Links for 03 March 2009 through 07 March 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 03 March 2009 through 07 March 2009, containing traces of nuts:

Jim Wallace’s pro-censorship lies and distortions

The Australian Christian Lobby’s Jim Wallace is on the Fairfax news sites today, telling the same old lies to support compulsory Internet filtering. Sigh.

Since Wallace promotes himself as a representative of good Christian values, I’ll allow that he may just be ignorant rather than a deliberate liar. Ignorance is no sin: it can be cured with knowledge. But he does use the familiar fraudulent propaganda techniques: misrepresenting his opponents; cherry-picking numbers; failing to explore the implications of those numbers; citing the same suspect Australia Institute report; and wrapping it up in the same old “protect the children” cant.

Those of us who’ve been covering this issue for more than a year now are getting sick of responding to the same easily-rebutted debating tricks. But, as I keep saying, politics is a marathon event. So if Jim’s rolling out the same material, we’ll point out the same flaws.

Again.

Continue reading “Jim Wallace’s pro-censorship lies and distortions”

Links for 20 January 2009 through 24 January 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 20 January 2009 through 24 January 2009:

  • VPNOut: “VPNOut provides secure and anonymous VPN access that can break through firewalls.” And past censorship.
  • Apple’s 1987 Knowledge Navigator Video | YouTube: A remarkable “concept video” looking at how we might use computers and the Internet in “the future”, i.e. now.
  • EGovernment nets most callers: survey | PS News: A Department of Finance and Deregulation survey has found more Australians now contact the Government via the internet than they do by phone or in person.
  • Cursebird: What the f#@! is everyone swearing about?: Apparently on Twitter I swear “like a George Carlin Wannabe”. I’m ranked 355th in the world, putting me in the very top percentile. I wonder what the stats would look like for Australians only?
  • 7 Steps To Build A Startup From Scratch With No Money | YoungEntrepreneur.com Blog: What it says.
  • Dark Dungeons | Chick Publications: This book from a well-established evangelistic Christian publisher, points out the evils of role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Obituary: Sir John Mortimer | guardian.co.uk: Geoffrey Robertson’s obituary of Sir John Mortimer, creator of fictional lawyer Rumpole of the Bailey and a decent lawyer in his own right. Apparently in his youth Mortimer “encountered with interest the bookshop-owning lesbians who had taken opium with Cocteau, and a prim, elderly lady who had, in her youth, urinated regularly upon pioneering sexologist Havelock Ellis.” Goodness me.
  • Schapelle Corby Tour: “My name is Eddie Hutauruk and I have been running tours in Bali for over 8 years. Schapelle Corby Tours is our latest venture, and is fully respectful of Schapelle and her situation… Schapelle Corby is a convicted Australian drug runner, and my tours allow people to see Schapelle in her cage at Kerobokan Prison in Bali. Tours can be arranged for most days of the week and pick-up is possible from most Bali hotels.” Very clever.
  • Folk Devils and Internet Safety | DaithĂ­ mac Sithigh’s blog on cyberlaw & media law: Another view on the report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force which said, amongst other things, that the risks of bullying online are far more important that worrying about the rare instances of adults soliciting for sex.
  • A chat with Fake Stephen Conroy | ZDNet Australia: What is says. Rather amusing, I reckon. And no, I am not Fake Stephen Conroy. But I have my suspicions about who it really is…

Links for 12 January 2009 through 18 January 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 12 January 2009 through 18 January 2009, gahered with care and moistened with love:

Crikey: The inflated cost of illegally copied DVDs

Crikey logo

[This article was first published in Crikey on Monday. I’ve also added the comment and additional material which were published yesterday.]

Hurrah! The War on Terror is over! Well, at least it seems we’re no longer afraid of terrorists, because when Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus warned that illegally copying DVDs costs the industry $1.7 billion, for a change terrorism didn’t get a mention.

Major distributors have been trying to scare us off illegal copying for years. Australia’s laws were “harmonised” under the US Free Trade Agreement so copyright infringement became a crime. Gloomy doom-music-laden messages play before every movie. Serious people tell us that “piracy funds terrorism”.

“The Abu Sayyaf — blamed for the worst terrorist attacks in the South-East Asian country — are likely behind the illegal copying of movies onto DVDs,” reckons Edu Manzano, chairman of the Philippines’ Optical Media Board.

“The Yakuza are behind them in Japan and the Hezbollah are involved in the Middle East,” though he admits they lack “documentary evidence”.

Bob Debus’ weekend media release omits the “piracy funds terrorism” trope, saying instead that it funds “a range of criminal activity like drug trafficking and money laundering”. (Hang on, isn’t money laundering self-funding?) But by the time the story hit the ABC the government’s current bogeyman had been added to the list: child pornography. Ooh err.

Continue reading “Crikey: The inflated cost of illegally copied DVDs”