The Null Device
Police in Ireland have come up with a novel strategy to prevent road accidents: placing car wrecks on roadsides as a grim warning to those who don't pay attention. Sounds somewhere between Australia's gruesome TAC ads and the old English crime-prevention strategy of stringing up the tarred corpses of highwaymen for others to see. (via Leviathan)
The new Virulent Memes design looks very '70s glam-rock. Or something like that.
I was thinking: if CPRM is going to be part of the published ATA specification, what's to stop someone from adding a simulated CPRM disk to something like Plex86? The DMCA and its ilk, probably, would make it illegal in anywhere you can legally export Netscape to, but then again, so's DeCSS, and you can still find it if you try. Eventually they may start dropping laser-guided bombs on offshore data havens hosting DeCSS, CPRM-cracking tools and bootleg MP3s (no doubt reporting it in the press as an "anti-child-pornography offensive" or something), though maybe Khadafi (sp?) would be willing to host a DeCSS/DeCPRM mirror in that bombproof bunker he has; given the mortal peril its dissemination poses to the Hollywood-dependent US economy, it may be more worthwhile a use for it than a biological weapons plant...
Thanks for the plug, Graham. Come to think of it, Virulent Memes is a pretty good blog (one of the better ones out there, to be sure), and deserves nomination for the Bloggies. You know what to do, dear readers...
Telecommuting in extremis: Taking advantage of low wages and long working hours, a lot of IT jobs in the west are going to Indian computer sweatshops. These aren't the traditional data-entry jobs contracted out to the third world (a roomful of highly-trained third-worlders on a bowl of gruel a day being cheaper than a scanner and software), but now include real-time work, such as medical transcripts and even call centre work:
Increasingly, toll-free numbers dialed from the US are being answered by Indians from Bangalore, Bombay, Chennai and even small towns, such as Lucknow in northern Uttar Pradesh state. "They mimic the American accent and call themselves 'John' and 'Max', and most of the time, nobody knows the difference," says a senior manager of a call-centre company.
Interesting to think of where this will lead. Are we looking at a global sweatshop, as the West reduces its working conditions to compete, an eloi-and-morlocks world with an unemployed West sustained by invisible toilers in the Third World, or the spread of shorter working hours and disposable income across the world? Only time will tell. (via Leviathan)