_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2002-03-15_ o join! mail an empty message to
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Star Wars star Natalie Portman says she felt like a 'whore'
while filming love scenes with Darth Vader."
... slashdot troll community spontaneous combusts: PNG at eleven
>> HARD NEWS <<
So, was there really a News Corps conspiracy to haxx0r
OnDigital smartcards? Well, much as we like sticking it to The
(Australian) Man, we vote, as ever, for cock-up. Or rather,
unauthorised zero-day warezing by boasting employees instead of
sinister multinational masterplan.
The core of Canal+ accusation is that News Corps leaked the
reverse-engineered ROM image of the Canal+ MediaGuard smartcard
to the underground back in 1999, deliberately creating the
clone market for Canal+ and later OnDigital cards. The court
case will doubtless reveal more evidence, but looking at the
exhibit A, the SECAROM.ZIP source, you can see why Canal+ might
be suspicious. The hexdump is marked "useless to us! carte was
used as a testbed pull", and is signed "das deutches
underground". Now, there aren't that many people in this world
with a st16CF54 "testbed", but News Corps' NDS smartcard
research unit in Israel is one of them. And there are even
fewer Germans who can't spell the name of their own country.
But even if it did come from NDS Israel, was it really a
sanctioned leak? NDS's press release implies that Canal+
have been trying to poach the employee they say leaked the
code; and it certainly looks like a one-man leak to us. Now,
the GUARDIAN's been working hard to link this SECAROM.ZIP
leak with the dodgy NDS financial transactions with a
separate cardcracking Website - implying a corporate-wide
plot. Of course, the truth is that *everybody's* a bit of a
grey-hat in the cryptocard community. That an NDS security
chief might have paid off a hacking site to rat on its users
(a theory confirmed by the chipping underground) is as
shocking to us as a single reverse-engineer going all
"information must be free" about his latest exploit. Still,
if any of these suppositions are true, it doesn't help NDS:
they're still responsible for rogue employees. But it's nice
to know that Murdoch isn't quite *that* machiavellian. Isn't it?
- funny that only the Grauniad's covering it, isn't it?
- of course the Guardian would never link to cracks, right?
(see "Forget It", 3rd link down)
- oh sure *we'll* direct link to it.
- "why would they want to hire such a bad, bad, man?"
Of course, some smart cards are easier to crack than others.
Wandering, as every geek posse visiting our nation's capital
is wont to do, into the Trocadero, the combined office RFID
tags of the 2600 London posse were enough to set off one
store's anti-shoplifting alarms. Of course, the 2600 gang
are no strangers to tripwires (allegedly). But how bad,
wondered the curious group, will it get when the Underground
introduce their RFID-based contactless travel cards in the
Autumn? Well, looking through the tech specs, the London
Transport PRESTIGE cards look to be a bit more sophisticated
than a few coils of wire stuck up a CD. But not *much* more.
48-64 bit keys? Pah. Protected against replay attack? Young
man, London's finest will be taking these things home for
garage electron microscopy *every night*. Is the capital
heading for the age of free-rides-for-the-l33t "Haxx0red
Carriage"? And if so, which sinister corporation is going to
bankroll *this* research? Brighton Council? The AA?
- ooh, DNScon confirmation too
- ooh, new toys!
If you want cock-ups *and* conspiracies on an almost daily
basis, wander no further than the good old domain name
billing system. Why just today, if you were watching the
servers, you'd have seen Demon put "police.uk" (ie every cop
force in the country) "on hold" for not paying their domain
bill. That's rather akin to suspending the whole of co.uk
until Mr Co forks over his fiver. But that's not as bad -
let's face it, nothing is *ever* as bad - as NETWORK
SOLUTIONS. They just sent a bill to ARIN. For in-addr.arpa.
