The Null Device


It's confirmed: Google has bought YouTube, for US$1.65bn, snatching it from the grip of old-media behemoths like Viacom and News Corp. Which means that it stands a decent chance of maintaining its existing principles, rather than turning into some kind of ad-spammy, contributor-hostile conduit for corporate marketing.

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According to this article about Mormon boy band dangerously louche indie-new-wave-art-rockers The Killers, the producer Flood's real name is Mark Ellis. And I thought that Flood was a pseudonym used by Daniel Miller (of Mute/The Normal). You learn something new every day.

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As Britain struggles to adopt a "Mediterranean drinking culture" not involving binge drinking and public disorder, across the channel, an equally radical cultural change is being planned. France will ban smoking in all public places from February. Which does seem like a drastic change for a country like France, famed for its strongly aromatic cigarettes and prevalence of public smoking (it is the only country in which I have seen a police officer throw his cigarette on the ground as he entered the police station), though apparently 70% of the population support the ban. And let's not forget that the first European country to ban public smoking was Ireland, also known for its tobacco culture.

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