"I feel quite upset by [blog comment spam], and angrier with
the spammers and their lack of respect for the principles of
online co-operation than I have been for years..."
- Bill Thompson ponders predictable side-effect of bloggers
all using the same off-the-shelf content management systems
...aye, you knew where you were with the "gentleman spammers"
of Usenet: they "only went after their own", you know
>> HARD NEWS <<
Ah, here's the third shoe falling: after PUBLICWHIP and
ICAN, comes MYSOCIETY, a little venture philanthropy .org
intending to scout out worthy politics-hacking projects, and
then actually give them some real money. To be honest there
appears to be quite a glut of society software already in
production right now - admittedly much of it being hacked
upon by folk linked with this scheme. And there seems to be
a potential chicken-inside-egg problem regarding educating
high-powered people sufficiently to get them to fund stuff
that's languishing because they don't understand it. But,
hey, free money! Send your proposals to the estimable Tom
Steinberg, and he'll do the heavy-lifting of touting the
best proposals around potential funders. Or browse through
the admissions so far, and maybe see if you can't implement/
open source them before anyone gets their chequebook out.
- and none of your "pave the earth" BOFH projects, neither
- or fill with personal hobby-horses, whichever's easier
We're great believers in retrospective sympathetic magic
here. So thanks, then, to everyone who is about to think
good thoughts about LARRY WALL and DAMIAN CONWAY, chief
canaries of the PERL 6 process, who are both recovering
after some rather nasty bug reports. Damian's been down
with some "light pneumonia", which led to him producing all
the wrong kinds of Conway hacks and wheezes for a month. Mr
Wall, true to form, posted a message to Usenet, which, after
several pages of comments on continuations, exceptions,
scoping, and making Perl6 better for beginners, noted that
he's out of hospital and down one benign tumor ("with
complications"), but still on a drip and unable to eat.
"Full recovery is expected any month now", he says. Your
thoughts will go back in time and help them to recover at
exactly the fast rate we're seeing now.
- and all those future payments to the Perl Foundation help
- not the POD extraction anyone wanted
- yet another poorly hacker
A couple of quick followups on previous stories: we were
reassured that we weren't the only people to cover DEREK WYATT
MP's ingenious "postcode lottery" approach to beating spam, as
it also made the front page of VNU's respected IT Week, where
his additional brainwave of sticking "a country code suffix at
the end of each domain name" was repeated without a hint of
wondering whether this was either feasible or indeed remotely
desirable. And if you thought they'd save that kind of
editorialising for their leader column, that's where you'll
find Wyatt damned by the faint praise that he seems "happy
to suggest innovative strategies whenever they occur to him".
On a cheerier note, Marks and Spencer's Channel Development
Manager STEVE WIND-MOZLEY wrote to update us with the news
that Safari, Opera and a whole host of "indie" clients are now
welcome at "the UK's best loved retailer's web site" (his
words, not ours), with a Mozilla-compatible code release also
coming "soon". "In the meantime", he concludes, "should any of
your readers be in urgent need of fresh underwear, please
remind them that we have more than 320 stores that do not run
'sniffing' technologies on the way in".
- Steve's subject line: "Mozilla users don't go commando?"
- tastefully highlighted in light blue and grey
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
old thrill - return of the inadvertently appropriate banner
ad: http://www.ntk.net/2003/10/31/dohcheryl.gif ... Benatar
unveils new look for "Love Is A Battlefield, Possums" comeback
tour: http://www.ntk.net/2003/10/31/dohpat.gif ... romance not
dead: http://www.ntk.net/2003/10/31/dohrom.gif ... "please do
not post the password [in the previous sentence] on the Web":
hoping that's a deliberately ironic use of "Go home" in the
nav: http://www.blackinbritain.co.uk/ ... double-URLtendres of
the week - filthy rich pigs: http://www.champagneswines.com/ ,
http://www.barf1.com/ , http://www.letshitit.com/ ... mind the
gap: http://www.ntk.net/2003/10/24/dohref.gif ... right lads -
Diet Coke break: http://www.ntk.net/2003/10/31/dohpost.gif ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
The Alec Bussey Scout Centre (formerly Norwich 2nd Boy Scouts
Hut) is hinted to be one of Norfolk's few venues capable of
containing tomorrow's NORWICH SPECTRUM AND SAM SHOW 2003
(10am-4pm, Sat 2003-11-01, Rowington Road, Norwich, free from
the looks of things), featuring an "official opening from
Councillor Steve Land", a "SAM talk and Q & A" *plus* a
"Spectrum talk and Q & A" - and probably someone from NTK
selling off the last of those "Born to Run" t-shirts, among
other bargains. That's assuming we don't stay too late at
tonight's B3TA HALLOWEEN PARTY (from 7.30pm, Fri 2003-10-31,
Babushka, behind King's Cross, London N1, also free), where
you can nod and say "Yeah, you photoshopped that polar bear,
did you? Nice one!" and take part in a raffle that is rumoured
to have Mr NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown's very personal supply of
new HobNobs Flapjacks among the prizes.
