The Null Device
Apologies for this blog's absence last night; something went down upstream and the machine where it's hosted was inaccessible. Anyway, I had occasion to be at PolyEster Records last night, and picked up Saint Etienne's most recent CD, Sound of Water. I'm listening to it now; it's very good. I was persuaded to buy it after hearing the 9-minute triptych How We Used To Live on 3RRR, though was half expecting the rest of it to be slavish Swingin'-Sixties retro (sort of like Mono's Formica Blues or something), which mercifully it is not; instead you get lush, many-layered, evolving soundscapes with a classic pop feel, and lyrics mentioning things you'd never expect, like space exploration. Well worth checking out.
A number of eminent figures, among them Marvin Minsky, Brian Kernighan (of C fame) and Richard Stallman, have filed an amicus brief in defense of DeCSS. The brief may be found here. Good luck to them; though I can see this argument getting summarily thrown out on grounds of chutzpah, even before the legal-fee bidding war with Hollywood starts.
Life imitates cyberpunk scifi; or at least this account of the cat-and-mouse game between digital satellite TV company DirecTV and rogue hackers, does. It even reads like a story; the hackers kept cracking DirecTV's cards, one by one, but ultimately were defeated with cunning and no small measure of style. (via Slashdot)