The Motion Picture Assoc. of America wants the FCC to require copy-protection circuitry in digital TVs and VCRs.
HotBits -- Genuine random numbers, generated by radioactive decay, delivered to your computer over the Web.
Bruce Bell has written "The Coming Storm" -- an essay about how media conglomerates are trying to control computer and media hardware:
Software copy protection may be unworkable, but hardware that refuses to transfer copyrighted plaintext in unauthorized ways -- what some call "trusted client" devices -- is possible. ... In the jargon of trusted-client, "trusted" doesn't mean the owner can trust his hardware, it means the manufacturer trusts that it has the exclusive authority to program the device. Also, "security" doesn't mean security for the user, it means security from the user.
Another use for the new Mac G4 cube.
Variety is reporting a planned Survivor-like TV series in which a group of contestants attend Russian space camp, and the winner gets to visit the Mir space station.
Old Man Murray tells us all why first-person shooters like Quake have killed off the old adventure games like Gabriel Knight 3:
In order to construct the costume, Gabriel Knight must manufacture a fake moustache. Utilizing the style of logic adventure game creators share with morons, Knight must do this even though Moseley does not have a moustache.
Eudora 5.0 has a new MoodWatch feature that checks the email you write for rude or agressive language and warns you about it with a chili-pepper-based scale. I wonder if the underlying software rates things in Scoville units.
It is based on the 1996 "unauthorized autobiography" of the same title by former game show producer/host Chuck Barris. The script illuminates Barris' far-fetched claim that while he hosted THE GONG SHOW he moonlighted as an assassin for the CIA.
Joe Wecker's "Descramble" song (the DeCSS source code set to music) has been pulled from MP3.com for having "inappropriate content."
See David Touretzky's Gallery of CSS Descramblers for a list of places where the DeCSS source has turned up, including cases of people cleverly hiding the source in images, and an implementation of the program in a new programming language for which no compiler currently exists. And don't forget the Yahoo! greeting card version, which comes with a coupon for a free Slurpee. In a Salon interview, Touretzky says:
I consider the gallery to be an academic publication; it's listed on my curriculum vitae. If the MPAA wants to start censoring academic works, they know where to find me.
Next time somone sings "If I Only Had a Brain," direct him to Brain Mart.
Greg Chatham hates anime:
Anime took her to Dragon Con, got her drunk, dressed her up in a Sailor Moon costume and had its tentacular way with her. Then it took pictures of them doing it and posted them on Yahoošs "My Asian Girlfriend" club, knowing full well Išd see the photos and download them to use as desktop wallpaper.
Have you been peeling the buttery lizard? Dropping the flounder? Sculpting the burrito? If so, you've probably been using The Euphemism Generator.
Amazing photo of the fires in Montana.
If you have an itch to fly into space and half a million dollars to spare, you may soon be able to nip down to the store and buy a spaceship in kit form. Once assembled, the craft, called the Kitten, will take you and two friends 200 kilometres up at a top speed of Mach 4.
(Beautiful daughter and hunky young assistant sold separately?)
Worried about today's teens? Debra Ollivier says the kids are fine, the parents are screwed up:
Teen violence is down and test scores -- for both genders -- are up. In recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that the teenage birth rate is at its lowest level in 60 years and that smoking among high school students has declined as well.
Aqua Creations makes scary furniture.
Ah, Japanese candy products with English names. You just gotta love 'em:
Village Voice: Nat Hentoff has written a frightening column about the disdain all of the major candidates (and congress) show for the Bill of Rights:
The new measure, initiated by Republican Orrin Hatch's staff, would allow federal agents to search your home or office while you're away, seize or copy things, and give no notice of what they've taken for 90 daysa term that can be easily extended by a judge. Moreover, if so-called law enforcement agents take anything "intangible," they don't have to notify you at all until they prosecute you. That means they can copy what's on your computer screen or on its hard drive.
Ben Crowell has written an essay on the practicality of open-source textbooks.
"Sure, I was eager to try out the new plug-in," Gaskill said, "but only because it was perfect for this job. The wave-frame effect gives Valley View Apartments that dynamic, cutting-edge feel it needs. It communicates that Valley View living is so convenient and affordable, it'll blow your freakin' mind."
As if we needed still more evidence that 'Net-filtering software is crap, the Digital Freedom Network has announced the winners of its Foil the Filters contest, for cases where filtering software blocked innocuous websites. The winner was a high school student who couldn't look at his own school's web page because the school's filtering software blocked the word "high."
The Poetic Justice Award went to US Congressional Representative Richard "Dick" Armey, advocate of 'Net filtering packages like Netnanny, Surfwatch, Cybersitter, N2H2, and Wisechoice, all of which blocked Armey's own web page because of his middle name.
It closes with a little bit of text that I want on a tee-shirt:
Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of sXXXch, or the right of the people peaceably to XXXemble, and to peXXXion the government for a redress of grievances.