The Null Device
For those of you in Melbourne, tomorrow night the local Atheist Society is hosting a talk by a local academic, titled "Nutters I Have Known". I believe it is meant to coincide with the Comedy Festival; given this and the sponsors, it should be entertaining to those interested in matters psychoceramic. It's at the New International Bookshop, Trades Hall, at 8pm.
Pitfall Harry wore Khakis: The next frontier for product placement: video games:
For The Groove Alliance's new racing game, SkyRacer Impulse, Shockwave will use a DoubleClick DART server to dynamically stream ads into billboards placed around the track. "The advertiser's brand is part of the interactive environment," says Varet. "It's not something you can zone out of. If someone's playing our game, they're staring right at your brand."
The German government, ever vigilant against the neo-Nazi menace, is now reportedly contemplating using government sanctioned denial-of-service attacks to shut down overseas web sites that ban German hate-speech laws. German officials apparently deny these reports, whilst carefully not ruling out such tactics. Given that this has worked well for the Chinese government against Falun Gong websites overseas, it may be the censorship technique of the new millennium.
In an attempt to comply with the Kyoto greenhouse agreement and switch its energy production to more sustainable methods, the UK plans to build 18 offshore wind farms. The British government will spend £100m on wind, wave and solar electric facilities.
The World's Oldest Profession: Where there are valuables and sex, someone will trade one for the other, be the participants people, chimps or fifth-grade schoolchildren.
Japanese graphic design zine SHIFT has an interview with Me Company's Alistair Beattie. Me Company is the London design consultancy best known for doing a lot of really impressive CD covers for Björk.
Australian politics; ignore if Seppo: To be honest, I'm not a fan of Natasha Stott Despoja; perhaps because she seems too trendy, and adheres too much to the standard pink yoof-leftist groupthink. (And that she's high up in the Australian Republican Movement, a particularly disagreeable bunch of rugby-shirted yuppie spivs.)
Interesting casting decisions: Will Russell "Romper Stomper" Crowe be the next James Bond?
Comedy Festival: Tonight I went to see Priorite A Gauche. The show (the brainchild of two English comedians who met at Oxford) consisted of two French pop/rap stars, named Didier and Jean-Francois, on tour. The show involved them doing French translations of pop songs, Didier reciting a raunchy poem he composed for a female audience member as the increasingly embarrassed Jean-Francois translated it into English, and a rather silly drinking game, as well as a goodly amount of audience interaction. They certainly had the Gallic pop star stereotype (the leather jacket and aviator glasses, and the combination of arrogance, oversexedness and over-the-top "coolness") down pat, and had the audience laughing. Worth a look.
Scare meme of the day: Beware the radioactive tumbleweeds. (via Lev)
Fringeoid mutant, hot-rod designer and underground artist Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, best known for the "Rat Fink" character, has passed away. Roth was an inspiration to a generation of underground artists, including many of the contributors to the Book of the SubGenius.