Fun_People Archive
14 Mar
NTK now Bits, 13/3/98

Content-Type: text/plain
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 98 17:32:56 -0800
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: NTK now Bits, 13/3/98

Excerpted-from: NTK now, 13/3/98
		by "Danny O'Brien" <>

 _   _ _____ _  __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the UK>
| \ | |_   _| |/ / _ __   ____13/03/98_ o Join! Mail 'subscribe ntknow'
|  \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o  to
| |\  | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ V  V /  o Website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/   o

         "[Steve Jobs] will wait for the exact climate. He will feel
                                                         the pulse."
         - RICHARD DOHERTY, on the ETA for Apple "entertainment device"
                                          he can still feel a pulse?

                        (SEE EVENT QUEUE FOR DETAILS)

                       >> HARD NEWS <<
                     and what it behooves

 It was a week of keynotes, keywords, and kebabing in the JAVA corner of
 Internet World. MICROSOFT launched their latest Java compiler, designed to
 be just like everyone elses' offerings, except faster and more
 incompatible. They introduced their own set of classes, while refusing to
 even look at Sun's official set (literally - Microsoft's top Java man
 "deliberately avoided looking at the Sun JFCs"; in case he was turned,
 Indiana-Jones-like, into ashes?). And, following the official MS line of
 "if it ain't broke, fix it so it is", they added two extra keywords to the
 language. The Java purists responded with their "write once, run around
 everywhere - screaming" mantra, but worse was to come. On Wednesday, gaunt
 Apple, still slavering over Bill Gates' $150 million food parcel of last
 year, announced they were going with Bill's Java, not Sun's. As Sun whined,
 Microsoft's Steve Ballmer was gloating in the New Yorker about obtaining
 the original Java license: "We didn't come in there saying, 'Hallelujah
 brother, we love you Sun, you're our boys'". Not when Apple really *are*
 your boys.
              - official: keywords were not "near" and "far"
    - technical details explained so you can get these jokes
                                                  - attaboys

 So, what happens when the ageing hippies of the Digital Revolution get even
 more aged, and *squishy-soft* on the truths they held so self-evidently
 dear? Well, all that cranky libertarianism goes out the window for a start,
 and shiny new TECHNOREALISM takes its place. A fine assemblage of
 cyberspace's comfortable-shoe-wearing thinkers took to the soapboxes on
 Wednesday to announce their Technorealistic manifesto. Among the new
 slogans being chanted on the barricades outside Harvard Business School
 was the catchy "Information wants to be protected",, "Government has an
 important role to play on the electronic frontier" and "Are technological
 changes good or bad?" - altogether now - "The answer is BOTH!". Interested
 parties (who must number at least twenty) looked forward to pitched street
 battles between the John Perry Barlite old guard and the cardigan-wearing
 shocktroops, but to no avail. For who were the first to offer their lives
 for the new crusade? Why, rumour has it, Wired editor and "hive
 consciousness" guru Kevin Kelly, Howard "psychedelic funster" Rheingold
 and ... Mr "Cyberspace Declaration of Independence" himself. So what would
 happen if they held a war, and every turned up on the same side?
          - "Technorealism is by no means an exclusive club"
           - or is there a more... satisfactory explanation?

 What does it matter if you let one ex-governor of Hong Kong go, when you
 have the whole of the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT in your pocket? After initial
 pressure from Mr Murdoch's companies, the EU is currently moving to make
 not only the advertising and sale of pirate decrypting devices (like Sky
 smartcard hacks - ah, if they still worked) illegal Europe- wide, but also
 "the provision of information and measures facilitating unauthorised
 access". By the terms of the proposal, that would criminalise any attempt
 to demonstrate the weakness of, say, 40-bit crypto by brute force breaking,
 or indeed any public discussion of security weaknesses in an encryption
 system. That would put a bit of a damper on future
 efforts, news coverage of the latest BugTraq NT hole - and indeed, any
 discussion of crypto flaws at all. Oh, and if we were to tell you that you
 can log in to most registration Websites with the user id "cypherpunk",
 password "cypherpunk"? Well, we wouldn't, because they'd come and arrest
 us for it. Doh.  Click below for useful tips in contacting your MEP. But
 hurry - the first consultative period ends next Wednesday.  What? The EC
 didn't tell you earlier? What an *oversight*.
          - Us? We're still puppets of Ross "Gerry" Anderson
                                           - Hack the skies!

                       >> ANTI-NEWS <<
                     berating the obvious

 REVOLUTION's Website so revolutionary, it forgets about MIME types... MARS
 PATHFINDER declared dead... asteroid *not* going to hit after all, despite
 excellent tie-in with ARMAGEDDON movie, and some poor loser registering
 1997XF11.COM ... GQ CD-ROM "pants on a stick"... MICROSOFT security patch
 stops Win 95 machines logging onto NT networks... LINEONE redesign sucks...
 NEWS.COM blows the lid on "Rockwell modems slow" shocker... Slashdot calls
 for NEWTON to be GPL'd... RALPH NADER's letter urging Dell to pre-install
 Linux on PCs appears to be written using Microsoft Word... world's TV
 experts fails to get "ignorant slut" joke from SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE when
 used to describe Teletubbies producer... WEBBYAWARDS.COM go to: Bezerk,
 The Well, Salon, Bert Is Evil, and INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE...  ADA'WEB art
 site "defunded" by backers.... hypercaffeinated citrus cola SURGE (stronger
 than Jolt) has US ad slogan "Feed The Rush"... Bath-based MODIFIED.COM
 release "Evolver ECD" and "PhatBoy 1.0" - and still no clear explanation
 of what they do... Tiger GAME.COM slashed to UKP35, games still UKP20-25...
 and WWW.WORD.COM folds, giving our first FALCO! to Anon of NY - see NTK
 13/2/98 ...

                        >> 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.
It is registered at the Post Office as "part of the Corley conspiracy".

                              NEED TO KNOW
                     Archive -
                  Excuses -

   Unsubscribe? Mail with 'unsubscribe ntknow'.
     Subscribe? Mail with 'subscribe ntknow'.
          They worry about us, but we don't worry about them.

        (K) 1998 Special Projects. Non-business copying is fine,
                    but retain SMALL PRINT. Contact
   for commercial license details.

                Tips, news and gossip to

prev [=] prev © 1998 Peter Langston []