- long technical explanation of aforementioned joke
- 2003-07-05 could be a fun date
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
After "Developers, Developers", a new BALLMER catchphrase:
http://makeashorterlink.com/?O30C2698 ... "arrogance of science"
revealed: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_493478.html vs
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,50930,00.html ... Third
phase not looking good: http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/15/dohtony.gif
... http://www.thermaltake.com/ chooses "TT BOY" as mascot, unaware
of sordid past: http://www.google.com/search?q=%22TT+Boy%22 ... oh
these popstar riders I: http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/15/dohbragg.gif
and II: http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/15/dohass.gif ... GAS: setting
your child on fire : http://www.cambridge-gas.co.uk ... then killing
the rest of your family: http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/15/dohgas.gif ...
those awful WEB BUGS: (hit View Source and page to the bottom)
... and ah, the unobtainable Fender Strat: (try clicking on form)
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Thanks to everyone who's mailed with suggestions of what
they'd like to see at NTK's increasingly less hypothetical 5th
birthday convention: big-league speakers like "Gonzo-
Cluetrain-RageBoy-Locke" (Steve Johnston); "Wendy Grossman
appearing as a folksinger" (Anon); and, it goes almost without
saying, "DECENT BITTER in PEWTER TANKARDS" (J-P Stacey). We'd
estimate there's a fairly good chance of all three at the
potentially like-minded RICHARD STALLMAN event in Cambridge
the Monday after next (4.15pm, 2002-03-25) - the musical
element being Stallman himself who, it seems, can provide
impromptu performances of his "Free The Software" song at the
slightest provocation. "Software Patents - Obstacles To
Development" is the unapologetically partisan theme of the
talk, it's free to get in - RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to let
them know numbers - but it marks the launch of the "Friends of
FIPR" fundraising initiative so bring your cheque book. In the
spirit of defiance that the Foundation for Information Policy
Research is famous for, the venue is actually the "William
Gates Building" where, local legend has it, the spirit of
Microsoft is so powerful that even the dual-boot PCs
automatically revert back to Windows after half an hour.
- aka the "University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory"
- vs http://www-1.ibm.com/servers/eserver/linux/fun/freethecode.html And the DECENT BITTER in PEWTER TANKARDS? Well, that'll be
consumed - metaphorically, if not literally - at THE
INQUIRER FIRST BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION (from 6pm, next Fri
2002-03-22, upstairs at the Coach and Horses, Poland St,
London W1). And no, we don't know if anyone from The
Register is going. NTK has never been at war with The Inquirer...
- NTK is at war with The Register. Do try and keep up...
- assuming you get this before 8pm on Fri...
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
"Found haiku" are lines "haiku", a python
that match the five seven five two point two script will parse your
syllable form of... own text files for these.
... japanese verse, but to count syllables
which occur by accident it needs both the cmu
in normal text files. pronunciation
Most are quite ugly word list and a great
and unpoetic; still now deal of time. And yeah, we know
and then a gem shines. they're not real haiku.
Quit whinging, art boy:
True art needs the human touch.
Or python two three.
- bad poetry; bad code
- bad attitude
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
thank god: http://squeep.com/~fek/think-of-the-domokun.jpg ...
http://www.tamponhenge.co.uk/... let's play hunt the BOEING:
http://www.asile.org/citoyens/numero13/pentagone/erreurs_en.htm vs found it!
... http://www.digitalconsumer.org/bill.html : a nice start, but
maybe add these: http://maroney.org/CrowleyIntro/Texts/Book_77.html
... photo then shop your pals: http://flashface.flashmaster.ru/ ...
clear infringement of Twisted Sister copyright, officer: nick 'em
http://members.aol.com/matt999h/PoliceReform.htm ... vote tit!
vote tat! vote for http://alfimp.port5.com/poll.shtml ...
www.tourettes.com fails to counterract www.tourettes.co.uk and
http://www.hare.yucom.be/Useless/Tourette/tourette.html ... latest
news from http://www.go2africa.com/kenya/amboseli/lake-chala/ ...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> it's a big week for classic sci-fi movies whose memories
might otherwise be tainted by recent travesty remakes, with
1970s "2001"-style arthouse beat-em-up ROLLERBALL (11.15pm,
Fri, BBC1), 1960s technicolor treat THE TIME MACHINE (5.30pm,
Sat, BBC2), and, er, MORTAL KOMBAT (12.30am, Fri, ITV)...
