The Null Device
The Meat and Two Veg has a damning review of Kevin Mitnick thriller Takedown, shelved by Hollywood but released on DVD in France under the title Cybertraque. File next to Plan 9 From Outer Space and Little Ayse and the Magic Dwarves.
Ripped off: Lisa Gerrard misses out on an Oscar nomination for her award-wining score to Gladiator, because of a technicality
Belgium is shocked by a lewd Tintin comic, showing the Belgian national hero and his entourage going to Thailand on a sex tour. It appears that the illegal forgeries are in circulation, in both French and English.
There's a new book on the open-source movement and hacker culture, titled Rebel Code. This book attempts to preserve in a non-ephemeral medium a lot of the movement's history, which is usually only on web pages, mailing list archives and other such media of unknown durability. Appropriately enough, the book is published by Penguin.
A fascinating treatise on the design of permissive action links; i.e., how to make sure that no-one can detonate your nuclear weapons without your authorisation:
Precise timing -- that's the key to my idea for a highly effective PAL. First, design the weapon to make the firing sequence as inherently complex and critical as possible. Vary the chemical composition and detonation velocities of the various pieces of high explosive so they have to be detonated non-simultaneously. Then store all of the required timing data in encrypted form in the weapon's memory. Better yet, encrypt everything (program and data) except for a small bootstrap that accepts an external key and decrypts everything for firing. Include this decryption key in the "nuclear weapons release" message from the "National Command Authority"
British members of an international paedophile ring recently cracked open by police agencies have received a slap on the wrist; namely, jail sentences ranging from 12 to 30 months. Mind you, a lot can happen in 12 months, and given how universally reviled "rock spiders" are in prisons, there is a pretty good chance that a guard will look the other way long enough for other inmates to deliver their own brand of improvised justice. (Perhaps the judge took this into account?)