Monday, 1 November 2010

a new way to deal with piracy, make the ones that pay, pay again and again

What’s next in the music industries play box of failing to adapt to the not so new digital landscape? Well maybe they could propose or should I say mandate a pay before you play levy. It must be mighty frustrating for these conglomerates to stomach the fact that people can play their legally purchased tunes whenever and wherever they like with non additional compensation for the sweat of the brow going  to the struggling performer who first created the musical work (seldom does anyway).  If I did not know any better I would call it intellectual property theft, of course I do but the greed of the music industry know no bounds and I am sure in time they will come cap in hand to government worldwide demanding this minor change to copyright.Think this is far fetched? It’s probably not as far fetched as much as you might first think. Today comes the news that Apple could be launching an iTunes cloud music service well this has been the scuttle bug for some time now, although the company has said nothing publicly about its plans to offer this service. However, the latest version of Apple's MobileMe iDisk application does let iPhone users and I would assume iPad users as well the ability to stream music from their virtual lockers held on Apple servers to their connected device.

This new service is far from the streaming music service that pundits were expecting but there well might be a reason for Apple’s timid approach and yes I did use Apple and timid in the same sentence. Michael Robertson, CEO of a competing music locker service MP3tunes thinks this will cause a stir among record labels. And so It appears that the Universal Music Group are quite annoyed because in their interpretation of copyright law Apple would need another licence to allow it to let its users listen to music they had already legally purchased and stored on their servers.

They believe that companies who intend to offer personal cloud music services that limit the service to backing up and downloading are OK however when it comes to streaming music files this would require the company entering into a license and paying a per stream fee.

So obviously the new Apple's service which allows its users unlimited sharing, no need for a user name or password and streaming without a license might just cause a little bit of a stir from the record labels. It would also appear that Michael Robertson and MP3tunes are currently being sued by music label EMI for not seeking licensing deals in offering a similar service, so it’s hardly a surprise that he is making his presence in the space known and blogging up the issues. It is extraordinary that each time a company innovates and creates a new service that helps to encourage the purchases of music from legal alternatives by giving the customers an additional incentive by offering a useful value added service that clearly encourages the said consumption of music is promptly culled by greed.  I suspect that Apple is playing the softly softly approach until the current legal grey areas are ironed out. But if users will have to pay again to stream a product they already have legally purchased then it will fail a real shame but again no real surprise.

So will we ever get to the need for a licence to play our music? I don’t think so because I believe the music industry as we know today will surely have fallen over by then, as there must be a limit to how many times you can shoot yourself in the foot and remain standing. Unfortunately greed is not the answer to the music industries woes and so trying to extract another rent from legitimate customers really only insults the last of your paying customers, is it any wonder so many have deserted and really only a matter of time for the rest to also desert the sinking ship. It does not have to be this way.

What do you think? leave me a comment no licence fee required.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Pouring cold water on competition, The News its heating up

Another piece of disturbing news about how  Germany wants to extend copyright to cover giving newspapers the right to control their headlines. I was first alerted to this article Intellectual Property: Political Excesses - Or: Let Schumpeter's Creative Destruction Do Its Work. The article like the last two posts on the media  that I have written highlights the scary propositions put forward by the old established media players that have by their actions or as the case my be inactions indicate that they are not willing to compete in the new landscape created by the internet let alone adapt or change.  ""It looks as if publishers might really be lobbying for obtaining a new exclusive right conferring the power to monopolise speech e.g. by assigning a right to re-use a particular wording in the headline of a news article anywhere else without the permission of the rights holder. According to the drafts circulating in the internet, permission hall be obtainably exclusively by closing an agreement with a new collecting society which will be founded after the drafts have matured into law. Depending on the particulars, new levies might come up for each and every user of a PC, at least if the computer is used in a company for commercial purposes.

