_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2003-12-12_ o join! sign up at
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o http://lists.ntk.net/
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v v / o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "In terms of marketing, however, US web users are seen as the
perfect demographic, in that they tend to be non TV-watchers
with an income over $60,000, [and] 'pre-marital interests'..."
...and likely to stay that way
>> HARD NEWS <<
Everyone's got an opinion, haven't they? In a week when even
the taciturn Torvalds started opining on how copyright law
worked, the president of the notoriously fair and open-minded
ICANN had *his* views summarily squelched, after a literal
kickban from this week's WORLD SUMMIT ON THE INFORMATION
SOCIETY. As guards hussled PAUL TWOMEY away from the DNS
pre-meeting at the UN summit, he whined his complaints like...
like... like an obscure domain registrar bitching on an ignored
"public" ICANN mailing list, say. Will ICANN humbly learn
its lesson? Hopefully not - given that the WSIS bouncers
waved ROBERT MUGABE through to give his views on the Net
(summary: Sluggy sucks, Penny Arcade much cooler). Is this
some kind of hint that ICANN needs to start cracking down on
its opposition? Or should it be more like the President of
Iran, who found his WSIS Q&A getting bogged down in
questions relayed from his nation of bloggers. "Do you
blog?", they demanded, before going on to ask him whether he
preferred Moveable Type or Livejournal, and Which Character
From "24" Was He, exactly?
- I Am Not A Linus
- ... but I play one when subpoenaed
- squeal little piggie
- Mr Mugabe has "giant Orwellian viewscreen" in his rider
- I'm sorry, am I hot or what?
Meanwhile, in less well-lit, well-heeled meeting rooms,
darker deals were cut. A double-cross in the EU's JURI
committee briefly led to all copyright infringements being
rated as criminal offences, from carol singers to - well,
you, almost certainly. We're told that subsequently "the
oral amendment was withdrawn", which is apparently more
pleasant than it sounds. The Home Committee stumbled through
their examination of that whole ID Cards business without
much oversight. And most dread of all, Ubisoft sneaked a
check into the latest "Rainbow 6" patch, which makes it
snoop through your hard drive looking for virtual CD utils,
and refuse to play until you uninstall them. Which is fair
enough, given how people root through prospective dates'
bookshelves for Tom Clancy's original novel, then refuse to
play if they stumble across *that*.
- does *anybody* ever know what's going on in the EU?
- select ... committeee ... id cards ... zzzzzzz
- interesting aside on how lame it is to say "irrespective"
Let's face it, if you *had* to be trapped on a website with
someone going on about kids' television programmes that nobody
remembers any more, you could do (slightly) worse than one of
the dedicated Dr Who apologists over at TV.CREAM.ORG, who have
been providing unpaid (and uncredited) research for the Daily
Mail (and other net users) for something like six years now.
Of course, their efforts have not gone completely unrecognised
- site contributor (and Sam from "Pop Idol" lookalike) STEVE
BERRY fondly recalls their excitement over receiving Web
User's (November 2001 edition) prestigious "Home-made Web Site
Of The Month" award - but now the big time is beckoning at
last. Get your vote in now to help TV Cream triumph over other
rubbish contenders - that "Commercial Breaks and Beats" ad
music database, Danny Wallace's pointless "Join Me" cult - and
teach Yahoo! a thing or two about *real* nostalgia, by making
the 1998-era site the proud recipient of Yahoo's "People's
Choice 2003 Find Of The Year".
- narrowly missed Esquire's "Sharpest Man" shortlist again
- and where's that Xmas toy round-up you promised, eh lads?
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
Christmas party season playing havoc with BBC news spelling:
http://www.ntk.net/2003/12/12/dohwok.gif ... ie, busy making
trouble: http://www.ntk.net/2003/12/12/dohbusy.gif ... and
many, many more: http://www.ntk.net/2003/12/12/dohseeme.gif
... ironically - huge image-map: http://www.esws2004.org/ ...
more Amazon mayhem: http://www.ntk.net/2003/12/12/dohbiz.gif ,
http://www.ntk.net/2003/12/12/dohdeliv.gif - and, in his new
bestseller, Stephen King plans to really mess with your head:
http://www.ntk.net/2003/12/12/dohneuro.gif ... bloody Mac
users now claim to have "world's most powerful" monitor stand:
http://www.ntk.net/2003/12/12/dohstand.gif ... also known as -
... Guardian explains why the US bombs so many civilians:
http://www.ntk.net/2003/12/12/dohgalileo.gif ... and why the
moon is only 36,000km away (ie, approx 2-3 x the distance from
London to Syndey): http://www.ntk.net/2003/12/12/dohcass.gif ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
GOTOs considered non-harmful
Ah, Christmas: a time to put aside traditional disputes and
rivalries - and for us to look beyond our usual London-centric
focus to report on MANCHESTER WIRELESS'S BRING AND BUY SALE
AND CHRISTMAS CURRY. In the local vernacular, they'll be
"having it" (the bring and buy sale) from 2pm-5pm tomorrow Sat
2003-12-13 at Bridge-5-Mill, Manchester M4, and it looks like
it's free for anyone to get in (and/or bring/buy vaguely
relevant technical items). And, in a bridge-building occasion
as potentially historic as that football match between British
and German troops during the First World War, LONDON JAVA
MEETUP are inviting other techies "from LONDON PERL MONGERS
etc" to their Xmas (piss|punch) up across the no-man's land of
the Electricity Showrooms, Hoxton Sq, London from 6pm, Monday
2003-12-15, in order to discover common insights, share jokes
about Python users, and - who knows - maybe add some of their
technological and biological distinctiveness to their own?
