Hard News by Russell Brown


Fun while the banking system collapses

I was going to upload that "How the Subprime Crisis Really Works' Powerpoint file that's been viralling around, but someone's done the helpful thing and stuck it up on Google Docs so it can be viewed in a browser. It does contain strong language, but maybe strong language is required in times such as these.

Vodafone finally got its DRM-free MP3 downloads up -- well, $1.99 singles anyway, with $17.99 albums apparently to follow soon. I downloaded Dub Asylum's 'Smash Through' (LAME-encoded 256k MP3, no cover art) and Bloc Party's Mercury (256k MP3, cover art). I might even spring for duplicate downloads from iTunes to make the MP3-AAC comparison. The only way to pay for the downloads is to have a Vodafone account, but it's very slick if you do.

But hey! Amplifier has Dub Asylum's extremely choice cut of funk, 'My Sneaker Collection Weighs a Ton' as a free download this week. And it’s a 320k MP3 with cover art. Go get!

Meanwhile, you don't seem to be able to buy it anywhere, so here's the MP3 of that Soulwax mix of MGMT's 'Kids'. If defines Big, Dumb Fun. Acrtic Monkey's Amy Winehouse cover doesn't actually suck either.

New Jenny Lewis album, Acid Tongue, out next week -- it's produced by Elvis Costello. There's a promo clip of the title track, and another one of her playing it live in LA last week. I love it already.

Peter Cox, the writer/creator of The Pretender, alerts us to the website of Future New Zealand, the party of the series' leader character, Dennis Plant. The new series launches (just in time for the real election campaign) at 10pm on Sunday evening on TV One, and new video will be added to the website as it goes along.

And because we need more videos of cats, Leo recommends Ninja cat comes closer while not moving, which is awesome.


Oh, and I finally got around to working out the winners of our Stories" the Internet prizes. They are as follows:

Givanni Tiso for a nice account of how the net conquers the tyranny of distance.

Danielle on meeting The One on the Elvis Costello listserv.

Kyle Matthews for a story of an internet liaison that didn't go so well.

PaulM for a story of medical empowerment.

Nic Wise for an account (one of several) of the old days at Iconz.

Please contact me with your details, folks, and I'll arrange for you to be sent a kilo of Eden Coffee (please specify: beans, medium or espresso grind) and a copy of Keith Newman's New Zealand internet history, Connecting the Clouds. And the top prize -- a Nokia 6121 phone suitable for using on Vodafone's dollar-a-day mobile internet service -- goes to PaulM. Get in touch …

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