The Null Device
I found two older CDs I had been looking for today: Lush, Split (1994; somewhere between The Cure, Curve and the shoegazer movement of the early 90s; I decided to get it after hearing Desire Lines on the best-of), and SNOG, Dear Valued Customer (1994; paranoid industrial techno with subversive lyrics, arguably more relevant now than ever before; the 2CD "Remix Files" edition found in JB Hi-Fi bargain bin for $12.99). Interesting to note that, on the SNOG CD liner notes, David Thrussell gives thanks to William Cooper, the UFO/NWO conspiracy theorist gunned down by police yesterday, as well as Pilger and Chomsky.
You know those copy-protected CDs the Recording Racket want to foist on us? Well, there are rumours that Macintoshes can read them just fine, and the "protection" is specific to stupidity in Windows drivers. Of course, the RIAA could probably persuade Apple to modify its drivers to honour copy control, much as VCR makers are obliged to be susceptible to Macrovision (that's the thing that prevents you from videotaping DVDs or copying commercial tapes, if you didn't know), but if it's a software-only issue, chances are that Linux can either handle it or will be able to. (The worst they can do is make a non-compliant Linux CD-ROM driver illegal, much like DeCSS, and we all know that you need contacts in the Russian Mafia to get that, don't we.)
Clubbed to Death in Oslo: To deal with a seal overpopulation crisis threatening fish stocks, the Norwegian government is considering promoting seal-clubbing tourism. Instead of paying hunters, the government will get in paying tourists, give them ice picks and all the big-eyed baby fur seals they can club. This should prove a hit with the elusive psychopath market, or perhaps just executives needing some extreme stress relief. Perhaps if it takes off, seal clubbing will become the new extreme sport; who knows, eventually there may be seal clubbing games for the PS2 and XBox? (via Plastic)
Speaking of Graham, he has just posted the first part of his NaNoWriMo effort online. Quite interesting and amusing, with the usual caveats about editing being required; there's perhaps a bit of a Greg Egan influence there in places.
I just noticed that Sir have MP3s of their entire album, plus some demo tracks, up on their web site. Check it out, if you like very languid background music in a trip-hop-without-beats sort of vein. (via the Lukelog archives, as linked to by Graham)
How much do you know about the draconian new surveillance legislation recently passed in the USA? Go here to test yourself; you could win an EFF T-shirt.
Underworld killer and children's author Mark "Chopper" Read is back in Melbourne, having left his farm in Tasmania.
Talk of Read in Collingwood has been rife since he returned four weeks ago, he says, and a trip up Smith Street to run errands takes hours. "I sign autographs every where I go. One bloke this morning has been driving around for weeks looking for me so he could get his books autographed," he says.
His tenth book is due for release in time for Christmas, his second book has just been released in Britain, he has a lucrative contract with a manufacturer of sunglasses and plans to join the guest speaker circuit next year.