* Posts by Reg Blank

77 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Jan 2009


Oz shop slaps browsers with $5 just looking fee

Reg Blank

Re: Internet destroys more jobs than it creates

A look at the history of employment will show this happens ALL THE TIME.

To pull an example out of my backside: textiles.

Once upon a time your Southern cotton plantation needed dozens/hundreds(?) of slaves to harvest the crop. OMG all those slave are jobless now mechanisation means cotton crops can be harvested by a couple of guys on a harvester!

Then the cotton was packed onto sailing ships which required dozens of sailors to transport several hundred tons of cotton. OMG all those sailors are jobless now that ships with twenty crew can transport tens of thousands of tons of cotton!

Then the cotton was shipped off to mills and factories that employed 500,000-odd workers (including 200,000-odd children) and accounted for 40% of British exports. OMG, technology improvements meant fewer workers were required, then production began to shift to other countries as they industrialised, then production ended when Britain was no longer competitive and the huge mills of China can process cotton with few workers!

Then the products were shipped off to wholesale/retail establishments that employed a large number of service and warehousing workers. OMG all those workers were laid off as the products became cheaper and more commodified and were no longer an expensive/premium product that could justify personal full-service retail outlets!

The slaves aren't still jobless, they have found new employment. The sailors aren't still jobless, they have found new employment. The millers aren't still jobless, they have found new employment. The servers aren't still jobless, they have found new employment.

Repeat this process for EVERY industry from agriculture to heavy engineering, and from banking to publishing. This is the natural process for all industries when confronted and transformed by innovation, and the raging of the few isn't going to hold back the inevitable.

People will always lose their jobs, and it will ALWAYS be painful for the individual, but new jobs will also be created and in the long run it will sort itself out.

Torvalds asks 'Why do PC manufacturers even bother any more?'

Reg Blank
Paris Hilton

Re: Torvalds

Other than watching video (although I can ignore black bars), in what other respects are widescreen displays superior or more logical?

Gaming? Well, my old 20in Samsung running 1600x1200 is much better than my old 21in Samsung running 1650x1050 for gaming, although my preference was for 1920x1200. Display aspect matters for me when it comes to gaming, and the only reason I don't hate my new monitor is because 1440 vertical pixels is quite a lot.

Office tasks? Displays with proper depth are much preferable to widescreen for office tasks. The only advantage for widescreen is multiple windows open side-by-side, hard to do on 1366x768 wouldn't you say? One of my greatest joys when I was programming was to turn my Sammy into portrait 1200x1600 to review the code. Perfect.

16:9 was forced on us by the screen and device manufacturers because it was cheaper to produce and they were/are in a race to the bottom (both in price and in quality IMO), not because it was better or because customers liked it. Customers liked it because it was cheaper. Cheaper > Better when the masses are buying.

So why was 16:9 cheaper than 4:3? Apart from TV panels helping the process, I believe it was because panel manufacturers could fit more 16:9 ratio panels through the process than the other ratios. 16:9 panels fit better on the substrate and resulted in less waste around the edges. Therefore more 16:9 panels could be made and were cheaper than 16:10 and 4:3, and therefore more price-conscious consumers bought them.

To reiterate: they were cheaper and not better, it was economics and not technology.

Icon: Paris thinks size matters as well.

John Sweeney: Why Church of Scientology's gravest threat is the 'net

Reg Blank

Re: Sweeney said he once met the Dalai Lama ..

So what you are saying is that all human experience is subjectively viewed through the expectations, biases and experiences of each individual and that these are as unique as the individual is?

And because of this "perception filter" that every individual possesses, one individual can meet an acclaimed personality and come away impressed by that personality, and another individual can meed the same acclaimed personality and be unimpressed?

Wow. Mind blown.

This new found self-awareness of my environmental sensors and the biological signal processor that imposes layers of meaning on to my perception of my habitat has totally transformed my real life.

I have property that I can liquidate as well as savings and other transferable assets. Would you be interested in receiving these funds in exchange for giving me further knowledge into how the universe really works? Happily, from what I've read in these comments, these funds would not be taxable.

Australian spooks want mobile dev to build ... something

Reg Blank
Big Brother

ASIO isn't into comms security . . .

. . . that is up to the Defence Signals Directorate (Australia's NSA) who handles AustGov communications and their security. They should be handling handset security app development.

ASIO is an investigative service like MI5, so more likely this is app subversion for surveillance purposes and app investigation for forensic purposes.

They are going to need a team in-house who can capture or recover data passing through suspect mobile devices. They should already have such a team, but this is ASIO . . .

North Korea's satellite a dud, say US astroboffins

Reg Blank

Re: "Let them starve...,

Hey coward, simple reading comprehension will inform you that I said you had the whole bomb-them-into-submission mindset to a tee. If you knew who Harris and LeMay were, you would have understood why I compared you to them. I won't make that mistake again.

Collective punishment, whether by strategic bombing campaigns, economic sanctions or blockades, or simply shoving the helpless up against a wall and putting a bullet in their heads, ALWAYS FAIL. A keen observer of history and diplomatic niceties like you would know this, surely?

Why? Because you are initiating a hostile action against a population. That just brings a society closer together. We are social animals, and when threatened we naturally band together to deal with danger. History has shown that it may be logical not to, but social dynamics over-rides such logic and means that we do. That is why collective punishments fail.

In case I haven't been explicit in why I refer to this, YOU have been advocating a collective punishment (starvation) as a means to coerce regime change in NK. It is both ignorant of why it will fail in general, and why it will fail in NK in particular.

It may be that not providing NK with food is a passive action, but do you think the NK elite will help you getting the distinction to the average Comrade Kim?

No, the starving millions will be told that they are dying because America wants them dead. And how will they know America doesn't? Seeing as the elite controls all media, and all public discourse, and 60 years of indoctrination means that they also control PRIVATE THOUGHTS to an unparalleled degree.

NK is one giant cult compound, and when threatened with outside intervention (even when it is supposed to be to their benefit), cults tend to explode with suicidal violence.

You have made the mistake (because your argument is incredibly shallow and ill-conceived) of thinking that NK is a rational society of normal people living normal lives. NK is an incredibly irrational society of indoctrinated people behaving abnormally. For 60 years an entire population has lived with NO CHOICE but obedience to a cult figure. They probably no longer even know there is a choice. Choices are easy when you make them every day, but what if you have spent your entire life without the ability to make important life choices? How easy is it then?

You are right, they will have a choice. They will choose death. When confronted with a threat from the outside, and with all discourse controlled by the ruling elite, North Koreans will choose to slowly die by the millions. Many estimates say they have already starved to death by the millions, and the stories from NK defectors of families dying are truly horrific. But don't worry, all this suffering will be hidden away from your view. You will never have to watch the results of such a policy.

As you are a coward, I don't know what country you live in, but I'm going to assume that just like mine it doesn't let the mentally ill commit suicide without attempting to help them. We don't just keep walking when they CHOOSE to stand on the train tracks.

