Tag: rolling stone

Rolling Stone sells out to Singapore cloud company



Iconic rock music magazine Rolling Stone has agreed to sell 49 per cent of itself to Singapore’s BandLab Technologies.

Publisher Wenner Media has agreed to the sell off as part of a cunning plan to expand the business into new markets and boost its profile in Asia.

The acquisition could lift the music magazine’s brand in Asia. At the moment Rolling Stone is suffering from falling advertising revenues as Internet magazines fail to find a model which works.

BandLab, led and co-founded by Kuok Meng Ru, the 28-year-old son of Singaporean palm oil tycoon Kuok Khoon Hong, is a group of companies making products for music creators and fans. It runs a cloud platform where musicians and fans create music, collaborate and engage with each other across the globe.

Gus Wenner, head of digital of Wenner Media said Rolling Stone sees an enormous opportunity to diversify the brand into new markets and new areas of business.

Pakistan tightens net security with VPN clampdown

Pakistani authorities have issued demands for ISPs to block internet users from attempting to hide their identities.

According to a directive handed to The Express Tribune by an Islamabad-based ISP, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has given notice that use of virtual private networks should be prohibited.

The notice stated that “all such mechanisms including encrypted virtual private networks (EVPNs)” which can “conceal communication to the extent that prohibits monitoring” should be clamped down.

The PTA claims that the move is in line with previous regulations for national security, which up to this point had not been adequately supported.  It seems that ordinary citizens privacy will be hit in the crossfire however.

A spokesperson for the authority explained that the directive was purely to help curb militants using from using VPNs to mask their identities.

Of course this means that the vast majority of the public will now be prevented from communicating anonymously via VPNs.

The move comes as Pakistan continues to push tighter state security controls over internet usage.  This has seen the PTA wantonly blocking all manner of ‘offensive’ websites.

US mag Rolling Stone, has been blocked since July.  Quite what harm hearing about Beyonce’s pregnancy or Lil Wayne’s latest escapades are doing to state security are unclear, but the whole site has been blocked following one posting.

The PTA admitted that it did not know why the site had been blocked, but the Islamabad-based ISP claimed it was down to one offending article.

Apparently one posting entitled ‘Pakistan’s insane military spending up there with America’s’ led to a notice to remove the story.

The story quoted a column written in the New York Times which questioned Pakistani military spending when more was needed to fight militants.

Unfortunately for the ISP, and for a Rolling Stone readers in the area, it is not possible to block specific URLs on websites and so the whole domain has now been taken down.

Rolling Stone co-founder dubs iPad rush "crazy"

The co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine, Jann Wenner, can’t for the life of him work out why respectable magazines are fighting to give huge amounts of cash to Steve Jobs to stick their magazines on his tablet.

While he said he understood that publishers did not want to be be left behind the times on the digital revolution, Wenner can’t see what all the fuss is about with the iPad.

Wenner told AdAge‘s Nat Ives he thought publishers were “crazy” to be so keen to get their publications on the iPad.

He said that the magazine was going to get less money for it from advertisers., it costs a bomb to convert your magazine, to program it, to get all the things you have to do on there. Then to make managers worse they are not selling.

For 5,000 copies there, 3,000 copies here, the whole thing is just not worth it, he said.

Wenner co-launched Rolling Stone at age 20 and at a cost of just $7500. He thinks that publishers should chill out and think a bit before rushing to give all their cash to Jobs’ Mob.

He said publishers were being premature nd showing little confidence and faith in what they’ve really got.

Wenner said that in a few decades the online magazine will be there. There will be improvements in the delivery system, the screen will change, it will get lighter, whatever, and new people growing up will find that as a habit. He thinks it will be two generations before the shift happens.

In February, Apple launched its iTunes-App Store subscription model, a model which gives the Cupertino company a 30 percent cut of the takings for the privilege bringing your magazine into Jobs’s Mobs Walled Garden of Delights.

For some reason, the New Yorker magazine found its way onto the iPad, along with a host of other Condè Nast titles. Those subscribing to the print edition of The New Yorker receive both the iPad and web edition for free.