The Null Device


Well, I've now got my MP3 jukebox (or Wintendo NT workstation) back at work, which is a relief. As such, I've been ripping a number of CDs I bought over the past few weeks. The CD-ROM drive now works properly, except that it stops at semi-random times when ripping two particular discs. The curious thing is that both discs are recent EMI releases (Kings of Convenience, Quiet is the New Loud, and Matthew Jay, Draw). Could it be that EMI's Australian operation are experimenting with copy-protected CDs on the sly?


A sign of things to come? Excite@Home monitoring users' traffic, terminating accounts downloading copyrighted materials without warning. Wonder how much this has to do with Excite's half-owner, Optus, being acquired by the discipline-obsessed Singaporean government.


Quelle surprise: A Canadian couple who spontaneously got married in a doughnut shop, getting a friend ordained in the Universal Life Church to officiate and using doughnuts as wedding rings, have found out that they are not legally married. The government of Ontario, it seems, discriminates in favour of organised religions, and as such does not recognise the Universal Life Church (which allows anyone to be ordained over the web) as a legitimate religion, or for that matter doughnut shops as places of worship.


The promotion of virtue and the eradication of vice: The conservative Catholic archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, has proposed a punitive tax on divorcees, taxation benefits for married couples and linking old-age pensions to number of children produced. That will teach those inconsiderate non-breeders. Moderate religious leaders have distanced themselves from Pell's hard line. He may, however, have the Prime Minister's ear (Little Johnny is rather inclined towards legislating morality; witness his purging of moderates from the Drug War Council and his push to outlaw fertility treatment for unmarried women, for example), though whether he could push this through parliament right now is another story.

culture war legislated morality 0