NTK now, 2003-11-14

Dave Green tips at spesh.com
Fri Nov 14 05:04:32 PST 2003

 _   _ _____ _  __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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        "Using 'k3wl' instead of 'cool' and making sure the 'a' is
         always replaced by '4' may seem insignificant habits any
         teenager living in an SMS world might do. But by talking the
         talk and virtually walking the walk, IS/Recon has gained the
         trust of nearly 100 different [hacker] groups..."
                ...and literally gigabytes of 0-day warez and serialz!

                               >> HARD NEWS <<
                            shuffling in the pews

         Think you had a bad week? Well, you did. You just didn't
         hear about it. First up: after extraordinary scenes in the
         House of Lords on Wednesday, the government managed to push
         through its five standing orders of the apocalypse - to let
         a smorgasbord of local authorities monitor email and phone
         traffic, plus proposals to force ISPs to retain traffic
         data. All the proposals have been watered down a little
         since they were first aired. But it's all still pretty bad,
         as was indicated by the Tories' desperate attempt to
         introduce a "fatal amendment". Fatal amendments - which
         basically add "This house believes the following law should
         be taken outside and shot:" - are the Nuke-From-Orbit of the
         Lords' arsenal. They haven't been successfully used in the
         House for thirty years. Taken aback by this approach, the
         government went on the offensive, threatening to use
         similiar tactics on future Tory administrations. It all got
         a bit nastily party-political from there on in. When the
         mist cleared, the Lib-Dems had caved on data retention, the
         Tories went off muttering about doing some angry squeaking
         in the Commons, and we got a fistful of bad law. Worse: you
         didn't know any of it was happening until it was far too late.
                  - (from Hansard) LORD RICHARD: You're doing *what*?
                              - "not just bad, but maybe illegal too"

         The ID cards roadshow that Blunkett launched this week had a
         little more warning: and perhaps their longer timetable (due
         in 2013) will allow them to be stopped. Especially if the
         government keep on getting over-excited about the biometric
         bits. The reason we need new cards is because of this
         exciting new technology, goes the current spin. Exciting new
         technology, such as retinal scans, which haven't been proven
         to work with large populations, and are *just* like
         passwords, only you can't change them when they're
         compromised, and with a long history of false negatives.
         Particularly impressive is Fiona McTaggart's current pitch.
         An ex-chairwoman for Liberty and now a Minister in the
         government, she attributes her entire volte-face on ID cards
         down to the marvels of biometric magic. "If I'm honest, one
         unstated reason why I have opposed ID cards is my fear that
         this is another thing for me to lose", she gushes, before
         explaining that, because she can't lose her eyes or
         fingerprints, these new ID cards must be okay. We have to
         say: if the government's so excited about new tech, why did
         the ID card consultation still mistake thousands of
         responses from the STAND relay as being automated responses
         from "an organised opposition campaign"?
         - paragraph 11. That's your democratic contribution right there
        - "another thing to lose". As if we're not losing enough here
                                                  - why Liberty isn't
                     - EU targeting "large scale privacy outfits" too

                                >> ANTI-NEWS <<
                             berating the obvious

         Arnie's response to sexual harassment claims - "Bring on der
         dancing girls!": http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/14/dohrevue.gif
         ... kids today, eh?: http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/14/dohlit.gif
         ... that "Army macho" culture goes a little further than you
         thought: http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/14/dohbum.gif (actually
         one of those expressions that means something different in the
         US): http://www.google.com/search?q=%22going+to+be+bummed%22
         ... meanwhile, "Inclarity" telco offers global net "foaming":
         ... old thrill revisited - return of Widdecombe of the Week:
         http://www.moneydemon.co.uk/result/keyword/UTTERLY+useless ...
         banner ads: http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/14/dohsquat.gif staying
         nice and morbid: http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/14/dohdrown.gif
         ... "War On Terror" apparently having the exact opposite of
         intended effect: http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/14/dohscare.gif ,
         http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/14/dohterror.gif ...

                               >> EVENT QUEUE <<
                         goto's considered non-harmful

         Assuming you're not busy helping Tim Ireland create a site
         where you can SMS pictures of your arse to George Bush (or
         should that be the other way round?), hopefully you haven't
         already missed too much of the DMZ MEDIA ARTS FESTIVAL (11am-
         6pm, today and Saturday 2003-11-14 & 15, Limehouse Town Hall,
         London E14, free) featuring a wide range of usual suspects
         such as MUTE MAGAZINE, CONSUME.NET and no doubt a couple of
         wireless psychogeographic film-making co-operatives based in
         Hoxton and Eastern Europe. And if you're looking for a few
         quirky Xmas gift ideas, maybe Thomson & Craighead will bring
         along some of their Google tea-towels, "Teach Birds 2 Sing"
         ringtone CDs, or Walkmans fitted with endless play cassettes
         of genuine mobile phone conversations from the mid 1990s.
                     - vs http://www.stopwar.org.uk/ (not literally!)
              - for that, you could buy everyone in the UK an ID card
               - not making this up: http://www.dot-store.com/system/
                   - tomorrow: all-day (free?) LAN party in Luton pub
           - advance warning of another bunker bash at the end of Jan

