_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2002-05-17_ o join! mail an empty message to
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o firstname.lastname@example.org
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v v / o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "We're condemning the court's decision as well as the
government's prosecution. We're 3 years old, and Microsoft
was prepared to give us the trust of owning a core part of
the browser. That doesn't seem the behavior of a
- KEITH TEARE, CEO Realnames (20% Microsoft Investment), June 2000
"Microsoft seems to be playing the role of the referee who
decides whether any innovations succeed"
- KEITH TEARE, ex-CEO Realnames, after MS cancel contract
... so the name you get allocated really does depends on how much you pay
>> HARD NEWS <<
cons and pros
The Emerging Technology Conference, it turns out, was akin
to putting a bunch of Wilhelm Reich fans inside an Orgone
machine : what transpired may not change many minds, but
*boy* it sounded like they were having fun in there. The
tribes building the new Net got to see each other through
the impending nanotech mist, briefly: the wiring techmonkeys
of WiFi (winners of Best T-Shirt Motto By A Mile: "CRIMINAL.
ANARCHIST. PARASITES."), the keyboard rattling hoardes of
Blogistan, the Men-In-Suits-With-Earrings of the Web
Services crowd, and the grubby-but-unbowed street P2Punks of
last year's file-sharing implosion. You know when the geek
mood is up when attendees stop talking about making rent
this month, and resume predicting the date of the
Singularity. Looks like we're back to looking up at a
J-curve - and after all those months of sitting on a U-bend, too.
- Aaron generous enough to put it in your lifetime as well
- Joey coining what this is: the Rise of The Sycophantic Web
- but there are worse things to be than hopeful
"My spam is important to me. In this new age of the
Internet, I need the information and opportunities that
e-mail marketing provides.", writes BARRY DENNIS in C|Net's
trolling-for-hits opinion column. For someone who loves the
interactivity of the Web and runs a Net marketing company
himself, Barry seems strangely reticent to link to his
company's site or give away his e-mail address. Can we
help? One quick search finds Barry's impressive corporate
Net presence is a detailed Geocities site, which reveals his
e-mail address as the equally prestigious BDennis410@AOL.com.
That's BDennis410@AOL.com, you Web-spidering spambots.
- remember, Barry: just hit delete!
- and when CPM banner ads die, we'll lose troll columns like this too
Last week's plea for "anyone who does interesting weird-tech
things" elicited some interesting responses, not least those
of GEORGE AND FREEMAN DYSON, who confirmed that they'll be
dropping by EXTREME COMPUTING (Sunday 2002-06-09, the Camden
Centre, London, blah blah blah) to discuss George's new book
revealing his dad's work on spacecraft powered by nuclear
explosions (the quantum electrodynamics pioneer is of course
also the father of former ICANN chairwoman Esther, and the
inventor of the Dyson sphere, as seen in the "Relics" episode
of Star Trek: The Next Generation). Joining them on this -
increasingly startling - bill is TOM "The Mechanical Turk"
STANDAGE, a selection of some of the UK's top satire sites,
and ZDNet-UK's RUPERT GOODWINS, who'll be hosting a salute to
20 Years Of The ZX Spectrum, introduced by former 1980s pop
icon, GARY LE STRANGE. You know, we couldn't make this up.
Even if we wanted to.
- plus the author of Spectrum Machine Code Made Easy, Vol 2
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
what part of "effective user guides" don't you understand?:
http://www.interface.co.uk/ ... "QUEEN rocks London" reports
YAHOO Royalwatch: http://uk.fc.yahoo.com/r/royalwatch.html ...
this week's more-common-than-you'd-think GOOGLE typing error:
http://www.google.com/search?q=yorkshite ... mail - from jail:
http://www.ibmag.co.uk/ - FALCO!... depends what kind of "Ah"
they're inspiring: http://www.ntk.net/2002/05/17/dohemc.gif
... pick a country, any country: http://www.eue.org/ ... VM
Labs have great "future of digital entertainment" behind them:
http://www.ntk.net/2002/05/17/dohvm.gif ... customers who
bought this item also bought - paperback version of same book:
wearing out the first copy?)... hey, who's cloning who here?:
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
It's "I Love The ZX80s" - a bland, whitewashed pseudo-history
which largely ignores the quirkier independent stuff in favour
of obvious big-league successes that surely everyone remembers
anyway. It's corporate nostalgia masquerading as some sort of
cultural significance, and who gets the biggest single display
- Tomb Raider? Nintendo? No, RockStar Games, of course, a
company co-founded by exhibition curator Lucien King. Somehow,
we had a feeling we were going to be disappointed by GAME ON:
THE HISTORY, CULTURE AND FUTURE OF GLOBAL GAMING (The
Barbican, London EC2Y, until 2002-09-15, UKP11 full price,
UKP5-8 concessions). And yeah, there's a PDP-1, and some coin-
ops on free play (until they get broken), and the basic 8-bit
machines you'd expect (perched on top of PC emulators), but 11
quid to get in? You can spend an hour in a real arcade - or
buy your own retro console - for that.
- still, talk on Sat with noted "friend" of Edge, Stuart Campbell
It's LINUX INSTALL DAY this Sun, an ancient Dorset festival
(now spreading to the rest of the UK), in which participants
surreptitiously replace a friend or neighbour's Windows
desktop with KDE and see how long it takes them to notice.
Hopefully all involved will recover in time for Wednesday's
party celebrating the existence of SONOMU (from 8pm, secret
London location, UKP6), a shadowy members-only State51 spin-
off for "people passionate about new forward-thinking music".
