The Null Device
I just picked up the Morrissey "Under the Influence" compilation CD. When I took off the shrink-wrap, I found:
This CD is copy protected and cannot be played on PCs or Macs.
Surely enough, the drive on my machine at work (which had no problem playing or ripping
Midbar Cactus 2.0 EMI Copy Control) fails to see the disc at all.
There was no warning of the disc being anything other than a CD anywhere on the outside of the packaging; certainly no "Don't Buy Me" stickers; one has to open the jewel case to see the notice and realise that one spent A$30 on a booklet and a drink coaster.
I intend to take the CD back to JB Hi-Fi and demand my money back, and/or complain to the ACCC or some other government body.
Update: I took the CD back to JB HiFi today. They gave me a refund in cash; the fact that the CD was not labelled as defective probably had a lot to do with it.
The US is leaning heavily on countries in the Balkans to sign agreements giving Americans immunity from the International Criminal Court. Nations have been told that they forfeit US aid if they do not sign. This is the latest attempt to tie foreign aid to obedience in political issues: not that long ago, the U.S. tied AIDS relief money to recipients removing all restrictions on genetically-modified food.
Proof that the Professional Australian commentariat don't have a monopoly for daft acts of grand symbolism: there's a movement in Britain to add the colour black to the Union Flag. The campaign, calling itself reFLAG are pushing the redesign of the flag to better reflect Britain as a multiracial society (the presence of white and not black, you see, reflects the inherent racism in British society, much like the word "manager" is a sexist term and the use of binary numbers in computers is phallocentric). Though wouldn't the inclusion of black marginalise the Queen's yellow- and brown-skinned subjects, by implying that they're invisible? And what about Wales?