The Null Device


The Iranian government claims to have captured 14 squirrels equipped with "spy gear", which had been released inside Iran by Zionist-crusader-infidel forces.

Assuming that this story is in fact true (as opposed to being disinformation, a hoax, or something like the man-eating badgers the British are releasing in Iraq), it makes one wonder exactly how the CIA/MI6/Mossad are tricking out these squirrels. Presumably they'd be surgically implanted with some sort of telemetry and communications equipment (a GPS receiver and radio transmitter, for example), along with a power source (which could be a battery, possibly coupled with something to generate power from the squirrel's metabolism or body heat). The devices may be passive, merely transmitting captured data, or they may be wired into the squirrel's brain, controlling its behaviour by stimulating reward centres (this has been successfully done with rats). Whether they could get useful data from the squirrels' visual/auditory cortices is another matter; implanting a microphone may be doable, but a camera would, I suspect, look rather conspicuous.

(via Engadget) cyborgs espionage iran squirrels tech 0

In his web journal , Jens Lekman has revealed details of his forthcoming album, Night Falls Over Kortedala:

To be released September 5th in Scandinavia and October 9th in the rest of the world.
  1. And I Remember Every Kiss
  2. Sipping On The Sweet Nectar
  3. The Opposite Of Hallelujah
  4. A Postcard To Nina
  5. Into Eternity
  6. I'm Leaving You Because I Don't Love You
  7. If I Could Cry (It Would Feel Like This)
  8. Your Arms Around Me
  9. Shirin
  10. It Was A Strange Time In My Life
  11. Kanske Är Jag Kär I Dig
  12. Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo
There is also a rumour (floating around a certain message board) that Jens has plans to relocate to Melbourne for a year in 2008.

(via M+N) indiepop jens lekman music 0

The British government has rejected the recording industry's push to extend copyright terms on music recordings from 50 years to 90. The European parliament previously rejected the same proposal, and the recording industry lobbied Britain, historically one of the global powerbases of Big Copyright and one of the most Atlanticist and pro-corporate governments in the EU. For a while it looked as if the government was going to buy the IFPI/BPI's argument and dismiss the Gowers Report (which argued that copyright term extension was a bad idea), but common sense prevailed and they stuck to their guns.

The Reuters article linked above, however, seems to almost have been written from an IFPI press release; it quotes the recording industry's spokesreptiles at great length, and perpetuates the misconception that recording artists who were around 50 years ago stand to lose huge parts of their incomes and be left penniless in their old age, by mentioning the plights of the likes of Cliff Richard, whose first hit, recorded in 1958, is likely to fall to the ignominy of being in the public domain — whilst neglecting the fact that the vast majority of Richard's catalogue will remain in copyright, quite probably for the rest of his life. Meanwhile, the arguments which swayed Gowers and the British government, such as economic analyses on why copyright extension does more harm than good, are not even mentioned, given the impression that either the honourable MPs were careless, lazy, corrupt, or else under the influence of mind-control rays fired from Cory Doctorow's hot-air balloon, and thus a grievious injustice has been done.

(via Boing Boing) copyfight politics propaganda riaa uk 0