I want to defy - the logic of your spam laws
Mugabe - yes, ICANN - no
Who's pirating the anti-piracy regulations?
Download, where's your troosers?
Not *now*, Cato!
unusually bottom-obsessed doh special
Kitcat snaps, merciless ming-boggling
poorly Perl, Ripley's believe it or not
RMS "friendly little monkey", Wyatt Erk
Do not press shift, go directly to jail
Free wine and nibbles at the opening
Tlak lkie a tanrspsoed pritare day
Target Mr Blaine's flying toilet
Game poetry, patent remedies
SCO selecta, Brussels rout
Partyful dyslexia warrior; taste the destiny of Lara Croft
Vigorous usability fights with tiny Gordon Freeman!
Pleasure to be decived! For your enjoyable Newsletter life
der-der-der, der der derrrr, der-der-der, der-der DER der
The Nielsen Guerilla Army
Stu Campbell and the Beautiful Irony of Spam
Ding-dong, ezmlm is dead
Super Summertime "Special"
The Random Consultation Number Generator
Come on Arlene
Fruits machined, jargon filed
suffering little children, SCO news like no news
national elf service, murky dealings with Clear
S'truth Names, Jane Austen in bondage gear
TV Cream nostalgia, the WAN from Atlantis
MSPs MOA, Bye DA
The Orlowski Report
fear of a googlebot planet
upmystreet upforsale, unheavenly creatures
spam, warez, spam, bugs and spam
More spam, Wrox off
Another great Viking victory
MPs and MP3s, BBC and PDFs
EMI wants more cash, libraries demand more cache
menace of the phantom withdrawals, a weak link in the chain
the calm before another storm
banned or potentially offensive text
Groundhog NTK... again
Groundhog NTK, "non-geek" SF festival
my voice is my passport, switch Case
Stand back up, be counted
Answer me too!
_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk> | \ | |_ _| |/ / _ __ __2003-06-06_ o join! mail an empty message to | \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o firstname.lastname@example.org | |\ | | | | . \ | | | | (_) \ v v / o website (+ archive) lives at: |_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ >> HARD NEWS << it's Campbell, Stu's Everyone's got a friend who'll tell you that a particular fruit machine is "on a cycle" and "nearly ready to pay out". Then you dutifully explain to them that this is all in their imagination, and it could be behaving completely randomly and still win on percentages (like a roulette wheel), and then they say well how come they never try to pay out more money than they've actually got in them? The bad news - in a whole variety of ways - is that that friend of yours appears to be right: according to recent research by THE FAIRPLAY CAMPAIGN, PC-emulated versions of a range of popular fruities appear to follow completely predetermined sequences, with a pattern of payouts designed to reward the victim just enough to keep them playing. Now, this could just be an artefact of the emulation process re-using the same pseudorandomness seed or something - were it not for the fact that, FairPlay reports, at least one machine also decides "gambles" in advance - if, when facing a "High/ Low" value of 5 at one point, you select "High", the machine will spin up a 3 and there go your winnings. If, on the other hand, you select "Low", the machine will spin to a 9. Once again, you lose. http://www.fairplay-campaign.co.uk/fruit/ - also a fun way to get your MP into the emulator scene Good to see the increasingly eccentric ERIC S RAYMOND keeping himself occupied these days. His latest tweaks: a version bump or two to the JARGON FILE, the ancient hacker bible of which he is current custodian. But how steady is his hand on the sacred tome? Worrying is esr's recent inclusion of unfamiliar terms like "Aunt Tillie" and "GandhiCon", which on closer search-engine examination, appear to have been used almost exclusively by Raymond himself. And esr's current expansions of hacker dialect is curious too. New terms include "fisking" - a term pretty much restricted to the warblogosphere, and defined by your impartial host as "Named after a Robert Fisk, a British journalist who was a frequent (and deserving) early target of such treatment". Also included is "anti-idiotarianism", as in Eric's Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto, a fascinating call to arms that