NTK bits, 25/09/98
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 98 13:00:11 -0700
Subject: NTK bits, 25/09/98
Excerpted-from: NTK now, 25/09/98
_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the UK>
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"The computer industry is creatively bankrupt... with speed
and performance being the only things and mattered. We knew
the iMac was fast. We didn't need to make it ugly."
- JONATHAN IVES, iMac Designer
...but then we thought, why not?
>> HARD NEWS <<
win a cruise!
Our spies at Privacy International (no secrets from us
there) inform us that Simon Davies and the lads are planning
a new set of awards, to be handed out in October. These Big
Brother awards will be given "to the government and private
sector organisations that have done the most to invade
personal privacy+in Britain." Launched 50 years after the
writing of Orwell's 1984, and featuring a charming statuette
of the iron boot stamping on a head, they are sure to be the
envy of all your fellow surveillance co-conspiracists.
Nominations are being accepted from members of the public,
So if you've ever got a thrill from secretly informing to a
quasi-autonomous body who - unbeknownst to their victims - is
compiling a database of suspected "criminals" for a
show-trial in abstentia... Hold on, this isn't coming out
right. There are also some "Winstons" for people who helped
privacy. We're not sure what they look like... a
ratcage, or something?
- oh, what the hell. Fun's fun, right?
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
"Football is the new rock and roll", uncover ZDNET UK,
approximately a decade late... WIRED compared to Third Reich
on Well... http://www.conf.labour.org.uk/ gets our block
vote - as the shittiest site *ever*... handwriting of
DOCTORS worse than controls, reveal BMJ... BRITISH
ASTRONOMER helped find some more planets but they're not
bloody M-Class, the idiot... "personal involvement in the
leadership" expected at the Whitehouse intern initiative
http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH_Fellows/ ... OFTEL punishes
BT's use of Friend & Family to sell Click to ISP users - by
admonishing them in a slightly raised voice... ELECTRONIC
TELEGRAPH puts positive spin on killing "etcetera"
section... we're sure that http://www.bmw.co.uk/ checked
with their lawyers before putting "mercedes", "jaguar" and
"daewoo" into those meta-tags...
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
Like you, we got were thrilled when we found the super-slim
1MB browser, OPERA. And, no, we can't remember when it made
the transition from ultra-cool speed-monster to dull and
ugly piece of Taskbar lint, either. It's not that it's
changed - not for the worse, anyway, with the latest beta
promising Java support, super W3C standard obeyance, and a
multiplicity of fledgling ports (although only the BeOS boys
appear to have escaped parallel fits of ennui). Maybe we
just grew to loathe its previously endearing quirks - like
that yucky Borland circa 1994 interface, or its impenetrable
- and yet, oddly useless - configurability. All that's known
is we uninstalled the last beta within five minutes. And we sleep
in different beds now.
- browser de jour, but they *never* mention it again...
Linux users, hithertofore deprived of the marvellous beauty
of Macromedia plug-ins, have developed compensatory
abilities in their other senses: their sense of injustice,
their sense that some Web designers should be strung up by
their piercings, and so on. Now those powers could fade,
with the first stirrings of a Oliver Debon's FLASH Netscape
plugin FOR LINUX. It's not all there yet, but at least
Flash-"enabled" sites (we prefer the term "differently
platformed") are blurrily viewable (if not yet audible). And
Linuxen have the chance to see for the first time exotic
fonts appear, get big, then move left off the screen, while
spinning around in a thrilling and startlingly original
- if you run, you can still avoid the Shockwave "games"
>> 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 "a big smut jamboree on the internet"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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(K) 1998 Special Projects.
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© 1998 Peter Langston