Archive for the ‘Business’ category

Cash For Comments

July 10, 2010, presumably because of a lack of real news to copy and paste, has reduced itself to relaying a scare campaign from the dinosaur full-service air travel industry, and dressing it up as real news.

TRAVELLERS flying on budget airlines are being warned that they may end up paying more than if they’d chosen a full-service airline.

The increasing number of extra charges airlines being introduced by some airlines can easily triple the cost of a budget ticket, an analysis of the nation’s budget carriers by Flight Centre has found.

This is of course rubbish. Full-service airlines like the Qantas – the shame of Australia – pay commission to travel agents like flight centre to say things like this to customers. Presumably now they are also paying money to to say the same thing.

Of course travel agents would warn against using low-cost carriers, since a large part of why LCCs are so much cheaper is that they completely cut travel agents out of the air travel industry. Airlines like Air Asia even sell their own accommodation packages with their flights, something which is rapidly in the process of sending businesses like Flight Centre bankrupt.

I Give Up

December 19, 2006

It’s extremely sad that something that is a fairly standard promotion elsewhere in the world makes front-page news in Australia:

A NIGHTCLUB party where bikini-clad women can drink as much as they want for free has been slammed as unsafe, disgusting and demeaning.

Rape crisis counsellors and alcohol experts said the party reduced women to sexual objects and exposed them to the risk of extreme intoxication and sexual assault.

Exposing yourself to extreme intoxication is the whole point of free drinks. As for wearing a bikini exposing you to sexual assault, didn’t we try to deport some dude for saying the exact same thing a few months back?

This party will of course be banned by the fun police (ludicrously referred to in the article as “alcohol experts”).

This country is fucked.

Update: Even Communist China doesn’t ban Ladies Night.

Update II: Party cancelled.


November 14, 2006

The following is a paid review. is a new site that matches bloggers with advertisers. The basic gist of the idea is that advertisers will pay you to write a review of their product or service on your own blog.

The amount paid is calculated as a function of your Technorati and Alexa rankings, as well as the estimated number of subscribers to your RSS feed. As an example, this blog received a “2 star” rating and for this review I am being paid US$30. will either send the money to a Paypal account or send you a cheque.

One of the biggest advantages of this idea is that – for me at least – this will provide some sort of relief for bloggers’ block. Whenever I can’t think of anything to write about or am lacking motivation, can tell me what to write about and motivate me with cold, hard cash.

The signup process is ridiculously simple, all you have to do is provide your name, email address and the URL of your blog and RSS feed. Your blog’s “star rating” will be calculated from the URL you give. You can also nominate multiple blogs if you have more than one.

If you don’t already have a Paypal account, then the signup process may extend to around 10 minutes instead of the 2 minutes it took me. As soon as that is complete you can get started on your first review, which is a review of the site itself (which is exactly what you are reading now).

The only doubts I have about this service is whether or not I will actually be offered any further reviews after the original review of Are advertisers really going to be willing to pay $50-$100 for a 200-word advertisement on a blog that, for all they know, is only read by penniless hobos at internet cafes?

Nevertheless, everyone who signs up is offered to chance to review itself, so at the very least you’re going to get enough for a carton of piss out of it. That’s not so bad for 10 minutes’ work.

As an extra bonus, you can now tell your parents and friends that you have a real job. What’s not to like?

The AWB Are Camel-Raping Faggots

October 24, 2006

What possible solution could there be to this thorny dilemma?

DROUGHT-stricken wheat farmers will tomorrow get an offer they can’t possibly refuse – except that it would be illegal to accept it.

The Australian understands that bulk handler CBH will tomorrow offer wheat farmers about $270 a tonne for their wheat, to meet soaring demand in Indonesia and Malaysia.

But the offer cannot be accepted. Wheat farmers can only sell to AWB, which yesterday announced that its pool price would be somewhere between $245 and $255 a tonne.

Single desk supporters (I know there’s a few of you reading) – defend this if you can.

Sky Not Falling

October 12, 2006

Hi. ChrisV here, I’m back on the Yobbo blog team. There have been some developments in the world of online poker since Yobbo’s posts on the subject. Mega-site PokerStars issued a short statement to the effect that they’ve decided it’s just going to be business as usual for them. And Neteller have, in the words of the WSJ, vowed to stay in the US.

All this means that poker should go on more or less as normal for the next 270 days, while regulations are drawn up describing what transactions banks need to disallow. And I’m not sure what Yobbo thinks, but I really don’t think it will be a problem after that, either. Even if Neteller gets somehow shut out of the market, the amount of money at stake for PokerStars is mindblowing and I have no doubt they’ll figure out a way to get around whatever the regulations end up being.

