The Null Device

2000/11/8

A survey conducted by Britain's Independent Television Commission, subversive TV programmes such as The Simpsons, South Park and WWF Wrestling are causing children to rebel at a younger age, even before the hormones kick in.

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Bush has won the US election, with the Republicans controlling both houses of Congress as well. Could be ominous.

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Thulgore vs. the Texas Death Machine: The election is still up in the air, though it looks that Bush is likely to get in, and the Republicans are likely to control Congress as well, which may spell the winding back of the separation of church and state in the US. Meanwhile, Ralph Nader's Green Party has fared disappointingly, not getting the 5% required to receive federal funding for the next election, and its counterpart from a few years ago, the Reform Party, may be on its last legs.

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10 PRINT "Hello" 20 GOTO 10 In a gesture of 80s retro, European PlayStation 2 consoles will ship with a BASIC interpreter, which may be accessed through an on-screen keyboard. The interpreter, the open-source YA-Basic, was added to the PS2 kit to persuade EC tax authorities to classify the PS2 as a computer, rather than placing it into the more highly taxed category of game consoles.

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The US election is now on, and it's said to be too close to call. I hope that Bush doesn't get in. Not that I'm at all fond of Gore, but at least he's not a belligerent idiot, and he won't pardon Microsoft or appoint Christian Fundamentalist zealots to the Supreme Court or anysuch. (Though on the religiotic zealotry front, Lieberman is a bit scary; then again, I guess you have to have religious-nutcase cred to get much of the vote in the US; something about the heartland not voting for anybody under the influence of the evil Communist drug known as reason.)

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Once the Microsoft of the global diamond trade, De Beers has found its iron grip on the diamond market in decline; the latest blow was the failure of their bid to buy a major diamond mining operation they didn't control.

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There's now a sequel to the classic MP3/Communism propaganda poster.

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When Lego released its programmable Mindstorms kits, they were reverse-engineered pretty quickly by hackers dissatisfied with their limitations. Rather than send in the lawyers, Lego's policy was to condone this. As a result, the Mindstorms kits have sold like hotcakes as hackers have taken to them.

hacks lego mindstorms tech 0

Unusual band concepts: A band whose members are elephants has a CD in the works. The four Thai elephants play xylophones, a specially designed harmonica and a Javanese percussion instrument known as an angklung. Proceeds from the CD will go to elephant conservation programmes in Thailand.

angklung elephants music outsider music thailand xylophones 0

When everything is for sale: Evidence emerges that large Internet service providers have been allowing spammers to use their networks, and secretly waiving their official acceptable-use policies. One such "pink contract", from PSINet, has emerged, in which the spammer paid them US$27,000 to turn a blind eye. The ISPs have promised to crack down on the practice.

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