The Null Device


The Lemming Urge: A piece in the Sunday Times at militant anorexic groups, who see their condition as a culture and a "lifestyle choice", run web sites instructing young women on how to become living skeletons and have big plans, including radio and TV stations for their subculture.


I picked up the new Greatest Hits compilation from The Cure. I've got most of the songs elsewhere, but I got it mainly for the limited-edition bonus CD, consisting of acoustic recordings (well, mostly acoustic; there is a reedy-sounding synth in the mix, but no instruments you wouldn't expect to see on a Tuesday night at the Empress) of all the songs. That CD is for the most part not bad; recommended for collectors of Cure.

The track listing is mostly old songs (2/3 are from before Wish), with two new tracks (sounding a bit less tired than recent Cure; at least Robert isn't moping about growing old and having forever lost the angst of youth or what have you; and one of them features a more electronic production; and one less feeble than Smith and Reeves Gabrels' GrooveBox noodlings). There are a few notable omissions (for one, it jumps straight from A Forest to Let's Go To Bed, missing out two of their better (if not best) albums).

I'll probably get the DVD as well, when it comes out. Some of the videos would be worth having (though it'd be nice if they put on Charlotte Sometimes, for example; and one can always wish for the Carnage Visors short film).

As if by strange coincidence, after having bought the CD, I stepped into Slow Glass Books and noticed an issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction with a story titled Doing the Unstuck, by Paul Di Filippo, and filled with Cure references.


Weather Report: A thought-provoking piece suggesting that the anti-terrorist crackdown and the general policies of the Bush administration may signal the end of the last vestiges of the US republic, and the US's wholesale transformation into a totalitarian corporate oligarchy with a democratic façade. I mean even more so than Chomsky et al. say is the case now.)

The rulers will often act in secret; for reasons of "national security," the people will not be permitted to know what goes on in their name. Actions once unthinkable will be accepted as routine: government by executive fiat, the murder of "enemies" selected by the leader, undeclared war, torture, mass detentions without charge, the looting of the national treasury, the creation of huge new "security structures" targeted at the populace. In time, this will seem "normal," as the chill of autumn feels normal when summer is gone.

(yes, 1.0 and Graham both blogged this, but it's well worth a read)


A look at Saudi Arabia's Internet censorship infrastructure. Saudi Arabia is of course the liberal democracy that is America's key ally in the defense of freedom in the Middle East.

authoritarianism censorship saudi arabia 0

A while ago, the FBI introduced Carnivore, a net wiretapping system for catching those crooks too stupid or ignorant to encrypt incriminating mail. Now they've augmented their capabilities with a new system, Magic Lantern. This is an email-borne worm program which installs itself on the target's computer and logs their keystrokes, capturing passphrases and the like, and should work with on anyone sufficiently stupid or ignorant to use Windows.

(Btw, anybody remember the old days when "email viruses" were a hoax which circulated to gull clueless newbies, and everybody knew that you couldn't get a virus from an email?)


Researchers in South Korea have made a discovery that could provide a scientific basis for homeopathy; namely that some solutions form clusters of particles increasing in size as they are further diluted. This follows some months after an earlier discovery at CalTech that pointed in similar directions.