implies "Anti-Idiotarian" means "To be against listening to anyone who would tell you you're sounding like an idiot these days". Finally (and not included in the changelogs), Eric has tweaked the Hacker Politics page, from its previous description as "vaguely liberal-moderate" to "moderate-to-neoconservative (hackers too were affected by the collapse of socialism)". Go tell that to the Kuro5hinners, Eric. Recalling Raymond's familiar defence of previous changes, "rather than complaining that I am 'rewriting history', help me write it!", let it be noted that if someone did want to fork the Jargon File, now would be the time to do it. Raymond's previous googlejuice at tuxedo.org has been cast to the winds. A new, reformatted and popularly linked-to upstart could quickly seize the top Google slot. Ha, ha, as we apparently all say, only serious. http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/politics.html - wouldn't everyone, from Eric's view... http://www.science.uva.nl/~mes/jargon/p/politics.html - be slowly changing into crypto-collectivist islamofascist sympathisers? http://kt.zork.net/kernel-traffic/kt20030413_213.html#8 - Aunt Tillie "figment of Erics imagination" http://armedndangerous.blogspot.com/2002_10_13_armedndangerous_archive.html - quoting H. Beam Piper's "Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen" The tiniest of updates on the missing STAND ID card consultation: confusion reigns. On one hand, the government are saying that they'll all be counted (Kable report, below). On the other - other bits of government are saying ooooh we can't tell you until nothing we've told Parliament (BBC report, below). Which is a bit silly, because the only reason Parliament is asking is because at least one enterprising STANDee wrote to their MP to complain, and she - Anne McIntosh, MP for the Vale of York - decided to find out. Despite two BBC articles, two ZDNet pieces and increasing numbers of the proper media nibbling around this story, the Home Office still haven't clocked that the easiest way to deal with this would be just to mail us and explain what happened, so we can tell the people who wrote in. Heck, they can mail them themselves if they like - they've got the mail addresses. All this trying to re-route all communications via Parliament and the press just implies that there's no link between people and politicians anymore. And that couldn't possibly be true, could it? http://tinyurl.com/dmpu - Kable says Home Office in denial http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/2965984.stm - we say they're "a bit silly" >> ANTI-NEWS << berating the obvious "Other products convert binary to hexadecimal, reducing the number of characters, and convert hex to Ascii", marvels: http://www.computerweekly.com/articles/article.asp?liArticleID=122004 ... interesting definition of "In No Way Related" to Paul McCartney: http://www.mcbeatle.de/beatles/mail/paul.html ... one way to make somebody's revision a bit more interesting: http://www.ntk.net/2003/06/06/dohdiv.gif ... those hilarious company names just keep, er, coming: http://www.cumstore.co.uk vs http://www.perr.com/onanstore.html ... slack off - praise "Bob": http://www.livedepartureboards.co.uk/ldb/badargs.html ... this pic - is PANTS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/2966482.stm ... URLs designed to look like the result of random typing: http://www.zzhljx.com/gsjje.htm ... one for the RSPCA?: http://www.petoffice.co.jp/catprin/english/ ... not what we wanted to hear: http://www.ntk.net/2003/06/06/dohcamps.gif ... >> TRACKING << sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering Friends on IRC either sound like lamers or cool, sarcastic, twisted geniuses. Contrast that to pals mediated through instant message clients, who *always* sound like dorks. Now you can instantly improve your friends' standing, by downloading BITLBEE, the incomprehensibly-named IM<->IRC bridge that lets you see your "buddies" using a standard IRC client. BitlBee runs as a fake local IRC server. Its sole real inhabitant is you. Its one faux channel is filled with your Yahoo!, MSN, ICQ and AOL colleagues, appearing and disappearing with the whims of their online status. As per