The Null Device


Natasha Stott-Despoja, former leader of imploding possibly-left-wing minor party the Australian Democrats and sometime Doc Martens-wearing "Member for JJJ", has revealed that she was approached by another political party to join them, should anything happen to her existing one (see above), and that this was in addition to the Greens' public invitation.

It could well have been Family First with an outside hope that she would have a road-to-Damascus experience and become the voice of Generation Hillsong, though somehow I doubt it; my money would be on the ALP. And as much as I'm not a fan of Buffy Stott-Despoja's brand of politics (which seemed heavier on sweeping symbolic statements of right-on-ness than on in-depth understanding of issues; let's face it, she's no Barry Jones), I think that would be a good thing. At least, if she had some sway in the ALP, it could stop them from moving too far to the right to outflank the tories and go for the wowser vote (see also: the national internet firewall proposal). Not to mention that Peter Garrett would have some company. Though last time I looked, the ALP seemed more interested in apolitical sports-heroes who appealed to the Silent Majority Of Suburban Battlers than in idealistic rabble-rousers.

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Subject: line found in spam folder: "Laboratory pep rally".

That would make a pretty good title for the kind of record one might see reviewed on Pitchfork.

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Sun have announced that Java will be available under the GNU General Public Licence. Presumably because Flash/Python/PHP/.NET were eating their lunch. It remains to be seen whether this will prolong Java's life, or results in some of the nicer bits (such as the class libraries) being salvaged and bolted onto more vibrant platforms.

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Roof-mounted wind turbines are becoming the Hummers of environmental consciousness: they're big, unmistakeably conspicuous and demonstrate without question the owner's green credentials and general Guardian-reading smugness. It's a pity, then, that they don't actually do much for the environment:

Green campaigners warn that rooftop windmills do little to cut greenhouse gases, may annoy your neighbours, cause vibrations that could damage your home and produce only enough electricity to power a hairdryer.
Friends of the Earth said homeowners would only save tiny amounts of electricity by investing in turbines. 'For householders the idea of a turbine is very sexy because it's an exciting piece of kit. It's making a very visible statement to the effect that, "I'm doing my bit",' said Nick Rau, a campaigner at the group. 'It's glamorous to put something on your roof. But if energy efficiency is the top priority, there are many other, much more straightforward things you could do that are much more cost effective, and more beneficial for the environment, like insulating your loft thoroughly.'

conspicuous consumption environment hypocrisy oneupmanship peacock society technology 0