NK has a population of about 25m. You seem to be OK with potentially tens of millions of mentally ill people committing suicide. I'm glad that most people are not.

If my reply seems a bit heated and my attitude to you rude and snotty, it is because I find your callous disregard for suffering humans abhorrent.

Reg Blank

Re: Not rad-hard perhaps?

I saw a couple of rad-hardened Sandia Labs 808x clones on eBay a couple of months ago. Out of my price range unfortunately, as they went for a couple of hundred dollars each. NK should look at making an eBay account.

Also, rad-hardened Soviet 808x clones (unlicenced ones, this time) also pop up on eBay. Really, eBay is an cartoony super-villain's best friend.

Icon: Muahaha!

Reg Blank

"Let them starve..."

I love tough-guy comments by swinging Anonymous dicks advocating the deaths of millions of people by slow starvation with a thoughtless throw-away comment before stuffing their face with industrialised carbs and sugars they had no part in producing. Food is easy if you don't have to actually grow it - and it is nothing until it is taken away.

What a superstar!

Has the failure of all previous economic sanctions efforts from u-boat blockades to Food-for-Oil programs not educated you that they will never result in "regime change"? They are a collective punishment that actually forces a society to be MORE reliant on a central authority.

And you are seriously advocating the deaths of millions of North Korean citizens in order to, some how in some way, set those same citizens FREE? Well, the ones who didn't starve to death first under your little final solution.

I don't know whether you are the re-incarnation of Air Marshal Arthur Harris or General Curtis LeMay, but you seem to have the same lets-bomb-them-into-submission mindset.

Inquiry ordered after phone exchange blaze

Reg Blank

What a useful response!

"Conroy announced that the inquiry, which will be conducted by his Department, will investigate the cause, extent of damage and what services were affected..."

1) An electrical fire in the exchange,

2) It destroyed the exchange,

3) Fixed line, mobile and internet services,

"...receive a report on the fire prevention and mitigation strategies in place and report on the process of restoration of services".

1) An expired CO2 extinguisher and fortnightly sacrifice of a minor mammal of the Order Rodentia.

2) >Section cut to boost flagging profit margins, corporate stock price and executive bonuses<

3) Yeah, yeah, when we're done. Now, either provide a fresh goat or f##k off and let us get on with it.

"It will also look into the effectiveness of disaster recovery and service continuity planning for telecommunications infrastructure and whether affected businesses also have appropriate continuity plans."

1) Where's the profit in thinking about what might happen in some future reality? Goats are cheap, and you can sue/claim against insurance to get back lost earnings.

"The Department will also hold a public forum on the community impact of this event."

Yes, that is exactly what a Minister should do because...

1) ...community talk-fests are renowned for their ability to solve problems and make the world better.

2) ...the best way to deal with anything Telstra related is to ask the opinion of Average Joe/Joan Public.

3) ...Ministers aren't employed to do anything, they are employed to take community surveys of citizen outrage, hold press conferences and pretend they understand what is happening.

Australia’s new AUD$5m golden visa

Reg Blank

Re: Not that uncommon

@ David 12

Really? Are you saying that rich people have more and BETTER life options than poor people, and not only that, but rich people are also treated better than poor people BECAUSE they have lots of money?

Furthermore on a related point, and forgive me if I have this wrong, but people who fill out the forms and submit themselves to the appropriate immigration process and await official approval before presenting themselves to immigration officials at authorised entry points get favourable and QUICKER treatment?

You have turned my whole universe upside down. Crazy!

You know, now that I think about it, I suspect that immigrants of whatever wealth status who conduct themselves in a legal manner, who don't consort with organised crime syndicates, who don't lie about their names, their nationalities, their age, and their past history and residences, those types of people would also have their applications go smoother!

I do wonder though, whether rich people entering Australia also engage in acts of violence against immigration staff members, fellow immigrants, blameless infrastructure and other harmless inanimate objects? The lines at airports can be frustrating!

Warning ~ sarcasm overload in prog . . . ~fzzzt~ . . . ~blzzzzzt~ . . . *pop*

Welcome to 'Vulture South'

Reg Blank

Titles - Very Serious Business

You could just do what every soulless manager/administrator in Australia does: strip out any sense of tradition or history by renaming a long established and proud institution in some blandly androgynous name that some cretin with pointy hair thinks sounds "forward looking" or "essential".

In this manner a dignified and descriptive "Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics" can be morphed into the vanilla-fied "Australian Geological Survey Organisation" before obscurely disappearing up its own anus by becoming "Geoscience Australia", and the "Australian Cricket Board" can become the hyper-media darling on the tip of everyone's lips, "Cricket Australia".

We should rename the nation "Country Australia" because "Commonwealth of Australia" is just too Victorian and pre-post-intra-Federation to be credible to today's Executive in the Asian Century.

My point: go native and become instantly forgettable with "Register Australia". Sure, people will think that they are signing up for some fancy Internet 2.0 social media site, but . . . I've forgotten what I was going to type, so here is a "schooner" of bitter after-taste (Icon).

Sandy Island does exist - on a 1908 chart

Reg Blank


What they are saying is that the island appeared on ONE navigational chart.

From the article, the island was included in this specific Hydrographic Office chart of the South Pacific sometime between 1876 and 1908 (we only have the 1908 chart), and it was included based on the reports of the ship "Velocity". The master of the "Velocity" reported that an island of ABC description was at XY Lat-Long, and on this basis was included with the disclaimer that some parts of the map wasn't accurate (officially surveyed) but based on hearsay. That is what this article says.

We also have to look at the source of the report. My Internet research found out that the "Velocity" wasn't a hydrographic survey vessel, or a research vessel, it was a whaling ship that frequented the Coral Sea area. Not to say that the island was invented or or it's location incorrectly placed, or the island confused with another one, as it may be the whaler was completely accurate. I'm just saying it wasn't surveyed by a hydrographic service with accurate scientific equipment.

The Otago Daily Times (Issue 4615, 30 November 1876, Page 2) reports on the hydrographic information supplied by the officers of "HMS Barracouta" (1851 paddle sloop on the Australian station) on their return from a patrol of the South Pacific/Coral Sea islands. From the newspaper report we can see that in addition to the data gathered by the "Barracouta", the officers gained verbal information from the masters of the "Velocity" and the "Ripple", including information from the "Velocity" regarding "a line of sand islands" running N to S at 159.57 E and 19.7 S to 19.20 S. Note that this is the location of Sandy Island in the 1908 chart!

It isn't AN island, it is several low-lying islands probably barely above sea level, just as you surmised.

The inclusion of Sandy Island in the South Pacific charts must have stopped some point after this 1908 revision. Why? The only reasons that I can think of is either:

A) The standard required to include hydrographic features was raised by the Hydrographic Office and a speculative report by a whaler 30 or more years earlier was no longer sufficient,

or B) A hydrographic ship surveyed the area at some point after 1908 and the island was not at the reported position, and the island removed from the charts.

Icon: For the Internet sleuthing through the "Trove" archive of the NLA (http://trove.nla.gov.au/) and the "Paperspast" archive of the NLNZ (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/), not the insulting sentiment.

Reg Blank

Re: The key may be in the name.

It was described as 30km long, though.

However, I agree with you but with the added thought that a severe storm such as a cyclone can often result in dramatic changes to natural features.

Icon: read the description!

CSIRO creates underwater bomb-sensor

Reg Blank

Now they're worried?

Nations didn't seem to worry about underwater XO when they dumped MILLIONS of tonnes of bombs and shells left over from various wars, including hundreds of thousands of chemical weapons. How they thought indiscriminately dumping weapons of mass destruction (which they were so afraid of that even when nations were faced with obliteration they didn't use them) was a smart move, is beyond me?

Sorority girls gone wild: '1 to 3' casual sex 'hookups' every month

Reg Blank

Re: pfft Americans

@ Oninoshiko - The article states "Hooking up" covered all sexual contact from kissing all the way to sexual intercourse.

OT though, I must have missed out on something, or my Australian university was different. My degree course would generally attract more female students than male (about 60/40, maybe even 65/35), and the university wasn't noticeably conservative, and yet I can't say that everyone were chasing each other around like horny bunnies. Some did, but on the whole we all acted like young adults. What was wrong with us?

Now I think about it, I feel cheated. Where were MY nymphomaniac college girls? Animal House and Revenge of the Nerds made certain promises about what I could expect of university if I play nice and work hard in secondary school. I should be getting at least a partial refund on my fees, but I've paid off my debt already. And now I'm too old to go chasing college girls without looking like a Ron Jeremy-esque creep.


Tip to the younger generation wondering what to do with their lives: If you want to know which cohort at my university fucked each other like the proverbial bunnies, it was the Physical Education students. There obviously was something about a group of young and fit adults studying the human body that sent a rush of blood to ALL THE EROGENOUS ZONES, because they couldn't keep their hands off each other. The nursing students were nuns compared to the PhysEd crowd. And it was incestuous too, they liked to keep the fluids within the group.

Icon: I'm taking it off, not putting it on. **Bow Chicka Bow Wow**

CSIRO scales 50 Mbps wireless broadband to 16 nodes

Reg Blank

That's how technology development works!

Really? Some are all set to dump existing, mature and working wireless technologies that provides known capabilities right now using existing equipment, for an undeveloped, prototype system that would provide superior performance at some unknown point in the future?

I don't know how to break it to these people, but no one has been saying that the NBN being rolled out is the best and fastest network technology humans are ever going to develop. There is always going to be better and faster on the horizon, but anyone who has ever been a tech enthusiast could tell you, waiting for better and faster is a wait that never ends.

I just read the Ngara Final Report; interesting stuff, but even they acknowledge it isn't close to roll-out, and by the time Ngara is ready for wide deployment there will no doubt be something else on the horizon. Are we going to hold off on Ngara and wait?

You put the network in now, invest in the infrastructure roll-out and benefit from the improvements in connectivity now. Upgrade the network later when technology matures and the hardware cheaper and the infrastructure is already in place to make it easier.

It is not as if the NBN wireless network is a wasted white elephant anyway, it is a mobile LTE/4G network that is used by mobile phones.

Icon: Steam-powered pneumatic tubes is obviously the best information exchange technology available, so forget all this newfangled electro-magnetic rubbish. You cannot transmit chocolate across the EM spectrum, people! Plus, it is WAAAAY more romantic!

Cockatoo grabs his tool, manages to get hold of boffins' nuts

Reg Blank

Re: Hooray for cockatoos!

One cockatoo sounds fun.

I have a row of pine trees next to my house.

Every so often a flock of cockatoos will descend on the trees for several days at a time and have a massive party. They squark and squeal and SCREECH AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS UNTIL I AM COMPLETELY BATTY!!! Everyone they know is at the party, and they are all within 100m of each other. Why do they need to screech so loud they could hear each other kilometres away?

They crunch and crack their way through all the pine cones leaving piles of debris behind, leaves, twigs, branches, shredded pine cones.

Then I'm startled by a horrific noise that momentarily disorientates me, as I don't know what it is. It's making my ears ring. What is it that makes me uneasy? The silence. Total silence. They've fu..flocked off to the next party location, and the count down begins to their next rave.

'This is Apple. It will take them 2 weeks to alter their website, will it?'

Reg Blank

Re: iFone/iPhone

How I wish it was what it seemed.

Apple lost the appeal to the name "iPhone" for (if I remember correctly) telecommunications services, but they hold the "iPhone" trademark for phones, or mobile devices, or something. So they can still use the name "iPhone", but they can't run a telecommunications service under that name.

There are multiple classes of trademarks, so a company who sells "fruit" can trademark and run under "Apple Fruit & Veg" while a computer company can trademark and run under "Apple Fruity Toys" as well, and everyone is happy and can get along famously.

So unless you trademark a name in all 45 classes (which you are entitled to do, but you have to pay for each TM) someone can come along and call themselves "VinceH Sex and Relaxation Services". Unless you have trademarked that class, VinceH?

Texas woman sues cops over burst Bulgarian airbag

Reg Blank
Black Helicopters

Re: American police always acting professionally?


It is:

A) A function of how the US was created, with colonisation often outstripping the reach of government authority to provide protection,

B) A function of a desire among the American people to decentralise authority through a fear of a central authority (usually paranoid, in modern times).

Files aren’t property, says US government

Reg Blank

Re: IP

I'm not quire sure why there are problems with the concepts of "knowledge" and "information" being related, but different things. They are not the same, and they are treated differently in the law, as they should be.

You can't use them interchangeably, even though they are often loosely thrown about in general use.

But in this thread were are dealing with specific concepts that require us to differentiate between data, information and knowledge and be careful with use. Much of the argument has been about this confusion.

Reg Blank

Not true...

@ Graham Wilson.

That is a flawed concept of IP. It is not knowledge that is owned, it is the information.

You are confusing knowledge and information, and there are plenty of pages on the Internet that will explain the difference between data, knowledge, and information.

Knowing a song isn't illegal.

In a broad sense Jolyon was right and the book analogy correct. You then took the argument and tried to discredit it by saying it was something else. It wasn't. Jolyon's words are the same as your "metaphysical concept". You just changed the words, and applied an incorrect concept (knowledge vs information).

@ Davidoff

What you said isn't incompatible with what Jolyon wrote. Jolyon said that you can use the data within the conditions of purchase. You said that you can transform the data from one form to another for use within the conditions of purchase. That is the same argument. You assumed Jolyon's "play" didn't include ripping it to MP4 in order to play it on a media device.

Jolyon basically got down-voted for saying XY. Graham was upvoted for saying x (because he was applying an incorrect concept) and Davidoff was upvoted for saying Y. Well done commentards!

