The Null Device
Some have argued that one of the reasons for invading Iraq was to stop Saddam Hussein's spiteful attempt to start selling Iraqi oil for euros rather than dollars, and thus to shore up the dollar's God-given manifest destiny. If so, it may have backfired.
Cory "bOING bOING" Doctorow and Charlie "Antipope" Stross are collaborating on another short story, The Unwirer, set in a world where Jack Valenti runs the FCC, all Internet transactions cost money, operating unlicensed network sites is criminal copyright infringement, and wireless networking is a sort of underground guerilla resistance. And they're posting it to a specially commissioned blog as it's written.
He'd lost his job and spent the best part of six months inside, though he'd originally been looking at a from a five year contributory infringement stretch -- compounded to twenty by the crypto running on the access-point under the "use a cypher, go to jail" statute -- to second degree tarriff evasion. His public defender had been worse than useless, but the ACLU had filed an amicus on his behalf, which led the judge to knock the beef down to criminal trespass and unlawful emission, six months and two years' probation, two years in which he wasn't allowed to program a goddamn microwave oven, let alone admin the networks that had been his trade.
A Chicago man has been committed to a mental hospital for promoting the tapes and materials of satellite radio conspiracy show host Alex Jones. Fair call, or proof that mental health laws are a tool of fnord the reptilian Illuminati used to silence anyone trying to alert the sheeple to their loathsome baby-eating ways? (via NWD)
(Jones may be best known for having investigated the Bilderberg Conference with Guardian journalist Jon Ronson; Ronson found a bunch of rich old men indulging in a somewhat pathetic frat-boy party, whereas Jones found Satanic rituals and human sacrifice in the same events. Go figure.)
Scientists have found out that women need larger computer monitors for working in graphical environments than men do, because of their lower spatial processing ability. With a standard monitor giving a 35 degree viewing angle, women tend to be on average 20% slower than men at certain spatial tasks; given two screens with a 100 degree viewing angle, this difference disappears. If this is true, this could affect the big-arse monitor's significance as a macho status symbol.