"My practice is to delete all of those who do not reply to my
email, or who are so tardy to be ineffective, and similarly
web pages and hyperlinks. And it really works!"
- Earth 98% full... delete Peter Cochrane's "ineffectives"
>> HARD NEWS <<
She's got a little list: the McCarthy witchhunt continued in
Brussels this week, with Arlene M., leader of the software
patent campaign, sending a "factsheet" to MEPs, correcting
the errors of those subversive programmers who've been
fighting her proposal. She gets as far as the second
sentence before blowing the "fact" part of her mission.
There she describes her pursuers as "the Free Software
Alliance": an organisation that doesn't appear to exist.
Then again, when you have the EuroLinux Alliance, the
Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, the Free
Software Foundation, the Oxford Internet Institute, Super
Mecha Donald Knuth, the Soros Foundation, SUSE, Redhat and
the 228,137 people who've signed the anti-software patents
petition against you, it must be easy to mix up names. The
fiendishly efficient FFII have already written a detailed
reply to this rearguard action. It also works as a decent
summary of the positions of both Arlene *and* the sinister
Free Software Alliance if you haven't been keeping up. If
you're bored this weekend - or would prefer to keep your job
producing patent-free software in Europe - you might want to
read it, then have a word with your MEP about a few of those "facts".
- point by point
- digging up your MEP
- or just sign the petition, you lazy COMMIE
Just to emphasise the positive power of protest: rogue gamer
STUART CAMPBELL has been back on the campaign trail, once
again tackling games-biz body ELSPA, but this time over the
informatively incorrect FAQ on their website. "Am I legally
entitled to make a backup of my original software?" you ask;
they used to unequivocally answer: "No". As Stuart's superfast
reflexes rapidly tracked down, section 50A of the amended 1988
Copyright, Designs and Patents act in fact encourages "a
lawful user of a copy of a computer program to make any back
up copy of it which it is necessary for him to have for the
purposes of his lawful use", a difference of opinion which
Stuart felt necessary to report to the Advertising Standards
Authority. They said it wasn't really their area and pointed
him in the direction of Trading Standards, who said it wasn't
their area either - but they had a word with ELSPA anyway,
who've now modified the wording to warn against backing up the
"film and sound" copyrights which they believe games inevitably
contain. Of course, making backup copies of lawfully obtained
audio or video material for your personal use isn't quite so
explicitly permitted under UK law, but - and please correct us
if you know any differently - we're not sure if it's actually
specifically banned either?
- chipping Playstations also not *that* illegal, yet
- result, though not clear who ELSPA should be reported to
- and still illegal to circumvent lame anti-copying tech
Everyone's praising the Hutton Inquiry's data dumps, but is
anyone actually ploughing through the online evidence? Yes
they are - including bits that they shouldn't be. Subscriber
WILLIAM ANDERSON spotted that some of the BBC's submitted
evidence wasn't all as [redacted] as it could be. Take
Gilligan's phone bill: "Not all of the data has been
properly blanked... visible within the first couple of
inches are the BT account number, the bill number (...
usually used by BT as proof that you are who you say you
are) and, critically an 0208 phone number". All gone now,
replaced with a time-warping note that says the phone bill
is "not yet available". Wonder how many people phoned
Gilligan up and started hassling him for a quote?
- BBC/13/0058-0067, 0068-0096
- (sort of) in accordance with prophecy
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
hey, once you get those 400-year old Londoners talking about
the "old days": http://www.ntk.net/2003/09/05/dohgreat.gif
... SYDNEY advertises October street parade followed by "an
... WIDDECOMBE of the week (you can come up with ruder ones):
... ah, the old "The Helpdesk/ The Helpless" comedy confusion:
... monthly return of the ever-popular PUERILE GOOGLE GOOFS:
http://www.google.com/search?q=baptits , "breech of contract",
and what *is* so special about "Cack Cocaine"?... THE FRIDAY
THING's Paul Carr slams viral marketers' attempts "to drive
traffic away from other people's websites towards their own":
- harsh words from former promoter of "buy Cheeky Girls record"
campaign: http://www.ntk.net/2003/09/05/dohcheek.gif ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
MARK THOMAS is officially opening the centre to co-ordinate
protests against next week's DEFENCE SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT
INTERNATIONAL (various times and venues around Excel
Exhibition Centre, pre-registration necessary for arms fair).
Meanwhile, controversy-magnets SPIKED MAGAZINE tackle the
issues that really matter with a short season of net-related
debates, starting with INTERNET REGULATION: IS THERE SUCH A
THING AS HARMFUL CONTENT? (7pm, next Wed 2003-09-10, Hill and
Knowlton, 35 Red Lion Square, London WC1R, from UKP10), in the
company of ROLAND "Internet Policy Agency" PERRY and YAMAN
AKDENIZ from Cyber-Rights and Cyber-Liberties UK. Then,
assuming proper WiFi protocol is observed, expect the usual
flurry of uninformative "I'm actually blogging this *from the
event*" postings the week after when GONE TO THE BLOGS: THE
BLOGGING PHENOMENON IN PERSPECTIVE (7pm, Wed 2003-09-17, IBM
South Bank, 76 Upper Ground, London SE1) annotates the musings
of bonkers anti-blog blogger BILL THOMPSON and the iSociety's
inescapable Chris Evans-lookalike JAMES CRABTREE.
- "There will also be music from Cello Man"
- "Vessels are berthed immediately alongside the exhibition hall"
- it's basically Lee and Herring's "Ironic Review". Ahhhhh.
