AFACT cry foul – iiNet and Pirate Party respond

In an article published by the Australian yesterday, the Australian Federation against Copyright Theft (AFACT) made the claim that ISPs are refusing to negotiate on Copyright (self) regulation, a claim that ISP iiNet – whom AFACT unsuccessfully sued earlier this year – strongly deny in their responding statement, in which the ISP points out; “The internet industry and copyright holders had been in detailed discussions for a number of years, before AFACT and its Executive Director, Ms Pecotic, called off negotiations in August 2007 to commence their unsuccessful legal proceedings against iiNet in the Federal Court.” Naturally, the ‘Gamers, Porn and BitTorrent Society’ .. sorry, the Pirate Party Australia – had their own view on the AFACTs suggestion that we are being left “behind the […]

T&J Towing Diggs a hole

“To sue, or not to sue: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous online reviews, Or to take suit against a sea of social media, And by opposing end them?” – HeathG with apologies to Shakespeare It seems that some business still don’t appreciate the perils of trying to silence critics with defamation suits.  From McLibel, to the NYC Skank and Lindsay Lohan – businesses and celebrities are learning the hard way that  suing your critics in to submission can be a very risky proposition.The latest example comes all the way from Kalamazoo, and it’s a classic example of  what not to do in the the hyperconnected age of social media.

Can Google shareholders gain from the China confrontation?

It’s hard to see exit from the Chinese market as maximizing Google’s profits. China is, after all, very large (though Chinese growth in searching is slow). It may be that Google is being, at least in part, high-minded. After all, it’s motto is “Don’t be evil” & it is reported that Sergey Brin’s aversion to totalitarian states played a role here. Yet, it is not Google’s fiduciary duty to be high-minded: rather the organization must act in its shareholder’s interests. But there are two points to be made in favour of Google’s China stance:

iiNet takes Netspace: The benefits of scale

Having recently reached 460k broadband subscribers, TPG appeared to have  snatched third place in the fixed broadband market. But any glory was short lived,  with iiNet  reclaiming its number three position by announcing the acquisition of Melbourne based Netspace.   In exchange for $40m, iiNet has added ~70k broadband subscribers , bringing it to 520k broadband services in operation. But is bigger better?

Paying women to play games

IGN ran a story today on a site called GameCrush.com. GameCrush reportedly decribes itself as “the first social site for adult gamers” and judging by the IGN article it’s trying to position itself as something of a cross between a gamers Facebook and a dating site. The SMH article has a nice summary of their business model: “On GameCrush guys (called “Players”) choose a girl (called “PlayDates”) to play with. Players then pay $US6.60 ($7.20) for about 10 minutes of gaming, and PlayDates keeps 60 per cent of the money,…GameCrush said PlayDates can earn up to $US30 an hour.” (SMH 26/03/2010) When you throw in Gamecrush’s voice & video chat functions and the fact “PlayDates” get rated on looks and flirtiness (as well as gaming […]

Palm needs more than Pixies to save it

How the mighty have fallen. Once a pioneering leader in handheld computing, the smartphone market has not been kind to Palm Inc. Palm’s latest quarterly loss means the company is heading for its third year of losses in a row. As ZDNet’s editor in Chief Larry Dignan points out, Palm now finds itself in a viscous cycle. ” Sales in the third quarter were weak. So weak that Palm’s sell through in the third quarter was 408,000 units vs. a sell-in of 960,000 units. That means Palm seriously overestimated demand for its devices….Now Palm will have to discount, take charges for inventory and suffer a gross margin hit to lower the inventory of Pre and Pixi devices.” (ZDNet 19/03/2010) So just how bad are things […]

Emulation: Do not merely replicate known objects

Brad Delong (linking to Marco.Org) pointed me toward Soulver, a rather nice calculator ap for the iPhone (the Mac version is much more expensive). Most calculator aps replicate the real world object, which is handy as most of us know how to operate physical calculators, but that that should not constrain the developer. Soulver does not have an equal key: output appears next to the input as you type. This means there is a record of your inputs. Soulver also allows separate calculations on different lines, & like a spreadsheet you can refer to different lines. This makes scenario calculations and comparisons v easy. I love it!! [I should have added that you can also save your calculations.]