Heads up to The Age. Crikey is very impressed with The Age‘s article today that demonstrates how easy it is to buy and register shares under fake names. Honestly we wish we’d thought of it first:

The future of the New York Times is fake! Some enterprising souls (Gawker is pointing to the “Yes Men,” which seems to be the case) took the future of news into their own hands today and created their own fake(!) New York Times. The spoof paper, which was distributed by thousands of volunteers across the city, was dated July 4, 2009 and ran the headline “Iraq War Ends.” By all accounts it was “an exact replica” of the real thing (notwithstanding the content, obviously) — Fishbowl

Culture wars: Aussie films are killing us. The film industry has been accused of failing to engage with its audience and committing a cultural form of ethnic cleansing. In an extraordinary attack, the new president of the Screen Producers Association of Australia, Antony Ginnane, said yesterday our films were “in the main, dark depressing bleak pieces that are the cultural equivalent of ethnic cleansing”. “We have to recognise that the feature film side of our industry has for some years now almost completely failed to connect with and find an audience,” Ginnane told the association’s conference on the Gold Coast. “Nobody goes to see them. If they premiered most of the Australian movies of the past 24 months on a plane, people would be walking out in the first 20 minutes — and that’s not good.” — The Australian

Barbie on the warpath. Mattel is fighting tooth and polished nail to put an end to a popular rival. Bratz, which is a line of fashion dolls created by MGA Entertainment, has reportedly been cutting into Mattel’s Barbie profits, causing sales of the classic blonde beauty and her entourage to drop 15%. A judge recently awarded Mattel $100 million in a copyright infringement suit over the dolls. However, Mattel turned the offer down, insisting that Bratz dolls be discontinued and the existing merchandise destroyed. — Radar

Death by a thousand cuts. Veteran journalist and author John Darnton spoke at a festival event Sunday to a big crowd in the sanctuary of the Loop’s Chicago Temple — a good place for a eulogy. Darnton had some nice words for the deceased — that’s America’s newspapers, whether they know it or not — and a bleak assessment of the survivors taking over the business. — Chicago Reader

Why Packer abandoned PBL. The once-proud Packer media empire faces break up or major financial restructure over the next year as it struggles to meet payments on its $4.2 billion debt. Assessing the 2007-08 financial report of PBL Media — which owns what remains of Kerry Packer’s media empire including Channel Nine and ACP Magazines — auditors Ernst & Young highlighted the “uncertainty” over whether the company would be able to service its mountain of debt. — Sydney Morning Herald

US military unveils its answer to YouTube: TroopTube. Eighteen months after American troops were banned from using a number of social networking websites, the Pentagon has unveiled its latest scheme to prevent classified material leaking onto the internet: TroopTube. The US military yesterday pulled back the curtains on its own version of YouTube, which it hopes will satisfy both the demand from troops for communication with friends and family, and the Department of Defense’s requirements for secrecy. TroopTube.tv says it is “designed to help military families connect and keep in touch while miles apart”. — The Guardian

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey