NTK now Bits, 13/3/98
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 98 17:32:56 -0800
Subject: NTK now Bits, 13/3/98
Excerpted-from: NTK now, 13/3/98
by "Danny O'Brien" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the UK>
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"[Steve Jobs] will wait for the exact climate. He will feel
- RICHARD DOHERTY, on the ETA for Apple "entertainment device"
he can still feel a pulse?
LET THE SARCASM BE UNCONFINED! NTK LIVE, THIS MONDAY, 18.30GMT, 16/3/98
(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*
- official: keywords were not "near" and "far"
- technical details explained so you can get these jokes
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 www.distributed.net
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
>> 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
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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© 1998 Peter Langston