War on music piracy. Yaar!

February 19, 2008

Avast maties! Thar be poi-rats on them thar inter-toobs! Yar-har!

AS THE internet threatens to kill the established music industry, the Rudd Government is considering a three-strikes policy against computer users who download songs illegally.

The Government will examine new legislative proposals being unveiled in Britain this week to target people who download films and music illegally. Internet service providers (ISPs) there might be legally required to take action against users who access pirated

Interesting. I wonder how are they planning to approach it this time?

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linux.conf.au on $0 a day

February 1, 2008


Linux Conf is back in Melbourne.

I live here and I couldn’t even get within sniffing distance of tickets, so if like me you’re hungry to get your nerd on, they are posting video and slide files on the website as the presentations take place. Yum.

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Open WiFi

January 16, 2008

Interesting article by security guru Bruce Schneier outlining why he runs an unencrypted open wireless network at home.

Whenever I talk or write about my own security setup, the one thing that surprises people — and attracts the most criticism — is the fact that I run an open wireless network at home. There’s no password. There’s no encryption. Anyone with wireless capability who can see my network can use it to access the internet.

To me, it’s basic politeness. Providing internet access to guests is kind of like providing heat and electricity, or a hot cup of tea. But to some observers, it’s both wrong and dangerous.

He makes some very good points, but they must not have download quotas to worry about in the US.

MacBook Air

January 16, 2008

A new addition to the Apple family:

Apple Inc Chief Executive Steve Jobs took the wraps off a super-slim new laptop overnight, unveiling a tiny personal computer that is less than 2.5cm thick and turns on the moment it is opened.


The good news is that someone is producing a movie adaptation of William Gibson’s seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer. The bad news is that it’s going to star Hayden Christensen.

There are many words that occur to me at a time like this (some of them French) but the one that keeps bouncing around my head like the ball in a spasticated game of Pong is no.

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Here come the moral police:

Australia is planning tough new rules to protect children from online pornography and violence.

The new Labor government wants internet service providers to filter content to ensure households and schools do not receive “inappropriate” material.

Civil libertarians have condemned the plan as unnecessary, and say it will erode the freedom of the internet.

But telecommunications minister Stephen Conroy said more needed to be done to protect children.

Protect the children? Gah! Mr hand, meet Mr forehead.


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So there is some news about the implementation and roll out of the Myki public transport ticketing system here in Melbourne, with the US based company Kamco asking for more time and money to complete the project and the Victorian Premier John Brumby, considering the matter.

I’m not entirely surprised. The contractor might have bid higher that their abilities/resources, or agreed to an unreasonably short delivery time-line, or the government agency handling the tender might be operating in such a way that Kamco cannot keep it’s agreed targets. It is a simple and unavoidable property of the universe that software projects creep, and without inside information it is difficult to determine just where the blame might lie.

To be honest, the project delivery issues and accusations of irregularity in the tendering process have never really outweighed my basic opinion that the entire concept behind the new ticketing system is bogus.

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