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Comment: Further reducing ICANN's credibility? (Score 3, Insightful) 103

by grantdh (#30794406) Attached to: Hundreds of New TLDs Coming — Question Is When

This could have a fascinating result:

1) Organisations sign up to host their own "so cool" root domain, expecting that lots of companies will be "forced" to register their key words in the new root domain

2) Companies finally wake up and say "WTF? We don't need this shit" and don't buy in

3) Lots of organisations who did #1 realise they're not going to be able to make enough to pay ICANN let alone cover their costs

4) Scumbuckets come in and start domain-squatting, setting up crap sites, etc

The above may well lead to:

5) People stop trusting domains and use search engines more (it's happening more & more now anyhow - most people can't remember even simple domains and use search engines to find them)

6) More legal cases for domain-squatting and illegal use of registered trademarks/keywords/etc

7) No more "gold rush" mentality for the opening up of new TLDs

8) Bad press for ICANN and fewer groups willing to take part in the next "all new territory" TLD funding drive (leads to less $$$ for ICANN)

Yeah, I'm just dreaming. ICANN is rapidly joining the RIAA & MPAA as a prime example of a bloated, self-serving organisation that's doing all it can to hang onto a way of existance that's no longer viable :(

Comment: Re:Pulse Audio: the best gift the Linux world gave (Score 1) 427

by grantdh (#28416003) Attached to: State of Sound Development On Linux Not So Sorry After All

Following an upgrade from Ubuntu v8, I'm running Ubuntu v9.04 (Jackalope) on an EEE PC and sound was completely fraked. After doing some research, I uninstalled PulseAudio from my system and now it all works fine. Still a few tweaks required, but dang, it works.

Why the hell does PulseAudio exist if it's such a piece of crap? Why is it in Ubuntu by default?

Maybe it has great potential and could be a wonderful thing, but until "it just works" it should be an optional extra, not installed by default.

Comment: Internet Rights & Principles Dynamic Coalition (Score 1) 151

by grantdh (#28340885) Attached to: How Should a Constitution Protect Digital Rights?

Not sure if you'd heard of these guys:

http://internetrightsandprinciples.org/

They used to be the Internet Bill of Rights group but changed their name recently.

While many in this conversation have said we don't need to separate online/computer rights from general rights, this seems to only be the case in a "perfect world." Sadly, all too many countries pay lip service to the UN Declaration of Human Rights (if they bother at all) and even supposedly democratic & free countries butcher our rights in the online/communications world (Echelon, Australia's proposed Internet Filter, data retention acts in the UK & Korea, etc).

Between the efforts of the IRPDC and the Association for Progressive Communications (with their Internet Rights Charter as I mentioned previously in this discussion) there is work being done to raise awareness of our digital rights, not least of which is knowledge that we even have them let alone that they're being ripped from us.

Comment: APC Internet Rights Charter (Score 2, Interesting) 151

by grantdh (#28316155) Attached to: How Should a Constitution Protect Digital Rights?

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) produced their Internet Rights Charter to help provide a basis for taking the UN's Declaration of Human Rights into the online world. It's amazing the number of countries that signed onto the Declaration of Human Rights but think nothing of censoring and snooping on people on-line.

Worth checking out and contacting APC in addition to EFF, etc.

PC Games (Games)

CCP Speaks On Player-Elected Advisors For EVE Online 70

Posted by Soulskill
from the taxation-with-representation dept.
Kheldon points us to an MMOGamer interview with Petur Oskarsson, Valerie Massey, and Dan Coker from CCP Games about EVE Online's Council of Stellar Management, "a democratically elected group of players who serve as advisors to the development team." The elections happen every six months, and regarding their effectiveness, Oskarsson says, "I did some numbers checking and the council has brought up 128 topics for CCP. And out of that, nine have been denied. The rest has been either injected into a backlog, or if it was already in the backlog it has been given an added prioritization." In a related interview on Massively, he said this is a tool he thinks most new MMOs should use, since it facilitates two-way communication, especially in situations like the recent economic exploit.

Comment: Re:What about censorship by owner? (Score 1) 176

by grantdh (#27803081) Attached to: Chicago Tribune Reporters Don't Want Readers' Pre-Approval

Actually, I was just using Fox News as an example so people would understand what was being meant by a "slant" on reporting. I don't watch TV and the news sources I know about are from down here in Australia (News Corp vs FairFax vs ABC vs others :)

Figured I'd use Fox 'cos most of you lot are yanks - don't want to have people going "What's Fairfax????" :) :)

Comment: What about censorship by owner? (Score 1) 176

by grantdh (#27802409) Attached to: Chicago Tribune Reporters Don't Want Readers' Pre-Approval

Maybe those reporters and editors should also send the letter up the chain to their owners. How many times has a Murdoch or Packer dictated what can & can't be published?

