The Null Device
Australian politics: skip if not interested. John Howard turns to the Hanson voters, going for a more conservative populist approach, with a bit of token corporate-bashing. He may have a hard time of capturing the Hanson vote if he keeps opposing the death penalty for drug dealers or sending in the army to clean up the streets. Perhaps he could come to a compromise and have dope-smokers and young louts publically caned and/or humiliatingly shorn of their hair.
(Actually, Graham, I believe that Eric Gill was a devout Catholic, with monastic aspirations. He also had a habit of shagging anything that moved (including, some allege, his daughters and the family dog), which was not considered at odds with his godliness. You see, he was a genius, and genii are allowed, nay, supposed to be seething masses of contradictions and peccadilloes.)
New Age crystal power debunked. Experiments show that believers in the power of crystals experience the same result with a fake plastic crystal as with a real one. Believers in crystal power were also found to be more susceptible to suggestion and hypnosis than skeptics, which strongly suggests that the phenomenon is a result of autosuggestion.
Abortion clinic sniper arrested in France; he went into hiding in Ireland, doing "clerical work" (would that involve proselytising his religion and recruiting converts?), but fled there after Irish police started closing in. How much do you want to bet that he's just a disposable soldier, and that the organisation that trained him, provided him with papers and kept him hidden still exists and has others willing to take his place. (That anti-abortion hitlist website was updated awfully quickly.)
A day in the life of two Internet fraudsters. Watch them spam AOL users, gull porn surfers out of their credit card numbers, trade credit card numbers and buy laptops over fraudulent mobile phone connections and (the horror!) defraud ad banner programmes and Amazon affiliate sales. Or at the very least brag about it to a MSNBC reporter who paid them US$250 for their cooperation.
First there was phone phreaking, then hacking/cracking, and now there is War Driving. No, not live-action Car Wars, but rather cruising around with a laptop and a wireless LAN card and seeing how many corporate networks you can get into (which, with the insecure state of 802.11 tbese days, is surprisingly easy).
Oh yes, and Graham has two new fonts up. Not to mention some more interesting type samples. I guess I'll have to do the Mac versions sometime, as Wintendo Fontographer's Mac export function is broken.
A Utah high school has banned beads and glow sticks as "drug paraphernalia", because of their link with the evil drug Ecstasy. (By that token, you could ban most electronic dance music, as much of it sounds like repetitive noise unless you have a head full of drugs. Then again, Britain has already tried this.) It's interesting how they're cracking down on the symbols of loved-up fluffy E-heads, whilst allowing goths and metalheads to show off their more aggressive and antisocial symbols. I suppose that's because they're not drug-related.
In South Africa, 11% of teenaged boys think that gang rape, or "jack rolling" as they call it, is an acceptable recreational activity, and that 25% believe that the creechy young devotchkas in question "asked for it". The young droogs often go unpunished, and even some of the starry schoolteacher vecks there see the old in-out-in-out with students to be a "fringe benefit" of the job, compensating for the low rates of pay. (via Plastic)