"It's a cool piece of technology but frankly the idea of
people wandering around wearing sunglasses photographing me
all the time is really disturbing..."
- Bill Thompson demands inquiry into "privacy and stuff"
...though if they're all as fetching as
then "disturbing" isn't quite the word...
>> HARD NEWS <<
Everyone (including us) moans about the uselessness of the
new UK anti-spam legislation which is so set about with
provisos as to be next to useless. It's not all bad, though.
Come December 11th, we can sue spammers for damages, giving
the vague possibility of forming a big scary anti-spam
posse, demanding our thrupenny SMTP charges en masse.
Subscriber James Smith has been practicing his hue and cry
on TV company MAST MEDIA. They sent him the world's most
cumbersome would-be viral last week: a whole *four megs* of
unsolicited attachment. It all seems to be down to optimistic
TV micro-producers thrashing in their own Outlook-soaked
Barley idiocy: but think of the fun when we can charge them
for the dial-up phone call! Yeah, we know it's not a
solution. But dreams of revenge may have to do for now.
- anyone else "within the media industry" been cc'd with this?
- deeper analysis, weirdly, in blog form
- supporting an entire ancillary industry, you know
Though, as Mast Media pointed out, it's sometimes tricky to
tell the difference between "viral marketing" and "an attempt
to encourage friends and colleagues to watch a preview of our
new TV show". In the light of last weekend's revelations about
the spoof spam designed to harvest login details of BARCLAYS
ONLINE customers, reader ANT MITCHELL was understandably
concerned when he received a mail directing him to a non-SSL'd
page instructing him to type in details like name, postcode
and "the last nine digits of your credit card number" to win
"1000 points" on his Goldfish card. The site, with the
reassuringly official URL of "goldfish.xdbs.co.uk", appeared
to be hosted by easily.co.uk who, nonetheless, didn't take it
down - because it was subsequently established to be a genuine
offer from the clearly security-conscious Goldfish themselves.
Goldfish said they'd "pass on" these comments to whoever's
running the site; Ant wonders how many valid credit card
numbers could be generated given the last 9 digits and "a bit
- just reeks of respectability, doesn't it?
- and "legitimate" marketers aren't really helping with this
Oh, and that RIP Statutory Instrument we mentioned last week
has finally been published. It doesn't get debated until
next month, so we'll save boring you with the details until
nearer the time - but it's not looking good. No Egg
Marketing Board, but the local council still gets a good
peek at your phone logs. What's needed, we think, is some
extra legislation to provide more accountability and
horribly punish the people who misuse this data: either with
four megabyte attachments or prison, whichever is worse.
- all in DOC format
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
at last, a digital camera with plenty of storage space:
http://www.ntk.net/2003/09/12/dohurn.gif ... IBM targeting
Japanese market?: http://www.ntk.net/2003/09/12/dohdolph.gif
... David Blaine "looking for love" - in all the wrong places:
http://www.ntk.net/2003/09/12/dohblaine.gif ... charity irony:
"pakiesRus" not the kind of "Schools and Education" group they
had in mind?: http://www.communigate.co.uk/wales/viewall.phtml
... got to pay for all those expensive Premiership players
somehow: http://www.ntk.net/2003/09/12/dohspurs.gif ... new
Altman film reveals the darker side of New York gallery scene:
http://www.ntk.net/2003/09/12/dohultra.gif ... 4th paragraph
"royalty" link - music industry take credit for everything:
double-URLtendres of the world: http://dvdcollectorshaven.ca/
http://www.bum.it/ , http://www.MerdeSable.fr/ ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
It's aimless-queueing architecture-extravaganza LONDON OPEN
HOUSE this weekend (various London venues, all free), but if
that doesn't offer quite enough goatee-stroking potential for
your liking, you may also appreciate advance warning of the
LUMEN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA ARTS EVOLUTION (various venues
around Leeds, from Thu 2003-10-09 to Sat 2003-10-11, day
passes from UKP18.00) - an event which unselfconsciously
describes one of its "highlights" as a chat between "leading
postmodern sociologist Zygmunt Bauman and artistic activist
Gustav Metzger, two of the most uncompromising thinkers of the
twentieth century". And, if you left early, you could still
get to London in time for CYBERSALON's dinner with high-
pitched hype-monger DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF (7pm, Sat 2003-10-11,
London Sketch Club SW3, "donations from UKP35.00"). The online
menu whets your appetite with "Vegetable and gruyere gallette
served with oyster mushrooms, asparagus, and salsa verdi", but
you can of course always rely on Rushkoff to serve up his own
generous helpings of half-baked techno bollocks, marinated in
new-age emergent optimism, with a choice of vasopressin or LSD
- "you might deem [emailing your credit card info] risky"
- "video works by Nam June Paik, Dan Graham and Ant Farm"
- includes half a bottle of wine, source code to Judaism
- plus: Tim Berners-Lee live online on Monday
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
A-A-P is all wrong. Worse, the more you use it, the more you
like how wrong it is. It's a generic package configuration,
compiler and installer (yeah, another one) which uses Python
(huh?) and runs on Windows and Unix. It has enough smart
defaults so you can create multi-platform installable
packages almost instantly. It has a UI element (what?)
called "Agile" that helps you build and test your install
recipes. Agile is fairly minimal - to begin with. But as you
use it, all your other favourite packages begin to pop in
and say hello. Gdb and gcc seemlessly appear when you try to
execute debug code. Look twice at an editable file, and Vim
pops up, and starts listing code - with breakpoints, and
watch variables. We still have no idea how it does that. Boa
Constructor, the Python IDE, also introduces itself. It's as
if someone - say, Bram Moolenaar, author of Vim and A-A-P,
was smuggling his Vim cohorts into the world of
fully-featured IDEs, and getting away with it. A-A-P's
still in development, but is already very useable. And Bram's
got some big Euro prize money for folk who want to extend it
in interesting ways. God knows if it will get enough
followers to gain traction in the world of package systems:
but it's sufficiently exotic and fiddleable to be worth a look.
