_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2003-11-28_ o join! sign up at
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o http://lists.ntk.net/
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v v / o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Either the meteors encountered the Earth at random, in which
case there's no point in worrying. Or they strike at specific
intervals, meaning the next one isn't due for another 186
million years - so why worry!"
...not quite the reassuring conclusion we were hoping for
>> HARD NEWS <<
without any trews
This week, it seems, was the week when "real" drive-by hacking
over WiFi made it to the mainstream. First, that peculiar
report about a Toronto suspect brought in for downloading
child pornography while wardriving one-handed the wrong way
down a one-way street without his trousers on. Then, *at
last*, somebody caught in credit-card liberation via wireless
packet-sniffing at a Michigan home improvement store. And,
finally, a loosely corroborated (by us, anyway) report of a
drive-by spamming in California's neighbourly Santa Cruz. The
slashdot securanoiacs, of course, are taking such reports as a
demand to shut down all open access points and burn down the
homes of anyone sharing their "insecure" connections. Sure, it
may inconvenience everyone else - but it's the only language
spamming pedophile trouserless wardrivers understand. Maybe
the Santa Cruz operation showed a better way: at the cafe
where the WiFi spammer was spotted, a veritable hue and cry
was started, and the miscreant was run out of town by fellow
laptop-wielding cafe-goers, "delighted" to finally encounter a
spammer face-to-baseball-bat. Different times, different forms
of online security: wardriving your devilry may make you
fractionally-harder to locate on the wider Net. But it makes
you a damn sight easier to find by your local lynch mob.
- the darker side of "Accordion City"
- on the other hand, maybe some networks should use a bit of security
Other acts of cosmic justice and injustice: Debian gets its
karmic come-uppance for that "apt-get install r00tkit" April
Fool's joke, when a developer lost his password and the
security update boxen (among others) is 0wned. The promethean
Jamie Zawinski, still chained to his nightclub kiosks, has his
AOL tormentors take another swipe at his liver. This time,
they re-tool the "Netscape Navigator" trademark for a
benighted desktop toolbar. Netscape 7.1 users, outraged, start
a petition, confirming them as the OS/2 users of the new
millennium. DRM's own Norse Loki-figure, Jon Johannssen,
continues his trickery, this time writing an AAC cracker for
iTunes users. Media reports, unused to the trickster god,
confuse the funny title of his blog, "So sue me", as a lairy
invitation to Steve Jobs. ID cards got a mention by the Queen,
the only woman who won't have to carry one (unless she gets to
use biometric stamps). Objectors might want to bring the
proposal up in Tony Blair's new website, The Big Conversation.
Big issues need a big conversation, he says. Judging from the
site, it seems, they also need a huge bloody jpeg, as well as
a rich array of database errors.
- AOL have a whole department devoted to tormenting JWZ these days
- ID cards versus Vernor Vinge
- perhaps you'd like to bring up ID cards with them (again)
- fake your own biometrics, the fun way!
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
trying to convince Bush he's actually visiting "Nev-amble-da":
http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/28/dohnev.gif ... world's poor
fancy a "pasty": http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/28/dohpasty.gif
... Glen's "Rhinestone Cowboy" track more autobiographical
than you thought: http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/28/dohglen.gif
... Version 5.1 able to "Rewrite almost all source code and
fix bugs": http://www.tucows.com/preview/209285.html ... FALCO
http://2lmc.org/spool/ ... Engrish for the "all too curious
... Blunkett aiming "to be the King Herod of Labour Party",
taking children into care as "last resort" (if killing them
doesn't work?): http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/28/dohherod.gif ...
bargain!: http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/28/dohpercent.gif ... 'cos
so many of you found something (intentionally?) amusing in the
headline: http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/28/dohjacko.gif ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
OK, so the US has Jason Kottke, Wil Wheaton and a load of
lunatic libertarians you've never heard of - but who are the
"A-list bloggers" of the UK? Tom Coates? That UKbloggers list?
Andrew Ian Dodge? Hopefully some means of identifying said
individuals will transpire at tomorrow's UK WEBLOGGER'S XMAS
PARTY (evening of Sat 2003-11-29, "Downstairs at The Well",
London EC1V, free from the looks of things) - where the topics
of conversation, we are assured, will certainly not include
"Who's won the Guardian Best British Blog Awards", but instead
focus on far more important matters, such as the pitfalls of
moving from Greymatter to MovableType, or the *zaniest* search
engine referrals that everybody's getting nowadays.
- category winner, "Most unwieldy permalink format 2002/2003"
- bit sensitive about that whole "media co-opting" thing
- c'mon, surely buying (non-branded?) alcohol doesn't count
- Lonix Christmas dinner on Thu in the West End
- book now for psychogeographic moblogging WiFi
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Since his retirement to an underground volcano hideout in
Switzerland, briliant ex-Autodesk founder JOHN WALKER is
rarely seen. Sunlight reaches him only when he throws his
enemies into the lava pits, and releases small but - in the
words of his arch-enemy Rudy Rucker - gnarly advice and
utilities. The pre-Atkins geek health regiment of choice,
the "Hacker Diet" was one. The latest is JAVASCRYPT: a set
home-brewed crypto conversation on whatever machine you need
it. Code book generation, AES encryption and (weird) textual
steganography are all implemented in downloadable,
slow, but source-viewable and locally run, which gets it
double-points for the trad standards of trustworthiness. For
those of you who believe in it, Javascrypt's non-standard
formats also make it as securely obscure as you can get.
