Rural Press denied In a clear case of Oedipodean overkill, Rural Press staff are being denied internal access to one of their parent company’s own websites. Crikey understands pleasure seeking journos on country flagships have been banned from trawling Fairfax entertainment portal The Vine, for fear that they’d be accessing ‘multimedia’ and breaching the company’s crypto-fascist IT policy. Time-wasting triad Facebook, MySpace and YouTube are also off limits, confining journos to more traditional news-gathering methods like attending the scene and making phone calls. While Fairfax metros say the jury’s still out on Facebook’s utility as a work tool, RP hacks are confronted with the following message when clicking on ads for The Vine appearing on their own mastheads’ websites:

“SITE RESTRICTED (Multimedia)

Access to this Multimedia content has been restricted. For access to this content, please fill in the Internet Access Form located on the RPL Intranet and have it signed by your site manager.

Please also review the Internet and Email Policy” — Andrew Crook

Yet more Channel Nine “News” (or is that “free advertising service”?). Bruce Paige and Heather Ford on 15/10/2008 at 18:10 :

Supermarket giant Coles has beaten Woolworths to getting their services onto the internet, and the only thing that cannot be delivered is alcohol. Coles Online staff were run off their feet for the official launch today, with almost all Brisbane deliveries booked out until the weekend. Woolworths is expected to follow with a similar service in a few months.

Global financial crisis causes confusion at the ABC. Posted on the ABC website thursday afternoon:

AIG open to new merger talks with QBE

The head of Australia’s largest general insurance group says he is still open to the possibility of a merger with rival QBE if a better offer is made.

In May this year, Insurance Australia Group (IAG) rejected a takeover bid from QBE, which was worth nearly $9 billion, saying it was not high enough.

QBE then withdrew the offer.

But IAG chief executive Michael Wilkins has told a business lunch he is happy to talk to QBE’s chief executive Frank O’Halloran if he wants to propose a revised deal.

“If QBE knocked on our door, I’ve known Frank for a long time, I’d be very happy to see him. I’d listen to what he has to say and then we’d decide after that,” he said.

Facebook considers IPO. “If we succeed as a company then we want the people who are involved in the company, and help build it, and help create its success, to have some kind of financial reward, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told reporters Monday in Madrid when asked about a possible IPO.” —
The Calgary Herald

Breaking conventions in video journalism. When it comes to video journalism, most news organizations have a rule: Do not use any sound or music that didn’t occur while you were filming the story. Audio holds powerful sway over our emotion and therefore, can distort our perception of facts and events. If you’re skeptical, check out the trailer for “Sleepless in Seattle”. But what about when you’re not filming something on the scene? What about using video to tell a text and infographics story in a different way?
Ricochet 

Ten most overrated products. Hype springs eternal. Lots of technologies, products and services don’t merit the praise heaped on them. Here are 10 tech items that don’t live up to their billing and 10 that deserve respect that they don’t receive. — PCWorld

The Most Conservative and Most Liberal Shows on TV. On the Conservative right you have jingo-tastic torture and shoot first, then maybe ask questions 24. Alongside it are The Hills (Heidi Montag endorses McCain, he calls her “a very talented actress”, John Adams twirls in his grave. Plus it’s all about remorseless spending and there are no gays on the show and, actually, thousands of gays in LA, especially working in fashion for God’s sake). — Gawker

Fake Russian iPhone shows cool Apple logo… …and that’s about it. — Just Another iPhone Blog

Is this the dawn of social networks? In times of uncertainty and economic instability, building and nurturing our relationships to other people will become more important than ever. This has to do with the simple fact that loyalty between employers and employees get weaker in harsh economic times. This loyalty exists only as long as you contribute to the bottom-line results. As a response to this, we must turn to the real loyalties which can be found in family, friends and former colleagues. People who we trust and who trust us back. We will also turn our focus from consumption of meaningless goods to nurturing our relationships with other people. — Content Management Connection.

Peter Fray

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