Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Playing Games

This Friday is shaping up to be D-Day for Australia's gamers.

The attorney-generals of the six states will meet to decide whether adults will be finally allowed to play videogames considered unsuitable for younger teenagers.

The current problem is that Australia doesn't have an R18+ rating for video games. This means that any game ruled not suitable for fifteen-year-olds or under is banned from sale. Unlike films, magazines, books and other types of media: video games have never had an adult rating available.

Read more here

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Filter: the Future

So we know that the internet filter is a wrong and terrible idea, but the government is going to do it anyway. What might happen once the Great Firewall of Australia goes up?

1. Daily leakage of the blacklist

Even before the filter arrived, ACMA's secret blacklist was leaked - multiple times - to Wikileaks. Expect it to go up on a daily basis. The people with access to it will also be those most likely to (a) oppose censorship (b) be able to get and leak the list and (c) know how to cover their tracks securely when doing so.

2. The Big Ban campaign

Anti-censorship groups are already lining up a lig list of technically "prohibited" sites to bombard ACMA with. The idea is that the more numerous and mainstream the sites that get banned (for example the Amazon listing to euthanasia book The Peaceful Pill), the more public opposition to the filter will grow, and the more workable it will become.

Find out more likely reactions here

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bebo: Bye bye or buyer?

News that AOL plans to shut or sell struggling social network Bebo will surprise no one. It's more of a surprise that so many social networks still strive on in the face of huge market dominance by a few players. Even once-dominant MySpace is undergoing yet another revamp to try and close the widening gap with front-runner Facebook.

But without the huge resources that News Corp-owned MySpace enjoys, the only option for many smaller networks will be to find a specific niche, to evolve into a specialised service, or to merge.

Read more here