Reg Blank

The US Govt argument is very simple, and not so controversial.

They are arguing that you don't own files, you own the information in them. They are considered separate things. So Goodwin does indeed own the information contained on the seized Megaupload servers, but he doesn't own the files and doesn't have the right to access them. It's just too bad that Goodwin left the only files that contain the information in a single location.

It actually isn't a bad argument to make when products are so easily and cheaply duplicated because they are digital items.

You can copy and distribute as many copies of a file as you like because it has no ownership. You can have a hard drive full of mp3s, videos, games or eBooks, and share them with anyone else, so long as you don't access the information the file contains by opening it with a program that can access the copyrighted information. So a file of random data has no value in every sense of the word. Neither would a hypothetical file so heavily encrypted that it couldn't be opened. But the information in a file does, so it is the utilisation of the information that would be the illegal offence.

RIAA and other copyright enforcement groups should be thrilled at this approach. Why? Because then it isn't a single offence of having or distributing a file, it a much larger number of offences because the offence occurs every time you view, listen or read the information that the file contains. How many bazillions could they sue an individual for then?

By paying money when you receive the file, you aren't paying for the file, you are paying a licence fee to view the information in the file. A licence that isn't transferable, so by copying the file and sending it to someone else isn't illegal, just if that person then opens the file.

Of course, I would expect the US Govt argument might change if someone passed me a file taken from a CIA server that detailed all the dirty little details of CIA ops over the last 60 years. Then merely possessing such a file would be a rendition-worthy offence, regardless of if I had opened the file or not.

Google defamed Australian man with links to gangster

Reg Blank

@ jake

After defaming Mr Trkulja with your "no smoke without fire" comment, you have the gall to claim "Nobody with a brain would possibly connect Mr. Trkulja with the criminals involved" with a straight face? Don't you have a brain, then?

Then you constructed a strawman to maul, dressed it in a 1960's pink dress and took your argument to absurdities.

You then defamed Mr Trkulja YET AGAIN (twice in one post) with "it looks like Mr. Trkulja's actual problem is clinical Paranoia". So "clinical paranoia" is your considered diagnosis Dr. jake? I assume that your psychiatric qualifications are in addition to your implied law degree. After all jake QC knows better than a Supreme Court judge in matters of defamation.


Sequence of events:

1) Melbourne was in the middle of a gang war in which crime figures were being murdered execution style, often in public places such as restaurants.

2) Mr Trkulja was a prominent and well known member of the Australian Yugoslav community. He was having a meal with his elderly mother when a gunman walked in and shot him in the back before the gun jammed and fled the scene.

3) The police investigated the shooting and Mr Trkulja and found that he was not engaged in criminal activity, he had no connection to the gangland murders and they could not identify a motive for the shooting.

4) An enthusiast website called "Melbourne Crime" (now defunct) that followed the gang war and published the twists and turns, published an article about the gangland wars that contained photos of many of the notorious criminals involved and links to other articles. IMMEDIATELY BELOW this article there was another one from 2007 about Mr Trkulja going to the police with additional information about the shooting and asking that the investigation be re-opened. Yahoo 7 republished the articles.

5) Now, it is likely that the placement was completely accidental, but the positioning of such an article directly below one about notorious underworld shootings would lead the reader to wonder if Mr Trkulja and his shooting had some connection.

6) Google, being all not-evil I'm sure, trawled the page with its mindless bots and indexed the data as a single document. Now Mr Trkulja and his image was linked to Mokbel, Williams, et al, so that when you punched "melbourne crime" into Google, his image popped up amongst all the thugs and murderers like he was in some kind of perp line up. Nice.

7) Mr Trkulja started to notice that his community began to look at him differently and make comments about his criminal associations. It seems his innocence wasn't quite so obvious to the casual viewer, eh?

9) Now a formerly prominent and active member of the community was being frozen out of his social circle. I think it is quite natural that he was very upset.

9) He went to Yahoo7 and asked for the defaming article to be removed. They said "not our material" and "hop it!".

10) He went to Google and asked for the defaming images to be removed. They said "you didn't fill out the form properly, so no" and then "smell you later".

11) Having not had his grievances addressed by either company, he went to the only option left open and filed a defamation suit.

12) Yahoo didn't provide a defence against defamation. They argued that although they did publish the article, it wasn't their material and they weren't liable.

13) The jury and the judge disagreed, and found the article hosted by Yahoo A) implied that "the plaintiff was so involved with crime in Melbourne that his rivals had hired a hit man to murder him", and that B) implied that "the plaintiff is such a significant figure in the Melbourne criminal underworld that events involving him are recorded on a website that chronicles crime in Melbourne", but that it C) did not imply "the plaintiff is a criminal". Just that he was involved with crime, and that he was a prominent figure in the underworld. It seems the jury did SOME thinking about the implications and what parts were defamatory. The judge awarded Mr Trkulja $225,000+. The award was made higher because Yahoo made no attempt to remove the material.

14) The Google suit was slightly different, because it was just image of Mr Trkulja among Melbourne's criminal underworld. Once again, Google argued that it was not a publisher of the material and that all they do is automatically index the link.

14a) The judge dismissed the claim over the link because Mr Trkulja got it wrong in his application to have it removed.

14b) The jury found that Google did defame Mr Trkulja over the photo that grouped him with worst of Melbourne's criminal scum. Once Mr Trkulja informed Google of the defaming images, Google became liable for damages. All they had to do is break the context links associated with the image. They didn't even have to delete the image itself. By not taking the images down they defamed Mr Trkulja. Damages will announced in the next week or so.

Summary: Yahoo and Google were informed that they were hosting defaming material. They decided that because they didn't write the material, they didn't have liability and so didn't need to do anything. The law has now found that that is true up until the point that they are informed of it, then they are a responsible party to the content and they do have liability.

I hope that you can see the distinction: They aren't responsible for all information that passes through their servers, but they are once they become aware that the information infringes criminal or civil laws, they then are.

I know that this is a wall of text, but I hope you read all of it and appreciate better the circumstances of the case, and how impugning the sanity of Mr Trkulja and the integrity of the judge and jury isn't just unwarranted but also offensive. Often our first reaction isn't the correct one, and even the best articles leave out important details.




Reg Blank

A bit of legal precedent...

I've done a bit of idle Saturday morning research and found this: In 2011 a Milan court ruled that Google could be held responsible for defaming autocomplete suggestions.

Google argued that "it could not be held liable because it is a hosting provider" rather than originator, and that the search terms were automatically generated from the content of others.

However the court agreed with the plaintiffs that the autocomplete was content that was generated BY Google in an automated manner, and that they did have a defamation liability.

Once again, Google WASN'T liable until they were informed that they were hosting defaming material. Once they were informed, and choose to do nothing, they then became liable.

