_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2001-11-09_ o join! mail an empty message to
| \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o firstname.lastname@example.org
| |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v v / o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "Use of the Internet often prompts Americans to join groups.
More than half of Cyber Groupies (56%) say they joined an
online group after they began communicating with it over the
...the remaining 44% said that altering the frequencies of their
deflector shield protected them from "assimilation"
>> HARD NEWS <<
strewth - kangaroos!
She may be "Torn", but who'd have thought this also meant
fashionably "pre-ripped"? NATALIE IMBRUGLIA's "White Lillies
Island" album has beaten Michael Jackson to the public enemy
number one spot by being the first major UK CD release to
feature "Cactus Data Shield", a copy protection system which
ostensibly prevents MP3 swapping by corrupting the table of
contents so it won't play on PCs (or PlayStations, and some
other DVD players as well?). However, in a bid to retain
her Aussie indie-pop credentials, Natalie don't seem to know
- or seem to care - what copy protection is for, and, in a
bizarre bid to pacify PC users, the disc also contains a
Windows app which will play the entire album from a chunked
42meg MP3 file - at a scorching 128kbps, hi-fi fans. They're
not exactly "lying naked" on the CD - it's some weird
proprietary format - but NTK reader MIKE GRAY has already
successfully burned the files and the player onto a CDR, where
they sound as "bloody awful" as they did on the original
("They couldn't even be arsed putting the track titles onto
the files", he fumes). So: a CD which won't play under Linux
or MacOS, but which is actually *easier* to pirate under
Windows? That's what we call a "difficult" second album.
"Be" Ross Anderson - help defend the Red Book standard
- "Won't record to MiniDisc via optical-out". The fiends...
So, you get chewed out by the freedom-loving SCHNEWS
Webmaster for revealing the location of their public site
logs. What to do? Take some faux geeky high ground and
lecture them on the importance of "full disclosure"? Be all
limply ironic and post some bitchy critique to nettime
called "Tarnishing The Non-Corporate Image: Secrecy, Spin
and Solidarity at the Schnews brand"? No! One should,
instead, overcome one's petty differences, and selflessly
plug Glorious Web Projects Which Unite Us Against A Common
Foe! Introducing STOPESSO.COM, a brave attempt to lobby said
multinational to stop its la-la-la-not-listening approach to
Global Warming, while sneakily creating a network of local
community mailing lists which will henceforth evolve into a
practical grassroots network and not just collapse into a
mess of furious unsubscribe messages or something. At the
very least, try it out to see if you can break it. And,
yeah, I guess you should mail us and not Schnews if it does.
- oh go on then, mail all your friends.
- this has been kept a bit quiet too
- PDF files? From the IMPRISONERS OF DMITRY?
Actually, we don't know what they're moaning about - it's
not as if weblogs won't be carefully auto-saved by the
proposed new data retention rules. And you don't have to be
fashionably terrorist anymore: the Guardian revealed this
week that these logs could be inspected for *any* crime. Or
suspected malfeasance, even. Yep, it's the unholy alliance
of the new Anti-Terrorist Bill and the old RIP provision to
seize logs for national security and "the prevention and
detection of crime". Meanwhile, the European Patent Office
appears to have unilaterally declared software patents
a-okay. And then, to top off a bad week, the CEO of the new
Internet Content Rating Association mailed us to say that we
should put up a new adult rating on our Website to
"safeguard the future of [our] web site and the freedom of
the Internet". Thank God it's as easy as that. Let's roll!
- heavier on the "enduring" than the "freedom" here
- ah the crystal clarity of EU due process
- hey, we're in an educational context aren't we?
- cashpoints threatened by man with jumper on his head
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
ROBOTEERS - prepare to, well, not so much "kick" opponent ass:
http://www.ntk.net/2001/11/09/dohbash.gif ; BEHOLD - the face
of fear: http://www.ntk.net/2001/11/09/dohdead.gif ... a look
under the hood: http://www.gsb.co.uk/menandmotors/programmes/
... new thrill - inadvertently *appropriately* positioned
banner ads: http://www.ntk.net/2001/11/09/dohflock.jpg ...
heed Jakob's article carefully, then click on the "link
validator" link: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/980614.html ...
