Fun_People Archive
8 Dec
NTK bits, 2000-12-08

Content-Type: text/plain
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri,  8 Dec 100 12:23:28 -0800
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: NTK bits, 2000-12-08

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: NTK now, 2000-12-08
Sender: "Danny O'Brien" <>

 _   _ _____ _  __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_   _| |/ / _ __   __2000-12-08_ o join! mail an empty message to
|  \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o
| |\  | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v  v /  o website (+ archive) lives at:
|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/   o

	"Sad people choose an online woman (cue stereotypes of air
	hostess, barmaid and school teacher) and then exchange
	flirtatious emails with what is really a computer program.
	Alan Turing, where are you when we need you?"
        - "Heroes and Zeroes" column, MACUSER, Friday 2000-12-08
...actually, Turing kind of preferred the motorcycle cop, the American
                               Indian, and the construction worker...

                                >> HARD NEWS <<
                                 up the wazoo

	The Sexual Offences Amendment, introduced to bring the gay age of
	consent in line with those notorious heterosexuals, is now law,
	but the riveting Lords debate on the topic continues at the very
	home of frank sexual argy-bargy -  THE WEB! Welcome to, our favourite Baroness Thornton's own
	exercise in on-line democracy, where you too can vote on the
	controversial topic of what is scaring the peer's horses these
	days. There are, we should say, something a bit skewiff here. The
	explanation of exactly what you're voting for on the site is very
	confusing, with strong encouragements to vote with the good
	Baroness, whatever you originally thought. Also, they keep on saying
	the word "buggery", to the point where we began to forget what it
	meant. Finally, details of the individuals behind the site are
	strangely vague, apart from the credit to "the group who voted in
	favour of the House of Lords amendment". Although it would be nice
	to imagine that it's actually the Baroness who wrote the ColdFusion
	back-end (oops-la!), this does make it tricky to discover who to
	contact - should, say, you wish to query about the use of the site's
	personal data under the Data Protection Act (helpfully linked from
	their homepage in place of a proper privacy statement). That's
	certainly pertinent, given that in order to vote, you have to give
	your name, postcode - and your sexual orientation. Those of us who
	are a mite concerned about handing over a lucrative, geographically-
	detailed, pink pound marketing database to the Baroness shouldn't
	worry: One call to the Lords later, and we find it was the oddly
	reticent INTERACTIVE BUREAU who manage the site.  Unfortunately,
	as of "press send" time, they hadn't given us the precise details
	of the fat "data controller" contact required by law. So, in
	accordance with the data registrar's own recommendations, do send
	your firm, manly, request to have your most private recesses
	unhanded this instant to IAB's chief exec:  RODNEY TYLER,
	LONDON WC2A 1PJ. We'll update that address as soon as they pull
	their finger out. Ahem.
                  - notice our restrained use of double-entendre here
                                      - form letter under Your Rights
                        - "the position is quite different for girls"

	Surprises came thick and fast at this year's BIG BROTHER AWARDS:
	the absence of Mark Thomas (on "a sting" somewhere); Simon Davies
	and David Shayler taking the stage as "Men In Black"; endearingly
	amateurish home movies of Privacy International delivering awards
	to winners who couldn't make the ceremony. But the biggest turn-up
	for the bookies came when out-of-nowhere outsiders ENVISION TV
	LICENSING swept ahead of established favourites - including
	InfoDisc proprietors i-CD Publishing, automated face-recognition
	pioneers Visionics and, of course, - to take "Most
	Invasive Company", thanks to their national database of 26 million
	addresses plus what Davies described as "constantly hounding TV-free
	households to explain why they don't have a TV". To which we'd add:
	and requiring retailers, by law, to provide them with the names
	and addresses of anyone buying or renting a TV, digital set-top
	box, VCR, PC tuner card or "TV-enabled computer" in the UK, making
	the sale of Orwell's "telescreens" more strictly regulated here
	than, say, rifles and shotguns in the state of Florida. Now, we
	don't recall ever explicitly handing over these details when buying
	a telly (unless they get them direct from your credit card or bank),
	but if you're purchasing some TV-enabled consumer goods this
	Christmas, why not take along a large sum of cash and perhaps a
	"new" address as well, and do let us know how you get on...
        - Jack Straw re-nominated "for the astonishing achievement of
	    being consistently more authoritarian than Michael Howard"
             - TVs, rifles, shotguns: which "urban pacifier" is next?

	Celebrity gossip time: WHICH spicy e-mail newsletter attempts to
	avoid legal action by keeping its scandalous gossip as "blind
	items"? BUT is these days getting shopped by its own online FORUM,
	who insist on putting names to EVEN THE WORST ACCUSATIONS regarding
	hitherto NAMELESS TV PRESENTERS, to the point where they've had to
	(temporarily, we hope) shut it down? But who, have nevertheless,
	pointed their fans to forum on another site, which presumably will
	have to shut itself down too, and so on infinitum? Hmm?
                                              - no, you idiots, not us
                                                     - damn missed it

                                >> TRACKING <<
               sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering

	AUDIOGALAXY SATELLITE isn't your standard Napster clone.  It's
	principal advantage is that almost all the UI is run from their
	own Website; you pick out the tracks you want queued for download,
	and the stubby little client merely chats occasionally to find out
	what's to be downloaded, where from, and who wants to upload. There
	are no permanently open ports, the client automatically auto-resumes
	downloads, and the CPU usage is miniscule. The Windows version
	(yes, there's a 200K CLI Linux client) even has bandwidth
	throttling. Meanwhile, that Audiogalaxy Web UI is *lovely*: it
	automatically sorts songs by artist, and does its best to eliminate
	broken files and consolidate good versions. It keeps track of files
	that have appeared in the past on the network, so you can select
	and queue them for when they reappear. And because the selection
	and downloading process are separated, you can pick your tracks
	away from home, and have them auto-download remotely to your home
	machine. Heck, as an journalistic experiment, we even managed to
	set up a public repository of songs using a client running on a
	Webserver. It's exactly how Napster should be done - and there's
	even a potential revenue model for AG with banner ads and CD
	purchases. If wasn't for the fact that it's slightly more
	centralised than the Nap (making for some scaling issues), non-free
	(natch), and fucking doomed to be smashed into pieces by those RIAA
	folk, we'd say it's the future of MP3 distribution. As it is, we'll
	say that it's the all-too-brief present, and wait for the writs to
                         -  very tempted to keep quiet about this one
                              - raging with the help of some machines

                               >> 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
                    "like Christmas (1997) all over again"
                                 NEED TO KNOW
                         Archive -
                Subscribe? Mail
   NTK now is supported by UNFORTU.NET, and by you:
                          (K) 2000 Special Projects.
             Copying is fine, but include URL:

prev [=] prev © 2000 Peter Langston []