"There are few things in Italy that seem to work, including
the football team at the moment but citizens seem satisfied
with the ID card which is rarer than sex with an elephant"
- GIUSEPPE MISTRETTA, First Counsellor of the Italian Embassy
... babelfish now being used to translate official EU statements
>> HARD NEWS <<
looping the loops
Remember that time that MICROSOFT forgot to pay $35 for
their passport.com domain, and Hotmail completely broke
until a Linux coder phoned up NetSol and paid it for them
and then we all went "hahahahahaha" and it was funny? Ahh.
Well, Microsoft's entry in the DATA PROTECTION REGISTER
expired on January 8th. This means that all personal data
held by them in the UK is now illegal, in that jaunty white
collar criminal-but-getting-away-with-it way Microsoft has.
Sadly, the DPR folk say that it's not as easy as just us
paying up the 35UKP. Apparently, Microsoft (or good-hearted
and overly knowledgeable Linux coder friends of theirs) will
have to put in a completely new application. Which makes it
a bit less fun. Still, you could always ask the Information
Commissioner if they'd be up for prosecuting MS on your
behalf for unlawfully using your info-soul. You have that
right if you're a "data subject" of Microsoft, you know.
- Oh so *data subjects* are the "offenders and suspected offenders"?
- still funny three years on and oppressively over-explained
And remember that time when the US government wanted to put a
wiretapping backdoor into every digital phone, and it was
called THE CLIPPER CHIP, and everyone was like "Woah!", and
it got thrown out and the cypherpunks and EFF won and it was
the beginning of cyberrights? No, us neither. Our dads do,
we think. Well now, on the eve of a perhaps unjustifiable,
but certainly justifying, war, that ghost of past battles
returns. Down at the Drake hotel in Chicago yesterday, US
business and law enforcement met up to discuss "ELECTRONIC
SURVEILLANCE NEEDS FOR CARRIER-GRADE VOICE OVER PACKET
SERVICE". Now, let's see: if it's VoIP between the real
telephone network, and the Net, surely they can pop the taps
in the former, right? So why does VoIP need special
attention? Are they worried about Internet only, IP to IP,
voice? Are they talking about putting the eavesdropping tech
into the hardware itself? And if so, are any countries
worried that the "they" here is exclusively US law
enforcement? Hard to tell, because apart from "carriers,
solution providers, standards and industry groups", no-one
from the civil liberties side was allowed in to the meeting.
As VoIP spreads as a consumer app across the Net, it'll be
intriguing to see if this shadow of Clipper follows it:
history repeating itself, first as farce, and then as a tragedy.
- don't want other people listening to their conversations
- taken down already? try this Google cache of the same page
- 1984 vs 1994
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
great promotion, wifin limits: http://www.starbridge.co.nz/ ...
... careers or personal? http://jobs.escapeartist.com/J-39908/ ...
problems with your ISDN line? click here to - oh. Oh.
http://www.bt.com/isdn/ ... not quite the optional extra you'd
hope for on a merc http://www.regencymotors.co.uk/stocklist.asp
... Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles to fight in Gulf War II:
http://www.ntk.net/2003/01/24/dohmanor.gif ... new .ORG
registrars PIR start as they mean to go on: send out notice
to domain owners with 18,000 addresses in cc: line ... Donald
Sutherland struggle against typecasting shows results
http://www.ntk.net/2003/01/24/dohact.gif ... Widdecombe of the
week: http://www.xsls.com/?158 ... oh come on guys, just one more
PUERILE GOOGLISM: http://www.google.com/search?q=redshit+galaxies
... BBC graphics department looks into Linux, gives up:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/2680955.stm ... overly cagey
events listing declines to get specific about which pub, where
in Sydney Harbour: http://www.cw.com/template_03.jsp?ID=aus_events
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
"A strictly 'non-geeky' look at the genre" is promised by THE
LONDON SCIENCE FICTION FESTIVAL (from Mon 2003-01-27, mostly
next weekend, various central London venues, individual event
pricing), manifesting itself in a programme that features
"Hypercube: Cube 2", "Solaris", two Anime Allnighters, and a
short with Emily "Bits" Booth in it. NTK's Dave Green is
billed to appear as part of THE DOUGLAS ADAMS MEMORIAL DEBATE:
DOES SCIENCE FICTION PREDICT THE FUTURE? (11am, Sat 2003-02-
01, Curzon Cinema Soho, London W1, UKP5), along with Mark
"Black Ice" Bennett, Steve "Slaughtermatic" Aylett, and
Jonathan Clements, writer (and director) of some of those
2000AD audio drama CDs. So, nothing too geeky there.
- The Matrix! Plan 9! Soylent Green!
- from the folks who killed "Farscape"
- Simon Pegg *is* Johnny Alpha
- some sort of wireless thing at the Tate that afternoon
- Club Classical night later on Sat: hardly Acid Brass, is it?
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
The big thing about LEO, the outlining editor for Python,
was its support for Literate Programming. Unfortunately,
Literate Programming is aggravatingly dull in a way only a
Knuth obsession can be. This may have put a few people off.
But Leo has always been a bit more than that. After some
recent sweet loving by creator Edward K. Ream, it feels
these days like an editor about to blossom into a original
and powerful IDE. Usable with most languages, but coziest
with Python syntax, the Tk editor is bulging with all kinds
of scripting hooks waiting be exploited (it's already
got a fine "import and turn into a hierarchy" feature for
Python code). It could make a great refactoring editor, ala
Intellij IDEA, or (once they've fixed the .leo formats
problems with CVS) a neat configuration manager. It ain't
there yet. But even if the possibilities never dawn, it's
still the best cross-platform outliner the Free Software
world has. Which, unfortunately, is rather faint praise for now.
