The Null Device
Seen on a mailing list:
I was in a hurry to get to work one morning and didn't stop to make myself a proper breakfast, so I pulled through the nearest McDonalds.
"What can I get for you?" the tinny speaker-voice said.
I leaned out the window and said, "I'd like a Sausage McMuffin with Egg Meal, please."
Now most McDonald's have little displays where you can verify that the person got your order right. In this case, my order came up as the following:
1 SMEG MEAL
Tanya, who hates indie kids as much as music, has a typically righteous dig at Mods. Or rather Mod-wannabe indie kids, that particularly pretentious and exquisitely irritaining strain of the indiekid meme plague. (Kids, give it up. Your parents may have been Mods when they were teenagers, but, assuming you're not a fiftysomething amnesiac, you surely are not. Then again, neither was Damon Albarn, however hard he tried.)
Oh, the humanity! Hollywood production to grind to a standstill after strike talks collapse. If this goes on long enough, the effects could be far-reaching; we could even enter a new cultural renaissance. Meanwhile the Screen Actors' Guild has warned its overseas members not to work on US-backed films. Which means that Hollywood will have to make do with Liz Hurley.
Nothing found for 'ritneyB': Those wacky folks at Aimster (a proprietary Windows-only Napster clone that piggybacks on top of AOL Instant Messenger) have released a Napster utility: the Aimster Pig Encoder. This encrypts the filenames in a variant of Pig Latin, an encryption scheme more secure than double-XOR and ROT26. And the nice thing is that those evil jackbooted fascists at Napster can't legally deprive you of your right to pirate the latest Eminem album because breaking the encryption to monitor your sharing habits would be a violation of the DMCA. Well, once you think about it a bit, it's actually a depressing thing, or a Kafkaesque absurdity. Oddly enough, it hasn't caught on en masse yet.
A Napster clone in Sealand, out of reach of copyright law. Or so a Canadian student plans, if he can get the money somehow. Mind you, if this happens, there will be a lot of pressure on governments to crack down on the rogue state. If this comes to pass, expect to see Sealand bombed by the RAF/USAF (or even one of those South African low-intensity conflict consultancies, Rainbow Warrior-style). The press will be fed a line about a strike against a child pornography ring or somesuch (it's not like anyone will go through the debris and prove otherwise). If you doubt that that's realistic, with Sealand being a sovereign state and all, how much international condemnation, in the court of public opinion, do you suppose such an attack could gather? (The stories you see every day in Unknown News are no less outrageous.)