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  • Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 5:12am

    The term of reference - big content has already nobbled the review

    While this review may look promising on the surface, in fact the results of the ALRC's report have been largely dictated by it's terms of reference.

    Big content has succeeded in preventing the ALRC from examining any of the following:

    * unauthorised distribution of copyright materials using peer-to-peer networks;
    * the scope of the safe harbour scheme for ISPs;
    * a review of exceptions in relation to technological protection measures; and
    * increased access to copyright works for blind and visually impaired people.

    There are other existing reviews which cover these topics, and these reviews are not open to public comment. Big content has won big time in the ALRC's review before it has even begun.

    See this article for further details.

  • Feb 20th, 2012 @ 9:58pm

    Re: We should regret LightSquared's failure to grasp the laws of physics?

    The only thing to regret here is that LightSquared is run by idiots who should have known better, were undoubtedly told multiple times by their own engineers that this was impossible, but they continued to forge ahead anyway.

    LightSquared is run by really, really smart people who were/are intent on gaming the system and making a few billion dollars. They were allocated some satellite spectrum, which is cheap, and wanted to exploit a loophole which allowed them to repurpose it as terrestial which is very, very expensive. Essentially, LightSquared was engaged in spectrum arbitrage, where they could make a great deal of money by ripping off the US taxpayer. LightSquared management was completely uninterested in any tedious parts of reality which got in the way of making all that lovely money.

    John Hempton has an analysis of the games which Phil Falcone and LightSquared were playing.

  • May 20th, 2010 @ 2:29am

    China is equally afraid

    China is usually given as the bogey man in cyberwar scenarios. What most people in the west don't understand is how vulnerable China is to a cyberwar.

    Ninety percent on all PC's in China - whether personal, academic, corporate or government PC's - have pirated copies of MS Windows, which means that these PC's cannot run Windows Update. The vast majority of PC's in China have unpatched vulnerabilities - many are actually already infected with malware.

    China is running its' own cyberwar scare campaign - there are many articles in the Chinese press about various research institutions has PC's hacked and secrets stolen. China is extremely vulnerable to cyber attacks and they are very aware of it. The Chinese government has a program in place to remove MS-based software from all government computers. It would appear that this program has a long way to go - with vastly more than 50%, possibly as much as 90% of government PC's still running Windows.

    The last thing on the Chinese governments' mind at the moment is starting a cyberwar. They'd lose it and they know it.