_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2002-03-22_ o join! mail an empty message to
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "I have nothing but Bill's assurances so far..."
- about how trustworthy he's going to be *in the future*.
Anyone else spot the logical flaw here?
>> HARD NEWS <<
while (true); do
So, you're a small company: you've got a private dial-in for
the office network and it's ex-directory (natch). With
war-dialling a little trickier in the UK than the States, it
should be pretty well hidden from crackers, right? Not if
one of your employees switches his tariff to BT Together, it
isn't. It appears that BT's so paranoid about subscribers
using its unlimited call service for Net connections, that
it's been automatically flagging any line that gets a lot of
incoming BT Together data calls as an "ISP". Result: your
employee gets a huge phone bill (ISPs are excluded from the
flat-rate deal). And you get your private dial-in number
listed on the public "ISP exclusion" Webpage. Together, we
note, with around 5000 other juicy data lines, just ready
for a cracker to step dandily through. Thanks BT! Putting
people first: right after "profits", about five pages before
"privacy", and a whole private phone directory or two ahead
- they'll blame the messenger, we can tell
No need to worry about the London Underground getting hacked
[see last week's NTK] if their smartcard tickets are as
security conscious as the official THETUBE.COM site, where
"no" responses to their "Do you want a Public Private
Partnership?" poll have inexplicably continued to "soar" all
week. Disregarding the possibility that the public might
actually agree with area mayor Ken Livingstone on this
controversial matter, TheTube.Com seems more inspired by the
Robert Mugabe school of democracy and has already declared one
set of results "flawed", resetting them to earlier values "to
restore the integrity" of the poll. "It seems some people will
do anything to win - fair or foul", the site complains,
presumably not referring to its own scrupulously impartial
voting options: "YES: London Underground says: no more delay -
let's get on with fixing the Tube" or "NO: Transport
Commissioner Bob Kiley says that he wants to go back to court
to block PPP". "This is a subject that needs proper debate,
not vote-rigging by lobbyists", they conclude - so we do hope
it hasn't occurred to any of those lobbyists to circulate the
voting URL with arguments like, say, "quickpoll.asp?vt=no".
- also, ConfigPPP won't work unless you set up MacTCP first
It's reassuring to see a publicly-funded body like the BBC not
being swayed by last week's X-Box launch hype - well, it would
be, if they didn't seem to be completely obsessed with Metal
Gear Solid 2 on the PS2 instead. "Games designer pushes
boundaries" they revealed on March 4, swiftly followed by
"Movie soundtracks come to gaming" (March 5), "Blockbuster
game set to break records", (March 8), and indeed "Solid sales
for Metal Gear" (March 11). And that's despite the somewhat
disappointing comments of "Metal Gear 2 lacks solidity" (March
8) and "Metal Gear Solid 2: Your views" (also March 8). The
stealthy PR infiltration goes deeper than you'd think:
apparently they've been looking forward to the release ever
since the "Zone Of The Enders" demo moved their reviewer "to
tears" around this time last year...
- What's that noise? Who's there? Review code? AAAAAAARGH!
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
VODAFONE "delighted" to be opening store in "(Town/Region)":
... YAHOO admits politicians are largely grey-haired, "batty":
http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/22/dohbat.jpg ... secret life of
JEEVES revealed: http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/22/dohporn.gif ,
... XML, Linux, the Macintosh dismissed as "recent fads":
... former E-commerce minister "temporarily offline" since
April 2001: http://www.patricia-hewitt-mp.co.uk/ ... kind of
explains why those coding salaries were down to UKP1 a year:
THE REGISTER warns of "worrying" password-guessing attack:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/55/24447.html (could it
affect ssh as well?)... "Add to Wedding Registry", plan ahead:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1892148005/ ... BOL
discovers the one question "only you can answer" - "What is
your name?": http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/22/dohbol.gif ...
after http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/15/dohtony.gif , MUGABE
strikes again: http://www.ntk.net/2002/03/22/dohmug.gif ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Easter is a time for families, and the FAQ for Multiplay's I10
LAN PARTY (from 9am, Fri 2002-03-29, Newbury racecourse, UKP70
per participating PC) certainly paints an idyllic picture of
an event attended by "girls and women", "whole families" and
"lots of father/son combinations". They're hoping this broad
appeal may make them the UK's "first ever" 1000-player event
- that and <1ms ping-times for Counterstrike, Q3 Arena, Star
Trek Voyager: Elite Force, Unreal Tournament, Return To Castle
Wolfenstein and many other popular family pastimes. After all,
the Christian feast of the resurrection co-opts older pagan
traditions of renewal and rebirth, and what better way to
celebrate that than with a frenzy of deathmatch respawning?
- AUP forbids warez, porn, kettles
- don't forget: Stallman FIPR fundraiser on Monday
- creating travel content on Wed (behind "blue door")
- anyone coming to the pub?
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
THE PERL REVIEW is certainly *not* the open source
replacement for the excellent Perl Journal, currently
embedded as a trophy supplement in SysAdmin magazine. Oh no.
But what it currently *is* is the St. Andrews of PERL GOLF.
Perl Golf is the ancient recreation of Perl Monks and
Fun-With-Perl subscribers, whereby competitors seek to
whittle down an executable solution to a challenge to the
minimum number of (key)strokes. It's not quite obfuscation,
and it's not quite RSA-in-1-line-of-perl, but it is fun. The
next round of official Perl Golf at The Perl Review course
starts on April 1st, but with their handy utilities, you can
play your own round whenever you want. PGAS is an
XMLRPC-driven Perl Golf Administration System, and
Games::Golf is the Perl golf test suite: with both, even the
humblest Perl Monastery can devise and manage a few rounds.