NETWORK SOLUTIONS reveal previously unsuspected political
stance: http://www.ntk.net/2001/11/09/dohtards.jpg ... Folk
Hypothesis About Everyday Object Confirmed By Manufacturer-
Funded Study: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/011108/80/cevnz.html
... BBC NEWS ONLINE regurgitating foul press releases too:
- "European companies and organisations in particular are
turning to the .info and .biz suffixes because there are so
few .com names available" - NOT!... an appositely Austrian
FALCO: http://www.whereits.at/ ... taste our test data:
http://www.toptable.co.uk/details.cfm?rcode=TTTE ... of
*course* it is: http://www.meccano.com/pages/under_c.htm ...
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
This month, we hope to avoid a repeat of the ugly scenes at
October's Strange Attractor event when gawkers, who'd come
along to see "what kind of freaks" were responsible for NTK,
had their "minds blown" by the preceding explanation of
wireless networking and had to leave before we'd even started.
On Wed, entertainment editor "Dave Green" - along with his
presentation "Strong Language From The Outset: My Life With
The NTK Cult" - appears to be first on the bill at MARKETING
YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING ONLINE (from 6.30pm, 2001-11-14,
Level 6 Suite, City University, London EC1, free - including
tea and biscuits - pre-register via email). If you've got a
whole weekend to kill, there's hands-on agit-prop conference
HOW TO BE AN OBSTACLE (from 10.30am, Sat 2001-11-10, from UKP9
per day, the goddamn ICA, London), which handily seems to
coincide with their despairingly titled WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO
WITH IT? digital arts fest, featuring Jaron "Autodesk" Lanier,
John Maeda from the MIT Media Lab, funny Japanese artists, and
"an eerie SMS narrative", no less. Prompting at least one NTK
reader to already mutter "Same weekend as EuroBSDcon" (started
9am today Fri 2001-11-09, Thistle Hotel, Brighton, from UKP60
- BOFH equivalent of "I'll get me coat"
- vs http://www.ica.org.uk/season/ADigitalFestival/http://www.onlinecontentuk.org/events.html
- as "marketed" on uk.culture.arts.writing, uk.local.london,
uk.media, england.writing, misc.writing...
- when we went on, they were still booing Heath Bunting
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Americans have Thanksgiving, the British have Guy Fawkes
Night, and NTK has the annual review of another bloody
Windows compression utility. Well, it's 2001: and the new
word for Pkunzip is ... ARJFOLDER 3.65. This utility, by
Raphael Mounier, is so sleak, so tres moderne, as to have
practically no interface at all. Open a zip file, and you
get a standard Explorer window with the goodies inside. Drag
and drop, cut and paste, explore and view as
tartan-backgrounded Web page: it always acts the same as a
standard folder. Similiarly, you create a zip file by the
usual right-click folder-making behaviour. As the name
suggests, Mounier's 540KB program handles ARJ too - and JAR,
TAR, CAB, UUE, MIME, HQX and the obligatory Quake 3 map
files. Sometimes reality oozes out from under Arjfolder's
metaphor: thoughtlessly double clicking on zipped
executables has them throwing up a "Where am I? Where are my
DLLs? WHY AM I ENTOMBED IN CARBONITE?" error. ZIP "folders",
even if they contain other folders, still sick out their
entire contents into one directory. Also, it is French. But
it works well. And given that everyone assumed that ZIP
encoding would be assimilated into the OS years ago, it's
nice to see that Microsoft leaving *some* breadcrumbs for
- vive les functionnalities!
- out of my way, PowerArchiver, YOU OLD MAN
>> MEMEPOOL <<
the warm bit behind the http://www.gagpipe.com/ Bin Laden *is* Hari Seldon - so is George Bush "The Mule"?:
... Semi-visible Vice President Dick Cheney, I choose YOU! :
http://www.topps.com/enduringfreedom.html (from the makers of
http://www.essex1.com/people/zelda/36.htm )... thanks everyone,
that ought to do it: http://EndTheCycle.org/ ... ROGER MELLY's
Almanac: http://www.jump-around.com/tools/place-names.php ...
and the leg bone's connected to a - Shockwave simulator:
... Two Flash pages and a mule: http://www.alsharpton.com/
... X10 cameras part of FBI Carnivore project, "rumours on the
Internet" reveal: http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/12248 ...
if you know where to look, and if you can find them - oh,
wait, here they are: http://www.a-team.org/a_about_b.html ...
