Fun_People Archive
29 Oct
NTK bits, 1999-10-29

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 99 14:40:53 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: NTK bits, 1999-10-29

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: NTK now, 1999-10-29
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X-Excuses: I have a cold. I'm using Windows. The dog ate it.

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         "We don't make these investments to get a return," said Andersen
         spokesman Andrew Giangola. "We make them because we want to be
         involved in a hot and exciting online business."
       ...perhaps not the management consultancy you'd paid good money for

                                >> HARD NEWS <<
                            they thought they knew

	Just when you thought you'd wait forever for a free DVD player,
	along come two cracks at once. The first was the leaking onto the
	Linux LIVID player mailing list of the DVD Content Scrambling System
	code used by the Jon Johansen's cracker for Windows, DeCSS. Bits of
	the code was already written and GPL'd by Derek Fawcus - which means
	that the rest of the code could end up under GPL - hence the leak.
	More importantly, though, it also meant that the CSS decryption
	algorithm was now open to public scrutiny. It only took a few hours
	to confirm what everyone's been suspecting for a while. The CSS
	decryption system sucks. It works by storing a whole bunch of keys
	on each DVD. Industry overseers, the DVD Forum, hand out one
	matching decryption key to each manufacturer: if any of these
	company's equipment got cracked, future DVD disc's were to be
	pressed without this key, making the crack (and that company's
	hardware) unusable with new movies. Quite whether the Forum would
	ever dare to carry out this threat against its own licensees is
	unclear. It's a bit moot now, though, since open cryptanalysis of
	the CSS algorithm showed that it was possible to brute force *all*
	of the current keys in a few days. In order to preserve the system,
	the DVD Forum would have to disable all keys, turning every hardware
	player sold so far into a pile of scrap iron. Boy, these Hollywood
	guys are *smart*, aren't they?
                                            - the story in a nutshell
                            - next round: let me see you wobble those tracks

	Who do you trust? The people at THE NEW YORK TIMES, or a porn site
	manager? What a relief to know that sometimes it's the same thing.
	The NYT was the first (but not the only) Proper Media outlet to
	report, open-mouthed and panting, that on the Web, "Models Auction
	Their Eggs to Bidders for Beautiful Children". A story like that is
	fit to print whether it's true or not, so maybe it's understandable
	that the Times' journalists didn't bother to look too closely at
	the RONSANGELS.COM's credentials: like, for example, the fact that
	the site invited potential fathers to pay $24.95 a month to look at
	"larger pictures" of said models. Or that RONSANGEL's sister sites
	included and the Creative Nude Network. Without
	getting too distasteful about it, it looks like RONSANGELS ovary
	play was rather more intent on re-directing sperm than distributing
	eggs.  The good Professor, Feed's CLAY SHIRKY, has the details:
                              - CLICK HERE FOR XXXXX NYT EGG FACIALS!
                                                        - TR0ST B1FF!
                - sure *looks* like a bona fide medical facility

                                >> ANTI-NEWS <<
                             berating the obvious

	FUTURE PUBLISHING'S crashes linux
	browsers... AMAZON London bus ads claim company is "irresistable"
	(and "iliterate" too, we guess)... US ISP receives British spam,
	blocks all mail... from the makers of BIBLE TRIVIA comes ... OBSERVER "POWER LIST '99",
	chosen by scientists, journalists, TV "celebrities", includes odd
	preponderance of scientists, journalists, TV "celebrities"... BBC
	NEWS ONLINE celebrates 2nd birthday by messing up content management
	system, falling over... get naked with QXL:
	... YAHOO downplays Compuserve membership: (see bottom of)
	KEVIN WARWICK garners yet more pointless publicity: ... ALTAVISTA announces that
	"beneath humanity's raging debates, there is a common element that
	unites us all. We're curious. We're all searching for our own
	answers" - and the answer to "how do you evade the new crap design?"
	... CLIFF STANFORD cancels own Demon subscription: ...

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

	Blah blah ICA blah blah how new media is transforming contemporary
	narrative blah blah - blah blah speakers include one of Peter
	Molyneux's "young friends", Jeff Noon, Alan Welsman (of "Sony
	Playstations UK"), blah blah NEAL STEPHENSON blah blah UKP10 all
	day next Sat (1999-11-06).  Alternatively, get him to hand-correct
	the perl code in your copy of Cryptonomicon at London's Forbidden
	Planet (5-6pm, Tue 1999-11-02)
                           - occasionally down due to "building work"
- still waiting for a patch file that includes the *non-crypto* errors

                               >> 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 "favourite, snide"
                                 NEED TO KNOW
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