                                >> TRACKING <<
               sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering

         Good Ideas To Steal From MacOS X Applications, No. 443:
         VOODOOPAD is another app that wins by flipping the
         runs-on-server/runs-on-desktop bit. It's a local Wiki
         masquerading as a free-form database. You type, and
         WikiInterCapped words are automatically turned into links to
         fresh pages. Images and links can be dropped into the text;
         unicode is supported. And in case you still crave the wilds
         of the Web, it can also act as a responsive frontend for
         wikis that support author Gus Mueller's simple XMLRPC wiki
         API. Oh, and you can dump all your thoughts to HTML - or an
         iPod, should you be so freaky.
                                                  - $20! You pay $20!
                        - it won an award and yet still does not suck

                                >> MEMEPOOL <<
                contains a source of http://snackspot.org/

         now *we* want some of that Britney "has a level 14 Cleric"
         Googlejuice: http://www.six-something.org/projectbritney.php
         ... ftp://www.japan.steinberg.net/ tagged - you're it... you
         know you've "arrived" when: http://lordrich.newmail.ru/ican/
         (and is the original hosted under www.bbc.co.uk/dna/ because
         it's "mostly harmless"?)... don't want to know what they're up
         to here: http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/14/dohgrif.gif ... "These
         BOFH stickers on my monitor? Well, they each signify one of my
         'support kills'": http://www.ntk.net/2003/09/12/dohbofh.gif
         ... caution - one of these pics is not safe for work like the
         others: http://www.altavista.com/image/results?q=potatoes
         ... (comparatively) new thrill - amusingly (in)appropriate
         GOOGLE TEXT ADS: http://www.ntk.net/2003/11/14/dohshuck.gif
         ... http://www.google.com/search?q=bluejacking - "Did you mean
         'barebacking'?" (now *that* would surprise a stranger)...

                                >> GEEK MEDIA <<
                                  get out less

         TV>> it's not clear whether it's the collision detection, the
         level design, or the terrible cheerleader non-choreography
         that really lets down CGI would-be "Robot Wars" FIGHTBOX (7pm,
         Fri, BBC2)... what if Robin Ince and resident Friday Thing
         Photoshop-wiz Charlie Skelton were the "real" victims of
         extended "Gotcha Oscar" format THE PILOT SHOW? (11.15pm, Fri,
         C4)... and implausible-odyssey fan Ray Mears apologises for
         the Monster-Manual-meets-road-movie structure of THE BIG READ:
         THE LORD OF THE RINGS (9.15pm, Sat, BBC2)... at least it's
         Miranda Sawyer - and not, say, Jonathan King - explaining SEX
         BEFORE 16: WHY THE LAW IS FAILING (9pm, Sun, C4)... part of an
         "Adult at 14" season that also includes *another* "The Real
         Lord Of The Flies" reality show 14 ALONE (9pm, Tue, C4), plus
         web filth roundup KIDS ON PORN (10.40pm, Tue, C4)... though
         note that it's a pesky 17 year-old who shoots his parents then
         claims THE MATRIX DEFENCE (10.40pm, Wed, C4) - presumably that
         the act was entirely justified if we live in a VR illusion:
         ... yes, you can laugh at the weirdoes in CHILD PRODIGIES
         (9.30pm, Wed, BBC2) - but really you're chuckling at yourself
         ...speaking of which, Joel "rathergood.com" Veitch's cult
         Flash animations "are intercut with memorable music videos" in
         RATHER GOOD VIDEOS (1.50am, Wed, C4)... then HORIZON (9pm,
         Thu, BBC2) shouldn't have too many problems poking holes in
         the statistical coincidences that make up "The Bible Code":
     http://politics.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4561031-107865,00.html ...

         FILM>> lots of staggered-release schedules right now, which
         means you've got more chance of previewing Will "Old School"
         Ferrell in what the posters imply is a film called ELF JAMES
         CAAN ( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/elf.htm : Christmas
         without Jesus; repeated display of provocative women's
         underwear, once in an implication of perversion)... compared
         to Robert Downey Jr/ Katie Holmes intertextual musical itcher
         THE SINGING DETECTIVE (imdb: based-on-tv-series/ remake)...
         the closest thing to a national release is Jackie Chan/ Lee
         Evans CGI-heavy "Indiana Jones"-lite actioner THE MEDALLION
         ( http://www.screenit.com/movies/2003/the_medallion.html :
         [Chan] and [Claire "Press Gang" Forlani] do some brief
         passionate kissing; comedic and misinterpretation-based
         homosexual innuendo)... otherwise at least you get a choice
         of older women living it up in LA arthouse romp LAUREL CANYON
       ( http://www.cndb.com/movie.html?title=Laurel+Canyon+%282003%29 :
         Kate [Beckinsale] has more exposure in this movie then
         anything she has done in 4-5 years)... or London comedy THE
         MOTHER ( http://www.cndb.com/movie.html?title=Mother%2C+The :
         Born 1935 Anne ["Dinnerladies"] Reid, in the title role, has
         two sex scenes with a young carpenter in which she's naked,
         but largely concealed by fancy editing)...

                               >> 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
                    "ntk.*net* Richard - if you don't mind"

                                 NEED TO KNOW
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