The Null Device


The SSSCA, which sets out to mandate copy control mechanisms in all digital devices (essentially criminalising open-source operating systems, for one) is on the move, and is scheduled to get a hearing in Congress on October 25. If it passes in anything close to its present form, the consequences can be horrific; the most conservative scenario would be the crippling of all computers on the consumer market into "trusted clients" and a legally indemnified 100% monopoly for Microsoft, enforced by law; all in the name of protecting the content industry, the flagship of the American economy, from the terroristic acts of mp3 swappers. (And even if it is struck down five years later -- in exactly the way that recent copyright power grabs have not been -- the damage will have been done.) Here is the EFF alert.


Topical comic of the day: Get Your War On. (via Plastic)

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Fighting Against Terrorism: A US man was detained for questioning at an airport on suspicions of terrorism. What gave him away? The fact that he was carrying a suspicious looking book with a picture of a bomb on the cover. (via Wil Wheaton)


A BBC piece on Douglas Coupland, what he is currently working on (which promises to be a lot darker and more paranoid than his earlier works), and his take on the current zeitgeist.

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Some anonymous hacker, calling hirself only "Beale Screamer", has just broken Microsoft's Windows Media copy prevention system; which some will undoubtedly claim is the moral equivalent of crashing a fueled-up airliner into the RIAA's offices. Now wait for John Ashcroft to announce a full manhunt to bring this digital Bin Laden to justice, and the FBI to start scouring ISP logs, phone records and other information.