Fun_People Archive
27 Aug
NTK Bits, 1999-08-27

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 99 10:33:21 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: NTK Bits, 1999-08-27

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Excerpted-from: NTK now, 1999-08-27

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    "I can remember one occasion, taking a shower with my wife while
     high, in which I had an idea on the origins and invalidities of
     racism in terms of gaussian distribution curves."
              - CARL SAGAN provides rather more info than we required
                ....and a whole new meaning to "butt-head astronomer"

                                >> HARD NEWS <<
                                  micro brews

         O'Reilly's OPEN SOURCE CONVENTION didn't end with a bombing,
         which was a surprise - with the leading lights in Perl,
         Python, Apache, and Sendmail all in the same hotel, sense
         trigger-fingers in the Redmond silos must have been
         twitching. Or else - every hacker's nightmare - they'd set
         upon each other. Extending the invitation to speak to the
         Emacs/GNU heartland to Bill "vi/Java" Joy didn't seem too
         politic, for starters. And didn't anyone notice the start of
         comp.lang.perl.misc's open season on Python programmers?
         Even kindly Larry Wall shot off a few snipes, and given his
         State Of The Onion theme ("chemicals") and the tear-gas
         quantities of real chopped onion he released, you could see
         it was only a short step to weedkiller and sugar. And adding
         nitro to the glycerin: who invited Dave Winer? Proprietary
         Dave set upon the free software like Carlos the Jackal at a
         World Trade Organisation shin-dig. Open source, he
         translated for Scriptiny News, was an "open sore", Brian
         Behlendorf and co. were "dictators", ESR "an asshole", Perl
         a "hacked-up language", and the "cheezy" Unix boxes in the
         network room couldn't even do cut and paste properly (until
         someone showed him how). Man, it was almost as if Tim
         O'Reilly hired him to distract everyone from each other's
         throats. Hey, wait a minute...
- Tom Christiansen gets an award: gnu.misc regulars caught with semtex
    - "manifestly full of shit" - John Perry Barlow (who should know)
- if we had Xanadu you'd realise how out of context all these quotes are

         Along with all the other cyber-terrorist organisations that
         peddle their hate-speech on the Net of Fear, we're still
         fascinated by crusading Sunday Times journalist, JONATHAN
         UNGOED-THOMAS and his mission to get the hang of
         fakemailing. He's almost cracked it now, we think, with
         "", who recently made contact with
         those anarchist desperadoes The Legal Defence and Monitoring
         Group. Ms Jones says she is "particularly violently opposed
         to animal testing and genetically modified food", and "is
         good with computers." Not quite good enough to go to the
         LDMG's homepage, though, where she would have learned they
         disbanded in October of last year. Double-plus, Ungoed - but
         keep those e-mails coming!
         - compare and contrast
         - Ungoed's recent article. Note expertise provided by mi2g
         - and respect for mi2g held by rest of world. (May 29th)

         With reports that an outbreak of syphilis in San Francisco
         was traced to users meeting via a AOL chatroom, it's not the
         most auspicious week for AOL to launch NETSCAPE ONLINE, a
         free ISP targetted at "single young men". Still, there's
         even weirder vibes emanating from other side of the Netscape
         alliance. Take the invite Silicon Valley residents received
         this week, advertising a special seminar by by Carol
         Montgomery-Adams, Vice President of Customer Loyalty at the
         Sun/Netscape Alliance. Intrigued? Then be sure to RSVP to
         the reply address: The Church Of Scientology, Palo Alto
         Mission. Now, we're not ones to slag off the Scientologists
         (for compelling legal reasons), but it'd be fair to say that
         the last thing anyone can teach them about is ensuring
         customer loyalty, no?
         - You've got E-Meter
         - You've got ... well, it's not mail...

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

         Still reeling from the postponement of Boston's GEEK PRIDE
         FESTIVAL from October to "Spring 2000"? Need *something* to
         drag you away from TIBERIAN SUN? Fortunately, next Thursday
         (7pm, 1999-09-02, University College London) sees the
         inaugural event of the conveniently acronymed SAGE-WISE
         (The "System Administrators Guild for Wales, Ireland,
         Scotland and England"), with a talk on how there's more to
         the job than just "making sure the printer is working and
         that the boss' daughter can access the Web" (though, in
         most places, that's a start). Admittedly, it's probably not
         the BOFH fanclub the world has been waiting for; we just
         like the phrase "System Administrators Guild" 'cos it
         sounds like the "Spacing Guild" in Dune...
         - unless they're face-dancers from the filthy Tleilaxu!
         - Dune drinking game (if not a contradiction in terms)
         - haven't updated their front page yet. The geeks.
         - "[techies] acknowledge their contribution to our world"?

                               >> 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
           "given Internet Magazine 'some stick' in their time"
                         Archive -
       Subscribe? Mail with 'subscribe ntknow'.
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                          (K) 1999 Special Projects.
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