The Null Device
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. And the latest invention is a voice changer for female video gamers, allowing them to contend in the macho culture of online games without fear of harrassment or inappropriate sexual attention from prehensile, undersocialised geeks.
According to research conducted by the company, "The number of female online game players is not small", would you believe. In fact, "Many of them have reached the highest level of some very difficult games such as World of Warcraft (60th level), which is considered the game for men only."
The software comes with presets which turn lady voices into big deep Blessed-esque ones. You can also create your own new voice by mucking about with pitch and timbre settings, and other features include advanced tune and noise reduction.Given that it is adjustable, I imagine it could also be useful in the other direction; from now on, a voice call is no longer a guarantee that your new online friend "HotBiBabe18F" is not a sweaty 41-year-old man.
(via Boing Boing)
A furore has erupted with the publication of the Indonesian edition of Playboy. While it is a lot tamer than Western editions (the excuse of buying it only for the articles would probably be more plausible there), Islamists are still calling for severe punishments for all involved, and the editor and centrefold model are facing imprisonment:
The magazine has been targeted by opponents as a symbol of Western decadence and the row has led to calls for tough anti-pornography laws outlawing "sensual behaviour", revealing clothing, even kissing in public. It is part of a concerted push to impose sharia law throughout Indonesia, a campaign that Abu Bakar Bashir, the former spiritual leader of the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist network, vowed to spearhead on his release from prison last month.
Rock-throwing protesters tried to ransack Playboy's Jakarta office when the first edition appeared in April, so Arnada relocated to the more tolerant island of Bali.
He published a second edition last month, with numerous blank pages after advertisers withdrew their support following threats by the Islamic Defenders Front.Meanwhile, feminist groups there have spoken out in the defense of Playboy.