Guinness World Record attempt for shortest radio advertisement

Sean Rintel, Kathy McLeish and Melissa Lucashenko on Eat The Week July 17

Sean Rintel, Kathy McLeish and Melissa Lucashenko

I was a guest on 612 ABC Brisbane’s Eat The Week show hosted by Rebecca Levingston. We talked about Jibo, attempted to break a world record, listened to P!nk’s “Glitter in the Air”, and discussed various topics in the week’s news. Loads of fun!

The Guinness World Record we attempted to break was for the world’s shortest radio advertisement. We tried to smash the BBDO advertisement record for the shortest radio advertisement. The previous record was 0.954 seconds saying “Guinness recordbok”. We advertised the ABC itself with the slogan “It’s your ABC” in 0.61 seconds – we are waiting for confirmation! The attempt starts from 8:04.


ACT Police Twitter Forum

canberratimesI commented in the Canberra Times on the ACT Police conducting a public Q&A forum via Twitter. I said that:

“[...] police PR is very difficult given we typically interact with the police only in times of trouble/crisis, so I’d say this was rather successful.”

“Answers to more difficult questions got ‘well it’s complicated’ responses,” he said.

“That’s probably a smart tactic for the medium. You can’t get into the complexities in 140 characters. The best you can do is link to more detailed pages.”

Read more at:

Belot, H. (2014, March 24). ACT police take to Twitter to answer Canberrans’ questions. Canberra Times.


Harrison, J., Rintel, S., & Mitchell, E.K. (2014). Social Media in Australia. Pp. 589-627 in C. Litang  & M.H. Prosser (Eds.). Social Media in Asia. Doerzbach, Germany: Dignity Press.

ABC The Checkout

If I Could Say One Thing

ABC The CheckoutI represented Electronic Frontiers Australia on the ABC consumer affairs show The Checkout. In my “If I Could Say One Thing” segment I discussed ways of dealing with Internet tracking by advertisers and third parties.

Here is the script, including links:

Hi, I’m Dr Sean Rintel, Chair of digital rights group Electronic Frontiers Australia.

I could say one thing, it’s that if an online commercial service is free, then you’re not the customer, you’re the product.

Many online services make money from selling who you are and where you go to advertisers and third parties.

When you’re logged in, some services can track almost everything else you do online.

When you ‘Like’, ‘share’, or sometimes just access content, you can be tracked even when you are logged out.

If that bothers you, there are some simple steps you can take.

Install a browser extension like ‘Disconnect’ to both visualise the amazing number of sites tracking you and, better still, block them. Or the similar plug-in, Ghostery, which can also be installed on your smart phone.

Look for HTTPS in your address bar – the S means Secure. The browser extension called ‘HTTPS everywhere‘ forces sites to use a secure connection that blocks third party tracking.*

And don’t use those convenient buttons to log in to one service with the credentials from another. Separate service, separate login.

With a little effort you can reduce the amount of your personal information that’s bought and sold by people you don’t know.

It doesn’t matter that you may have nothing to hide, it’s that you should have a choice.

* Note: HTTPS Everywhere can only work when the website has enabled it, so it can’t force literally every site to be secure. It might also break some site functionality. See the HTTPS Everywhere FAQ for more details. Further, this does not fully prevent all third party tracking. When used on a search engine, for example, it prevents an unauthorised third party seeing the details of the search and results. The search engine itself may still authorise some third parties to see search results.


Australia Needs Fair Use

DelimiterI was quoted in Delimiter on the introduction of Fair Use to Australia in the wake of the ALRC report released on February 13, 2014.

The quote came from the Electronic Frontiers Australia fair use media release:

“EFA believes that the introduction of a broad fair use exception into Australian copyright law is a critical and long-overdue element in providing a strong, relevant and flexible copyright regime that will serve Australia well into the future. A broad fair use exception will enable greater innovation and creativity, will promote a higher degree of respect for copyright among Australian consumers and will remove a number of significant impediments to the development of a vibrant and competitive Australian cloud services industry.”

Read more at:

LeMay, R. (2014, February 14). Digital rights bodies back ALRC’s Fair Use call. Delimiter.