_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2002-03-08_ o join! mail an empty message to
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Microsoft has built a FreeBSD version of Linux, but this is
more of a publicity gig than a serious endeavour..."
...still, that's what we'd hoped about their DOS version of CP/M
>> HARD NEWS <<
To the BIG BROTHER AWARDS: traditionally a bit of a friendly
get-together for those who fight for personal privacy while
desperately attempting to get "monitored" by the press doing
so. This year, however, saw a bit of extremist entryism -
principally in the form of those chubby young men in their
uncomfortable suits, the Orthodox Libertarians. And, on
discovering that everyone else wasn't quite the government
lickspittles the pamphlets implied, how pleased they were!
Seeing both Mark Thomas and the Telegraph editorial team
join forces to protest the government's recent invasive
policies, they fell to their knees and thanked the gods of
Critical Rationality that everyone had promptly united
behind the libertarian cause. "Could they possibly come to
any conclusion other than the ownership of self and the
sovereignty of the individual?", marvelled the Libertarian
Alliance's David Carr looking with new eyes upon those who
he had previously dismissed as "wall-to-wall dreadlocks".
Well, we'd have asked them all down the pub after the
ceremony, but what with David Shayler getting pied by a
bunch of anarchists and someone else throwing a pint over
the Telegraph's Deputy Ed, it was a little tricky to ask how
they'd all managed to put aside their differences. Still,
nice to see those unidealistic libertarians as grounded in
the real world as ever.
- usual suspects sweep the board again
- same blogs, different planet
"I wonder if the average NTK reader thinks as highly of
.name as I do?", writes - well, somebody. Putting aside the
truth that there are no "average" readers, only less extreme
outliers, we certainly believe that they do. It is, after
all, a silly domain. Any single-issue TLD is going to get
trashed sooner or later, unless they're really careful with
the nominees. And so desperate are all the registrars to
make a buck, that just isn't going to happen. And, as if to
prove us right, the Hithertofore Nameless One continues:
"Well, I've registered a .name which I felt conveyed my
feelings. If anyone wants to share and have their own free
subdomain under bork.bork.bork.name, they can", says the
subscriber, who we'll call Judge Bork, "provided they a)
email firstname.lastname@example.org with their nameserver
IP numbers and subdomain request and b) it's amusing
enough". So there you are. Pollute the namespace: It'll
annoy Esther Dyson, and make Vernor Vinge's "True Names"
look a bit silly (although we still believe Mr Vinge was
predicting IRC 'nicks', not the global DNS framework)._
- the Instant Chef ... it's borken!
- still naming names
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
modern music all sounds the same, admits MINISTRY OF SOUND:
... bad typo: http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/08/dohwop.gif ...
makes you wonder where they're going to "stick" the modem:
http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/08/dohblue.jpg ... case of missing
EUROs: http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/08/dohmoto.gif ... revving
nearly 1000 hits per day: http://www.suziperry.com/stats/ ...
crimes of the future: http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns05861.html
... book well in advance for gigs by TEST in the year 2099:
"Long Lead Time Expected" for ever-popular EMPTY PACKAGING:
... or display it to the whole Internet, whichever you prefer:
... true banners: http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/08/dohlies.gif
... hugely reassuring choice of database engine from ORACLE:
http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/08/dohoracl.gif ... experience in
frickin' FLASH preferred: http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/08/dohcock.gif >> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
At time of writing, there are 893 events that have declared
themselves part of NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK (from today Fri 2002-
03-08, various venues around the UK), from "How To Find A
Water Vole" (The Ivel Valley Countryside Project, Biggleswade)
to "Every Tree Tells A Story" (Odell Country Park, Harrold,
Bedfordshire). The listings for rival digital arts festival
LOVEBYTES 2002 (from Thu 2002-03-14, various venues around
Sheffield) are, if anything, even more exciting, with a
performance by Robin "Scanner" Rimbaud, that Linklater
rotoscope movie, Star Wars parody films - and NTK's very own
DIY web-publishing workshop, currently scheduled for 6pm at
the Redundant Technology Initiative's "Access Space" HQ on Fri
2002-03-15. But we're not listed on the Lovebytes site at the
moment - 'cos we like to keep it underground, and don't want
to play that corporate game with the likes of Lego and Apple.
