"Mr Blunkett launched an attack on rap musicians for
glamorising gun violence..."
- government to invade Iraq using only
catapults and bows-and-arrows
>> HARD NEWS <<
Into the final days of the government's Great ID Card
Consultation - and the Home Office couldn't be more excited.
Lord Falconer continues to tell everyone who'll listen that
over 1500 people have responded, and the majority of them
were extremely positive on the idea.
Now, given that they're proposing a massive IT project to
introduce a universal identifier for all citizens, with a
centralised database of personal details, kept accurate by
making a new crime of withholding your current address from
the government - well, we can't help but think that more
people would a bit squeamish on the principle.
And maybe they were. DAN BLANCHARD described what happened
when he mailed the HO saying that he didn't think ID cards
were necessary. Back came the reply from the Home Office:
"Thank you for your e-mail of 13th December in support of
the introduction of an entitlement/identity card scheme."
Now, we're not saying that something fishy is going on here.
Although, obviously, yes we are *implying* it. So to
double-check the government, and test the accuracy of the
Lord Falconometer, the STAND folk have set up an easy-to-use
web form for those wanting to express their discontent (mild
or otherwise) with the Entitlement Card scheme. STAND'll
keep count of the number of contributions (in a giant,
centralised database of biometric - nah, just kidding), and
then compare that to the results that come from Lord
Falconer next time. We're hoping to get close to the 1500
entries already noted, perhaps even top it (that's only
about 0.1 of a slashdotting after all). Because if the
government can't even keep their database of an simple
e-mail consultation straight, maybe they shouldn't be
trusted with a universal database after all.
- slashdot the vote!
- remember that Minority Report/ Demolition Man workaround
It's not *our* fault. No matter how little we try to write
about space trading classic ELITE, the faster the tattered
cargo cannisters come spinning into our fuel scoops. This
week, it's the dramatic news that TILL HARBAUM has withdrawn
his port of Elite to the Palm, after creator DAVID BRABEN
declined to give his blessing to the project. But as demand
rises in the spaceports for the now illicit good, one lone
trader dares to run the gauntlet. Hyperspacing in under the
the vipers' nose in a commandeered Thargoid Mothership -
it's IAN BELL, Elite co-creator, docking with 3kg of the
proscribed units. The exhorbitant price for the binary: send
him an email, completing the phrase "Preventing publication
of PALM OS Elite is wrong because..." in no more than 42
words. "Some entries may be featured on this site", says
Ian, "libel laws permitting".
- and no archive.org either...
- we're keeping out of it
- but we're still allowed one more Elite piece
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
trying to be less puerile for the New Year - the year 19103,
that is: http://www.google.com/search?q=%22january+19103%22 .
Then again: http://www.google.com/search?q=assing+switches ...
slow news at GRANADA: http://www.ntk.net/2003/01/10/dohgra.gif
vs big day at BBC: http://www.ntk.net/2003/01/10/dohport.gif ...
- although, as http://www.london2600.org.uk/ point out:
http://www.williamgibsonbooks.com/ is running MS IIS 4.0 -
honeypot to attract all those cyberspace cowboys?... The First
IBB Conference on Anti-Censorship Systems - "Notes removed at
the request of IBB": http://www.peek-a-booty.org/pbhtml/ ...
... unshaven, bewildered Gates wearing his watch upside-down:
... missing millions: http://www.ntk.net/2003/01/10/dohmus.gif
- while TESCO recycles Christmas cards each weighing almost half
a ton: http://www.ntk.net/2003/01/10/dohton.gif ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Because they could theoretically support up to 340 trillion
trillion trillion delegates, you must pre-register to attend
IPV6 & THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET IN THE UK (from 6.15pm, Thu
2003-01-16, Cruciform Building, University College London
WC1E, free), so they'll have some idea of numbers for the
catering. On a slightly more whimsical note, cyberlife artiste
PAUL GRANJON announces that his latest generation of BBC-
Micro-controlled robotic birds will be chorusing on and off
for a month from next Fri 2003-01-17 at the Laurent Delaye
Gallery, 11 Saville Row, London W1S (also appears to be free).
These are the "mini bonsai type for corporate lounge"
variants, Granjon adds (you'll have to imagine his magnificent
French accent), raising the tantalising possibility that
visitors to merchant banks could soon be greeted by a non-
biodegradable version of his "Cybernetic Parrot Sausage" too.
- UK IPv6 Task Force: assemble!
- see also http://www.zprod.org/zLab/cybWurstFrame.html
- pub night on Sat: http://www.schnews.org.uk/pap/guide.htm
- also in London: Lonix goes "Loco" for Linux on Thu
- plus sci-fi film festival end of Jan
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Remember we said, sixty lines back, that we're allowed one
more ELITE piece? Frontier: First Encounter was the
Braben-led sequel to Elite, an ambitious, astronomically
correct epic that suffered from a rather more "open-ended"
gameplay than the kids like these days. These days, Braben's
Elite Club offers a patched DOS version as shareware: but
unfortunately, due to its use of Borland's DPMI memory
manager, it doesn't work under Windows. Step forward John
Jordan, who, in the true spirit of Elitedom, decompiled the
binary, patched in a new memory manager, and then recompiled
it. But that's not enough, is it? Now he's reworked it even
more to use Allegro, the cross-platform games library. And
ported it to Linux.
