The Null Device


A woman in Germany has been convicted of selling fake art forgeries. Petra Kujau sold forgeries of famous artworks, made by unknown forgers in Asia, to collectors, but attempted to pass them off as the work of famous forger Konrad Kujau (best known for the Hitler Diaries), netting €300,000 in total. She received a two-year suspended sentence.

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The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department has issued a public warning about groups of paedophiles using an image of a cartoon bear they use to secretly identify themselves to one another. (*Ahem* an image of a cartoon bear.)

Recently, pedophiles have adopted the bear as a mascot. Although there have been no reported sightings of the image on the Central Coast, individuals dressed in the bear costume and car decals have been seen in Southern California.
In other news, "Dusty Blonde Lulu" is a codeword used by paedophiles to refer to a male paedophile disguised as a lion.

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According to Kyle Wiens, the founder of iFixit (a website who publish repair instructions for gadgets), Apple are using patented screws to make it illegal to change the batteries in their laptops, unless you're an authorised Apple service centre, of course:

They've got this 5 point bit on the MacBook Pro battery now. Torx has a patent on the shape of that bit, and makes it illegal to import without a service license. It's absolutely preposterous; the battery is one of the easiest components to replace in that machine, just about as easy as RAM. They're using lawyers to prevent people from making their computers last longer than 3-400 battery cycles
I wonder if Apple is trying to get to a leasing model with computers, where you have to send it back to them every year or two and pay them $129
That's the problem with Apple; they have a monopoly on OSX machines, and thus can do things like this, because that's what the market will bear. (Sure, you can do things in Ubuntu, as long as you don't need to run any commercial software. Which locks out anyone who, for example, uses softsynths or commercial Photoshop plugins. Or you can downgrade to Windows, and put up with the constant struggle against spyware and viruses and the vastly inferior user experience, not to mention Microsoft's even more shady history.) Apple have (it seems) also used intellectual-property law to prevent anyone from making chargers interoperable with their MagSafe connectors; to this day, it's impossible to get electricity into a recent MacBook from any source other than an AC source through an Apple adaptor. There are no third-party adaptors for MacBooks, nor external batteries of the sort that Windows road warriors have been able to buy at airports for decades. If you wish to power one from, say, a car battery, you're faced with converting the electricity into 110V/220V AC and then converting it back to whatever your MacBook gets, because that's how Steve wills it.

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