The Null Device
Alarming signs: Will Napster, CD-Rs and high-speed networks kill record shops?
Certain youthful CD-R users have taken to stealing empty prerecorded CD jewel cases and booklets for the records they've burned at home.
Meanwhile, some customers have taken to selling their own burned CD-Rs as used CDs. Compact Disc World's Lange won't buy them. He's also had to amend his once-liberal money-back guarantee policy. "We were seeing people with CD-Rs return 90 percent of the pre-recorded CDs they buy."
"It's no longer hip to buy a CD," says Lee. "It's extremely cool to say I got it for free. I don't have opposition to blank media. I oppose stealing and duplicating without compensating artists. That's called theft."
The American Way: A convicted bomber on Death Row put seats to his execution for auction on eBay, with the proceeds to go to his daughters. Authorities and eBay management soon pulled the plug, though.
US public-interest broadcaster NPR has an interesting piece on short-wave "numbers stations". (RealAudio; 13 min.)
More on Sealand: Spanish authorities have apprehended the leaders of an "international crime ring" who tried to buy arms, posing as Sealand diplomats. Are these criminals officially connected with Sealand, or posing as diplomats of said state? Does Paddy Roy Bates still run Sealand?
In Egypt, a rumour is spreading that the Coca-Cola logo contains an anti-Islamic message. Coca-Cola, meanwhile, has obtained a ruling from a top Islamic cleric clearing them; but the rumour keeps spreading: (AP; via BoyLog)
Buried in the script's curls, rumor has it, is "No Mohammed, No Mecca" in Arabic ... A reader would have to add a few strokes where they shouldn't be, lose a few others and squint hard to straighten out those robust English letters. Flipped upside down, or reflected in a mirror, someone looking to pick a fight could find blasphemy in the swirls.
On May 10, [the mufti, Nasr Farid Wasel] concluded that "there was no defamation to the religion of Islam from near or far." Those who spread false claims ... "will be plunged into hell for 70 autumns."
Entertaining new 'blog: What's New Pussycat?,