It doesn't take much effort to determine the bias of the reporting source and adjust accordingly to the news being presented (*coff* Fox News *coff*). We shouldn't have to, but it's the way it is.

Comment: Re:So Long Tailhookers... (Score 1) 304

by grantdh (#27623389) Attached to: Predator C Avenger Makes First Flights

Thanks for the great info - I should have remembered the ACLS. As you point out, though, there's still a human on board to bring it in if things go wrong, and the pilots have to keep current.

I totally agree re: carrier landings are the hardest of all - like the saying goes, the best things in life are a good orgasm, a good shit and a good landing, but only night traps give you all three at once :)

My father got to visit a USN carrier in the 60's when he was at Moffat with the Kiwis picking up their first Orion. Said landing and take off were the most amazing things he'd ever done and that was in the COD, let alone sitting up front and watching. I'd totally love to get on and visit, let alone have a chance to experience the landing/launch :)

Thanks for the links - I too will be amazed if N-UCAS can walk the walk.

Comment: So Long Tailhookers... (Score 2, Insightful) 304

by grantdh (#27622447) Attached to: Predator C Avenger Makes First Flights

There's going to be a whole lot of pissed off Navy pilots if they make a UAV that can land on a carrier deck at night in crap weather. Their main reason for superiority over all other pilots will be shot to hell.

When Navy pilots say "Flaring to land is like squatting to pee" then land based pilots will be able to come back with "Oh come on, landing on a carrier is so simple, even a computer can do it!" :)

Comment: Re:F-22 (Score 1) 304

by grantdh (#27622427) Attached to: Predator C Avenger Makes First Flights

"Not so much in modern combat. By the time you got close enough to make a visual ID, you'd be dead already. IFF takes care of identifying friendlies and most non-hostiles, and if you're in a hostile area everything else is fair game."

Except when the powers that be dictate that you must get a visual confirmation that it's an enemy combatant (to avoid accidentally shooting down the wrong aircraft, etc). Politics and "delicate situations" can dictate 100% confirmation before weapons release, so BVR engagements are not always possible.

Remember how the F14 had that TV camera unit installed under the nose looking forward - extreme visual magnification and image processing to allow positive visual ID on targets while still at missile range.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-14_Tomcat

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/military/read.main/88635/

Of course, great stealth tech (like the F22) stomps on everything else as combatants don't even know it's there until it's too late (http://www.ausairpower.net/air-superiority-2.html)
 

Comment: Bandwidth hogs and competition (Score 1) 395

by grantdh (#27563563) Attached to: ISP Capping Is Becoming the New DRM

Here in Australia we've pretty much always had caps. One or two ADSL providers introduced "All you can eat" accounts and got to watch their peak time supply slow to a crawl across ALL their customers 'cos of the kiddies hopping on after school and downloading shitloads. Suffice to say, they lost a lot of business customers who were paying for 1.5Mb and getting 56k modem speeds. Ooops.

Another ISP I know of checked their utilisation levels for their customers and found that only 5% of their customers were using over 50% of their bandwidth (often more). So, they introduced caps and tiered charging. Those who used stuff all bandwidth had a REDUCTION in their connection fees while those who slurped the most saw an increase. A lot of the slurpers got pissed, wrote nastygrams and left. The majority of people paid the same and started complimenting the ISP on their improved service.

Same level of upstream investment could suddenly handle more customers and those few who left actually made it better for everyone who remained.

Fast forward to now where I'm downloading patches & updates, torrenting TV shows that aren't out yet (or are long gone), downloading some (legal!) videos and my teenage son is playing games & watching YouTube. We've got a 40Gb per month cap and are staying within it every month.

Have you lot actually checked how much you're using before you say "Caps are bad, mmmokay?"

It seems the biggest problem the US has is that there's not a lot of competition for Internet connectivity all over the country. Here I've got stacks of options to choose from to get connected with ADSL (cable is a bit more limited) so there's reasonably good competition. Over there, as has been noted by others, the cable companies are running scared 'cos the 'net is getting ready to eat their lunch (Hulu, NetFlix, etc) so they're doing all they can to ensure they still have money flowing in when their cable revenues drop.

Amazing that the USA (home of the free market and competition theory) can be in the position where people can have no choice when it comes to getting online. Who ever would have thought that could happen...

If all the world's economists were laid end to end, we wouldn't reach a conclusion. -- William Baumol

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