Hard News by Russell Brown

Not bolted down

I would be surprised if the Commerce Commission were to, as has been suggested, get in the way of Fairfax's acquisition of Trade Me. Newspaper classifieds and online auctions are not - yet - the same market. And furthermore, those Trade Me customers are not bolted down. If they were, then Dylan from Zillion wouldn't be quite so chirpy. The very fact of the sale will generate churn that will create opportunities.

Meanwhile, a hilarious shitfight between National (well, Aaron Bhatnagar, mostly) and Act supporters over Richard Worth's dodgy letter claming that Rodney Hide "supports widespread drug legalisation", and Rodney's highly evasive answers when the Herald raised it with him. The discussion thread does tend to support the view that Act's major obstacle lies in the some of the personalities it attracts.

More battling in yet another round of Fox News' Bill O'Reilly versus MSNBC's Keith Olberman ("Bill thinks he has his own police."). Olberman's cool and funny and O'Reilly is deranged.

Thanks to Ziggy Potts, on the ground in Wanagnui, for pointing out that the winner of a home theatre system in a competition run by APN paper the Wanganui Chonicle is a Mr Tim Pankhurst of Wellington. Surely not?

In a possibly unrelated follow-up, Ziggy notes that Chronicle editor John Maslin and two employees of the local Harvey Norman store that provided the prize make up a whole quarter of Michael Laws' 'Wanganui Ambassadors' team. Does the mayor want a stereo too?

The extraordinary attack by Bloomsbury CEO Nigel Newton on the Google Library Project - in which he quixotically called for a boycott of Google - has, as you'd expect, attracted some furious responses, most notably Hissy Cat's engaging Google Library Project And Why Nigel Newton Is A Fuckwad. And C. Max Magee points out something that occurred to me too - if you're going to get precious about advertising appearing opposite great, out-of-copyright literary works, Charles Dickens seems a strange example to pick, given the context in which much of his writing originally appeared.

I bumped into Matt Heath and Chris Stapp taking tea in Grey Lynn yesterday afternoon, with Dominic Bowden, who presumably won admission into the shock TV fraternity by drinking his own urine on television this week. Heath and Stapp start filming The Devil Dared Me To, their debut digital feature with Headstrong, on Sunday. And then I got home and found an email referring me to this rather good idea. You can buy advertising real estate in the movie in the form of badges and logos on the jumpsuit of veteran Australasian stunt co-ordinator Dick Johansonson. Prices starting at $50, inventory apparently shifting nicely. I bought Public Address a stake in cinematic history: Patch 60, just above Dick's left knee, which I confidently expect to feature prominently in the film.

PS: On account of stupidity, I was briefly under the impression that there wasn't a Best Blog category in the Netguide Web Awards. There is, and you can vote for us in it. You could also vote for us in Best Media Site if you felt especially kind.

PPS: Help sought with extremely annoying Telecom Call Minder glitch. A month-old message has appeared out of the ether and is triggering the usual pip-pip-pip. But, because it has "passed its expiry date", the delete command doesn't work and the man just tells me - over and over again - that the message has "passed its expiry date". I know there's a way around this (some patronising git on a Telecom help desk once told me) but I'm damned if I can remember it. Please advise.