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Comment Re:the Greens support the bill in principle... (Score 1) 162

Have you read the text of the bill and its amendments? See the part where an allegation of infringement is treated as a presumption of guilt? Did you notice that the burden of proof is carefully placed on the accused? And how the tribunal process specifically bars lawyers from attending the proceedings? It's all in there, sections 122A-R.

Retrograde, totalitarian and undemocratic. It's a shakedown ploy for the media giants and a bad law in multiple ways. Are you shilling for Hollywood or just misinformed?

Comment Re:the Greens support the bill in principle... (Score 2) 162

Something dangerous, indeed. It's an extremist, ACT-inspired corporate agenda cloaked in friendly-sounding centre-right soundbites. We got the affable investment banker at the helm, and he and his minions are gleefully carving up what's left of the public domain after the twin debacles of Rogernomics and Ruthanasia a generation ago. By the time the punters wake up, the trans-Pacific handover will be a done deal and we'll be serving either Chinese or USian overlords, on alternating days of the week.

Comment Just emailed Simon Power (Score 1) 162

He happens to be the MP for my electorate, too...never been too happy with the bloke but this takes the cake.

To the Hon. Simon Power -

I am appalled at the decision to pass the Copyright Amendment Act under urgency this week, and even more so at the retention of the account termination provision which has been left in the bill. Your championing of this measure shows a callous disregard for due process at the individual level and for democratic process at the parliamentary level. The errors committed in passing this legislation, which amounts to a 20th-century solution for a 19th-century business model faced with a 21st-century problem, are grave and will be difficult to undo.

Points which need to be understood in this matter are as follows:

1) Copyright infringement is a civil matter. By placing ordinary citizens under threat of onerous and disproportionate consequences for alleged offences, this legislation criminalises an action which should rather be resolved in civil proceedings and places ISPs and Crown authority in the position of acting as enforcers for large media and publishing interests. I need not remind you that these interests are nearly all overseas, so in essence you are ceding another piece of New Zealand sovereignty at the behest of international lobbyists.

2) Internet access is ubiquitous enough to be considered a utility. Most households rely on their internet connectivity for at least some portion of their daily communications, including email, voice and access to work, school, commercial and public services. If you would have us believe that there is logical justification for termination of internet connectivity as a consequence of infringement, then you need to be able to make a similar case for cutting off someone's water, phone, power and post, as any of these could further someone's ability to break the law.

3) The move to pass the bill under urgency is cynical and undemocratic. The far-reaching implications of a law which could quite conceivably deprive New Zealanders of their ability to communicate via commonplace and ordinary means in the face of allegations by foreign content providers require a full public airing and transparency. Sneaking it in amongst the firewood signals your unwillingness to have an honest debate about what is actually at stake here and shows once again how this Government uses parliamentary process to act in a unitary fashion. The cover provided by the ongoing Canterbury putsch is only too convenient.

I reside in the Rangitikei electorate and have never felt so inadequately represented (or so ably misrepresented). Please, Mr Power, leave the Government now before you do any further damage to our country.

Comment Re:International will still suck (Score 1) 169

Fair enough...the **cable** is pretty nice. The ownership and the resulting price structure is the part that's not so flash. Telecom has used the doctrine of artificial scarcity to squeeze ISPs for international transit costs and put the equivalent of a banana in NZ's internet tailpipe. Here's hoping that the competition envisioned by Drury, Morgan and Co comes to fruition sooner and not later....

Comment ObWSB (Score 1) 274

You know, I can see two tiny pictures of myself and there's one in each of your eyes. And they're doing everything I do. Every time I light a cigarette, they light up theirs. I take a drink and I look in and they're drinking too. It's driving me crazy. It's driving me nuts.

Comment Disproportionate punishment (Score 5, Interesting) 410

People have been using the postal service to commit fraud for decades, but even repeat offenders are not banned from sending or receiving mail. And when was the last time you heard of someone getting kicked off the telephone network? Just because the medium has evolved, the right of people to have access to common means of communication does not change.

Comment Sorry, I ate some of it. (Score 2, Funny) 224

Back in the 1960s and 70s, a small factory made glow-in-the-dark clock and watch faces across the street from the bakery and kitchens for my school district. They used a paint which released tritium as it dried, and their fume hoods vented out the roof (why not? plenty of air circulation!) and the prevailing breezes carried a nice dose of alpha particles across the street on most days to settle out on the food that we were served. When somebody somewhere was tipped off that this arrangement may not have been completely kosher, some local muckrakers and a couple of curious scientists showed up with a Geiger counter. One dish in particular, sunshine cake, was damn hot and legend has it that the name alludes to its brightness....I blame all my societal maladjustment on this lapse in food safety.

Kids, don't trust the food just because the lady with the hairnet says it's OK. Get it checked out by one of the guys in the hazmat suits.

Comment Re:bad design (Score 1) 381

Damn straight...I had been using Skype chat for at least a couple of years before trying FB chat. I don't think Skype's implementation is anything special, but it's pretty solid and utilitarian enough that in spite of our location at the end of one of the world's longest undersea tethers, the Southern Cross Cable, I take it for granted (my wife and I use it to hail one another across the floors of our house). FB's is abysmal by comparison.

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