"When we were doing the research to build the school of the
future we looked at swipe cards or fingerprinting, but there
are many civil liberties with the latter issue."
- that headmaster who is introducing eye-scanners for school lunches
... always best to minimise the civil liberties as far as possible
[ We're still on holiday. Actually, more on holiday than
expected, as Dave seems to have disappeared. I'm assuming this
isn't due to cyberassassin "copycats" under the undue influence
of Terminator 3. But, you know, that'll be crime theory number
one if I don't hear back soon. Also, it's my birthday today,
which I'm spending writing apologies to all those who wrote to
thank us for typing in the NTK subscriber list by hand last week.
we didn't; it was a schoolboy joke that went a bit too far.
Sorry. I *will* be writing all those apologies by hand though.
On my birthday. In blood. ]
>> SEMI-HARD NEWS <<
use strict; use booze;
This year's OPEN SOURCE CONFERENCE was like a live-action
role-playing game set in the Freshmeat universe. Situated in
the daylight-free cellars of the Portland Marriott, every
room and BOF had its own class library or module to defend
and trollish perl hackers and nigh-invisible Ruby wraiths
flew through the corridors, pick-pocketing ideas from each
other, while fine upstanding clerics with dutch accents
waved Python at them to exorcise the bad magic away.
Highlights: a Perl lightning talk that consisted of a rap
version of "these are a few of my favourite CPAN modules"
*in Japanese*; a rather wistful Larry Wall, recovering from
Perl6 ulcers, noting that he's devoted much of his mortgage
to hacking the new language; Brian Ingerson ruefully
confessing that maybe he wants to get out of this whole wiki
business, after his Kwiki project took over most attendees
like a brain slug. And the London Perl Mongers yelping with
cockney rhyming delight when it was announced that the
Perl5-on-Parrot language is to be called "Ponie" - and
becoming almost catatonic with glee when they pursuaded
Larry Wall to say "I need a Ponie" in his State of the Onion
address. That's all very well - but has anyone explained to
the Americans what "monger" means in British slang?
- see "Menner"
- software that's too damn social
>> TINY ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
antispam letter actually reads like spam, down to mispelling
of "pornorgraphy" http://www.endspam.org.uk/contact-mp.html ...
world's worst store locator: http://www.roofbox.co.uk/store.html ...
stats widdecombe (hit ctrl-r a few times) http://www.xsls.com/?521
... calling it a headline already feels a little inappropriate:
www.ntk.net/2003/07/11/dohhead.jpg ... see why they have an opening:
http://www.surrey.police.uk/careersitem.asp?jobid=3 ... 13 (f)
is a toughy: http://www2.amd.com/us-en/gcab/lt/exam/1,,,00.html ...
military use secret methods to gain 32 hours in a day:
... harsh but fair http://images.google.com/images?q=aging+wrestlers
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Sick of all the hype? Then why not mentally search-and-replace
the fancy high-tech term "weblog" with a more down-to-earth
equivalent - "soapbox", for example - every time you hear
someone using it. For instance: VoxPolitics would now be
holding a seminar entitled CAN SOAPBOXES CHANGE POLITICS?
(7pm, Mon 2003-07-14, Grand Committee Room, House of Commons,
free but RSVP), noting that several British MPs now broadcast
their opinions from soapboxes of their own, and perpetuating
the myth that some US soapboxes are so influential that they
actually affect events in the real world - just as Ben Elton's
relentlessly scathing commentaries are widely regarded to have
brought about the ultimate downfall of Margaret Thatcher.
- featuring Tom "Yo Teens" Watson (Labour, West Brom)
- "hobby horse" also seems to do it
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Using the FRAMEWORK FOR INTEGRATED TEST is the closest mere
mortals get to being inside Ward Cunningham's brain. Here's
how it works: FIT is a unit testing program that can parse
HTML tables. The first column (say) of the HTML table has a
function to be called, the second column has an expected
result. You have a big pile of these tests, all in the same
table. This tester program outputs in HTML, adding a third
column: the actual result. Here's the smart part: you run
this program as a CGI script, and it gets its HTML tables
from the referrer Webpage. You put those test tables on a
Wiki, so you can change and tweak them, and you put a link
to your tester CGI at the bottom. When you want to run your
tests, you bounce on the CGI submit button. When you want to
edit or add to your tests, you edit your wiki. Your tests
live in HTML, and can gradually morph into documentation.
Your users can write their own tests. Bug reporters can add
tests that fail. Installed versions of your work can grab
the latest tests from your Website. Your test suite can sit
somewhere else - on a different server, and be written in
different languages (there are FIT CGI implementations in
Java, C#, Perl, Python, Ruby and Lisp). It's such a simple
idea, you'll slap yourself in the seconds before your brain
melts entirely at the possibilities.
- something of a starting point
- less than 750 lines of Python
>> MINI-MEMEPOOL <<
ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/
we think they're covering up something: http://tinyurl.com/gomd
... automated irc humour: http://www.jibble.org/montyquotes.php
... http://ukcdr.org/issues/cd/retail/20030707-amazon.txt versus
http://ukcdr.org/issues/cd/retail/20030707-eliza.txt ... for our
London readers: http://www.livejournal.com/users/oichurchill/364.html
... http://images.google.com/images?q=DCP_0001.JPG (also
CP_0001.JPG, IMG_0001.JPG, DSC0000001.JPG, etc.) ... inevitably,
alt.fan.harry-potter.creative ... and what mail does a spammer get?
>> 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
remembering to "pick a dataset/template that is extremely
dull and wouldn't make news in NTK should anyone ever
guess the URL" - BBC internal in-situ testing guidelines
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
Archive - http://www.ntk.net/
Unsubscribe? Ah, well, you see...
Subscribe? The thing is: could you wait until next week?
NTK now is supported by UNFORTU.NET, and by you: http://www.ntkmart.com/
(K) 2003 Special Projects.
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