_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2003-10-24_ o join! sign up at
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ >> HARD NEWS <<
junk from SW2
There we were, getting our hopes up about the ALL PARTY
INTERNET GROUP, watching them catch on that spam was a
serious problem, seeing them beetle off to Washington to
hobnob with experts on the matter, cheering on the boyish
enthusiasm of chairman DEREK WYATT MP for the topic. Derek,
unfortunately, appears to be fighting the good fight with
the Shield of Wholesale Technical Misunderstanding and the
U-Shaped Gun Of Shooting One's Own Mouth Off. This week, he
sent out a press release announcing his own proposed
solution to spam. Postcodes. No, no, hear him out: Wyatt
proposes that every UK address have the postcode of the
recipient prepended between the domain and the .co.uk. So,
he explains, "email@example.com" would become
"firstname.lastname@example.org". Those who don't want to
give out their postcode could use a six-digit code ("plus a
pin number which would be held by the Information
Commissioner's Office"). "Addresses ending .com", he adds,
as an afterthought, "would need to identify their country of
origin, such as .com.uk". Yes. Yes, they would, Derek. Mr
Wyatt is soliciting feedback at email@example.com. Could
you do it? We're busy banging our heads against this tree.
- just in case you thought he was being joe-jobbed
- and it was all looking so promising
- the NTK campaign to Save Our SMTP
You wait all year for the some decent political Net hackery,
and then three come along at once. First publicwhip - and
now from the unlikely auspices of the BBC, iCan, their
scarily large-scale political involvement engine. iCan looks
to be Meetup meets Friendster meets Moveon meets those bits
in the Archers where they used to give you useful
agricultural advice - but in a good way. It's still in beta,
so it's all empty pages and new website smell right now. But
you should at least take a whack at it before the government
shuts it all down. Or at least before all the cool low
numbered campaigns fill up with be "fake-prop" ragweek
silliness and hard-working organisations devoted to freeing
- the third is yet to come
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
just one step up: http://www.ntk.net/2003/10/24/dohbin.gif ...
another of those seamless print-to-web publicity transitions:
http://www.ntk.net/2003/10/24/dohhut.gif ...net less resilient
than solutions: http://www.ntk.net/2003/10/24/dohresi.gif ...
Hewlett Packard monitors to survive nuclear conflict - but
still worth investing in post-apocalyptic next-day tech
... demo crew just love the new ZX81 with 24-channel 44kHz
audio: http://www.trsi.org/machines/other.asp ... "Bowleg
throwing" appears to be even more viral than they'd thought:
http://www.lycos.co.uk/viral/ ... hey, better late than never:
http://www.latesaversfrance.co.uk/ ... in accordance with
prophecy, new comedy mag features - angry, unsympathetic agony
aunt!: http://www.sourmashmagazine.com/sourlives.html ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Triumphing over both a recently broken arm and user groups
which he can't speak to because they haven't used the proper
"GNU/Linux" designation in their names, RICHARD "RMS" STALLMAN
will be sampling the UK's native cuisine *and* speaking about
software patents (he's against them, apparently) this very
weekend (1pm Sat 2003-10-25, Stoddart building, Sheffield
Hallam University; 2.30pm, Sun 2003-10-26, Cavendish Campus,
University of Westminster, London, both free - as in "freedom"
- but pre-registration advised). For an arguably less
confrontational approach to solving the world's problems, you
need look no further than Canada's WORLD ROCK PAPER SCISSORS
CHAMPIONSHIPS (7.30pm, Sat 2003-10-25, Kool Haus 132 Queens
Quay East, Toronto, Spectator tickets $15 on the door), whose
UK contenders reveal - we hope not foolhardily - many of their
tactics on their own hastily assembled website, including such
gems as "You need nerves of steel to throw three papers in a
row, as it's regarded as the most docile move and is
particularly vulnerable to an opponent who's using the
'toolbox' gambit (three scissors)."
- swiftly corporate-hijacked, just like with Extreme Ironing
- claims RMS to be a "friendly little monkey"?
- Sheffield venue appears to be just down the road from...
- ...NTK t-shirt exhibition (*must* close next Friday!)
- next weekend: Norwich's biggest Spectrum and SAM Show
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
THE REGEX COACH is a utility for Windows and Linux for
testing out and walking through Perl-style regular
expressions. You can interactively try out regexs on test
data, find out which bits of the expression match what, view
a graphical version parse tree, and get a confusing
rendition of what the expression does in convoluted english.
It's a minor miracle for anyone learning regular
expressions, and will be a frequent timesaver even for those
who have slashes on each side of their brain. And, of
course, it's written in Common Lisp. What *is* it with
everyone taunting the Perl guys these days?
- guess they drop the "p" in "regexp" because it's not a question
- cometh the perl6::rules
>> MEMEPOOL <<
contains a source of http://snackspot.org/http://qwer.org/synth.html channels The Onion's Smoove B:
http://www.theonion.com/archive/archive_smooveb.php - "Demo
CDs may also be provided"... submitting comedy "Oxo tower"
reviews http://www.london-eating.co.uk/2252.htm (see 10/10/03)
is the new "Martin Wank prank Amazon writeups"... putting all
our old Google misspellings/ OCR artefacts ("bum victims" etc)
into Amazon.com's new full text search... not like the others
#17: http://images.google.com/images?q=%22deanna+troi%22 ...
increasing professionalism killing the amateur spirit of eBay:
... roll d6 for muggings: http://www.chooseyourownny.com/ ...
