Status update: Mark’s Time has come. He’s the Harvard dropout and, if The Social Network is anything to go by, the most popular loner in the world — and now Mark Zuckerberg’s been named Time magazine’s 2010 Person of the Year. Zuckerberg, who narrowly outscored early favourite Julian Assange (along with other runners-up Afghanistan president Hamid Karai, the rescued Chilean miners and America’s Tea Party movement) to take out the title, features on the cover, skin still faintly mottled, the parting gift of pubescent acne. If he wasn’t quite so rich, it’s the kind of face that wouldn’t appear out of place behind Coles counters, in lolly shops and at McDonald’s drive-thru windows.

poy_cover_z_1215

But if history is to be believed, the 26-year-old billionaire might not have cause for celebration. Bill Clinton was named 1992’s Person of the Year, only to have the Lewinsky scandal rock his presidency in 1998. JFK was the 1961 cover boy, two years before he was assassinated. Hitler was the 1938 choice — presumably not a popular pick for the residents of Sudentenland — and, well, we all know how that panned out. Cultural accolade or poisoned chalice? Zuckerberg better keep an eye on those grassy knolls… — Crikey intern Alexandra Patrikios

The joys of talkback. Nothing like a boat full of asylum seekers to get the crazies calling talkback. 3AW in Melbourne had a delightful man named “Allan” (Alan?) calling up hosts Nick McCallum and Justin Smith this morning to talk about the Christmas Island boat crash.

Allan: First time caller. I’m just saying there’s a wrong way and a right way to get into Australia. And they done it the wrong way so they should all drown.
McCallum: Hey Allan, we are talking about human beings here.
Allan: That’s my opinion.
McCallum: I presume Allan that you’ll be celebrating Christmas and you’ll be all about goodwill and peace to men, will you?
Allan: Yes, of course. But there’s a wrong way and a right way to get into Australia. And they have done it the wrong way.
McCallum: So, they deserve to die?
Allan: Whatever happens to them, they chose that way and that’s it.
McCallum: if you celebrate Christmas you are a hypocrite, an absolute hypocrite.
Smith: Allan let me ask you this question, because I think you’re just trying to wind up people to be frank. What would it take for a person to stick their entire family on a boat and set sail on open sea, something that they’ve never done before, what do you think it would take for them to do something like that?
Allan: That’s crazy, they shouldn’t have done it in the first place.
Smith: Well why do you think they did Allan? It’s pretty easy to sit there and say they shouldn’t have done it in the first place.
McCallum: What Allan needs to do is spend a good amount of time in a horrible country like Afghanistan or Iraq and Allan if you’re a family man you would do absolutely anything to get your family out of that situation.

While we don’t think you need to have children or celebrate Christmas to feel empathy for those onboard, at least the hosts — and apparently the next half hour of callers — called Allan out on horrendous views. Including next caller “Kate” who wanted to know how Allan arranged to be born a white male in Australia because surely the Iranians and Iraqi’s and Afghans would love to know. — Amber Jamieson

Kennett’s year in review. Stop press! It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for all year, with bated breath — dumped Victorian premier Jeff Kennett’s top seven events of 2010. Announced on 3AW this morning, Big Jeff let us know what’s been on his radar in 2010 …

  1. WikiLeaks: “It does two things — it will change the way in which diplomacy is exercised around the world … and it proves to me again, that nothing we write, that we record, is necessarily safe. It is no longer our possession and our property… I don’t think what [Julian Assange] has done is criminal.”
  2. The federal election: “It lacked energy, it lacked direction … we ended up with a situation that provided us with … [sic] not a government at all. We were disillusioned …”
  3. The drought, the breaking of the drought and the floods: “The impact of climate has been dramatic; has forced people to change lifestyle …”
  4. The Australian economy: “We seem to have come through the GFC better than most countries … but there is … an elephant in the room that hasn’t yet sat on us. That elephant is the increase in utility charges.”
  5. Chilean mine collapse and New Zealand mine disaster
  6. The failure of the US to address the GFC and act as a world leader: “I think Obama is, in many ways, not unlike Kevin Rudd… He doesn’t seem to warm, he’s a very clinical president, if I can put it that way…”
  7. Collingwood’s premiership

So now you know. — Crikey intern Alexandra Patrikios

Microsoft can’t do anything right. I wish for … asylum-seeker tragedy, apparently.

16-12-2010 11-31-50 AM

Fox boss tells staff to doubt climate science

“In the midst of global climate change talks last December, a top Fox News official sent an email questioning the ‘veracity of climate change data’ and ordering the network’s journalists to ‘refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question’.” — MediaMatters

What Reuters’ news wire means for AP

“The announcement today of Reuters’ launch of an American wire service has already been well-reported and well-analyzed. So here are seven quick thoughts on what is in the deal for Reuters and its first client, Tribune Co, and what the new service may mean for readers and the rival Associated Press.” — Poynter

Hey, Hey — it ain’t coming back

“Nine is expected to announce within days that Hey Hey it’s Saturday will not be returning in 2011. The Herald Sun reports network bosses decided the show would not be returning yesterday, but many of the cast and crew were yet to be told.” — TV Tonight

Google knows the web, but people still rule

“The big-picture reason that Google is terrified of Facebook — and why it’s racing to catch up with it — is that while Google knows more about websites than anyone else, Facebook knows more about people than anyone else. (And, last we checked, people are more interesting than HTML code.)” — Business Insider SAI

YouTube — and we will, too

“Less than two weeks after Google acquired on-demand video service Widevine, the search giant’s video property is said to be exploring a premium content acquisition of its own …” — Mashable

Twitter raises $200 million, worth $3.7 billion

“Twitter has completed its latest round of funding — $200 million at a $3.7 billion valuation — with Kleiner Perkins as the lead investor, according to sources familiar with the situation.” — All Things Digital

Peter Fray

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