informal IRC tradition, you can talk back by prefixing your message with their nick and a colon, or you can /msg them directly. BitlBee comes with a nice set of help commands, including a three step wizard that'll take you through your account set-up. There are a few rough edges (Bitlbee responded to an /away with a technically appropriate segfault and tends to smother comments from your AOL "friends" with unparsed HTML) but the logins themselves seem rock solid. Just don't mix it with Comic Chat, or you'll have to find a whole new gang of online buddies. http://www.lintux.cx/bitlbee.html - IRCers come from command lines. IMers look like dialog boxes http://www.bash.org/ - all those funny IRC quotes will be lost, like tears in rain >> MEMEPOOL << ceci n'est pas une http://www.gagpipe.com/ handy guide to speaking "smug bumhead" or "pig-faced warrior": http://www.xibalba.demon.co.uk/jbr/lingo.html (also funny on http://www.xibalba.demon.co.uk/jbr/heinlein.html )... just liked the name: http://lists.burri.to/pipermail/geowanking/ ... 'cos sometimes it takes a bigger country to say "we're sorry": http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_269818,0005.htm ... BUNDER has had "detractors", took "abuse in his stride": http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,970300,00.html - somewhat hard to believe, with killer content like this: http://www.bunder.com/weblog_details.php?id=2003-3&mm=March ... "Most Brits that I spoke with had never used the Internet" - philg @ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2003/06/04#a459 ... "This is the voice of the DEPT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS": http://www.targetingbenefitfraud.gov.uk/on_to_you_adverts.html - "We know that you can hear us, Earthmen"... >> GEEK MEDIA << get out less TV>> Carol Vorderman presides over a Mind Olympics-style contest to find Britain's highest-functioning autistic, GRAND SLAM (8pm, Fri, C4)... we still have a soft spot for Anne Heche-nudity traffic report obsession PIE IN THE SKY (1.15am, Fri, BBC2)... and it's the bloody remastered special edition of STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE (6.45pm, Sat, ITV), ending just in time to catch predictably toned-down Huey Lewis chainsaw tribute AMERICAN PSYCHO (9.05pm, Sat, BBC2)... 4PLAY (1.55am, Sat, C4) spends 15 mins in the company of DJ Shadow - nearly enough for a whole song... reader GUY DAVIDSON - *and* his wife - report themselves "very happy" that it's the foppish ex-Smiths vocalist (rather than sitcom actor Neil) profiled in THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING MORRISSEY (11.15pm, Sun, C4) http://www.ntk.net/index.cgi?b=02003-04-11&l=252#l ... the Greater London edition of INSIDE OUT (7.30pm, Mon, BBC1) visits "the capital's most dubious market", as recommended by us in http://www.ntk.net/index.cgi?b=02003-05-23&l=70#l ... and the regular references to "what the coalition forces referred to as 'Operation Iraqi Freedom'" suggest they've got an eye on the international market for BATTLE STATIONS IRAQ (8pm, Mon, C4), this week updating the "Black Hawk" helicopter episode previously shown in Feb of this year... ANGEL (8pm, Mon, C5) introduces the hilarious deadpan demon, Skip... the title of THE DINNER PARTY INSPECTORS (8.30pm, Tue, C4) implies it's only a matter of time before C4 goes the whole hog and employs the Viz Bottom Inspectors as well... here's hoping Alan Yentob's new occasional art strand IMAGINE (10.35pm, Wed, BBC1) will do a slot on ITV's long-running middlebrow lookalike "The South Bank Show"... and Thursday night is pron night, with Adrian Chiles forcing himself to attend poledancing auditions with the owner of Spearmint Rhino in SO WHAT DO YOU DO ALL DAY? (7.30pm, Thu, BBC2), PLEASURE SEEKERS (11pm, Thu, ITV) profiling "swingers", C4 cooking up TESTOSTERONE GEL (11.15pm, Thu, C4), plus the last episode of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (8pm, Thu, Sky1)... FILM>> "a non-stop relentless unflinching assault" is promised by the TV ads, as grizzled survival expert Tommy Lee Jones finds himself hunting a new kind of fugitive when psychotic animal rights activist Benicio Del Toro becomes THE HUNTED ( http://www.screenit.com/movies/2003/the_hunted.html : [Del Toro] kills various people he claims have been sent to kill him; he also steals a person's bike)... otherwise it's Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei, and Jenna "Baywatch" Avid - together at last! - in bullying comedy ANGER MANAGEMENT ( http://www.capalert.com/capreports/angermanagement.htm : lesbian kissing and other lesbian and homosexual presences such as transvestism and snippets of stereotypical gayspeak) ... plus a wider release than you might expect for Australian "Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels" anti-American romp DIRTY DEEDS ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : contains very strong language and strong violence)... or indeed from-the-director-of-"Ringu" subtitled Japanese chiller DARK WATER ( http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ : contains strong psychological horror)... BONERS: CORRECTIONS, CLARIFICATIONS, AND "INCORRECTLY REGARDED AS GOOFS">> "Sorry to act like a pesky colonial, kind sirs", apologised reader RODNEY THAYER, "but 'WWF' [apparent source of spam in NTK 2003-05-02] reads 'World Wrestling Federation' to us email-ing fools on the left side of the pond. I trust you meant 'World Wildlife Fund'?" Get with the program(me), Rodney: the World Wildlife Fund became the only official WWF http://www.olswang.com/ip/legal_news/wwf_initials.html nearly two years ago, in a dispute settled by a cagefight deathmatch between World Wrestling Federation owner Vince McMahon and World Wildlife Fund champion Jerry "Giant Panda" Peterson (catchphrase: "Now *you're* the endangered species!")... the black-and-white controversies continued with NTK 2003-05-23's suggestion to shout "Look, a can of Guinness!" when the IRA satellite photos appear in the film "Patriot Games". "Bah! No proper Irishman drinks Guinness out of a [fecking] can!", objected PAUL DUNNE, apparently without realising that the film depicts an extreme and "ultra-violent" faction of the IRA - who, let's face it, might well be capable of *anything*... and MIKE ROGERS happens "to know for a fact" that Google's ranking system has "a filter list of Google-related words" - googlebombing or googledancing, for instance - that "cause an absolute demotion in the resulting pagerank of a page where the terms are used", providing a perhaps less conspiratorial explanation of Andrew Orlowski's semi-paranoid observations: http://www.ntk.net/index.cgi?b=02003-04-11&l=21#l . NTK's official position on this, and other Pagerank bleatings, is that the ordering of (say) the top 40 results from a database of *4 billion* might well be getting too complex for casual human observers to comprehend - hey, they could code a special case to deal with a million or so URLs and you might only see it in 1 search in 4000... while finally, STEPHEN LAVELLE wrote to express his gratified bafflement at all the "quite unfathomable people" who suddenly materialised on his unassuming "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck?" page [NTK 2003-04-25], noting that he'd always found his - equally rigorous - analysis of sexual positions "far more diverting": http://www.maths.tcd.ie/~icecube/cgi-bin/index.php?page=sex (please excuse the wobbly handwriting)... >> 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 "still a good phrase to include in e-mail subject lines" http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,59089,00.html NEED TO KNOW THEY STOLE OUR REVOLUTION. NOW WE'RE STEALING IT BACK. Archive - http://www.ntk.net/ Unsubscribe? Mail email@example.com Subscribe? Mail firstname.lastname@example.org NTK now is supported by UNFORTU.NET, and by you: http://www.ntkmart.com/ (K) 2003 Special Projects. Copying is fine, but include URL: http://www.ntk.net/ Full license at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0 Tips, news and gossip to email@example.com All communication is for publication, unless you beg. Press releases from naive PR people to firstname.lastname@example.org Remember: Your work email may be monitored if sending sensitive material. Sending >500KB attachments is forbidden by the Geneva Convention. 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