the Guardian - giving you both sides of the very same story:
http://media.guardian.co.uk/newmedia/story/0,7496,1067224,00.html >> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> inexplicably, all the published listings describe last
week's plot for tonight's last-in-this-series episode of PEEP
SHOW (10.40pm, Fri, C4)... Welsh "Jackass"-alike DIRTY SANCHEZ
(11.45pm, Fri, C4) is, one hopes, the rudest TV title of all
time... and nothing kicks Saturday night off with more of a
bang than 1970s assassination thriller THE DAY OF THE JACKAL
(6.45pm, Sat, BBC2)... comedian Jimmy Carr and former "body
of Darth Vader" Dave Prowse serve up C4 viewers' THE 100
GREATEST SCARY MOMENTS (9.05pm, Sat & Sun, C4) - in a week
of Halloween movies that includes unexpected influence on US
aerial-photo-interpretation THE OMEN (11.25pm, Sat, BBC1)
German psycho-thriller THE EXPERIMENT (9pm, Sat, BBC4), arms-
biz suburban nightmare FALLING DOWN (10.55pm, Sun, BBC1), plus
karaoke comedy DUETS (11.30pm, Sun, BBC2) - featuring Gwyneth
Paltrow butchering "Bette Davis Eyes"... yet another "Matrix
night" (from 9pm, Sun, C5) features both DECODED: THE MAKING
OF MATRIX REVOLUTIONS (11.40pm, Sun, C5) and enough clues in
ANIMATRIX: SECOND RENAISSANCE (12.10am, Sun, C5) to make the
"mother of all spoilers" oh *so* obvious to true devotees:
... BBC2 fills an inconvenient gap in its regular snooker
coverage with the jumped-the-shark-in-the-musical last-ever
series of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (6.45pm, Tue-Thu, BBC2)...
and we still like this opening "Merlin" anecdote from the
director of revenge classic POINT BLANK (11.45pm, Tue, BBC1)
... the BBC's entirely unpatronising Asian season climaxes
with THE JOY OF CURRY (8pm, Wed, BBC2)... there's even an
Asian lead in one-sided mobile phone drama YOU'RE BREAKING UP
(11.20pm, Wed, BBC2)... but it's nuclear annihilation night on
digital with a triple-bill of APOCALYPSE NOW - AND THEN (10pm,
Wed, BBC4), tedious "protect and survive" counter-propaganda
THREADS (10.40pm, Wed, BBC4) and an-all-too literal Hiroshima
edition of DAYS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD (12.35pm, Wed, BBC4)...
FILM>> half-term arrives with junior David Lynch-style prison
weirdness HOLES ( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/holes.htm :
unsafe rock climbing; flatulence; rudeness to many; lies)...
outdoor Caine/ Duvall/ Osment family feelgooder SECONDHAND
LIONS ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : Distributor chose to remove
sight of illegal weapons (flick knives) and instructional use
of knife)... or a somewhat limited release for extended Daft
Punk anime video INTERSTELLA 5555: THE 5TORY OF THE 5ECRET
5TAR 5YSTEM ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : contains mild fantasy
violence)... George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones attempt
to broaden the mainstream appeal of the intolerable Coen
brothers' still undeniably quirky rom-com INTOLERABLE CRUELTY
( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/intolerablecruelty.htm :
lusting after nudity; series of sexual antics, including
perversion; multiple divorces; cheapening the wrongness of
adultery)... while hardly anywhere at all appears to be
showing Vin Diesel-free infidelity drama "XXX" prequel XX/XY
( http://www.cndb.com/movie.html?title=XX%2FXY : we see Mark
[Ruffalo] swimming in a pool underwater, and the trunks he's
wearing are very very loose and pushed down very low at the
back with the pressure of the water thus revealing about 3/4
of his ass)...
AVAILABLE IN A WIDE RANGE OF BLACK, DESATURATED RED, AND DARK
GREY>> yes, muted earth tones are "in" to celebrate the
official arrival of autumn over at http://www.ntkmart.co.uk/ .
Hot this month: our mock Japanese writing design consisting of
semi-random kanji and katakana characters, interspersed with
English phrases like "random japanese text" and "computer
hobby", plus one of those one of those freaking Internet
Explorer alert boxes on top of the whole thing, advising "To
display this shirt correctly you need to download: Japanese
Text Display Support", and so on. It's available in black,
charcoal (dark grey) and steel (turquoise blue), 50p from each
sale goes to recent Japlish contest winner DAVID GENTLE (for
suggesting the phrases "tap-tap machine" and "Is 'grooved'?
Yes grooved!"), while reader RONAN WAIDE has already confirmed
that the big writing up at the top does seem to mean something
like "to know [something] thing" and/or "shiru (to know)
hitsuyousei (necessity)" - hey, as long as it's nothing rude:
... "Memes don't exist/ Tell your friends" is also back at
last, "404 /shirt/tie not found" is additionally available in
tan (light brown/ dark yellow) and cedar (desaturated red),
but new reader designs continue to tickle our fancy, including
NONEMORENEGATIVE's refreshingly baffling "jumper setting" gag:
JON PETERSON appeared to be promoting a radically pro-blog
position in http://www.snowdrift.org/images/blog1.gif , JOHN
MORTON implied that Richard Stallman is the new Che Guevara
http://kaos.org.nz/misc/jshirts/index.php#gnu , but many of
this month's top submissions were in text-only form, including
LLOYD WOOD borrowing "yet another cynical goth programmer"
from http://www.livejournal.com/users/cyn_goth_prog/ , and
DANIEL BARLOW's yet-more-succinct "within$ ssh system shutdown
-i0 -g0 -y". Don't forget to vote for your favourites by
mailing us at the usual NTK address, ideally including the
disclaimer "I am not a friend or colleague of the person who
originally sent the design in, though obviously have no way of
proving this". Speaking of which, tune in next time for the
results of our ground-breaking competition to find the UK's
most convincing email impersonation of TV's very own IAIN LEE:
>> 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
"not quite the opinion we're forming over here"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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