Well, obtaining monopoly protection for sentences and even parts of sentences in a natural language appears to be some kind of very strong meat. This would mean that publishers can control the wording of news messages. This comes crucially close to private control on the dissemination of facts.""

Exactly and this is what has me concerned Techdirt also did a very good commentary on this issue as well that you can read here I specifically agreed with this extract of their analysis.

"Mr Castendyk concludes that even if the envisaged auxiliary copyright protection for newspaper language enters into law, the resulting additional revenue streams probably would be insufficient to rescue the publishing companies. He then goes a step further and postulates that publishing companies enjoy a quasi-constitutional guantee due to their role in the society insofar the state has the obligation to maintain the conditions for their existence forever. As I'm not a constitutional lawyer I won't comment this here but, with all due respect, I would not be very much surprised if such sentence turns out to be lobbyist speech. Utilising the leveraging effect of this postulated quasi-constitutional guarantee, Castendyk demands to amend cartel law in order to enable a global 'pooling' of all exclusive rights of all newspaper publishers in Germany in order to block any attempt to defect from the paywall cartell by single competitor as discussed above."

So as you can see my concerns over excessive and over zealous state imposed sanctions of what we and other can do and report in regard to the news is not just peculiar to myself.

related posts

The Doctrine Of Hot News and why it troubles me

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

political lies and the NBN again

So Australia has a new Prime Minister, I have to admit Julia Gillard has something special, twice now we have had a leader in Julia that Australia did not choose outright, rather some one forced upon us by others  The Labor party's major project the NBN is the different between the two major parties that the experts and most importantly the independents have identified.

Well not everyone agrees as these great articles one from the CNET Australia and the other from the Melbourne Age show why.

The NBN may now have gotten the go-ahead, but it's probably going to be years until fibre-optic cabling passes your house. In the meantime, the only way you're going to see NBN-like speeds in the 100Mbps range will be over cable infrastructure — if you can get it. But whether it's delivered over fibre or cable, what does the increased speed rating really mean in everyday usage? We set out to find out. 

read the whole story here but the answer is not the speed in Australia but the international links and the faster it is here the slower the world seems. So point one the NBN is not the Snowy Mountain Scheme.

Fast broadband: hands on at 100Mbps   

The other story details the myth that regional Australia is missing out 

So, we're back to worrying about RARA - rural and regional Australia. Thanks to the newly acquired political leverage of the two country independents, we're now being told the regions haven't been given their fair share and, in future, ''equity principles'' should prevail.
There's a lot of righteous indignation on the part of many country people and, I suspect, quite a bit of sympathy on the part of city folk. But there are also a lot of misconceptions.
Many people have the impression there has been a continuous flow of people leaving the country for the big city. It's not that simple. The capital cities' share of Australia's population hasn't been increasing.

read the whole article here but point two it is nothing but a myth that country Australia is missing out and that the NBN will do nothing to alter this as since it's a falsehood the silly and untrue claims will continue. 

Our highly taxed and deprived country folk, and other myths

Sunday, 12 September 2010

the solution is irony

Frustration-free packaging' slow to catch on

From Yahoo News
Just the other day, I got bitten by one of those hard plastic clamshell cases that retailers still seem to love. Even with a pair of heavy-duty scissors, it took me several minutes to pry the stubborn thing open, and as I sawed away, a jagged piece of plastic tore at my finger and gave me a good scratch. At least I didn’t bleed on my newly purchased USB hard drive (this time).
Oh, how I hate thee, army of plastic clamshells — and judging from this gallery of "wrap rage" injuries over at Amazon, which has led the charge in recent years for hand-friendly, "frustration-free" packaging," I’m not the only one.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Conroy's net filter still alive and kicking

Asher Moses

The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, is ploughing ahead with his internet filter policy despite there being virtually no chance any enabling legislation will pass either house of Parliament.
Independent MP Rob Oakeshott, the Opposition and the Greens have all come out against the policy, leaving it effectively dead in the water.
The Greens communications spokesman, Scott Ludlam, has called on the government to end the facade and drop the internet censorship scheme once and for all, as it was wasting time and taxpayers' money.

