_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2002-07-12_ o join! mail an empty message to
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Other designers too, such as Lateral chairman Jon Bains, say
online design rip-offs are common. 'A lot of the stuff we
did for Levi's is now being abused,' he says."
- some of us remember abusing it fairly heavily at the time
http://media.guardian.co.uk/mediaguardian/story/0,7558,751048,00.html >> HARD NEWS <<
in powers of two
Nice to see, in the midst of all these scandals, Yahoo
turning a healthy profit. But as other companies fiddle the
figures, Yahoo's been busy instead with fiddling its own
users' private correspondence. In a fantastically clumsy
attempt to prevent cross-site scripting attacks, the free
e-mail wing of the sprawling giant has long been replacing
complete English words in the text of HTML mail sent to its
users. Mention "mocha" in an HTML mail to a friend with a
@yahoo.com account, and your choice in coffee will be
silently switched to "espresso". Talk about "free
expression", and your recipient will think you said "free
statement". Here's the full list of swaperoos:
- try not to mail it to your friends
This fiddling has been going on now for over a year year
(the ever vigilant RISKS digest noted it back in March
2001). But because of Yahoo's underhand methods, very few
people have spotted the turnabout - certainly far fewer than
if Yahoo had done the sensible thing and, say, "**"'ed out
the vowels in the word, or, God forbid, written a smarter
parser. But the sneakier you are, the wider the damage
spreads. The word "medieval" (since it contains the
"medireview". Google now shows over 640 sites (and 1,150
separate instances) of the word "medireview" being used as a
synonym for medieval. University papers, bibliographies and
book reviews, Indian newspaper columnists, and endless
enthusiast sites drop it unseen into texts. People have
begun to ask where it originally came from, and does it have
a subtler meaning beyond "medieval"? Is Yahoo ever going to
fix its filters? Or is it time we pushed to get the first
regexp-obfuscated word into the Oxford English Dictionary?
- does anyone still at Yahoo even know how to turn it off?
- NTK now entirely filled with google links
That's not to say the e-commerce sector is any better with
the numeric wing of alphanumerics. Rivalling last week's $3
billion bill for a Google text ad campaign, two NTK readers
spotted AMAZON.CO.UK apparently "writing off" sums in the
region of 900 trillion pounds as "Totals before VAT" on
purchases as innocuous as a RedHat CD-ROM and DVDs of "Brass
Eye" and "The Simpsons". It's possible an older evil may be
at work here: both incidents follow an occasion when an
unsuspecting customer appeared to have been charged a cool 3
million for a copy of "Cthulhu By Gaslight", and the
uncountable horrors contained therein. On a lighter note,
we have one unconfirmed report of NATWEST taking a leaf out
of Dr Evil's book on Thu 2002-06-27, when its automated
credit card phone system would cheerfully announce recent
transactions such as "8th March: One Hundred Billion Pounds.
8th March: Eight Pounds 47. 8th March: One Hundred Billion
Pounds." If that's not a boost to consumer confidence, we
really don't know what is.
- you want loyalty points with that?
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
now in its third incredible month, PUERILE GOOGLE MISSPELLINGS
AHOY: http://www.google.com/search?q=%22pubic+holiday%22 -
plus "pubic convenience", "open to the pubic", "cumputer",
"wank to know", and the perhaps not-particularly-clairvoyant:
... one of these "men's pants" is not like the others...:
http://www.ntk.net/2002/07/12/dohdeb.gif ... Nathan Barley
Outfitters Ltd: http://www.ntk.net/2002/07/12/dohgit.gif ...
