NTK Bits, 2000-11-24
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 100 11:39:02 -0800
Subject: NTK Bits, 2000-11-24
X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649 -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2000-11-24_ o join! mail an empty message to
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"It was April 1998, you had only heard of the internet if you
had a ponytail..."
- DOTCOM TELEGRAPH, whose predecessor, CONNECTED, started in 1996
( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?et/00/11/23/ecfnick23.html )
...actually, didn't the ponytails turn up in Sept '99?
[Well, actually... -psl]
>> HARD NEWS <<
kah ay-ay boos
"Hacking Furby" is such a powerful Net meme that when PETER VAN
DER "alt.folklore.urban" LINDEN got involved, we assumed that he
was just out to expose the whole idea as virulent fiction. But
here's the sting in the tale: PVDL was out to turn myth into
glorious *reality*. Eleven months after posting a $250 reward to
the first person to really hack the toys, van der Linden has
announced a winner. To some extent, Jeffrey Gibbon's entry is a
hack of the idea of "Hacking Furby", being a wholesale bypassing
of the unreadable Furby chipset with a custom board. The firmware
is currently somewhat incomplete (despite promises of a full
real-time multitasking FurbOS). It does let you encode and play
your own sweary samples though. And what else did you want?
- "believed true"
- and just in case Tiger doesn't sue, here's more prior art
- ladies and gentlemen: the perfect unquestioning cyberwarrior
- vs Furby-terminators from the future...
Eagle-eyed Hansard watchers may already have spotted the
government's attempts to excise the RIPA Tribunal, the only appeal
mechanism possible for recipients of RIP Orders, from disclosure
under the Freedom of Information Act. Well, one secret's out: it
actually formed in October. The technical-
oversight-committee-in-exile of the Ukcrypto mailing list swiftly
scanned the released list of members, and spotted the only one to
publically comment on previous proposals, one Mr William Carmichael.
Like many concerned citizens, William wrote in to comment the
Interception of Communications Act consultation. He felt, in
summary, that we were squishy-soft on monitoring UK citizens in
crimes against the economic wellbeing of the country. And that
surveillance tapes should be admissable as evidence - but that the
defence lawyers shouldn't be allowed to question their veracity.
Sigh. He was on the old IOCA tribunal too. Our vast investigate
reporting resources (Google) are otherwise silent on his background,
except that if he *was* the William Carmichael that Thomas Jefferson
wrote to in 1788, saying "It [is] more dangerous that even a guilty
person should be punished without the forms of law, than that he
should escape", we hope he was listening.
- ...oh, and he uses a typewriter
- we see Charles Clarke is busy changing the history books too
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
AL Digital's server-bunker. Titles like "Earth Shelter Technology"
and "Underground Homes" appearing on the NTK bestseller list. And,
er, "Half-Life". There can be no clearer evidence that many humans
are subconsciously hoping to fulfil the popular sci-fi prophecy
that, by the 21st century, we should all be living underground.
And what better chance to sample the delights of subterranean
existence than NERVE/ DARKSIDE UK's G2000 LAN PARTY, being held at
the Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker, near Brentwood in Essex, Dec
2000-12- 16/18. "First person shooters" will, predictably, be the
order of the day, though "other activities" are planned; tickets
are UKP10/day or UKP28 for all three, and include admission, crash
space, electricity, some meals, an opportunity to drink your own
re-processed urine and, presumably, an increased chance of survival
if some rogue nation exploits the current window of opportunity
and launches an ICBM attack on the leaderless US.
- and emerge, blinking, as rulers of a new world
- famous non-surface-dwellers: Morlocks, NORAD, Hitler...
Or, for those of us still nostalgic for the good old days of
tabletop wargaming and saving throws of the d20, this weekend sees
the debut of DRAGONMEET 2000, "inspired by the Dragonmeet
conventions organised by Games Workshop in the 1980s" (10am, Sat
2000-11-25, Conway Hall, London, UKP5 on the door). Guest of honour
is John Kovalic, the man behind "Dork Tower" and "Pokethulhu" (of
course), and it's been orchestrated by James "CrazyNet" Wallis,
who has volunteered to "help out" if we ever get round to doing an
NTK convention (as threatened in last week's issue), so it might
be worth dropping by if you're "in the area" (geographically and/or
mentally), just to see what he might have in mind.
- more navigable than Nov's New Media Underground Festival...
- ...which isn't exactly an encouraging sign
>> TRACKING <<
sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering
Ah, that old Tracking faithful, Beat The Firewall. Our roving ftp
correspondent, Yoz, writes: "If you had ten pence for every time
you'd been stuck behind a firewall at a new job and talked with
your sysadmin chum about how cool it'd be if you could tunnel your
essential protocols (e.g. ICQ, Napster) through something like
HTTP, then... you still wouldn't have enough to afford the server
rental outside the firewall. Fortunately, HTTP-TUNNEL does *both*
- not only have they written a client, but they're hosting servers
for you to proxy through. And it seems to work. Okay, so it's
Windows-only, but how hard is it for you *nixers to 0wn the firewall
- .zip with InstallShield installer & MFC DLLs: 1.3MB. without: 45K
- not to be confused with GNU httptunnel, although we can't see them suing
>> 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.
Registered at the Post Office as
"rumours... greatly exaggerated"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
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© 2000 Peter Langston