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Tech Talk Radio Show 14 of 2009
Transmission date: April 6, 2009

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Ep 14: TTR Ep 1409: April Fool's Tech, The world's most powerful laser, How to aution a politician, Hutchison's 3 roaming deal with Telstra, When do notebooks cease t be notebooks?

April 6 , 2009

Well, no matter where Google go these days it seem almost lay down misere (Australian Slang something that is a certainty) that controversy will follow. Street view is no exception and the good folk of Broughton, in Buckinghamshire, England, don't want a bar of it.

Google Car

The Google Street View car (pictured above) was blocked from filming last week by angry residents, led by Paul Jacobs, who alerted neighbours after spotting the car from his window. Mr Jacobs called police, who arrived to find a crowd in dispute with the Google driver, but the car moved on.

And while on the subject of funny, it seems that Australian technology humor is alive and well, well at least on April fool’s day last week. There were many spoofs which went past as blatant tom foolery, and then there were some that made you stop and wonder. Really? No. On opening up my mail client on that fateful Wednesday morning I was greeted with the headline “Conroy dumped as minister for broadband” What? Really? But the PM is out of the country… then it clicked! Ahhhh, April Fool’s day.

Having almost had my first cup of coffee for the morning I wondered what other gems were going to pass by on an occasion that tends to allow the normally stiff upper lip media commentators an opportunity to let their hair down, and publish headlines which would normally never see the light of day.

I continued to read the piece on Conroy’s supposed dismissal by staff writers at the ISP and Telecommunications industry discussion site.Whirlpool.net.au. “Conroy has come under increasing fire in recent weeks as the figurehead for the government's ISP level filtering plan and the national broadband network (NBN).” That he did. “The move leaves the government's unpopular ISP filtering plan up in the air. Conroy had recently appeared on both the ABC and SBS to champion the policy, where he met significant opposition from panelists and the studio audience.” Which also was true!

It wasn’t long before computerworld.com.au entered the fray. In an article published by reporter Darren Pauli, he reported that Telstra had announced it would split its retail and wholesale arms if it won the $4.7 billion National Broadband Network following secret talks with communications minister Stephen Conroy. Gullible readers swallowed the bait, so much so that the article caused a spike in Telstra shares. Ahhh, Oooops. What do you thing the ASIC would say about this?

And then by late afternoon it was ZDnet’s turn to give us all heart palpitations by publishing that Conroy had awarded the NBN deal to a Surprise group of bidders - a secretive consortium backed by the wealthy Packer and Murdoch families. Packer and Murdoch in a JV? Not in my lifetime I thought. As I read on, it became more and more fanciful, to a point where it just had to be read aloud to the whole Tech Talk office.

The report stated: “Packer said the group had headhunted well-known technology executive and entrepreneur Jodee Rich to lead the new consortium, which would be known as "One.Tel". Fellow Australian technology luminary Brad Keeling will act as the executive team's liaison with its board.”

ConroyBy this stage in the afternoon, I was enlightened to think that in these times of gloom and doom, we have one national figure that we could rely on in Australia for a good laugh, one person who’s credibility shines above all others, one who is a key player in all three stories that caught my eye this day, the right honorable senator Stephen Conroy! What a national treasure. And like all national Australian treasures, let’s sell him off. Seems he’s already found his way to eBay on this fateful first day of April in 2009.

This week on TTR

Conroy up for sale on eBay, but at what price?
Adam Turner asks when does a notebook cease to be a notebook.
The ACCC takes issue with Voda-Hutch merger
Hutchison’s 3 announces their roaming deal with Telstra and
Scientists build the world’s most powerful laser