"screeched biographies of great Science Fiction writers [over]
churning speed metal in an effort to promote teen literacy":
- but can you dance to it?... "Click here for Gay Pr0n":
... never mind *why* I want to know, just answer the sodding
question: http://www.aristotle.net/~diogenes/meaning1.htm ...
>> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> Phoebe "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" Cates remains
clothed, Rik Mayall remains alive in Brit-comedian-in-
Hollywood disappointment DROP DEAD FRED (8.10pm, Sat, C4)...
the usual T4 clowns introduce Ali G introducing German celebs
presenting the MTV EUROPE MUSIC AWARDS (10pm, Sat, C4)... and
elsewhere it's all Billy Bob Thornton cameos, all the time,
with heavy-handed CGI-dice moral dilemma INDECENT PROPOSAL
(9pm, Sat, BBC2) and baffling Stevan Seagal eco-thriller ON
DEADLY GROUND (11.30pm, Sat, ITV)... Joss Whedon wrote it, but
"not as good as the TV show" is the universal verdict on this
week's obligatory Rutger Hauer flick, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
(9pm, Sun, C5)... Brad Pitt disowned both the production and
his Oirish accent as THE DEVIL'S OWN (10pm, Sun, C4)... while
Monday becomes unoriginal comedy format night, with "Goodness
Gracious Me" spoof chat show THE KUMARS AT NO 42 (9pm, Mon,
BBC2) followed by Steve Coogan pioneeringly parodying horror
movies in DR TERRIBLE'S HOUSE OF HORRIBLE (9.30pm, Mon,
BBC2)... still, you can always spot the "Star Wars" lines and
taped-on "Silicon Graphics" branding in Beaufort-scale
weather-chaser TWISTER (9pm, Mon, ITV)... this week's
prestigious swiftly-cancelled 3am US import slot goes to
Jonathan "Jerry Maguire" Lipnicki ET sitcom MEEGO (3.35am,
Mon, C4; 4.20am, Fri, C4)... freakish fashion docudrama IT'S A
GIRL THING (8pm, Tue, C4) doesn't even feature the band "Girl
Thing"... house music history PUMP UP THE VOLUME (11.05pm,
Tue, C4) precedes sci-fi animation round-up HOT REELS
(12.10am, Tue, C4), with more late-night toons in COMEDY LAB
(11.45pm, Thu, C4)... and the intriguingly rebranded MONEY
PROGRAMME: THE MEN WHO BROKE MARCONI (7.30pm, Wed, BBC2)
profiles the successful defence contractor who ingeniously
reinvented themselves as a dot-com supplier - boy, they must
be kicking themselves now...
FILM>> looks like they're sticking any old Euro-nonsense on
the UK's last few remaining screens that aren't showing "Harry
Potter" previews - perhaps the most promising being Luc "Leon"
Besson's brutal Jet Li prostitute punch-up KISS OF THE DRAGON
we see [Bridget Fonda] on the toilet, asleep or passed out,
with her panties around her thighs, but don't see any nudity
or biological functions)... from the maker of "Funny Games":
"It starts with 'Chopsticks' - and goes all the way to Grade
9" sadly isn't the tagline for yet another harrowing drama
featuring that famously erotic musical instrument THE PIANO
TEACHER (http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : passed '18' for strong
language, violence, sexual violence, sex and sado-masochism
theme)... or for all you Brit-flick fans, there's last-minute
multicultural marriage mayhem in recent remake JUMP TOMORROW
(http://www.mpaa.org/movieratings/search/ : rated 'PG' for
thematic material, mild sensuality and language)...
>> 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
"WE'D NO TOKEN, WOODEN KENT, KEEN TO DOWN"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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