Senator Quixote deserves to be told off

by Colin Jacobs

The Labor government's plan to censor the Australian internet has entered the realm of farce. Despite scraping back into government by the barest of possible margins, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has returned without delay to trumpeting his doomed scheme to anybody that will listen.
As we have said (for years, now) the filter will not help parents, nor will it help police crack down on illegal material. It's a worst-of-all-worlds approach that is a case study on the fundamental incompatibility of a classification-based system with the internet. Fortunately, most people are able to see this - not just nerds and civil libertarians think the plan is crazy, but industry, academia, the media, all the other major political parties and the vast majority of internet users do as well. With even children's rights groups criticising the scheme, you'd think any government would love an excuse to tow this old scow of a policy out to sea and scuttle it.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Police out in force for weekend booze blitz

Thomas Hunter

Police have used the launch of a two-day booze blitz to remind revellers they can be fined $478 if they are found to be excessively drunk or behaving badly on Melbourne's streets.
Hundreds of extra police officers will hit the CBD as well as Moonee Valley, Hawthorn, Prahran and St Kilda this weekend as part of Operation Unite.
Commander Trevor Carter said the operation was running simultaneously across Australia and New Zealand and would target "alcohol misuse, violence and anti-social behaviour tonight and Saturday evening".

Tweets shed light on our banking gripes

Clare Kermond 
A STUDY of five months' worth of tweets about Australia's big four banks has found that people dislike all banks about the same, but find different reasons to be fed up with each one.
Researchers also found that people were far more likely to tweet about ANZ, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank than they were about National Australia Bank, with NAB the topic of only 9 per cent of messages. The issue most commented on for all banks was service.
Hardly surprising survey, makes some interesting points that I agree with some, having tweeted my distaste of Westpac multiple times, interesting to note that the article only credits Westpac for having an active presence however I know from experience that the Commonwealth Bank do as well.    

Thursday, 9 September 2010

where are the magazines, applying the wrong ointment

I have often written about how I  think that the music industry is not doing them selves many favours in their fight against music privacy and in those discussions I seem to talk mainly of the RIAA and their role in the shenanigans but there are other organizations and collection agencies such as ASCAP or APRA that are also performers in this comedy of errors that is copyright and the music industry.

Performance rights organizations provide intermediary functions, particularly royalty collection, between copyright holders and parties who wish to use copyrighted works publicly such as public shops, restaurants and business establishments. These are the guys that shake down the local gym to pay for having the radio on, who incidentally have also been shaken down for royalties them selves. They are a big believer in every one should pay and that nothing should be or is really is for free, either that or I am missing some thing, in this article that  techdirt reported on the details of their ongoing war against Creative Commons, EFF and Public Knowledge it pretty much says as much.

About a year and a half ago, we reported on the news that ASCAP, who represents songwriters and publishers as a collection society, was holding strategy sessions on how to "counter" proponents of free culture, as if they were some sort of attack on ASCAP. Since then, we've actually noticed a growth in both the number of hilarious conspiracy-midned "attack blogs" from people tied to ASCAP, as well as an increase in the number of "anonymous" commenters on the site coming from IP addresses used by a few law firms that have connections to ASCAP. Funny that.

Now it appears they're stepping things up to stage two: they've sent around fundraising emails that specifically ask for money to fight Creative Commons, EFF and Public Knowledge. What's amusing (but really sad) is that this proves that the rhetoric out of ASCAP about protecting "artists' rights" is bunk. Creative Commons does nothing whatsoever to undermine artists' rights. It merely offers them more options for how they choose to license their works. It's the sort of thing that ASCAP and the rest of the music industry should embrace. In fact, when confronted, many of these organizations often make the point that they have no problem with Creative Commons, and they're happy if artists choose to use CC licenses.

