The Null Device
An entrepreneur is doing a roaring trade selling DVD players modified to output high-quality digital pictures. One problem: using such players may be illegal under copyright laws enshrining crippling copy protection mechanisms. (WIRED News)
Something to keep an eye on: LADSPA, an audio-processing plug-in architecture for Linux.
The world finally clues in: In the age of the Internet, the school computer geeks are now the popular kids: (BBC News)
"The expert in the family is, typically, a boy aged 14-16, and he knows all there is to know," she said. "Once thought of as a geek by his peers, he is now the really cool kid in the class and will teach parents, siblings and teachers."
Wonder how computer skills rate alongside traditional teenage coolness signifiers, such as smoking, drinking and sexual promiscuity?
The local murdoch today has an article on Melbourne's teenage "homie" gangs, many of them comprised of kids from affluent private schools playing gangbanger. Their dress and language seems to be taken from American ghetto gangs, via gangsta rap records (the front page shows two youths posing in Nike gear, rap-album-cover style), and US-style hand signals and initiations abound. Their activity ranges from assault with knives and the like to crashing exclusive private parties, robbing guests and trashing the place, and goes up to armed robbery.
A piece in the New York Post on rock stars in computer games; mentions Bowie's recent foray, Public Enemy's righteously anti-corporate Armageddon 2000, and Trent Reznor's inauguration of the gothic-first-person-shooter genre with Quake. (And we all remember the glut of first-person shooters that followed, with dark, Satanic motifs, and names like "Exhumed" written in tortured, angst-ridden fonts on the boxes, don't we?) Elsewhere, on the sex/violence front, a porn star named Asia Carrera is reportedly distributing a downloadable Quake skin based on her photographs. Oh dear...
A sign of the times: The original 1970s blaxploitation film Shaft featured lots of sex. The recent remake starring Samuel L. Jackson has no sex at all, but lots of stylish violence in its stead. Is this just Hollywood sensibility (to quote Jack Nicholson: "Cut a nipple off and it's M; kiss it and it's R"), or are we in an age where violence is a safe, acceptable alternative to sex, at least on the screen?
Oh dear; a list of mediæval pick-up lines; mostly silly. (via /usr/bin/girl)
And for your morbid delectation, some more awful goth poetry. (via portalofevil.com)