A different season for the ABC2 News breakfast TV show. On Tuesday, Hobart had its warmest day so far this summer at 33 degrees. That morning, while still in the balmy twenties, ABC2’s News Breakfast interviewed Duncan Kerr MHR “Live from Hobart”. Behind the local member was a background image of Hobart, complete with a snow-covered Mt Wellington! Nice one. — Crikey reader Shane Howlett

The beauty of the English language. While searching for some such story on the Indopia site I was greeted with this charming and yet clearly grammatically incorrect message:

I particularly like the pictures with subheadings — a nice touch.

I have seen the future of journalism, and it is certainly entertaining. We just need to get all the out of work journos to learn some Java. Then they can create, like, mash-ups providing sparkling content (like the Fox/Nine Twenty20 intro) using “Joe Six-Pack the Plumber”‘s witticisms as he mingles on the front-line with the tortured, the maimed and their conquestors. Slashdot pointed to a story in New York Magazine on January 11:

New York Magazine has a story about some of the flashy new ideas that are coming out of the labs of the New York Times. The piece prompted Peter Wayner to dig up some of the old Java applets he wrote to explore whether more promiscuity really stops AIDS and whether baseball can do anything to speed up the games. He notes that these took a great deal of work to produce and it’s not possible to do them on a daily basis. Furthermore, they’re cranky and fragile, perhaps thanks to Java. Are cool, interactive features the future of journalism on the web? Or will simple ASCII text continue to be the most efficient way for us to mingle our thoughts, especially when ASCII text won’t generate a classloading error?

Can’t Obama just talk to Malia and Sasha? Why is Barack Obama writing an open letter to his daughters? I guess when you become president, you talk to your kids via Parade magazine. Parts of Obama’s letter to Malia and Sasha, 10 and 7, are the usual empty-ish rhetoric (“I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential”). In the part that’s more real, he charges them with “righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you’ve had.” Lovely, yes. But also a sentiment he could get across at a family dinner or bedtime. — Slate

Facebook users go to war over Gaza. Social-networking websites may have started out as online cliques where friends could swap opinions on music, pop culture and other bits of innocuous personal trivia. But as the conflict in Gaza has unfolded, it’s becoming evident that sites like Facebook are increasingly being used to express political views, adding an acrimonious, even menacing undertone to what were once lighthearted online forums. — Time

Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev to buy London Evening Standard. The billionaire and former KGB agent Alexander Lebedev is to buy London’s Evening Standard tomorrow, in a dramatic move that would see him become the first Russian oligarch to own a major British newspaper. Under the terms of the deal Lebedev will purchase 76% of the newspaper, with the Associated Newspapers group retaining 24%. The purchase will be an astonishing moment in British press history — the first time a former member of a foreign intelligence service has owned a British title. Lebedev said he had read the Evening Standard and other British newspapers when he was a young spy at the Soviet embassy in London in the late 1980s. — The Guardian

Coffee and talk Politico style. Here’s some further evidence that Politico is taking over the world. Despite the media apocalypse currently under way the DC based paper has found yet another way to expand their print circulation: Starbucks! Politico has announced that it will be partnering with Starbucks in order to offer copies of the paper in 70 stores in the DC area. And not only that Starbucks and Politico will “host the coffeehouse conversations approximately every 25 days following the inauguration to offer local residents an insider’s look at politics and encourage them to get more involved.” — Mediabistro

Queensland Tourism offers the best job in the world. It’s not often you see a tourism campaign that creates such an amount of buzz. All for the right reasons. Tourism Queensland’s latest promotion “The Best Job In the World” is offering a 6 month blogging/caretaker job for A$150k salary has been picked up the world over. The campaign will run in the Australian domestic market and 10 key international markets, making it Tourism Queensland’s first truly global campaign. Over 1,000,000 visitors to their site in a day. — Bannerblog

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Peter Fray
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