internet

“These are some of the most serious allegations I’ve seen”

Really?

That is what David Cunliffe has claimed.

Peter Cresswell at Not PC explains why this is a ridiculous statement from David Cunliffe.

“These are some of the most serious allegations I’ve seen,” said David Cunliffe this morning about allegations that bloggers Whale Oil and Cactus Kate wrote “attack blogs” at the behest of a paying client and a justice minister “gunning for” a minion.

This both overstates and understates the power of blogs – and downplays some of the most serious scandals of recent years. (Is he blind? Did Mr Cunliffe not see Helen Clark buying an election with her taxpayer-funded pledge card, then retrospectively legislating to make it all legal?  Or Don Brash dealing secretively with a small but well-funded religious cult?)

So a blogger wrote “attack blogs” about a bureaucrat.  How hurtful. How harmful. I’m amazed the poor fellow wasn’t hospitalised.  Just imagine, being attacked by a blogger!    Read more »

Russia passes law to make high traffic bloggers part of media

Russia has changed their law to make high traffic bloggers part of the media, forcing them to adopt the same checks and balances other media organisation adhere and are subject to.

Not sure they have got the numbers right, but I guess you have to start somewhere.

The amendments to the law On Information, Information Technology and Information Protection plus other related laws, informally referred to as the law on bloggers, have become effective on August 1, RIA Novosti writes.

The law requires individuals whose blog attracts a daily readership of more than 3,000 to take on the full responsibilities of mass media outlets. President Vladimir Putin signed the bill into law on May 6 this year.

Before the enforcement of the law, the telecommunications authority, Roskomnadzor, published a methodology for calculating the number of subscribers of personal websites and social networking pages. Personal bloggers will be rated by the number of unique visitors and session duration (full loading estimated at no less than 15 seconds).  Read more »

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That’s inconvenient, Italy bans Mega for promoting distribution of pirated movies

Leopards never change their spots.

A court in Italy has banned Mega for promoting distribution of pirated movies.

The Megaupload founder’s new project Mega has been banned by an Italian court for promoting distribution of pirated movies. The hosting service is among the 24 blocked websites together with Russia’s largest email provider Mail.ru.

Court of Rome Judge Constantino De Robbio, ordered all Italian providers to restrict access to two dozen domains on Friday, Corriere Della Sera reported.

A large-scale blockade came at the request of a small local independent movie distributor, Eyemoon Pictures.

The company claimed that the websites in question distributed two of its movies – “The Congress” and “Fruitvale Station” – ahead of their release in Italian cinemas.

Mega already said that they’re going to appeal against the Court of Rome ban, which the company considers “illegal”.   Read more »

The Internet Party and Postie Plus. No, really

Postie Plus is in trouble.  One News reports

Today staff were told the company, which has been dressing Kiwis for more than 100 years, has been placed in voluntary administration after racking up millions of dollars in debt.

“Last year they lost $10.6 million. I suspect that 2014 was going to be heading towards an even worst result,” says Martin Allison of investment managers Craigs Investment Partners.

“The banks have said ‘enough’. The administrators have been called in.”

Oh bugger.

What does this have to do with the Internet Party, you ask?

Well, it gets ridiculous quickly, but here it goes:  The Internet Party leader, Laila Harre is a unionist from way back.  In fact, she left a union (did she really?  I doubt it)… let’s say she is on a sabbatical from the union, so her heart is still very strongly linked to industrial employment issues.

So, as you expect, upon hearing the news about Postie Plus, she took to Twitter

sdfgdg

If I was Vikram Kumar and Kim Dotcom, I’d like her to focus on what I was paying her for, but that’s not the issue right now.  Look what happened next:   Read more »

Greedy ISPs refusing to pass on savings

Matthew Hooton and a collection of greedy ISPs mounted a campaign to lower the core costs of broadband…labelling the higher prices a “Copper Tax”.

Now that prices have dropped those same ISPs, who were saying that consumers would pay higher prices, aren’t passing on those savings to consumers.

The whole campaign was a fraud and now it is revealed as such.

Hamish Fletcher reports:

Internet companies will enjoy a reduction in some of their wholesale costs in December but aren’t committed to passing on these savings directly to consumers then.

Cuts to what infrastructure company Chorus charges internet retailers like Vodafone and Orcon for some wholesale copper-line broadband services are due to come into effect on December 1.

While two different price changes made by the Commerce Commission will come in on that day, Chorus has requested a wider review of both sets of prices from the regulator.

Although it had been aiming to have both reviews completed by the time the new pricing came into force, the commission on Thursday said it now planned to have a draft decision on both sets of prices by December and a final decision in April.

This means the price change will be in effect for at least four months before any possible change the commission could make in its final rulings.

But while internet providers will enjoy some lower wholesale costs over this time, none are committing themselves to lower prices for customers straight away in December.

Maybe Chorus should employ Hooton to put the acid back on the ISPs, what a surprise they aren’t passing on the savings.    Read more »

Friday nightCap

The wailing and gnashing of old media’s teeth

And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

– Matthew 13:42

Buzzfeed has obtained a report written by the New York Times on how they are going to deal with digital media, and it is dire indeed from their viewpoint. I imagine a similar document exists at APN and Fairfax.

