Links for 30 March 2009 through 04 April 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 30 March 2009 through 04 April 2009, gathered with the assistance of pumpkins and bees:

  • The Australian Sex Party: “The Australian Sex Party is a political response to the sexual needs of Australia in the 21st century. It is an attempt to restore the balance between sexual privacy and sexual publicity that has been severely distorted by morals campaigners and prudish politicians.”
  • Measuring the Information Society: The ICT Development Index 2009: Australia is ranked #14 based on figures from 2007. In 2003 it was at #13.
  • Ho Hum, Sweden Passes new anti File Sharing Legislation | Perceptric Forum: Tom Koltai’s analysis of that new Swedish law: It’ll make no difference long term.
  • As Sweden’s Internet anonymity fades, traffic plunges | Ars Technica: A new Swedish law that went into effect 1 April makes it possible for copyright holders to go to court and unmask a user based on an IP address. Sweden’s Internet traffic dropped 40% overnight.
  • Study: online sexual predators not like popular perception | Ars Technica: This survey rejects the idea that the Internet is an especially perilous place for minors, and finds that while the nature of online sex crimes against minors changed little between 2000 and 2006, the profile of the offenders has been shifting — and both differ markedly from the popular conception.
  • What Is Fail Whale?: The complete history of the Twitter’s error-bringing Fail Whale, along with all the art and craft it’s inspired to date.
  • Voda/Hutch merger rattles ACCC | ZDNet Australia: Australia’s competition watchdog tonight issued a strongly worded statement of concern that the proposed merger of mobile carriers Hutchison and Vodafone could lead to increased retail prices on mobile telephony and broadband services.
  • All the news that’s fit to tweet | guardian.co.uk: The Guardian has also announced a new 140-character commenting system. “You’ll never again need to wade through paragraphs of extended argument, looking for the point, or suffer the unbearable tedium of having to read multiple protracted, well-grounded perspectives on the blogs you love.”
  • Share This Lecture! | Viddler.com: Mark Pesce’s annual lecture for “Cyberworlds” class, Sydney University, 31 March 2009. About the significance of sharing across three domains: sharing media, sharing knowledge, and how these two inevitably lead to the sharing of power.
  • Twitter switch for Guardian, after 188 years of ink | The Guardian: One of the better April Fools’ Day pieces. I particularly like the extracts from the Twitterised news archive. 1927: “OMG first successful transatlantic air flight wow, pretty cool! Boring day otherwise *sigh*”
  • Flappers, wine, cocaine and revels (Pt II) | The Vapour Trail: A few hours after five Melbourne girls were arrested for vagrancy in late March 1928, the headline of Melbourne’s Truth broadcast their misdeeds: “White Girls with Negro Lovers. Flappers, Wine, Cocaine and Revels. Raid Discloses Wild Scene of Abandon”.
  • A Blacklist for Websites Backfires in Australia | TIME: Time‘s take on the leak of the Australian Internet censorship blacklist portrays it as a joke and a scandal. There are some factual errors in the story, but this looks like how it’ll end up being perceived internationally.

Fine posts for 2008

Given that mere popularity doesn’t reflect quality, here’s my personal selection of my best, timeless posts for 2008. Happy reading!

Live Blog: Gartner Symposium Preview

Every year Gartner, one of the Big Consulting Firms, runs the Gartner Symposium where they disgorge their predictions for the IT industry into the eager minds of Big End of Town clients with deep pockets. Imagine a crow feeding its young, but wearing a suit.

This year’s Sydney symposium is next week, but tonight Gartner consultants are previewing their Vision to a bunch of folks from the blogosphere.

I’ll be live blogging it right here from 6.30pm or shortly thereafter, depending on when the food and drinks get served. I won’t be live blogging anything, as it wasn’t that kind of event. However I did have good drinks and conversation with interesting people. More in due course.

CeBIT Sydney actually approaching record attendance

CeBIT Australia logo

The irony about the CeBIT email flood is that it makes them look desperate — yet their PR person told me yesterday that at this point, three weeks out from the start, they’ve already got more registrations than they did on opening day last year. So why do the emails keep coming? My guess is that at some point weeks ago, some executive somewhere signed off on a marketing plan, and now everyone’s dutifully following it. How… old-fashioned.

CeBIT Australia just FOAD, OK?

CeBIT Australia logo

Hannover Fairs, the organisers of the CeBIT Australia IT trade show, must be shitting themselves about poor ticket sales or something. They certainly seem desperate.

These guys are spammy at the best of times, sending at least one email a week every week. But this year I’ve received three “Exclusive Limited Offer: Free Exhibition Entry” emails this month alone, plus today another one via the Australian Computer Society — yeah, that’s fuckin’ exclusive, eh? They’ve emailed a “Dear Bloggers” media release and phoned. Gawd!

I was underwhelmed last year and annoyed with the marketing wank-words.

Do these shows actually achieve anything any more? I mean, if you’ve got a new IT product you just tell TechCrunch and the geek world’s blogosphere of feral goldfish do the rest, right? Why herd everyone into a room, except to fuel an industry of hangers-on who make t-shirts and lame promotional giveaways?

[P.S. I am actually going. If nothing else I can collect some high-grade sarcasm for my podcast. But enough with the spam already, Hannover!]