Inexplicably, this threatens to include NTK's "Dave Green"
unveiling his all-new set of acoustic cover versions of synth-
pop favourites, a backwards-looking lineup which goes from
"19" by Paul Hardcastle to "Where's Your Head At?" by Basement
Jaxx. And he's "doing" the ARTHUR C CLARKE awards again on Sat
(from 1.30pm, The Wellcome Wing, The Science Museum, London),
though that seems to have been somewhat overshadowed by the
more photogenic exhibit "Grossology: Burp, Fart And Sniff Your
Way To Understanding The Science Of The Human Body".
- Linux on a PS2 at the London Lonix event, apparently
- 6 quid though (you could print your own Olga tabs for that)
- after it went so well last year
- what is this, digital artists week or something?
- apparently it is
- also on Wed: just some "casual drinks", with friends...
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Mark this one down as sufficiently retarded tech. As an
exercise in caffeine abuse and hubris, NTK's own PANOPTICON
is a graphical stalking system for finding bloggers and
other celebs in the corridors of the ETCON conference. Now
that the conference is over, we thought you'd like to survey
the damage, and perhaps gut it for your own purposes.
Redeeming features: it does live updating on a Webpage
without a page reload in sight. It does Web Services the
old-fashioned way, with a http GET sending data, and a
telnet stream outputting streaming updates. You can put rude
and therefore shit. It'll only work on Windows IE 5+ and
Mozilla/Gecko browsers. It scares Opera so much you'll never
escape. And my in-depth knowledge of NTK clickthrough rates
and how badly I wrote the server says that it'll crash and
burn as soon as we send this out. We'll fix it in time for
XCOM, I don't think.
- i was writing documentation in a hotel bar, that much is true
- FINAL WARNING: EVIL JAVASCWIPT
- distributed hackery
>> MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/ posted to Usenet couple of weeks ago, original author unknown:
... evil GEORGE LUCAS clones start disagreeing with each
other, one dismissing "that Phantom Menace was a let down":
while other admits "prequel did not live up to expectations":
... LONDON UNDERGROUND present - e-democracy in action once
... this week's "off the map" - so there isn't an OS symbol
for a giant AN/FLR-9 "Elephant Cage" Antenna (dismantled)?:
... $40 Win XP kit includes free bubblegum, baseball action
... on the plus side, at least it wasn't GRAND THEFT AUTO 3:
BBC pic: "Oooh Vic - I've fallen" or "Walk like an Egyptian"?
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> classic Bill Murray timeloop redemption comedy GROUNDHOG
DAY (10.30pm, Sat, ITV) - last shown on terrestrial TV in May
2000 - isn't this week's only case of deja vu: there's "Men In
Black" knockoff THE SILENCERS (9pm, Fri, C5) - last shown
August 1999; Christopher "Spinal Tap" Guest's dud remake of
ATTACK OF THE 50FT WOMAN (1.05am, Fri, BBC1) - last shown Aug
2000; and, more entertainingly, a teenage Eliza "Faith" Dushku
as Arnie's tearaway daughter in TRUE LIES (10.30pm, Sat, BBC1) -
last shown March 2000... plus a DIY introduction to America's
tenuous grasp of libel in THE PEOPLE VS LARRY FLYNT (1.05am,
Sat, C4) - last shown October 2000; and frankly disappointing
Gibson adaptation JOHNNY MNEMONIC (9pm, Sun, C5) - last shown
Aug 2001 on BBC1. Phew... in terms of new stuff, Jeff Bridges
suspects wacky neighbour Tim Robbins of being a mad terrorist
bomber in slightly-more-topical-than-when-it-was-made paranoia
thriller ARLINGTON ROAD (10pm, Sun, C4)... C4's factual
department dumps a bunch of zany high-concept documentaries
before its schedules go all Big Brother, in the form of the
top 100 poorly differentiated GREATEST WORLD CUP MOMENTS (9pm,
Sat, C4), SAS tell-all debunk TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH: THE
REAL BRAVO TWO ZERO (9pm, Mon, C4), the self-explanatory
DANIELLA WESTBROOK: MY NOSE AND ME (10pm, Wed, C4), and
inspirationally titled old-people workplace docu-soap WORKING
WITH DINOSAURS (8pm, Tue, C4)... then it's back to the
temporal anomalies again, with Van Damme "Terminator" knockoff
TIMECOP (10.35pm, Wed, BBC1) - last shown Sep 2000... plus
Arnie flaunting those one-piece sunglasses that have indeed
become surprisingly fashionable in the 21st century, as the
original THE TERMINATOR (9pm, Tue, C5) - last shown on ITV
about two months ago...
FILM>> hopefully answering the obvious question - "What
possible advantage would there be to having a 'clone army' in
a technologically advanced universe with no apparent shortage
of available manpower?" - comes even more interminable blue-
screen action scenes composited in front of animated Maplins
catalogue covers, aka STAR WARS 2: ATTACK OF THE CLONES (
One [outfit] shows [Portman's] bare back and shoulders,
another is cut low up top and shows the tops of her breasts,
and a third is formfitting and accentuates her bosom - and
later is ripped at the bottom to reveal her bare midriff)...
or, apparently assuming that anyone who doesn't want to go
see Star Wars must be either French or gay, the only other
national release looks like Gerard Depardieu photoshopped
condom-factory comedy THE CLOSET (imdb: coming-out/
homosexuality/ homosexual/ accountant/ attempted-suicide/ cat/
closeted-homosexual/ condom/ father-son-relationship/ gay-
bashing/ gay-parade/ gay-pride/ man-pretending-to-be-gay/
obesity/ photo-montage/ pink-sweater/ racism/ rugby/ sexual-
harassment/ unemployment/ wet-blouse/ local-blockbuster)...
>> 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
"top of the Google!"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
Archive - http://www.ntk.net/
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