Equally I also dedicate quite a lot of this blog to the woes that are be falling the print newspapers and their adaption to the digital age. I read and comment on the talk about the locking down of the news behind paywall’s and the use of the hot news doctrine to stifle competition and the news reporting. How blogs are plagiarising the work of others and if they don’t act fast that the same troubles that have beset the music industry will be their common enemy. The biggest issue is that the traditional revenue base that print media relied upon has moved as more mediums arrived to catch the desired audience with their message. The landscape has shifted and they are struggling to adapt a familiar theme so it was with surprise that I should stumble upon this article on the internet

The ASCAP example: How news organizations could liberate content, skip negotiations, and still get paid

This article suggests that the struggling newspaper sector take a leaf out of the music industries play book and introduce an adoption of the long-established ASCAP-BMI performance rights model by which they could collect payment for some of their content when it is distributed outside the boundaries of their own publications and websites. Now I don’t think this is going to be adopted and I think it is a perfectly fine thing to write of such ideas and propositions as I recently did with this article setting the intangible free, why not licence piracy however I can see some unsettling trends if we let this mob’s practices in place. I don’t want to poke fun at the author of that article and I intend to just explore a what if, if I may.

I often talk of unintended consequence and I think in this if ASCAP were to monitor and charge for incidental use of the media assets, its content well the consequences could be huge. Imagine a time you when were waiting in a sitting room at your local GP, dentist well almost anywhere and to help distract you as you wait for your appointment you reach for the magazines only find they are no longer there, you are of course a little bit dismayed but they have a TV so you immerse your self in “The View” on the large LCD screen in the corner forgetting about the lack of magazines.

The next time your out and you notice the same thing that no body has old magazines anymore; actually you can’t even get the daily newspaper at McDonald's when you enjoy your morning coffee. What is going on? Why have all the magazines disappeared? Then one day you’re driving home from work and switch on the radio to catch some talk radio, when the announcer asks the question you have been asking yourself all this time “what has happened to the magazines in the doctor’s surgery”? Suddenly the radio is alive with callers all commenting on the mystery disappearance of the magazines when all of a sudden a caller explains that the surgeries have to pay a licensing fee to have them now and that so they all gave them up.The other thing that I think could be quite interesting is that if this model was adopted how would the advertisers feel a potential stream of new customers eyes denied by the same people you are paying to deliver you the said eyes, I think not well.

I think there is a limit that copyright holders should be able to go to exercise their rights and that commercial use if incidental and not core to your business should not incur licensing fees however collection agencies are ramping up their targets. I should hope that the above fairytale should not ever become reality however if the newspaper and media turn to performance rights models it could turn to be a piece of non fiction, I told you yesterday I don’t do fiction.

What do you think? Is a performance rights model the right one for the struggling newspaper industries? Leave me comments have your say.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Labor over the line: Windsor and Oakeshott hand power to Gillard

Mark Davis

Julia Gillard has just scraped back into office as Prime Minister after the independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott announced they would support Labor to form a minority government.

Day of truth for Abbott and Gillard

Michelle Grattan and Katharine Murphy

TONY Abbott has secured a last-minute pledge from a maverick West Australian National MP to support a minority Coalition government, clearing the way for an announcement on who will be Australia's next prime minister.
More than two weeks after the election that produced the first hung Parliament in 70 years, the three country independent MPs who now hold the key to power are expected to reveal today who they will back.

So finally we are here, the independents will today confirm who they will anoint to lead Australia for what is meant to be the next three years, I however trust that this will neither be stable or long surviving. My prediction is that they will choose Labor and the alliance will fall over in less than a year.
Stay turned for updates as they happen.

