What did we expect?

Friday’s shooting in Christchurch New Zealand is tragic.

I have so many different thoughts around this.

This post is going to be fragmented and perhaps not particularly coherent, as a result. Snippets of ideas and thoughts.

But I feel compelled to write.


Firstly, I wanted to echo and wholeheartedly concur with the appraisal and sentiments expressed by my friend Tim Mansfield, so eloquently expressed in his post Pray for Christchurch.

Especially this:

“Finally, and perhaps toughest, I ask you to pray for the perpetrators of this crime, for those who encouraged them, for those in the media they listened to and for all those who share their beliefs that they may meet Wisdom, grasp justice and finally find compassion for all peoples and cease this hateful path.”


I was heartened by the early response by NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, especially this:

“Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home.

“They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand.”

There is so much power in that phrase: “They are us.” An acknowledgement of a sentiment of “other” the drives so much hatred. The “they.” And making it clear, there is no “they.” There is only “us.”

If only were would be so lucky to have a Prime Minister that could demonstrate such true leadership, and not just empty platitudes.


I was surprised that the term “terrorism” or “terrorist act” didn’t appear earlier in media reports. Why? I would venture because the perpetrator was white. Even yesterday, the Daily Telegraph’s front page didn’t cry from the rooftops that this was terrorism.

There’s no headlines proclaiming the gunman’s religious beliefs. Why? Because he’s white? Was he a Christian? An athiest? Surely we should know this, because if it was a Muslim person involved, this would surely be the lead… it would be a core part of the headline, no?

“Australian Christian migrant shoots dead 50 in act of terror”

But no. That’s not what we get.

We get the watered down language.

There is no condemnation of all Australians, or all Christians, or all white-folk, as being hell bent on taking over our country, or being violent, or hating us.

No. This was the act of some lone person. They couldn’t possibly represent the views of all Australians. Or all Westerners.

But if this were a Muslim, this would be presented without such nuance or distance.

This, is of course, indicative of a more widespread, clear, discernible and quantifiable bias in our media.

It is so reminiscent of what Noam Chomsky has highlighted for decades in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Where radically different language is used depending on “which side” is being referred to. “Rocket attacks” vs. “Incursions.” “Settlements” instead of “Illegal land occupation.” We hear it in the language used around asylum seekers arriving by boat: “illegals”.

(An aside: the Refugee convention EXPLICITLY states that an asylum seeker’s method of entry into a country is not grounds for discrimination. That is, they are under international law, LEGAL by definition. Contrast this with the over 60,000 people overstay their visa in Australia each year—these could be legitimately considered “illegal” vs. around 3000 people “processed” in offshore detention—note the lightened language we use here also).)

For many people who “consume” and don’t interrogate the media, these biases become invisible. It lessens the crimes of one, and heightens the crimes of another. I see this as yet another example of these biases plainly on display, and largely missed…


If it were a Muslim person that had committed the crime, there would be cries for all Muslim leaders to condemn the act. Instead, we get words like this reportedly on an “Australian parliamentary letterhead”:

“The truth is that Islam is not like any other faith. It is the religious equivalent of fascism,” or, “The real cause of bloodshed is the migration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate in the first place.” Or, “As we read in Matthew 26:52: ‘All they that take the sword shall perish by the sword’. And those who follow a violent religion that causes them to murder us cannot be surprised when somebody takes them at their word and responds at kind.”

(Waleed Aly’s full response is very much worth a read, btw.)

How is this even legal? It just goes to show the depth of the rot in our Parliamentary system that this could even be permitted, let alone go mostly unreported.


Given the above, it perhaps is little surprise that I share the anger, and agree with the ALL CAPS sentiment, in this response from another friend, Meredith Schofield (reposted here in case the Facebook walled garden hides it from the rest of the world):

Australia we need to own up to our part in this terrorist act. This c$%t was clearly radicalised here in this country. If our gun laws were like NZ he would have committed this terror act here. No doubt. Our culture of hate towards Islam, Muslims, middle eastern people and asylum seekers has bred this level of violence. When you like share or retweet an anti-immigration or anti-Muslim sentiment YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. When you make flippant comments around the dinner table about ‘Mussies’ or ‘Queue Jumpers’ YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. When you support parties or politicians with anti immigration, anti-refugee or anti-Islam views YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. And 100% of the time I hear shit like this from people online and people & family I know – they never ever ever have had a Muslim friend or met a refugee.

