The Null Device


The latest trend among those with more disposable income than common sense: sunglasses for dogs.

"The chrome and blue is aimed mainly at dogs who are driven around by their owners in an open-top Jaguar or something similar," he said.
This trend joins the equally ridiculous trend of dressing dogs in clothes, once the domain of Victorian prudes, but now increasingly fashionable with the hip consumers of McWorld:
Chrome and blue may also be the choice for owners who dress their dogs in outfits such as the canine version of the David Beckham Real Madrid football shirt, which proved popular when it was launched soon after the England captain joined Spain's biggest club.

I wonder who the first hip-hop/R&B/ghetto-flavoured-pop star will be to be seen with a dog attired in blinged-out diamond-encrusted sunglasses; or how long until Tommy Hilfiger or Ralph Lauren or someone launches a line of dog apparel. Or, indeed, when we'll see the first panther or python or Vietnamese pot-bellied pig or other exotic celebrity pet in custom-designed sunglasses.

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It's easy enough to believe that there are communities of people who enjoy making and swapping computer-generated pr0n with rendered models in a variety of lascivious poses. What's a bit harder to believe is that there is an industry catering to this market segment, selling everything from realistic pubic hair textures, whipped skin textures and lewd facial expressions to an extensive range of 3D models of bondage restraints, and vast ranges of posable models, from the usual b4b3z, leathermen and Nazi dominatrices to mermaids, tentacled demons and deluxe models with features such as "optional third breast". (via bOING bOING)

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In the UK, it is not only illegal to use portable radio transmitters with your iPod (they're legally considered to be pirate radio transmitters, regardless of their range), but, under the draconian EU Copyright Directive just adopted, to copy MP3s you don't own the copyright to to it, or indeed to make mix CDs. I guess I'm leaving my Archos Jukebox at home next time I go there.

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Many years ago, I was playing with Fontographer and created a font named ModeSeven, based on the Teletext character set (and named after the BBC Micro screen mode using the Teletext chipset); it may be found here. A few weeks ago, I received an email from someone at TalkbackThames, a London-based TV production company, informing me that they had used the font on a DVD and asking for an address to send a complimentary copy of the disc in question.

As a consequence, today I received in the mail a copy of the DVD of the BBC Look Around You comedy series. This is a series of 9-minute segments parodying British educational TV programming from the 1970s (right down to vintage calculators used), only wildly inaccurate in a somewhat Pythonesque sense, with plenty of howlers and made-up words used. (For example, dissolving iron with acid creates a substance named "bumcivilian", whose creation removes all sound from the air for some seconds.) Somewhat amusing, though probably more so if you went to a British school in the 1970s. The disc also contains other features, such as an entire set of fake Ceefax (i.e., BBC Teletext) pages with news stories such as the scrapping of the trans-Atlantic British Rail route and the replacement of small-denomination coins with a dust worth a certain number of pence per gram, as well as Look Around You quizzes. (They seem to have used the DVD menu facility to recreate the teletext pages, and done so quite convincingly.)

(Where was my font used? In the optional DVD subtitles, which are designed to look like Teletext captions for the hearing impaired.)

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A hiking couple found 70 pairs of shoes filled with butter in a remote mountainous location in northern Sweden. The shoes include all varieties, from sneakers to tap shoes. There's some speculation whether it's an art project of some sort or merely fetishism, though it may or may not be a violation of copyright. (via jwz)

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