alien women in INVASION
(1.25am, Sat, C4) - part-inspiration for the Dr Who story
"Spearhead From Space" ... while SPECIES II (11.45pm, Sat,
ITV) is still summed up best by the classic imdb user plot
summary: "When [the astronaut] gets back to Earth all he has
on his mind is to have sex with [Natasha] Henstridge!"... some
interesting counterscheduling on Sunday, with C4 pitching the
always-entertaining man-weepie JERRY MAGUIRE (9.30pm, Sun, C4)
and C5 trotting out "they only moved the headstones" favourite
POLTERGEIST (9pm, Sun, C5) against the first of this month's
dramatisations of BLOODY SUNDAY (10pm, Sun, ITV) - which is
apparently like "Black Hawk Down" or something, but set in
Northern Ireland!... Danny DeVito's Dead White Poets Society
remake RENAISSANCE MAN (10.55pm, Sun, BBC1) is more fun than
it sounds... insane actor-fest actioner FACE/OFF (9pm, Tue,
C5) remains the highlight of John Woo's and Nic Cage's careers
so far... BEST INVENTIONS (7.30pm, Wed, BBC1) struggles to
find that ever-elusive gadget that anyone might have any use
for, ever... and TO KILL AND KILL AGAIN (10.20pm, Wed, ITV)
pioneeringly investigates the case of that little-known serial
killer, Jack the Ripper... new US import ALIAS (9pm, Wed,
Sky1) is basically "Buffy" with spies... INDIANA JONES AND THE
LAST CRUSADE (8pm, Thu, BBC1) might be an improvement on
"Temple Of Doom", but that doesn't make it any good... and
HORIZON (9pm, Thu, BBC2) comes up with an intriguing new angle
on why people get fat: could it be too much food?...
FILM>> it's like Ridley Scott decided to remake "Aliens", but
misheard "some aliens" as "Somalians" - perhaps predictably,
carnage ensues in brutal pro-humanitarian heli propaganda
BLACK HAWK DOWN ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : contains frequent
strong battle horror) - not based around the 2000AD & Tornado
Nubian galley slave of the same name, and not the "Watership
Down" sequel you'd maybe expected... it looks like that guy
who plays Frodo on the poster, but it's actually Kate Winslet
playing Young Iris "Howling Mad" Murdoch in harrowing senile
dementia Oscar fodder IRIS ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : contains
infrequent strong language and moderate sex)... or, probably
the least scary of the lot, teen ouija-board Brit fright-fest
LONG TIME DEAD (poster quote: "Makes 'Jeepers Creepers' look
like 'The Tweenies'" - though wouldn't making "The Tweenies"
look like "Jeepers Creepers" be a bit more impressive?)...
CORRECTIONS, CLARIFICATIONS, "BONERS", AND INCORRECTLY
REGARDED AS GOOFS>> yes, well done to everyone who wrote in
pointing out "There is a 'D' in Guildford!" [NTK 2001-11-30],
or that the image filename gives "Venus" (the Roman goddess of
love) while the competition specifically asks for the Greek
one at: http://www.adobe.co.uk/special/illustratorcomp/ [NTK
2001-12-07]. But proof-reading wizard DAVID BLANE was first to
spot last week's freakish substitution of "oncogeny" for
"ontogeny" (that's what happens when you use Google as a
spellcheck), and THE DODGER correctly diagnosed that we "must
have" meant troubled US power giant ENRON when we referred to
ENCOM back in NTK 2001-11-30, which is of course the evil
software company from the movie "Tron"... on the other hand,
we felt entirely justified in referring to Edinburgh's current
Studio Ghibli season as "manga movies", despite DR DTHP's
purist protests that "1) AFAIK, none of these movies are
released by Manga Entertainment Co, and 2) The site describes
movies, but doesn't say anything about displaying or selling
manga" - because, duh, "anime" sounds French, but "manga"
sounds Japanese! JAMES CRONIN argued that Orange's "our
internet speed has been upgraded to 2 MHz" cybercafe claim -
http://www.orangestudio.co.uk/prices/ [NTK 2002-01-04] - is
"actually technically correct", because "Hz is just s^-1, so
that's 2 Million [bits] per second", but BEN MOOR took the
pedantry prize for clarifying that "there *is* a Superboy [in
DC continuity] right now, but he's kind of a clone and not the
original Clark Kent growing up in Smallville. Came up during
the 'Rise Of The Supermen' thing after Big Blue bought Krypton
after getting a doomsday duffing". Thanks for clearing that
up, Ben - though you didn't see fit to warn us that his mum in
"Smallville" is, bizarrely, played by his girlfriend from
"Superman III"?... an eager "edit-spotter" confirmed that
earlier versions of SOTCAA's typically hit-and-miss parody
originally end with the more confrontational "Legs Broken":
WILHELM *RAFIAL* FITZPATRICK contended that NTK 2001-12-14's
is merely just another case of Life imitating The Onion -
imitating Life again: http://www.antimonopoly.com/ , but the
last word goes to COLIN MACDONALD who, after we pondered our
coverage of the Sabrina The Teenage Witch fan fiction scene,
made the unsubstantiated claim that "[Sabrina actress] Melissa
Joan Hart can recite pi to about a jillion decimal places,
plus she wore a Princess Leia slave girl outfit to a Halloween
party", as if knowing these facts could possibly enhance
anyone's viewing of a programme that, as far as we can see, is
basically Harry Potter with breasts...
>> 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
"creating a utopian society" (in Volume II)
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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