The Null Device

2000/7/14

This indie film looks interesting: ""I Want To Blow Up Silicon Valley".

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The creative possibilities of Napster subversion: Taking advantage of Napster's anonymous, underground nature, skilful forgers are putting parodies and satires on the network, and mislabelling them as the latest tracks from big-name artists. Included are a cop-killing song "from" Bruce Springsteen, and a "collaboration" between chart-topping teen-market artists Eminem and Britney Spears. A new subculture of subversive, creative art-pranks is arising, a decentralised, do-it-yourself version of the culture jamming of the likes of the KLF and Negativland.

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A recent Suck has some concepts whose time has come; or maybe not:

  • ATTRACTIVE MINORITIES FOR HIRE!
  • WITTY GAY MEN FOR HIRE!
  • SUMMER CAMP FOR CYNICAL SINGLES!

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The Craig Shergold meme just keeps spreading and mutating; the latest variant is a pyramid chain letter (which, as the memeticians out there will know, is a very fit form of replicator), asking for compliments slips to a "John Craig" at his old address. Meanwhile, the volume of mail became so high that Royal Mail have had to give Shergold his own sorting box, making him equivalent to a shire county. The cards (of which some 10,000 are received on some days) all go to a local paper mill.

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Are you a terrorist? (Something to do with a proposed UK law redefining whole classes of activists as terrorists, or something like that.)

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A word of advice for Cubase VST users: throw away the naff Choirus plug-ins that ship with Cubase and get a proper chorus plug-in if you need one. Pluggo's Generic Effect does a better job than Choirus, and if you're a Mac user, there's no excuse for not having it.

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Tanya Headon is probably the Nenslo of music criticism; in any case, she's a profoundly hate-filled individual. Name any musical genre or artist, she can eviscerate it viciously. (via Found)

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A political poster idea from Jorn, which is sort of like a contemporary US version of the old Australian Democrats slogan "Keep the Bastards Honest".

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Incitement to aggravated copyright violation: ROM archives from arcade game machines (which may be found on Internet game preservation sites) sometimes contain one or more chip images dedicated to sampled audio; usually this is 8-bit PCM or something similarly simple. Typical sounds one can find there include percussive effects (thuds, clangs, explosions), as well as vocal snippets. Of course, if you do end up using them in a track, you will get them cleared first, won't you?

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Natural selection in action: Some researchers believe that the HIV virus increases sexual desire in its carriers, by increasing testosterone levels. Given how rapidly it mutates, it would be surprising if variants which increase their probability of transmission did not arise.

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Good tidings from the digital music hearings currently going on in the United States, with the government not buying the recording industry's story, and threatening to get medieval on them. The DMCA architect, Senator Orrin Hatch (himself a best-selling musician on that peculiarly middle-American institution, the Christian charts), does not seem to have much sympathy for the content pimps of the recording industry. If any legislation arises from this hearing, it will not be the feared ban on "insecure" music encoding formats or peer-to-peer file-sharing, but new extensions of fair use and laws forcing the recording companies to license their material more openly. Though that's just from the hearing; surely the RIAA will attempt to add a MP3-criminalisation rider to something like the Schools Milk Appropriation Bill at some stage...

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