The Null Device


A group of overweight New Yorkers are suing fast food chains for making fattening food and not telling the public that it wasn't healthy. Whatever happened to the notion of personal responsibility?

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If you break the law, the law will break you: From this week onward, if you live in the UK and burn a CD containing "illicit recordings" -- i.e., anything infringing on copyright, such as a MP3 downloaded from a file-sharing service -- you could be gaoled for 10 years, a more severe sentence than some handed out to murderers, rapists and paedophiles. Uh-oh; better not make that mix CD for the friend I'm going to be visiting in London in that case.

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The state of the market: Compensation given to relatives of Afghans killed by US "friendly fire" shows that, in the current market, an Afghan life is worth 1/700 of a Chinese life, 1/10,000 of an Italian life, and 1/30,000 of an American life. (via


Proof that Australia's foreign policy isn't just about sucking up to Uncle George: Australia votes against UN anti-torture protocol, joining an elite club of such esteemed defenders of human rights as China, Cuba, Libya and Nigeria. (The US, incidentally, abstained.) I've no idea why Australia rejected the protocol; perhaps supporting such bleeding-heart initiatives would make Australia look temptingly humane to refugees, undoing all the work of setting up draconian detention camps? Or perhaps because such naïve concerns have no place in the grim, warlike post-9/11 world?

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