The Null Device


Via bOING bOING, a gonzo guide to weird stuff to see in Tokyo; from prog-rock cafés to rockabilly shopping malls, from places to people-watch to shops selling all sorts of bizarre fetish materials, there's a lot here for the connoisseur of the extreme and the strange.

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Via the ads on Pitchfork (where else?), this company (based in Brooklyn, NY) makes custom coolsie hipster apparel, printed with the name of your hometown, in various fonts, and various icons (soccer numbers, skulls, hearts, and such). The order form lets you select neighbourhoods from various cities across the world, or enter free text of your own choosing; interestingly enough, Melbourne is the only Australian city in their database.

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Police in Cumbria are concerned that an underwater gnome garden which claimed the lives of 3 divers has returned. The garden, consisting of several garden gnomes surrounded by a picket fence, was established at the bottom of Wastwater in the Lake District a few years ago. News got around and divers flocked to see it; at least 3 got so engrossed in looking at or for it that they forgot to come up for air and, consequently, died. Police removed the garden in the interest of public safety, though there are now rumours that it has returned, at a deeper location where police divers cannot legally go.

(Apparently, in England, police divers can only dive to 50 metres at most; so should you ever want to establish, say, an underwater anarchist state or something, you know where to do it.)

Update: more details about the deadly gnome garden here:

One gnome is sitting on a wooden aeroplane while another is cemented onto a brick. Another has a lawnmower and one has been affectionately named Gordon.

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The War On Copying heats up in the Philippines, with anti-terrorism police in Manila searching subway passengers and confiscating all optical media, just in case it contains pirated movies or evil, evil MP3s.

He says that it's a new policy of theirs, imposed, if I understand correctly, by the VRB, to curb piracy. They're supposed to confiscate all recordable discs and especially obviously pirated purchases (which by the way could land you in jail for at least six months if you're caught selling them, but what the hey). So recordable discs including those that come from the workplace and are legit? I ask them, with an eyebrow raised. And he says flatly, yes, because, you know, how can we ever be sure?

(via bOING bOING)

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The Rockbox iRiver porting effort is making some progress. They now have it booting on an iRiver H140 and presenting the file browser that will be familiar to Archos Rockbox users. Not only that, but someone has coded a GameBoy emulator plug-in, which the iRiver is powerful enough to run.

Now all they need to do is make it play sound; unlike the Archos, the iRiver has no hardware MP3 decoder, so they need to graft an entire codec API onto the system. With such a big step, of course, come plenty of possibilities; already there is talk of having the unit play tracker modules and Commodore 64 SID chiptunes, not to mention lots of lossy and lossless audio formats.

Hopefully they'll get it working on the H3xx series (that's the newer one, with a colour screen and two USB ports) too. It'll be less annoying than the stock iRiver firmware.

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