The Null Device


I just found a pretty doovy online mail-order indie record shop, which is located conveniently in Australia, is fairly cheap (and all prices include postage in Australia) and has a good range of stuff, both local and from various good US/UK indie labels: Traffic Sounds. (Oh yes, they also have MP3 downloads, and they support payment by direct deposit, for people without credit cards.) Just my luck that I found this a day after ordering two discs from Twee Kitten (also good, though located way over in California).

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Perhaps having realised that going out of one's way to inconvenience customers is not a good business model, Hollywood may be giving up on Macrovision, the copy-denial mechanism that prevents you from connecting a DVD player to a VCR. Warner Home Video have released the Harry Potter DVD without Macrovision encoding in the UK; this means that you can plug your DVD player into your VCR and pirate it for all your friends untrammeled. Or, if you have an older TV without A/V inputs, you can plug your DVD in through your VCR and watch it, full stop. Mind you, Macrovision costs the studios a few cents per disc, and is fairly easy to bypass with (as yet not illegal) "signal enhancers".

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