The Null Device
Are "friends" electric? Sony's Aibo robot dogs aren't just for otaku anymore: ordinary people are buying them, and becoming emotionally attached to them, despite knowing that they are just consumer electronic devices. Meanwhile, Sega aims to one-up this fashion, by producing toy robot humans, with simulated emotions and facial expressions. Now if you can't make friends, you can at least buy one.
All Your Base Are Belong To Us: The All Your Base meme, which you've probably heard, allegedly originated in an old Sega MegaDrive game named Zero Wing. There happens to be an arcade game named Zero Wing, but it does not contain the aforementioned amusing dialogue (or any dialogue, for that matter), or at least not at the start. The game itself appears to be a R-Type clone. Perhaps the amusing banter was a little whimsy on the part of the Sega port programmers?
They closed the rooming houses and kicked out all the bohemian scum, and now St Kilda's well-off residents are having a Million Yuppie March this Sunday to do something about the street prostitution problem and make the area safe for conspicuous consumption. Which will probably mean Rudy Giuliani-style zero-tolerance policing; a fittingly final coup de grace for an area that has been gentrified to death.
The perils of online romance: Trevor Tasker, 27, was looking for love on the Net, and found it for a while in one Wynema Shumate. When he travelled to the U.S. to visit his new love, he found out that not only was she some 35 years older than she claimed to be, but was keeping her housemate's corpse in her freezer, to collect his money. Don't you just hate it whan that happens?
Coming soon to John Howard's Australia: U.S.-style civil forfeiture, in which the police can confiscate the assets of suspected drug dealers, without getting a conviction. As the U.S. example shows, civil forfeiture has been a great weapon in the War On Drugs, not to mention a nice little earner for some well-placed law-enforcement officials.
Ding dong, CPRM is dead. At least on nonremovable computer hard disks anyway. And it's thanks to concerned netizens' complaints that this scheme has been withdrawn.
Welcome to the Digital Millennium: Copyright enforcement companies have developed a transparent proxy that stops file sharing , identifying copyright violating content by length and/or sound. They want to see this installed in "regional aggregation point(s) for Internet service providers". Expect to see one of these in MAE East/West, right next to the Echelon tap, Real Soon Now.