Monday, 6 September 2010

up their for safety not for copyright

Publishing firm's song and dance over safety anthem

Karl Quinn

IT WAS a case of Up There Copyright Infringement as an over-eager employee unintentionally dragged Woolworths into a melee with Albert Music, the publishing company that administers the rights to football anthem Up There Cazaly.
According to a spokesman for the grocery giant, ''a member of staff took the initiative last week in a task to promote workplace safety and penned a new song to the tune of Up There Cazaly. It was subsequently sent to staff in 84 Safeway and Woolworths stores last week in central Victoria and Tasmania.''
Problem is, said member of staff neglected to seek permission to do so first.
Interesting article that demonstrates how misunderstood copyright law is, it will be interesting to see if any further action is taken. I think that in this particular case that Albert Music should have freely given the rights, considering it was in house, not for profit and the actual use was to promote safety in the workplace, but alas that’s not how the world works.  I doubt that they will take action as their actual loss was zero but it is copyright we are talking about.
Do you have an opinion on this one drop me a comment love to hear your thoughts?

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Local hero: Holden's new hatch

By Richard Blackburn

An Australian-designed small car will star on the General Motors stand at the Paris motor show.
General Motors has released images of a new Australian-designed small hatchback that will be built alongside the Commodore in South Australia from late next year. 

The five-door Cruze hatchback show car will be officially unveiled at the Paris motor show later this month. 

Friday, 3 September 2010

Mambo 'crucifixion' shirt withdrawn from Big W after dressing down

Leesha McKenny
MORE than 20 years after it first appeared, a classic Mambo design has proved too controversial to sell on a department store T-shirt.
Big W has removed 200 shirts depicting the crucifixion of a mouse from 30 of its stores following a complaint. The design was created by the Australian artist Richard Allen in 1986.
The move comes just weeks after the discount department store added Mambo designs to its clothing range, which was seen as an attempt by the label to widen its sales base

The Doctrine Of Hot News and why it troubles me

I have written often about the doctrine of hot news, and how one day it could be used to stifle the sharing and posting of news as it happens, giving large media companies an artificial and short-term monopoly of the reporting said news.

Yes I did say that the tone of the article was a bit tongue and cheek and that I certainly hoped that I was not writing a precognition piece. The fact however remains that this practice is indeed happening, and that if people don’t stand up and voice their displeasure with media companies hijacking the news in this manner then this practice may very well become  the status quo.So having written briefly of the consequences of this disturbing trend, I thought I’d explore further the concepts of this practice, it origins and the various applications that have occurred thus far.Hot news is a long recognised but seldom used common law doctrine that assigns a temporary property right to the reporting of a hot news item, similar to copyright but obviously with a much shorter expiration period.

It dates back to a 1919 US Supreme Court decision, and has the following five factor test.

1/ the news is gathered at a cost,

2/ the news is time sensitive

3/ the other party use of the news, takes advantage of the effort, but provides no compensation

4/ the other parties’ use of said news is in direct competition with the reporter, composer and producer of the news

5/the use of the news would lessen the incentive for the reporter, composer and producer of the news to continue to produce the news or substantially reduce the quality of the said news.

These are rather broad in their scope and could easily be corrupted to stifle competition.

Now obviously rules, laws and regulations are conceived and enacted to correct a perceived injustice that existed at the time. In the case of Hot News this was created to protect news gathers in a time when there was a very high costs in reporting the news due to geographical and technological limitations. News agencies would spend huge sums to embed journalists is the field , set up bureau’s in remote locations and generally source and report the news themselves. However less than scrupulous news organisations would simply buy the competing newspaper edit and rewrite said stories as if they had researched the facts themselves and of course publish.

This seemed unfair and it was, the world was a vastly different place than it is today and that republishing others costly work could seriously undermine a news organisations ability to fund the sourcing and creation of said news, this outcome would not have been in the best interests of the community and thus laws were enacted to prevent this. However as technology advanced and the world really became a lot smaller, news became more instant and the advent of television meant these disputes faded away. These days basically the news is all the same, competition exists in how organisations differentiate their copy through pictures, commentary and editorials but the basic premise is the same.

The Hot News Doctrine is not as sometime assumed an extension of copyright.

