Matt Gordon

Rights for Lobsters?

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Review of 'Accelerando', Charles Stross, Orbit £16.99

The opening of Accelerando features Manfred Macx, who spends his time coming up with new ideas. He then copyrights them and signs over the rights to the Free Intellect Foundation. He earns nothing from this but goodwill, so they can be used by anyone. As Macx proceeds around the world, paying for nothing thanks to the grateful people he meets, he is contacted by some lobsters who were uploaded onto the internet as part of an experiment by the Russian government and have evolved into sentient beings. The lobsters want freedom - Macx engineers this, and sends them out into space.

Sizing Up the Opposition

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Review of 'Stupid White Men', Michael Moore, Harper Collins £18.99

This book almost didn't make the shops. It was being printed when the planes crashed into the World Trade Centre. Any criticism of the US and the people who run it, the 'stupid white men' like Bush and Cheney, was deemed unpatriotic and unacceptable. So the publisher, Harper Collins (which is owned by Murdoch), refused to release the books for sale and at one point said it was going to pulp the 50,000 copies that had been printed.

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