Brooklyn-based engineers Omer Shapira and Surya Mattu claim to be a bit angrier than most about Apple’s recent forced dump of a U2 album into every iTunes account: They see it not as an inconvenience but a totalitarian encroachment. That’s right! “The consequences of placing a payload inside something you think you own reach further than an insult to your musical taste,” goes a posting on their website. “It may compromise your civil rights, personal safety and freedom of expression. This breach of rights is a deal between an electronics manufacturer and a record label, the next one may be an uneasy deal with an oppressive regime.”
Finally, somebody who takes shit even more seriously than U2! The two say they have invented the Pro Bono 1, a speaker that only plays the new U2 album Songs of Innocence. It’s an alleged microprocessor and a computer that, upon hearing musical soundwaves of any kind, triggers the band’s desolate keening. If you have $1,500 to spare and want to bathe in Bono’s tears 24/7, order the speakers via eBay and see what happens. In our meta-viral age, this is one of those things that works both as a joke and plausibly (though possibly better if you have thousands of dollars to spend on gadgets that hate you).