Fun_People Archive
24 Nov
NTK Bits, 2000-11-24

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 100 11:39:02 -0800
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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>
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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
          ( )
             ...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
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