MSF petition

Medecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) is running a petition asking pharmaceutical company Novartis to drop a law suit against the Indian government. The case would result in affordable versions of Novartis drugs to become unavailable.

Pharmaceutical company Novartis is taking the Indian government to court. If the company wins, millions of people across the globe could have their sources of affordable medicines dry up.

If you can spare a minute please consider adding your name.

Trademark madness

Oxfam Australia: Starbucks opposes Ethiopia’s plan to trademark specialty coffee names that could bring farmers an estimated $116 million annually: “Starbucks opposes Ethiopia’s plan to trademark specialty coffee names that could bring farmers an estimated $116 million annually”

Ethiopia attempts to trademark the names of its renowned specialty coffees that giant’s like Starbucks use to get premium prices in their stores. Starbucks intervenes and blocks the application. These names belong to the people of Ethiopa – Starbucks has no right.

I hope that Oxfam puts together a good online action for this – I’m sure they’d get a lot of support.


I posted this to, but I just realised that I haven’t re-added my feed to the sidebar as a result of template mangling to get archives working properly.

Amnesty International have launched a great campaign site highlighting internet censorship and repression around the world. It’s an easy-to-use site with a couple of ways to quickly get involved in the campaign.

Nuclear in the Australian (again)

WWF-Australia 04-May-2006:

WWF-Australia said today it has never supported nuclear energy as a climate change solution…

The Australian 22-May-2006 (scroll to “The nuclear option”):

Burning coal and petroleum causes pollution that is associated with a range of illnesses. And concerns about climate change have seen green groups such as WWF and Labor politicians such as Martin Ferguson calling for Australia to put atomic energy back on the table — despite the objections of Kim Beazley.

Saying something three times does not make it true. Once more (for good measure):

WWF-Australia 22-May-2006:

"Australia has more renewable resources per person than any other nation on earth – we do not need nuclear power plants in this country," says WWF-Australia CEO Greg Bourne.

Apple ads

Apple have launched some new ads that are pretty funny.

Macs are great when they work, but when they don’t? Apple support is notoriously bad in Australia. But even the U.S. is pretty shoddy at times – I’ve been waiting weeks for someone to respond to my issues with .Mac.

Doc Searls titles his pointer Can we show both in their silos – good point. iTunes podcasting, the iTunes store and the iPod all use proprietary technology or mess with existing standards. iTunes podcasting can make finding a podcast URL nearly impossible.

The songs purchased from the iTunes store only play in iTunes or on the iPod, and Apple have made it clear they will only license the technology to select vendors (Sony-Ericsson being the only one I’m aware of). Which means all that iTunes music you buy is about as useful as a vinyl LP on another player.

And to top it all off – you can’t synchronise your address book or calendar via the net using anything but .Mac. So even though I’m paying for a service that doesn’t work, I can’t switch to an alternative vendor. (Update: I should point out I mean true sync here – between two Macs that are not always connected to the internet – not just publishing of calendars)

Anyway, the ads are fun. Check ’em out.


SMH: High Court chips away at Sony’s stranglehold:

Computer games enthusiasts are free to modify their Playstations to run cheap games bought overseas or online, following a landmark High Court ruling.

Interesting ramifications indeed. All I can think of is DVD regional coding. I hope that the ruling sticks, but I’m not holding my breath…

Copyright abuse

SMH: Alleged net pirate to be extradited to US.

An Australian resident will be extradited to the US to face internet piracy charges, having already spent almost 18 months on remand in Silverwater jail.

For copying and distributing movies on the net “for no financial gain”.


ccMixter looks promising for sourcing and sharing loops, samples and songs under Creative Commons licenses…