The Null Device

2003/7/8

The Guardian on the rising tide of censorship in Australia. Australia has a long tradition of paternalism, it seems, though the country has become a lot more censorious under Howard. Btw, did you know the 18th-century novel Fanny Hill is still banned here? 'Struth.

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2003/7/7

Introduction to Reverse Engineering Software; a big book on how to pick apart compiled programs (Intel-centric; mostly Linux-specific, though with some Windows info as well). For lawful uses only, of course.

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According to WIRED News, flash mobs are taking off, with flash mob groups popping up in San Francisco, Minneapolis and soon in London too. The groups organise over the Internet, pick an appointed time and place and then spontaneously gather, do something and dissipate.

Sean Savage, a 31-year-old San Francisco designer and weblogger who has followed flash mobs, said these kinds of semi-anarchic gatherings have roots that go at least as far back as the late 1970s. Savage said San Francisco groups like the Suicide Club and the Cacophony Society have been staging group pranks in the city for decades, while Santa Rampage has been an annual San Francisco tradition for nearly a decade and has spread to more than 15 cities worldwide.

Hmmm... I wonder whether this would transplant well to Melbourne. (Wasn't the "SPONTANEOUS CHOIR" graffiti one sees around from time to time connected to some similar phenomenon?)

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Ever wonder about those "THIS IS A HEAVY PRODUCT" stickers that were up everywhere? An outfit calling themselves Knee Length Press (who are apparently not connected with the Cave Clan, but have the same PO box nonetheless) have just published a photocopied zine by that title, consisting mostly of photographs of sticker sightings in Australia and Europe (there are lots in Austria for some reason), and mentioning some of the people not connected to the sticker campaign. The zine comes with a free life-sized Heavy Product sticker, and there's a competition for photographs of such a sticker in the most "imaginative, humorous and/or interesting location"; the winner gets a Heavy Product T-shirt. I found a copy of the zine at Westgarth Books (High St., Northcote; look for the Dobbshead on the wall inside).

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Australian unions are calling for a boycott of Coca-Cola over the company's Latin American bottler's use of death squads to resolve industrial-relations problems. Coca-Cola, of course, deny the charge, asserting that it is strictly against corporate policy to violate human rights, and that maverick elements within the local franchise must have been involved without the parent company's knowledge.

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