Opinion and Analysis

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Don’t get Microshafted: nobody is innocent in Microsoft’s new anti-Google campaign

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In the continuing war between Google and Microsoft, which was entirely one-sided until Google pulled Exchange support from their free Google Apps, we’ve been hand-delivered another stinging campaign from Microsoft which, in reality, is just a little bit of a scam itself. Neither party is innocent when it comes to using your email for targeted ads. First of all, I’d like to declare that I’m not commenting in this way […]

The winner takes it all: how BlackBerry will benefit from being open

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A silhouette of Thorsten Heins reveals the answer to his companies problems So, as most will now know, BlackBerry 10 was announced today, alongside the BlackBerry Z10, a beautiful slab phone, and Q10, with a very similar build to the Bold 9900 line. Stupid names by-the-way, but at least they’re kinda-competing on hardware, with no Torch-sized failures in sight. But the OS is still lacking. A number of problems seem […]

OPINION: Google’s block of Maps on Windows Phone isn’t really a block

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Image: activefree/Flickr (Creative Commons). When was the last time you used a web-app on your phone more than once? Hmm, yeah, I can’t remember a time either, maybe apart from a link to a few blogs. Which is why the usual shit-storm that arises with any change to anything is pointless, especially in the case of Google Maps on Windows Phone. If you own a Windows Phone, Google Maps is […]

OPINION: Google’s official response in blocking Windows Phone users from Maps makes no sense

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Google has confirmed that it has blocked Windows Phone users from using Google Maps through Internet Explorer. The official line? It is because the browser is not a “WebKit browser” like Safari and Chrome. But you know what browsers are not WebKit browsers as well? Firefox and Opera, and they seem perfectly fine in running Google Maps, so why not Internet Explorer? The technological reasons don’t stack up. If it […]

YEAR IN REVIEW: Governments vs the Internet

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In 2012, the Internet has been the centre of some of the most controversial laws that were passed, attempted to be passed or are in the works by governments. We started the year with SOPA and PIPA, American legislation that aimed to legitimised censorship to protect copyright owners; and ended the year with countries such as China and Russia getting the ITU involved in the regulation of the Internet. This […]

YEAR IN REVIEW: Don’t Feed The Trolls?

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In late August, a Twitter user posted “excuse me @MsCharlotteD on behalf of NZ we would like you to please GO HANG YOURSELF!!!”. It was vile, but would have been ignored by most celebrities. However, the actions of Charlotte Dawson soon created a media firestorm against trolls and Twitter in late August and early September. The tweet was in relation to comments made by Dawson, a judge on Australia’s Next […]

YEAR IN REVIEW: KONY 2012 – The Movement That Wasn’t

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On March 5, one video appeared from an unknown organisation. “Nothing is more powerful than a idea,” the video declares in the first five seconds. But, despite being 30 minutes long, the video’s main message captured many. They soon shared it to their friends on Facebook and Twitter. Then their friends shared it to their friends; and soon, it became a movement.

A look back at the Nintendo Wii: Was it a ‘Revolution’?

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Six years, and it is now time to say goodbye. The Nintendo Wii, launched to great fanfare in 2006, is now being replaced on November 30 (in Australia) with the Nintendo Wii U – its successor. It topped the console charts for this generation – beating the technologically superior PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. All because it was small, cheap and was attractive to everyone, not just those who were […]

#IDF vs #Hamas: the new Gaza war, in 140 characters or less

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The hostilities between Israel and Hamas this week are just another sad exchange of munitions of no benefit for anyone, least of all the impoverished residents of Gaza. Rockets go one way, Hellfire missiles go the other. Targeted killing, random strikes, claim and counter claim of who is a terrorist and who is acting in self defence. Of far more novelty though is the Twitter war that broke out between […]

Pixelated: The Binary Network

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It’s the end of school term finally. And yet again, two of my close friends are acting like they’re part of an elite clan for hating Facebook. Insert some of the usual clichés about how it’s too crowded, how it’s full of attention seekers, how there are so many people who complain about their first world problems on it. All of the usual garbage. One of them then announces, to […]

Was it ‘ethical’ for Gawker to unmask a Reddit troll?

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Last week saw a lot of drama across the internet with Gawker Media’s decision to unmask a Reddit troll known as ‘Violentacrez’ – revealed to be a 49-year-old man from Texas. Some Redditors retaliated, putting a self-imposed ban on any Gakwer-related websites and calling the move ‘unethical’. But was it? Unlike ‘professional journalists’, bloggers don’t have a professional body to dictate ethics. However, since the line has pretty much blurred […]

The question of Python-iView: Copyright crusader or vigilante operative?

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The ABC recently raised eyebrows when it wrote a cease-and-desist letter to Python i-View, a mobile application which allowed viewers of ABC’s popular iview to download and playback its content later on slow or non-compatible technology. The issue of whether the Python-iView app infringes copyright, particularly it’s download feature, hinges on a number of specific sections of the Copyright Act and a concept of “vigilante interoperability”. Firstly, some background. Launched […]

‘Sexting’ teens: decriminalising young people’s sexual practices

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We need to acknowledge the diverse context in which teens engage sexting (Image by: Mahdi Abdulrazak/Flickr) Cases of teenagers “sexting” each other have recently provoked panicked responses by media, parents, educators and policy makers in Australia. Now a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the practice has been told it’s better to use discretionary powers to deal with sexting cases rather than new laws. “Sexting” can mean the creating, sharing, sending or […]

Surviving the zombie apocalypse: the DayZ experiment

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Amid the resurgent popularity of zombies in recent years – think The Walking Dead, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Shaun of the Dead and so on – the 2011 publication of Dan Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies showed we might be able to learn something useful from the lumbering horde. In short, Drezner poses the question: how would we deal with a zombie outbreak? He answers it not […]