>> HARD NEWS <<
Ding dong, the witch is - well, not dead, exactly, but
certainly trapped in an environmental stasis field for the
holidays. The EUROPEAN COPYRIGHT DIRECTIVE, aka the evil
EuroDMCA, has been postponed. Thanks to your three hundred or
so comments on the UK Patent Office's consultation document,
the government has admitted that it'll have to go back to
the drawing board. They've postponed the law until March
2003 instead of the 2002 Christmas pressie we were all
expecting. An excellent result, given that a) the original
British draft had almost all of the bad bits of the EUCD
with none of the handy get-out clauses, and b) up until now,
the government has claimed that to miss the original
deadline would be "In Serious Breach Of Treaty", with
punishments including exile from the EU and being forced to
beg for subsidies on the streets of Norway.
- "the degree of importance attached by certain correspondents"
- "not in the business of locking up content", a Reg reader claims
So will the Patent Office listen to your complaints? Odder
things have happened - are happening, indeed. We're
currently watching the Home Office with something almost
approaching sympathy, as they attempt a new consultation
over this year's RIP "give spying powers to parish councils"
statutory instrument. Their first port of call, naturally,
was the wise yet opinionated folk of the ukcrypto mailing
list. Three weeks on, dozens of longwinded threads, a
smattering of Ross Anderson prophecies of doom, and
hundreds of emails later, the list is still in major thrash
mode. Three hundred comment documents must look like a
couple of Post-Its to the beleagured HO subscribers.
Unless, of course, drowning us all in nitpicking discussions
while they get on with the dirty work is exactly what our
betters *want* to happen...
- starts here
- two megs on, it's still going
- plus: a data retention inquiry? Whatever next?
Looks like JASON CLIFFORD, a man who has had his fair share
of ups and downs on the Usenet reputation rollercoaster,
has been wheeling out another well-meaning, if slightly
controversial, project. The father of UK distro Definite
Linux and founder of uklinux.net split with the latter
company earlier this year after he felt that their plan
to plough money into the Free Software movement from
UKLinux's dialup ISP profits wasn't really happening. Now
he's launched the UK Free Software Network - a new ISP
which, he says, really will pay back the community. In a
nice twist, he's setting up public accounts to show what's
going on. Really public. Every month, UKFSN promises to post
up the company's profit and loss on their website, for
everyone to see. It's an ambitious undertaking, and seeing
as UKFSN seems to be a bit of a one-man operation, we hope
Jason hasn't bitten off more than he can chew. But even if
you don't support it, it'll be interesting to see if these
mini-ISPs really are a Perl script for making money
(Clifford claims that UKLinux pulled in over 120,000UKP a
year). And for the time being, who can fault a dial-up
service whose current status report includes "In what I can
only describe as a screw up of monumental proportions, I had
forgotten to turn on PHP support" from the CEO?
- Jason's side of the story so far
- the court of usenet opinion
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
"clean underwear" recommendations were "joke", AMAZON claim:
enjoy taking surveys? "Enter survey number" from 1-3000, press
"Go": http://www.advancedsurvey.com/ ... MISSPELLINGS AHOY:
http://www.google.com/search?q=%22buggers+belief%22 , "bomb
treats", "prictical", "jewish setters" and, following on from
last week's "risumi", the increasing pressure to decriminalise
middle-class use of http://www.google.com/search?q=canapis ...
imitates http://www.epigee.org/ocd/graphics/scream-md.gif ...
BILL THOMPSON describes first right-hand link as "blah blah
blah": http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/column/col157.shtml ...
"Yatter yatter yatter" help desk informatively agrees:
http://www.encorecbt.com/clients/nationwide/ ... not sure what
ads are trying to say about thrift shopping for video games:
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Want to be part of the increasingly fragmented UK new media
"networking" scene, but can't tell the difference between one
bunch of braying self-congratulatory wankers and the next?
Then you'll be pleased to hear that NOTJUSTANOTHERFAILING.COM
shares your exasperation, and sent out their invites to
December's THE RED SIDE CHRISTMAS PARTY (Thu 2002-12-05, The
Propaganda Bar, London W1, UKP15) with the generic mailmerge
instructions still in them. "This Christmas, [insert name of
community here] has joined up with 14 other online communities
to bring you the best party of the season", they enthuse.
"[Add community comment or promotional offer here]", they
continue, before making you feel really special with the
personalised signoff, "Wishing you a very merry Christmas,
[insert community name here]". The descriptions of the other
participants are no more reassuring: "physical e-business
community" METROCUBE; "intelligence for digital business"
NETIMPERATIVE; plus the lone, terrifying epithet CHINWAG - no
further description apparently required.
- OK, so it's a cool name for it. We'll give 'em that.
- also in Dec: return of the LAN bash in a bunker
- or 6 quid to listen to Bill "Tiddly Om-Pom" Thompson
- tonight: your last chance to see Ben Moor. In Bath.
