The Null Device
(And that goes fivefold for We're Not Sorry and its ilk; a finer collection of belligerent chest-beating yahoos you'll never see.)
The US religious right is up in arms about a recent film about sexologist Alfred Kinsey, because it does not demonise the man enough:
"Alfred Kinsey is responsible in part for my generation being forced to deal face-to-face with the devastating consequences of sexually transmitted diseases, pornography and abortion," said Brandi Swindell, head of a college-oriented group called Generation Life that plans to picket theaters showing the film.
"Instead of being lionized, Kinsey's proper place is with Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele or your average Hollywood horror flick mad scientist," said Robert Knight, director of Concerned Women of America's Culture & Family Institute.
Meanwhile, according this article (via 1.0), many Evangelicals believe (a) that God personally put Bush in the Whitehouse to give America another chance, and (b) if bad things happen on Bush's watch, it's not his fault, but rather divine wrath for the excesses of liberalism (i.e., America not being a proper Talibanic theocracy). (Which paints a rather unflattering portrait of the God of the Bible Belt; either He is a sadistic bully and a psychopath, or else His creation is of no more serious concern to Him than a game of The Sims is to computer gamer. As flies to wanton boys, indeed.)
And those reading this in California, and in the confidence that they're well outside those barbarous Red States, don't be so sure. Apparently, according to former Democratic strategist, the Republicans stand a good chance of picking up California, and its 54 electoral college votes, in 2008; this could turn the US into a one-party state; or perhaps it could be just what the Libertarians or Greens need.
Voting patterns have been steadily moving California back to the midwest in recent years - a trend that is likely to continue. Democrats can rely on Los Angeles county and the San Francisco Bay area, but these concentrations are now surrounded by Republican territory.
The same cultural conservatism that is reshaping America is also alive and well in California. Sixties-era liberalism may still radiate from the Haight Ashbury district in San Francisco to the Bay area, but today's California is much more a capital for the Christian right than for the progressive left.
The US Government looks set to pass a law jailing users of peer-to-peer filesharing software. In response, pirasite anarchoterrorist group Downhill Battle have organised a bounty for a Gaim plug-in for secure filesharing with trusted friends and people one invites. The plugin will "spread virally", allowing IM users to send friends invitations; meanwhile, all peer-to-peer communication through the IM network is disguised as messages in English (perhaps using a similar technique to SpamStego). Which is all very cloak-and-dagger.
The software urges people to not invite buddies that they did not know on a medium-term, face-to-face basis. You could also allow certain people to share your files without letting their friends share your files.
update checker - software will prompt user to update it when new versions are available so users won't get stuck with an insecure or broken version.
Unless, of course, the FBI/RIAA seize/hack the server and put up their own updates which sends lists of evidence home; encrypted, of course, and through a P2P network to disguise the telltale fbi.gov destination. The first most users will know about it is when they're rounded up in a series of dawn raids and the Attorney-General goes on CNN announcing that the FBI have cracked a major international piracy (or child pornography) ring.