The Null Device
Browsing the Macromedia Flash website, I discovered this "feature" entitled "What You Print Is Not What You See." This basically means when you print a web page, that little Flash banner ad can print out multiple pages worth of advertising drivel (if the designer wants it to). This is akin to having a unseen, secret speaker on your car radio that mysteriously blabs ads when advertisers want. Hey, thanks for thinking of the users, Macromedia!
Time Warner's WIRED-for-the-rest-of-us Time Digital has a Viridian flip issue, set in 2026, and edited by Bruce Sterling.
Computer toys: The BBC has a downloadable desktop theremin simulator for PCs and Macs.
Clerks director Kevin Smith has hit upon a novel marketing concept for his final New Jersey film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: seeing how lampposts and telephone poles on the film's sets need to be decorated with flyers to appear realistic, he is asking fans to send in pictures of themselves for flyers. (via Coming Attractions)
You'll never wear a striped top hat the same way again: After turning the Grinch into a merchandising vehicle, Hollywood is set to bastardise another Seuss story, with an upcoming film of The Cat in the Hat. Imagine, the production company run by Happy Days actor turned director of facile multiplex-fillers Ron Howard, is to blame for both.
I just received two CDs in the mail; Broadcast's Extended Play Two (the US release on hip-hop/dance label Tommy Boy, though licensed from Warp), which is a sort of swingin'-60s-inspired indie electronica, perhaps in a similar philosophical direction to Stereolab, and Björk's SelmaSongs, the soundtrack of Dancer In The Dark, which has some good tracks on it, and alternates between musical music (i.e., from theatrical musicals) and Björk and Mark Bell's trademark brand of ambient electronic leftfield pop.
To serve and protect: An autopsy has revealed that actor Anthony Dwain Lee, shot dead by police at a Hollywood costume party, was shot in the back, repeatedly. Of course, with his dangerously black skin colour, the LAPD were only taking the sensible precautions. (via Unknown News)
Animal cleverness: After a Saudi motorist ran over one of their number, a group of baboons lay in wait for three days to take revenge by throwing rocks at his car. (via Leviathan)
That old workhorse, the X Window System, is finally getting decent rendering capabilities, including alpha-blending and anti-aliased text (TrueType-only; not using the standard text routines). Which is a Good Thing; translucent windows and menus look pretty nifty, and before this, you had to do that kind of thing by hand, using X just as a dumb pixel-pushing mechanism; not exactly an efficient use of a networkable window system. (via Slashdot)
Why does it seem that these days, every café or similarly bohemian establishment has Air's Ce Matin La (you know, the instrumental track off Moon Safari that was in The Virgin Suicides) playing on the stereo? I heard it twice this evening, and at least once more in the past few days. (Not that I'm complaining; it's not a bad track...)