The Null Device

2000/9/23

Meme seen in NtK: "OK, so how about a "Hack http://www.hacksdmi.org/" challenge?"

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Eduardo Kac, the Brazilian conceptual artist who proposed creating a transgenic glowing dog with gene-splicing, has partly realised his idea with a glowing rabbit. The rabbit, named Alba, is an albino rabbit whose genes have been modified to incorporate Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). (via bOING bOING)

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Blog concept: "I Hate People". A concept blog in some ways similar to I Hate Music, only each entry being about some vile example of human nature. There may be, for example, entries on yuppies, junkies, child abusers, SUV drivers, belligerent idiots, petty fascist bureaucrats, religious zealots, goths, the poster's housemates/in-laws/cow-orkers or indeed any other aspects of the human phenomenon.

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2000/9/22

Graffiti: threat or menace? These people certainly seem to have a bee in their bonnet about it anyway.

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Threatening and racially abusive messages have been mysteriously appearing on the television in the house of Charlotte and Judge Smith near Detroit. The threats have named members of the household. (via Unknown News)

The couple told police they returned home in late August after a monthlong vacation to find their alarm system dismantled. There were no signs of entry into their house, but within hours the couple learned someone had mysteriously seized control of their televisions.
When Charlotte Smith yelled "Shut up" at the television, an immediate reply on its screen read "Shut up Charlotte."

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Interesting music project: Nine of the world's greatest female singers united in one compilation. Interesting points: (a) Thankfully, "greatest" is not measured in sales or market value; i.e. Mariah Carey and Celine Dion are mercifully absent (though, as this is on Peter Gabriel's RealWorld label, one would expect no less), and (b) one of the songs covered (by the British delegate, one Izzy) is Song To The Siren (the Tim Buckley song made famous by This Mortal Coil).

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Blog gimmick of the day: Blogs that look like well-known sites, such as this example. Wonder what other sites would lend themselves to imitation blogs...

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Looks like the lefties are having another rally on the 26th, starting outside the Nike store and going on to Parliament. The themes are as vague as the original one (solidarity with S26 in Prague, third world debt, the S11 violence and general discontent). Anyway, if you missed your chance to get the shit beaten out of you by the police during the S11 festivities, here's another one.

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Not taking any chances: The Czech government has outlawed the S26 protests, scheduled for the World Bank/IMF meeting in Prague later this month.

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Tokyo goes troppo: The Japanese capital (which lies well outside of the tropics) has been beset by tropical weather, including abnormally high temperatures, torrential rain and thunderstorms. Experts believe that this is caused by heat from cars and buildings. Sounds rather Viridian to me...

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Interesting software: Some hackers at the Queensland University of Technology have created jMusic, an open-source Java class library for music composition. Judging by the documentation, it looks very interesting if one is into algorithmic composition (though part of me wishes it was written in Python instead). The online documentation, including tutorials in various techniques, is in itself worth checking out.

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Idoru: The first celebrity to be interviewed by computer-generated green-haired babe Ananova was none other than Our Kyles (on whom, incidentally, Ananova's appearance was partly modelled).

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Scare meme of the day: Power lines cause cancer; according to researchers, cancer rates in people living downwind of overhead power lines increase sharply, with premature deaths equivalent to the annual road toll.

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Some technical details about how DVD-ROMs are made, from the authors of a free Linux-based DVD authoring tool. (via Slashdot)

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The recording racket: In the US, the House of Representatives passed a bill striking down the "work for hire" law, a change added to the Satellite Home Broadcasting Act (of all things) last year, giving recording companies perpetual ownership of musicians' recordings (which would otherwise revert to the musicians after 35 years). The RIAA (who pushed for the change) are distancing themselves from it, saying that it wasn't their idea.

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