- venue: deserted warehouse converted to fashionable lofts?
- hey, are those UK Slashdot Meetups still going?
- few places left for London Dorkbot's farewell to 386DX?
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Tracking's arch-enemy Sweetcode.org has returned, damn them.
To celebrate, we're stealing one of their many good pointers
- to FILELIGHT, an "interactive visualisation of disk space
consumption". It's a beautiful KDE app that intuitively
highlights large files and directories over small ones, in a
way that lets you quickly spot what's eating away your disk
space. A forgotten mail logfile from the SOBIG epidemic, an
old and rusty CVS checkout, and a file that should have been
bzipped years ago equalled one gig for us. It's not the
first visual space scanner, but it's one of the prettiest,
and worth a look if you're writing something similiar for
your own platform.
- or just mechanically download everything on Sweetcode, like us
- pay no attention to the site
>> MEMEPOOL <<
contains a source of http://snackspot.org/ a living "Burgess Shale" of mostly extinct Cambrian gameforms:
http://web.utanet.at/nkehrer/jae.html ... bid 4 sh3llz!:
vs l33t marketing: http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_9912.html
... UseCrime in progress - complete with "hint" on navigation:
http://www.glass-page.com/flash/main.htm (Flash, sorry)...
worth printing out and handing to tourists when they arrive:
... hideously photoshopped cover art of the week, number 2:
... press release misses out sentence "Jenson Button
advertises BBC digital with all the natural verve of a downed
Tornado pilot being forced to denounce coalition forces at
gunpoint": http://qwer.org/TerribleButtonPressRelease.html ...
"science safe", says author of Prey, Westworld, Jurassic Park...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> Clive Anderson introduces the last minor reshuffle among
the 21 finalists in THE BIG READ FINAL (9pm, Sat, BBC2)...
gardens inspired by the "Big Read Top 100" - including "Lord
Of The Flies" and "Lord Of The Rings", though sadly not Frank
Herbert's "Dune" - battle to be acknowledged as the work of
GARDENER OF THE YEAR (9pm, Fri, BBC2)... and who cares about
lame Ben Affleck "Reindeer Games" rename DECEPTION (10pm, Sat,
C4) or indeed low-budget female-teenwolf horror GINGER SNAPS
(11.40pm, Sat, BBC2), when BBC1 is showing the epochal all-
star Tom Green grossout-fest ROAD TRIP (10.30pm, Sat, BBC1)?
... TROUBLE AT CHRISTMAS (7pm, Sun, BBC1) seems unlikely to
plumb the depths of http://www.mymiserablechristmas.com/ ...
Zoe "Where is she now?" Ball hosts a "revised repeat" of the
elegantly titled 100 GREATEST TV MOMENTS FROM HELL (9pm, Sun,
C4)... as the "Guns and Gangs" season concludes with a look at
the ammunition format immortalised on gangsta classics such as
Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" and Arnee and the Terminators'
"I'll Be Back", aka 9MM (10.30pm, Sun, BBC2)... HEAR THE
SILENCE (9pm, Mon, C5) dramatises the MMR/ autism debate,
though feral Ukrainian docu BODYSHOCK: WILD CHILD (9pm, Mon,
C4) reveals kids aren't all that sociable if they're raised by
wild dogs either... "Tuesday 16 December 1660: I learn I am to
be played by the troubadour Steve Coogan in what is called a
'period romp' - A-haaaaa!", notes THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SAMUEL
PEPYS (9pm, Tue, BBC2) - vs http://www.pepysdiary.com/ ... and
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (6.45pm, Thu, BBC2) finally outlives
her welcome - but don't worry, because all the dead characters
will ultimately be revived by Frank Tipler using tech unveiled
in the "Time Trip" taken by HORIZON (9pm, Thu, BBC2)...
FILM>> the title sounds like a slang term for needing the
toilet, but it's actually a "999"-style dramatised mountain
recreation of TOUCHING THE VOID ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ :
Contains very strong language)... also on limited release is
bonkers over-the-top horror B-movie DEAD END ( imdb: black-
comedy/ body-bag/ body-count/ cabin/ gay-slur/ man-in-black/
whiskey)... and we'd rather see the story of the "Fightin'
Whities" http://www.fightingwhites.org/ than Beyonce Knowles
and Cuba Gooding Jr gospel-fest THE FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS
( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/fightingtemptations.htm :
dressing to maximize the female form; equating no sin with no
fun; underhanded connivings to impede change)...
>> 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
"phew, made it into *this* month's 'will not be televised' parody"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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