The Null Device
This afternoon, I was walking through Notting Hill when I noticed that the fronts of various shops had changed. Jack Wills, the "geezer" couturier on the corner of Portobello Road and Talbot Road (near Rough Trade) had become "Fowler and Green Hardware", and had racks of old boxes out the front. Meanwhile, the café diagonally across the road had been transformed into an old radio shop, its windows full of black-and-white TVs and such. The First Floor bar was in the process of being done up to look like a no-nonsense old pub.
It turned out that they were filming some scenes from a film titled "Hippy Hippy Shake", which is set in London in the early 1960s. I'm not sure whether they were using Portobello Road to stand in for a generic street in early-60s London (which would presumably have been quite expensive), or whether they were actually filming a scene set in Portobello Road, and in which case, whether the shops they had reconstructed had actually once existed there. (Then again, there was someone carrying a Blenheim Crescent street sign, which presumably had been temporarily taken down, so perhaps they were actually reconstructing the intersection two blocks down circa 1962 or something?)
AT&T has released what could be the world's first truly post-9/11 programming language: a language designed for large-scale communications surveillance. The Hancock programming language, unsurprisingly, resembles a much earlier AT&T/Bell Labs innovation, C, in style and is designed for sifting through gigabytes of telephone and internet records, looking for things of interest. Examples given in the documentation include scripts for finding all packets to or from an address of interest, and for tracking a person's movements by checking which cell towers their mobile phone connected to during the day. And there's good news for hobbyists wanting to run their own model surveillance agency in their garage: the source code and binaries are free for noncommercial use.