The Null Device
Out of morbid curiosity, I went to see Max Sharam's comedy show at the Comedy Festival. (I think she was some kind of manufactured girly-pop star some years back or something like that.) I was perhaps hoping that, having been through the pop-star/celebrity machine and come out the other end, she may be a lucid and insightful comedian/observer/commentator; was I ever disappointed. It was utter pants. The material was underdeveloped and the delivery was irritating. (Telling a story by spouting acronyms may be mildly amusing, in a sophomoric kind of way; telling a story by spouting acronyms that have nothing to do with the story is just stupid.) If you really enjoyed Hey Dad on TV, you may find Max's show entertaining; otherwise, steer well clear of this one.
Think different: Those champions of creative freedom, Apple, are revisiting the golden age of look-and-feel lawsuits, this time pushing to suppress an open-source MacOS theme editor. Their rationale is that it allows users to create knockoffs of the MacOS X Aqua theme and other proprietary themes. And, presumably, "because we can". Though the latter part may be dubious; the developers of the theme editor claim to not have used any Apple code, and the theme format (just a file with a bunch of resources) is not copy-protected or encrypted in any illegal-to-reverse-engineer way, having been devised before the DMCA and its ilk. (Next time, Apple may well encrypt such file formats by xoring them with "TopSecret" or something; it'll be piss-easy to crack, but doing so will nonetheless be enough of a crime to get software pulled.)
The smokestack is the sacred fire of enterprise: When the Penguinhead Jedi, the religiots and the Nu Marxists are momentarily quiet, there are always the Ayn Rand fans to provide your daily dose of irritainment. Objectivist groups, including the Center for the Moral Defense of Capitalism (which has the dubious honour of having been the only group not based in Redmond to have defended Microsoft's business practices) are now protesting Earth Day:
Bernstein said Earth Day 2001's theme of "Leave your car at home" expresses the environmentalists' fundamental contempt for industrial society, progress and human values. "Without automobiles there would be little commerce, communication or freedom," he said. "The goal of the environmentalists is to see man crawling back to the cave."
A message from the MPAA: Use Gnutella, lose your Internet connection.. Any questions?
A word of advice: Recent versions of Red Hat Linux come with a program named wvdial, which automatically dials your selected ISP, logs you in and establishes a PPP connection, all without fiddling around with login scripts or other such tedious things. Do not use this program. That's right; chmod it -x right now, or even better, rpm -e wvdial. It happens to be so user-friendly that it passes some hardwired PPP options to pppd, which worked for its creator, but which can have odd results on other setups. Such as, say, making uploads clog up after a few packets. Not fun when you're trying to send a MP3 fragment you have been working on to a co-conspirator and licq keeps choking.