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Comment: A closed system (Score 1) 131

by ausrob (#47380415) Attached to: Employees Staying Away From Internal Corporate Social Networks
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

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.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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