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Comment Re:What's there to dispute? (Score 4, Insightful) 381

They could have offered to buy the domain from the current owner for $1000, and saved 20% off the cost of the complaint fee, and avoided the costs that will be incurred for the legal representation altogether.


a) Creates a precedent - much better to encourage people to think there's no money in domain squatting against MS
b) $400 is - literally - nothing to a company like this. They would consider the costs to be equivalent, and immaterial, and go for the one which has a better strategic flavour (be it PR, precedent, etc)

Comment Real reason to encrypt? (Score 1) 601

Why would someone want to read my email? Neither my job or life is that interesting to anyone other than a very closed group of people...
I encrypt my USB key and portable drive because I have data on that which is sensitive - but not in a profitable way, more in a way that if someone found the data in a lost USB key, it would be embarassing to my company.

The only possible reason I can think of is identity theft, and honestly, I'm not worth that much (do a cost benefit - effort of sorting through my emails to build a profile of my identity, vs how much they could make off me before I/my bank/whoever clued on).
Sure, I'm sure a whole bunch of /.ers are scared that 'the feds' might snoop their email. So what? What could they possibly read in my email that they would care about?
I think a better question to ask - those of you who do encrypt their mail, why do they do it? Is it because they really are emailing information that is valueable enough to incentivise someone to select them - of all the email accounts in the world - to target? Is it because they honestly believe big-brother is out to get them and they have to hide their email to stop them? Is it just a way to prove their technological superiority above the plebs who don't encrypt their email? Or is it just that they are more concerned about the possibility of somoene reading their emails than the likelihood of that actually happening?

Or, am I incredibly niaive in believing that identity theft (or some other way of causing me grief) through email snooping doesn't happen much?

Comment Re:Double standards and people (Score 1) 223

Napoleon Bonaparte:
Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence
After careers in IT & management consulting, and lots of volunteering, I cannot begin to express this truth. The number of times I've spoken to people who are convinced that person/supplier/manager XYZ is screwing them, when in fact XYZ is just an incompetent idiot, is uncountable.
Well, it's countable, but it's a big number. Way bigger than 57.

Comment Dreamweaver and other animals (Score 1) 545

If you're looking for a fully visual web site editor - Dreamweaver is still a great program. There are some shortcomings, but it does a fairly good job of visual website editing, and isn't bad at colouring the html code to make code tinkering better. Using Dreamweaver is how I learnt to use html, as a start.

I use Notepad++ for most of my code tinkering though (html/js/php), so it might be worht having that on the side.

There are also a bunch of online visual web-authoring tools (through a CMS or a stand alone tool) which can be useful, but you are definitley better off with an offline editor I think!

Finally - depending on the content of your site, you can find a bunch of tools which make site design much simpler or unnecessary - e.g. wordpress for a blog, a CMS for a content driven site, Gallery for a photo gallery, etc. And with the number of skins out there, often people won't be able to tell it's not custom designed!

Comment Re:Sounds like (Score 1) 1229

Note that monopolies are one antithesis of the "free market". And they're usually government induced as well.

Technically, monopolies do naturally occur, and are definitely NOT government induced. Not sure where you got that pearler from (though the rest of your ocmment is sound).
Monopolies (or oligopolies) are almost always due to one of few reasons in a free market economy:

  • an industry where economies of scale have such an impact that large corporations can simply do things much more cheaply than small corporations
  • an industry with such high barriers to entry that there is insufficient demand for multiple players - e.g. microchip fabrication, telecoms, etc
  • where one player has a massive competitive advantage, due to location or technology
  • the market isn't big enough to support more than one player (usually due to to a combination of the first two)

Standard economic theory shows that in these situations, a government actually *improves* the efficiency of the market by controlling the monopoly/oligopoly.
Note - it's been 8-10 years since I studied economics, so forgive me if I am a bit rusty.

Comment Re:Sweet! 43 Billion! (Score 1) 222

Unfortunately I agree with you completely in principle, but your arguments aren't really correct...
a) We can do things about water. Such as Federalising Murray Darling water rights so that they aren't overallocated by the states, or stopping Australians farming water-heavy products like Cotton in dry areas.
b) Umm, can't do anything? Well you could adjust the tax differential between owner-occupied land and investment properties so there is lower demand for investment properties?
c)Agree with nuclear - people need to just grow up and accept that it's not like Chernobyl anymore! And nuclear is WAY better for the environment than the coal we currently use!
d)INTERNET IS AWESOME! Yeah, I agree with you in principle but some of your arguments were a bit off.

Finally - your last paragraph. Ironically, the Sydney NBN office is based just over the bridge in North Sydney - point in case?

Comment Re:fine print (Score 1) 222

Well, you're in luck, two fold!
a) I've done the research you couldn't be bothered to (google is so complicated, I know), to find out that there has indeed been an indication of minimum speeds!
a) as pointed out here, satellite and wireless are expected to be 12mbps (at peak usage, so a 'real' 12mbps). I've read a more authoratitive source than that, but I couldn't be bothered doing more research for you. Oh, and finally - I also read somewhere that optical will be cross subsidising satellite and wireless to the extent that Australia wide, you will be paying the same cost for xGB downloads on a 12mbit plan. The only difference between wireless & satellite is that higher bandwidth plans won't be available.

Submission + - Aussie broadband forum crippled by DDoS (itnews.com.au)

An anonymous reader writes: Australia is once again full of bored IT office workers after one of Australia's biggest volunteer-run internet forums, Whirlpool, was taken down for a second straight day by a sustained distributed denial of service attack. Traffic from the first attack — traced to servers in Denmark and the U.S. — was blocked by upstream providers yesterday, but the attacks resumed again overnight. The web host that takes care of Whirlpool will now hand over evidence of the attacks — including several servers that have been preserved as a crime scene — to law enforcement agencies in the hope of tracking down those responsible. Whirlpool is ranked just behind MSN in Alexa's top 100 Australian sites.

Comment Re:No One Would Notice (Score 5, Insightful) 336

I drink a lot of wine, with a wide range of prices, and disagree.
While it certainly isn't a linear relationship to price, or indeed certain, I have had a lot of very expensive wine which I am more than happy to pay for because I can taste the difference.

I can find a $15 I like and drink, a $30 a love and drink a lot, and a $70 I savour and purely enjoy. The >$300 bottles I've had (not paid for by me, I'm a young professional supporting a student wife!), are usually better than the lot - just not (say) 10 times better than the $30 bottle.

To translate into geekspeak: a top of the line i7 processor might cost 10 times what a midrange 775pin would cost, but doesn't perform the same as 10 of the cheaper processor. Indeed, the majority of users (i.e. browsing & word processing) may not notice the difference.
But some people who are into their computers will definitely notice the difference, and will pay the extra.
I know the metaphor isn't perfect, but you get the gist.

All of that being said - aging wine can be a bit of pot luck unless the conditions are perfect.

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