_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2002-11-08_ o join! mail an empty message to
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o email@example.com
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v v / o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "We don't shy from a hearty give-and-take and no one believes
that the skeptics will be convinced overnight. As Thomas
Jefferson wrote, 'It takes time to persuade men to do even
what is for their own good.'"
- the RIAA on their 256-72 loss at the Oxford Union
... mind you, it saves time if you pay politicians to force them to do it
>> HARD NEWS <<
on the loose
UK.COM, the slightly silly but popular para-TLD, disappeared
briefly from the Net this week. The reason, as ever in
DNSland, was a combination of overearnestness and mild
incompetence that slowly escalated until it hit Verisign,
home of *fantastic* incompetence. It started with spamcop
and rfc-ignorant.org deciding they'd seen spam from a
*.uk.com domain - and therefore, uk.com were responsible.
Their bots checked the uk.com admin details - and, by a
quirk, failed to find a valid mailserver. So they reported
uk.com as having invalid whois details to a bot at ICANN.
That bot turned and told Verisign. Of course, Verisign as
the last port of call, had the sense to check with a huma -
oh, what am I saying? Ten days after the first mistake,
without apparently contacting uk.com by phone, post or mail,
Verisign shut down the domain, killing thousands of other
sites. Which presents an interesting denial of service
attack on a domain: it seems if you can report to ICANN that
a domain's details are wrong, there's a good chance of it
escalating until your victim has vanished from the Net.
Heck, just reporting a fake spam might do it. ICANN and
Verisign updated the DNS root hints file this week, for the
first time in five years. If only we could send them the
occasional hint back.
- DNS snafus we have loved
- zones signed by the GnuPG key of Postel's Ghost
DAVID DOCHERTY, MD for Broadband at Telewest, novelist, and
thinker, writes to declare that he "loathes spam".
Consequently, he (and the company he hired, YourRelease.com)
simply hadn't planned on sending hundreds of posts (which
"looks like spam", he admits) to newsgroups worldwide using
commercial spamming software at all. They were just trying
to create a "War of The Worlds style drama," using fictional
companies and a fake activist group to "create awareness of
the issues" (and sell David's book). A volunteer, David
says, acted irresponsibly. They're now drawing the drama to
an early close, and deleting all the e-mail addresses they
collected - perhaps realising at this late stage that
fictional companies in particular have real problems
complying with the Data Protection Act. Which leads us to
wonder - given this was an ad campaign (and not a real activist
spam), why was the agency employing "volunteers"? Are reality
and fantasy beginning to blur in the telco industry? And if
so - what, again?
- "as someone who has spent 12 years working in TV and the Web..." <SNIP>
- Underground/Guerilla Marketing Strategy & Management
Thanks to everyone who responded to last week's appeal for
someone to advise TV CREAM [see last week's NTK] - but don't
worry if you haven't heard anything back from them yet, as the
"creamies" are currently assembling a crack legal team to take
on web-piracy repeat offenders The Daily Mail. Following on
from that, this week's community interaction slot has been
tailored to a couple of other interests we know to be popular
among the NTK-reading demographic: obscure retro hardware and
role-playing games. More specifically, reader JAMES WALLIS
plans to "Create A Game In A Day" at his upcoming DRAGONMEET
(from 10.30am, Sat 2002-11-30, Kensington Town Hall, London
W8, UKP7) - but if you brought along a working Macintosh (or
monitor) that they could use for this, you'd get a t-shirt and
admission for free. Email the usual firstname.lastname@example.org with the
subject line "Return of the Mac" if you're interested. Though
to be honest, we'd try to find a use for any old hardware
you'd be prepared to loan - or if you don't especially want it
back, perhaps build into a DIY recycling media centre. Or
fully-autonomous walking battlemech, whichever seems easier.