You can not copyright facts or idea’s, copyright does not protect ideas, concepts, systems, or methods of doing something. Your expression of the ideas however can be copyrighted.

So what has happened to bring this hoary topic to the fore? Well quite simply you are using it right now, I am of course referring to the internet and advent of the news aggregator has the following definition

In general internet terms, a news aggregation website is a website where headlines are collected, usually manually, by the website owner.

In computing, a feed aggregator, also known as a feed reader, news reader, rss reader or simply aggregator, is client software or a Web application which aggregates syndicated web content such as news headlines, blogs, podcasts, and vlogs in a single location for easy viewing.

Newspapers regularly object to these practices, arguing that they dilute the value of their own work, and that because these aggregators present the most valuable text of any given story in the headlines that the majority of readers just consume that text and never bother clicking through and linking to the original story, Also of concern and in my opinion their biggest beef is that these aggregators sell advertising in direct competition to the news sites and are thus profiting on somebody else’s work.

Arstechica wrote a brilliant article on this topic that you can read here, as well Techdirt have covered this issue on multiples occasions both here and here. I would recommend that if you are interested in this topic that you read these articles.

So what is happening now that so alarms me well this from THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL

“Southern District of New York Judge Kevin Castel rejected a motion to dismiss a claim brought by the AP against All Headline News Corp. (AHN) for misappropriating AP breaking news and presenting it as the work of its own reporters.

The rulings came in The Associated Press v. All Headline News Corp., 08 Civ. 323, a suit where the AP alleged that defendants W. Jeffrey Brown and Danielle George instructed "poorly paid individuals" at All Headline News to locate breaking news stories from other sources and edit them for use under the All Headline News banner.

While the seminal case of Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64 (1938), would "render the federal common law origins of International News Service non-binding on the federal courts," Castel said, the doctrine persisted in several states, including New York.”

Click to read the full text here

And this article from THE AM LAW DAILY

“That's the tort three banks represented by Weil, Gotshal & Manges used to win an injunction against the breaking Wall Street news site, according to The Am Law Litigation Daily. The banks claimed Fly's practice of publishing pieces of research reports almost instantly undercut their work by making key nuggets meant for exclusive client use available to a wider audience immediately

The banks--Merrill Lynch, Barclays, and Morgan Stanley--claimed that Fly was "free-riding" on their work, stealing their intellectual property, and costing them money, the stories say. They asked Judge Denise Cote of federal court in Manhattan to bar Fly from publishing their reports for four hours or until noon at the earliest, Bloomberg says.

Cote ruled for the banks but shortened the prohibition. “

Click to read the full text here

So as you can see the principles of HOT NEWS are again being used against some web content, and although both these cases seem extreme and the outcome is probably fair, I am concerned that this practice if not contained could as I discussed yesterday lead to the news again being owned by large media organisations to the exclusion of everyone bar the powerful players. Precedents have a way of gaining momentum and I trust this troubling concept is not going to disappear any time soon

like this article have something to add leave me a comment, I would love to hear your opinions on this hot topic.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

WWI shell unearthed in Brighton Victoria Australia

Paul Millar
PART of an artillery shell unearthed during building work in the bayside suburb of Brighton has been identified as a relic from World War One.
Two builders uncovered the brass-topped ordnance while digging a shallow trench along the fence of a property in Lawrence Street earlier this week.
One of the diggers had completed National Service and immediately realised what it was and contacted police, who in turn contacted the Army.

you too can try Dr Pepper even in Australia

I have become infatuated with an old American Favourite Dr Pepper. I would love to tell you what it tastes like however you cannot tell anyone what Dr Pepper tastes like because it's so different. It's not an apple, it's not an orange, it's not a strawberry, it's not a root beer, and it’s not even a cola. It's a different kind of drink with a unique taste all its own.

