The Null Device
Researchers in the US publish a report saying that cannabis is more carcinogenic than tobacco. Then again, aren't US research institutes which accept US Government funds still legally obliged to refrain from publishing "pro-drug" reports? (Not that smoking anything is a particularly clever thing to do, mind you...)
And now, the latest stupid law; this time it's from France, a country whose government still does not quite get the Internet. This law, which is to be debated next week, prohibits the hosting of material without the true names and postal addresses of its authors. Among other things, open-source projects hosted in France are likely to be a casualty (or, actually, move to countries with less daft legislatures). (Freshmeat)
The latest casualty of "monetisation": DejaNews' old USENET archive, gone to make room for Deja's new focus as a comparison-shopping site. (Salon)
Well, well, now it emerges that under the GST, which comes in in about 10 days, rent will rise by twice the amount the government initially claimed. Then again, perhaps it's because many renters are Labor voters, like most public transport users (Liberal voters own their own homes, and often rental properties for investment, and drive to work in their climate-controlled Holden Commodore roadyachts, you see), and (much like people who buy too many books) aren't particularly trusted by Our Leader.
It's official: Vivendi has bought Seagram, getting control of Universal. Vivendi also have investments in telecommunications, and are likely to use this to establish digital distribution mechanisms. Though, with their music and Internet divisions reporting to Edgar "anonymity must be abolished" Bronfman, we're likely to see more of the same.
Law professor Lawrence Lessig on copyright law and its degeneration into a system of heavy-handed control. (via Slashdot)
Slooshy this, O my brothers! Anthony Burgess
reads an excerpt from A Clockwork Orange. (via Found)
Speaking of which, I'd also highly recommend Wendy Carlos' original score to the film (much of which was omitted from the film itself, but is now available on CD).
More patent daftness: British Telecom claims a patent on hyperlinking, demands licensing fees from ISPs. Let's hope this one gets laughed out of court... (WIRED News)
There must be something in the water supply: Wired has an article about another "intelligent" porn detector, which turns out to be anything but.
An Australian company claims to have created a program which
pornographic images, by looking for "excessive skin tones". Wonder how
well it works and how many false alarms it gets. Anyway, maybe in a few
years, someone will develop an Artificial Morality module, which simulates
the sensibilities of, say, a Liberal Party frontbencher or Fred Nile
* An Australian religious-right politician, who makes our illustrious PM look like a liberal humanist.