The Null Device


The Guardian's roundup of new hard disk-based MP3 players, competing with the iPod (stocks of which have been sold out across both the UK and US). The Archos unit looks interesting (though chances are there's no third-party firmware for it; hope Archos have lifted their game in that area; also, it seems that Archos haven't updated their Jukebox Recorders with disks larger than 20Gb; for anything bigger you need to buy the more expensive MPEG4 video jukebox), and the Rio Karma also looks like it could be good. It's also interesting to see that the drugmusic empire Ministry of Sound have their own branded product in that particular market.

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News Corp. has fired its first salvo in the campaign to neutralise the BBC: the chief executive of Murdoch's BSkyB satellite broadcaster delivered a speech outlining his proposals for reining in the BBC and stopping its extraordinary abuses of power. Under the proposal, the BBC would be forced to sell off popular programmes to commercial operators, and would be prohibited from purchasing imported programmes. I wonder whether we will see Britain's politicians, eager to win the Sun's backing for the next election, scrambling over themselves to "independently" adopt proposals similar or identical to this.

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Rock and roll artist Wesley Willis dead at 40; deprived of his everlasting life by an unknown cause, possibly related to chronic leukemia. Which is all rather sad; he'll be fondly remembered.

Perhaps we should see a coalition of artists of all stripes (from punk rockers to laptop glitchmeisters to post-post-ironic hipsters of various sorts) to get together and do a Wesley Willis tribute album to raise funds for some suitable charity (leukemia research, or possibly some mental-health charity)?

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A death metal cover of the Stallman Free Software Song, by someone named Jono Bacon. As metal as you can get with a drum machine, anyway. (via jwz)

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