Episode 181 – 5th April 2013

We explore the phenomenon of land grabbing, investigate a fascist footballer, find out if it’s game over for Atari and discover an intriguing piece of technology that will enable the blind to see using a clever phone app. And much more!



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Land Grabbing (1:49) by Chris Fitch (ft Fred Pearce and Paolo D’Odorico)
Are Secularists Successful? (13:57) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Rob Freathy)
Atari (24:31) by Alex Fitch
Fascist Football (35:30) by Sean Slater
Amazing App (42:19) by Chris Hofstader (ft Peter Meijer)
DevPsych (50:52) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Jean Shinskey and Patrick Leman)
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

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5 thoughts on “Episode 181 – 5th April 2013

  1. Atari should place all there IP in the public domain. That way you would get the maximum number of remakes, derivatives materials etc. This would also have the advantage or not squandering hard working people pension funds on yet another doomed nostalgia / vanity project to get Atari running.

  2. The paper by Rob Freathy is interesting but it is extraordinary that he and his colleague did not look at the BHA’s own archives in the Bishopsgate Institute, instead relying on what they could find in the National Archives.
    He also says that before 1870 there were no state schools. Technically true – but church schools received substantial funds from the state from the mid-1830s. And the reason there were no state schools was that the rivalry between the Anglican and non-conformist churches prevented successive attempts at legislation because each preferred no schools rather than see their ecclesiastical rivals steal a march – essentially, the C of E wanted Anglican education only, the non-conformists wanted non-denominational RE.

  3. You guys are a bit confused. The Atari Inc. today is the former company GT interactive. That company was bought (majority ownership) by Infogrames in the late 90s, and forcibly renamed to Infogrames NA, Inc. Then after the purchase of the Atari IP from Hasbro, it was once again forcibly renamed – this time to Atari Inc. It is not the company that did PONG or Paperboy, having zero to do with any of that. It was not even the owner of the Atari IP, Infogrames has been the entire time, which it placed under the subsidiary Atari Interactive (formerly Hasbro Interactive). When Infogrames finally bought the entire company, it had zero to do with taking control of the Atari brand… which it already owned and was forcing Atari Inc. to license.

    Additionally, the Jaguar was by a completely different company – it seems you’re confusing the specific companies with the brand name.

    In 1984 the original Atari, Atari, Inc., was split up in two. Not into two divisions – these divisions already existed internally. The Coin Division was reformed and sold off to NAMCO as Atari Games, a company that lasted until 2003 when owners Midway shut it down. That’s the company that did Paperboy (and it’s assets are now owned by Warner again via it’s purchase of Midway’s assets). Simultaneously in 1984, the original Atari Inc.’s Consumer Division was sold to Jack Tramiel, who folded it into his own company and used it to form Atari Corporation. Atari Corporation is the company that released the ST computers and the Jaguar, and it to folded in 1996. At that point any other physical link to the original consumer portion of Atari Inc. died and existed purely in IP. That IP and brand name were then sold to Hasbro in ’98 and later Infogrames in 2001.

    There has been no one continuous “Atari” as you seem to be promoting.

    Additionally, the Flashback series was created by Legacy Engineering and the first 2 consoles were done by them, not AtGames. AtGames simply took over the series via a licensing agreement with Atari Interactive.

    Additionally, that’s a bit off on the Nuon. The Nuon was an advanced dvd player chipset that also happened to play games (verbatim from VM Labs), it was never planned or marketed as a game console or something that could turn a DVD player into a game console.

    If you’re actually interested in the stories about the original Atari Inc. (your game summation of the early years was more than a bit stunted), feel free to check out the new 800 page book Atari Inc. – Business Is fun on Amazon.

    1. Dear Martin,

      thanks for your comments and additional info. I thought I had made the point in my piece that Atari was purely a brand with various splinters that had been passed from pillar to post and not a single company from start to finish – sorry if that wasn’t made clear enough. I would have liked to have gone into more detail about various aspects but ten mins requires a lot of precis and focussing down on certain elements. I think Jeff Minter would disagree with you on the purpose of the Nuon!

      best wishes,
      Alex

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