The Null Device


McDonald's: The Videogame. A simulation of running a fast-food corporation that's like Sim City, had it been written by anti-globalisation activists. Bulldoze rainforests and villages, brainwash children and corrupt officials or go bankrupt. Play it before the lawyers kill it.

(via Boing Boing) activism amusing games globalisation mcdonald's no logo 0

The Lonely Planet publishing company, best known for its travel guides (as well as random travel-related books and a stock photography library) has been bought — by the BBC, of all people. Well, by BBC Worldwide, which is the BBC's commercial arm (the one which sells BBC content to non-licence-fee-payers outside the UK for profit).

BBC Worldwide international director Ian Watson said there was "absolutely no intention" of introducing advertising into Lonely Planet, which he described as "the most important brand to travellers around the world". "One of the things we very quickly got to talking to with Tony and Maureen was just how closely aligned our editorial values are," he said.
The BBC is mooting expanding Lonely Planet's online services and creating TV programming based on the guides. The Lonely Planet offices remain in Footscray (which, for the Britons reading this, is sort of the Melbourne equivalent of Hackney or somesuch), and the management remains unchanged.

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Radiohead have announced the details of their upcoming album. It will be titled In Rainbows. Even more interesting is the means of its distribution. Radiohead's contract with major recording behemoth EMI had ended, and not surprisingly, the band had chosen not to renew it. More surprisingly, they didn't go to another label. Instead, they will be selling the album themselves, over the web, in a two-tiered pricing structure. True fans who want the prestige of the collectible article can buy a two-disc box for £40 (US$80, or just under 100 Australian dollars), whereas those who just want the music to listen to can buy a downloadable version, nominating their own price for it. (The downloadable version is also free with the disc version.)

There aren't any more details at this stage. (I'd hope that the downloadable version is in a high-bit-rate open format, and not, say, DRM-shackled .WMA files, and for £40, you'd hope that you get something more impressive than a double jewel case with a booklet.) There is also no news on how Radiohead will make this available to people who aren't on the internet or don't like buying things online. I suspect that a deal with Starbucks is probably not on the cards, though.

marketing music radiohead the recording industry 4