Don’t be part of the problem be part of the solution. Reach out, educate yourself, look within at some views you have that are deeply racist at their core. We are all different we come from a nation that is the most multicultural in the world it’s time these views left our society.

I like that Meredith uses the language we commonly associate with reports of Muslim terrorism—”radicalisation.” We do need to own up to that fact. What’s scary is that this person wasn’t radicalised in some terrorist camp. They were radicalised through publicly available and accepted mainstream media and social sentiments.

THAT is the scariest part of this whole episode from my perspective…


And it’s also, for me, the call to arms…

Plainly, this could have been avoided.

Not by extra security, or additional Police power, or foregoing our rights and handing them over to the State.

It could have been avoided by not perpetuating and propagating the culture of fear and hatred. The type peddled by the shock jocks, the mainstream media, our politicians, our so-called “thought leaders.”

I find it hard to acknowledge that our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, might have had anything poignant to say about this incident (which reportedly he did), in the face of his and his party’s, and successive Governments’ over the past 20+ years, treatment of Aboriginal people, of migrants, of people of ethnicity, of asylum seekers. Treatment that is effected both through policy and public statements.

All of this contributes to this culture. All in pursuit of a victory in the next (News)poll.

I am waiting for the shock jocks to decry this act of violence, then spout some tripe about “but it’s easy to understand the sentiment.”

Update 18 Mar 2019: Seems I spotted the argument correctly, but missed where it would come from—a Senator instead?!?

This is the underlying “problem.”

We need leaders that actually respond to the real issues that are affecting us, instead of peddling fear and intolerance.

Like owning up to the fact that one woman a week dies as a result of domestic violence.

Like keeping things in perspective: 1,143 people die on our roads each year. Or that 29% of Australian deaths in 2014 had Cardiovascular Disease as the underlying cause—that’s 45,000 deaths a year—many of the drivers being preventable: “being overweight, lack of physical activity, poor nutrition and smoking.”.

Contrast this with terrorism—that big fear that drives our inhumane, abusive, illegal, and obscenely expensive (1, 2) detention system—where just 12 people have died from terrorism-related incidents on Australian soil in 36 years.

Which is the bigger threat?

I want to see our political priorities, and the same vehement language and sentiment, addressed at the real, not imagined, issues and threats.

How can we achieve that?


I feel strongly that focusing first on your circle of influence is the critical “first step.” Don’t let racist, fear-driven comments or sentiments stand in your family and friendship circles. It doesn’t cost a cent, but does take a lot of courage. Don’t just laugh it off. Step into it.

Have the conversation (or argument if it comes to that.) Importantly, let them know you don’t think it’s ok, that you think their fear and anger is misguided. Seek out the source of the fear beneath the comments, and encourage them to look harder at what’s actually going on, where the truth really lay, and not to rely on the headlines for making up their mind.

Write to or otherwise speak to the politicians in your electorate and tell them that you don’t think it’s ok that they perpetuate this, neither through policy nor in public statements and comments.

And consider joining or financially supporting organisations doing work in creating a more inclusive and just Australia. There are many, but I am a fan of one in particular that is working hard on the underlying drivers—All Together Now. Their vision is “a racially equitable Australia … [achieved] by imagining and delivering innovative and evidence based projects that promote racial equity.”

IMO, we need more of this positive action to combat the megaphones in the media peddling fear and hatred…


My thoughts and heart is with the people of Christchurch, and Muslim communities there and here in Australia especially. And I hope that this jolt genuinely triggers some serious reflection of the deeper issues at play. Though, sadly, I can’t say I have much expectation it will…

Where’s the green vision?

In a recent post, Joel Makower points to the seemingly missing vision of what a “bright green” future might look like as playing a significant role in the lack of on-the-ground support for sustainability.

There’s long been a fundamental problem with the green world — the myriad companies, activists, evangelists, politicians, clergy, thought leaders, and others who, each in their own way, have prodded us to address our planet’s environmental ills. And it explains why, after four decades of the modern environmental movement, only a relative handful of companies and citizens have joined in, while many more have dragged their heels to slow, or even reverse, environmental progress.

The problem is this: No one has created a vision of what happens if we get things right.