Dr Pepper is a soft drink marketed as having a unique flavor. The drink was created in the 1880s by Charles Alderton of Waco, Texas and first served around 1885.
Dr Pepper was first nationally marketed in the United States in 1904 and is now also sold in Europe, Asia, Australia (as an imported drink) and South America.

In Australia you can order supplies from
eat the Wagon Wheel 

Arnott's have invested in a new Australian campaign to promote the Wagon Wheel

Wagon Wheels are a snack food in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland which have a marshmallow centre and are covered in a chocolate flavoured coating. The biscuit itself is round to represent the wheel of a wagon (hence the name).

Wagon Wheels were invented by Garry Weston (1927-2002) (son of W. Garfield Weston). Garry Weston worked for his father's business in Australia before taking over his UK family business. The biscuits were first launched at the 1948 Olympia Food Fair. The name was derived from the fact that the Wild West was very popular at time. They were originally marketed as Weston Wagon Wheels, brand now owned by Arnott's .

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

have an egg flip Big M @ your sella fella now

It's back for all to enjoy, you can now all pick up an egg flip Big M at your local sella fella but only for a limited time. I enthusiastically wrote of Big M a few weeks ago and how Big M is a popular brand of flavored milk that was first established here in Victoria in 1978. It quickly expanded its distribution  into the states of New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. 

I first remember when Big M first arrived on the scene, suddenly we did not have to reach for the Quik (NESQUIK®) anymore to have flavored milk , it was a brilliant marketing strategy that aimed to increase milk sales and since the humble beginnings we have seen BIG M become a staple in Australian dairy cabinets and fridges everywhere for the past 32 years, It brings back glorious memories of summers past.
So it was with delight that I realized that they had a competition to bring back one of the flavors past, special edition flavors that ran for only a limited time. the choice included the following
The Choice was between
  • Choc Berry
  • Choc Jaffa
  • Pine Lime
  • Egg Flip
  • Honeycomb
  • Blue Heaven
well now its official Egg Fliphas been crowned the winner and will  be joining the following range in dairy cabinets and fridges everywhere on the 30th of August . I however wont be around for long as it is for a limited time only, so make sure you get out and taste it .
 What do you think will you be rushing out to purchase Egg Flip Big M? I know I will be.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Doctor Who promises 'game-changing cliffhanger' as series split in two

Showrunner Steven Moffat says 13-part series will reach 'earth-shattering climax' at Easter then return for autumn run 
The new series of Doctor Who will be split into two for the first time, with its showrunner, Steven Moffat, promising the show's biggest ever cliffhanger – "an earth-shattering climax".
Next year's 13-part series, the sixth since Doctor Who returned in 2005, will run for seven episodes and then return in the autumn for another six.
Moffat said the Easter "mid-season finale" would be a "game-changing cliffhanger".

Saturday, 28 August 2010

the icehouse has arrived in Melbourne, for the wheel you will have to wait

Melbourne has a new Icehouse, when I was mere boy a growing up in Melbourne Town in the seventies I remember this great band breaking into the music scene, the band Flowers and the debut album Icehouse. The band changed its name to Icehouse in 1981, and according to Wikipedia the name comes from an old, cold flat Iva Davies lived in and the strange building across the road populated by itinerant people.

I recommend that you check the band out but that not is what this post is about, now here we are in 2010 and Melbourne has a new Icehouse.

The Icehouse is Australia’s new, world-class ice sports and entertainment venue. The venue contains two Olympic sized ice rinks, state-of-the-art sound and light systems, stadium seating for up to 1,000 people, specialist winter sports gym and a cafĂ©, bar and function rooms.

I was lucky enough to check it out last Monday and I will be learning curling there in the not too distant future. The Icehouse is conveniently located in the heart of Melbourne’s Waterfront City at Docklands; the Icehouse is easily accessible by car and public transport. Directly  over the road from where the Melbourne's Southern Star should be located and I suppose as the following photo illustrates still is.

