_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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- JAKOB NIELSEN one-up's Bill Gates' "I get half" bid
>> HARD NEWS <<
lighting the fuse
Now, either Tony Blair thinks that enthusiastic use of the
word "tits" in an eulogy will boost his "man of the people"
popularity - or those pesky Chris Morris fans at COOKDANDBOMBD
have been busy re-editing his tribute speech to the Queen Mum.
You can download the results from the ever-excellent Boom
Selection blog, along with the original if you want to have a
go yourself - although, in deference to the current mood of
the CookdAndBombd site, you are requested not to mock the
recent death of Dudley Moore which must - of course - be
treated with the utmost reverence. Or, if you fancy a pop at
another nation's favourite "Grammy", a reader identifying
himself as LORD IAN DOUGLAS has tracked down that "Insidious
Virus of Illegal Music Downloading" speech which only last
month seemed oh so very amusing...
- plus transcript: http://grammy.aol.com/features/speech.htmlhttp://www.base58.com/booms/archives/2002_04_01_archive.html
- "yield a sigh" advise http://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/ Normally this is the sort of thing we'd run in Tracking, but
it's a veery slow news week - and anyway, we want to look
good to our inevitable Super-Intelligent Overlord. After
much wrangling, "CYC" - the leftfield artificial
intelligence project shepherded since 1984 by Doug Lenat,
finally released its "open source"-ish version, OpenCYC,
this week. As you will all recall from "The Mad Mad World of
Military-Funded LISP Code", CYC was Lenat's gonzo attempt to
handcode all of "commonsense" as a set of 10 zillion logical
assertions. So, Cyc knows that the UnitedKingdom is a
Country, and that the USPresident is a Sentient Primate
(Allegedly). Lenat's theory was that once a computer was
hardcoded with enough of these common sense links, it'd be
able to suck up new axioms just by reading the paper (or, as
some sick Netizens suggested, by being forcefed Usenet until
it went crazy). To this day nobody outside CycCorp really
knows what Cyc knows - but Tim Berners-Lee and the W3C kids
have pursuaded Doug to dump the top lump of its ontology out
into the wider world, to be used as basic infrastructure for
the Tim's "Semantic Web". So the theory is that,
intermingled with your usual Weblog rants, you'll be able to
repeat in XML what you mean in gobbledook Spockian
logic-language that computers can understand. All very
interesting - so how do we encode "implies a time-event when
pigs will fly"?
- cyberspace-based voodoo AIs usually better at keeping up their DNS than this
- linux only. No source; just a cold, unsympathetic java app
- Tim! Come down, mate!
- maybe we'll have a function in the new order after all
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
official memorial site still using those old DIANA filenames:
http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page1011.asp (view source)...
CITIBANK credit card hits back at Saddam with competing offer:
http://www.ntk.net/2002/04/05/dohwin.gif ... "previously
uninhibited" island flaunts coconuts for playboy BRANSON:
http://www.neckerisland.com/LE/necker/explore1.asp ... PERRIER
AWARD issues timely "warning" about comedian Dave Gorman:
latest issue of EDGE (p68) quotes NTK quoting eternal wisdom
of Tim Wapshott: http://www.ntk.net/1999/10/01/ , and Steve
Boxer: http://www.ntk.net/1999/09/17/ , yet manages to miss
out exponentiation operator in "2^96"... "Will Not Publish"
maintain BBC, hoping (believing?) that she'd live for ever:
http://www.ntk.net/2002/04/05/dohbit.gif ... CAPITAL clearly
distraught: http://www.ntk.net/2002/04/05/dohcrapital.gif ,
http://www.ntk.net/2002/04/05/dohcrap2.gif ... leaving it to
the UK's hedgehog-lovers to maintain some sense of proportion:
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Expect the... expected at this year's FORTEAN TIMES
UNCONVENTION 2002 (from 10am, Sat 2002-04-06, Commonwealth
Institute, London W8, from UKP17.50 per day), with speakers
including Graham "Lost Kingdoms" Hancock, Rev Lionel "Fortean
TV" Fanthorpe, Colin "The Outsider" Wilson, Ken "those Peugeot
ads" Campbell, and Jon "Secret Rulers of the World" Ronson. We
were hoping that next week's ALIEN PANTS exhibition was going
to be a complementary display of crashed-saucer-underwear, but
it seems to be a slang term for promotional videogaming
nethergarments, on show at one of those JOYSTICK JUNKIES club
nights (from 7pm, Thu 2002-04-11, SAK Bar, 49 Greek Street,
London W1, "non-members" UKP5) - a refreshing change from
their usual "Playstations 'n' nightclubs" schtick which
everyone else lost interest in about 4 years ago.
- vs http://www.peltorro.com/intro.htmhttp://www.alienpants.com/news/prevreleases/28-01-02-tshirts.shtml
- and Steve "boxer shorts" Boxer - together at last!