- also features "Dorkstock Europe" and "Curse of the Wendigo"
- Linux (heck, even Windows) boxes also welcome
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
"pennis enlargement", "british telecome", and "went for the
juggler"... out of the mouths of content management systems:
http://www.ntk.net/2002/11/08/dohholmes.gif ... battle of
generic BBC pics: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/2400441.stm vs
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/2403339.stm ... BEFORE new
licensing laws: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/2400273.stm - and
AFTER?: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/1879457.stm ... yup, that
ought to do it: http://www.saturn-entertainment.com/WARNING.html vs
http://tswg.gov/ ... Total Staff - a super-accurate "1432.78":
... also, isn't that a pretty dumb comment to go with this
warning?: http://www.ntk.net/2002/11/08/dohwarn.gif ... those
baffling MS licenses: http://drmlicense.one.microsoft.com/ ...
perhaps what that "Shadow of Z'ha'Dum" episode was really
about?: http://www.ntk.net/2002/11/08/dohbab.gif ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
This year's Stand-up Socialism Season starts a little later
than usual, as heavy-handed multimillionaire MICHAEL MOORE
brings not just his anti-gun documentary "Bowling For
Columbine" to the UK (out next week), but also the world
premier of his ONE AND A HALF MAN SHOW (various times, every
day until Sunday 2002-12-08 except Mondays, the Roundhouse,
London NW1, most tickets from UKP25.00). But if that sounds
like a lot of money to see someone who, on the strength of
that his TV show, isn't exactly a natural comedian, expect a
somewhat more egalitarian pricing structure for the MARK
THOMAS WARM-UP TOUR (various venues around the South and West,
until Wed 2002-12-11). Continuing the theme of "To each,
according to their needs", the TUC are giving away 75 pairs of
tickets to the one-off UK debut of MIKE DAISEY'S 21 DOG YEARS:
DOING TIME @ AMAZON.COM (5.30pm, Saturday 2002-11-23, Congress
House, London WC1B, Union members only). And NTK's own rabble-
rousing co-editor Dave Green will be delighting members of the
Oxford University Computing Society - and their "bona fide
guests" - with his illustrated talk KNOWN VULNERABILITIES IN
THE TECHNOLOGY MEDIA (8.30pm, Tue 2002-11-12, Comlab, Keble
Road, Oxford OX1, UKP1 to non-members), featuring an all-too-
rare chance to buy NTK t-shirts post-and-packaging free.
- vs http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,48562,00.htmlhttp://www.mtcp.co.uk/news/tourdates.htm
- aka the "not quite so poor" man's Michael Moore
- possibly what Moore looks like without the hat
- "404" now back in stock at http://www.ntkmart.com/ >> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
For those of you who think DDR stands for "double data
rate", then think it stands for "Dance Dance Revolution",
then start flip-flopping manicly between the two, comes
PYTHON DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION, the high-level, ogg-wielding
scripting dance game for Linux or Windows, a PS2->USB
connector, and a DDR mat. For those who like their GPL'd
rhythm games more polished - and platform specific - there's
the Visual C++, but otherwise damn fine STEPMANIA 3.0, now
with a vast world of skins, track editing, extra announcers
and music files behind it. If you can *get* the music files,
that is : our copyright overlords dictate that your
favourite MP3 tracks be hidden away from sight, like escaped
rebels or MAME files. But, hey, that's why it's called
- many dependencies, but hackable
- It's SDL! Port it to the Mac! Port it the Linux! Are you a monkey?
- and so on.
- other versions we'd like to see
>> MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/ games biz tackles persistent accusations of "sexism" head on:
http://www.gamegirladvance.com/archives/2002/10/26/ ... in the
running to be a set text in next year's A-level English exam:
http://www.w0wz3rz.com/bling/ ... make warez, not war:
... ultimately, depends just how desperate you are to run
an Acorn OS: http://www.iyonix.com/Launch/register.cgi vs
also, impresses colleagues when you leave it in staff carpark:
... New Mexico may allow "idiots" to vote, no comment on who's
being voted for: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/021101/80/ddowi.html
... CARLYLE for the rest of us: http://www.vicefund.com/ ...
