Episode 50 is now online

Screenshot from Stilgherrian Live episode 50

Last night’s episode of Stilgherrian Live is now online for your viewing pleasure.

After some excellent nominations for “Cnut of the Week” — which I failed to list in full on the program, sorry — I chose the usual shortlist of four.

Poor former NSW Liberals leader Peter Debnam only scored one vote (6%), coming in 4th place. Amazon.com came in 3rd (17%) for their deletion of George Orwell’s books from people’s Kindles. And in 2nd place (33%) were the critics of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who won’t leave the man have his sex life in peace, or something.

But the clear winner of “Cnut of the Week” was the oldest member of Australia’s House of Representatives, Wilson “Ironbar” Tuckey (44%), who throughout the program was represented by a photo of Treasurer Wayne Swan. Don’t ask.

Now, the prize draw…

Mark Pesce was drawn first from the Cocktail Shaker of Integrity, but he’d already gone to bed. Someone summoned him via SMS, but deliberately gave him the wrong codeword. So, Mark dutifully emailed me “pineapple” when I was after “elephant”. They’re so easy to confuse!

DAemon was drawn next, but he wasn’t watching.

The t-shirt from our friends at King Cnut Ethical Clothing went to Woolly Mittens. Enjoy!

Stilgherrian Live will return next Thursday night at 9.30pm Sydney time. Unless I tell you it doesn’t. It’s not the same without the live chat amongst the audience, so watch it live. No, really.

5 Replies to “Episode 50 is now online”

  1. I don’t believe Kindle content is available for Australia seemingly due to the fact that books are sent via a service called EVDO and I also believe that Kindle devices are not on sale here in this country.


    “EVDO, also known as EV-DO, 1xEvDO and 1xEV-DO, is a standard for high speed wireless broadband. The acronym is short for “Evolution, Data Only” or “Evolution, Data Optimized”. The official name, defined by the Telecommunication Industry Association, is “CDMA2000, High Rate Packet Data Air Interface”. It is one of two major Third Generation, or 3G, wireless standards. The competing standard is known as W-CDMA”

    A problem would arise if for instance Amazon made available one of the books already banned in Australia and sent via a Kindle EVDO service. As you know some books are categorised RC in Australia and as a consequence cannot be imported into this country – books such as “The Peaceful Pill Handbook” and books that Philip Ruddock submitted to be rated on account of their possibly subversive content and covers.

    Such books become prohibited content under the Prohibited Import regulations of the Customs Act 1901 and being “goods” can be (and are) seized at any Australian Customs entry point including those sent by mail into the hands of Australia Post.

    As Australian Customs explained some years ago data doesn’t fall into the category of goods and hence the Customs Act 1901 and associated regulations do not apply.

    In our brave new world these outdated forms of censorship face a dilemma.

    Many years ago I heard Telstra lecture on the possibility of “video on demand” by the year 2000 which under their vision meant that if anyone wished to view any film ever produced all that would be necessary is for them to consult an index, pay whatever fee might be required and download or stream it via the then new optical cable.

    It didn’t happen. Instead we have “Foxtel” over optical fibre while electronic versions of books and films available on demand to anyone on the planet who wishes to view or read such material is merely a pipe dream that may never materialise.

    In my earlier days I considered useful uses for our closest and largest satellite known as Lunar or “The Moon” and contemplated if it were possible to utilise this resource for the storage and transmission of human knowledge and data. There is a potential transmission delay of a few minutes however there is a direct line of sight to the moon from almost every geographical location on our marvellous world – the planet Earth.

    I can see potential in the moon for the storage and transmission of human knowledge and entertainment but speculate that my vision would become a technical and political nightmare. Terrorists destroying the moon on account of content stored there could see tremendous changes to life on Earth.

    I’ll leave it there.


  2. Addendum on purchasing Kindle content from Amazon – it seems Amazon will only accept payment via a credit card with a US billing address and a credit card issued in Australia simply wouldn’t work.

    Here someone has/had a “workaround”.

    Buy Books for Kindle from Amazon Store without a US Billing Address

    You need a credit card with a US billing address if you were to buy any book, magazine or newspaper for reading on Kindle from the Amazon store.

    Worry no more as Kindle user Stephanie has found an easy workaround to this problem – Amazon Gift cards.

    The trick is that you buy a Gift Certificate at Amazon using your international Credit Card and then make a purchase for Kindle using this gift certificate. See nerdgirl for the steps.

    Amazon Store policy is that when you redeem an Amazon Gift Card, any available balance is used for your Kindle store purchase before your credit or debit card gets charged. This does the trick for Kindle uses outside US.

    Another important point – If you are based in USA, books and newspapers are delivered wirelessly to your Kindle Reader but since this feature is not available in other countries, you can download Kindle purchases from the Media Library on Amazon.com and transfer them to Kindle via a USB cable.

    I’m not certain if the Conroy filter would block access to the Media Library on Amazon.com or even if the statement is true.

  3. @Bob Bain: You’re right about the geotarding of the Kindle. Once more, the old-fashioned organisational structures of territorial sales get in the way of the reality of the global digital market.

    And once more, Gilmore’s Law means that a workaround is soon found.

    There’s also a message in there about tying the Kindle to a specific wireless data network. Eventually, devices will just connect to whatever network access they can detect in The Internet of Things.

  4. Amazon’s CEO has apologised for the Kindle fiasco:

    This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our “solution” to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.

    Source: http://tinyurl.com/lhdrbc

  5. @Richard: I thought the official Amazon response was an astounding mea culpa. If only he hadn’t used the words “going forward”…

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