Archive for February, 2010

Feb 21 2010

Some links

Published by under Misc

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In the UK this week, but here’s a little link round-up:

TuneGlue music map – try it with the name of your band-of-the-moment and see what it spits out

Hitmen old and newEdward Lucas in the Economist argues that modern technology makes killing easier—but harder to get away with

Can a Russian Oligarch Save the British Press? – Der Spiegel on Lebedev

The iState of the Union – Sorry, a bit late with this one but it’s still worth reading

ToneMatrix – cool toy from Andre Michelle

Couple marries at 5th Avenue Apple Store – from TUAW

vParticle – cool Russia iPhone app. Via Andy at Siberian Light


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Feb 08 2010

Compare and contrast

Published by under Media,Misc,Music,Russia

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Moscow, January 13, 2010: My pal Luke Harding reports that James Cameron stands accused of ‘borrowing’ from Russian Sci Fi author brothers Boris and Arkady Shrugatsky in creating the world of ‘Avatar’.

Luke further tells us that the sole surviving Shrugatsky, Boris, ‘shrugged off’ the suggestion, denied accusing Cameron of plagiarism. No harm done. And in a delicious potentially plagiaristic sub-plot, numerous other outlets play the same obvious ‘shrug’ gag the following day.

Sydney, February 5, 2010: The Australian Federal Court rules that an incidental flute riff in Men at Work’s ‘Down Under’ bears too much of a resemblance to the old girl scout refrain, Kookaburra, penned by one Marion Sinclair in 1934. That, when our heroes weren’t busy buying bread from men in Brussels, their dastardly deeds included stealing tunes off of Aussie schoolgirls.

The contrast? Boris Shrugatsky, 76-year-old niche sci-fi writer appears, as we’ve said, unfazed by Avatar’s resemblance to his work – and perhaps, justifiably, even a little flattered by the comparison. No accusations made, no damages sought.

Kookaburra’s owner, however, is Larrikin music, who bought the rights from Marion Sinclair’s estate 56 years after she wrote it, and shortly after her death. Larrikin is seeking substantial damages from the boys in the fried-out Kombi. Says Larrikin’s MD, Norman Lurie, of Kookaburra:

“It’s earned a hell of a lot of money for us since we’ve bought it.”

Moral high ground’s all yours, Boris. Vegemite sandwich?


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