...a fine way to blow our last Elite allowance. For now.
- Frontier fanfic while you wait
>> MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/
ELVISH lives: http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Languages/Elvish/
... getting trickier to spot the spoof news stories nowadays:
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0212/S00082.htm - vs
... yup, fighting crime and dishing out justice ain't pretty:
... ANANOVA teams with SUN to find Britain's oldest household
appliance: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_735558.html ,
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_736608.html ... next step
in urban exploration: http://www.entrances2hell.co.uk/ ... not
to be confused with the home of the SubGenius Xists, though
has similar problem of imminent apocalyptic "sell-by date":
http://www.hiddenmysteries.com/blindsided/ ... Europop anthem:
just liked the name: http://www.euclid-hitachi.com/ ... pic of
mouse at: http://www.johnwilde.co.uk/ - operating the PC from
"the other side"?...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> Spielberg's Gray masters will be pleased indeed with his
latest piece of post-X-Files pro-abduction propaganda, TAKEN
(9pm, Sat, BBC2)... the psychiatric disturbances continue with
Ken Stott murder mystery MESSIAH 2 (9pm, Sat & Sun, BBC1) -
postponed from the week of the Soham killings; Mike Myers'
underrated SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER (9pm, Sat, C5); and
Jack Nicholson driven bonkers by all those trademark Kubrick
long-shots in THE SHINING (10.30pm, Sat, BBC2)... while David
Cronenberg stars in talky Canadian imminent-apocalypse
philoso-fest LAST NIGHT (12midnight, Sat, C4) - not based on
The Strokes' song of the same name... Kathleen "Event Horizon"
Quinlan Week begins with lame middleclass nightmare BREAKDOWN
(10pm, Sun, C4) and continues with ill-judged Billy Crystal
sizeism comedy MY GIANT (8pm, Mon, C5)... Timothy Hutton pops
up in distasteful military murder-rape investigation THE
GENERAL'S DAUGHTER (9pm, Sun, C5) and apparently hilarious
RoboCop knockoff DEAD BY MIDNIGHT (12.40am, Mon, BBC1)... as
only the glaring gun-related goofs mar the unexpectedly
amusing BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD DO AMERICA (11.45pm, Sun, BBC2)
... that TVGoHome TV show bloke stars in local newspaper spoof
THE HARRINGHAM HARKER (11.20pm, Mon, BBC2)... BURIED (10.30pm,
Tue, C4) aspires to be a British version of brutal prison
drama "Oz", and is followed by Jan 2001's long-delayed season
8 of NYPD BLUE (11.35pm, Tue, C4)... Asia "XXX" Argento plays
a nudity-prone cat burglar in Brit crime romance B MONKEY
(11.55pm, Tue, C4)... Mel Gibson discovers that nothing
impresses girls so little as an intricate CONSPIRACY THEORY
(9pm, Wed, C5)... while a new generation of anti-narcolepsy
medicines ought to make it easier to stay awake during HORIZON
(9pm, Thu, BBC2)...
FILM>> Jennifer "Office Space" Aniston once again explores the
perils of workplace romance in grimily dark comedy THE GOOD
GIRL ( http://www.cndb.com/movie.html?title=Good+Girl,+The :
the shadowy outline of [Aniston's] erect nipples. Even with
the poor light conditions, this is a glorious scene!)... to
paraphrase The Onion's Jackie Harvey, De Niro's career takes
an unexpected direction - playing either a mobster or a cop -
in atmospheric domestic drug-dealing tragedy CITY BY THE SEA
( http://www.screenit.com/movies/2002/city_by_the_sea.html :
[Eliza Dushku] lives near a peep show. We don't see anything
inside it, but do see the sign, and on one occasion hear feint
sexual sounds)... speaking of which, Martin Scorsese combines
many of his previous interests - period drama, New York, mobs,
fighting - into ponderous near-3-hour epic GANGS OF NEW YORK
( http://www.screenit.com/movies/2002/gangs_of_new_york.html :
it's possible some kids could imitate the racist comments and
actions of [Daniel Day-Lewis]; [DiCaprio] and [Diaz]
passionately kiss and he wonders how to open her corset)...
while CGI, wirework, Chan's advancing age, and elementary
entomological errors undermine kung-fu buddy flick THE TUXEDO
( http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/ebert_reviews/2002/09/092705.html :
There are about 500 species of gerrids in the world and, as
far as I know, not a single one is eusocial)...
>> 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
"trolling for middle class BBC Micro Fauntleroys"
NEED TO KNOW
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