The Null Device
Brothel staff shocked by corpse found in bin. It's not quite a headless body in a topless bar, but it's in the same neighbourhood.
Norwegian prosecutors drop appeal against Jon Johansen, creator of the DVD decryption library DeCSS; thus, unauthorised decryption of DVDs is perfectly legal in Norway, at least until they pass their WTO-mandated copyright-expansion law. Meanwhile, Jon isn't resting on his laurels, and has released code for stripping DRM from iTunes files.
Did you know that, in the US, the destination of BSE-tainted meat is a state secret? Well, not quite, but it is illegal for government agencies to tell the public about where tainted meat was sold. Which has led to the absurd situation of the government calling a recall without notifying the recipients of tainted meat, i.e., essentially as a PR exercise to reassure the peasantry that everything is OK whilst protecting the profits of agribusiness.
"I do think that the USDA has erred in its judgment here. It has sacrificed the public's health in favor of the beef industry,'' said [Alameda County health officer] Iton.
(There's one way to be safe: if you're in the US, stop eating beef.)
Tonight, I went to see Lost In Translation; the new film from Sofia Coppola (who also did The Virgin Suicides). It was good, though not brilliant. The characters were like real people and not romantic-comedy templates or something, which was good, but the flow of the film was a bit prosaic and reality-TV-ish; I imagine that some Darren Aronofsky-style editing/visual language would have improved it a good deal.
Kevin Shields' incidental music was OK, though I wonder which parts were his; whether he just picked up the guitar and pedals and made some noise or whether he actually spent the past 12 years learning to write melodies and work with other instruments. (I'm of the opinion that Shields is rather overrated as a musician; mind you, I was one of those people who preferred Slowdive to MBV (as they actually had melodies and songs and such), and who agrees with these people on Loveless; then again, perhaps I'm just incapable of appreciating true genius.)
(I also noticed the Scientology self-help CD Scarlett Johansson's character was listening to in the film (the "Clearwater, FL" on the back of the disc is clearly visible); I wonder to what extent the Clams were involved in the production of this film (other than Giovanni Ribisi being one).)