- vs http://access.lowtech.org/http://www.the-ba.net/the-ba/page.asp?selectPage=193
- no less than 3 science-oriented Mother's Day events
- sensors detect Duncan "Zircon" Campbell tomorrow at the Tate
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
You've read his blistering indictment of a world imprisoned
by universal surveillance - now buy the contacts manager to
rule it! Simson Garfinkel, author of dystopian non-fic
"Database Nation", exemplary risks journalist and ex-NeXT
hacker, is sneakily previewing the next incarnation of his
decade-old address book applet SBOOK - now up to version 5,
and ported via metempsychosis to the Mac OS X platform. It's
a sweet little program which looks innocently like one of
those freeform cardfile databases, but hides terrifying
"proprietary search techniques" and sinister "artificial
intelligence" to allow speedier monitoring of all your
victim's names and addresses. Have a file on everyone! Dial
their number using the internal modem! Send them blackmail
letters using the "print envelope" functionality!
- no relation to S Book 7, the teenage literary circle
- still think it should have been called DataFinkel
>> MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/ ELECTRONIC TAGGING of lager-swilling troublemakers begins at
last: http://www.ananova.com/yournews/story/sm_538560.html ...
MS unwittingly hothousing next generation of macro virus
... once you've popped one wireless network, you can't stop:
... alternative explanation of how he got that "DIZZY"
nickname: http://www.monkeon.co.uk/gallery/html/1c.html ...
... "it gets so lonely here in space", rambles ROCKET MAN:
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/oped-02b.html ... former BORG
DRONES reunited?: http://www.globe-guardian.com/borg.htm ...
scarier than http://web.mit.edu/aram/Public/godkills.jpg :
... hmm, maybe "cocking Action Script" is somehow to blame:
"Happy Valentine's Day from Potty Bear Goes Poopy":
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> and who'd have thought it'd be Winona Ryder whose career
hit the skids out of the cast of Ben Stiller Gen-X classic
REALITY BITES? (1.05am, Fri, BBC2)... Orson Welles double-bill
CITIZEN KANE (1.40pm, Sat, BBC2) and THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS
(3.35pm, Sat, BBC2) collides with THE HINDENBURG (3pm, Sat,
ITV): http://www.theonion.com/onion3209/hindenbergguy.html ...
and a weekend of interesting but flawed movies continues with
Kevin Bacon worm battler TREMORS (11.25pm, Sat, BBC1); Gina
"Brass Eye" McKee London drama WONDERLAND (10.20pm, Sat, BBC2)
- apparently features a character who works in Micro Anvika on
Tottenham Court Road; Kevin Costner baseball bash BULL DURHAM
(12midnight, Sat, ITV); and Terry Gilliam's semi-bearded Robin
Williams fantasy THE FISHER KING (10.55pm, Sat, C5)... that
bloke out of "Coupling" joins Samantha "Game On" Janus in
spooky Buffy-spinoff-spoiler STRANGE (9pm, Sat, BBC1)... for
all you Paul Auster fans, SMOKE (12.45am, Sat, BBC2) is way
better than improvised "companion piece" BLUE IN THE FACE
(12.40am, Sun, BBC2), as hinted by the latter's casting of
Roseanne Barr and Madonna... and there's an impromptu tribute
to the late Charlotte Coleman in posh Brit self-stereotyping
exercise FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL (10pm, Sun, C4) plus
asylum-seeker comedy BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (12.30am, Mon, C4)... C4
marks science week by demonstrating key principles on a budget
of just UKP25 in UKP25=MC^2 (7.55pm, Mon-Thu, C4), presumably
as a bizarre protest against grant cuts for pure research...
after last week's "Disco" episode, the BBC bafflingly seems to
be remaking all of C4's "Top Ten" music shows with WHEN ROCK
RULED THE WORLD (10.35pm, Wed, BBC1)... so thank heavens you
can always rely on Channel 5, this week showing Bill Murray
golfing goof-off CADDYSHACK (9pm, Mon, C5), Kim "Sex And The
City" Cattrall chase-em-up BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (9pm,
Tue, C5), and parallel-reality Nazi thriller FATHERLAND (9pm,
Thu, C5), starring - who else? - Rutger Hauer...
