Are you excited about ‘digital radio’?

I’m running a twtpoll today about the launch of ‘digital radio’ in Australia. Of course, as far as I’m concerned, ‘digital radio’ is a pretty silly concept. Podcasting has been around for five years and with iPhone and iPods and the like becoming pretty mainstream, podcasting already gives audiences a digital experience. Why would you want to go out and buy ANOTHER device?

Let’s see what exciting benefits digital radio offers, according to the industry’s own site, and compare that to podcasting:

  • Clearer sound and improved reception – Check. If you’ve downloaded a podcast onto your own device, you have PERFECT reception.
    • Extra features such as extra channels – Check. There are tens of thousands of podcasts.
      • pause and rewind radio – Check.
        • downloadable music – Check. It’s called “iTunes”, bitch.
          • more details about the advertised product – Hmmm. I’d say “Bonk” to think one as we don’t carry much advertised product.
            • slideshows – Check. Podcasts in Apple’s AAC format contain slides, if that kind of thing excites you.
              • scrolling text – Check. Ye old iPods scroll, but iPhones are far sexier.
                • Electronic Program Guides – Check. It’s called your iTunes playlist.
                  • updated news, sports and racing information – Check. It’s called “the web” and it comes fully-integrated into iPhones.
                    • Extra channels potentially doubles the number of commercial stations – Oooh “doubles”! That’s twice as much Kyle Sandilands! Podcasting has released tens of THOUSANDS of new ‘stations’.

                      What do you see in that list that is innovative? Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years, you already have most or all of these features on your iPhone, iPod or mobile phone. And, if you don’t, you will when you buy one. And you’ll have a far wider choice of options that digital radio will offer you.

                      So far on my poll, 87% of respondents say they are not interested in digital radio. What about you?

                      This Isn’t Terrorism

                      Reports today about the AFP arresting 4 men in Melbourne who were allegedly planning to attack a military base in Victoria is being called "terrorism" by the Prime Minister and the mainstream media. For example, claims the attack, if it had gone ahead, would have been "the worst terror attack on Australian soil".  However, if they were attacking a military target, does that qualify as terrorism? Wikipedia states that there isn’t an internationally agreed definition of terrorism, but I normally associate it with attacks on civilian targets outside of wartime. A small group of Somali and Lebanese labourers and taxi drivers attacking a military base doesn’t sound like the definition of terrorism to me. It sounds more like the definition of "stupid".

                      (UPDATE: in discussion with @napper, I said I think an attack by citizens of a country on its own army and inside the country’s own borders is more accurately defined as “revolution” or “insurrection”.)

                      So – why is it being referred to as terrorism by the Govt and the media? Are we back to the days where The Great Corporation feels the need to frighten the masses? What should we be watching out for? Is there a new law coming soon that will disappear more of our civil rights? Will Rudd use this to help push through his Internet censorship?

                      UPDATE: I also meant to add – as Terry did in the comments – that I hope the AFP have actually done their job this time, unlike in the Haneef debacle.

                      Australians Are Racists

                      "Aboriginal people are 13 times more likely to be locked up than other Australians."

                      That’s a figure that comes from the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC is a division of the Australian National Council on Drugs, a Federal government body) report "Bridges and Barriers – Addressing Indigenous Incarceration and Health".

                      There are about 750,000 aboriginal people in Australia out of a total population of about 23 million. They comprise about 3% of the total population. But, according to the report:

                      "One in four prisoners in Australia is Indigenous and their over-representation in the jail system is only getting worse."

                      3% of the population – 25% of the prison population.

                      And it’s just getting worse.

                      "In the decade to 2007, the number of Indigenous Australians in prison rose by 6.7 per cent a year, on average.

                      Aboriginal people went from comprising 18 per cent of the prison population to 24 per cent."


                      Obviously it’s a complex issue and there are lots of reasons, some that go back 200 years, but I believe the major reason is this:

                      Aussies are racists.

                      And I know most Aussies are going to hate that – but I think it’s true.

                      Wikipedia defines racism as:

                      "… the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race."

                      Ask most Aussies why they think one quarter of the prison population is Aboriginal and I guarantee you most of them will shrug their shoulders. They just don’t care. Why? Because we’ve been programmed not to care. We’ve been programmed to think aboriginals are just lazy, child-molesting alcoholics. Unless, of course, they excel at an Anglo sport, such as athletics or footy. Then they’re alright. Or if they excel at an Anglo art – musicians and actors, they’re okay too. Or if they become a politician and survive in the Westminster System (the form of government instituted by their occupying power) – then they’re alright in our books too.