Add in the cultural traditions and rules that the Review did
finally settle upon (like 'BoB', the pacesetting imaginary
ubergolfer, who is played by the Judges using the best ideas
from all current contributions), and you've got the most fun
you can have while still giving Bertrand Meyer a coronary. Fore!
- Conway gets a -20 handicap
- tips for course designers
>> MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/http://cdprot.cjb.net/ - beats colouring in the edge
with a magic marker ... CORPORATE ANTHEMS goes corporate:
http://www.zdnet.co.uk/specials/2002/it-anthems/ ... yEnc
considered harmful: http://www.exit109.com/~jeremy/news/yenc.html
... what's cleverer? sneaking Buffy show titles into headlines?
http://www.bathcityfc.com/news.htm or sneaking in Buffy *slash*
titles? http://www.yorkshirewater.co.uk/news/nr086_02.htm ...
DARPA, ARPA, DARPA, ARPA - let's call the whole thing off:
http://www.darpa.mil/body/arpa_darpa.html ... in a way it's
encouraging them: http://www.spamradio.com/ ... at last:
PANTY CAT for Windows http://www.geocities.com/m0f73/maci.htm
... we pause for a a somehow terrifyingly generic Webpage:
but no human being would ever photoshop a fake like that!:
http://crazy.codetroop.com/randimg/?stone.jpg ... token
Flash fodder: http://www.esu.lt/andrius/10/go.htm ...
- where maplin catalogue covers go to die ... and finally:
it's THE CHRISTIAN FOLK ART IRONIC-OR-NOT FACE OFF!
http://homokaasu.org/diy-pope/ vs http://members.aol.com/JesusImages/
vs http://store.yahoo.com/jsbstash/budchrisdass1.html ...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> SOCIETY (1.15am, Fri, BBC2) is like "They Live" directed
by the young Peter Jackson - and not in a good way... the KLF
explain some of the finer points of "The Manual" to Vic Reeves
and Iron Maiden in HOW TO HAVE A NUMBER ONE (10pm, Sat, C4)...
and it's a hacker movie weekend spectacular, with gimmicky
John Badham parachute heist DROP ZONE (11.20pm, Sat, BBC1),
black-and-white bafflefest PI (11.40pm, Sat, C4) and, er,
Sandra Bullock discovering a Photoshop-plugin virus in THE NET
(10pm, Sun, C4)... you know, you can get very drunk if you
combine all the drinking games for TITANIC (5.55pm, Sun, BBC1)
... the CIA get hold of Freud's theories in THE CENTURY OF THE
SELF (8pm, Sun, BBC2) ...and PANORAMA (10.15pm, Sun, BBC1)
blames the US government for not heeding the terrorist
warnings contained in action movies like "Die Hard" and "The
Siege", and presumably demands to know what they're going to
do about the imminent threat depicted in "Planet Of The Apes"
... there are new series for two underperforming US imports,
THE WEST WING (9pm, Sun, C4) and MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE
(8.35pm, Mon, BBC2)... C4 seem to be betting on another Oscar
for Marisa Tomei with her Best Supporting Actress-winning MY
COUSIN VINNY (10pm, Mon, C4), followed by the mysteriously un-
nominated sci-fi ENEMY MINE (12.10am, Mon, C4) plus Terminator
knock-off APEX (2.10am, Mon, C4)... and "Theroux himself
becomes the subject of press attention" in WHEN LOUIS MET MAX
CLIFFORD (9pm, Tue, BBC2)... ITV names and shames unwitting
celebrity lookalikes in STARS AND THEIR DOUBLES (8.30pm, Wed,
ITV)... what is presumably another of those ITN "behind the
news" documentaries ALI G: BEFORE HE WAS MASSIV (9.35pm, Wed,
C5) provides an unsettling contrast with harrowing Jodie
Foster rape trial THE ACCUSED (10.05pm, Wed, C5)... and still
"mad as hell, and not going to take it any more", THE MARK
THOMAS PRODUCT (11pm, Wed, C4) segues eventually into partial
Max Headroom-inspiration movie NETWORK (1.05am, Wed, C4)...
FILM>> going from the double pistol grip and distinctive
folding stock, reader Cam Winstanley reckons it's either the
FAMAE SAF submachine gun, or possibly the Beretta Model 12S -
but definitely not the Heckler and Koch MP5 that "many
lightweights may think" - being brandished by the star on
the poster for mildly predictable gangsta-politics TV spinoff
ALI G IN DA HOUSE (imdb keywords: blackmail/ homosexuality/
independent-film/ kidnapping/ kiss/ mild-violence/ murder/
profanity/ slapstick).. the juvenile cartoony half-term
hilarity continues with CGI slippery-ice-world-level ICE AGE
( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/iceage.htm : promotion of
the theory of evolution; fecal matter being flipped in
someone's face)... but looks like there was a bit less render-
time for kid-inventor alien-abductee JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS
( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/jimmyneutron.htm : making
human sacrifices to appease false "deity"; defecation by an
"animal"; flame retardant [foam] from the anus of a robot dog;
peeing in the shower, twice)... while life - in the form of
imitates German social psychology dramatisation DAS EXPERIMENT
( http://www.cndb.com/movie.html?title=Experiment%2C+Das+%282001%29 :
[Maren Eggert's] perfect breasts are visible for a second;
Andrea [Sawatzki] plays a scientist who wants to end the
experiment. Two guys who play the guards arrest her and she
strips to her black lingerie. She is told to remove her bra
>> 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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