The Null Device
Scientists in the U.S. and Australia have discovered a neurological cause for savant abilities. It appears that autistic savants, endowed with supernormal mathematical, musical or artistic skills, all have damage in a location in the left arterial temporal lobe; dementia patients with damage in that particular area often also develop artistic talents, and the Australian team managed to induce improvements in intuitive artistic and mathematical abilities by magnetically turning off volunteers' temporal lobes. It is speculated that the part of the brain in question somehow blocks conscious access to low-level computations within the brain.
Pat Cadigan has a new story, Icy You, Juicy Me. It's about agoraphobia and webcams and obsession, and is available online from the Reg.
Afghanistan's latest high-profile faith-based programme has been completed, and two ancient Buddha statues, renowned throughout the world, are now but rubble, undoubtedly striking a blow for religious values and against the Godless liberal elites. On the bright side, though, the destruction of the statues eliminates one thing the Taleban could hold hostage to dissuade the West from condemning its oppression of women/support of terrorism. Had they relented under Western pressure or bribery, the price may have been an agreement to recognise the Taleban regime as rightful, cut off any covert aid to dissident groups, and not complain about its misogynistic policies, lest those statues come to harm.
mame.dk is dead. It wasn't killed by arcade-machine company copyright lawyers, but screwed out of banner ad revenue by an outfit named eFront. And according to ICQ logs posted by a disgruntled employee (now mostly taken down), eFront have been doing other nasty things, such as harassing sites out of existence and even threatening a webmaster with rape. Lovely folks... (the Slashdot thread)