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Submission + - Australia passes site-blocking legislation->

ausrob writes: Cementing their position as Australia's most backwards and dangerous government in recent memory comes this nasty bit of legislation, riddled with holes (which is nothing new for this decrepit Government): "The legislation allows rights holders to go to a Federal Court judge to get overseas websites, or "online locations", blocked that have the "primary purpose" of facilitating copyright infringement. If a rights holder is successful in their blocking request, Australian internet providers, such as Telstra and Optus, will need to comply with a judge's order by disabling access to the infringing location."
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Comment A closed system (Score 1) 131

At my last job there was a big push to promote the new internal social network solution to all employees. There were even competitions with prizes involved to induce people into completing their profile and subscribing to groups and posting regular updates.

It didn't work very well (from a technical standpoint) which was probably one reason it wasn't widely adopted, but in my particular case I had no interest in it because it was a closed system. Once out of that company (as I find myself now), I have lost access to any links or articles I might have written, as opposed to if I had posted the same content on a public social network.

While I didn't get the internal attention by maintaining my own technical blog elsewhere (although sometimes I would post links to my blog on the internal site), I've arguably had a wider audience by posting to the public Internet and I retain access to the knowledge I shared there. Why would I bother with a closed internal system?

Comment Re:Silly Peasants (Score 5, Informative) 142

OK, how about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)? Or the current Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? There are more examples, but hopefully you get the point. Even proposed US laws like PIPA/SOPA and current laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) can make their way into other countries by way of other seemingly unrelated economic trade agreements. For example, Australia has adopted DMCA like provisions as part of the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA - incidentally modeled on NAFTA) between 2004-2006.

Comment Re:These copyrights (Score 1) 25

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

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

"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

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

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

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 Not everyone took precautions.. (Score 4, Interesting) 52

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam

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