The Null Device


Mad Magazine (remember them?) have a self-referential parody of The Onion. (via bOING bOING)

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A few choice quotes from Winston Churchill, the great man who was recently selected as the Greatest Briton Ever (beating off a strong challenge from Lady Di, no less), and who is widely held to have been the George W. Bush of his time.

I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes.
Writing as president of the Air Council, 1919
I do not admit... that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia... by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race... has come in and taken its place.
Churchill to Palestine Royal Commission, 1937
One may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as admirable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations."
From his Great Contemporaries, 1937

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An interesting piece from a materials journal about the weapons and armour in the Lord of the Rings film, and how they were made. The attention to detail sounds nothing short of stupendous. (via bOING bOING)

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After being dragged along to some laptop electronica performances by Peter, I've started playing around in earnest with Pd; it's a fun piece of software to play with. With an audio in socket and the built-in objects (and possibly some optional LADSPA plug-ins), it's possible to make a Linux-based PC into a customisable bank of effects pedals for whatever you plug into it (i.e., a guitar, microphone, Casio keyboard, electronic bagpipe chanter, whatever). Now all I'd need is a decently fast Linux-capable laptop.

Aside: someone should write a WINE-based wrapper of some sort for running Windows VST plugins under Linux and interfacing them with Linux audio software. It shouldn't be too hard; one way would be to write a very simple Windows VST host which takes audio input, runs it through a plugin rack, and sends it to output, and then use WINE to wrap it in such a way that the input and output goes to FIFOs in /tmp or somesuch. A better alternative would be to actually wrap the plugins within the host application, giving them just enough Windows GDI calls to draw their user interfaces and such. (After all, the DSP code should be fairly portable.)

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A big web page on disused London Underground stations, with lots of historical info and photographs. Something else I'll have to look out for next time I'm in those parts.

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