The Null Device


Life imitates Borges: A professor in Japan plans to create a database of every human idea. Darryl Macer from the University of Tsukuba believes that the number of possible human ideas is finite and enumerable. The database is intended to shed light on cross-cultural differences and to be used to help come up with international agreements acceptable to all parties.

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An aide to the Canadian premier has been forced to resign after calling President Bush a "moron", comments which the Iraqi press (no, not the Guardian) picked up on gleefully. She should be careful; that's either giving succour to the enemy or revealing state secrets.

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George W. Bush has a posse, and we're all in it: Britain's television advertising authority has banned advertisements questioning George W. Bush's intelligence as "offensive". (And probably mention likely to sow disunity and affect public morale. I doubt whether criticism of Churchill was tolerated in WW2 either.)

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They do things differently in the Netherlands; for instance, a Dutch public TV station recently produced a film about a dying teenager who has a webcam installed in her coffin after she dies.

When one of the teenagers dies, the survivors must decide whether to fulfill their high-tech pledge and if so, how. One stipulation moves the story into the gothic realm of Edgar Allan Poe. The coffin is to contain a heating element that will speed or reduce the body's rate of decomposition. The temperature will then be controlled by online visitors, who can adjust an interactive thermostat on the tell-tale Web site.

The film, titled Necrocam, can apparently be viewed on its web site. (via bOING bOING)

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