_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2002-05-03_ o join! mail an empty message to
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o firstname.lastname@example.org
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v v / o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "It wasn't even dignified layoffs -- it just fell apart.
We squandered a lot of the energy..."
...and the money! You squandered a lot of THE MONEY!
>> HARD NEWS <<
what's to lose?
Thanks to everyone who chipped in or turned out for Monday's
meeting on the EUROPEAN UNION COPYRIGHT DIRECTIVE, which we
will continue call a "poorly localised version of the ever-
popular US Digital Millennium Copyright Act" until it becomes
actively illegal for us to do so. ALAN COX and self-effacing
support act Martin Keegan spoke to a packed auditorium,
everyone agreed that the EUCD was bad (including for some new
reasons which most of us hadn't even dreamed of), and no-one
attempted to hijack the discussion by bringing up software
patenting. Unfortunately, the only question they didn't have
time to answer (something to do with the organisers requiring
urgent access to the refreshments) was: is there anything any
of us can do about it? Well, as usual, you can write to - or
fax - your MP; Slashdot, as is their wont, has proposed
joining your local equivalent of the EFF, where available. In
the UK, the closest thing may well be the Campaign for Digital
Rights' "Free-sklyarov" mailing list where, you'll be pleased
to hear, the discussion often moves on from trolls about
whether the music industry are "asking for it" to more practical
matters, like maybe organising some more events or something...
- see also http://colon.colondot.net/~mbm/cdr/ ,
- of course, the EFF (and Linux) is their answer to everything
- and this, ours
To Amsterdam, and RIPE 42, where ICANN's Stuart Lynn is
explaining, in Powerpoint slides of one syllable, why ICANN
has failed, and why he should therefore (as CEO of said
failed organisation) have more power. At one point, in one
of those room misreadings that can change history, he
jokingly offered to let recent ICANN critic and kernel
hacker Randy Bush handle all the ICANN heavy
responsibilities for free, if he felt he was up to it.
Several rounds of unexpected applause later, and you could
see people seriously considering: "Sure, Randy's a bit of a
ranter: but he's cheap, and, hell, anything's better than
this. So, Randy - what about it? A triumvirate of you, Karl
Auerbach and Michael Froomkin? And after that, the fight to
- the fight in a nutshell
- finally, Fidonet's revenge on the Internet
- not exactly choc-a-block with hard detail
Couple of late sonar echoes from last week's fast-sinking
topics. JOEY HESS, gentleman farmer, crackmonkey, and
Debianista, reports that The Man Who'd Rather Not Be Named
On Exim-Users did indeed try to get his name excised from
the Debian mailing lists last year. Oh, how they laughed.
And just when you thought that everyone on uk.telecom was
dead, dozens wrote to a) say that you could always remove
the last number dialled by calling Ringback on 17070, b)
reveal that this, it appears, is exactly what the new 1475
feature does - a rare case of BT using a neat hack to solve
an overcomplex problem, and c) ask how exactly does the
Information Commissioner plan to remove old numbers on
external caller display boxes - "Start clandestine issuing
warrants for people to sneak into my flat and take the
batteries out"? Silence, commissioned! The Information
Commissioner KNOWS ALL!
- new readers start here; give up shortly thereafter
- quick tour of the dark side
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
MICROSOFT to take action against partner organisations for
supplying "legal software", in revealing Freudian slip:
http://www.ntk.net/2002/05/03/dohleg.gif ... READERS DIGEST
fantasises US government resembles "Fellowship of the Ring":
http://www.ntk.net/2002/05/03/dohelf.gif ... good CEO for
scaring up money: http://www.q9.com/aboutq9/management.html
... this week's "spot the clue" poorly-thought-out online
... "new kind of pirate" stalks net, armed with joss sticks:
... taking toe-counting, peek-a-boo a bit far (see synopsis):
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005YXR8/ ... this
week's lazy web designers (311,000 at time of going to press):
... strident anti-censorship campaigners at BBC News Online
currently linking to [CAUTION]: http://www.baisemoilesite.com/
... only THE SUN's Smarties have the (remarkably wrong)
answer: http://www.ntk.net/2002/05/03/dohsmart.gif ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
You're at a strange, isolated hotel, surrounded by unearthly
characters who eat too many fruit pies and keep muttering
incomprehensible incantations about "logs". You're either at
hacker get-together BRUMCON (12noon, tomorrow Sat 2002-05-04,
Britannia Hotel, Birmingham, suggested donation UKP3-5), or
Twin Peaks fan-fest DAMN FINE CONVENTION (from 6pm today, Fri
2002-05-03, the Shepperton Moat House Hotel, Surrey, UKP30).
Fortunately, it's trivial to tell them apart in every other
respect: organised by the folks behind "Aliens Stole My
Handbag", one features (perhaps inevitably) Robert Rankin, BB
gun shooting, Lynchian lawnmower racing, a Cross Dressing Law
Enforcement Disco, and lets Norwegians in for free. And, yes,
the other one is a Twin Peaks Convention...
