Sydney Morning Herald offering strange prizes. I received this e-mail asking me to do an SMH BusinessDay survey, offering as a prize a subscription to the Australian Financial Review and an unlocked iPhone.

AFR is a Fairfax paper, but there’s always been healthy competition between the SMH business desk and the AFR — why would a survey for Business Day offer as a prize a subscription to what amounts to a competition publication? It’s as good as admitting that BusinessDay is an inferior product, isn’t it?

The need to stay fully informed has never been more important. That’s why, at BusinessDay, we want to make sure we’re providing you with the business and finance information you need and want.

Help us improve our online business site by completing the BusinessDay survey.

It should take less than 15 minutes and you’ll get the opportunity to WIN a 12 month (6 day) Financial Review home-delivery subscription in addition to an unlocked iPhone.

We want to hear what you’ve got to say.

Take the survey now

Good luck from the smh.com.au team

— anonymous Crikey reader

Apple love continues at SMH. An entire article dedicated to Steve Jobs’ pancreas, including this facinating reading:

Speaking to MSNBC.com, Dr Jeffrey Mechanick, an endocrinologist with the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, concurred with Jensen’s view that the condition could mean a recurrence of Jobs’s islet cell neuroendocrine tumour — a rare but treatable cancer.

Islet cell neuroendocrine tumours account for only about 3 per cent of pancreatic cancer cases in the US. Luckily for Jobs, this less common variety is also less deadly, especially if detected early and removed.

Actor Patrick Swayze is also suffering from pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately for him, he has the more common and hence more deadly variety.

Hmm yes. No love lost for Swayze. We knew as far back as June 2008 that SMH + Apple R 4eva. — Crikey reader Luke Hughes

Connex marketing tip: how to irritate customers. Inane PR exercises are clearly the way to go for the company behind Melbourne’s trains. Which work experience kid dreamt this one up?

Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales almost out of a job. Imagine an online encyclopedia anyone can edit — and no one can run. With the calendar running out on 2008, Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s sleaze-drenched cofounder, nearly lost his seat on the board. How did Wales come to this embarrassing pass? The former porn merchant and options trader, who has traded s-x and money for his help in getting Wikipedia entries edited, has met his Machiavellian match, in the form of Sue Gardner, a Gothy, spider-tattooed Canadian pop-culture expert who now runs the site he helped start as Wikimedia’s executive director. Incompetence and infighting are endemic to nonprofits, of course. But Wikipedia’s bureaucracy is distinctly, fearsomely awful. The site, which dictates the online reputation of countless living people and companies, itself operates by rules that are completely incomprehensible, determined by a self-appointed group of volunteer editors who can seldom stop arguing over obscurities to explain their ways to outsiders.– Gawker

China search engines apologise for ‘vulgar’ content. Three of China’s best-known internet companies apologised today for any damage they had caused to society by failing to purge “vulgar” content from the web. Their apologies followed the announcement of a government crackdown on lewd content, which targeted companies including Google and Baidu, the search engine that dominates the Chinese internet. On Monday, the head of the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre named 19 websites that he said were not doing enough to prevent p-rnographic and vulgar material from reaching Chinese users. “We feel deeply guilty,” Baidu said in a statement posted on its site today. “We apologise to internet users for any negative effects given to society.” — The Guardian

When a newspaper stops publishing in print, what happens to the print advertising dollars? With all the debate over the future of newspapers, here’s a question I haven’t heard anybody ask (much less answer): If a metropolitan newspaper suddenly ceased to publish, leaving the city with no newspaper, what would happen to all of that newspaper’s ad dollars? Most newspaper companies’ strategy right now is based on the assumption that you can’t shut down the print newspaper because it brings in 90% of the revenue, and you couldn’t possibly support the same news gathering operation with the 10% revenue slice that goes to the website. (The 10% problem) There’s just one problem with this assumption. All of the ad dollars that the print newspaper gets are, by definition, ad dollars that the newspaper’s website does NOT get. — Publishing 2.0

Why do so few speak up for Gaza? Why are we so indifferent to the death and destruction in Gaza? The major news outlets meekly accepted Israel’s banning of journalists from entering Gaza as an excuse for downplaying collateral civilian casualties, our president-elect, Barack Obama, has had little to say about an invasion that will much complicate his future Mideast peace efforts, and most commentators easily rationalize Israel’s many-more-eyes-for-an-eye killings. Why is it that there is such widespread acceptance, beginning with the apologetic arguments of President Bush, that whatever Israel does is always justified as necessary to the survival of the Jewish state? — Huffington Post

Peter Fray

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