The Null Device


The Narcolombians aren't the only ones at the cutting edge of infotech: Hell's Angels in Canada are also relying on information technology and high-tech intelligence gathering to wage gang wars. (via bOING bOING)

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Denial's not just a river in Egypt A morbid new trend sweeping the USA: parents commissioning digitally retouched images of stillborn babies to make them look alive, or indeed sufficiently ungruesome to show off:

Her work is grueling -- she spends two to four hours on each picture -- but she has yet to turn down a photograph, no matter how grisly. Some of the photographs she gets are of 20-week fetuses with transparent skin. Others are of babies that have been dead in the womb for so long that their facial features have dissolved, requiring her to redraw them.

The next logical step would be to use photograph-aging software to interpolate the photographs into the life that never existed; advanced software would use the original photograph, as well as those of parents and siblings, to generate "photographs" of the phantom child at various ages, "growing up" in realtime in a frame on the mantlepiece. I can see a sci-fi/gothic-horror short story in this...

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A survey at Japan's Nihon University has revealed that video games decrease brain activity in the brain regions for emotion and creativity. Activity does not recover, and heavy video game users were found to have trouble concentrating, managing anger and associating with friends. (Mind you, this is from the Mainichi, which appears to be a somewhat sensationalist tabloid.)

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FALCO! British film production outfit FilmFour is being shut down. Having been responsible for films such as Trainspotting and My Beautiful Laundrette, FilmFour was the premier maker of edgy, intelligent British films. Now the British film industry looks likely to be mostly Working Title/Miramax feel-good pap, insipidly bourgeois Merchant/Ivory costume dramas and formulaic Hollywood blockbusters.

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