_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2002-04-19_ o join! mail an empty message to
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o firstname.lastname@example.org
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Europe's music companies need to do more to wean
music-lovers away from a 'free-music mindset', according to
an Internet research company."
- of course, if only oxygen breathers could be weaned away from their
"free air mindset", we could charge them for that as well...
>> HARD NEWS <<
pay per views
Nice to see the Inland Revenue getting into this whole "open
government" policy. But really, there's no need to be so
subtle. If you truly want everyone to see the edits to your
Budget press releases, there's no need to hide it by
uploading Word files with the previous deleted revisions
casually left in. After all, if you wanted everyone to know
that the suspiciously Old Labour phrase "ensure the nation
receives a fair share of the profits from the exploitation
of the North Sea" was edited out by a Treasury civil servant
at the last minute, and replaced with "the North Sea fiscal
regime does not strike the right balance between promoting
investment and taking an adequate share of revenue derived
from a national resource", tell us outright! It's no fun
ploughing through all the Treasury word files you left on
the site, turning on the "Confirm Revisions" option, and
spotting the Sir Humphrey fixes for ourselves, is it?
- well, perhaps it is for some
- check out revce1.doc and revce2.doc for such non-"fun"
- or just check it out here
It's only when you see all the main combatants piled into
the same room at the COMPUTERS FREEDOM AND PRIVACY
CONFERENCE that you realise just how dirty the copyright
wars have become. Itinerant EFF reps, ricocheting from LA's
Copy Protection Technology Working Group, struggling with
the culture-shock: blank-faced Hollywood apparatchiks
plotting the downfall of open computing there, geeks
open-mouthed with horror here. Pro-DMCAer Allan Adler of the
Association of American Publishers inadvertedly spurring
everyone on by declaiming that the audience had "no right to
access copyrighted material" - even copyrighted material in
their own homes. Some other IP stooge backtracking from the
mob by stating that the US just *had* to introduce the DMCA
because of "international treaties". (Well, that's odd: they
tell us the neoDMCA proposals in the EC is there because the
US did it first.) Phil Zimmermann, patient as ever, trying
to break it to the media barons that the software industry
*tried* this copy protection lark back in the Eighties and
if it didn't work for Leisure Suit Larry, it won't work for
"Blade II". John Perry Barlow, so shocked and upset he
starts talking sense. And the more the CFPers confer, the
more they seemed to realise that Hollywood is going for the
hat-trick: taking away freedom, privacy *and* computers.
Pretty impressive. But only if they manage it.
- spot the Brits
- deep, deep, blogging
Forced to relocate to a pub after an administrative mixup over
the bank offices they'd been hoping to use, last Saturday's
first public meeting of the UK's ASSOCIATION FOR FREE SOFTWARE
offered something for everyone: beer, pizza, and an expertly
crafted mix of practical decision-making and drunken shouting.
As the name suggests, the group plan to support and promote
Free Software (ie, GNU *and* Linux) to the likes of schools,
voluntary organisations, business federations, local
government and the media - but that's "free" as in "freedom",
not "free" as in "we currently think the membership fee will
be UKP10 annually". And, just to liven things up at the end,
the shouting came courtesy of a heated debate over software
patents - not over whether they're a bad thing (they are,
apparently), but over exactly how stringently the AFFS - and
bemused pub locals - should oppose them, with (as ever)
those who'd had the most recent contact with Richard Stallman
feeling the uncontrollable urge to prove themselves more
ideologically uncompromising than everyone else.
- no, it's not supposed to stand for "Ah, for fuck's sake"
- vs http://mail.gnu.org/pipermail/fsfe-uk/2002-April/001013.html >> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
INTERNET WORKS still getting most of its referrals from other
Future mags: http://184.108.40.206/statsreports/iwks/all/ ...
you say "nachos", but MS microwave oven prefers "nauseous":
... not the only thing that's been "borrowed wholesale":
... students' weekend runs from Fri-Thu, offer implies:
http://www.thefilmworks.co.uk/tfw38/studentsfw/ ... recovering
job market offers UKP25000-30000K (25m-30m) for engineer:
... BBC stuntman bravely defies even Pythagoras' Theorem:
... Ally McBeal or, to use her full name, the "Victoria and
Albert Museum": http://www.ntk.net/2002/04/19/dohally.gif ...
join the Royal Horticultural Society, get great discounts on
live gig tickets: http://www.ntk.net/2002/04/19/dohrhs.gif ...
alarmingly big condoms they're selling in Nigeria nowadays:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_1925000/1925464.stm >> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
It's all happening next Wednesday, with a three-way clash
between this month's Silicon Beach Forum WIRELESS NETWORKS: A
REVOLUTION ABOUT TO BEGIN? (Sussex Arts Club, Brighton, free),
INFOSECURITY EUROPE (from Tue 2002-04-23, London Olympia, also
free), and New Media Age's NEW MEDIA SHOW 2002 (Business
Design Centre, London, no obvious pricing information visible
on the website). But if you're not too exhausted after all
that, NTK reader and Britain's most theoretically rigorous
stand-up comedian STEWART LEE is holding a fundraising
spectacular to save the Vortex Jazz Foundation (from 8pm, the
Union Chapel, London N1, UKP12.50), with an all-star bill
featuring Harry Hill, Johnny Vegas, John Hegley, Kevin "Simon
Quinlank" Eldon and Jenny Eclair - though please note that
Omid "The Mummy" Djalili appears on the leaflet but has had to
pull out, hopefully not because of publicity commitments for
"The Scorpion King".
- not a penny wasted on fancy flyer design, you'll note
- war-driving workshops in pub next door
- ah, those reassuringly unfashionable .cfm files
- "Paid-for content is a reality. (finally!)". Twats.
