Fun_People Archive
26 Jun
NTK now bits, 26/06/98

Content-Type: text/plain
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 98 11:24:54 -0700
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: NTK now bits, 26/06/98

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
Excerpted-from: NTKnow 26/06/98
Forwarded-by: "Danny O'Brien" <>

"[Blah blah] unorthodox positioning as a magazine 'not for everyone'.
          This is still true today, of course - perhaps even more so
          now that the 'uneducated' tastes of the mass market are so
        sharply at odds with Edge's continued pursuit of excellence."
                                      - JASON BROOKS, ex-editor, Edge
                                                          oh fuck off

                          >> HARD NEWS <<
                             new shoes

 What does the British Net really need? That's right, another committee.
 Having despatched the crypto debate with such aplomb, BARBARA ROCHE and
 the wunderkinder of the Department of Trade and Industry are now proposing
 an independent panel to "investigate complaints over material on the
 Internet". The body's brief will be confined to civil disputes - in other
 words, copyright and libel. And how, exactly, will that work? No-one knows;
 least of all the DTI, who it seems are once again flying a kite to see who
 takes pot-shots at it.  Well, here's a few: one of the defences (we
 fervently hope) against a libel charge is that you're telling the truth.
 So, if the committee is supposed to decide what is libellous and what is
 not, will it also have powers to investigate and call witnesses? Or will
 it require that sites be shut down, before they have their day in court?
 And if, as supportive groups (like the ISPA and the Internet Watch
 Foundation) claim, this is all to prevent ISPs being found liable by third
 parties, then who is liable when a site is taken down illegitimately? It's
 clear that the panel will act very quickly if Sony fingers a warez site,
 but who does the victim of a baaad decision appeal to?
                    - we know! Let's have another committee
            - the Court of Human Rights, and it's a number?

 In a unique example of unlocking the stable door fractionally before the
 horse has been rendered into glue, a US federal appeal court dropped the
 injunction on Microsoft's Windows 95 this week - 48 hours before they
 stopped selling it anyway. The Windows 98 launch party on Thursday was a
 relatively subdued affair in comparison. In comparison with anything. Bill
 Gates took the stage on 5PM, San Francisco time, and ran through the list
 of new improvements to the operating system. Then ran through it again,
 slowly, in case anyone coughed.,5,23471,00.html
   - MS-DOS, Windows 3.11 and Win 95 make legal ancient history
                - considering a move to Memphis? Not so fast...
                               - Linux kids getting tear-gassed

                        >> ANTI-NEWS <<
                     berating the obvious

 NSA Chief tells US Senate that Y2K bug-fixers could be employed by "a
 hostile nation" to *insert* bugs... EDGE magazine's unorthodox pursuit of
 excellence this month includes claim that Ridge Racer cabinet ran at
 0.4FLOPS - an incredible 4/10ths of a floating point operation per
 second... new KEVIN SMITH film "will contain Star Wars quotes"...
 fairweather freeware advocate DAVE WINER starts charging for Frontier...
 author LUCY ELLMAN believes science "escapist hobby for men not fully
 occupied with football"...  just as we're finally admitting that Nortel
 radio interference story was dodgy, .NET and INTERNET MAGAZINE start
 running it..., confer status - says BBC's DAVID BRAKE
 (,  the inimitable RICHARD BARRY runs
 *fourth* ZDNET piece on BT's penny ISP service - even though nothing has
 happened...  GATES richest man in world, uncovers Forbes Magazine...
 CLIPPER chip crypto algorithms released to public: 24 hours later,
 weaknesses exposed...

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

 By rights, they should be able to compress 10 times more talk into the
 world's first MP3 SUMMIT from 8am, Thu 02/07/98 at UCSD, San Diego.
 Pre-registration costs a very reasonable US$50 (the price of just a few
 "commerical" CDs), and the credit-card form gives a fair idea of the target
 audience: "Any suspicious transactions are immediately reported... please
 act responsibly." Attendees include musos, coders, lawyers (presumably
 hoping to shut the whole thing down), and two portable hardware players.
 Someone better tell T3, whose latest letters page contains the informed
 editorial opinion that (p18) "we've not heard of hardware devices... would
 have thought it... prohibitively expensive".
             - delegates requested not to remove their "tags"

                        >> TRACKING <<
                        net tucker man

 The only annoying thing about the PERL FRIDGE MAGNET SET is that there
 aren't enough "$" symbols and only two pairs of curly brackets. Otherwise,
 it would be the perfect visual editor for Perl. As it is, you'll just have
 to make do with creating parsing Perl poems. As infinitely re-usable and
 free form as the language itself, the set costs $17.50 (outside US) from
 that commune of outstanding techsmiths, The Perl Journal.
                           - Rapid prototyping for prosodists
           - Perl creating Java quoting Unix emulating fridge

                       >> GEEK MEDIA <<
              may contain strongly-typed language

 SKIENCE>> More horse/stable door/bolting combos: The Deutsche
 Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) has just announced they've finished the
 computer models that will allow them to predict when failures will occur
 in the wheels and suspension of high-speed trains: the answer "about three
 weeks ago" won't do, apparently... not content with basking in Bjorn Borg's
 past glories, the Swedes have statistically proved that our greatest
 contribution to Wimbledon - Dan Maskell - was full of it: players aren't
 more likely to fluff the next point after a double fault; new balls don't
 help: cliche after cliche fails to scrape over the mathematical net... an
 in-depth Cornell research study reveals why eggs explode in the microwave
 (they do? let's try)... maybe now they've discovered feathered dino fossils
 in China, that whole birds<>dinos argument will finally go extinct... get
 ready for history-making as REALLY BIG PDFs:  those nice folks at NASA's
 History Office have scanned all the Apollo Press Kits:
 ... autonomous 'bot the size of a Greyhound bus to roam America's highways
 filling in potholes - someone send it up the M11, please... no contest for
 top new paper at this month: "Causal Randomness, Complete Wave
 Mechanics, and the Ultimate Unification of Knowledge"...

                           >> 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 "now powered by VIM".

                             NEED TO KNOW
    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.

prev [=] prev © 1998 Peter Langston []