Advantages Informative, entertaining, compact.
Disadvantages Obscure, cynical.
"They stole our revolution. Now we're stealing it back." is the punchline for Need to Know (www.ntk.net)- a weekly- updated website of a few thousand word which describes itself as "a useful and interesting UK digest of things that happened last week or might happen next week." Written by the kind of people who were using the internet long before the (mainstream) media hype set in, ntk takes an aggressive, alternative and opinionated stance on almost all that it reports - The unspoken agenda seems to be to remind people that there is more to the internet than the www, more to a website than flashy java and more to a product than the marketing which surrounds it. Appropriately, the HTML is unpretentious and lynx-friendly while the writing style is cynical, sarcastic and compact. I can't remember the first time I came across this site but I remember being pretty confused. It took a while to get my head around the sheer density of information, the jargon, the running jokes and the short, staccato sentences which often make no sense at all until you investigate the website to which they refer. These sparsely presented items, like everything in ntk, vary from the sublime to the ridiculous: On the one hand ntk provides well informed opinions on serious internet /technology issues (encryption, freedom of speech, new software and hardware) and on the other hand shows the internet at it's most frivolous and ridiculous: mindlessly entertaining websites, the latest gossip and urban myths which circulate regularly, as well as technological cockups by high profile IT firms and unintentionally funny quotes from clueless executives. Ntk doesn't restrict itself to internet issues though: Each week there is a decent summary of the non - net media: the week's films, TV and "dead tree media" are all scrutinised at high speed with ntk's characteristic cynicism and every now and again there are reviews of all that's new in the world of confectionary and ice cream. . . . . If you have 20 minutes to spare on a Friday evening or a Monday morning then take the time to get into Need To Know: Informative, entertaining and never taking anything too seriously, I would call it essential if you want to know what's *really* going on on the internet.
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