I couldn’t agree more – I think it is something that is sorely lacking. For me, one of the inspirational elements of Cradle to Cradle was it’s appeal to our sense of aspiration for a better life. It presented concrete examples of what a bright green future might look like, that there was an alternative to business as usual that met our aspirational needs without bankrupting the planet.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and I’m more and more convinced of the need to reframe the debate about “growth” and sustainability.

Instead of spreading a message of “less”, we need to appeal to our natural, innate, human sense of aspiration – replacing the aspiration for “more stuff” to focus on what really does constitute a “better life”.

Can we do a judo move (I’m channelling Naomi Klein in No Logo here), to take the weight and momentum of this idea of “growth” and “aspiration” and hurl them towards sustainable goals?

Maybe it’s possible, but to do this we absolutely need a vision of what the future could be like – something to aspire to (rather than away from) – as Joel suggests.

In an earlier TED video, Barry Schwartz talks about the paradox of choice – that as we get more options (which, he points out, is often equated with “freedom”) we are actually less happy.

I think many people recognise that our drive for “more stuff” isn’t working. Certainly in my day-to-day interactions with friends and family we collectively recognise the problems in the banking system, in the corporate payouts for un-performance, in deteriorating public health and education systems, of layoffs following multi-million (if not billion) dollar profit announcements. And of course in the global financial meltdown.

A lot of us intuitively know this is wrong. It grates against our sense of justice, of our ideals of meritocracy and our social values. But we feel trapped – lost without an alternative. If only we had… a compelling alternate vision.

This is a latent force that, I think, has yet to be fully tapped. If we can reframe the debate – from the oppositional framing of “growth vs. sustainability” to the inclusive and aspiration embracing “wellbeing and a better life” – I believe we can go a long way to leveraging this sentiment to achieve significant, and rapid, change in our world.

EP progress/budget

In a previous post I outlined the costs of recording an independent EP, and hinted that with Fuzu‘s second EP we were trying to significantly reduce our costs.

Some friends who read the post found it useful, and I’ve also participated in some further discussions on a related post over at new music strategies.

As we’ve just completed mixing and mastering (i.e. we’re close to finished the project) I thought it might be worthwhile looking at the costs so far…

Continue reading

The lull

Given how quiet I’ve been around these parts of late, I thought I might post a quick “what’s been happening” post.

  • Fuzu have finished recording and mixing our second EP – tentatively titled “The Point”. We’ll be mastering later this month, and hopefully completing the artwork shortly after. I’ll hopefully have a follow-up to my budget post soon reflecting the actual budget.
  • I’ve been working solidly on two big projects (one for Inspire Foundation, another for UNSW. This has taken up a big chunk of my time (as one might expect) – but I hope to be a little less frantic come February.
  • Thanks mostly to Timo Rissanen, further work has been done on refining the pattern’s for Arketype’s first range, which will be launched for Winter 2010 now, instead of Summer 09/10 (I’ve been a bit too busy with the ‘day job’ and have missed some deadlines). We Buy Your Kids are working on the graphic designs for the range – I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with given the logo treatment Sonny and Biddy, the duo behind WBYK, came up with (more on that front soon).
  • Holidays – I’ve taken 3 weeks off work to visit family in Queensland – which was a wonderful break (that’s not quite over yet…).

Recent reading

I’ve also been doing a lot of reading of more “popular science” accounts of network theory, prompted in part by an ABC doco on the topic, and also economics and the history of money. This was in part prompted when a friend of mine sent me this video on money.

After reading Peter Bernstein’s A Primer on Money, Banking, and Gold it seems that many of the claims in the video are reasonably accurate.

I also recently finished Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody which looks at some of the societal changes being spurred on by networks. Especially interesting to me is the notion of “reduced transaction cost” for organising collective action.

George Soros’ The New Paradigm for Financial Markets was also an interesting read, albeit a bit repetitive. What’s most interesting is that an über-capitalist such as Soros would have such disdain for the models and assumptions underpinning the industry that he profited so well from.

Critical Mass by Philip Ball is a great overview of what he describes as an emerging “physics of society”. The book covers network and game theory, and emphasises the extent to which power laws and “phase transitions” apply to social phenomena. It also weaves into its narrative the ideas of many economic and social thinkers in history – which was fascinating to me as someone who’s not overly familiar with many of their contributions (at least not directly/explicitly).

