The Null Device
A fascinating inside account of the anti-capitalist movement, by an infiltrating journalist: (Sunday Times, via A&L)
They include university lecturers, people from the BBC, wealthy psychology students, Oxbridge graduates, academics and social workers as well as a frightening hard core of activists from groups that have enjoyed a rebirth under the anti-globalisation flag - Class War, Black Dog and the Anarchist Federation... The youth of the 21st century are joining the new protest movement in droves in the belief that market forces, free trade and globalisation, far from making their world a better place, are enslaving the poor and despoiling the planet.
His instructions for Monday, if I wanted to be part of his group, were precise: "Avoid the Tube, the cops will bottle us in the stations. Bring hats, change them all the time - you'd be surprised how well it works at confusing people. Bring a change of clothing, too . . . it helps with the CCTV, which is everywhere." He also told me to bring a small radio, tuned in to the protest station Interference Radio, to follow the latest movements of the police.
Only 100 or so of those present say they will involve themselves in the peaceful Parliament Square demo. The rest insist they "just want to party". Party options are many and varied. Class War will attack branches of Reed Employment Services in protest over their payment of the minimum wage. RTS will be at McDonald's on the Strand for 10am. Another looser group is going into the City on spec.
Using mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome, geneticists trace humanity back to 10 male and 18 female ancestors: (via robotwisdom; contains diagrams)
A new history of Britain and Ireland by Norman Davies, "The Isles," begins with an account of Cheddar man, an 8,980-year-old skeleton from which mitochondrial DNA was recently extracted. The DNA turned out to match that of Adrian Targett, a teacher in a Cheddar Village school, proving a genetic continuity that, despite numerous invasions, had endured through nine millenniums.
Dr. Wallace discovered that almost all American Indians have mitochondria that belong to lineages he named A, B, C and D. Europeans belong to a different set of lineages, which he designated H through K and T through X. ... In Africa there is a single main lineage, known as L, which is divided into three branches. L3, the youngest branch, is common in East Africa and is believed to be the source of both the Asian and European lineages.
Sue 'Em All: Metallica calls for new laws restricting file trading: (Industry Standard)
Ulrich pulled no punches as he stated the band's position: "The goal is clear and simple: Put Napster out of business."
Detailed comparison of four MP3 encoders: Fraunhofer, Xing, Blade and Lame. It seems that Fraunhofer wipes the floor with the others, especially at low bit rates. (Ars Technica)
Today on Slashdot: Jon Katz vs. Metallica, in a no-holds-barred steel-cage match.
Apparently Australia's three mobile carriers enabled SMS messaging between their services a few weeks ago. (via anthonyjhicks.com)
Or what about putting a new twist on flight & driving simulations - inebriation levels? ... can you just imagine trying to control your vehicle when the monitor keeps blurring out, trees and buildings keep transmuting into doors or spinning tops, and the responses to your keyboard commands are sluggish and occasionally go off on tangents that you have no control over whatsoever. If you want some variations, try the Psychedelic settings.
Now, to be utterly tasteless... you could present Ruthless Revenge, Truth or Dare (interactive webcam version,) Gangsta (how to make your way through the ranks of the ghetto to the penthouse... imagine your own methods here...), Proctologist (need I say more?), Hard Time (a prison life sim,) and finally, The World's Oldest Profession. Plenty of tasteless fun to be had...