__ __ _2002-12-27 _ _____ _ __
| \/ (_)_ __ (_) \ | |_ _| |/ / o Join! mail an empty message to
| |\/| | | '_ \| | \| | | | | ' / o firstname.lastname@example.org
| | | | | | | | | |\ | | | | . \ o Website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| |_|_|_| |_|_|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Who therefore wouldn't want to support and belong to the
Matrix, especially when it is making life easier for its
subjects? [...] We really need to clamp down on the party-
pooper Neos of this world and get into the future as soon as
we can - a future in which we can be part of a Matrix system,
which is morally far superior to our Neolithic morals of
- "Agent" Kevin Warwick puts the other side of the story
[ Next week is our traditional start-of-year "fencepost
error" holiday. In the meantime, we thought we'd leave you
with a smattering of the thoughtful queries from subscribers
over the last year, together with our insufferable answers.
We'll be back, gabbling madly to fill the awkward silence,
on 2003-01-10. Which brings us neatly to our first question: ]
>> Q AND A <<
while the cat's away
Q. What I need to know is why you use American style dates.
Here I was thinking to myself surely it can't be the 18
month of the year 2000 already, only to be told some days
later that there is in fact no 18th month in any year. So
distressed was I that I cancelled my subscription to Private
Eye. I mean what are you people thinking?
- Richard Brown
A. We are thinking ISO 8601 Extended Calendar Date Format,
Richard. The YYYY-MM-DD format is trivial for computers to
order chronologically, has no ambiguous variants, and, in
common with all the best standards, has no precedent in
established practice anywhere in the world. It is guaranteed
to offend Americans, confuse the British, and dismay the
French, all of are Established Goals in the NTK/ISO Joint
Secret International Manifesto (ISO 6392-1:1936, available
from http://www.iso.ch/ ).
NTK officially switched to ISO 8601 on Pungenday, Chaos 8,
Q. NTK has a very hardcore stance on privacy and related
issues, but you don't actually have any kind of privacy
policy yourself. I've sort of got the impression that
they're kind of pointless for sites to have anyway as they
can't mean anything legally, but I was a bit surprised not
to find even some sarcastic parody of a disclaimer on
- Peter Lowe
efforts, however, bits of it have leaked out onto the Net,
including this fragment from the NTK subscription notice:
"We don't give out our mailing list. Never have, never will."
That said, when Dredd crashes through our door waving
subpoenas, he'll find us wriggling on the floor, squealing
logfile data like we're already in thumbscrews. Don't send
us info, unless you want it to publicised. We'll respect any
request for anonymity or the omission of facts and dates,
but we have precious little protection under the law for
hiding sources. If you truly want to cover your tracks,
send mail from a hushmail account or (if you know how to do
it), an anonymous remailer. Our PGP keys hide out at
http://www.spesh.com/danny/crypto/ Q. Are there any special NTK URLs I should know about?
You mean like the text only version at http://www.ntk.net/text.cgi ?
Or its PDA-friendly brother at:
Or the Mozilla-friendly smart bookmark:
(Bookmark it, and give it the keyword name "ntk". Whenever
you want to search our back issues for mentions of foobar,
type "ntk foobar" into the URL bar.)
Or the proportional typed version (probably mangled by this issue)?
http://www.ntk.net/index.cgi?s=ntk.css Or the slashdot version?
http://www.ntk.net/index.cgi?s=slashdot.css Or the RSS feed?
http://www.ntk.net/rss.php3 Q. Ooh! RSS! How can I "permalink" to your stories?
- The Rabble of Blogistan
If you just use to "http://www.ntk.net/" when you're
"blogging" us on your "web page", your link will point to
this week's content, not the original article you were
slagging off. For posterity's sake, you should link directly
to the offending issue.
NTK issues can always and permanently be found at
http://www.ntk.net/YYYY/MM/DD - so this issue will
eventually end up at http://www.ntk.net/2002/12/27 If you want to point to a particular section, say it like
this: http://www.ntk.net/2002/05/24#TRACKING And if you want to be really pinickety, you can pinpoint an
individual line by doing this:
These are the URLs that our search engine generates - that's
generally the best way to discover them, too. Just enter the
text from the first line of the piece into the search bar at
the top of the Web page, then copy the link that the search
(The leading zero in the exact URL is an extension to ISO 8601,
proposed by Stewart Brand of the Long Now foundation. For
more information, see the bottom of Bruce Sterling's own FAQ
Now do you regret asking, Richard Brown?)
Q. What does the keyword "64 208 49 135" mean in your meta tags?
- Peter Lowe, again
A. The Rules of NTK are:
1. No-one understands more than half of NTK.
2. Rule one includes its editors.
3. Never apologise, never explain.
Sorry we couldn't be clearer.
Q. Why didn't you use my hilarious tip?
A. Each week, NTK receives many excellent contributions.
Unfortunately, we can only print the best.
Q. Why didn't you use my hilarious doh?
A. Was it a JPG or a BMP? Then I'm afraid our laughter was
choked back by sobs of pain. Jpeg's generally turn crips
screenshots into damp watercolours, and BMPs are just
obscene. Send GIF or PNG. Thanks!
Or was it somehow not as amusing as this ongoing series?
http://www.ntk.net/2002/12/27/dohpoo3.gif Q. Why didn't you use my hilarious puerile google misspelling?
A. We've already printed it before.
Q. Is it true about the 500k attachment limit? i think its
silly, 500k isn't very big, it only takes about 20 seconds.
i just sent myself a 645k file on purpose to see what
happens to me.
- "Lord Doan the Unqualified"
A. We're very sorry about your friends in Iraq. But an
example must be made.
[ Unfortunately, space forbids us from including even more
popular questions, such as: "How does NTK pay the bills?"
(Mark Gibbs) and "What's wrong with me?" (Steve Bowbrick).
If you've got any questions, mail email@example.com, and we'll
run them as part two of this FAQ when there's no news next
week either. Until then, Happy post-Newtonmas! See you
through the eye of this year's singularity! ]
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
FILM>> "At least five of the films in your top ten for 2001
were quite good", complained reader MARK THOMPSON (presumably
not the new head of Channel 4) - a "worrying" precedent as he
traditionally uses NTK as "a reverse indicator" of whether a
film is going to be any good or not. With that in mind, we've
tried extra hard to devise this year's ever-controversial
"best-of" run-down - consisting, where possible, of movies
either overlooked by everyone else or actively placed in their
top ten turkeys. To wit: 10. OCEAN'S ELEVEN, 9. BLACK HAWK
DOWN, 8. PANIC ROOM, 7. NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE, 6. SIGNS, 5.
THE NEW GUY, 4. MONSTERS INC, 3. TRAINING DAY, and 2. BOWLING
FOR COLUMBINE - making the only sane number 1 choice Steve
Irwin's ebullient self-referential cut-and-shut job CROCODILE
HUNTER: COLLISION COURSE, a film so obviously constructed from
two different movies that, in the cinema where we saw it, the
alternating narratives were shown in totally different aspect
ratios... so now it just remains to name and shame this year's
biggest cinematic disappointments, in not much of any
particular order: WINDTALKERS, GOLDMEMBER, MEN IN BLACK 2,
XXX, ROLLERBALL, THE TIME MACHINE, THE MINORITY REPORT, FROM
HELL, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, STAR WARS 2: ATTACK OF THE CLONES,
SPIDER-MAN and, specifically to enrage the anonymous tipster
who wrote in describing it as "perfect" (apologetically adding
"I Am Not A Goth"), DONNIE FUCKING DARKO...
>> 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
"Any more questions?"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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(K) 2002 Special Projects.
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