The Null Device


After a lot of rehashing, the first draft of Unwirer, Cory Doctorow and Charlie Stross' story about illegal wireless networking in a dystopian alternate America, is up. It's not bad, in a rather dark and paranoid sort of way. I suspect they'll have a hard time cutting 4,500 words from it.

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Oh dear, oh dear, what has Jarvis Cocker been up to? It looks like he's going around calling himself Darren Spooner and trying to be Rob Zombie or someone. No idea what his new band sounds like, though perhaps they should do a cover of Pulp's Master of the Universe; given that he looks like Skeletor, anyway. (thanks to Lauren for the heads-up)

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The latest tool for the modern pick-up artist: fake ATM receipts with unfeasibly large balances written on them. Next time you meet an attractive gold-digger type in a dive bar, jot your number down on one of them (which you happened to have in your pocket; note: don't pull out a pristine new roll of them or you'll blow your cover), and when she (or he) sees "your" balance, they'll call you back straight away. Though if you're going to do that, why not print your own? (via MeFi)

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After 9/11, gun-toting libertarian and rampaging egomaniac hacker Eric S. Raymond, who maintains the Jargon File fell in with the neo-conservative warbloggers; and now, he's taking the Jargon File along for the ride. The latest edition has entries for bullethead coinages such as "anti-idiotarianism" and "fisking"; and the definition of "hacker politics" has been revised to "Formerly vaguely liberal-moderate, more recently moderate-to-neoconservative", with the proviso that "hackers too were affected by the collapse of socialism".

blogosphere (n): The totality of all blogs. A culture heavily overlapping with but not coincident with hackerdom; a few of its key coinages (blogrolling, fisking, anti-idiotarianism) are recorded in this lexicon for flavor. Bloggers often divide themselves into warbloggers and techbloggers. The techbloggers write about technology and technology policy, while the warbloggers are more politically focused and tend to be preoccupied with U.S. and world response to the post-9/11 war against terrorism.

Ah yes, the "blogging was born on 9/11" myth. (via NtK)

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Liberated from the shackles of Saddam Hussein's neo-Stalinist regime, Muslim extremists are moving aggressively to impose faith-based government on Iraq, which used to be one of the most secular societies in the Middle East. Liquor stores have been bombed, and women of all faiths have been threatened to cover up or else:

"Women who don't wear the veil won't be served when they go shopping; taxis won't pick them up and they might have eggs and rotten tomatoes thrown at them."

Not everybody's keen on Islamist theocracy, though; secular Iraqis and the country's Christian community vow to resist.

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