The other thing it means, of course, is that PokerStars is shortly to become market leader in the industry by a gigantic margin. They deserve it. Their software, security, support, game choice and marketing are all first-rate. Meanwhile, while it’s been profitable for me playing at Party, I’m getting some strong schadenfreude from their demise. Their support was nothing short of horrible and they did some scummy things. Think of them as the Telstra of the online poker world.

Sack MacTiernan Now

October 12, 2006

A reporter from The West waits 50 minutes for a taxi and suddenly this issue is on the agenda again.

“Ask any West Australian who gets taxis and people are not just talking about half-hour wait times anymore. People are regularly having to wait 1 1 /2 to two hours,” Mr Woods said.

Deputy chairman of Safer Northbridge Peter Palmer said three-hour wait times for some passengers in the city area were the worst on record.

Fremantle mayor Peter Tagliaferri said deregulation of the industry was the best solution. He said higher night fares would also help attract more night-shift drivers.

Everybody pretty much already knows the way to fix the taxi “problem” in Perth – deregulate the licensing system so that anyone who wants to operate a taxi can get one. The current system of setting a limit on the amount of licensed taxis only helps speculators, at the expense of every other resident of Perth.

The sad thing is that the government apparently believes it has a duty to guarantee these peoples’ investments:

WA Taxi Council chairman Kevin Foley acknowledged there were major problems at some hotspots, but said deregulation would wipe out the value of taxi licences, which cost more than $200,000. “People forget that these drivers have invested in the licences as a business, and they have mortgages to pay and children to feed,” Mr Foley said.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said it was the Government’s intention to reduce the ratio, but it had to balance that against the need to protect the value of taxi plates.

Why, Alannah “Worst minister in history” MacTiernan, is there a need to protect the value of taxi plates? Do you also need to protect the value of speculative stocks if some unlucky Western Australian invests in, say, Telstra 2?

Every investment carries an element of risk. Taxi plates have been a license to print money since they were brought in, but that doesn’t mean they have to be forever, especially now when the taxi situation in Perth is becoming a ridiculous, unfunny joke.

The Western Australian government is hurting the entire state for the benefit of a few whining taxi-plate owners. Alannah McTiernan should be sacked for this comment alone, even if you ignore every other idiotic thing she has done in her awful career. This is the same woman who is spending a billion dollars building a railroad down the Kwinana freeway, partly because nobody can get a bloody taxi.

Points On Pokies

August 30, 2006

This is not a terribly coherent essay. It’s just a collection of stuff I’ve been commenting on Harry Clarke’s site. I’ve been arguing with Harry over gambling again, and the topic of pokies came up.

Since apparently “WA doesn’t have pokies”, and WA is so great because it doesn’t have pokies!!!!! Here are some facts about gambling in WA.

Market “Assisted”

August 16, 2006

This stupidity has turned out exactly as predicted:

The cost of converting a car to LPG soared by hundreds of dollars in just a few hours yesterday as WA motorists rushed to take advantage of windfall government subsidies.

Gas conversion specialists across WA were flooded with inquiries from motorists who were keen to book their cars in and claim the $3000 in State and Federal government payments.

The increased demand drove prices up about $200 to $2800 at most businesses, with the RAC claiming some installers were quoting a staggering $4850.

There was a waiting list before the subsidy was announced, and now there’s an even longer waiting list and the price has gone up by $2000. Great news for the guys who perform these services, a complete waste of time and money for everyone else in Australia.

Hot Chick Unemployed

August 7, 2006

This goes into the “who would have thought” category:

WA’s controversial ban on smoking in pubs and clubs has caused chaos in the industry in its first week, with publicans in parts of the State reporting a catastrophic drop in trade.

Bars in rural areas appear the hardest hit. One manager said she had been forced to lay off staff and was considering closing during the day because there were so few customers since the new law came into force on July 31.

“It’s terrible, we’ve got absolutely no one in here during the afternoons — it’s completely dead,” said Irene Lugg, assistant manager of the Grand Hotel in Kalgoorlie. She said the pub used to take $200 to $300 during the afternoons from customers, all of whom were committed smokers, but this had dropped dramatically from day one of the ban.

“Our hotel doesn’t have a specific outdoor area so our regulars are choosing to smoke elsewhere,” Ms Lugg said. “It was very difficult trying to decide which barmaid to get rid of, so I chose our most popular, the prettier one, because she has a better chance of getting another job.”

Plenty of job opportunities for pretty girls in Kalgoorlie, but I’m not sure that’s the sort of thing the smoke nazis had in mind…

I’m Lovin’ It

June 30, 2004

Pete Kerr on fast food advertising:

I had a dream, that one day my nieces and nephews would sit down to watch Videos Hits and see 50 Cent rapping about being a pimp, and his mates banging on about how real men carry guns, sell drugs and keep women in sexual slavery, without them seeing any harmful KFC commercials.