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Anyone who saw his storming depiction of weird-ass NAT
tunnelling at last year's Codecon knows that you don't get
much more twisted copper-pair than Dan Kaminsky. That boy is
to data packets what Magneto is to iron filings. So it's
with some trepidation that we announce a public snapshot of
Dan's current mental state in PAKETTO KEIRETSU, a grab-bag
of sick and evil things done with bits on a wire. Stateless
port-scanners, traceroutes so far down the OSI Networking
model they're into the negative numbers, ethernet trailer
steganography, a userland "virtual router" that uses
ethernet multicast to let machines on a network share the
same IP address (think of it as NAT turned inside out). If
that's not enough, there's a graphics dumper that takes
those strange-attractor fingerprints of sequence ids and
turns it into a 3D voxel plot, and the usual fine
caffeinated stream o' consciousness Kaminskytron prose to
penetrate. As ever, it's not quite what these
mini-utilities do as much as how the hell they do it. Not
black hat or white hat but *deep* hat going on here.
- person most likely to be digitised by the MCP
>> MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/
great gift ideas #1 - t-shirts, coffee mugs, keyrings from
"merchandise" page at: http://www.neuticles.com/index1.html
(via http://www.indiana.edu/~wanthro/museum.htm )... ladies
and gentlemen, may we present - Al-Qaeda's Winter Collection:
http://www.oxbridgecasuals.co.uk/millennium/fleece.htm ... vs:
http://www.utilikilts.com/ ... on a similarly Scottish note:
http://www.limmy.com/playthings/xylophone/ ... found photo
fun: http://www.diddly.com/random/ ... very prior art:
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_709660.html ... set your
clock to 23:59: http://www.yugop.com/ver3/stuff/03/fla.html ...
look-o-like-o JACKO: http://anomalies-unlimited.com/Jackson.html
... MARK WARD revives last year's "not a fruit at all" gag:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/1560419.stm for "not an interview at
all": http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/2488049.stm - ah-haaaaaa!...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> sci-fi classic THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1.20am, Fri,
BBC2) didn't have the special effects to do the shape-shifting
alien from the original short story, subsequently resurrected
by John Carpenter's "The Thing"... Billy Connolly is the voice
of a computer-literate dog in Aussie soap-actor kiddie caper
PAWS (4pm, Sat, C4)... and FAME SET AND MATCH (8.55pm, Sat,
BBC2) looks at the jetset lifestyles enjoyed by Peter Cook,
Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett following their
appearance in "Beyond The Fringe"... the BBC counterprogrammes
ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES (7.50pm, Sun, BBC1) against
ITV's all-star remake of DR ZHIVAGO (9pm, Sun, ITV) and C4's
incisive analysis of the significance of the female bottom in
modern society, BOOTYLICIOUS (10pm, Sun, C4)... REAL LIFE:
FLEUR'S STORY (10.30pm, Mon, ITV) looks at a kid with
progeria, the accelerated ageing disorder suffered by JF
Sebastian in "Blade Runner"... Mark Kermode continues his
mission to shock "normals" out of their complacency with
previously unshown footage from THE DEVILS (11.10pm, Mon, C4)
... and the perils of not keeping offsite backups are once
again highlighted by the interminable TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT
DAY (9pm, Mon, C5)... the former owners of HMV trace their
roots back to the military-industrial-entertainment complex in
EMI - AND ME (9pm, Wed, BBC2)... Crystal, De Niro and Kudrow
look on the lighter side of "The Sopranos" in ANALYZE THIS
(9pm, Wed, C5)... James Randi's $1m Homeopathy Challenge is
put to the test in HORIZON (9pm, Thu, BBC2)... as Ewan
McGregor chooses weird Cthulhu sex in Lovecraftian Ian McEwan
adaptation SOLID GEOMETRY (10.35pm, Thu, C4)...
FILM>> as if they hadn't all been made to a rigid formula
anyway: http://www.langleyhigh.com/english/bond/formula.htm ,
they're making a big thing out of the "references" to all the
preceding Bond films - mad millionaire, terrible sub-"Carry
On" dialogue, invisible car etc - which appear in DIE ANOTHER
DAY ( http://www.screenit.com/movies/2002/die_another_day.html :
[Halle Berry] shows cleavage and other skin in various scenes;
We see [Rosamund Pike] in something akin to a sports bra top;
some kids many want to imitate Bond or Jinx's adventurous
stunts, fighting and/or the double entendres they deliver)...
otherwise it's another wistful 1970s Midlands/Asian coming-of-
ager ANITA AND ME ( http://www.bbfc.org.uk/ : Contains
moderate language, violence and sex references) - not to be
confused with brutal fact-based crime drama TED BUNDY (imdb:
masturbation-scene/ painful-sex/ rape/ serial-killer)...
>> 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
"easily confused with NeedtoKnow.Com"
NEED TO KNOW
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