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Comment: Check out this tutorial (Score 1) 111

by jonwil (#48638943) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

Check out this tutorial:
http://www.abc.net.au/abc3/goo...

Good Game Spawn Point is a TV show aimed at younger gamers (like the OP's kid) and the tutorial in question takes you step by step through the production of a simple game.

And once they have done this, they can start playing around with the Scratch! toolkit (a free game design tool produced by the fine folks at the MIT Media Lab aimed at getting kids into game development and coding) and producing their own games.

Comment: Why is Sony withholding the film? (Score 1) 212

by jonwil (#48638327) Attached to: Hackers' Shutdown of 'The Interview' Confirms Coding Is a Superpower

Ok so the largest theater chains wont show the film (not just because of the threats of physical attack but because of the threats of cyber attack by the same hackers that attacked Sony).

And it doesn't make sense to do a full theatrical release if the biggest chains in the US wont show it (because of all the costs involved with doing a theatrical release like marketing and advertising).

So why doesn't Sony just release it to every digital download store that will take it? (and any increased risk of cyber attack that might come from distributing the film) It wouldn't be the first time that a film originally slated for theatrical release ended up being switched to a direct-to-video release instead.

Are there legal issues in going direct-to-video? (e.g. contracts with the production team) Could Sony have been asked by the government not to go direct-to-video at this point? Are they still considering a theatrical release of some kind at some point in the future? Or are Sony scared that releasing the film in this way will result in further damage? (i.e. the hackers releasing information they copied in the Sony hack and haven't yet released but which, if released, will be even more damaging to Sony than what's released so far)

Comment: Re:This is not a new bill... (Score 1) 90

I see nothing to indicate that the list in that link is significantly different to the export control list that has been in force for years.

Yes it restricts the export of a lot of stuff including nuclear stuff, electronics, computer gear, telecoms gear, aerospace and more but unless there is some big list of "stuff added to the export control list just recently" that I have missed, I dont see all that much that is now export-controlled under this new bill that wasn't export-controlled before.

Comment: Re:Blah blah DRM blah blah (Score 1) 158

by jonwil (#48629299) Attached to: To Fight Currency Mismatches, Steam Adding Region Locking to PC Games

I see nothing to indicate this region lock stops anyone from buying games from the US Steam store. All it does is stops people who aren't in Russia from buying from the Russian Steam store at Russian prices and people who are in Russia from buying from the Russian Steam store then gifting the game to someone not in Russia.

Comment: This is not a new bill... (Score 1) 90

by jonwil (#48628917) Attached to: Australia Moves Toward New Restrictions On Technology Export and Publication

This is not a new bill, it is an amendment to the "Defence Trade Controls Act 2012".

I see nothing to suggest that, say, exporting open source cryptographic software without a permit is more illegal under this bill than it is as things stand right now. I did 6 months working for Motorola doing software development back in 2005 or so and I remember they had training and stuff regarding export controls including export controls on cryptography.

The actual list of what is export controlled is the same list as used in every other country that is a signatory to the same international export control treaty.

As for the bill itself, if it (or the bill it amends) DOES make exporting cryptography (or other software) illegal (or if that stuff is otherwise illegal) then people should use the public consultation process (or letters to their local MPs and senators) asking for exemptions that cover open source software so that it becomes possible to continue development and use of such software in Australia.

Comment: Re:Domestic flying in Australia does it well. (Score 1) 184

by jonwil (#48579379) Attached to: Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

I flew from Perth to Brisbane last xmas with a desktop tower case PC plus a bunch of peripherals and other stuff in my checked luggage (it was part of a permanent move from Perth to QLD) and there was basically no security checks of my luggage at all (despite the fact that the cardboard boxes or their contents could easily have contained explosives). In the US on a similar domestic flight, I am sure my 2 cardboard boxes and suitcase would have been run through all sorts of scanning machines and possibly opened (they may have even removed the cover off the PC to inspect its inside).

That said, I did learn just what a cross-country flight (and QANTAS baggage handlers) can do to a desktop PC when the only thing protecting it from damage is a layer of bubble wrap and a cardboard moving box...

Comment: Re:Yes, let's get rid of alternatives. (Score 1) 139

by jonwil (#48577909) Attached to: California Sues Uber Over Practices

All the times I used a taxi (which were because I needed to carry more stuff than it was possible to carry on the bus and was unable to get help from friends/family) I only had to make one phone call, they showed up reasonably quickly and got me and my stuff where I needed to go without any problems. As for costs, the costs for those taxis were quite reasonable (although you better carry cash or else they will sting you with a ridiculous 10% surcharge for card payment)

Comment: The carot works better than the stick (Score 1) 100

by jonwil (#48577605) Attached to: Australia Pushes Ahead With Website Blocking In Piracy Fight

If the government and media companies REALLY want to stop piracy they need to make the content easier to legally acquire without needing to pay a lot of money for content you dont want. This applies to both new content and older content.

Some examples of how the local industry makes it harder:
1.Scorpion (2014 TV show). Channel 10 (local FTA network) aired up to episode 10 straight after the US airing. However, to see Episodes 11 and 12, you will have to wait for a few months. Episode 11 is already available online to download and episode 12 will likely follow shortly after its US airing next Monday.

Its a good bet a bunch of Aussies are going to pirate those 2 episodes rather than wait for TEN to air them. And its a good bet that when Episode 13 airs on TEN, it too will be weeks behind its US airing and have already been pirated by a fair few people.
If TEN aired these episodes straight after the US (and continued to put them on their catch-up-TV website), there would be basically zero reason to pirate them.

2.The films of Yahoo Serious. Aussie actor who was in 3 films, none of which is particularly popular but all 3 of which have their fans (myself included). Young Einstein is available on DVD overseas (and importing that DVD is technically illegal under Australian parallel import legislation I believe). Reckless Kelly is not available on any physical media format. No clue about Mr Accident. All 3 films seem to be available on the US Amazon digital store. None of the 3 films are available in Australia on either physical disk format or digital store.

3.Halt & Catch Fire (AMC TV series). As far as I can tell this show has yet to air on any Australian TV network (Foxtel included) and is unavailable on disk or digital in this country.

4.X-Planes (old Discovery Channel show about the X series of experimental aircraft). Totally unavailable in any form.

All 4 items above are items I would happily consume legally if there was an option to do so.

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