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Comment Re:He REALLY pissed off governments.... (Score 3, Interesting) 1065

This isn't just about their own population. Violating the sovereignty of a friendly nation's embassy contravenes centuries of international law. This is the kind of action one would only expect from a rogue state.

Among other things, if they do this, you can expect the European Parliament to come down *hard* on one of their member states for violating international law, and therefore damaging the standing of the European Union in international negotiations.

Comment Re:Does not Affect Prior Art Doctrine (Score 1) 362

Err, that's specifically what this is designed to solve. If you can show that prior art existed in public before the patent was filed, the patent is void. End of story.

Whereas currently, you have to prove that the patent troll didn't invent the item before the prior art existed. So you've got to go into this complicated discovery process to prove things one way or another. The first-to-file system solves a lot of the he-said she-said nature of current lawsuits as everything relevant is on the public record, simplifying them significantly.


Submission + - Australian Court Rejects Copyright Demands on ISPs (

Xiroth writes: "The Australian Federal Court has rejected Australian copyright body AFACT's demands that ISPs act as enforcers regarding copyright infringement on their networks. The challenge to their demands was brought by ISP iiNet, which refused to comply with AFACT's demands and referred their lawyers to the police. The Court sided with iiNet that it is indeed the responsibility of the police to enforce the law, and that ISPs have no responsibility in these matters unless issued with a court order or are found to have actively 'authorised' acts of infringement."

Submission + - Watch the World's First Bipedal Robot Marathon (

kkleiner writes: "History is in the making in Japan, as humanoid robots compete to see who will be the first to run a full length marathon (26.2 miles/42.2km). You can watch the whole thing live on UStream, even taking a glance through the eyes of one of the competitors! Organized by Vstone, makers of the Robovie line of small scale robots, the “Robomara Full” or Robot Challenge will take place over three days from February 24th through the 27th in Osaka. In order to win a bot must complete 422 laps of a 100 meter course outlined on the 11th floor of Osaka’s ATC building."

Comment Re:More interesting, mimics Apple app store (Score 1) 222

Precisely. The advantage that Android retains over developing for iOS devices, though, is that if Amazon shoot down your application on whatever grounds (such as what happens with Apple), you can always be sure that you'll be able to find another app store to publish through.

What I think that we'll see is 'tiered' app stores - Amazon and perhaps a couple of other companies will run the top tiered app stores where everything is carefully checked and things like pornography is not allowed; then Google and a couple of other companies will run mid-tier app stores which allow pornography and run a relatively small amount of malware-checking; and then there'll be bottom-tier app stores which sell whatever to whoever, including completely illegal software. At least this means that developers won't be completely left out in the cold, although obviously the higher-tier store, the better for most things.

Comment Re:How about... (Score 1, Insightful) 265

There's no doubt that Bin Laden is a fervent Islamist fundamentalist. Without doubt, he will not be satisfied with anything less than the subjugation and conversion of the entire world to Islam. The real question, though, is how does he continue to attract so many followers and so much support? The vast majority of people, no matter their religion, are perfectly happy spending their life living as best they can (being the "sheeple" that some around here seem to detest so much) - they wouldn't have anything to do with such dangerous ideology if there wasn't something driving them to do it. The way that those who want peace can win is by leaving fanatics left all alone.

Comment Re:Conscience votes (Score 1) 254

I'd beg to differ, to be honest. Voting for your representative rather than your party sounds nice, and in fact before the previous election I supported the idea. Unfortunately, having that situation turn into a reality (3 independents now hold the balance of power here in Australia) has shown what that leads to: pork and unreliable ability to deliver the policies that the party was elected on. I hear a lot of Americans complain about the incompetence of their government; have you ever considered that perhaps it's because of the every-man-for-himself style of legislative body you have? Where every representative has to spend all of their time trying to wrangle things for their seats, as otherwise their seats would get nothing? What if all money spent in a state was purely on the basis of nation-wide policy, rather than individual bits of cash added into legislation purely to benefit the representative's chances of being voted back in? Maybe you wouldn't have so much ineffectiveness in your government

I'm not saying that our system doesn't have problems - far from it, and in many ways the US does it better. But I think that legislating for a whole nation rather than just bits of is a much better fit for a federal legislative body.

Comment Re:Wow, this election should be interesting (Score 1) 759

Ah, so you prefer the Thai model then, where every time an election happens, the losers' people are bussed into the capital to shut it down (airports, government buildings, etc.), crippling the economy? And then the government might resign, their opponents take over (despite their electoral loss), and then the previous government's supporters are bussed into the capital to shut it down all over again? Crippled government and anarchy - that's the way any respectable country should go.

Comment Re:I know this is a bad idea to ask this (Score 4, Informative) 104

Every independent survey run found wide support for an R rating for games amoung the Australian community: Link (reference in there to a survey finding 88% support). Atkinson is considerably more conservative than his base on the issue - this is (or was) a politician's individual crusade, not him representing his electorate.

Comment Re:Since when? (Score 1) 225

Err, nooo, the big difference is that densely populated Asia is not far enough north to be affected by this. Russia would be knocked out, Mongolia and Kazakhstan would be knocked out, and if it was a really, really bad storm, it might reach Beijing (but to be that bad it'd need to make it well into northern California). But most of China and all of southern and south-east Asia would be fine. Equally, Africa is pretty much immune - only Chile, Argentina, New Zealand's south island and the Australian state Tasmania would be affected in the southern hemisphere (well, along with the researchers at the Antarctic bases, obviously). Meanwhile, half of Europe's population and a fair chunk of the US's would be hit by this. Those densely populated places are where things would get really nasty.

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