The Null Device

2000/11/26

Last night I went to the FourPlay show; they put on a terrific, inspired performance (despite the previous act going overtime for about an hour). If you're in Melbourne, they're playing again tonight (Sunday 26th Nov.) at the Esplanade Hotel; highly recommended.

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The BBC has a not-bad piece about the legend of Chopper Read, subject of the film Chopper, soon to be released in Britain:

[the Chopper books] are said to be the most popular books in the country among shoplifters.
"Why rob a straight guy of $20 when you can rob a drug dealer of $10,000 and he can't go running to the police?"
'Two and a half years? How am I going to hold my head up with two and a half years?' I said: 'I blew that bloke's leg off. Two and a half years? I'm not leaving here until I get at least three.'

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Final end of an era: Manchester's (in)famous Ha├žienda nightclub (FAC51, wasn't it?), Ground Zero for the Madchester acid-house explosion closed since 1997, is being demolished to make room for flats. The club's fixtures are being auctioned; well, those which have not been souvenired by squatters holding illegal raves (in the finest possible tradition).

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Now this is cool: The MIT Media Lab's Pengachu project, building a completely open-source/free, reusable, economical Linux-based palmtop (with wireless networking, no less) for US$50. These could be given to schoolkids or third-world villagers, or (as they suggest) used to power robotic pets. (Warning: JavaScript needed to view; apparently PowerPoint is too brain-damaged to make standard HTML documents.)

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Click here to buy a bottle of Stalin Vodka: Steven Spielberg has a lot ot answer for; other than filling the multiplexes with infantile blockbusters, he pioneered the practice of product placement, now a key part of Hollywood filmmaking. And now, real life is set to imitate Transmetropolitan, as new technology will allow consumers to buy displayed products as they watch films.

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A man in Montana was jailed for telephoning women, impersonating a doctor and persuading them to mutilate themselves, on the pretext of treating "hereditary disease".

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