Fun_People Archive
5 Nov
NTK Bits, 1999-11-05

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri,  5 Nov 99 18:27:15 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: NTK Bits, 1999-11-05

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: NTK now, 1999-11-05

 _   _ _____ _  __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_   _| |/ / _ __   __1999-11-05_ o join! mail an empty message to
|  \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o
| |\  | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v  v /  o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/   o

        "Little did he know that applications such as online
        auctions, MP3 or network gaming would come about and change
        the face of the Internet forever, despite being virtually
        unknown and technically impossible only a year ago."
                            - EVA PASCOE, The Independent, 1999-11-01
   ...finding decent MP3s has been "technically impossible" since 1996

                                >> HARD NEWS <<
                                  flashy boos

	 If Internet time is measured in femtoseconds, government crypto
	 time continues to grind away in terms that make geological epochs
	 seem a bit flighty. So, if you're still with us, here's where it's
	 at. The DTI Select Committee report on the Electronic
	 Communications Bill slid out last week, stating the obvious: that
	 it still smacked of key escrow, and trying to prove you never had
	 a decryption key [see NTKs passim] was, while nothing like what
	 some "hysterical" commentators were gabbling [qv ibid], still damn
	 iffy if you asked them. Two conclusions of the report were clutched
	 at glacial pace by the DTI. Firstly, that the spook-led wiretapping
	 clauses should be punted off to the Home Office's own Interception
	 of Communications Bill (the DTI duly leaked to the FT their
	 intention to do just that).  And secondly, that the industry should
	 hurry up with their own self-regulatory crypto code of practice.
	 Cue the latest DTI fall-gal Patricia Hewitt trying to scare the
	 Alliance for Electronic Business board into action. Fine: but short
	 of turning in all their private keys to the spooks, what are we
	 supposed to be regulating again?
             - hurry ... up ... you ... e... business ... slouchers...
                                         - Patricia Hewitt: "twitchy"
                                           - inoculated! no returns!

                                >> TRACKING <<
                  making good use of the things that we find

	 There's some very tortuous "GIF awk" joke under the surface of
	 today's "Burn All GIFs" protest, but you won't find it here,
	 because WEB2PNG is written in Python. It's a utility, written by
	 ESR and included in his GIF2PNG distribution, that'll romp through
	 your Web directories and optimise away any of those evil
	 patent-law-suite-beckoning GIFs, replacing them with deliciously
	 topical PNGs. As if you hadn't guessed. We're going to wait just
	 a leetle bit longer (until those non-PNG compliant browsers die
	 off a bit more, and we can work out how to do animated PNGs) but,
	 hell, if *you* did that too where would you be? Looking down the
	 wrong end of Eric's .45 when the revolution comes, that's what.
         - consider that to be your final warning and or resting ground

	 Official NTK policy is that if you're not reading this in its
	 definitive, non-proportional e-mail form, you're a fricking girl.
	 And all the best fricking girls these days have a Palm, so JUSTIN
	 MASON has been kindly running the Web page through his brilliant
	 sitescooper (aka snarfnews) program, and dumping the results for
	 download at his site.  NTK is available in DOC and iSilo formats,
	 as are all kinds of other girlish, lavender-smelling Websites you
	 may want to read, like The Register and the Linux Weekly News. And
	 "Dr Koop's Health News".
                                        - it's unnatural, we tell you

                               >> 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 *that's* a bonfire"
                                 NEED TO KNOW
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