Continuing the theme I’m currently reading Duncan Watts’ Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age. It delves much deeper into “small world” networks (popularised by the “Kevin Bacon” game) which are covered more lightly in Critical Mass.

Letter to Tanya Plibersek re: Clean Feed

I decided to write to my Federal MP, Tanya Plibersek, about the Government’s plan to introduce an internet filter (which I’ve written about previously).

Over the jump is the letter itself – but I would also recommend checking out the Electronic Frontiers Australia briefing on the issue.

Continue reading

Daily Tele’s irresponsible reporting

The past few days I noticed that the Daily Telegraph was on an all out campaign against the current NSW Government, with headlines lambasting their mini-budget.

Admittedly, it’s quite a state we’re in. The Government has admitted it’s nearly broke, but the Telegraph would no doubt cry foul if the Government increased taxes. Of course, by cutting the budget, as the Government did, they also get hauled over the coals.

When I read a Telegraph piece on the mini-budget, it a) proposed no alternatives to how the Government would cut expenditure and b) did not actually show any analysis as to where else in the budget where cuts could have been made. How we’re meant to be “informed citizens” from what passes as journalism over there is beyond me.

But that wasn’t the worst of it. I was going to write a blog about how the Telegraph had basically set itself on a campaign to oust the Labor government and that this was irresponsible journalism. I was going to say “just come out with it and call on the premier to quit”, which was obviously what they were aiming for.

Well, at least they had the courage to put their agenda on the front page. That article, however, points out that the Telegraph’s editor is leaving their post. I’m interested in the details: was this because they stepped over the line and were sacked?; or because they felt the direction of the paper was heading in the wrong direction?

In either case, perhaps the change of editors will restore the paper to some semblance of journalism, rather than activism. The Telegraph has, of course, for a long time been less about news and more about headline grabbing and entertainment, but recent events go far beyond what I consider journalism at all.

In my opinion, good journalists report the news, not set out on politically motivated campaigns. Especially so when they continue to pretend that they’re “unbiased” and “have no agenda” as so many journalists do.

In a global credit crisis, with the State nearly broke, we don’t need this kind of bullshit passing as journalism. We need to actually get some analysis and some help understanding how we can realistically get out of this mess.

Sacking the premier and calling an early election (which I’m informed via @neerav on Twitter is wishful thinking) is not the solution.

Not least of which because the opposition is a ridiculous mess – I don’t even know who the opposition leader is, let alone what the Liberal’s policies are and how they plan to get us out of this mess… (The two party preferred system is broken at the best of times, but it’s especially poor with such an appalling group of pollies that this State has.)

*Sigh*

Update: Just a quick clarification: I mention the Liberal leader and policies as I know that, in the end, a swing away from Labor means a win for the Liberals. And this “two horse race” view of political races continues to be propagated by mainstream media, further perpetuating the myth.

With this in mind, even with a significant swing to another dominant party such as the Greens, the preferential system is likely to install either Liberal or Labor into Government.

Personally I vote on the basis of the local candidates’ strengths and approach to things, not on party lines. But I’m aware enough to know that in the current system such a backlash is likely to result in a Liberal win – thus my comments above.

The great firewall of Australia

As most folks know, I’ve long railed against the Chinese government’s internet censorship regime, commonly referred to as the “Great Firewall of China”.

Seems that the fight is about to take off in earnest to stop Australia from introducing a similar scheme.

The Australian Government has announced that they will introduce filtering for all Australians. Ostensibly this is to stop child pornography, but don’t be fooled – this is not what it’s about. Crikey explains it well:

The Government is fond of yelling kiddie p-rn every time anyone disagrees with their censorship policies, but there’s always been a problem with that line: that content is already illegal, and the AFP works with international agencies to target that content at its source, and to target Australians who view it. The real problem with the censorship regime (besides the economic burdens it will cause) is the extent to which the Government wishes to control what Australians can view online, and its chilling effects on free speech.

What the Government has proposed is a blanket censorship regime with no “official” opt-out (these measures are likely easily circumventable using TOR or similar anonymous proxy services). The censorship extends to anything deemed “illegal”.

