The Null Device
It turns out that Electronic Frontiers Australia (dig the funky logo; it captures that early-80s-computer-magazine ambience to a T) has been blocked by (Australian government mandated, US Bible Belt-developed) censorware for "sexually explicit" materials. The EFA has been instrumental in opposing Australian Internet censorship laws. What's more, the South Australian branch of the Liberal Party, which (breaking ranks with Howard's morality crusade) also has spoken out against these laws, has similarly been blocked.
Uses of technology: More and more people are turning to software that spies on their kids or partners:
Doug Fowler, president of SpectorSoft, recalls another case in which a private investigator, hired by a woman to check out her fiance, put the software on the man's computer and discovered that he was a philanderer. The marriage was called off.
Spector's newest program, eBlaster, was created for people who want to spy on computers to which they do not have regular access. It works like Spector, hiding in the background and recording on-screen activities, but it then surreptitiously sends a log of the activity via e-mail to any address specified by the person who installed the software... Fowler says one parent wanted to install it on the computer that would go with his child to college.
The latest in Japanese hyper-reality: a gentlemen's club which, for a fee, provides customers with an attractive and perfectly compliant "wife" for a night. (Ananova)
Stranger than fiction: the bizarre story of Pixelon, or how a charismatic fugitive conman took advantage of the Internet hype boom, founded a bogus video compression company and turned it into a personal cult. (via Virulent Memes)