- dorkbot returns to London's State51 on Wed
- then next Fri: Yuri's Night (all Yuri's get in free)
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
"strace meets expect" about covers it. SUBTERFUGUE for Linux
2.4 kernels lets you insert Python code between the OS and
an application, mangling and filtering any data along the
way. To show you the way, various neat tricks are
pre-included, so you can spool all filenames through a
regex, fence off bits of the filing system willy-nilly,
redirect or block Net connections, throttle data transfers
(with a GTK interface), make time(2) go faster or slower. Or
just ROT13 everything ls sends. There are, we suppose,
easier ways to do all that; but none quite so pervasive or
flexible. And none that allow as much fine-tuning of the
headfuck that you can inflict on alien binaries when you're
unhappy with what they're doing. A version for MacOS X could
be a timely development. Oh go on.
- get it, before it's banned by the SSSCA
>> MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/ killer app http://www.potce.com/Cat1/01/H&G/Home/izek.htm was
waiting for: http://www.phink.net/phashion/baby/alien8.html
... Peter Buck diagnosed with "REM behaviour disorder", may
have been acting "non-insanely automatic" (for the people):
... increasing evidence that RAINBOW SIX is getting way too
realistic: http://www.ashleypomeroy.com/rainbowsix2.jpg ,
... blond Aryan kid led astray by foreign-looking neighbours:
... office hugs "really can boost profits", reports BBC NEWS:
vs "a very group-oriented culture, and a lot of our meetings
end in hugs. There was no retribution for noncompliance":
... liven up your presentations with crime scene evidence:
... Commonwealth countries somewhat divided on role of royals:
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> a couple of questionable tech-industry role models this
week, in the form of the mobile ringtone millionaire profiled
in FLASH (11.05pm, Tue, C4), plus a feature on Danni Ashe in
PASSENGERS (11.35pm, Fri, C4), whose claim to be the web's
"Most Downloaded Woman" was queried for potentially including
"photos of her with other models", if you know what we mean:
elsewhere the schedules largely imitate Lee & Herring, as
Angus Deayton and Alexei Sayle sip from their SDP mugs in A
HISTORY OF ALTERNATIVE COMEDY (9pm, Sat, BBC2), and Greg
Evigan stars in EARTHQUAKE IN NEW YORK (8pm, Wed, C5)... C4
combines Andromeda with a Stargate SG-1 double-bill for five
hours of non-stop sci-fi, of which the best bit is probably
the JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (2.25pm, Sun, C4)...
there's another electronic press kit masquerading as a late-
night "making of" documentary in 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE: THE
FACTORY RECORDS SAGA (12midnight, Sun, C4)... while the US
version of "Scrapheap Challenge" JUNKYARD WARS (8pm, Mon, C4)
appears to have constructed a more photogenic presenter than
Robert "Kryten" Llewellyn... it's supposed to be 3 separate
films, it's uncannily similar to the French film "Deathwatch"
http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s53until1.html - but there
are still times when you wish the apocalypse would just bloody
get on with it in Wim Wenders' improvised cyber-epic UNTIL THE
END OF THE WORLD (1.30am, Mon, C4)... FOOD JUNKIES (9pm, Wed,
BBC2) appears to be an unofficial adaptation of that "Fast
Food Nation" book... a better sequel for SPEED (9pm, Thu, C5)
would have been "Speed - The Second Derivative", where the bus
has to maintain a minimum constant acceleration... and it's a
great week for fans of adjectives preceding abstract nouns,
with showings of RANDOM ENCOUNTER (9pm, Fri, C5), MATERNAL
INSTINCTS (12.20am, Fri, BBC1), PRIMAL FEAR (10.15pm, Sun,
BBC1), LETHAL INTENT (12.25pm, Sat, BBC1), IRRESISTIBLE
IMPULSE (10.50pm, Fri, C5), and not forgetting Alyson "Willow"
Hannigan's INDECENT SEDUCTION (12.40am, Fri, BBC1)...
FILM>> it's a double-bill of movies postponed from last Sept,
with what appears to be a collage of elements from most of
Arnie's previous movies causing most of the COLLATERAL DAMAGE
( http://www.screenit.com/movies/2002/collateral_damage.html :
"IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR It's possible someone could copy the idea
of using terrorist bombings for their own particular agenda")
... and Ed Burns continuing his - unsuccessful - bid to become
the Irish-American Woody Allen on the SIDEWALKS ON NEW YORK (
"In one of the first scenes, you can see the late World Trade
Center, looming majestically, directly over Burns' right
shoulder. Which wouldn't be so bad. But it's giving the better
performance")... failing that, 1870s nobleman Hugh "Wolverine"
Jackman travels forward in time to be baffled by the modern-
day conventions of Meg Ryan romantic comedies in KATE AND
LEOPOLD ( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/kate&leopold.htm :
"Typically in movies for teens the kissing is gaping-mouth
tongue kissing, with the face disappearing behind the
cavernous mouth. The kissing between Ryan and Jackman was
quite probably the best example-setting kissing I have seen in
a PG-13")... and "I'm Tony Wilson, A-haaa!", declares Steve
Coogan in usual-suspects arch Hacienda hagiography 24 HOUR
PARTY PEOPLE ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : "Contains very strong
language and drug use")...
>> 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
"an entertaining side project"
NEED TO KNOW
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