Archive for June, 2011

Important High Court Case on Copyright as property

Important High Court Case on Copyright as property

I have not seen mention of this elsewhere, but there is a case currently being considered by the High Court where it is argued that copyright is a property right, the point being that any acquisition of that property should be done only with just compensation (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Limited & Ors v. Commonwealth of Australia & Ors).  The argument that the cap introduced by the law on the licence fees payable for exercising a broadcasting right were unconstitutional.

No one is suggesting that the removal of the broadcast right from citizens in the original act (and its vesting in copyright holders) was itself an unconstitutional acquisition of property.

The tape manufacturers case indicates that defining as non-infringing acts which were previously infringing will not be an unconstitutional acquisition of property.

Details are available from the High Court’s website.

Update: they were downed.

Awful computer sounds Is it just me?

Awful computer sounds Is it just me?

Practically the first thing I do when I start with a new operating system is to set the sound scheme to silent. I cannot stand things beeping at me all the time.  I was particularly heartened to hear that Tridge had debarked his microwave some months ago (something I’d love to do, but have not the ability).

I post this because I’ve had to turn my mobile phone on and off a couple of times.  Each time it starts up with an annoying, quite loud and medium-high pitched “ping”.  I was thinking to myself that it would be the one thing I would change about the phone. (Although, in retrospect, in-call screen handling leaves a lot to be desired – HTC Desire).

Exactly who thinks all this audio garbage is useful (blind people I guess excepted) – or am I the alien and you all love being surrounded by audio chatter?

Nick Sherry predicts end of AU Bookstores

Nick Sherry predicts end of AU Bookstores

From SMH:

Booksellers’ jaws dropped today upon hearing that federal Minister for Small Business Nick Sherry had predicted that online shopping would wipe out general bookstores within five years.

Of course, they might have some chance of surviving if the Government hadn’t been cowed by the copyright faction on parallel imports.   Unless you can’t wait for shipping, you would have to have something wrong in the head to buy from an Australian bookstore.

Sony still feels the pain

Sony still feels the pain

Gracious! Yet another hack on Sony.  Apparently all started when they sued geohot for demonstrating a jailbroken PS3 on a Youtube video and subsequently posting instructions.  I hope Sony and whoever advised them to commence litigation think it was worth it.  Perhaps their purpose in life is to serve as a warning for others?




Ridiculously Expensive Asus Transformer in JB HiFi

Ridiculously Expensive Asus Transformer in JB HiFi

Note: prices etc here are as at 2 June 2011.

Have actually handled an Asus Transformer (sans dock – the assistant had no idea about them) in my local JB HiFi.  Given that ASUS seems to be ripping Australian consumers off blind I won’t be buying for the time being:

Amazon price: USD449.99 (AUD Equivalent price at AUD = USD1.05 = $428.56)

JB Hifi price: AUD596  (ridiculously – roughly 40% – more expensive) (@28 July this has come down to AUD498 for the 16GB model)

update 6/6: B&H advertise the 16GB model in their catalogue for US$399, making the AU price even more ridiculous, but website says it’s not in stock yet.

Update 20 November: Officeworks has a 32GB transformer at roughly price parity to the US: $563 including the dock.  Current USD price for that model plus dock (at B&H) is about $532.

Let’s not forget that the AUD is worth 5%+ more than the USD and has been for some time (and Sydney is a shorter trip from Taiwan/Beijing).

Compare the iPad 2

Amazon price: USD569 (equivalent to AUD541)

JB HiFi price: AUD557 (roughly comparable – about 3% more expensive)

Lift your (cotton rich) socks Asus…

Everyone else: Hopshopgo?

“Cotton Rich”

“Cotton Rich”

It is, apparently, impossible to buy socks anymore without them having a large proportion of nylon, polyester or latex.   They mainly go under the description “cotton rich”, which, apparently means 15% (or more??) not-cotton.  I don’t at all object to 5% elastane, but where are these socks to be found?

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