I find it kind of ironic that the inspiration of a name of an album all those year ago could link a new Icehouse with a wheel that should be populated by people enjoying the spectacular views of Melbourne but alas there are not even itinerant people here as sadly the Southern Star wheel has closed indefinitely resulting from damage incurred by Melbourne's record-breaking 2009 January heat wave. The extreme conditions caused the giant wheel to buckle and crack. The owners sought international advice on how to best repair the wheel and rest assured that is being repaired and it will be one day again be fully operational.
This whole precinct is a lovely additional to Melbourne Docklands community and also houses a shopping district called Harbour Town, that looks like it is doing OK since the premature demise of  the Southern Star wheel, so I hope that the addition of the Icehouse brings the much-needed foot traffic and shoppers until the wheels eventual return.

visit the Melbourne museum and you might see a Cable Car

A Great Picture of an old and often forgotten Melbourne Cable Car.

I was lucky enough to visit the Melbourne Museum recently to attend the Titanic the The Artefact Exhibition This special event is being held at multiple venues around the world and I truly recommend you make your way along to an exhibition near you as it is truly astounding.

Being in Melbourne I obviously attended the Melbourne Museum, although I had been earlier tempted to attend the Titanic Exhibition at the Luxor Casino, Las Vegas, however this image is from a vastly different Melbourne display , the Melbourne Exhibition that is also included with admission ticket to the Titanic expo, a great day for family and friends alike.

Melbourne Museum explores life in Victoria, from our natural environment to our culture and history.

Located in Carlton Gardens, opposite the historic Royal Exhibition Building, the award-winning Melbourne Museum houses a permanent collection in eight galleries, including one just for children.

Highlights include a complete skeleton of a blue whale, the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, a living rainforest, the racehorse Phar Lap and an IMAX theatre on site. Major international exhibitions are presented in the Touring Hall.

Photography is not permitted at the Titanic Expo which is annoying as there was so many wonderful artefact's that I would have dearly loved to photograph and share , but alas , I was not permitted and recommend that if you are interested that you attend yourself its is running from the 14th May through to October 2010 at the Melbourne Museum details here Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition .

I did purchase a mouse pad and so here is the photo

its yours but they still own it sort of

Court halts PS Jailbreak sales, gives Sony control of inventory

Sony has been quiet on the subject of the recently announced PS Jailbreak devices. These USB sticks crack the PlayStation 3 wide open, allowing games to be fully installed to, and played from, the system's included hard drive. They also allow homebrew software to be run. The company has won a small victory against those selling the device, as the Australian Federal Court has granted Sony a temporary injunction against the sales of the device, and the existing units must be given to Sony for safekeeping, not to mention analysis.
The court decision, obtained by PS3News, hobbles the ability to do just about anything with the PS Jailbreak hardware. As of now, you can't:

Friday, 27 August 2010

Google does good to the land of Oz or a mistake

Aussies make cheap phone calls through Google

By Asher Moses
Australians have been able to make cheap phone calls to landlines and mobiles using a new Google Gmail feature that launched this week for US and Canadian users.
Australians who have their Gmail language set to "English US" are able to use the Google Voice plug-in for Gmail to make calls using the microphone on their computer. The service throws down a significant challenge to Skype and traditional phone service operators.
Users start with $US0.10 credit, which can be topped up using Australian credit cards.

create ways to explain your tardiness

Train late? Now the grass is to blame

Clay Lucas
A NATIVE grass is to blame for late trains on the Ballarat line last month.
The regional train operator V/Line is consulting with the Department of Sustainability and Environment about how to control the spread of the grass, which it said made 144 Ballarat trains late last month.
V/Line general manager Geoff Arthur said heavy rain in March had contributed to the outbreak of ''rigid panic'', a grass growing on properties neighbouring train tracks in Parwan, near Melton.
The grass, Mr Arthur said, had blown onto the tracks, affecting signalling systems. Last month 40 per cent of services on the line ran late.