FILM>> continuing the intriguing trend of US soldiers "just
happening" to find themselves in impossible situations then
having to bravely fight their way out, Mel Gibson discovers
further practical flaws in that "leave no (dead) man behind"
attitude in 'Nam-set "Black Hawk Down"-alike WE WERE SOLDIERS
( http://www.screenit.com/movies/2002/we_were_soldiers.html :
people who are shot have blood squirt out and/or are bloody;
[Gibson] and others urinate on hot mortar equipment to cool it
off; we see a bad looking blister on one of the men's feet)...
while Anthony Hopkins ditches Stephen King's "Dark Tower"
continuity for a more conventional tale of smalltown coming-
of-age "Tomorrow People"-style telepathy in HEARTS IN ATLANTIS
( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/heartsinatlantis.htm :
sneaking out of house by a child; sexual humor to a child; sin
of "filthy communication"; beating with a bat)...
DRESS DOWN FRIDAY>> we're as surprised as anyone, but PayPal
has caved to our thinly-veiled threats of NTK 2002-01-25, and
non-US citizens can now buy a http://www.ntkmart.com/ t-shirt
on their credit cards without having to sign up for a full
PayPal account. Prices are still in dollars (hey, it's good
practice for converting everything into Euros) - and thanks to
everyone who alerted us to http://www.paypalsucks.com/ and the
like, which appear to primarily document the claims of users
who naively allowed thousands of dollars to accumulate in
their PayPal accounts. Our tip: don't do that then... new this
month is the "404 /SHIRT/TIE: NOT FOUND" design submitted by
reader CAMILO MESIAS back in NTK 2001-12-07, and a (slightly)
less sexist variation of DAVID J BODYCOMBE's "Hi-Score Table"
idea http://www.geekstyle.co.uk/images/hiscoresf.gif which has
been kicking around since NTK 2001-08-24. Both receive at
least UKP2 per shirt sold (Bodycombe quite a bit more in fact
because he funded this new design from royalties from the
"Encoded" one which he co-designed and which will be back in
stock real soon now)... the latest runners-up include PAUL
COOPER's "IANAL" (prone to misinterpretation), JEREMY ARDLEY's
"b4 i gt my pHn / i cdnt evN Spll / DslXc Mrn / nw IR1" (a bit
harsh towards dyslexics, we felt), PAUL RANDALL's copyright-
infringing http://www.darkwave.org.uk/~gribbley/gauntlet.txt ,
and MATT "Yahoo Serious" JONES' proposed series of footballing
physicists: http://www.blackbeltjones.com/sagan_shirt.gif and
http://www.blackbeltjones.com/feynman_shirt.gif (we don't do
these kinds of shirts yet, but when we do)... though we were
quite tempted by JAMES SWIFT's currently embryonic suggestions
of http://www.geekstyle.co.uk/images/jamesswift1.gif and
http://www.geekstyle.co.uk/images/jamesswift2.gif - the second
might go quite nicely with a "Fly al-Qaeda" slogan if anyone
out there is any good at designing fake airline logos. And
we'd still like to see some parodies of the classic Designer's
Republic "look": http://www.thepeoplesbureau.com/ - rather
than, say, IAN STUART's elaborate spoofs of our current range:
not much action at the moment in the parallel "Buy One,
Subvert The Mass Media, Get One Free" competition, as NTK's
own Dave Green continues to plough his own lonely digital-TV
furrow: http://www.geekstyle.co.uk/images/ , although ALASTAIR
ALEXANDER did spot someone in an "I Got 80million" shirt at a
recent London Fetish Fair, but was unable to supply evidence
as, kinkily, "cameras aren't allowed" - so we may never know
if its cheery orange schadenfreude now forms an essential part
of any modern gimp costume...
>> 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
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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