The Null Device


I happened to be passing by Slow Glass Books (in Swanston St., Melbourne) today, and what did I find there but a copy of the newly reprinted edition of Neal Stephenson's The Big U. Naturally, I picked it up.


The art of leadership: It emerges that Douglas Haig, commander of British armed forces in WW1 had soldiers shot for desertion without trial to strengthen morale. Mind you, this only applied to the lower-class rabble in the ranks. There is even evidence that execution for "desertion" was used to cull unfit soldiers, such as those of unusually short stature.


Google buys Deja's Usenet archive, intending to put it (including all messages from 1995 onwards) online.


GUILTY. The 9th US circuit court has dealt a crushing blow to Napster, throwing out its appeal, and handing the RIAA a resounding victory. The court has stopped short of shutting down Napster but demanded that Napster ensure that users cannot swap copyrighted files, a technically impractical task; make no mistake, Napster is back on death row.

The next step for the RIAA will probably be mandating "indemnity filters" at all ISPs, which block anything that looks like a copyright violation (large transfers of highly compressed data without accompanying cryptographic copyright certificates), and suing ISPs which do not comply with contributory infringement.


Valentine's Day is nigh upon us; the Hallmark event when florists mark up their prices steeply and rake in the cash, those who are in sexual relationships are obliged to give money to multinational corporations to prove their love for their partner, and those not in relationships are considered less than complete members of human society. Mind you, if you're a cynic, there are still cards made for you, courtesy of Meg. And if you actually want to send a card, rather than look at pictures, here are some more.

How will I be celebrating this hallowed day? In the traditional manner: by listening to all my Smiths records. I might throw in some Leonard Cohen as well, just for fun.

cynicism miserablism relationships valentine's day 0