The Null Device


I didn't realise that Guru Adrian was American; I thought it was one of those ABC/JJJ yoof-programming things. (I could have sworn I saw his grinning mug on some ABC yoof publication in the 80s or early 90s; and given the anti-American streak of the trendy-leftie set there at that time, I'd have placed him as the creation of a punk-squatter-turned-graphic-designer in Melbourne or Sydney somewhere, and not from New York...)

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In the conservative Canadian province of Alberta, legislators have declared June 18 to be Heterosexual Family Pride Day. Wonder whether they'll be having a Straight Pride parade.


Following the explosive popularity of the Harry Potter books, publishers HarperCollins have been looking at their own brand of children's fantasy classics; i.e., C.S. Lewis' Narnia books. HarperCollins and the Lewis estate have unveiled a plan to publish all-new Narnia books, written by unnamed hacks authors for a contemporary audience. Not surprisingly, the new books will not have the element of Christian theological allegory that Lewis' books had, as HarperCollins presumably don't wish to restrict them to the Christian media ghetto, alongside Left Behind and DC Talk CDs. There will also be plush toys of the characters, and possibly other tie-ins. Meanwhile, purists have decried the move as a cynical attempt to cash in.


Recording Racket update: Big Five recording company and former international arms dealers EMI reveal their plans to launch a service allowing users to download and burn CDs. That's right, the unprotected Red Book audio format which will be the death of corporate capitalism. (I very much doubt that they have developed a way of burning copy-protected CDs which cannot be copied bitwise; given that hardware CD players ignore CDR barcode serial numbers, watermarks and all that stuff. Though I wonder whether, in exercising due diligence, they will pollute the sound quality of the burned CDs with some half-baked watermark scheme.)

Or maybe EMI actually Get It, and understand that end-to-end copy protection is not a viable requirement? I don't know about you, but I would pay for music in an unprotected format I can use at my leisure without having to deal with proprietary software that only does things its way. (In fact I did; I bought some MP3s from the 4AD back catalogue last year, before went broke.)


A few years after privatisation, the Melbourne railway system is going British, with a rather nasty train crash happening near Footscray. Fortunately nobody died; probably because electric trains don't generally burst into flames.

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