Accessing p-rn, a how to.  Last night’s evening TV News bulletins reported Australian men were among hundreds of suspects involved in a worldwide child p-rn ring. Federal police have arrested six men here to date. The media quite correctly condemn this despicable crime….and then promptly distribute a ‘How To Download Child Porn Guide’ the very next day as per this article in today’s Daily Tele. The Daily Tele were not the only print offenders. And this morning’s Sunrise also named the software program involved with handy search term tips listed. And surely someone at can see the irresponsibility in linkbaiting an item on the issue headlined ‘Software: Direct line to p-rn’ (note no mention of children) right next to a story about pedophile Gary Glitter being released from prison? — Neil Walker


Beecher on privacy law implications. Listen here for Crikey publisher Eric Beecher on the Australian Law Reform Commission’s recommendations for new laws that would give people the right to sue for invasion of privacy. “I would make a very clear distinction between what I would call a frivolous invasion of a celebrity’s privacy, and I think it’s very hard to defend that, and a privacy incursion that’s really part of serious investigative journalism that’s in the public interest,” Beecher told Australian Talks on ABC Radio National. “I think the problem is they’ve all been lumped in the same messy basket and they need to be separated.” 

Watch out for this man on the roads. Looks like the ‘news’ presenters out with the police don’t get the message themselves. This was played on the news last night in a bit about the speed cameras on Eastlink  The police were concerned not just about speed but also all other ‘traffic/road’ offences.

Driving along a public road and doing a report to camera.Click on the image to watch:

Hmm. How does this sort of thing not only happen but get put to air. Can someone give me the link to dob in this disgraceful driver? It’s got to be at least dangerous driving. —

Book blurbs for cash. A new company recently emerged on the publishing scene, offering writers the chance to buy and sell book endorsements. Aimed at self-published authors, Blurbings LLC traffics in “blurbs,” the often hyperbolic declamations on book covers alerting readers that they’re holding the greatest single work of literature since the Bible — or perhaps since The Da Vinci Code. At least one writer was so affronted by the idea of blurbs for cash that he complained to the Authors Guild. But the more jaundiced might say that asking one unknown writer to endorse another unknown writer hardly helps to make one of those writers known. Besides, some might argue, what the company appears to have done is simply put a price — starting at $19.95 for 10 blurbs — on the logrolling and back-scratching that have long marked the process by which mainstream publishers or agents ask authors to blurb a book. — NY Times

World news, schworld news. Yes we know it’s the Olympics, but the SMH might be taking its emphasis on lifestyle froth and bubble a bit far. A Crikey reader notes that today’s edition contains less than 1.5 pages of world news. A quick count reveals there are six stories plus briefs covering such minor issues as Georgia, the US presidential race and the departure of Pervez Musharaff. Maybe there can be an Ask Sam column on world issues. “Should you discuss Barack Obama’s running mate on the first date?”

Joe ‘prick’ Lieberman. Just over two weeks after it moved an unfortunate report about Robert Novak’s retirement, AP has delivered another notable typo. In a story about Obama’s plans for a vice presidential pick, AP noted that McCain was considering Sen. Joe Lieberman, “the Democratic vice presidential prick in 2000 who now is an independent.” (Emphasis added.) Oh dear. — Regret the Error

New animation technology is spookily real. Extraordinarily lifelike characters are to begin appearing in films and computer games thanks to a new type of animation technology. Emily — the woman in this animation — was produced using a new modelling technology that enables the most minute details of a facial expression to be captured and recreated. She is considered to be one of the first animations to have overleapt a long-standing barrier known as ‘uncanny valley’ — which refers to the perception that animation looks less realistic as it approaches human likeness. — The Times UK

Google goes political. John McCain says that he’s learning how to use a computer after having sparked off a mini-scandal earlier this year over his admission that he’s computer illiterate: He’s apparently a quick study, because he’s now adept enough to to use Google Reader, Google’s news aggregation service. What’s more, he’s sharing his newfound capabilities with the world through a new website that Google unveiled Monday called Power Reader in Politics. Power Reader in Politics is one out of a suite of applications that Google unveiled and highlighted to reporters on Monday, just a week before the commencement of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. — Wired

Olbermann’s getting old. On a night that found the world’s top gymnasts flipping, stretching, and straining for gold in individual apparatus events in Beijing, Keith Olbermann sat in a studio in New York City, his back to Rockefeller Center’s skating rink, doing some gymanastics of his own. Of the rhetorical variety, that is. And directed, unsurprisingly, at John McCain. That’s right, kids: last night was Special Comment night on Countdown. A little bit Murrow, a little bit O’Reilly; a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n roll—and always filled with vitriol. Olbermann’s performance, this time around, was particularly melodramatic: as the former sports reporter swooped and spun (again, rhetorically) while railing against the “immaturity” of the GOP’s presumptive nominee, he indulged in even more Dramatic Sighs and Angered Shakes of the Head than usual. Quite the floor routine. — CJR