- try the tutorials
- all hail zimbu!
>> MEMEPOOL <<
contains a source of http://snackspot.org/
this week's token Japlish - the "Mysterious Fly-off Incident":
http://www.mars.dti.ne.jp/~ateban/eng_tng.html (NB: Next Gen -
TOS, DS9, Voyager links at top of page)... libertarian "Angle
Grinder Man" http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/3112670.stm neglects to
conceal website-creating sidekick's secret civilian identity:
... and just in time, too: http://www.hutton.softblade.com/ ...
SUN Microsystems threaten entire IT-headline writing industry
with edict that trademark "should never be used as a pun":
http://www.sun.com/policies/trademarks/#10b ... civilisation
that gave the world democracy, philosophy, geometry, etc - yet
to master web design: http://www.greekpride.co.uk/ ... rave
star Guru Josh not doing much better: http://www.gurujosh.com/
... open-minded Aussies take a much more responsible attitude
to "dogging" craze: http://www.easyguides.com.au/Dogging.htm
(vs http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/3119024.stm )...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> OK, so maybe a 5-minute puberty "would require a power
source of 5 million watts, the equivalent of about 4000
toasters" http://www.intuitor.com/moviephysics/6thday.html ,
but Arnie cloning nonsense THE 6TH DAY (9pm, Fri, C5) is still
more entertaining than, say, "Minority Report"... most of the
cast of BBC2's "Bruiser" reunite for "dark" internal-monologue
Brit-com PEEP SHOW (10.35pm, Fri, C4)... as Sky tries to fill
that "Buffy" gap with sarcastic swearing junior Grim Reaper
DEAD LIKE ME (9pm, Fri, Sky 1)... the unquiet spirit of "Tiswas"
is once again disturbed from its rest by "irreverent" Saturday
show DICK AND DOM IN DA BUNGALOW (9am, Sat, BBC1)... ARENA
(9.05pm, Sat, BBC2) is a 90-minute hagiography of John
Lennon's "Imagine", hopefully concluding with Moped's more
contemporary version: "Imagine all the people - raving in the
place!" http://www.emmetonline.co.uk/moped/music.htm ... and
you thought Channel 4 would be *against* globalisation, but
Johan Norberg argues - ahhh, do you see? - that actually
GLOBALISATION IS GOOD (9pm, Sun, C4)... Vin Diesel, Radha
"Neighbours" Mitchell and her off of Farscape are all way
better than you'd expect in genius minimalist sci-fi PITCH
BLACK (9pm, Sun, C4) ... Dominic "director of Swordfish" Sena
week sees KALIFORNIA (10.55pm, Sun, C4) hotly pursued by the
intentionally hilarious GONE IN 60 SECONDS (9pm, Wed, ITV),
the latter featuring too much of the Crystal Method's overused
"Busy Child", yet never enough of BT/ M Doughty's inspired
stream-of-consciousness big-beat "Never Gonna Come Back Down"
... and BREAKING THE SILENCE (10.45pm, Mon, ITV) sees John
Pilger pointing the finger for the evidently fictitious "war
on terror" at Bush's military-industrial complex, aka THE
USUAL SUSPECTS (10pm, Mon, C4)... "The Day Today" director and
NTK reader Andrew Gillman has mailed to confirm that TERRI
MCINTYRE (9.30pm, Mon, BBC3) comprises new 30-min episodes of
the 15-min Glaswegian tanning sitcom previously known as
"Terry McIntyre - Classy Bitch"... and hopefully THE DARK SIDE
OF STAGE HYPNOTISM (10pm, Tue, C4) will touch on the inability
of hypnotists to make people do anything they can't do when
not "in a trance" anyway...
FILM>> sure, they've thoughtfully added a plot, some character
motivation, Seth Green as XFM's James Hyman, endless close-ups
of Charlize Theron, plus Shawn "Napster" Fanning - as himself
- but the car chase is still the saving grace of THE ITALIAN
JOB ( http://www.intuitor.com/moviephysics/ItalJob.html : at
this pressure, assuming the door is roughly 2 ft wide by 4 ft
high the force holding the door shut would have been around
3500 lbs (15000 Newtons))... almost certainly the first of
Kate Beckinsale's movies to ship with its own Half-Life mod
it's vampires vs werewolves in goth Romeo and Juliet "Blade"
knockoff UNDERWORLD ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : contains strong
violence and language)... Naomi "Jet Girl" Watts seems as
bemused as anyone by Gallic chick-flick frolic LE DIVORCE
( http://www.screenit.com/movies/2003/le_divorce.html : we
later see [Kate Hudson] in a bra, panties and garters (in an
open robe that shows cleavage, part of the side of her bare
butt and lots of leg) and sex is then implied)... or it's
Steven Berkoff, Fish from Marillion, and Carol Decker from
T'Pau - together at last! - in limited-release Brit caper NINE
DEAD GAY GUYS (imdb: independent/ gay-interest/ hustler/ gay-
>> 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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