Need we be reminded of the sedition laws that are in force currently, a result of the alarmist response of the Howard regime to the London bombings. The following excerpt from Sedition Law in Australia published on the Arts Law website:

The classic definition of sedition is that it is a political crime that punishes certain communications critical of the established order. Sedition crimes have been enshrined in state and territory based Australian laws since before federation and inserted into the Commonwealth Crimes Act in 1920. Under the Commonwealth Act, seditious behaviour that intended to: (i) bring the government into hatred or contempt; (ii) excite disaffection against the government, constitution, UK parliament and Kings Dominions; and (iii) bring about change to those institutions unlawfully, was criminalised.

One reading of this suggests that content on this blog, and many others, could be considered “seditious”. Some may argue that this is absurd and that it would never happen.

Supposedly we’re meant to set aside the fact that the “absurdity” of other anti-terrorism laws being used for political purposes was also claimed. Need we mention Hanneef?

The fact is, there should not even be the possibility of free speech being curtailed in such a fashion.

Even if we concede (which I clearly don’t) that we need a filtering mechanism in place, the best place for this is in the home – in a decentralised manner, and by educating parents on how best to protect their kids. The choice is a parental one, not one for the state.

Update: just came across the No Clean Feed site that provides some actions (and a sample letter) if you oppose this legislation.

Is it any wonder MSM is struggling

Mark Day Blog – The Australian – ranting about how the only model for journalism is:

  1. Private sector business
  2. Advertising supported

"By definition this is a job for private enterprise because governments cannot reliably scrutinise themselves. Journalism that reveals information that some people do not want you to know is time-consuming and costly to sustain. Therefore it can be supported only by a profitable business."

"There is only one model I know, or can see, that can do this, and that is the traditional advertiser-supported model that has sustained newspapers for more than a century."

Well here’s a quick drive-by rant of my own: (And FTR: no, I don’t consider my blog “journalism”)

I supposed I don’t need to point out the conflict of interest here? A professional journalist protecting the status quo (and keeping the bosses happy). And the delicious irony, after a bunch of blog bashing, is that Mark published it on his blog. But even putting those aside…

Seems Mark’s got blinkers on – there are other models, and some bright folks are exploring them. Not all of them will work or survive – but one thing’s sure, advertising supported journalism (esp. in traditional print form) is not one of them. Yes, we need to work out other models. Yes, blogging is not the (only) answer – though it certainly has a valuable role to play.

Has he not been watching/listening to Jeff Jarvis, or Jay Rosen, or Seth Godin? There are a bunch of ideas out there for those willing to listen and try them. The problem is the risk involved – either personally (for journalists stepping out on their own) or organisations (who are gunshy to invest in something that might not work).

As an aside, it strikes me that the more money involved, the less good journalism is performed, because entertainment apparently sells better. That’s why I no longer get most of my news through mainstream sources, relying primarily on my social networks (Twitter, blogs and Delicious) to keep perspective on what’s happening in the world. Every time I watch what passes as news on TV, or even read the headlines on news.com.au (SMH is slightly better), I cringe.

This is not an ideological argument, btw – i.e. not a “left vs. right” argument. Good journalism IMO transcends that. It’s not the sway or bias that’s the issue, it’s the fact the content itself is not up to par. Until that changes, payment for the skill of journalism will continue to suffer.

iPhone launch thoughts

Some time ago, when it was first announced the iPhone 3G would be coming to Australia, I quietly (and sometimes publicly) hoped that the 3 network would be the network to launch the iPhone. I thought the only way we’d get decent data charges was if 3 had the phone – given how tremendously awful those charges on other networks are.

As the launch approached, I watched as telco after telco announced that they would be stocking the iPhone: first Vodafone, then Optus, then Telstra.

It’s worse than it appears

As expected, all of them have awful data plans. Optus is by far the most reasonable. Chatting with a friend the other day, they asked “isn’t 500MB enough?” in reference to the Optus plan. Given the pitiful data plans offered by carriers to date, the 500MB option from Optus seems like a good step forward, but I think that for the iPhone this is not enough for all except casual users on a device like the iPhone.

Mark Pesce in a post for the Future of Media blog: iPhail, writes:

“My guesstimate is that the average iPhone user would use somewhere between 2GB and 5GB of mobile data a month – a figure that’s bound to rise as 3G/HSDPA units reach the field.”

