iTunes, schmiTunes

New Zealanders can now get their Apple DRM fix just like the rest of the world: iTunes music and videos which will only play on dedicated devices is finally available here too. Are we happy yet? Yes? Yes? No? Don't care?

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Flipping your bits

- Cashing in on Christmas

- iTunes, schmiTunes

- Gegenschlagnachrichtungen

- Mega Callplus money means Woosh woes?

It’s for surreal, like

Who said YouTube is a waste of time? Was it you?

- YouTube: Bum Hand

Cashing in on Christmas

Now what do you do if a country suffers a military coup? Well, if you’re Ihug, you hurry up to make a mint out of it. The ISP and mini-me telco is offering “free” calls to Fiji for a limited amount of time, as part of a promotional drive to get more customers. You see, you have to be an Ihug customer to make those “free” calls, which can only last a maximum of two hours before they’ll be charged at 59¢ per minute (or 85¢ to Fijian mobiles at all times).

Lovely, just lovely.

Oh, didn't Nick Wood (co-founder of Ihug) retire to Fiji? Something about buying a fishing boat and an island resort. We're sure that's unrelated though.

iTunes, schmiTunes

New Zealanders can now get their Apple DRM fix just like the rest of the world: iTunes music and videos which will only play on dedicated devices is finally available here too. Are we happy yet? Yes? Yes? No? Don’t care?

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Having an iTunes store ranks only one step behind an IKEA outlet; you’re not a first-world country without either. Do show some enthusiasm, chaps and chappettes.

Anyway, iTunes aside, the more interesting Apple news this week is that the hardware has dropped in price. That is, Apple computer gear and other bits and pieces are now meant to cost about the same as what everyone else in the world pays for the stuff.

Guess that means we were right to go on about Apple hardware being very expensive in New Zealand then, and we can now join Renaissance in being very obviously happy that it has become more affordable.

- Renaissance still behind the scenes with Apple NZ

- Hard News: Remember where you heard it first ...

Gegenschlagnachrichtungen

"It is absolutely beyond any doubt that such killer games desensitise unstable characters and can have a stimulating effect." – Günther Beckstein, Bavarian interior minister.

If it really is the case that playing CounterStrike, Call of Duty and similar first-person shooters (and I’m not taking Beckstein’s word for it), wouldn’t sending the above unstable characters to prison for a year further desensitise them, as Bavarian and Saxony law-makers propose? Dread to think how it might stimulate the gaming miscreants though.

Also, isn’t a crack-down on violent games many decades too late, if not millennia? Violence as entertainment has been around since goodness knows when. It would seem a better idea having said desensitised and unstable characters playing computer games rather than seeking stimulus in real life, but what do I know?

Oh, this I know: while the Halo film is on hold, you can now register for the Halo 3 beta. W00t! Wait... “North America Halo Gamers” only? What the...? Where’s my sniper rifle? I’ll show them what I think of such discrimination!

- Germany plans crackdown on violent online games

- Halo 3 beta

Mega CallPlus money means Woosh woes?

Congrats to CallPlus and Martin Wylie for finding serious money in the Land of the Rising Sun to build a network with. It’s serious money too, according to the NBR: $652 million should go a reasonably long way towards building WiMAX and fixed connectivity.

Some of that money will be used to buy spectrum rights in the 2.3GHz frequency band next year when the government auctions it off. This is bad news for Woosh, which rather late in the game also thought it should do WiMAX and which has management rights plus agreements to use others in that spectrum.

Will Woosh investors stump up more funds next year to bid against CallPlus? That’s not at all sure.

- CallPlus secures massive funding from Japan

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