- literate programming EXTREME!
- i wonder how often they rewrite that front page
>> MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/
either TERRY PRATCHETT book titles are getting more abstract:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/055276471X/ - or
searching for "Dumpbin" shows you prices in bulk... HARRY
POTTERS "not just for kids" - though expressions in 2nd pic
imply otherwise: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/2684937.stm ... "Has
Sir considered our popular 'mauled by an elephant' look?":
BAE cuts 1000 shipbuilding jobs in UK, takes the piss in USA:
... why CANADIANS tend to suffer such chronic low self-esteem:
HERRING - blogging: http://www.richardherring.com/warmingup/ ...
- steampunk slashdot spoof saves you going through the rest of
oh, stick your firm 4-block rectangle in my welcoming hole:
http://www.striptetris.co.uk/ (NB: pants return in level 7)...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> C5's "movie doubles" pick up with a couple of genre-
restricted classics STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY
(8pm, Fri, C5) and COMA (10.10pm, Fri, C5)... there's some
sort of blaxploitation undercurrent to C4's similar double-
billing of I'M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA (1.50am, Sat, C4) with
AMERICAN PIMP (3.20am, Sat, C4)... and Clive Anderson presents
a "Body Panic" edition of CONSPIRACIES (9.30am, Sat, BBC2)
before defecting to interview Mark Lamarr in the role of GOD
ALMIGHTY (10.45pm, Tue, C5)... an ad exec swaps bodies with
his dog in baffling kid comedy DOGMATIC (2.05pm, Sun, C5)...
there's rare footage of Prince Charles frolicking in the wild
in NATURAL WORLD (6.25pm, Sun, BBC2)... as DIY makeover shows
take an alarming turn by offering SEVEN WAYS TO TOPPLE SADDAM
(9pm, Sun, BBC2)... C5's weeknight schedule remains as
endearingly bonkers as ever, with WEAPONS OF WORLD WAR II
(8.30pm, Mon, C5) looking at "Tanks" - next week, "Planes"? -
plus new reality gameshow THE HONEY TRAP (11pm, Mon, C5)
featuring male holidaymakers making fools of themselves to
impress women, as if they ever needed any incentive... that
said, the new series of CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (9pm,
Tue, C5) moves to Tuesday to lead-in for yet another acclaimed
US cop import BOOMTOWN (9.50pm, Tue, C5)... and TWO GIRLS AND
A GUY (11.40pm, Tue, ITV) is the play where the poster should
have predicted that Robert Downey Jr is "about to learn a new
sexual position: honesty. Thanks to his two girlfriends!"...
over on digital, Simon "The Code Book" Singh presides over
baffling-in-every-respect gameshow MIND GAMES (8.30pm, Tue,
BBC4)... sadly it's not PJ O'Rourke presenting the otherwise
self-explanatory HOLIDAYS IN THE AXIS OF EVIL (9pm, Mon & Tue,
BBC4)... and there's a rare showing of real-time alleged "24"
inspiration NICK OF TIME (9pm, Wed, BBC Choice)... 16th-
century Satanist hunt recreation WITCHCRAZE (9pm, Wed, BBC2)
segues neatly into the pseudo-documentary format of all-new
MARION AND GEOFF (10pm, Wed, BBC2)... HORIZON (9pm, Thu, BBC2)
shows how to build a dirty bomb... BATTLE STATIONS (8pm, Thu,
C4) looks at the Huey helicopter - just months after it was
the subject of BBC2's "Decisive Weapons"... and the former
stand-up imitates http://www.rootingoutevil.org/ when he
becomes MARK THOMAS - WEAPONS INSPECTOR (7.30pm, Fri, C4)...
FILM>> anyone who found the director's overrated "Election"
weirdly depressing will presumably "enjoy" his two-hour Jack
Nicholson wasted-life post-retirement drab-fest ABOUT SCHMIDT
( http://www.cndb.com/movie.html?title=About+Schmidt : you see
[Nicholson's] ass; [Kathy "Misery" Bates] whips off her robe,
and gets in the tub totally naked)... the TV ad describes it
as "Roman Polanski's most personal film" - which, considering
he made "Rosemary's Baby", doesn't entirely come across as a
recommendation for Holocaust hide-and-seek epic THE PIANIST
( http://www.screenit.com/movies/2002/the_pianist.html : for
kids/teens already predisposed to such behavior and/or
attitudes, it's possible the film could inspire further anti-
Semitic behavior and/or attitudes)... Betty "Hill Street
Blues" Thomas re-teams with Eddie "Dr Dolittle" Murphy for the
dire I SPY ( http://www.screenit.com/movies/2002/i_spy.html :
[Famke Janssen] then says that she's getting hot and throws
back the covers and we see her in her panties. [Eddie Murphy]
then tells [Owen Wilson] to "bite her on the ass real hard")
... which just leaves this week's dumb-but-fun alternative -
the reuniting of ER's Julianna Margulies and Ron Eldard on
board "The Shining" meets "Deep Rising" hybrid GHOST SHIP
( http://www.cndb.com/movie.html?title=Ghost+Ship : we're
given a wonderful full-top-frontal shot of [Francesca
Rettondini] naked as [Isiah Washington] tries to bang her from
behind - only to find (whoops!) she's a still a ghost!)...
>> 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 only nationwide phonecard club run for and by the members"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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