innocent working-class teenagers are put through the most
degrading, horrifying experience imaginable, but that's enough
about Daisy Donovan's topical entertainment quiz DOES DOUG
KNOW? (10.30pm, Fri, C4) - BBC2 have also recreated the WW1
experience in pop-history reality show THE TRENCH (9pm, Fri,
BBC2)... and hopefully Michael Parkinson's 2001 TV MOMENTS
(9pm, Sat, BBC1) will include the "100 Greatest TV Treats Of
The Year" shown by C4 over Christmas... the camera may have
caught reader Jenny Colgan not wearing an NTK t-shirt during
phone-based docu-soap MOBILE LIVES (11.55pm, Sat, BBC2)...
CCTV "thriller" THE END OF VIOLENCE (12.55am, Sat, C4) is
leisurely even by Wim Wenders standards... Freud's relatives
imitate "They Live" in the history of subliminal consumerism
THE CENTURY OF THE SELF (8pm, Sun, BBC2)... while C5 provides
its own thought-provoking examination of the id in Sly
Stallone/ Teri Hatcher action trash TANGO AND CASH (9pm, Sun,
C5)... watch out for Simon Beaufoy's god-awful Syntegra ad in
the breaks during THE FULL MONTY (9.30pm, Sun, C5)... Monday
is "Blade Runner" alumni night, with bonkers Sean Young
psychothriller A KISS BEFORE DYING (9pm, Mon, C5) and Joanna
Cassidy home alone comedy DON'T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER'S DEAD
(10pm, Mon, C4) - intriguingly scheduled *before* the vastly
superior Linda Fiorentino noir THE LAST SEDUCTION (12midnight,
Mon, C4)... tough choice between the first hour of Michael Bay
technocrane epic ARMAGEDDON (9pm, Tue, C5) and hints of Alan
Partridge in WHEN LOUIS MET KEITH HARRIS AND ORVILLE (9pm,
Tue, BBC2)... a single mum attends Burning Man in LOOKING FOR
KICKS (11.30pm, Tue, C4)... there'a a teen tearaway double-
bill on Wed, with Christian "American Psycho" Bale in WW2
Spielberg flop EMPIRE OF THE SUN (8pm, Wed, C5) followed by
John Leguizamo's freakish hispanic "Ferris Bueller" vehicle
THE PEST (10.50pm, Wed, C5)... as E4 transplant MAKE MY DAY
(10.30pm, Thu, C4) imitates TVGoHome's "Boom Goes Lovergirl":
FILM>> it's Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gene Hackman and the
kid who plays "Harris" in "Freaks and Geeks" - together at
last! - in the almost unbearably whimsical extended-"Rushmore"
curio THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (imdb: bathtub-scene/ black-comedy/
deadbeat-dad/ dysfunctional-family/ incest/ off-beat/ sex/
bb-gun/ bird/ child-prodigy/ dalmatian/ delinquent/ divorce/
dog/ family-reunion/ high-blood-pressure/ hotel/ interracial-
relationship/ mice/ narrated/ playwright/ rat/ smoking/
tennis/ terminal-illness/ wealth/ wedding/ wooden-finger) -
and not as many jokes as "Not Another Teen Movie" either...
unfortunately, "from the makers of The House On Haunted Hill"
doesn't bode too well for CGI William Castle remake THIRTEEN
GHOSTS ( http://www.cndb.com/movie.html?title=Thirteen+Ghosts
I saw Shannon Elizabeth's name in the credits and assumed she
would be the one getting naked. Instead it was this ghost that
was painted in blue makeup. Granted, the ghost had nice
breasts, but it did not do anything for me)...
>> 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
"och, put your money away Wendy, this one's on the house"
NEED TO KNOW. THEY STOLE / OUR REVOLUTION. NOW / WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
Archive - http://www.ntk.net/
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