The Null Device
Some predictions for 2002:
- More misery; more terrorist attacks on the west (attempted, and perhaps
some successful), and massive retaliation. The US invades Iraq, Somalia, Sudan,
Libya or Cuba, with Australia following in lockstep. The UK is divided over whether to join.
- The US tears up more inconvenient international agreements. Emboldened, Australia follows suit. Expatriate Australian leftists start talking about pushing for South African-style sanctions against the rogue south pacific state.
- The Israeli/Palestinian situation festers on, not improving.
- White House spin doctors and US media figures try to tar Osama Bin Laden and the terrorists with the brush of atheism; expect commentary about how Bin Laden is not really religious, and the terrorist attacks are the result of Godless secular materialist ideas, and a lack of faith.
- Linux' desktop marketshare more than doubles, with it having more than
0.5% of the desktop market by the end of 2002.
- The Universal Music Group abandons its CD copy-prevention scheme after the
trial turns out to be a resounding failure, with some legitimate consumers
unable to play the medium at all and others being able to rip it with no
problems. Nonetheless, they do kick up a fuss, threatening the authors of
open-source CD ripping software with DMCA lawsuits, and resulting in some
web sites being pulled, or at least moved from heavily proprietarian
jurisdictions. By the end of 2002, sites for software like grip and CDex
may be based in Russia or Ukraine.
- The reach of copyright laws is extended further in the favour of content
- The Punters Club closes on schedule, only to be replaced with a
similarly titled Hard Rock Cafe-style venue, with rock'n'roll memorabilia
(some local, some imported)
on the walls, chrome tables and zero authenticity, frequented by yuppies and suburbanites.
There is a stage, but the only acts that play there are crap commercial
bands on promotional tours ("Friday evening: the Punters Club; Saturday afternoon: Knox City Shopping Centre"), much like what the Continental has become.
- A Starbucks opens on Brunswick St.; a McDonalds follows suit, perhaps
taking over the PolyEster Books site. The more interesting places move to
Thornbury, Coburg and the like, they are replaced with clothes-shop franchises.
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