Just went to pay the speeding fine I got leaving Bundaberg and discovered there are no online payment options?! Can’t even pay it over the phone?!? Have to send a cheque. By post. Wow. Queensland. Amazing.
I’m fascinated this morning watching the shit-fight between Arrington and Furrier/Scoble over Podtech. Having met all three of those guys over the last couple of years, I would have figured them to be pretty tight. It does sound, though, like Podtech have been burning through their $7 million in funding. The business model for podcasting is still in the early days and I hope they make it through. People tend to forget that new business models tend to take 5 – 10 years to stabilize. The first banner ads were run in 1993, but it took nearly a decade before online advertising started to overtake radio advertising in most markets. I think the time frames will be compressed with podcasting, but it is still going to take a few more years before it’s well understood. Most ad agencies and media buyers still aren’t even considering podcasting in their spread. That’s starting to change, but we’ve got a long road ahead of us yet. The TPN model is to keep our overheads low, grow the audience and the content as much as we can, and grow the business through revenue. It’s a slower path but, hopefully, more sustainable in the long run and you don’t get crunched by investors when the journey takes longer than they would like (which seems to be what is happening to Podtech).
TPN’s Digital Photography Show has been nominated in TWO categories at the Podcast Awards! Please click on the link below to vote for them in both the Cultural/Arts category and also nominated in the Peopleâ€™s Choice category! Congrats to Scott and Michael, this is just another piece of kudos for the great work they do every week on their show!
There are currently at least two criminal trials underway in Italy and Germany against several dozen CIA officials for felonies committed in those countries, including kidnapping people with a legal right to be in Germany and Italy, illegally transporting them to countries such as Egypt and Jordan for torture, and causing them to “disappear” into secret foreign or CIA-run prisons outside the U.S. without any form of due process of law.
Oh, but you think the CIA is being watched by the Oversight board set up 30 years ago to stop the bullshit they were involved in from the 50s through to the 70s? Think again.
However, on July 15, 2007, John Solomon of the Washington Post reported that, for the first five-and-a-half years of the Bush administration, the Intelligence Oversight Board did nothing — no investigations, no reports, no questioning of CIA officials. It evidently found no reason to inquire into the interrogation methods Agency operatives employed at secret prisons or the transfer of captives to countries that use torture, or domestic wiretapping not warranted by a federal court. Who were the members of this non-oversight board of see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil monkeys? The board now in place is led by former Bush economic adviser Stephen Friedman. It includes Don Evans, a former commerce secretary and friend of the President, former Admiral David Jeremiah, and lawyer Arthur B. Culvahouse.
And whose daddy ran the CIA in the late 70s? That’s right – Dubya’s. The CIA gets $48 Billion in funding every year, yet nobody knows where it goes or how they spend it and they still haven’t been able to catch bin Laden, they didn’t want America about 9/11 and they were pretty wrong when they said they had conclusive evidence that Saddam had WMD stuffed down his undies. If you want to search for the main reason we have terrorism in our lives these days, start with looking into the activities of the CIA. Get an independent, citizen-helmed inquiry happening. Set it up so it can’t be bought or threatened out of existence. I think we’d all be amazed what it would uncover.
As my car lease is up in a couple of months, we spent some time this afternoon test driving cars. Or a car, actually. We initially went back to the BMW dealership we bought our last car from. After standing there for 20 minutes without anyone asking if they could help us, we left and went to a Toyota dealership to test drive a Prius. I took a Prius out 3 years ago and couldn’t talk myself into it. This time, I actually quite liked driving it. Okay – it looks ugly and the interior finish just doesn’t compare to a BMW. But I like the efficiency and the tech. And it’s $25k cheaper than an equivalent Beemer. However, on the way home, the wife said to me “I’ll cry if we don’t buy another BMW. I love my BMW.” I asked her how long she’d cry for, thinking, well, I could handle a bit of crying to save the planet. “For the entire time I have to drive a Prius.” Sheesh. And she only drives the car about 30 minutes a week on average! It’s not like she’s even IN it every day. Anyway – score one for BMW’s engineering department. Nobody tell anyone at BMW marketing.