The Null Device
Spare a thought for the pour souls working on the upcoming DVD Audio system, which will replace CDs and eliminate unlicensed copying. Recently they demonstrated a prototype of a watermarking scheme (to certify works as original or copied, or prevent unlicensed recordings from being played on DVD-Audio players, effectively enforcing the major recording companies' monopoly on the format, or some similar good deed) to record producers. To their horror, the producers could hear the artifacts of the watermarking process; so now they have to go back and redo the whole system from scratch. Sucks, doesn't it?
Now this is impressive: Links, a text-only web browser for Linux (and OS/2) that doesn't look like a dog's breakfast. (via Jimbob)
In his keynote speech at the Hackers on Planet Earth convention, Jello Biafra denounced corporate-dominated culture, calls for "hacktivism" and alternatives to corporate media (via Jimbob)
The (UK) Guardian has a promising-sounding review of Stephen Frears' film of High Fidelity. (Incidentally, for those in Melbourne, it's playing at the Melbourne International Film Festival, on the 28th of July and the third of August.
Psst; anyone want to buy an 11-foot statue of Lenin? (Also note that the "related articles" on the sidebar of this news report refer to John Lennon...)
Meanwhile in Malaysia, the local vice police have a new problem: carefully disguised brothels, masquerading as restaurants and family homes.
According to local police, this business had used unprecedented degrees of camouflage. "The operators went to great trouble to disguise the apartment as a family home," city anti-vice chief Abdul Halim Yahya told news sources. "They left several pairs of children's shoes outside the apartment to hoodwink people."
In the US, religious conservative groups are using doubts about the effectiveness of "safe sex" to promote abstinence for health reasons. If George W. Bush wins the presidential election, we could yet see a pseudo-secular War on Extramarital Sex waged in the US, in the name of dubiously-researched "health" issues, neatly sidestepping the whole church/state problem. Irato would be proud...
In Swaziland, AIDS is a major problem. And, it seems, so are illicit sexual relationships between school teachers and their nubile pupils. Hence, the government has banned miniskirts in schools, presumably in order to not lead teachers into temptation.
A blog/portal/whatever worth watching: Unknown News; full of links to current memes and news stories, of a somewhat eye-opening nature.
Helen Reddington played bass in two late-70s punk bands. Now she lectures at the University of Westminster, and, in the course of completing her PhD, is looking at why the music industry is still male-dominated.
"Women, for some reason, seem to find it harder to keep their music careers going for any great length of time. One of the people I've interviewed told me she had a career, but as soon as she got older she was told by someone from a record company they simply didn't sign women who are over the age of 22."
The Big Mean German has bought CDNow. Wonder how big a share of indie-friendly Australian CD seller ChaosMusic this will include...