The Null Device

2000/11/19

Warning: Netscape 6 does not do SSL encryption (at least under Linux). Yes, it does access https:// pages, but it does so without encryption. Which means that using it for ordering anything online would be rather stupid. acb's advice: Keep an older client around (Netscape 3 does the job quite well), or use VMWare and MS Internet Exploiter.

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UK pop roundup: EMI have recently released a compilation of hit singles from a group of highly acclaimed 1960s throwbacks. But enough about the Blur best-of; there is also a compilation of The Beatles' chart-toppers titled, simply, '1'. (Kids: The Beatles were sort of the Oasis of their time or something.)

Speaking of Oasis, their frontman has knocked up another pop starlet; this time Nicole Appleton of Spice-alike band All Saints (not to be confused with Mel Appleby of Mel & Kim). Appleton says that she and the lager-loutish Liam Gallagher "get on really well". Didn't the previous one say something similar?

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Baz Luhrmann talks about his new film, Moulin Rouge:

"Now, through research, we know it's a fact: (1) Montmartre was Bangkok - a slum/sex industry. (2) Moulin Rouge was Studio 54. ... It was a Disneyland of sexuality, a carnival of flesh for sale. Combination: theatre, dance-club, brothel. Now, that's a fairly serious theme, but we want to deal with it in a disarming, fun way. So we're musicalising it. And the musical contract is: how do we understand that da-da da-da-da-da da-da (he sings the famous Offenbach can-can tune) was the most hard-core techno of the time?"

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Stop it or you'll go blind! Meanwhile, the Anti-Sex League, which controls a large chunk of the present federal government, wants warning labels on the dangers of pornography to be mandatory on X-rated videos; because watching consenting adults having sex is as perilously harmful to children as smoking tobacco; incalculably more so than watching people get shot or dismembered in Hollywood action films.

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Evidence has come to light that Australian right-wing Catholic politico Bob Santamaria (originator of the shadowy, Holy Vehm-style Movement and godfather of the Democratic Labor Party) conspired to siphon 10% of state funds given to Catholic schools to fund his anti-Communist crusade and political power bloc, by getting the local dioceses to hire the Movement (calling itself the Catholic Adult Education Association) as "consultants" on educational matters.

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Life, liberty and the pursuit of bootywhang: With their highly complex set of ritualised sexual taboos, the Argentines have invented an institution to facilitate discreet trysts: the telo, euphemistically known as the "transit hotel".

They do not advertise themselves. Their windows, if they have windows, are dark and their front doors always closed tight. Those that have car parks have them hidden round the back or underground.

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