A lawyer in the case pointed out that Google can filter some content if they choose, such as copyright infringing material. http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-20050852-92.html

The logic of the Italian decision is that the activity of Google isn't the hosting of other people's content, but that the provision of suggestions is a deliberate (although automated) service delivered by a conscious commercial decision by Google, and one that isn't objective and is open to monitoring and manipulation by Google. See also: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120911/06365520342/googles-autocomplete-dilemma-every-concession-makes-it-easier-next-person-to-complain.shtml

Similarly, Google was ordered by a Japanese court to remove incorrect autosuggestions that a man was associated with certain crimes. Here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17510651

I cannot see that there is much different between the the autosuggest services offered by Google and the image search services. Both are generated by the input of outside content, run through Google's algorithms, subjected to Google's prejudices and biases and the results spat out to the user.

Once again, before I am condemned for my anti-technology heresies, I am not in favour of these kinds of censorship, I am merely providing context and information. These issues don't just apply to Google, but Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, even Amazon and eBay with their comments/feedback.

I don't like the thought of a search provider being a filter deciding what I should know and hiding what it thinks I should not. But Google already does this, blocking some results and demoting others to "below the fold" or over the page.

But on the other hand, I also don't like the thought of Google being above any accountability for the content they produce, and being beyond legal recourse. If we are going to be black and white over search results, why can't I search out for copyrighted materials to download, or if I was a sick f**k for kiddy porn? We already make compromises based on laws, are we to choose which laws providers are to follow and which they can safely ignore?

Reg Blank

Re: So in other words, Trkulja *is* associated with Mokbel and the Melbourne criminal underworld,

Hey ACs, I never said that I was agreeing with the judgement, nor with the original suit.

Don't hate me because I provided extra information that would be useful in parsing the article and correcting certain misapprehensions among commenters.

Once again, Trkulja didn't get money for the defamation (that was Yahoo's problem), he got it for Google not doing more (or anything) to stop his picture being the top result when somebody searches for "melbourne crime", a generic search and not specific ("trkulja shooting" or "trkulja crime"). The argument wasn't that Google linked the two, the argument is that when informed of the material they shrugged their shoulders and mumbled.

To be Devil's Advocate (Icon) for just a second (and not personally endorsing this argument, nor an advocate for Trkulja or his case), I'm not sure that his tenuous connection to Melbourne crime (being shot in the back while eating) would give enough weblinks for his image to be linked to the search term "melbourne crime" for much longer than a few weeks.

With an initial flurry of interest in him due to the notorious nature of the shooting and wider narrative of gang shootings at the time, there was little interest in him after that because he was a nobody shot by accident. That being the case, why was his image still being given a high ranking for some time afterwards? There would have to be something f**ked up with Google's algorithm if it keeps linking his image above that of other widely linked, widely referred and widely tagged gangsters like Carl Williams, Benji Veniamin or any one of half a dozen Morans.

I can't help thinking that there is more to the case than the limited reports are indicating. Google's algorithm should have buried his image further down the rankings after that initial flurry of interest around the shooting, and by 2009 (FIVE YEARS LATER!) and after all the other far more famous shootings, killings, trials and sentences, it SHOULDN'T have still been amongst the top results for "melbourne crime" any more.

So, I think that for whatever reason the algorithm f**ked up and made him unusually prominent following an article that he claimed defamed him (the Yahoo article, for which A JURY found in his favour and the JUDGE awarded $225,000 damages). When Google was informed of this defaming material THEY DID NOTHING.

Was the material defaming? Well the jury above (in a different trial with a different judge) found that it was. They found that the Yahoo article implied that "the plaintiff (Trkulja) was so involved with crime in Melbourne that his rivals had hired a hit man to murder him", and it also implied that "the plaintiff is such a significant figure in the Melbourne criminal underworld that events involving him are recorded on a website that chronicles crime in Melbourne". The enthusiast site no longer exists.

Now our guts may say "This is f**ked up!", but a supreme court jury who heard all the evidence didn't (and don't we hate juries after the Apple-Samsung nonsense?), and the presiding SUPREME COURT JUSTICE didn't, and the Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University's College of Law didn't when he said that Google was only liable because it failed to respond to the complaint and that their defence of "innocent dissemination" failed because Google was aware of the defamatory material. But what would they know?

There come a point when we as know-nothing wankers have to concede that our guts are wrong. That there is a point where our instinctive sense of freedom of speech clashes with the civil structures we have put in place to prevent/redress unfair speech that damages fellow citizens. That there is a point where our collective enthusiasm for the capabilities of gadgets and technology to disseminate information comes up against the freedom of individuals to be free of unfair persecution.

Reg Blank

Re: And of course, everybody knows ...

Nice last line there, jake!

You gotta love that old canard of "No smoke without fire". Classy.

Downvoted you because although you make excellent points, you have perpetuated the defamation of Trkulja on the basis of ignorance and thoughtlessness.

I posted below on the sequence of events leading to the legal proceedings so I'm not going to do it again, but I will say that Michael Trkulja has NO CONNECTION to criminal activity, he was having a meal in a public place and was shot as a bystander.

As to your other points, I largely agree with them. Personally, I don't think that it was a big deal. Anyone clicking on a link would have seen that Trkulja was a victim of crime and not involved. It was only the casual assumptions that were at issue.

However, in numerous cases the courts have held that while internet-based information services (forums, etc.) are not personally responsible for any offending information they provide, but they are responsible if they are informed that information they provide offends laws and they DO NOTHING about it. It is why forums are moderated. It is why Twitter was in trouble recently in Germany.

It wasn't that Google provided the results, it was that when informed of a non-trivial and specific problem, they did nothing about it.

Reg Blank

Just to clarify what happened...

1) Mr Trkulja was at a restaurant having dinner when a gunman opened fire, shooting Trkulja. This was during a time of underworld fighting, and there were some public executions of gangland figures.

2) Trkulja has no criminal record, nor any previous links to crime or underworld figures, and it seems he was shot accidentally. He was an innocent bystander.

3) An enthusiast website about the Melbourne gangland wars of the time wrote about the shooting, naming Mr Trkulja, and publishing a photo of him. Apparently the page didn't link him to criminal activity, but merely described events, but the page also included images and names of criminal figures and putting the shooting into context of the gang war narrative. This is how Trkulja and Mokbel were inextricably linked together by Google.

4) Google search results began showing images of Trkulja next to images of notorious crime figure Tony Mokbel, and his image also showed up when you did a seach with the term "Melbourne Crime". The casual implication being that Trkulja was associated with Mokbel and the Melbourne criminal underworld that was very much in the news at that time.

5) Trkulja contacted Google and asked them to do something about it, which they can easily do if they could be bothered to get off their arses and wipe the Cheetos residue from their fingers. After all, Google no longer links "miserable fool" to George W Bush's biography does it?

6) Google looked at the letter that explained the situation and how it affects Mr Trkulja, saw that the letter didn't include the URL of the "offending" material, and decided that there wasn't enough information to do anything. Probably because entering "Melbourne crime" into their own search engine and clicking on the top link was too difficult for them. NOTE: the lack of action from Google wasn't some ethical issue/principle, they did nothing because Trkulja didn't do their job for them and provide a URL to the page.

