The Null Device
Tristan Da Cunha, in the southern Atlantic Ocean, the world's most remote inhabited island and one of the few remaining parts of the British Empire, now has a postcode. The island's Royal Mail postcode is TDCU 1ZZ. The governor has since received a parcel from amazon.co.uk, sent to commemorate the island's new postcode.
Curiously enough, while the island is served by Britain's domestic postal system, mail sent there is first sent to South Africa, a foreign country, where it is placed aboard a fishing boat, the total journey taking up to a month. (Tristan Da Cunha is not reachable by air, for lack of an airstrip.) Which means that either (a) it is one of very few British domestic destinations to which mail has to go through customs, or (b) this is a loophole which allows parcels to travel between Britain and South Africa without customs clearance.
According to my spam filter, "Colene Grudmanish" says "But now I can penetrate hardly and give the pleasure to every woman!".
Impressive hack of the day: turning a Nintendo DS into a GPS-enabled map viewer, using a GPS unit wired to its serial port and a CompactFlash card full of map tile images purloined from Google Maps.
The use of downloaded Google Maps tiles is interesting; I wonder how long until someone writes a map viewer for PalmOS which uses these, effectively cutting into the market share of programs like Tube (which have limited coverage, and often annoying qualities such as being unable to scroll between map tiles; a pain when you're looking for somewhere just off the map, or in the intersection between two tiles). Then again, Google may be able and/or obliged to use the DMCA against any software which attempts to use its map tiles in this fashion (though I am not a lawyer).
A look at the growing crime of cash machine fraud involving card-skimming devices:
Since it began five years ago, cash machine fraud has swiftly increased in sophistication, staying one step ahead of the banks' attempts to control it. In a recent case in Whitley Bay, Tyneside, fraudsters jammed other cash machines in the area so that customers were forced to use a cloned Nationwide machine.
The criminal gangs behind such a sophisticated scam sometimes make elementary mistakes. Police in Southend are searching for three men and a woman of "Eastern European" appearance who forgot to wipe the digital memory card before putting it in a camera inside a fake fascia.
The pictures showed them posing with waxworks at Madame Tussauds. A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We don't know who these people are but we have ruled out Gary Lineker, John Travolta and Nicolas Cage from our inquiries."