The Null Device


Oh yes, the last part of Jury Service, Charlie and Cory's short story, is up, and it's quite good.

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Metablogging: Meanwhile, up north in Albury, young Graham seems to have been struck by a stray arrow from Cupid recently. He writes:

I am no longer wondering who I really, really, want. I know. But that may change. I hope not.

Perhaps that's what happens when you watch Amélie too many times? Seriously, good luck to you, Graham. Maybe you'll be lucky and won't need to go in that Woman's Weekly "Find a Farmer a Wife" thing in some years' time.


A piece from the Grauniad kvetching about the state of pop music in 2002, for the most part dismal:

While R&B forged ahead, dance music appeared to turn up its toes. No wonder: the dreary trance singles that struggled to make the top 30 were indistinguishable from those that topped the charts five years ago. There are people who dress up in doublet and hose and play the lute who have a more progressive musical attitude than your average superstar DJ, who these days looks less like a vibrant youth culture figurehead than a Soviet propagandist's notion of a capitalist oppressor: fat, moneyed - the only thing missing is the top hat and monocle.

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Now there's eBay: the board game. For 3 to 4 players; 3 AA batteries not included. (ta, Cos)


Gay activist groups in the UK are calling for the government to prosecute reggae artists inciting anti-gay violence in their lyrics. Apparently a lot of contemporary reggae songs aren't just about smoking ganja and finding Jah love, but contain lyrics like "bun the chi-chi" ("burn the homosexual"); this includes songs by popular artists such as Beenie Man. Which all raises the question: is gay-bashing more culturally diverse if it's in a reggae song?

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The recording racket's spokesweasels say that 2002 will be the last year in which most CDs aren't copy-protected. Mind you, that's only for major-label CDs; chances are, unless they somehow coerce pressing plants into stopping making Red Book CDs, the plain old CD will remain the dominant indie medium. (So either (a) the RIAA will see the light and stop pissing off consumers, or (b) the RIAA will move to wipe out alternatives (i.e., by clamping down on distribution of non-RIAA artists and buying lawmakers) and herd consumers into a marketplace where listening to music means renting homogeneous manufactured bands from major labels.) (via Techdirt)

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It must be the silly season again; BBC News has an article on what Christmas will be like in 2050. Robot helpers bringing out the synthetic turkey, wall-sized video screens hooking up instantly with family members far away and providing virtual scenery, and emotion-sensitive Barbie dolls as presents. In other words, the usual future scenario, much unchanged since the Jetsons first aired. But it's from a BT futurologist, so it must be credible.

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