The Null Device

2000/8/3

How Microsoft's Passport threatens your privacy, and how it will be integrated into Windows as a browsing platform. Given how integral Windows and Internet Exploiter are to the modern browsing experience, this is quite scary... (via Leviathan)

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2000/8/2

This week's inexplicable objects are Hello Kitty marital aids. (I have also heard a rumour that the Hello Kitty vibrator contains a sound chip which says "I'm coming, I'm coming!" (in Japanese) when in operation. No idea whether this is true, but it wouldn't surprise me...)

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In the latest surprising development, Australia's authoritarian-moralist prime minister John "The Beast" Howard has put forward plans to roll back the Sex Discrimination Act, restricting IVF treatment to married heterosexuals. The Beast claims that children have a right to be born into a traditional heterosexual family. Why not extend it further and ban non-church-going couples from having IVF treatment? After all, shouldn't children in Howard's Menzies-retro utopia have a right to a good, moral, Christian upbringing, rather than being brainwashed with permissiveness and SEXular humanism? Perhaps Howard should bring back the traditional Australian policy of taking children away from their parents and putting them in more traditional homes; only rather than just targeting Aborigines, extending it to target all who disagree with Howard's vision of moral purity.

australia authoritarianism conformism paternalism 0

These open-source penguinheads wouldn't know good usability if it hit them about the head: Have you noticed how a lot of open-source Linux applications, whilst striving to look as slick as Windows/Macintosh applications, leave a lot to be desired in the usability department? Take, for example, grip, the CDDB-enabled CD player/MP3 ripper front-end. grip allows you to enter track listings for CDs which aren't yet in the CDDB database. However, in between entering tracks, you have to move the mouse, click on the next track in the listing, move the mouse back down to the "Track name" entry field and click on that to focus it. Why they can't just assume that entering an entire album is a common action and have the ENTER key go down to the next track I don't know.

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Ian "Freenet" Clarke on copying and intellectual property. Not a perfect analogy, mind you, but amusing nonetheless.

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