The Null Device
While pressure mounts in the UK to decriminalise cannabis, a US research team has found that cannabis is as addictive as heroin. Mind you, aren't US research institutions which receive government funding prohibited by law from publishing "pro-drug" research? If so, the design of the experiment could be biased to prevent such an impolitic result.
Why Helvetica is the most popular font in the world: (infographic; via Lines & Splines)
Well, the Australian play money has sunk to a new low, with one Australian dollar being worth 52.6c US. Given that this is caused by what is essentially black magic (people expect the dollar to fall, act with the assumption that it will fall, and hence it does fall, though only for that reason), I wonder how long it will be before the A$ falls below the 50c mark.
In between blogging, Graham has been sighted in the letters column of the Albury Border Mail, righteously wielding a clue-by-four.
From Pustulent Memes, a list of remix wars that should never happen, most of an aggressively industriogothic flavour. (Anyway, isn't Sister Machine Gun just a poor man's NIN?)
So perhaps SDMI has not been cracked. The plot thickens.
Oh, this is amusing: A new blog called Never's Spooky Dream House. It's as you might expect; black background (natch), and more goth culture references in each paragraph than on the entire current Rebecca's Pocket page. All that's missing is some animated GIFs of bats and dripping blood. Quality irritainment.
The Reg investigates what RIAA consulting outfit Rightscom are up to, in their quest for a music copyright enforcement system. The good news is, short of a global police state, total copyright enforcement is a lost cause. The bad news is, things may get very Orwellian indeed before the whole system implodes.
Finally, a piece bagging High Fidelity:
When he does play or talk about pop, it's music the audience will recognise, which from a soundtrack-shifting point-of-view works but in terms of what actual record shop workers play is nonsense. In short, Rob seems less like a music obsessive and more like a character in some sub-Kafka short story who's woken up one morning to find his house full of shelf upon shelf of records.
Cool! Someone else at Freaky Trigger has followed Tanya's lead and started I Hate Films. Check out his Fight Club parody and ultra-sarky rantings about Battlefield Earth (granted, bagging that is about as challenging as mortal combat with a baby seal, but still...), to name just two pieces.
While you're probably familiar with Tanya's hate-filled fulminations, the rest of Freaky Trigger has some interesting pop music-related content as well, including this eye-opening screed against indie snobbery and genre fundamentalism:
I hate indie's pretense at sole possession of depth. I hate the indie mentality, the indie industry... You think you're any better than the metalhead dismissing all this 'wuss' music? You think you're any better than the clown who only listens to hip-hop because it's an authentic voice of the streets, especially one who always talks about the lyrics and never about the beats? Any better than the jazz blowhards who make Wynton Marsalis seem open minded, the blues purists who won't stop? THERE IS MORE TO OFFER. THERE. ARE. NO. BOUNDS. REVELATION IS INDIVIDUAL AND NOT COLLECTIVE.
An exposé of Nike's child-labour sweatshops, from that bunch of radical fruitcakes, the BBC.
A good opinion on why a Linux Visual Basic clone is a stupid idea. I agree; technically, VB's syntax has nothing to offer that Python (or even Perl) cannot trump by orders of magnitude, and VB compatibility would depend on having all the Windows guts there. The only reason I can think of for even considering such a daft enterprise is to have something on paper to impress clueless management types.