7) Mr Trkulja wasn't happy with this response from Google so he went the legal route and won.

It should be noted that Mr Trkulja DIDN'T win the money because of the initial defamation, but because Google did f**-all about it when informed there was an issue. If they had done something about it at the time, Google would have acted to the best of their ability, there wouldn't be an issue and Mr Trkulja would have got nothing.

Consumer group urges Aussies to spoof IP addresses

Reg Blank

Re: there's a serious danger here though

@ Throatwobbler Mangrove

It is a serious public liability issue. You could be listening to the mp3 while walking down the street and suffer a blow-out, which could potentially injure or even kill innocent pedestrians.

Or even worse, what would happen if that illegal, grey-market mp3 corrupted at altitude while on an aeroplane, crippling flight-control systems? Doesn't bear thinking about. Those poor children.

N00bs vs Windows 8: We lock six people in a room with new OS

Reg Blank

@ Tiny Weeny Wanger

Tiny Weeny Wanger - "There is "training" or a brief guide when you first start Windows 8."

So you have never, ever sat down at a PC that you HADN'T bought brand new, and you were its first ever user? Not at work, or a public library, or at school, or a friend's or family member's?

Come on, be honest. You have, haven't you?

Of course you have, because we all do it everyday. So expecting a first-time not-Metro Win8 user to also be the first user of the machine they are using, is just nonsensical.

NSW public servant's email hacked, used to criticise leader

Reg Blank

FFS, the NSW Department of Education has gone really downhill!

Someone hacks the Director-General's email account and all they do is put out an all-points bulletin criticising state government budget cuts to technical schools?

Where's the "I luv dicks!" comments? Where's the "Barry O'Farrell takes it doggy style!" comments?

For shame, Anonymous Hacker...for...shame.


Reg Blank

Re: Tourists

To be fair, Japanese tourists pay their way and apply for visas before visiting. These redbacks (not a racist term, I assure you!) are illegal immigrants to Japan, sponging off Japan's ecology, being anti-social and generally behaving badly. Probably getting drunk and picking fights, too.

Of the long list of deadly things in Australia, Japan should be grateful to have received a "gift" from near the bottom of both the "Deadliest" and "Most Aggressive" lists.

Redbacks at least know their place in nature. They know that humans are above them on the predator spectrum and scurry away respectfully to shelter when we disturbed them.

It's everything else in Australia that is having a difficulty with the concept of humans as apex predators. Haven't they ever read a bloody book?

Twitter censors bow to police, suppress Nazi tweets

Reg Blank

@ James Micallef

Although I have great sympathy with your position (and other's here and the Reg's self-righteous sub-editors), what with coming from and living in a country with a liberal democratic tradition of free speech and all that freedom stuff...

...I have been fortunate that this country hasn't had a history of certain kinds of "free speech" being used to justify, legitimise and enact a government program of harassment, detention, enslavement and mass murder of a cultural/racial group that resulted in the systematic and industrialised murder of MILLIONS of human beings.

Those free speech crimes didn't just abuse and traumatise the victims, but also the people and society of the perpetrators.

The laws in Germany may seem like nonsense, but it is one of the ways a traumatised German society chose to deal with the kinds of crimes that no country should have to deal with, and were enacted at a time when the perpetrators weren't in pages on Wikipedia or featured in an exploitative TV documentary, or some warlord in some forgotten country on some ignored continent. It was a time when the people who committed these unspeakable acts were living next door you, and worked alongside you, and were members of your family. And even more people around you were, just a few short years before, enthusiastic supporters of such "free speech" which abused and degraded, and enthusiastically supporters of policies which abused and degraded, and enthusiastically supporters of actions which abused and degraded and murdered and destroyed.

So I'm prepared to show a little more leniency towards Germany and their laws against certain kinds (not all!) of speech, a leniency that I would not show towards my own country or many others.

Seeing as there is a discussion of China, I don't like China's policy of censorship either, but I am willing to give a tiny bit of slack (not a lot, and not as much as Germany) because they too have a long and bloody history of internal violence, civil wars and rebellions which has resulted in MANY tens of millions of dead.

Now, how about we all get off our high horses and look at the facts. Germany has laws against Nazi symbology and speech. Don't like it? Ask your politician to change the laws. Not German? Not your business, and comply with local laws or leave.

Canonical flings out Ubuntu 12.10 – now with OPTIONAL Bezos suck

Reg Blank
Big Brother

Re: how much is Shuttleworth paying you for the publicity

DistroWatch rankings are interesting and all, but...

It proves NOTHING at all about how popular a distribution is or how many systems are using it. All it does is rank how many people are visiting a distribution's page on DistroWatch.

What the rankings show is that in the last month (for example) the distribution that received the most page views was Mint. NOT downloads, NOT installs, but page VIEWS at DistroWatch and only at DistroWatch.

All it shows is a ranking of user INTEREST in a particular distribution. If a new distribution is released called "Sexytime Penguins" that promises an interactive sexual "experience" on login, the ranking of "Sexytime Penguins" at DistroWatch would shoot to the top, not because it is being heavily installed (although that may be true) but because there is heavy interest in learning more about the distro.

It is also biased in a small way towards fringe distributions. For example, I have no need or interest in visiting the Ubuntu, Mint or Fedora pages because I already know about them. I did however visit the Mageia page because I was not very familiar with it and I wanted to learn more.

I contributed to the Mageia ranking for this month, but I didn't download or install it and have no interest in doing so. I didn't visit the Ubuntu or Mint pages, didn't contribute to their rankings and yet I manage 5 computers in my little familial support network that run flavours of Ubuntu and Mint.

So, this ranking of distro interest among visitors to a single website which provides information about the many Linux distributions, is useful for measuring installs how?

Russian Christians boosted by Pussy Riot law spank 'sinful' Apple logo

Reg Blank

@ Peter Storm

From what I remember, in medieval English "apple" didn't refer to apples as we know them today, instead it was a word that applied as a generic term to fruit. It was only later when this generic term for various fruit was applied to a single type and became the apple we know and love.

Turnbull upends bucket on data retention proposal

Reg Blank

Re: Turnbull?

Dear Rastus,

Indeed not!

I am merely pointing out the faulty logic of the OP of assuming that Turnbull cannot possibly be worse than Conroy.

To make such an assumption is to fly in the face of the documented history of the less-than-esteemed opposition communications spokesman. One would have to ignore the blatant lies, the half-truths, the selective quotes, the slander, the character assassination, the vested interests, and the subordination of physics, technology and reality to the policies and ideology of the Liberal Right.

You are welcome to assume my political preferences based on a >>single<< comment regarding the superior sub-human specimen: Turnbull or Conroy. But if you were to do so, you would probably be wrong. At no point did I say that Conroy was a good politician or a good Minister or even that he is preferable to Turnbull, I just think Turnbull has the potential to be a lot worse.

