The Null Device

2001/8/31

The US Government paid boy band N'Sync US$800,000 to participate in its anti-drug propaganda campaign. Which raises the question: if you can't trust boy bands, who can you trust? (via Unknown News)

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2001/8/30

I picked up the new New Order album today; on first listen, it's a lot more guitar-based and rockish than their previous ones. Though it's still too early to say whether I'll listen to it much or whether it'll take a place next to the last few Electronic albums and other things soon abandoned.

It came with a videotape labelled "New Order The Videos", and with no track listing or other information, which I can't look at, not having a working television. (Why can't everyone use DVDs or CD-ROMs of QuickTime files or somesuch?)

Incidentally, I had problems ripping this CD as well (some tracks had errors, and needed to be ripped up to 6 times before succeeding), and it is manufactured by the same pressing plant as the two EMI discs I had problems with. So either:

  • the new CD-ROM drive in my PC at work is a bit marginal, and so are discs pressed by Digital Audio Technologies Australia, or:
  • AOL Time Warner and EMI are both experimenting with similar CD copy protection methods

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An interesting review of the Input 64 CD (that's the disc of Commodore 64 music). It talks about the sociology of 8-bit computer brand affiliation in the 1980s and the musical influences of C64 chip tunes (Hi-NRG and pre-Summer-of-Love dance music).

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My CD-R writer appears to be cactus. I put a blank CD in and it just spins, trying to make head or tail of it. Not a good sign. May be time to bite the bullet and get a new one. (And maybe this time it'll be one that can do 80-minute discs and those ickle business-card CDs and such.)

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Rock over London, rock on Chicago: I just had a bus ride almost worthy of a Wesley Willis song. For one, the bus arrived 10 minutes late, and was unusually crowded. Then, a block into the ride, the driver turned into the wrong side street, realising his mistake when faced with a ONE WAY sign on the much narrower side street than it should be. He manouvred the bus out of the street, but not without grinding it against a sign. After that, the bus (which was considerably late) kept stopping at pretty much every stop to let people on or off, and finally took another wrong turn, missing the stop I usually get off at by a block.

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A video of a kitten being killed and stir-fried has caused outrage on the Internet, with animal-rights nazis PETA threatening to sue the Stile Project, who hosted it, into oblivion. Which is much more of a response than similar videos of humans being killed have received.

Grabowicz said depictions of animal cruelty always draw more criticism than depictions of human cruelty, because, like children, animals are innocent and defenseless. "What's ironic is the further away from humans the animal is, the less sympathy you feel," he said. "But when you get to humans, it drops off again."

The video is believed to have originated in Korea, where cats are considered to be a delicacy.

Speaking of cats, a piece in the Herald-Scum today said that cat ownership in Australia is in steep decline, with responsible Australians switching to the more environmentally-friendly dogs. This will undoubtedly delight the lunatic-fringe greenies who believe that cats are vermin that should be eradicated from the Australian continent.

As for me, if I was to keep anything, it would probably be a cat. And no, I don't vote for One Nation.

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Tonight's Babble was quite good; it seems that a number of people were inspired by the rant two weeks ago; one guy did a piece titled "Dick For A Day", inspired by that and the Dorothy Porter poetry reading that week, and another guy (one Puke the Punk Poet) went on stage and ranted about how his girlfriend had fucked him around, this time in relation to some TISM tickets; only he did it in a more entertainingly psychotic style (imagine Spider Jerusalem with long black dreadlocks, and you have some idea of what Puke the Punk Poet is like). And the rest wasn't bad either. (I didn't read anything, as I hadn't written anything in the interim; maybe next week, though.)

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