The Null Device
Scientists at Leeds University have developed a new weapon against crime: a noise impossible to ignore. The sound is comprised of many frequencies, and thus is easy to locate. Additionally, people hearing it reflexively turn to look at its source; as such, there are plans to use the sound with that most British of institutions, security cameras, to induce criminals to look at the camera and be photographed.
Psychoceramics in the news: Elaine Meredith, a 62-year-old widow in southern Wales, has been arrested for carving obscene words on parked cars. She had been at it for almost 18 months, while baffled police tried to catch whatever teenage delinquent they assumed was behind it. Ms. Meredith has prior convictions, and had been jailed for making harrassing phone calls and threatening to petrol bomb a housing estate. A motive for the attacks has yet to be determined. (via Meg)
The DVD Forum, those lovely people who safeguard your right to pay higher prices for narrower ranges of DVD titles, are moving to stamp out rogue DVD players with easily bypassable region enforcement. From October 1, DVD players will have to be certified compliant with region coding to bear the DVD logo. Mind you, this could just lead to a class of rogue "digital video disc" players, which are just like DVD players only cheaper and more hackable. (Also, I wonder whether this will mean that official DVD players will be illegal in New Zealand, where region-enforcing players are apparently considered defective merchandise.)