- annoying clash with http://party.cream.org/http://www.brum2600.net/brumcon2/
- Fire Wall With Me
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
I-4A RENAME's single bulging dialog is reminiscent of "Back
Orifice for Space Shuttles", but if you're MP3-dealing,
yEnc-posting, P2P-sharing, Windows download kid, this might
be for you. Despite appearences, much of Rename's
paraphenalia do make sense in situ, when you're struggling
with a pile of Audiogalaxy booty or trying to categorise
your extensive collection celebrity's heads on naked animal
jpegs. Expert options (accessible by pressing F2, of course,
you *idiot*) and hidden macros - such as the automatic
insertion of the current Stardate - just confirm this as
some kind of Borland Emacs of Rename. Next time you're stuck
with a weird but commonplace renaming problem, give this
320KB zip a go. Because you want to know the scariest thing
about this program? It's that regexps are scarier.
- "Where's ROT13? Oh, I bet that's what 'shift' does", writes Tim
- "I want to reverse the filename 'jackson.wav' => 'noskcaj.wav'"
- Power Rename; from when we reviewed shareware and ecstasy test kits
>> MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/ MR T ate my nationwide poll (see Harry Sacks' contribition):
http://www.labour.ie/public_holidays/pollviews.tmpl ... the
catfood can reviews were our favourite bit on "Takeover TV"
too: http://www.ashleypomeroy.com/notcat.html ... saluting all
the magnificent "Nathans" of the world - Nathan Damianos:
http://www.ificandream.com/crew/crew.html ; Nathan Horrocks:
(- under heading "The player")... this week's "When Memes
Collide": http://www.echo23.com/domokun/ ... like interviewers
aren't already praying for "good candidates" during most job
... "perfectly captures the essence of its inspiration":
... another fan site we really should get round to updating:
http://www.audible.com/wiretap/ ... GOOGLE insults - only $4:
... when MARK SHUTTLEWORTH returns to earth, everyone pretend
he's John Glenn and we haven't heard the joke before ...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> bloody Tim Burton again, whose ED WOOD (12.30am, Fri, C4)
features a famously anachronistic use of "various members of
the Helvetica family next to vintage headlines apparently
taken from real newspapers (mostly Erbar Light, 1934)", and,
even more implausibly, some of them are optically distorted!:
http://www.ms-studio.com/typecasting.html ... fellow "Batman"
franchise veterans Clooney and Pfeiffer play the mobile-phone-
swap movie meet-cute in ONE FINE DAY (9pm, Sat, C4)... and
Robert "Terminator 2" Patrick takes on a man made of metal in
THE X FILES (10.30pm, Sun, BBC2), tastefully preceded by
BELGIUM'S X FILES (7.15pm, Sun, BBC2), an investigation into a
European paedophile ring... Clooney's back on Bank Holiday Mon
in the reassuringly violent Euro-nuke thriller THE PEACEMAKER
(9pm, Mon, BBC1)... Julia "Seinfeld" Louis-Dreyfus doubles up
in Rob Reiner atrocity NORTH (10am, Mon, C4) plus a "Babe"-
style unnecessary animatronic adaptation of ANIMAL FARM
(6.10pm, Mon, C4)... while frankly the controversy over the
pronunciation of RING (11.40pm, Mon, C4) is the scariest thing
about it: http://www.ntk.net/index.cgi?b=02000-10-20&l=300#l
... the castaways on ROUGH SCIENCE (7.30pm, Tue, BBC2)
struggle to fashion a crude map, recording device and
entertaining popular science programme... C4 gives up and
admits that those late-night documentaries are basically just
a load of SEX ON TV (10pm, Tue, C4)... brief Jennifer Connelly
nudity enlivens period potboiler INVENTING THE ABBOTTS
(12.15am, Wed, ITV)... Sandra Bullock is tragically miscast as
the young Ernest Hemingway in IN LOVE AND WAR (8pm, Wed, C5)
... and, complementing the success of two-letter titles AI and
PI, there is indeed a movie about the text-editing private
detective VI (9pm, Thu, C5) - "VI Warshawski", that is...
FILM>> it's basically David Fincher's cool CGI camera tricks
from "Fight Club", but this time with some sort of plot, in
old-fashioned "Alien"-style containment thriller PANIC ROOM
( http://www.screenit.com/movies/2002/panic_room.html : [Jodie
Foster] shows some cleavage, particularly when briefly on her
hands and knees)... following our popular "Ali G and his
Heckler and Koch submachineguns" debate [NTK 2002-03-29],
reader ALASTAIR PENNEY enthuses that the villains' access to
the futuristic firepower of the "Space Marine's Heavy Bolter"
(from "Warhammer 40K") appears to be a major plot point in
cheesy Murphy/De Niro/Russo/Shatner reality-cop-parody
SHOWTIME ( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/showtime.htm :
knife attack; shark attack with victim in its mouth with
blood; gun battles, long; some manner of potty mouth comes at
you at more than 60 times per hour!)... or there's a couple of
quite different takes on the old "Thelma and Louise" legend,
with Stockard "The West Wing" Channing and Julia "10 Things I
Hate About You" Stiles in what seems to be a female companion
piece to "In The Company Of Men", THE BUSINESS OF STRANGERS
(imdb: assault/ business-woman/ businesswomen/ drugged-drink/
female-bonding/ female-executive/ hotel/ psychological-drama/
psychological-thriller/ rape-attempt/ rape/ reconciliation/
revenge)... and the somewhat more confrontational French porn
shocker BAISE-MOI ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : Cut required to
an explicit close-up shot of a penis penetrating a vagina
during a violent rape sequence)...
>> 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
"while the world's Dan O'Briens are out being murdered with axes..."
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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