Hard News by Russell Brown


Blackout Bingo!

The Guardian has a story (one of quite a few on the wires) on New Zealand's Internet Blackout protest against Section 92(A) of the Copyright Act.

The Blackout fun continues this morning with the release of The Copywrong Song under a Creative Commons licence. You are cordially invited to download, enjoy and have a little remix.

And then at 12.30pm tomorrow, Wellingtonians can get along to the Parliament steps for the S92(A) petition handover. Dress code: bright clothes, black placards.

And, of course, the Blackout Bingo craze takes hold. Ive got two lines. But does Jack Black count?

Frank Rich had an interesting column in the New York Times on Saturday, surveying the gulf in perceptions of the economic battle in Washington. The press, perhaps overcompensating for last month's luvvies, holds that the Republicans have been strengthened by the stimulus scrap, and Obama is losing the message war. A series of polls say quite the opposite.

In a similar vein, Jane Hamsher on the HuffPo looks at the Research 2000 polling conducted for DailyKos (blogs commission nationwide polls!) which tells the same story.

Pew finds that while support for the stimulus package has eroded somewhat in the last couple of weeks, Obama himself is being seen in remarkably positive terms.

Jon Stewart is not alone in wondering where the Republicans' newfound passion for fiscal rectitude came from. His Daily Show interview with John Sununu was a cracker. [NB: I tried to do the right thing and use the official Comedy Central embed code -- 2500 characters to embed a video clip! -- but it was a complete mess. If Viacom wants people to stop infringing its copyrights on YouTube it should put some effort into improving its own useless solution.]

So here's the link. The video plays like crap on the Comedy central site. Talk about breaking a good internet brand ...


On this week's Media7, we're looking at economic news with Bernard Hickey, Tim Watkin and Liam Dann. There's also a chat with Peter Griffin of the Science Media Centre about the fortunes of science reporting and a little item on Foo Camp (the plan is to make the interviews I did available in full online).

Among the things we'll be discussing is this extraordinary interview with Paul Keating from Australia's ABC Lateline programme in which he calls for a complete re-engineering of the world financial system, in favour of creditor nations.

If you'd like to join us at The Classic just after 5pm today, hit reply and let me know.


In other news, Pew finds more than one in 10 Americans using Twitter or other microblogging platform.

And in a last morsel of Pew goodness, 80% of American Buddhists and Hindus agree that "evolution is the best explanation for the origins of human life on earth" versus only 24% of evangelical protestants. Overall, nearly two thirds of Americans still reject the theory of evolution.

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