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Comment: Re:These copyrights (Score 1) 25

by ausrob (#46628695) Attached to: New York Public Library Releases Over 20,000 Hi-Res Maps
Not outright, but in many cases it might as well be. When you can't reproduce a map in a text book or online without paying (in some cases a hefty royalty payment), then the knowledge contained in the map (or anything else) isn't spread to others since the copyrighted work isn't distributed freely. By way of an example? People trying to make text books for art classes - to individually license reproductions of some of the finest works of art in history - is economically unviable. The textbooks would have to be sold for thousands of dollars.

Comment: Re:No It's not. (Score 1) 569

by ausrob (#45263433) Attached to: Why Is Broadband More Expensive In the US Than Elsewhere?
Well said! I was going to comment with something similar. If I had mod points, I'd have modded up. It's also worth noting that in the OP's linked article, the comparison is between countries who have high speed broadband, however there are plenty of "first world" countries (like Australia) that don't even have what could be defined as a high speed network; who pay more for their substandard speeds across the board. Bear in mind that the US also has fairly decent wireless Internet options too. In some countries 3G and 4G services are challenging to locate, or don't exist at all.

Comment: Re:Spin it all you like guys ... (Score 1) 611

by ausrob (#44026361) Attached to: Microsoft Reputation Manager's Guide To Xbox One
"as long as the servers are always working" - well there's a good point.

You know one striking difference between the Xbox One and practically any prior gaming console? I can still play the other consoles entirely offline, without the manufacturer's support - provided it's still in working condition of course - pretty much regardless of how old it is. I'll also be able to play any supported game (again, assuming it's in working condition) - regardless of where it came from.

Comment: Re:If you don't like metro... (Score 4, Insightful) 800

by ausrob (#43860853) Attached to: First Looks At Windows 8.1, Complete With 'Start' Button
Really? You find it incredible that self-confessed geeks would have a problem with being forced by a Microsoft design decision into losing what some people seem to consider to be fairly core usability functionality, which has existed harmoniously for over 15 years?

It's beside the point that OSS solutions exist - it's the principal of the matter. What's so hard to understand that people might not like having changes like this forced upon them? Some people may prefer not having to using third party code to restore this functionality, while others may not be able to apply OSS options because they lack the ability to update their standard operating environment (e.g. corporations, government workstations etc).

One of the major points of difference between Microsoft operating systems and others is that in most cases power users have the ability to heavily customize the Windows operating system (and other Microsoft products) without necessarily having to resort to third party code. What's so difficult to understand about that?

Comment: Re:RTFA (Score 1) 505

by ausrob (#43201091) Attached to: Microsoft To Abandon Windows Phone?
OK, to be fair, that's more than they offered after the launch of Windows Phone 7..true.. but given the successive "non-upgrade paths" (Windows Mobile 6.5 / Windows Phone 7) haunting releases, I think it's fair to be skeptical of any promises.

On that article, I had to chuckle at this quote: ""We're not going to do this thing where we announce the next version [of Windows Phone] months and months before it's available,"" which would be the opposite of what they did with Windows Phone 8, flogging it months before the first handset was available. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Comment: Overcomplicated (Score 1) 686

by ausrob (#42472757) Attached to: Oregon Lawmakers Propose Mileage Tax On Fuel Efficient Vehicles
Why not simply increase the cost of car registrations and decrease the tax on fuel? If everyone pays for car registration (I'm assuming it's illegal to drive an unregistered car), the tax is evenly applied and by decreasing the tax on fuel it doesn't penalise less fuel efficient car owners in the process.

Better yet, to create an incentive for people to switch to more economical options, why not stagger the tax reduction on fuel so it returns to present day level over a period of time, therefore making a less fuel effiicient car slightly less economical to run or own over a gradual period.

If that doesn't sound workable, why not simply hike the registration cost for fuel efficient cars, so the owner pays a bit more up front?

Comment: Re:Flood of schills is an good omen (Score 1) 286

by ausrob (#41519171) Attached to: Illegal Downloading Now a Crime In Japan With Increased Penalties
Well said! I was thinking more or less the same thing when I scrolled through the list of comments. Let's face it, when downloading a song or a video (i.e. copyright infringement - non commercial use) gets a person potentially more time in jail than for a violent crime (e.g. assault) or can potentially bankrupt a person, then society has its priorities all messed up.

It would be nice for everyone to step back and measure these things rationally, instead of getting caught up in the MAFIAA's rhetoric. But hey, it's Japan.. maybe we should be happy that the penalty is not hara-kiri, right?

Comment: To succeed? (Score 1) 246

by ausrob (#41345243) Attached to: What Windows Phone 8 Needs To Do To Succeed
...for starters, not alienating the developer community by refusing to release even a beta copy of the Windows Phone 8 SDK would be a good start. It's been released to a VERY select few thus far.

It's left a lot of developers in the dark, not knowing what the platform's going to look like and what kind of changes they might choose to make to their existing 7.x apps.

Talk is current generation apps will run on Win Phone 8, but obviously won't make full use of the Win Phone 8's capabilities (and who can rely on this until they've had a chance to run their 'now legacy' app in an emulator?).

What it boils down to is that very few apps which make use of the full featureset will be ready come the date that the actual handsets ship, that's got to be a negative net effect.

Comment: Re:Notes from part time developer (Score 4, Interesting) 345

by ausrob (#40838237) Attached to: Should Developers Support Windows Phone 8?
Perhaps... but I can't help feeling that Windows Phone (as a platform) is still very much a second-class citizen. For one thing, the Windows Phone 8 SDK is still not available (excluding the leaked copy) and we're only months away from Windows 8 (RTM) and a little later, (October??) the Windows Phone 8 handsets and Tablets come out. We haven't even seen a beta or RC of the SDK..

Worse still, given the amount of rework which devs will need to undertake to port their existing Windows Phone 7 apps to Windows Phone 8 (for the use of the WinRT API, for example). This is a baffling move, and given the history of the Windows Mobile line.... it's getting to be a bit rich.

Also, I disagree that the market place is mature. There's not nearly a large enough user base to make that statement, and hearing that Windows Phone 7 handsets won't support an upgrade to Windows Phone 8 may hurt.

Comment: Re:Drobo (Score 1) 227

by ausrob (#40732459) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Stepping Down From an Office Server To NAS-Only?
I really like the Drobo range, great functionality and disk configuration options.. but found the pricing to be a bit too prohibitive. An alternative might be a Thecus ( which seem to be a fair bit cheaper but lack the innovative features of a Drobo. However I think they deliver a fairly solid platform of functionality for the price.

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum