The Null Device
I had my digital camera exchanged yesterday; the old one developed a fault where photos were being corrupted in memory, and as it was still under warranty, I got it replaced with a new one. So far, so good; though I've noticed that the new camera has a different colour response to the old one (for one, skies don't have the characteristic bluish-purple tinge they did with the old one, to the same extent). Perhaps it's an artefact of low-tolerance components being used in the cameras (which retail for $150), much like the way every Roland TB-303 sounds slightly different because of the cheap capacitors used in their construction...
On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog: Is fugitive former chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer anonymously playing current grandmasters on the web? Current Grandmaster Nigel Short, with whom the unnamed online player wiped the floor, seems to think so. (Or have you been up to mischief again, Lev?)
Those wacky funsters from the Feral House publishing house are at it again; run by vaguely Satanic ranter Adam Parfrey and known for tomes such as Kooks, Apocalypse Culture and Lords of Chaos, Feral House is now planning to release a book by serial child killer Ian Brady, of Moors Murders fame. Titled The Gates of Janus, the book is said to "profile the minds of serial killers" (nothing quite like getting it from the horse's mouth, is there?), and is due out in the US by the end of they ear. Meanwhile, a planned UK release, slated for November, has been stopped by a temporary injunction, and the book could well be banned in Britain. (The British tend to go in for that kind of thing, I am told. (Banning books I mean, not killing small children.))
A group at Middlesex University has found that bright children who are told they are "gifted" are more likely to have emotional problems than those told nothing. 40% of former 'gifted' children in a group surveyed were found to have had difficulties forming relationships and normally ended up in mundane jobs. (via Found)
This is fucking scary. Politicians in the US are attempting to pass a law banning computers and digital devices that do not implement copy control mechanisms, and criminalising the disabling of any such mechanisms, with penalties more severe than for rape or murder. Outrageous, but with Bush/Ashcroft and their cronies supporting it and the media corporations (naturally) behind it all the way, it stands an alarming chance of getting in. And then watch the EU, Australia, Canada et al. follow suit with their own versions, as they did with the DMCA.
To quote a Plastic forum comment:
I believe you can read the nuclear winter left behind by the Dot Bomb fallout. Did business learn from its failure to be able to make a killing selling pointless crapola on webpages? Yes: it learned that it would like the Net, like a Chinese girl, to have its feet broken and bound, the better that it be tamed and taught to take mincing, servile steps in the presence of money.
Welcome to the digital millennium, folks. Make sure you pay your way.
A Dutch computer game company has come under fire for creating a football hooligan game. In Hooligans, players are in charge of a football gang on the rampage across Europe, brawling with police and rival gangs to prove themselves as the most violent and antisocial gang.