because the movie skips over some of the interesting features
of "dot products": http://www.matrixreloaded.com/ ... LIFE
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> Sandra Bullock finds smalltown solace in HOPE FLOATS
(9pm, Fri, ITV)... Alexandra "The Champions" Bastedo is lured
to a remote castle in Freddie Francis' THE GHOUL (1.05am, Fri,
BBC1)... but all the best films of the week are scheduled way
past midnight, including Mike Myers' pre-Austin Powers SO I
MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER (1.10am, Fri, ITV), Ben Stiller/ Tea
Leoni adoption quirk FLIRTING WITH DISASTER (12.40am, Tue, C4)
and Woody Allen/ younger woman trendsetter MANHATTAN (12.30am,
Wed, ITV)... BBC Digital shows all of series 2 of THE OFFICE
(from 9pm, Sat, BBC Choice), raising the bar for the new
series of I'M ALAN PARTRIDGE (9.30pm, Mon, BBC2)... on the
basis that everyone else goes on about Saturday morning kids'
TV presenters, so does FAME SET AND MATCH (9.05pm, Sat,
BBC2)... and it's not quite as exciting as David Fincher's
"Se7en" or "Panic Room", but still worth watching THE GAME
(9.05pm, Sat, C4)... presumably timed to coincide with the
release of their greatest hits album, "U2 Weekend" largely
consists of POPMART LIVE FROM MEXICO CITY (12midnight, Sat,
C4) and ZOO TV LIVE FROM SYDNEY (12.45am, Sat, C4)... hope
this new series of ROLF ON ART (7pm, Sun, BBC1) will show him
recreating the modern masterpieces of Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst
and Andres "Piss Christ" Serrano... and Naomie "28 Days Later"
Harris battles a different kind of zombie in Labour spin-
doctor drama THE PROJECT (9pm, Sun, BBC1)... the debate
continues to rage over whether Christina Ricci's cleavage
constitutes "nudity" in Tim Burton historical curio SLEEPY
HOLLOW (9pm, Sun, C4)... Gina "Coupling" Bellman sniper
thriller SILENT TRIGGER (9pm, Sun, C5) was, bafflingly, last
shown this June on BBC1... harrowing police procedural WIRE IN
THE BLOOD (9pm, Thu, ITV) segues neatly into the madcap antics
of HARRY HILL'S TV BURP (10.30pm, Thu, ITV)... while Matt
Lucas and Kevin "Simon Quinlank" Eldon could have the next
"Red Dwarf" on their hands in intergalactic trucking sitcom
COMEDY LAB: CAPTAIN V (11.35pm, Thu, C4)...
FILM>> it's Colin "son of Tom" Hanks, Jack "Tenacious D"
Black, Carly "Popular" Pope, John "Third Rock From The Sun"
Lithgow, and Kevin "bloody" Kline - together at last! - in
intermittently hilarious feelgood teen slapstick ORANGE COUNTY
( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/orangecounty.htm : [Jack
Black] dropping his pants in view of a woman to entice,
privates unseen; drug intoxication leading to fire; deceit in
urinalysis, repeatedly) - not very closely based on Kim
Stanley Robinson's scifi trilogy of the same name... manga
director Mamoru "Ghost In The Shell" Oshii teams up with an
all Polish-speaking cast for great-looking lethargic
videogaming VR philosophy-fest AVALON (imdb: color / dark-
future / desaturated-colors / dog / purse-snatcher /
stylization / team-play / video-game / virtual-reality / war-
game) - not based on the Marion Zimmer Bradley novels or the
Roxy Music song of the same name... but, disappointingly, the
Internet Movie Database doesn't seem to have a reciprocal link
saying "If you like [The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the
Desert], we also recommend..." 1930s Aussie racism walkabout
RABBIT-PROOF FENCE ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : Contains mild
>> 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
"the less Irish version of"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
Archive - http://www.ntk.net/
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(K) 2002 Special Projects.
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