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Media briefs: creative cartography … Presto pricing …

Blanket coverage by the numbers… Presto! Foxtel’s latest illusion… and other media tidbits of the day.

Objects may appear bigger than they are. You might have heard something about a plane that’s gone missing. Yesterday Australia announced it might have found a piece of the wreckage, as boffins have seen a blob on a satellite photo that might be a 24-metre piece of the plane. The 24-metre object is about 2500 kilometres from Perth, which has left News Corp graphic designers with a bit of a quandry: how do you show both the satellite picture and a map showing the location? The Daily Telegraph’s answer: the hell with scale. The front page makes it look like the UFO (unidentified floating object) is about the size of Tasmania …

wreckage

The Courier-Mail tried a different creative approach to cartography. It has moved a lot of Asia closer to Australia to show the plane’s possible trajectory. The scale is still very odd, with the 24-metre object about as big as some islands of Indonesia. And the whole thing makes us think the plane has been found in outer space …

Courier Mail plane

You can’t accuse the media of not being comprehensive. If you’ve been fatigued by the blanket coverage of the missing  Malaysia Airlines flight, here’s just how much you’ve had to avoid. Since the plane disappeared on March 8, iSentia figures show the story has been mentioned in 159 stories on FM radio, 447 stories on AM radio, in 540 TV packages and a whopping 932 times in print. Those number will no doubt climb over the weekend, as the search effort closes in on debris in the southern Indian Ocean.

Presto! Foxtel’s latest illusion. So apparently Foxtel Play was not sufficient as a method of rubbing salt into the wounds of Australian consumers of entertainment. That’s why we now have Presto. It’s Foxtel’s way of saying, “hey, we know you’re hurting, but here’s another well-placed gut punch just to show that we we’re thinking of you”.

So what is it? Well, it’s a movie streaming service. There’s no TV, of course, because that would mean Foxtel could only overcharge you once and you’d basically get all the entertainment you could want. This way Foxtel gets to pry open the empty husk that used to be your wallet and just rip every last morsel of hope and vitality out of it. So just movies.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though; it’s a bit awkward having two separate streaming services for your TV and movies, but as long as they cost less combined than a good-quality VPN and a subscription to US Netflix — roughly $18 per month — you’re golden. So the $19.99 question is, how much does Presto cost? Well it’s $5 for a trial month and then, you guessed it, $19.99 per month for every month after that. Combine that with a Foxtel Play package that caters to the viewer who wants The Comedy Channel, Showcase and A&E  ($45, plus $25 for sport) and you’re looking at between $65 and $90 per month. That’s before you call your internet service provider to say you’re going to personally pad the ISP’s bottom line by getting a plan big enough to cover watching a serious amount of TV online. — Peter Green (read more at Daily Review)

Video of the day. The famed New Yorker cartoons done live? American talk show host Seth Meyers gave it a go …

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