The Null Device

2000/5/2

In the next decade, there will be robotic taxis, optic-nerve camera implants and space-based manufacturing. These predictions come not from a sci-fi author, but from researchers at a Siemens R&D unit. (Reuters)

``We are working on many of these future technologies now, and all of these scenarios are technically possible already,'' Ian Stewart, chief technical officer at Roke Manor Research, said in a statement.
Television news will be revolutionized as bionic reporters provide live images via sensors embedded in their optic nerves and transmit them through tiny mobile phone transmitters implanted in their shoulders.

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Interesting Salon article about the taboos surrounding cunnilingus.

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Life imitates a Chuck Palahniuk anecdote: French police crack down on deaf-mute slavery ring -- run by deaf-mutes. (Reuters)

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Some people never learn: Shortly after the conclusion of the antitrust trial, Bill Gates ordered developers to sabotage PalmPilot compatibility. (The Register)

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Frantic Dogpaddle now have a mp3.com page. Go there, download their MP3s and listen to them until your head explodes.

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Woo! vmunix has made $4.47 from mp3.com.

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Meanwhile, while Chuck D is putting his name and money behind Napster, Metallica (a product of the Seagram Co.) have identified 300,000 copyright-violating Napster users, and are demanding that Napster blocks all of them. (Metallica are to chat online with fans soon too, and the Slashdot Army are likely to be out in force.)

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Write and record a rap song defending Napster, and you could win US$5,000, courtesy of Public Enemy frontman and outspoken MP3 advocate Chuck D. (via The Register)

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There is talk of a settlement in the mp3.com case. The question is: how much control will the Big Four recording companies wield over the new MP3.com, and will downloads still use the "insecure" MP3 format?

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Richard Stallman takes to the soapbox, in a lively interview, as one would expect: (Slashdot)

(In 1988, George Bush called Mike Dukakis a "card-carrying member of the ACLU", in effect comparing the Bill of Rights with Communism and its defenders with Communists. This insult to the US Constitution inspired me, as it did many others, to join the ACLU. Let's hope the Shrub will not be president; one Bush was too many.)
The War on Drugs has continued for some 20 years, and we see little prospect of peace, despite the fact that it has totally failed and given the US an imprisonment rate almost equal to Russia. I fear that the War on Copying could go on for decades as well. To end it, we will need to rethink the copyright system, based on the Constitution's view that it is meant to benefit the public, not the copyright owners. Today, one of the benefits the public wants is the use of computers to share copies.

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Those bloody penguins again: now toy-fetishistic Linuxers can put those spare CPU cycles on their massively overclocked dual-Celera to use animating penguins falling down the screen and walking on their windows, Lemmings-style. (via Freshmeat)

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