Need To Know's Career-Limiting Christmas

"Let me hear another sound from you", said Scrooge, "and you'll keep your Christmas by losing your situation."

- A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

The Story

What could be a finer Yuletide gift for an obscure, pathetic little Website like Need To Know than a few hyperlinks pointing straight at its stupid Perl script archive? Tragically, Santa's little helpers have got a bit confused this year. Instead of placing the links in prominent places like Cool Site of The Day and the front page of, they've hidden them away in files called "now.html" in the top directory of a bunch of commercial Web sites. Can you help us find them in time for our Christmas party?

The Competition

Each week until the party, we'll relay the clues that the elves have given us to the location of each now.html file. The files are hidden all over the Internet - they might be on the Websites of a major multinational, or a large Web design company, or even an obscure vanity domain. All we know is the URL is in the format Or it might be, but you get the idea.

E-mail us the URL when you decode the clues, and if you're the first to uncover it that week, you'll win a free ticket to the party, plus whatever tat we have lying around that week.

The Career-Limiting Bit

For the extra-special prizes, a chance to be immortalised as a ".Not Webmaster from Hell Award Winner", and an opportunity to be severely reprimanded by your boss, you too can join in the fun. To do that, you need to create your own now.html file on a Webserver that you administrate. The best five new URLs will receive a .WfH Award, an NTK T-shirt, a proper prize (don't know what yet - but it'll run on electricity and bleep) and a place of honour in all our hearts. Don't worry about feeding your now.html to search-engines, or linking to it elsewhere: in fact, the more secret your page is the better. Points will be awarded on the exotic nature of the URL, the flamboyance of the now.html page, and the personal risk you took to create it.

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The Small Print

This competition is open to all residents of the UK and Eire except the staff of NTK and their families, or anyone connected with this competition (sorry everyone else - but you get free tickets anyway). The prize is as offered and no cash alternative will be offered. The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. All entries must be received by December 1st. The winner (and runners up) will be notified by e-mail by December 5th. For a list of winners you may send an e-mail to after 1st January 1998. Entries will not be returned (although they may be bounced). No responsibility will be accepted for corrupted or unreadable entries, or entries which fail to arrive by the closing date. Only one entry per week per person. You are responsible for your own actions - the organisers take no responsibility for any loss, financial or otherwise which may occur as a result of entering this competition. Yeah, that should cover us. Don't hack other people's sites. It's not big, it's not clever, and it's very not legal. It is a condition of entry that all entrants agree to be bound by these rules. No purchase necessary. Like, what could we sell you? Thanks to: All the elves who planted the first batch of now.html : we know a great employment agency you can use. Or perhaps you're thinking of returning to higher education? Whatever, we love you.