A 96-page internal New York Times report, sent to top executives last month by a committee led by the publisher’s son and obtained by BuzzFeed, paints a dark picture of a newsroom struggling more dramatically than is immediately visible to adjust to the digital world, a newsroom that is hampered primarily by its own storied culture.

The Times report was finalized March 24 by a committee of digitally oriented staffers led by reporter A.G. Sulzberger. His father, Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, fired Executive Editor Jill Abramson Tuesday, a decision that doesn’t appear immediately related to the paper’s digital weaknesses.

The report largely ignores legacy competitors and focuses on the new wave of digital companies, including First Look MediaVoxHuffington PostBusiness Insider, and BuzzFeed.

“They are ahead of us in building impressive support systems for digital journalists, and that gap will grow unless we quickly improve our capabilities,” the report warns. “Meanwhile, our journalism advantage is shrinking as more of these upstarts expand their newsrooms.”

“We are not moving with enough urgency,” it says.

It is speed which is killing them and an adherence to deadlines. Radio doesn’t have deadlines, they run news as it happens. The true legacy organisations are television and print, both run a deadline model, where most people have actually read or heard about the news by time their deadline rolls around.

The deep problems, the report says, are cultural, including a sense that the Timeswill simply serve as a destination — leading to a neglect of social promotion. One factor is an obsessive focus on the front page of the print paper, with reporters evaluated in their annual reviews on how many times they’ve made A1.

“The newsroom is unanimous: we are focusing too much time and energy on Page One,” the report says.    Read more »

Radio in decline, says RNZ CEO

This  Internet thingy has got a lot to answer for, putting pressure on all the traditional media models.  According to John Drinnan, Radio New Zealand is also looking to seek its fortunes by taking on Whaleoil and other competitors head-to-head on the Internet:

Chief executive Paul Thompson has signaled an increased focus on its online operations but insists it will not be turning its back on its radio stations; National, Concert and RNZ international.

Thompson hinted at the shift in a keynote address delivered this week to the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association conference in Glasgow.

He was blunt when describing the present shortfalls of RNZ’s online operation.

We are weak, almost irrelevant on the web. As a broadcaster we lack visual journalism and digital story-telling skills,” he told the conference.

RNZ’s preferred medium where it had built up expertise – radio – was in long term decline, he said.

Interesting for RNZ to signal that they need to have a more active, vibrant, relevant and engaging presence on the Internet.  This, at the same time as Fairfax and APN are looking to hide the good stuff behind a Paywall.  On top of that APN has declared that radio is the future not print. Read more »

I knew it! Two new studies prove what we have always known

Another couple to add to the list of totally useless studies.

So, if you have a nagging spouse it can be a bit depressing and it’s harder to get in the mood for something positive…stop the clock, who knew or could have seen that result. Ground breaking.

Being married can make people more prone to depression, a study reveals.

Constant nagging and domestic spats are significant triggers of long-term stress that cannot be outweighed by the positive aspects of wedlock, scientists found.

It can also make husbands and wives far less responsive to positive experiences.

Previous research has shown married people are, in general, happier and healthier than singletons.

But an 11-year study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison poses a question mark over the decades of research linking single life to long-lasting social stress.

The researchers assessed a group of married adults for depression, and gave them questionnaires to rate their stress on a six-point scale.

Nine years later, the questionnaire and depression assessments were repeated.

In year 11, the participants took part in ‘emotional response testing’, measuring how quickly they can recover from a negative experience.

The test, commonly used to assess depression, monitors the frowning muscle – or, the corrugator supercilii.

Read more »

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Another court declares that bloggers are indeed media

While my own case winds slowly through the judicial process, being opposed now by two recently appointed barristers, we can now see that other jurisdictions are catching up with developments in the media world.

In a court in Florida, in a similar case to my own, the court has found that a blogger and their blog can be and are considered to be media, and as a result can be considered a legitimate media property.

A few years ago, we wrote about the bizarre and quixotic effort by Florida businessman Christopher Comins to find any possible way to sue University of Florida student and blogger Matthew Frederick VanVoorhis for his blog post concerning a widely publicized event in which Comins shot two dogs in a field (video link). The story made lots of news at the time, but Comins didn’t go after any of the major media — instead targeting VanVoorhis for a defamation suit. The original blog post is “novelistic” but it’s difficult to see how it’s defamatory. Either way, Comins’ case was shot down on fairly specific procedural grounds: namely that Florida defamation law requires specific notice be given to media properties at least 5 days before a lawsuit is launched. Specifically, the law says:

Before any civil action is brought for publication or broadcast, in a newspaper, periodical, or other medium, of a libel or slander, the plaintiff shall, at least 5 days before instituting such action, serve notice in writing on the defendant, specifying the article or broadcast and the statements therein which he or she alleges to be false and defamatory.

Comins’ lawsuit was dumped because he failed to give such notice. Comins argues that he did give such a notice (though the letter he sent did not meet the requirements of such notice under the law) and (more importantly for this discussion) that VanVoorhis’ blog did not count as a media publication, and thus the law did not apply. The original court ruling rejected that pretty quickly, and now on appeal, a state appeals court has not just rejected Comins’ anti-blog claim more thoroughly, but also highlighted the importance of blogs to our media landscape.   Read more »