Before Mark published his post, I’d come to a similar conclusion. One of the new features of the 3G iPhone is “Mobile Me”, which pushes calendar, contacts and other data to the phone. That will chew up a significant amount of bandwidth. And as Mark points out, that 500MB could pretty easily be chewed up by an avid reader of the SMH.

But I think what has been missed by the telcos is the fact that the iPhone interface, especially the browser and applications (the Apple iPhone App Store also launched yesterda), changes the way iPhone users will use the phone for browsing – increasing it’s use as a truly mobile internet device.

Think about it – using Google Maps on my Sony Ericsson W880i is a “last resort” because of how small the screen is and how difficult it is to input addresses and navigate the maps (I do dig my phone, but that aspect of it is crapful). On the iPhone, I suspect Google Maps will be a “first resort” application – and it will take a fair chunk of data to support that kind of use.

Could Apple have done better?

With the launch of iTunes – which took an enormously long time only to result in a reduced catalogue at higher prices than our U.S. counterparts – Apple Australia demonstrated they had difficulty negotiating the kind of deals that their U.S. compadres could manage.

The inability of Apple to select an exclusive partner (due to legislation restricting the practice) in Australia no doubt didn’t help their cause. But the deals (especially Telstra’s pitiful efforts) are really, really poor – even compared with existing mobile broadband offerings from the same providers. Mark Pesce calls this discrepancy an “Apple tax” – and I think that’s a pretty fair assessment.

So what about 3?

Of course, the glaring omission on that list of telcos is 3. On their blog, 3 claim that Apple are not allowing 3 to carry the iPhone. I find that hard to believe – and I wonder what 3 are asking for that’s holding things up.

But, according to the SMH blogs, word is that Apple and 3 will come to an agreement by August. The general gist of the blog post is “wait” – see what 3 offers. One expects 3’s deal will be stronger than competitors to make up for the fact they missed out on the launch hype. And that, in turn, might apply pressure on other providers to rethink their offerings.

Sounds like good advice to me.

Suckered by the hype

With all this in mind, I’ve been saying to friends for the past few weeks “I’m going to wait a few weeks after the iPhone is launched before I buy one – just to see if there are any issues and to see what 3’s offer is.”

But walking past the lines at the Apple store, Optus and Telstra stores, I got sucked in and decided to at least find out if I could buy an iPhone outright and use it with my current carrier (which is 3).

I went to the Apple store, expecting that as the maker of the device they would be selling the iPhone outright. I waited until the line was a reasonable length and joined in. A friendly Apple staffer was walking the line and asked me “You’re here for the phone?”. Umm, yes. “Do you have 100 points of ID?”. Check. Yep. “OK, so you know we’re not selling the phone outright?”. Umm. No.

I find it quite incredible that Apple are only selling iPhones on plans. But the friendly staffer suggested I try Telstra (across the road) as they were selling it outright.

So across I went, into another line. I get to the (clearly exasperated) staffer. “So what are your plans?”, I ask. He silently hands me a bit of paper (clearly exhausted). Same crap plans. No mention of outright purchase. “So can I buy this outright?” Yes, I’m informed. “But the phone is locked to the Telstra network and we can’t unlock it.” What do you mean, you can’t unlock it? “I don’t know. ‘They’ just said we can’t unlock it. I think it’s something to do with the demand.”

At this point I’d spent enough time in lines to decide I should stick to my original plan and wait for 3’s offering, so I didn’t bother going to Optus and press the issue.

So on the launch day of the iPhone, I was unable to buy one outright… Seems like an odd sales strategy to me. But perhaps, in the end, I’ll be better off being made to wait. One can only hope…

Bad for industry

As an aside, John Allsopp on the Web Directions blog talks about how this affects the web development industry more broadly in iPhone in Australia – now for the bad news.

OK, in the scheme of things, this is not really a huge deal. World hunger is a big deal. But, this is not just the lament of some yuppie who wants a cheaper phone deal. To me this will actually have a huge impact on Australia’s capacity to become a serious player in the next wave of web innovation – mobile web applications and services. People simply won’t use mobile web services (except the “free” access to carriers own services – my bet is that this will come soon enough). Which means little if any incentive for local companies to innovate in this, a space with almost limitless potential. In markets with inexpensive data charges, all the innovation will take place, and when affordable mobile arrives here, those innovators will be ready to swoop on our market, with local companies in no place to play catchup.

I have to agree.