The Null Device
Just listening to Slowdive's I Saw The Sun (an unreleased demo track; you may be able to napst it); I am struck by how much it sounds like a Cocteau Twins song, right down to Rachel's vocals sounding very Liz Fraseresque.
The street finds its own uses for things: In South Korea, where Internet usage is growing rapidly, a number of suicide web sites have appeared; these allow suicidal people to advertise for "suicide partners", or even pay people to kill them. One man has been arrested for failing to prevent a double suicide arranged through one of the sites, and another for stabbing a man to death at his request.
"I killed him like he asked," The Korea Herald quoted Yoon as telling police. "I thought it was a way of helping him."
The pillar of moral rectitude known as Australian PM John Howard has defended the practice of branch stacking, i.e., enrolling cronies (often from overseas or interstate) into political party branches to control the vote.
Signs that the dot-com bubble has burst: Not that long ago, Australian mining (what else?) company Timor Sea Petroleum decided to ditch the rustbelt old-economy stuff and become a shiny, high-tech dot-com, and so sold off its mining interests and changed its name to escape3d, no doubt impressing investors already. No word what they actually wanted to do on the Internet, though back then a snazzy name and a cool-looking web site were enough to make you a mint (at least on paper). Now that the bubble has burst and nobody in their right mind would put money into anything that ends in '.com', they've sheepishly reinvented themselves as "Methanol Australia" and gone back to archaic business models which involve extracting actual atoms from the ground.
I don't think Timor Sea were the first Australian mining company to ditch their existing business and reinvent themselves as a dot-com either; I recall that some mining company reinvented itself as 'ehyou.com' and bought up a number of startups (including mp3.com.au) to go with the name. ('ehyou.com'? What on earth were they thinking? And to think that if the NASDAQ had not so fortuitously crashed through the floor, we'd be seeing Yet Another Web Portal companies named YooHa.com, EeYah.com, HeeHah.com, OoHey.com and other equally silly attempts at coat-tail riding.)
N*pster search string of the day: slowdive demos. (It finds a number of interesting tracks which don't appear on albums, EPs or live bootlegs.)
Yes! The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, an agency known for its integrity, is considering an attack on DVD zoning, the practice which prevents titles from playing in markets other than those they were made for. Perhaps this will lead to a New Zealand-style law banning the sale of zone-enforcing DVD players on the grounds that they are intentionally defective. (Until, of course, the DVD cartel push for French-style zone-enforcement laws/treaties.)