FryUp: Telecom HQ's PR

Freedom and theft

Perhaps Telecom could get this guy to front the next briefing

It is unlikely to change Telecom’s bottom line (which took a dive, according to today’s Q1 result), but if the telco needs a new frontman then perhaps they could look to their property division.

Telecom's head of corporate property Jim Robb (far left) is a natural spokesperson judging by his performance leading a bunch of media around Telecom’s new HQ in Auckland this week. It was as if the PRs took him through a dress rehearsal and trained him on every conceivable question they anticipated he would be asked, kind of like lawyers preparing a witness for court.

Telecom’s new $280 million digs will house 2650 staff and are actually four separate buildings that developer Mansons TCLM built to the telco’s specifications. Each building is on a separate lease, so that when it comes up for renewal in 12 years the telco can choose to renew four, three, two or just one of the leases.

Here is the unofficial transcript of the media tour:

Hack: Flexible leases, is Telecom expecting to downsize?

Property guy: No, it’s about being futureproofed.

Hack: How much are you paying for the leases?

Property guy: Can’t say.

Hack: What’s with all the weird furniture?

Property guy: Way finding points (as in, “meet me at the see-saw seat to discuss UBA pricing”).

Hack: Where’s Paul Reynolds’ office?

Property guy: Up there.

Hack: Where?

Property guy: There.

Hack: Overlooking Vodafone?

Property guy: (shrug)

Hack:That’s a nice piece of art on the wall, there seems to be a lot of it.

Property guy: Yes and I’d just like to point out that it was all purchased during Theresa Gattung and Rod Deane’s reign.

We’re no architectual digest, but first impressions of Telecom’s new HQ is that it is light, bright, airy and appears to be sensibly designed along sustainable principles. Very closed though. As a tour party member pointed out to Fry Up: “Telecom’s building looks inwards, Vodafone’s looks out”. Typical hack.

Gen-i earnings up overall, Telecom results down for Q1

In pictures:Telecom's new HQ

Telecom shifting thousands into $280m HQ

Down to the present, onto the future

Web-design agency Heyday did fantastic work chronicling the development of the internet in New Zealand at www.downtothewire.co.nz last month. The video snapshots provide a kind of oral history about stuff that happened in the early days that would seem archaic now, such as Richard Ram (ex Flying Nun Records) describing how emails were supposed to be bundled up and sent by his boss once a day.

But it aint over yet. The company now wants New Zealanders to nominate events, new websites and other internet-related projects and technologies for a 2010 episode.

Details of how to contribute are on the website.

The difference between freedom and theft

Computerworld continues to follow the twists and turns of the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Bill. Arguably at its heart is the argument about whether the internet should remain free from political and corporate pressures.

As a technology magazine we are obviously supportive of the idea that the web remains an open forum for ideas. But there is freedom and then there is theft. As journalists we make a living writing about stuff, so we’re not impressed when a publication comes along, downloads a story via Google and runs it without payment.

That is what happened to blogger ‘Illadore’, who discovered an article she had written ended up in Cooks Source magazine. No, we had never heard of them either, but the incident has gone viral, possibly because the letter the Cooks Source editor wrote in defence of their actions is hilarious, here’s a snapshot:

“But honestly Monica, the web is considered "public domain" and you should be happy we just didn't "lift" your whole article and put someone else's name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio.”

Copyright infringement and me

Uncertainty around file sharing bill continues

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