NTK Bits, 2000-12-15
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 100 18:35:45 -0800
Subject: NTK Bits, 2000-12-15
X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649 -=[ Fun_People ]=-
From: "Danny O'Brien" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Excerpted-from: NTK now, 2000-12-15
_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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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
...so 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 baa.com, the fan site for sheep. BAA.COM's owner
Tom Bourke, and the previous owner, Michael Lawrie, were sued last
year for passing off baa.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Yum.
- passing off? baa, humbug
- 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 www.streetmap.co.uk,
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 http://www.non-official.com/pbgo/
- 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
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
"belongs in a museum"
NEED TO KNOW
THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK.
Archive - http://www.ntk.net/
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© 2000 Peter Langston