- also next Wed/Thu (apparently "badly broken in Mozilla")
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Got a bunch of old laptops hanging around? Want to use them
for something, but have *slightly* better things to do than
fiddling with an openMOSIX cluster or playing "laptop
Jenga"? If one of those slightly better things is compiling
C, C++ and Objective C programs, DISTCC is the package for
you. Distcc is Martin Pool's system for distributing gcc
compilations across multiple machines. It runs in userland;
it just does gcc; it gives compilations broadly linear
improvements (double the PCs = half the time). Your nodes
don't need to have synchronised watches or to drop
everything else to run it. Kernel versions don't matter,
*operating systems* don't matter (distcc's the basis of
Panther's Xcode distributed build feature). And if you're
running GNOME, you get a nice stripy graphic to stare at
during what little time you didn't save.
- imagine a Beowulf cluster of ... oh wait
>> MEMEPOOL <<
contains a source of http://snackspot.org/
corporate anthem reprise - "making love (all night)" by the
light of our BenQ 1000 ANSI Lumen digital projection system:
http://www.benq-eu.com/news/?year=2003&id=435 ... UseCrime in
progress - "Wednesday media is... a web usability consultancy"
http://www.wednesdaymedia.com/ [view source]... portable radar
http://www.plextek.com/news70.htm imitates "Creatures may be
beneath the floor": http://www.iseran.com/Steve/alien.html ...
inside DJ Shadow's head: http://www.io.com/~dork/records/ ...
this week's "one of these pics is not like the others" #32:
was www.wannafight.com taken?: http://www.textbanter.com/ ...
http://www.freestateproject.org/ sending 20,000 libertarians
to New Hampshire - why can't they send them all there?...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> b3ta.com raid their back-catalogue for the official site
to novelty Jimmy Carr quiz show DISTRACTION (10.40pm, Fri, C4)
http://www.channel4.com/distraction/ ... while Rutger Hauer -
who else? - heralds another week of scary movies, including
his own THE HITCHER (12.45am, Fri, C4), Pamela Anderson/ David
"MCP" Warner VR-sex nonsense NAKED SOULS (12.15am, Fri, C5),
Mark Kermode's precious THE EXORCIST (10pm, Sat, C4), and the
ever-excellent FINAL DESTINATION (9pm, Sun, C4)... the latter
hopefully also commemorated in HEATH ROBINSON: SUBURBAN
SUBVERSIVE (10pm, Thu, BBC4) - an effective UK translation of
"Rube Goldberg", for any American readers who make it this
far... Channel 5 gets a full 65 minutes out of lists like
http://hal9000.inetstrat.com/parodies.html - in a parody-title
pron roundup entitled SHAVING RYAN'S PRIVATES (11.15pm, Mon,
C5)... the undercover Money Programme considers whether a diet
consisting exclusively of meat and lard might have any adverse
health effects in ATKINS - A FAT PROFIT (7.30pm, Wed, BBC2)...
then FIVE THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU (8pm, Wed, BBC2) sees a man
"proving" his girlfriend can't read a map... WHAT NOT TO WEAR
- THE TRIBES OF MAN (8.30pm, Wed, BBC2) starts another run
of the makeover series predicated on the radical notion that
anyone can look better if they spend 2000 quid on newer, more
fashionable clothes... as yet another schadenfreude-relocation
show NO GOING BACK (9pm, Wed, C4) this week features its most
unprepared ex-pats yet: an Extropian couple "determined" to
fulfil their dream of moving to a platform mining metallic
hydrogen on Jupiter, even though the technology doesn't yet
exist to get them there, the husband has yet to master the
most basic nanotech control languages, and the local climate
is so different to what they're used to in Surrey that they'd
simultaneously freeze, suffocate, *and* be instantly crushed
FILM>> now featuring the "nest" scene immortalised in Alan
Dean Foster's movie novelisation, there's a surprisingly
nationwide release for pre-DVD promo ALIEN - THE "DIRECTOR'S
CUT" ( http://www.cndb.com/movie.html?title=Alien+%281979%29 :
Sigourney Weaver strips down to a very little white panties
and see-through shirt; There is not much nudity on display in
this scene - upper rear only. But the scene is extremely
erotic, nonetheless)... a similar conclusion is the highlight
of the all-too-glossy nasty remake THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/texaschainsawmassacre.htm :
wet T-shirt ghosting of [Jessica "7th Heaven" Biel] female
anatomy; three-year cohabitation; terrorizing with a chainsaw,
many)... while Meg Ryan's idea of playing "against type"
appears to be impersonating Nicole Kidman in the gritty,
somewhat average serial killer character study IN THE CUT
( http://www.cndb.com/movie.html?title=In+The+Cut+%282003%29 :
The major sex scene has Meg taking off her dress to reveal
absolutely perfect beautiful breasts. I mean, they're worth
the price of admission [alone])...
>> 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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