                      But as for the other 99% of the Aboriginal population – we’ve been told, over and over, by the mainstream media and successive governments, that they are mostly just lazy, child-molesting, petrol-sniffing alcoholics who don’t appreciate the money we throw at them, who drive a car until it runs out of petrol then leave it by the side of the road, who rip perfectly good fridges out of houses and leave them to rust in their backyards.

                      So most Aussies just shrug their shoulders, as if to say "what more can we do?".

                      Meanwhile, a 45,000 year old civilisation is being wiped out in our backyard.

                      A people who lived in harmony with nature for 45,000 years, who lived sustainably, who didn’t feel the need to go out and invade other countries, a civilisation that was already 40,000 years old when the Great Pyramid of Cheops was built – is being wiped out as a direct result of the Christian invasion and occupation of their country.

                      Our country.

                      Imagine if the headlines said "One in Four Prisoners is Muslim". I think that would create more of an uproar. I guarantee you a week from now, people won’t even be talking about this issue in the press.

                      But we’ll still be talking about Neda.

                      We’ll still be talking about Andrew Symons.

                      We’ll still be talking about Utegate.

                      We’ll still be talking about Transformers 2.

                      We’ll still be talking about whatever we’re told to talk about.

                      Just not the Aboriginals.

                      Racism isn’t just when you put on a white robe and burn people on crosses. That’s just an extreme expression of racism. That’s just a convenient version of racism that lets the rest of us off the hook. We can say "oh I’m not a racist". 

                      Meanwhile, we let a 45,000 year old civilisation disappear.

                      I think we’re guilty of the same kind of insidious racism that allowed the people in Germany 60 years ago to turn their heads while their Jewish population were being lead out of their homes.

                      It’s the kind of racism that says "they don’t look like me – so it doesn’t matter."

                      If we – the people – don’t talk about it, the politicians won’t talk about it.

                      Oh they will – they will have committees, Kevin Rudd will say sorry for the lost generation – but it won’t be a major focus.

                      He’ll spend his time looking after the interests of mining companies and banks.

                      He’ll spend his time worrying about how to get re-elected.

                      But the Aboriginal people of Australia are a long way down the list.

                      It’s up to us. We need to make this a priority.

                      We need to say "not on our watch".

                      Why Clare Werbeloff is a genius.

                      Buy your commemorative t-shirts here!

                      Clare Werbeloff has punk’d the news. Brilliant. For years the news media have been punking us. It took Clare Werbeloff to turn the tables. She punk’d them. She made up the entire “chk chk boom” story on the spur of the moment. What talent! What creativity! What balls!

                      Years from now, when studying how the media died, I’m sure journalism professors will point to Clare as one of the defining moments. She perfected the media punk model.

                      1. Be in the right place at the right time.

                      2. Find a news crew.

                      3. Make sure you’re looking hawt – the news doesn’t talk to fuglies.

                      4. Create a somewhat believable story.

                      5. Here’s the most important part – Come up with an instant catch phrase that works as a 10 second sound bite!

                      Together we can speed up the end of the old media by punking them over and over, day and night. They won’t know who to believe. And let’s face it – they won’t care. It’s not like they have cared much about what’s true for the last 20 years anyway. What they care about are the three S’s: sensationalism, scandal, and selling advertising. So this is just taking their model to its natural conclusion.

                      PUNK THE NEWS!

                      Australian News Media Takes More Hits

                      From Crikey today:

                      Fairfax CEO David Kirk was sacked by the Board yesterday. While I never thought Kirk was a good choice for the role, it’s hardly his fault that their share price is in the toilet. They’ve been running it into the ground for years. And they *still* aren’t coming to me for advice.

                      Two years ago, when I was at the PANPA conference, I heard the newly-minted CEO Kirk say that his strategy for Fairfax had 3 priorities:
                      1. defend and grow the newspapers
                      2. build strong online businesses
                      3. become a genuinely integrated digital media company

                      Name me one significant online move they have made in the last two years?

                      Also from Crikey:

                      News Ltd are quietly cutting journalists
                      . I’d hate to be a traditional journalist these days.