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[ So, at last: the Gathering begins. But before it does
*somebody* has to cut all the crusts off the sandwiches. That
somebody is us. While we run insanely around trying to track
down four-way adaptors, Pringles canisters, stockpiles of
Cipro, additional branches of the Dyson family, and enough cola
to cause an army of sloths to (successfully) invade Columbia,
we'll leave you this timetable for XCOM 2002. If you never hear
from us again, consider this our final will and testament. And
do come. We can't predict what will happen, but we'll say this:
these days you can't get this much chaos for three quid outside
It's a technology trade show with a difference...
...a medieval version of eBay
...a summer festival for those of us whose idea of a good time
is sitting indoors hunched over a PC with the curtains drawn.
The NTK/Mute Festival Of Inappropriate Technology
11am-7pm, Sunday June 9th 2002
The Camden Centre, London (opposite Kings Cross station)
and it's all only THREE POUNDS to get in.
THAT SPEAKER PROGRAMME IN FULL
(Lineup may be subject to alteration, cybernetic or otherwise.)
(...and don't get us started on the exhibitors - MAME cabinets,
wireless networking workshops, Meet The Register/TVGoHome etc -
full list now at:
11am-11.50am: Attention Deficit Cinema
- take a seat and make yourself (un)comfortable with these all-
too-brief screenings and snippets presented by TV's Ben Moor.
- "Sex Dummy": a startling view of how the future used to look,
presented by 1980s electropop icon Gary Le Strange.
12noon-12.50pm: Salute to 20 Years Of The ZX Spectrum,
Nigel Alderton, author of the original "Chuckie Egg"*
John Hollis, author of "Meteor Storm" and "Time Gate"
Sandy White, author of "3D Ant Attack"
Paul Holmes, author of the Spectrum versions of "Wild West
Hero", "Robotron" and "Machine Code Made Easy, Volume Two"
plus Building Your Own From Readily Available Parts and
adopting and importing an Eastern European clone
Hosted by: ZDNet raconteur (and Spectrum 128 ROM programmer)
1pm-1.20pm: Circuit Bending with John "Meteor Storm" Hollis
Mr Hollis remains on stage for an introduction to the art of
getting amazing new sounds from battery-powered electronic
musical instruments, also known as "Circuit bending". Learn to
tell the difference between a simple R/C timer and a ceramic
resonator clock, among other useful skills. Features live
demonstrations and voided warranties galore.
1.30pm-1.50pm: Paul Granjon, Z Lab
Just to prove we're not completely obsessed with the Spectrum,
BBC Micro-using artifical life artist Paul Granjon describes
just some of his astonishing creations, hopefully including
"The cybernetic parrot sausage", "The fluffy tamagotchi", plus
robotHead and dog robot Toutou.
2pm-3pm: When Science Fiction Becomes Science Fact - And Then
Becomes Science Fiction Again
- top authors discuss the interface between real-world research
and popular sci-fi, featuring Tom Standage on the 18th century
chess-playing "automaton" which inspired Charles Babbage to
build a real computer, and George and Freeman Dyson on the
top-secret 1950s project to find a peaceful use for US nuclear
weapons - propelling a 40-man spacecraft to the moons of Saturn.
Introduced by: cyberpunk author Pat Cadigan.
3pm-3.30pm: Break and "lightning presentations"
3.30pm: Extreme Raffle draw.
3.35pm-4.20pm: In Defence of Weblogs - grassroots content
management systems of the future, or just a load of self-
obsessed secret diaries of Adrian Mole?
Neil McIntosh, Deputy Editor, Guardian Online
Ben Hammersley, the Gbloogle [sic] search engine
Tom Coates, winner, Best European Weblog 2002
4.30pm-5.20pm: The Gagpipe Debate: "The greater the money, the
less the funny?"
- is it possible to make money out of online comedy sites, and
are there any pitfalls of doing so? Charlie Brooker of TV Go
Home, Paul Carr of The Friday Thing, and Lester and Kieren of
The Rockall Times discuss their experiences in the field, with
"contributions" of some kind from Idiotica.co.uk, TV Cream,
Henry Raddick, Disappointment.com, Herd Of Sheep, NoiseMonkey
Dotcock, and Tachyon TV.
Chaired by: Drew Cullen, The Register.
5.30pm-6pm: Break and "lightning presentations"
6pm-7pm: "A little less conversation, a little more action: How
you can help preserve fair-use rights in digital media"
The DMCA. The EUCD. The CBDTPA. Why they are bad and what you
can do about them. Featuring:
Cory Doctorow, EFF
The Campaign for Digital Rights
The Dorkbot London 12v orchestra
Hosted by Dave Green and Dan O'Brien, NTK.
Obviously these won't take up the full 8-hour duration of the
event - gaps will be filled by Perl-conference-style "lightning
presentations" from anyone who wants to do a few minutes on any
relevant subject (eg: people who've got stalls explaining what
they're doing, for a start).
Fancy a more "intimate" discussion with some of the speakers (or
just want to see the EFF's Cory Doctorow in two places at the
same time)? Then we firmly advise you to "Take It Outside":
WHERE IS IT?
The venue is The Camden Centre just across the road from
London's Kings Cross station (and, confusingly, nowhere near
Camden). There are some parking spaces nearby but they might go
fairly quickly, so it's easier to get there by tube or train
(unless you've got lots to carry, obviously). There's a bit
more information about the venue (and a map) at:
WHAT SHOULD YOU BRING?
Plenty of cash - exhibitors might not accept credit cards
A carrier bag - the geekiest one wins a (small) prize
A supermarket loyalty card, if you want to swap - more info at:
A pen - as at previous NTK events, you'll be encouraged to wear
your domain (the bit after the @ in your email address) on a
sticker, so people can try and guess who you are
Any interesting retro gadget - to be valued by our Antiques
Geekshow (NTK stand, 12noon-3pm - probably best to stick with
items you can easily carry on your person, as there aren't
any lockers or anything; it's not a swimming pool...)
Any (working) technology you'd like to sell - via our
experimental "bring and buy" stall. Though, once again, please
be sensible about what you bring (or buy, for that matter)
>> 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
"normal service will be resumed as soon as deemed legal"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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