Sadly we are at an unfortunate cross-roads in Australian politics. We are faced with an unpalatable choice between two unlikable, incompetent and sub-optimal choices at the next election. I cannot in good conscience vote for either of them, yet vote I must. You may be fine with the thought of Turnbull as Communications Minister, but I am not.

I agree that my post is not particularly relevant to the article, but must it? OP commented on Turnbull/Conroy and I pointed out that the only way you could think Turnbull couldn't be worse is if OP had missed the last 3 years of Turnbull blundering from lie to mis-characterisation to faulty grasp of technology.

Have a good weekend, Rastus, and have a beer on me*.

* You're going to have to supply your own beer and/or funds. Sorry.

Reg Blank

Re: Turnbull?

"...he could do no worse than Conroy the C_nt..."

Happy Birthday, BB!

I came to the conclusion it must be your birthday through the following reasoning process:

1) You made the above incredible comment.

2) The only way you could have made such an incredible comment is if you have never read/seen/heard anything about Turnbull, especially his latest "triumphant" stint as opposition communications spokesman.

3) There are three, and only three, reasonable causes for such a comment: you have brain damage and no longer possess a long-term memory, you have recently been returned by The Grays after being abducted in 1996 and had some quite pleasant social experiments performed on you (they had recently purchased a book of pick up lines and needed to try them out), or you were gestated in vitro in a highly advanced (and secret) government experiment to find a solution to fertility problems in the panda breeding programme (due to wildlife regulations, it is easier to experiment on humans than endangered animals).

Following this impeccable and faultless logic, the ONLY conclusion any reasonable person can come to is that you were just decanted from a glass tube, therefore...

Happy Birthday, BB!

Reg Blank
Black Helicopters


Input (lang. Politician): “I must record my very grave misgivings about the proposal. It seems to be heading in precisely the wrong direction.”

Output (lang. Human): "I know that many of my supporters oppose this, so I must put up a pretence of resistance that will "reluctantly" crumble when it comes time to actually vote on this legislation. Not that it matters, as the deals have been done and backs have been slapped."

Wikipedia boss Jimmy Wales marries Kate Garvey

Reg Blank

Re: You want to know if the bride is hot? Of course you do.

I cannot tell you how pleased I was to click on the link and find that a wealthy 47 year old businessman who has been married twice already WASN'T marrying a 23 year old model/actor/nothing. Furthermore, she isn't some fluffed and puffed 40 year old eternal child.

I don't much care about either of them, but I'm always happy when stereotypes are challenged.

Democrat candidate attacked by GOP for being stabby assassin ORC

Reg Blank

Re: Best quote I have seen on this story...

@ Matt Bryant

No contest. He's a Kennedy, if they aren't screwing their way through the female population then we have to start wondering what new world-ending STD is about to drop.

OTOH, prominent outspoken homophobic misogynist hypocritical twitching married arseholes who lean heavily on their wholesome "Christian" family values are outed offering blowjobs to strangers? It's the kind of schadenfreude that money just cannot buy.

Icon: "I was asking him to blow my party horn, as I was feeling in a festive mood while taking a dump in a public restroom".

Global action takes down tech support scam

Reg Blank

@ AC

"I think one day, I'll try asking them what their mother would think if they knew what their boy was doing..."

I did that!

This was after a particular strong calling offensive where I was getting several calls per week. I'd gotten calls, my Mum had gotten calls (she had been coached to say no MS products!), my brother had gotten calls. I'd done the stringing them along (wasting their time costs them money), or if I was busy I would say there are no computers running Microsoft products and hang up, but then my fuse blew.

I started off with asking the female caller what their "error reports" had said, then what product was reporting errors, then asking who she was again. I was getting tired of it by this point, so I went on the offensive.

"Did you know what you are doing is illegal under Australian law?" Ur...no, no, no...um.

"I know you are not a representative of Microsoft as I don't have any Microsoft products, which means that you have deceptively being trying to gain access my computer systems for the purposes of fraud, a criminal offence." That isn't true, we...

"At this point I should inform you that I have been recording this conversation and will later be turning it over to the police for investigation and prosecution." That is not...

"What would your mother think of you being involved in criminal activity?" ...*silence*...

"Do you think she would be proud of you, raising a criminal?" There is no criminal activity, sir, we are *click*

The call ended mid-word, so my thought was that there was someone else monitoring the call and they ended it, because I can't see the female caller ending it mid-word like that.

Maybe it was a coincidence but I stopped getting calls from "Microsoft" shortly after that. Now we've been getting calls regarding solar panels, and the accents aren't Indian any more but from my inexpert ear they are perhaps Thai.

IBM crashes, Cisco soars, at Brisbane airport

Reg Blank

I'm calling my Cisco rep right now!

If it wasn't for the faithful reproduction of Cisco PR pieces I would never have known the important, and quite impartial, news that Cisco products are easier to manage and use less power than the competition from IBM. Thanks El Reg! And Cisco.

R18+ games still not over the line in Oz

Reg Blank

Re: Nine?

Norfolk Island is a self-governing territory, they have a Chief Minister and everything.

But I believe that Norfolk Island only has "observer status" at the Standing Committee of Attorney-Generals, because quite frankly, it would be pretty fucked-up if an island of 2000 people had the same influence over Australia's laws as a one of the states. No offence, Norfolk Island.

Jolly Roger, because the Norfolk Islanders self-describe themselves as descendants of the Bounty mutineers.

Kim Dotcom seizures 'null and void'

Reg Blank

Re: Bama is a dummy

Thanks. Everyone is grateful that you US wankers bring your noxious domestic politics into every thread and forum everywhere regardless of topic, location or reason.

There should be an adjunct to Godwin's law called "Blank Reg's Observation" that states "As an online discussion involving Americans grows longer, the probability of a pointless and irrelevant domestic US political argument breaking out approaches 1."

You can be certain that if there is an online discussion about making goat's cheese in Patagonia, there will be some retarded sack of ignorance who will say that overgrazing on the semi-arid ranges is a direct result of Obama's socialist health policies, when in fact the desertification of vulnerable grasslands is clearly the result of the corrupt relationships between Republicans and corporate interests in the banking industry!

Here's a clue Tom 13 (you forgot to AC your 2nd post), none of us give a flying crap about what you think of Obama! Nor do we give a second flying crap about how Republicans are destroying America.

We don't care, it was irrelevant to the topic of the article, and we'd all be grateful if you would confine yourself to browsing American IP addresses in future, and thereby contributing positively in your small way to the international opinion of American users of the Internet by your absence.

'Mainstream media' mute in SOPA piracy debate

Reg Blank
Paris Hilton

There is nothing wrong with news outlets being privately owned in theory or in practice, the problem is where the ownership of news is CONCENTRATED in the hands of a few wealthy corporations or individuals.

Cross-media rules really only prevent a private body owning media outlets of multiple types in a single market, but usually don't stop such a body owning all the newspapers, all radio stations or all the TV stations in a market.

