The Null Device
Alternative energy in the news: NASA are testing a combined solar/fuel cell, which may lead to solar electricity becoming more efficient. The cell is being tested in an unmanned wing-shaped aircraft which NASA hope to fly continuously for six months on solar energy. Meanwhile, a man in England has modified his Land Rover to run on used vegetable oil, with a small amount of diesel. He now gets most of his fuel for free from school cafeterias; however, some bureaucrats say that he is liable to pay fuel duty on the oil.
A designer named Leslie Cabarga has a site with some doovy (commercial) fonts and retro-styled clip-art. (via WebType)
Democracy, American-style: In some US states such as Florida, convicted criminals lose their right to vote in elections, even after they have served their sentences. Because of this and the nature of US drug laws, 1 in 3 black Floridans are unable to vote. Not surprisingly, the Republican Party (who stand to lose most from black people voting) opposes any moves to change this, as being too soft on crime. (BBC RealVideo link)
The Big Mean German strikes a deal with Napster to develop a subscription service. The deal will give BMG a share of Napster (no news on how large), and make Napster a subscription-only service which gives money to the Big Five recording companies. (So if you pirate a track from Mute or Projekt or someone, the money still goes to the majors.) Wait for the new Napster to dump MP3 in favour of a securely encrypted format, becoming a copy of Universal's half-arsed online distribution venture.
Their intentions are understandable, but the specific alternative they propose I'm not too sure about. ("Rock'n'roll"? Wasn't that what your grandparents rebelled to when they were teenagers?) And I don't think that the likes of Oasis are much of a counterexample, for that matter.
Iconoclastic director Lars Von Trier (a signatory of the DOGMA 95 manifesto and director of films such as The Idiots and Dancer in the Dark) says that he wants to make a porn film. saying that "it was a shame something which he termed as important as pornography was so neglected".
Moral ambiguity of the day: Paedophiles vs. Recording Companies.
Not surprisingly, the head of Nullsoft, the vaguely subversive outfit responsible for Shoutcast and Gnutella, and now owned by AOL, has resigned, and been replaced by a recording-industry insider. (via RobotWisdom)