"Casual footwear can mean casual attitudes", President warns:
http://www.ntk.net/2002/07/12/dohsan.gif ... ... first paragraph
imitates the last of: http://physicsweb.org/article/world/11/2/9/1
... VENABLES "under the microscope" - a microscope ON DRUGS:
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
It's the epic NTK vs "EDGE" showdown that's been brewing since
the dawn of time - plus C64 tribute band PRESS PLAY ON TAPE,
JOHNNY BALL, WILL SELF, and the KLF's BILL DRUMMOND. Well, not
all on the same bill, disappointingly, but contributing to
different events during the course of THE CLERKENWELL LITERARY
FESTIVAL (from Tue 2002-07-16, area around Farringdon tube
station, London EC1). We particularly recommend: NTK's "DAVE
GREEN" perversely opposing the motion CAN COMPUTERS TELL
STORIES? (6.30pm, Tue 2002-07-16, Tardis Studios, 54 Turnmill
St, UKP5), versus the likes of CHARLES "Revolution Software"
CECIL, JAMES "Hogshead" WALLIS and the guy from Edge - also
features sale of old NTK t-shirt stock at amazing knock-down
prices. Wed is C64 night, with BEN "Gremlin Graphics" DAGLISH
introducing the sensual sounds of the SID chip, as recreated
by Swedish cover maestros PRESS PLAY ON TAPE (6pm, Wed 2002-
07-17, The Gallery, 77 Cowcross St, UKP10 - includes, while
stocks last, free posters, bags and CDs). Then you are
instructed to "bunk off early" for THE HISTORY OF COMPUTER
GAMES PUB QUIZ (4pm, Fri 2002-07-19, The Surprise, 28-32
Bowling Green Lane, free), hosted by ADAM "The Adam And Joe
Show" BUXTON, and featuring NTK's vocal impersonations of
classic videogaming moments, plus your chance to win that
timeless icon of retro-credibility, the Sony PlayStation 2.
- Theremins! Board games! And "Is God A Cunt?"
- ah, those were the days...
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
The world is divided between those who keep their mail on
the server, and those who frantically POP3 it down as soon
as they hear a TCP/IP dial-tone. And no-one is happy,
because the serveroids are screwed whenever they'ree
offline, and the POPpers are fisted whenever they stray from
their local copies. And God help those of us in-between,
frantically trying to sync their IMAP folders with their
local copies. And so God has, in His mysterious way.
OFFLINEIMAP is a great IMAP synching program written in
Python 2.2. Point it at an IMAP account, and it'll
bidirectionally sync every folder it can find with a local
copy. That means you can happily gulp down all your mail to
your laptop, reply, delete, transfer, and flag them offline,
and at the next sync your IMAP folder will reflect the new
truths. The only downside is that offlineimap saves the
local copy in Dan "Closer to God than thou" Bernstein'ss
Maildir format. Very secure, but a bit scantily supported by
mail readers. Mutt will do it, as will Balsa and (we think)
Pine. For others, you may want to consider running
courier-imap and using your local machine as your new IMAP
server. Twisted, but we're sure God would approve.
- bloody-mindedly gopher-compatible. May be Satan. May eat your mail.
>> MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/http://www.framleyexaminer.com/ book deal... When Audiophiles
Attack #3 - digital interconnects *don't* all sound the same:
... (intentionally humorous) Open Source development How-To:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=35668&cid=3851076 ... vs
Linux advocacy How-To: http://18.104.22.168/ ... proudly
naturist "TIVO logo should never be depicted wearing clothing
or costumes (like Santa hats or Hawaiian skirts)", rules reveal:
imitates: http://www.theonion.com/onion3218/gaymuppet.html ...
because it seems like literally weeks since we last ran one of
these: http://www.classicgaming.com/blackeyesoftware/pr0n/ ...