Then again, do you really trust a man *known* to be an evil
- ah, but that's just what he wants you to think
- the full story of his evil genius
- and he has the cheek to use it as his book key!
>> MEMEPOOL <<
contains a source of http://snackspot.org/ not so much use for that "Diplomatic Reception Room" nowadays:
... at last - an automated-googlefight-mispellings-whack-bot:
... Amazon's "Perfect Partner" suggests - US version of very
same book: http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/28/dohhornby.gif , yet
acknowledges overclockers' struggle against "phonies" who just
don't understand: http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/28/dohrye.gif ...
one of these photo library search results is not (literally)
like the others: http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/28/dohhorse.gif
... "Respect" for those smuggling you out of your UCI job after
work: http://www.ucijobs.com/ ... obscenities asterisked out
of http://www.fanta.dk/ captions include "shit", "fuck",
"pepsi"... attention all Irish readers - hey, free Mars
Delight!: http://panel.effem.com/surveys/en/mars_delight/ ...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> director/producer Jacques Peretti saves a bit more on
the wages bill by filming himself having a "fictionalised
conversation" with Vincent Gallo about "48 People (Who Should
Be Dead In Hollywood)" in THE ART SHOW (7.30pm, Fri, C4)...
still, might make a break from second half of the (CD:UK-
inspired?) special hour-long ALL NEW TOP OF THE POPS (7pm,
Fri, BBC1)... and WALNUT CREEK (11.30pm, Fri, C5) is an
"erotic thriller" sadly not set at the popular distributor of
freeware CD-ROMs... the launch sequence from "Thunderbirds"
wasn't even shortlisted for C4's 100 GREATEST SEXY MOMENTS
(9pm, Sat, C5)... Rachel Weisz helps wreck mildly intriguing
Eastern front sniper shootout ENEMY AT THE GATES (10.30pm,
Sat, BBC1)... but it's three films for the price of one in
subtitled Mexican dog-fight spectacular AMORES PERROS (9pm,
Sat, BBC4)... the movie schedules are largely dominated by
enhanced superhumans in the form of SOLO (9pm, Sun, C5),
UNIVERSAL SOLDIER 2 (9pm, Mon, C5), live action manga CRYING
FREEMAN (10.05pm, Thu, C5), and timely critique of biometric
identification protocols GATTACA (10.40pm, Mon, C4) ... though
other highlights include wacky Clooney/ Coen brothers "comedy"
O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (10pm, Sun, C4), the ever-excellent
neo-noir THE LAST SEDUCTION (11.15pm, Mon, BBC1), and the
terrestrial debut of wildly underrated Arnie/"Usual Suspects"
crossover THE END OF DAYS (10.30pm, Tue, ITV1)... also off
digital at last is mildly hit-and-miss "Fast Show" successor
LITTLE BRITAIN (10pm, Mon, BBC2)... BBC1 profiles "Memento"-
style anterograde amnesics in LIVING WITHOUT A MEMORY (9pm,
Tue, BBC1) and Christian entertainers - including Pamela
Anderson - in THE HAND OF GOD (10.35pm, Tue, BBC1)... as The
Money Programme takes a swig of SUNNY DELIGHT - A JUICY TALE
(7.30pm, Wed, BBC2)... and Alvin Hall mysteriously overlooks
Larry Ellison for a Gates vs Jobs face-off in the final of THE
WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL COMPUTER MOGUL (9.50pm, Thu, BBC2) - our
tip: don't bet on the Mac guy...
FILM>> apart from a couple of scenes that look like an "act
like you're on drugs" drama student improv class, Darren
"Requiem For A Dream" Aronofsky directing an episode of "Dick
And Dom In Da Bungalow" - with Fearne Cotton as Brittany
Murphy! - is the overall impression you're left with after
attention-deficit-tastic meth-fuelled white-trash mayhem SPUN
( http://www.cndb.com/movie.html?title=Spun+(2002) : Why do
they edit [Chloe Hunter's] pubes in the R rated version, but
not John [Leguizamo]'s when he is wearing only the sock?)...
"Star Trek - but on a boat" is the general verdict on Russell
Crowe's big-budget "Hornblower" remake MASTER AND COMMANDER
( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/master-commander.htm :
intense battle violence, frequent; surgical amputation of a
child's right arm; peril at sea)... you assume you're watching
one of those trendy ads for FilmFour or NatWest or something,
then it turns out to be a trailer for gritty Oirish drama
INTERMISSION ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : Contains very strong
language and violence)... and rounding off this week's batch
of somewhat limited releases is Neil LaBute's stagey-looking
dodgy-American-accent play adaptation THE SHAPE OF THINGS
( http://www.screenit.com/movies/2003/the_shape_of_things.html :
[Rachel Weisz] gives "the finger" to the camera; [Rachel
Weisz] wears a midriff-revealing top)...
>> 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
"endorsed by the pope"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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