The Null Device
Taking a cue from Congress, an enterprising American is auctioning hir vote on eBay.
Some years ago, Daniel Handler, a writer and member of the band Magnetic Fields, needed a pseudonym for corresponding with extremist groups he was researching. He settled on the name Lemony Snicket, a persona which was to go on to write a series of macabre children's books.
Scare meme of the day: the drug GHB, which causes unconsciousness and partial amnesia, has been a favourite of rapists for some years. The heir of the Max Factor cosmetics empire allegedly used it to rape more than a dozen women, videotaping the proceedings for his collection. And now, fratboys are making their own in their dorm rooms. As it contains a lot of nasty ingredients, we may not only see an epidemic of rape, but many deaths and permanent injuries. Not to worry, though, because the US Government is about to criminalise GHB, making it as hard to come by as other evil Schedule 1 drugs such as Ecstasy and speed.
Researchers in the US have discovered that suicidal people sound noticeably different from the non-suicidal variety, with their voices being more high-pitched and covering a narrower range of frequencies. They are hoping to use this to create a device which determines a speaker's suicide risk from their voice.
Following in the footsteps of half.com, Oregon, and the legendary Nike earlobe tattoo lifetime discount offer, MP3 web site IUMA ran a promotion, where one can win "free music for life", just by naming one's new-born child Iuma. As you might expect, it wasn't long before someone took them up on this. (thanks, Brom)
Veteran BBC radio DJ John Peel, responsible for bringing many a band to fame, is to play himself in a film titled Five Seconds To Spare (could that be a Smiths reference?)
Lurid accusations of systematic abuse in convent schools have come to mind in the UK. (via Leviathan) The part about the nuns forcing their pupils to kiss the feet of deceased nuns lying in state, though, appears to be standard practice; I've heard a similar story from a relative (who went to a convent school in the 1950s), only there they made all the girls there file past and kiss the dead nun's feet, one by one.
It's official: Microsoft is porting its applications to Linux, with the help of an Israeli firm named Mainsoft. The article doesn't say which applications are being ported, though IE would be most welcome. The office suite is another likely candidate, as it would enable Microsoft to cut off demand for other Linux office suites (such as StarOffice), whilst providing a MS compatible product, though one that's clearly not as good as running it on Windows.