The Null Device

2000/8/8

And now, something to restore one's faith in human nature: suppressed documents show that the tobacco industry collaborated with the confectionery industry to design cigarette-shaped candies that would encourage children to take up smoking. That's right, Homo sapiens can be cold-blooded, conniving bastards... (via Rebecca's Pocket)

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Legislators in the US are proposing segregating adult content on the Net, by allocating blocks of IP addresses as a "red-light district", and/or others as guaranteed "child-safe" areas. Other than issues of international jurisdiction (I wonder how they'll get Scandinavians and French to attach quite the same stigma to nudity as American Protestants do), this would pretty much rule out moving over to IPv6 (which, ironically, we'll have to do, as the Internet is running out of IP addresses).

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Looks like webring.org has been absorbed into Yahoo. Oh well; if it hadn't been, it would have been absorbed into AOL or MSN sooner or later...

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2000/8/7

Ah, the Olympics, that shining beacon of hope in which the whole world unites under the banners of Nike and Coca-Cola in the name of conspicuous consumption. Some have speculated that, with the estimated number of gold medals Australia will receive, the Australian people will have spent $48 billion for each medal. As you can imagine, there are a goodly number of people pissed off at the whole deal. Which may or may not be what prompted a Melbourne man to follow the fine Australian larrikin tradition and grab the torch from the runner carrying it and make off with it. Unfortunately, he was caught three or so seconds later, and will probably be charged.

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The BBC on that fine old British press tradition, the silly season, along with some of this year's stories. (via Found)

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A very interesting and in-depth interview with Love Spirals Downwards' Ryan Lum, in which he talks about inspirations, the group's history, and that there probably won't be a new album soon.

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It seems that everyone's doing the Kraftwerk robot vocals thing now.

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Simon Hunt, of Pauline Pantsdown fame, is now going after the Beast.

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Long-time X11 developer Keith Packard is now working on a much-needed new rendering system for X11. Much-needed because the X system was designed during the 1980s when terminals had fewer colours, and modern applications (such as most of the kick-ass Linux window managers/MP3 players/&c) have largely been bypassing X's rather dated rendering functions, and using it as a glorified pixel blitter. Anyway, the rendering system will do things like alpha blending and image compositing. This should be something to watch...

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Egged on by the Napster verdict, Sega is aggressively sending its lawyers out to shut down game ROM sites. May be time to get the arcade ROMs you've been looking for while you still can... (Only if you own the original machines, of course.)

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