E-tales: Yours from NZ — in Tuvalu

Government-financed Freeview operates from a Tuvaluan domain

Yours from NZ — in Tuvalu

It’s surely odd that, charged with promoting New Zealand’s “national identity”, that government-financed Freeview should operate from a Tuvaluan domain.

The freeview.co.nz domain is the property of Freeview New Zealand, but it prefers to direct searchers to freeviewnz.tv.

Ah well, mused our e-taler, maybe Freeview thinks it’s promoting NZ’s environmentally responsible image by doing its bit to save Tuvalu from sinking beneath the waves.

Nothing, nothing happening… it’s happened!

The NZ Herald’s John Drinnan is an experienced hand, but he’s only just taken on the telecommunications round:

John Drinnan, NZ Herald, 5am, March 31

The new-look Telecom New Zealand is off to a false start with Telecommunications Minister David Cunliffe unable to give final approval for the separation plan set to begin officially today.

However, Cunliffe’s delay has more to do with his overwhelming commitments in the health portfolio than with sticking points with Telecom.

John Drinnan, NZ Herald, 9.44am, March 31 (after the press conference)

Telecommunications Minister David Cunliffe has announced details of the government’s separation agreement with Telecom, describing it as robust and legally enforceable.

“Our strategy is to improve market conditions to increase competition, innovation and investment to support New Zealand’s transformation to a stronger, more productive knowledge-based economy and society,” he said, at a press conference this morning.

And … a separation too far

A bunch of Auckland-based journos dialed in to the government’s separation announcement last week, only to find they were talking among themselves while the press conference went merrily on, unheard.

The journos had a good chat for a quarter of an hour or so, before collectively deciding they’d just had their first taste of telecommunications separation.

Not so Foolish Day

We know it’s a bit old, but we loved the April Fool’s Day email we got about Bill Gates buying the “1-day” Kiwi internet retail company.

The company is best described as a sort of online car-boot sale, where you can buy end-of-line stock super-cheap. It offers three items a day and these are updated daily — hence the company name. And, no, Bill Gates is not buying the company, but it sure was a cheeky promotion by the eight-month-old company.

These boys will go far — check out the photoshopped picture of 1-Day director Luke Howard-Willis with Big Bill.

More fooling?

The April Fool’s day jokes had one e-taler wondering about Hewlett-Packard’s acquisition of Australia’s Tower Software, which was also announced on April 1. Despite the date, it turned out to be real.

Blogging for Israel

E-tales reckons this story, from the UK’s Daily Telegraph, contravenes trades description law in any country. Apparently, the Israeli Secret Service, Shin Beth, has turned to blogging to attract more spies — particularly high-tech ones. You’d think the blogs — by four spies — would be exciting, wouldn’t you? Well, no. Apparently, it’s a quiet life, with overtime calls being rare. The job also fits in perfectly with family life, writes a female agent.

You’d never know these people’s main job is fighting Palestinian militants, which includes decidedly uncivil tasks like running informants and double agents. But at least you get home in time for dinner.

Yuppie babes

You know something, E-tales loves babies — babies, not babes. But a Facebook for babies, as in child website Babble’s new “playground”? It calls it a “social network for young families”. E-tales checked it out and, as an old friend once wisely said, “Kids are fascinating — when they’re your own. Other people’s kids never are.”

Still, E-tales could be out of touch here. Bebo just looks like a gallery of bad teen party photos, but teens are keen on it. Not only that, but Bebo, which is the preferred social networking site in both NZ and the UK, recently sold for US$850 million (NZ$1 billion) to AOL.

Bubble is a gallery of uninspiring photos of babies and toddlers, some of them in dark party settings.

Murderous robot not to blame

This story would be scary if it wasn’t dumb in a sad way. Gold Coast Bulletin recently reported that an 81-year-old Australian man built himself a “suicide robot”.

Upset about relatives pressuring him to move to a nursing home, he researched the internet for a suitable means of committing suicide and came upon plans to build a robotic murder machine, armed it with a handgun, and set it to “Up Yours, Asimov”, whereupon it shot him dead.

The newspaper declined to publish details of the machine. Pity the idiot who posted them on the internet wasn’t a bit more responsible.

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