Paris: selling her media body since 2000.

Reg Blank
Big Brother

@ Oninoshiko

Which is why he/she said "In most cases state of the art animation, I'll grant them that", which you completely agreed with when you stated "Disney was VARY innovative, just not with his stories."

You made a long-winded argument that had nothing to do with what he/she said, and finally agreed with him/her!.

If Disney was at all innovative with story styles and structure and was actually culturally relevant I'd be enjoying the expose "Bugs Bunny is plainly a Communist because he has no religion" and the exciting follow-up "Mickey Mouse testifies to the House Committee on Un-American Activities and names names". Yeah, that greedy Winnie the Pooh better get himself a good lawyer, 'coz patriotic Mickey is gonna inform on his Jew ass!


Big Brother icon, because you just know I'd spill my guts to tell hysterical witch-hunts the people I thought might just possibly be, maybe were, perhaps witches. I'm sure the hysterical witch-hunters would act responsibly with my suspicions which were based on a feeling in my gut from completely reliable circumstantial evidence.

Greens abandon science to tie down mobile towers

Reg Blank

I consider all those signs to be a personal favour to me. The one place left where I don't have to hear about what that slag Kylie said or what species of livestock Mark is screwing now.

Today I was out shopping and having the kind of shitty time you can only have at a supermarket after school lets out and tired Mums and Dads get off work, when down the aisle came three young women in their early 20's.

They were fat, wearing too much make-up and far too few clothes of the cheap and tasteless kind (probably with a fake D&G logo). All three of them were on their phones, and for one second I thought they were on the phone to each other, until I realised they were loudly having the same conversation to three other fat, cheap and tacky clones on the other end.

I could be anywhere, couldn't I? Fat and tasteless knows no national or racial boundaries!

Despite the fact I'm the child of the information age, mobile phones are the icon. They are killing good manners and too many brain cells. Some people have too few to risk losing them.

Oz rail company sold USB keys from lost property in auction

Reg Blank

What was the point of the sale? Seriously, does RailCorp think there is a pot of gold at the end of the lost USB stick rainbow when an 8GB stick is $20, a 4GB is around $10 and smaller capacities are unavailable?

The fact that the lot of USB sticks sold for TWICE the cost of new, larger capacity sticks (!!!) shows that there is interest and profit to be made from lost private data, and in this instance no doubt all of it of the criminal variety. RailCorp should be done for aiding and abetting a criminal enterprise.

They are far better off avoiding the problem and destroying them with the cost effective hammer + bin solution.

Navy pays 2x purchase price to keep warship docked for 5 years

Reg Blank

Nice straw man you've built, Lewis.

Gas turbines need to run on more than hopes, tears and fairy dust. What do you think the turbines would burn when warships are also fitted with diesel engines/generators?

Icon is fed by oxygen and Lewis' troll articles.

Murdoch's PIE BOY jailed for six weeks

Reg Blank

What is there to not get?

If you don't get why people think Charlie Gilmour is a complete waste of community time and resources, then probably none of us can explain it to you. But I'll try.

There are people in human societies that do things for others. They do these things in exchange for money. We call these jobs.

In order to get this money for performing these jobs, certain requirements or expectations must be met. Sometimes in the course of doing these jobs, a person might do something above and beyond these job requirements.

These actions aren't reimbursed or remunerated, and are considered an altruistic gift bestowed upon a third party, which can be an individual, a group, a nation or humanity as a whole. In most human societies, such gifts are considered special and most humans are grateful to receive them.

Such an action might simply be time, effort or resources, but to be considered special there should be some measure of sacrifice on the givers behalf. The more that is sacrificed by the giver, the more such actions are prized and valued by those that receive the benefits of the gift.

In most human societies, such gifts are held up to be positive moral or ethical (*) examples and the givers as positive role models for members of the society. Such is the esteem that societies have for some gifts that they will create lasting memorials to those gifts and those who sacrificed to give it.

You may have surmised that it is one such memorial that is at issue here. What most human beings find offensive about the actions of the drunk-selfish-selfentitled-rich-boy is that the memorial he chose to show his contempt for society on was one that the community built to honour and remember those who gave the gift of their lives to their society.

You see, what makes the gift of their lives so special is that as finite beings, human have very little time in which to think, experience, feel and explore their reality. To freely and voluntarily give up the rest of their existence for the benefit of their society is considered to be the ultimate sacrifice (especially as those who do so are often near the beginning of their lives). Given the permanent and irrevocable termination of the givers existence, no amount of money or other fringe benefits can recompense the givers for their sacrifice (**). Therefore the community of humans that recognise and appreciate the sacrifice gather to raise a memorial that remembers both the gift and the giver as a mark of solemn gratitude.

What made the matter worse in the eyes of most feeling human beings that weren't emotionally stunted, was that the memorial was not respected by a drunk-selfish-selfentitled-rich-boy that has given nothing of himself that wasn't piss and vomit.

[*] If required to, I can explain the difference in another lesson of How To Be A Human Being In Mixed Company.

[**] Such a determination does not take into account any non-corporeal afterlife that the giver may be entitled to or rewarded with, as the certainty that such a reward will be forthcoming is something that humans have yet to come to agreement over.

Sydney newspaper hacks Wi-Fi networks!

Reg Blank

Not quite.

Then why do I have to add all those "No unauthorised access permitted" warnings on routers? They are password protected.

But to get to your example, it is a faulty analogy because the charge would not be burglary. Burglary only occurs if a theft takes place. An unauthorised entry charge would be "trespassing". If the lock is broken on entry or damage occurs, then it is vandalism or criminal damage.

HOWEVER. The reason for the router warning is that unless you explicitly say unauthorised access is prohibited, then it isn't even trespassing.

To use your analogy. It could be argued that if you leave your door open it is an invitation for others to enter. If an open door requires no active measures to gain entry (a handle being manipulated or door pushed aside) and there are no signs saying that access is forbidden, therefore permission is implied. Not to steal or vandalise, but just to enter. If you find that person standing in your living room and that person is then challenged and asked to leave, but do not do so, that is trespassing. If you don't ask them to leave, it isn't (hence warning on routers above).

Google: The one trick pony learns a second trick

Reg Blank


Monopolies are not in themselves illegal, therefore they are not punishable by break-up.

The Sherman Antitrust Act (which I refer to only because MS and Google are US-based) draws a distinction between innocent monopolies (those that come about because of a superior product or better management) and coercive monopolies (those that come about because of unlawful practices).

Those that have been broken up (Standard Oil, Bell, etc) have either been due to criminal activities or for compelling economic reasons (that is, the monopoly stifled competition or the emergence of new competition). Google does neither of these things.

Regarding Microsoft, although they settled with the government in the end, the original suit was for tying, which is an illegal activity. To my knowledge, Google doesn't engage in tying. For instance, they don't compel you to have a Gmail account to use their search engine. Having a product which is very popular doesn't count.