Orange or Blue? O2 or O-Town? T-Mobile or N-Sync? Three or
Five? Is it just us, or is it getting harder to tell the
difference between mobile networks and boy bands nowadays?...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> ANNA IN WONDERLAND (10.30pm, Fri, BBC Choice) meets the
"Furries" which, as we all know, is not a fetish, but a valid
... brief Drew Barrymore nudity enlivens female-bonding Whoopi
Goldberg/ Mary-Louise Parker road trip BOYS ON THE SIDE
(12.20am, Fri, BBC2)... and crikey, mates, it's DEADLY DRAGONS
WITH STEVE IRWIN (1.10pm, Sat, ITV)... a winning mix of mild
titillation and TV nostalgia constitutes SPORT RELIEF (from
7pm, Sat, BBC1)... alternative fund-raising suggestions come
courtesy of docu-drama THE GREAT DOME ROBBERY (9.55pm, Sat,
C5)... and a local swami makes fun of the protagonist's
hairgel in an even more self-referential than usual ANGEL
(10.35pm, Sat, C4)... plenty of plot holes, factual errors,
cheesy Kirk acting in STAR TREK: GENERATIONS (1pm, Sun, BBC1):
http://uk.imdb.com/Goofs?0111280 ... there's alleged full-
frontal nudity from both David Bowie and Rip "Larry Sanders
Show" Torn in the glacially unwatchable THE MAN WHO FELL TO
EARTH (11.30pm, Sun, BBC2)... Sunday night is shaping up as a
popular slot for supposed "making of" electronic press kit
promos like SEEING THE FUTURE: SPIELBERG'S MINORITY REPORT
(11.40pm, Sun, C4) - but with added Philip K Dick craziness...
and a stubborn local mayor ignores warnings, refuses to cancel
festivities in METERORITES! (10.50am, Mon, BBC2)... Kyle "Dune
Guy" MacLachlan inadvertently remakes "Big John, Little John"
in made-for-TV movie THE SPRING (9pm, Mon, C5)... Iain Lee -
who knows a thing or two about career-limiting moves - hosts
MY WORST WEEK (10.35pm, Tue, BBC1) on George Michael's brief
return to the public eye... and of course OJ Simpson had to be
"discredited" after spilling the beans about the faked moon
landings in CAPRICORN ONE (11pm, Tue, ITV)... THE WATERBOY
(9pm, Tue, C5) is one of the few retarded Adam Sandler movies
not parodied by the startling http://www.kerrap.co.uk/ ... NTK
reader Stevan Keane maintains there's an innuendo about "Oriel
Six" in the largely tedious early episodes of STAR TREK:
ENTERPRISE (6pm, Wed & Thu, C4)... and set your videos for
amusing RIAA remix soundbites in The Money Programme's
typically unsensationalised ATTACK OF THE CYBER PIRATES
(7.30pm, Wed, BBC2)...
FILM>> Paul "Mortal Kombat, Event Horizon" Anderson resurrects
a competent but uninspired adaptation - right down to the bad
acting and dialogue - of survival horror original RESIDENT
EVIL ( http://www.cndb.com/movie.html?title=Resident+Evil :
a very brief shot of [Milla Jovovich's] nipple near the
beginning as she gets out of a tub. At the very end she gets
up off a table with a little white gown covering her front and
back, as she kneels down you see some lower nudity [...] This
makes the DVD a must buy)... Anthony Hopkins is reunited with
the "it puts the lotion on its skin" girl, Chris Rock notably
fails to comment on Hopkins being called "Gaylord" in jovial
"Beverley Hills Cop"/ "The Sum Of All Fears" spy hybrid BAD
COMPANY ( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/badcompany.htm :
women as sex toys; picture nudity; female nudity behind
steamed shower doors; multiple deaths by gunfire; illegal
sales, scalping)... "Gattaca's" Ethan Hakwe and Uma Thurman
team up again in Richard "Slacker" Linklater's experimental
digging-up-the-past containment drama TAPE (imdb: date-rape/
film-maker/ human-relationship/ motel/ highschool/ obsession/
reunion/ secret)... making this week's surprise recommendation
the reassuringly unreverential part-CGI remake SCOOBY DOO
( http://www.screenit.com/movies/2002/scooby-doo.html : [Sarah
Michelle Gellar] and [Isla "Home And Away" Fisher] show
varying amounts of cleavage; [LINDA "Freaks And Geeks"
Cardellini] briefly also shows a moderate amount of cleavage;
Scrappy Doo - a small talking dog - urinates on Daphne's
clothing; kids could be enticed to talk like Scooby-Doo)...
>> 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
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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