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
E-mail is dead! Long live Usenet! Wait, is that right? GMANE
is a website that subscribes to all your favourite tech
mailing lists, then spits them out as despammed NNTP feeds.
Searchable, skimmable, threadable and disposable, it lets
you hang on with your fingernails to a bunch of different
online discussions without drowning in filters and
mailboxes. Thanks to gmane's constant Great Renaming, it can
be a little hard to find your old haunts: who, for instance,
knew that gmane.emacs.code-browser was really a feed of
email@example.com? But at least the tree format
encourages browsing - and if your favourite mailing list
isn't there, there's a simple one page form to add it.
Instant Web archive!
- of course, potentially instant Web archive you don't know about
- but at least it's run by a good guy
>> MEMEPOOL <<
contains a source of http://snackspot.org/
DHTML LEMMINGS dead: http://www.xs4all.nl/~crisp/lemmings/ -
predictably... but some things will never die (Flash, sorry):
http://www.powerstrike.net/Tehkan/mamejump.html ... the new
"Quake haikus": http://www.twhi.org/rip/wizard/bluewizard.htm
... raising possibility that DMX's lyrics "What these bitches
want", "Where's my bitches?" and "bitches drippin sweat" are
actually about female dogs: http://www.boomer129.com/home.html
... DULLEST TITLED BOOK ON AMAZON contender #2 "You'll design
longer-lasting, more cost-effective road pavements", thanks to
Commodore said "most famous author in sci-fi history" *above*
Jakki Brambles: http://amiga.emugaming.com/celebrities.html
... September 11 will inevitably "happen again", experts warn:
... Babelfish Japlish: http://qwer.org/cnnjaplish.html ... Comic
Sans != a feature: http://www.ntk.net/2003/09/05/messengerad.gif
... what situationist prank is this? http://www.paulmorley.com ...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> "Pitch Black" director David Twohy provides rather more
pedestrian ET incursions in THE ARRIVAL (1.20am, Fri, BBC1)...
romantic comedy DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART (2.30am, Sat, C4)
was memorably promoted with the poster tagline "He couldn't if
he tried!"... and we still think the "Do not have anything in
your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds"
line from HEAT (9pm, Sun, BBC1) would make a good ad for those
USB keyring memory sticks... according to the Radio Times,
SOUL SEARCHING (8pm, Sun, C4) reports that "scientific opinion
is swaying - maybe we do have an inner, God-given spiritual
essence"... the trails list the celebrities as "Gail Porter",
"Mel C" and "Miss World", which is how they'll hopefully refer
to her in "Superstars" remake THE GAMES: LIVE (9pm, Sun, C4)
... and we previously pondered if Ewan McGregor's character -
called "The Eye" - might like to "hold bees" in bizarro serial
killer romance THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER (10pm, Sun, BBC2)...
THE CURSE OF FRIENDS REUNITED (9pm, Mon, C5) really ought to
include their frankly rubbish "don't give out your email
address" regexp... Sandra Bullock booze battler 28 DAYS (10pm,
Mon, C5) turns out not to be a prequel to "28 Days Later"...
and "Desmond's" veteran Robbie Gee reappears in BBC1's all-
black sitcom THE CROUCHES (10.35pm, Tue, BBC1) - maybe Richard
Blackwood was busy doing "Quote me happy" insurance ads...
JUMP LONDON (10pm, Tue, C4) seems to refer to the activity of
leaping from rooftop to rooftop as "free running" rather than
the original French name of "Le Parkour"... listen out for the
samples from the new UNKLE "Eye for an Eye" single in arthouse
war film THE THIN RED LINE (11pm, Tue, ITV)... Stephen Fry
reunites with Hugh Laurie, John Sessions in urban-legend-
debunking panelgame smugfest QI (10pm, Thu, BBC2)... and
CANTERBURY TALES (9pm, Thu, BBC1) updates some of the Chaucer
classics - just as Dire Straits did all those years ago:
FILM>> it's Dennis Pennis, Johnny Vegas and Vince "Swingers"
Vaughn - together at last! - in crude crown-green bowling
slapstick BLACKBALL ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : Contains strong
language)... though fans of unclothed middle-aged British
female character actors will already be queuing up for based-
on-a-true-story CALENDAR GIRLS ( http://www.mpaa.org/ : Rated
PG-13 for nudity, some language and drug-related material)...
a slightly odd back-to-school release for "let's do the show
right here" adolescent showbiz-wannabes spectacular CAMP
( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/camp2003.htm : social
brutality, repeatedly; pelvic thrusts by a small child; belly
sin; one might get the impression most performing artists
choose to be "gay") - disappointingly, not based on either
the Scottish beverage http://www.sybertooth.com/camp/ or the
adenosine nucleotide "cyclic AMP" which regulates various
metabolic processes at a cellular level... despite the "no
special effects" claim, the preponderance of over-water shots
implies a lot of boat-based imprinting during the making of
WINGED MIGRATION (imdb: nature/ avalanche/ farming/ hunting/
parrot)... and one of the blokes from "Attachments" is hunted
down like a dog in semi-downloadable Brit "Deliverance"-alike
THIS IS NOT A LOVE SONG ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : Contains
strong language, drugs use and violence) - which, for once,
*does* appear to be based on the Public Image Ltd song of the
same name: http://www.thisisnotalovesong.com/ ...
>> 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
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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