The Null Device

2001/6/22

The official site on Invader Zim, Jhonen Vasquez' TV animation. And yes, it does look very Vasquez, from the stupid alien invaders to the way the characters are drawn. I hope that SBS or someone pick it up; preferably after I have moved to somewhere where I have control over the TV.

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First ExxonMobil got George W. Bush appointed as US President, and now allegations have emerged that they've been complicit in torture in Indonesia; perhaps taking a leaf out of Shell's book on handling recalcitrant natives.

It alleges that Exxon provided the Indonesian military with equipment to dig mass graves, as well as building interrogation and torture centres. Exxon denies all the allegations.

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Do Some Good: A group of concerned citizens has launched a Campaign to Ban Minesweeper. The International Campaign to Ban Winmine contends that the popular Windows time-sink is an "offence to mine victims and those who sacrifice themselves, rixking their own life, clearing the lands contaminated by these implements". Their web site has instructions on how to delete this offensive program from your PC; and to satisfy your Minesweeper cravings has a web-based, politically correct variant named Winflower, which involves not treading on flowers.

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Speaking of mysterious iconography, a site called Sticker Nation has some rumours about those "THIS IS A HEAVY PRODUCT" stickers that are all over Melbourne. Apparently, (a) the campaign hasn't got anything to do with the Cave Clan, apart from the fact that the Cave Clan borrowed the design as an in-joke; (b) that there is a huge reward for the capture of whoever is behind these stickers because of the damage they have caused, (c) that 35,000 have been put up with 20,000 in stock, and (d) that they have recently been spotted as far afield as Thailand. (Btw, if you like the design, Lev may still have some Heavy Product T-shirts for sale in his shop.)

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So this is where that Fish Worship graphic came from; I remember seeing that in the window of a shopfront residence in North Carlton many years ago; in that same ideosphere that's now populated with Obey Giant graphics (only a few years behind the US, too). (via Grouse)

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Unusual sock design of the day: Snakes wearing red lipstick. That's right; snakes with big, pouting red lips. (Well, actually, they could be eels, but anyway...) Your guess is as good as mine. (Seen in the Coles Express near Flinders St.)

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Digital camera update: I just discovered something interesting about the digital camera I bought. When the Windows image-acquisition software (a TWAIN driver or somesuch) connects to the camera to fetch images, it launches the Windows PPP driver. Clicking on the network icon brings up a status display, which shows a PPP connection to the camera, which looks to Wintendo 98 like a "Windows NT PPP server", whatever that means. Running NETSTAT reveals a connection to port 7 on a device with the IP number 192.106.34.50, which would be the camera.

Unfortunately, I haven't yet managed to get a PPP link going to the camera from Linux; pppd doesn't want to connect, and when I connected to it with minicom (a serial terminal app), it just responds with "OK" to anything I type. The options are (a) there's a magic command which starts a PPP session on the camera's built-in server, or (b) it needs a username/password via PAP or somesuch.

(Once PPP is going, it'd be interesting to portscan the camera; perhaps there's a port which gives a shell on whatever embedded OS the thing runs?)

Update^2: It appears that the camera software adds an entry to Windows Dial-Up Networking for connecting to the camera; this reveals that the camera imitates a modem, waiting for two commands (SV, and then ATDT1234567), upon which it starts a PPP server. Now, the problem is, I so far haven't managed to get pppd under Linux talking with the camera's server at all; it just times out.

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