Fun_People Archive
15 Dec
NTK Bits, 2000-12-15

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 100 18:35:45 -0800
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Subject: NTK Bits, 2000-12-15

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From: "Danny O'Brien" <>
Excerpted-from: NTK now, 2000-12-15

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	"Only Scandinavia has more cell phone users, nine out of 10
	households have a broadband connection, every second family has a
	PC, and one out of three people uses the Net, Tung Chee Hwa said..."
			- WIRED explains how "Internet savvy" Hong Kong is,1367,40533,00.html what do the 4 out of 10 households with
				      a broadband connection and no PC do?

	                       >> HARD NEWS <<
	                       jobs that blew

	Imagine how this feels: a communication that casts aspersions on
	your most intimate behaviour is spread around the Net without your
	permission, where it ends up at the REGISTER, which one-sidedly
	quotes your former partner's opinion without even checking your
	side of the story. Claire who? No: this is the *other* big Net
	story: the fate of, the fan site for sheep. BAA.COM's owner
	Tom Bourke, and the previous owner, Michael Lawrie, were sued last
	year for passing off as the British Airports Authority,
	registering an instrument of fraud, and attempting extortion against
	the non-sheep BAA. Tom, facing massive legal costs, has buckled,
	and handed the domain over to the other BAA.  But Michael "Lorry"
	Lawrie, veteran of many an IRC flamewar, isn't going down for
	no-one. His legal costs are lower, because he's defending himself,
	and like the man says, if companies can jump on obviously
	unconnected personal Website and bully them into submission, the
	law's a sheep *and* an ass. Lawrie's risking his livelihood to set
	a decent precedent in British law, and he's going to carry on with
	the fight as long as he can. Lawyers (Norton Rose included)
	interested in a clear-cut case, and anyone wanting to contributing
	to a BaaBalls legal fund, should mail Lawrie on Yum.
	                                        - passing off? baa, humbug
	                                               - kieeeeeeeeeeeeran
	                - sending *and* receipt? ohoh: we see a great need

	Last week we mentioned ENVISION LICENSING's enthusiasm for
	compulsory registering of anyone who buys any kind of TV equipment
	in the UK [NTK 2000-12-08] - including, it now appears, DVD players,
	no doubt to root out those deviants assembling systems specifically
	designed for aerial-free entertainment. Since then, suggestions
	have been flooding in for a theoretical "secure protocol" for
	purchasing anonymous, untraceable TVs. The main constraint is that
	retailers (new or second-hand) who don't obtain customer details
	can be fined up to UKP1000 per illicit transaction (as discovered
	by Argos in August of this year), meaning that the popular solution
	(where the shop says "We have to send your details to the TV
	licensing authority, so is it OK if we make a name and address up
	for you?") isn't entirely ideal. Best suggestion so far:  you could
	get a friend who already has a licensed TV to buy one for you; or
	you could pay cash, and take an address that actually exists - some
	stores check the postcode, so you'd use something easy to remember,
	like, ooh, 1 Parliament Square.
	            - professionals exempt, unless "in a recreational area"

	This Wednesday saw the puttering launch of yet another rating system
	for the Web. Sponsored by AOL, On Digital, Cable and Wireless, NSI,
	Demon, and Microsoft (which probably explains why their Webserver
	is so royally fucked), the INTERNET CONTENT RATING ASSOCIATION is
	a flimsy revamp of the old RSACi rating system it replaces. All
	the old categories, including "killing of fantasy characters
	(animated)" (given a special exception if massacre "only appears
	in a sports-related context") are mixed with some new international
	categories including - this should annoy our miscountin'
	transatlantic cousins - "promotion of gun use". Naturally, everybody
	will ignore this, just as they ignored the previous system. Except
	that, over here, this weeks' Communications White Paper put the
	backing of the new OfCom authority behind it (via a name-check with
	the IWF).  And that nice Mr Bush has been muttering about mandatory
	controls in school and libraries too. We may have only weeks to
	hunt down and kill all the fantasy characters we can.
	                     - female genitals in how much detail, exactly?
	                    - Bush and Gore engage in passionate kissing-up

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

	Eagerly looking forward to this weekend's G2000 NUCLEAR BUNKER LAN
	PARTY, NTK reader SHADE was nonetheless mildly disappointed to find
	that, when he entered "Kelvedon Hatch" into,
	he got a map featuring a large black arrow with "Secret Bunker"
	written next to it. Of course, the only location more closely
	guarded than this is the venue for next Saturday 2000-12-23's NTK/
	London 2600 Xmas party which, in order to maintain maximum security,
	we won't be revealing to anyone more than 48 hours in advance. And
	that, ingeniously, includes ourselves.
	             - awkward clash with
	               - well, at least they had the distribution sorted...

	                       >> TRACKING <<
	      sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering

	Playing with the 2.4pre's, you get the feeling that it's not the
	LINUX 2.4 KERNEL RELEASE that's taking its time - it's us. Sure,
	one day, we'll live up to its expectations, with our multi-processor
	motherboards, eight gigs of RAM, and multiple RAID journalling
	filesystems on twenty IDE interfaces. But right now? Well, it may
	be us,  but the Virtual Memory system still seems downright *sniffy*
	whenever we ran out of resources. And the low-price fun stuff (USB,
	in-kernel PCMCIA, XFree86 4.0 Direct Graphic support, and snappier
	ISA plug-and-play) are still going to require your userland
	tweaking: the kind of fiddling you might want to leave to your
	favourite distrib release. With the backport of USB to 2.2.18 and
	Alan's latest intimation that he's planning to re-tune the 2.2's
	VM until it bleeps for mercy, we're going to say keep with the old
	guard until Father Christmas buys you that nice new machine. And
	then (and is this a prediction?), we reckon that the Great Penguin
	will have a lovely little Boxing Day present for you.
	                                                      - +/- a week.

	                      >> SMALL PRINT <<

       Need to Know is a useful and interesting UK digest of things that
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