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
One day, some public-domain pauper publisher will release
the edition of Nietsche's "Beyond Good And Evil", and on the
cover will be a single, black fringed screenshot of W3M-IMG.
This eldritch patch to the strange and powerful Japanese text-only
browser W3M does a - thing - which, if God were alive, would
strike him dead and all his morality. It is a text-only Web
browser. It runs in an Xterm. It displays inline graphics.
On an Xterm! In a text browser! JPEGs and GIFs and PNGs! So
wrong! So beautiful! So ugly! So useful as a mutt mailcap
setting! So *dirty*!
- use alien or look for "w3m-img" in ports, Miss I'm-So-BSD-I-Compile-My-Socks
- submit wacky BBC images from the comfort of your term session
>> MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/ the new 6 Degrees Of Kevin Bacon: http://covers.wiw.org/ ...
the new "reviewing 9V batteries by tasting them with your
tongue": http://www.eet.com/sys/uth/OEG20020326S0045 ... off
the map this week - Aldermaston atomic weapons establishment:
... now BOFH-free SALMON DAYS somewhat influenced by TVGoHome:
http://www.salmondays.tv/column_2_jdl.html .... former Serb
leader Radovan Karadzic threatens "Akts of mercy - SOON...":
http://www.karadzic.org/rat/rat_akti_e.html ... who's scarier
- the EDMONDS cult: http://rs.snoochdesigns.com/noel/ , the
HONG KONG BIN LADEN and his "Brain voice read write machine"
http://enaaaaa.cjb.net/ , or the FEDERAL FRAUD CONSPIRACY to
sabotage the Matrix sequels?: http://qwer.org/fedfraud.html
... at 150p/min, let's hope they get the message pretty fast:
http://www.lazystudent.co.uk/rejectline.html ... photos that
didn't make the school prospectus this year for some reason:
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> we think that tonight is the Dorkbot episode of GAME-PAD
(7.30pm, weekdays, Bravo) - another top co-production from
Violet Berlin/Gareth Jones: http://www.whizzbang.tv/ ... in
accordance with our suggestion of 2001-07-06, ALISTAIR
MCGOWAN'S BIG IMPRESSION (8.30pm, Fri, BBC1) features "When
Ruby Wax Met Louis Theroux" - but no Jon Ronson?... and Sarah
Michelle Gellar is stranded on a desert island in BEVERLY
HILLS FAMILY ROBINSON (5.15pm, Sat, C5), then the inevitable
"The Matrix"-style episode of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (8pm,
Thu, Sky1)... Al "Pub Landlord" Murray introduces TOP TEN TV
BASTARDS (10.20pm, Sat, C4)... BBC2 continues trying to up the
viewing figures with 3 more back-to-back repeats of 24 (11pm,
Sat, BBC2) - can't wait till the series is over, then they can
show them all "in real time" one day... and Charlton Heston
once again finds it difficult to make friends of similar age-
group and interests in post-biowar shootout THE OMEGA MAN
(12.45am, Sat, C5) - customers who bought this video also
bought "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" on DVD:
... hopefully reprising that really good "Decisive Weapons"
docu about the Falklands, ULTIMATE JUMP JETS (8pm, Sun, C5)
profiles the Hawker Harrier... if C5's LIFE DOCTOR (8pm, Thu,
C5) is such a frickin' expert, why doesn't she help people
with real problems, like the Mad-Max-esque car-dwelling petrol
scavengers of WASTED? (8.05pm, Sun, C4)... while Alicia
"Cybill's daughter" Witt discovers you just can't trust a
"friend of a friend" in URBAN LEGEND (10pm, Sun, C4)... Ricky
"The Office" Gervais may win one of THE BAFTAS (8.30pm, Mon,
ITV) at the same time as slagging off other comedians in ROOM
101 (10pm, Mon, BBC2)... pedestrian Brit horror AN AMERICAN
WEREWOLF IN LONDON (9pm, Mon, C5) segues handily into THE
TRUTH ABOUT GAY ANIMALS (10.35pm, Mon, C4), followed by
considerable Deborah Kara Unger nudity and disturbing subject
matter in David Cronenberg's censorship cause celebre CRASH
(11.35pm, Mon, C4)... join us, please, to say farewell to
surely the last ever episode of ATTACHMENTS (10pm, Wed, BBC2):
http://www.everyonehatesattachments.com/ ... and Jeffrey "Hank
from The Larry Sanders Show" Tambor offers an alternative to
Victor Lewis-Smith's jabbering commentary in the hilariously
titled THE ANNUAL BARFTA AWARDS (11.05pm, Thu, C4)...
FILM>> for the benefit of anyone who's ever wondered how it
would look, Richard Linklater remakes the stoner conversations
of "Slacker" as hi-res Flash animations in WAKING LIFE (imdb:
independent-film/ dream/ surreal/ conversation/ philosophy)...
equally authentic-looking CGIs paper over the acting cracks in
The Rock/ Kelly "Martial Law" Hu grudge-match THE SCORPION
KING ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : The distributor sought and was
given advice during post-production which resulted in the
removal, prior to formal submission, of a headbutt delivered
by the hero to the villain in a climactic fight sequence)...
and it looks like Guy Pearce really has suffered a knock to
the head as he follows top-notch noirs like "Memento" and "LA
Confidential" with Kevin "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves"
Reynolds' historic revenge nonsense THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO
( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : Distributor chose to remove two
shots of a man hanging to avoid giving children the impression
that a person can hang for some time with no ill effects and
in order to achieve a PG classification)...
>> 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
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