The Rise of Fake News Reinvigorates Subscription Model Debate

 

Since inception subscription models for newspapers have been a hard sell. It is also not hard to see why. Sure, there is the question of quality, of brand loyalty, and even incidental spending – a main masthead in the author’s hometown of Melbourne currently campaigns on subscription for just 50c (USD 38c) a day – but the essential challenge to this has been ‘why would I buy access to news when I can get it for free?’

 

In an effort to win subscriptions many newspapers have been receptive to a freemium model. From the Age in Melbourne all the way across the world to the New York Times, many newspapers have given readers a form of free access. This may be 1 article a day (reset every 24 hours), all the way up to 30 articles a month (not reset daily but merely capped at 30), and beyond.

 

While there are those who’ll happy pay for news, or feel incentivised by the promise of new and bonus content, when online news was free for so long, the idea of now needing to pay for it is still something many readers would find unpalatable. The past year has Click to continue reading

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A Legal Stop to Pokemon Go? 3 Issues in Law that Surround the Global Gaming Hit

Disclaimer: This article is informative in purpose and does not constitute legal advice.  The author urges you to obtain professional legal advice before pursuing any litigation.

OK. Lest the pitchforks and angry comments start coming (both of them hurt, just…in ‘different’ ways) let’s be clear and direct off the bat: Pokemon Go is a tremendous achievement in video games.

A generation or two ago the revelation in gaming was Pokemon Stadium – a Nintendo 64 game that took Pokemon from the prior (but rich) confines of 2D on Game Boy and realised the world created by Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori in glorious 3D. Suffice to say then, it’s a huge and commendable step up to now have the franchise boasting a title in augmented reality (aka VR).

Pokemon Go is a wonderful achievement in gaming and tech – and though this author couldn’t be classified as an active user of the game – nonetheless he appreciates and admires its innovation.

Notwithstanding this though, the Pokemon GO ‘experience’ as it stands at currently resides within a number of areas under law that are either ambiguous, uncertain, untested – or potentially all 3. This is as while the game is hugely Click to continue reading

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Brexit: 7 Economic Questions now the UK voted to leave the EU

 

The United Kingdom will soon invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin the 2 year process of removing itself from the EU. Here are 7 big questions that are now being pondered in the UK, EU, and around the world.

What sort of new economic deal shall Britain get from the EU?

Once Britain leaves a new trade deal between the UK and Europe will need take the place of its current single market arrangement. While the UK remains a major global economic power – and one that will remain attractive to trade with the EU – the reality is EU leadership does not want to reward a leaver. This means a hard bargain for the UK is coming, the question is just how hard it will be.

What approach will Britain take to global economics?

While the exit from the single market shall pose challenges it shall also allow Britain chance to pursue trade agreements with other nations around the world more freely. In this regard, while trade with Europe shall also remain crucial to the UK, so too must a new approach to trade be sought.

How shall it manage new relationships in a post-1973 Click to continue reading

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The cross-border animal crisis in Africa

 

2016 has illustrated there are many challenges facing the African continent as a whole, and African Union as a collective representation of the region. This has been seen in democratic deficits, civil conflicts, and larger questions of how to balance trade and defence relationships beyond Africa. Looming large among these problems is an issue often overlooked – but one that is now held to be at crisis point; the management and security of African wildlife.

To those yet to read of the severity of the situation it may at first seem tangential or peripheral to the more visible and overt problems facing the African region. Yet, it is also a reality that even those who would regard animal welfare as a middle order or secondary issue would need consider the wider dangers of leaving poaching unaddressed. As National Geographic reported in August 2015, the link between elephant ivory hunters and terror financing affirms both the need for disinterested parties to look once more at addressing animal welfare – as well as offers incentive to those focused prior on the issues within the security sphere to broaden their scope further in the campaign against terrorism.

As Click to continue reading

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Africa’s Mining Future after the 2016 Mining Indaba

Africa’s Mining Future: Looking beyond the 2016 Mining Indaba in Cape Town

 

The 2016 Mining Indaba was held in South Africa amidst a crucial time for the African minerals industry, the African region, and the wider international economy. With the past ten years seeing a veritable resources boom being experienced across the continent, questions grow surrounding its future. While the African continent enjoys ample resources – holding approximately a third of the world’s mineral reserves  – the sector has been embattled by concerns over how best to manage the close links between African and resource hungry China, conditions for mining workers, as well as mining’s broader place in the economic forecasts of a number of African nations. To examine the current state of the sector, an overview of the Mining Indaba is first necessary.

 

Mining Indaba is now the world’s largest mining event

 

For their part, the Mining Indaba organisers spoke of a desire to achieve numerous aims.  “We are proud that Mining Indaba has been the platform providing the catalyst for expansion. After two decades, it is a benchmark of its kind, having become much larger and more significant than simply just an event”, said Click to continue reading

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The African Union and the European Union Part 2: Security

This is part 2 of Ed’s piece on the AU and EU. Part 1 can be found here 

The African continent faces a number of visible challenges within the security sphere. From sizeable but straightforward battles against narcotics dealing and piracy, to issues of immense complexity based on identity and sectarian conflict. Yet, among the 54 states that comprise the African region there are three issues the loom especially large, and of which the African Union (AU) can heed lessons learnt from the European Union (EU). Increased coordination on terror threats, a unified response to political instability, and the growing rivalry between the US and China.

The Terror Threat

Within the EU, revelations assailants in the November terrorist attacks in Paris were planning their attacks in Belgium illustrated traditional borders are no longer a failsafe of security given the capacity of terror groups to work both locally and across state lines. Though exact trends and faultlines differ region by region (and country by country), the international community is moving towards a greater globalisation and borderless world; and this poses risks for traditional state security.

Just as calls were heard across the EU following the Parisian attacks for the Click to continue reading

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The African Union and European Union: shared lessons but separate destinies Part I: Political process

 

The months and years ahead shall pose growing challenges for African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU). Though vast differences exist in geography, economy, and governance, there is much the AU can stand to learn from the EU – both in achievement and shortcomings – as it progresses into an uncertain future with it already certain 2016 and beyond shall pose some significant challenges to AU in its 15th year of existence since establishment in 2001.

 

Assessing the future of a nation – much less an entire continent – is always a task fraught with great peril. This is true of the future of the AU and EU. Yet, within their recent history clear trends can be seen which illustrate the EU is likely to face further threats to its structure due to political events, and it is conversely due to political events that the AU need grow its structure. To assess where the AU can learn from the older EU’s missteps, first an overview of Europe’s recent years are necessary.

 

Put simply, the European Union in recent times has battled through the lowest point in its 22 year history. First, the monetary crisis between Greece Click to continue reading

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