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Saturday 26 August 2000, 22:45 BST
At last Citizens United for a Decent Internet have exposed the truth about the threat posed by GNU/Linux. <sarcasm>Praise the Lord!</sarcasm>

The hackers are members of a cult based in Finland called The Free Source that, among other things, practices communal ownership of software. Its members release their software under something called the Glorious People's License (or GPL) which basically states that no one can own the software or put restrictions on copying it.

"The Free Source has been recruiting on line for years now," says Ted Phillips, an expert on modern cults, "Their membership probably numbers in the thousands, although it is difficult to tell. They often work by enticing teens and young adults with the promise of free software and beer, before they start encouraging them to read parable-laced screeds that further indoctrinate them into the cult. They have been relatively harmless in the past, but now that they seem to be trying to destroy parents' abilities to protect their children it is clear that they are a danger to our society."

For the full story, see the item headlined 03/28/2000 - Hackers' Socialistic Leanings Could Stop Hack Removal. [Via Blog]
RIAA Sues Mirror Manufacturers.
Julie Burchill has a go at Madonna in The Guardian. The irony meter just went right off the scale.
Barbelith is dead. Long live tom@plasticbag.org.
What Sony will do to make sure Napster is stopped. Presumably the next step will be to sue every ISP who refuses to install Sony-approved routers. [Via The Register]
Tuesday 22 August 2000, 22:45 BST
MeowMail: doesn't every wired cat deserve it? [Via Laurent's Weblog]
The path to unmetered internet access is turning out to be a bit rocky. Now AltaVista, who got so much press for their announcement of an unmetered service, turn out to be a bunch of liars. They have a point that BT haven't exactly helped matters, but in the end it wasn't BT who told AltaVista's customers they could have unmetered access long before FRIACO access was in place.

On the face of it, reports that Freeserve would prefer not to have any new customers for their unmetered service right now suggest that it'll be a while yet before unmetered access for the masses is a reality.

I think it's entirely sensible of Freeserve to stop digging a deeper hole for themselves and give themselves some breathing space. Demon Internet are due to follow up their original announcement of a SurfTime-based package this month (i.e.  on 31.8.2000 at 23.59, I suspect) and it'll be interesting to see just what it is they announce. I wouldn't blame them for actually putting the entire SurfTime package on hold indefinitely and waiting until the local loop is finally opened up next year.

Is That a Perfectly Legal, Anatomically Correct Condom Education Model, or Are You Just Happy to See Me? [Via the null device]
Could it be that spending vast sums to put expensive, rapidly outdated computer hardware in classrooms isn't such a great idea? Seems an entirely reasonable to me. [Via Wired News]
Sunday 20 August 2000, 22:10 BST
ZZZ is a fascinating site devoted to neat technology. The current edition (No 44) features a bizarre combination ottoman/household server and what may be the world's least ergonomic mouse. Oh yes, and a rather cute tiger rabbit.
Salon has an article on the rise of the "Sci Fi Diva" in recent big-budget Hollywood films, from Carrie Ann Moss in The Matrix to the various female stars of X Men to Jennifer Lopez in this summer's virtual reality/serial killer blockbuster, The Cell. What really irritated me about the article was that in criticising the genre for a lack of strong female characters the author completely failed to distinguish between SF on film (mostly catering for the lowest common denominator and the mass market) and the written form of the genre, which certainly lacked strong female characters two or three decades ago but definitely doesn't now.
Ice cream is bad for you? Say it ain't so... [Via Rebecca's Pocket]
Big Brother has made for utterly compelling viewing this last week. My favourite moment: not Nick's expulsion, but the look on Davina McCall's face when Nick joked that he had been a "plant" for Channel 5. Now we move on, with the arrival of a new housemate. I can't help thinking that adding a new contestant past the halfway point is a poor way to handle the expulsion: better to have expelled Nick and cancelled this week's nominations altogether, then let the voting commence next week.

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