In the beginning was the command line..

Sound the alarm: ACTA negotiations delayed

, posted: 11-Mar-2009 13:59

This should not be interpreted as good news. Negotiations have been delayed but National has a policy based interest in entering "free" and other trade agreements, such as the ACTA.

Section 92a was probably one outcome of the last round of ACTA negotiations. Times have changed since, the USA has moved away from right-wing extremism towards conservatism but I live in New Zealand, where we elected National, a party of poor repute and links to American Neo-Conservatism. This means New Zealand is now more likely than ever to introduce legislative changes proposed during ACTA negotiations, unless the business round-table decides otherwise.

The ACTA is shrouded in secrecy. Most of what is known about it has been gleaned from leaked secret documents uploaded to Wikileaks. What we can safely assume, and I'm no political analyst, is that S.92a's implementation was to be used to further negotiations related to the ACTA. Given what is known, National would surely be upset with the public detest in the S.92a fiasco.

Forgive my opinionation, I hope I'm wrong. Here are some of the legislative changes countries partaking in ACTA are encouraged to adopt, under the auspice of intellectual property rights enforcement.

Criminal Measures
  • Criminal sanctions - including wilful infringments without motivation for financial gain.
  • ex officio[1] authority to prosecute (rights holder does not actually prosecute, prosecution is filed on assumption of rights holder wishing to prosecute)
  • establishment and imposition of deterrents such as fines, disconnection of service, et cetera (ie, S.92a)
  • authority to seize and destroy infringing media and material
  • authority to seize and forfeit proceeds of copyright infringment
  • criminalise technologies that can be used to circumvent copyright protection mechanisms
Border measures
  • ex officio authority to suspend shipment of goods suspected of infringing IPR
  • measures to ensure seizure and destruction of IPR violating goods
  • "allocation of liability" for storage and destruction fees, away from rights holders
  • authority to disclose information about shipments suspected of violating IPR
  • measures to ensure goods are not released once seized without permission of the rights holder
  • searches of media suspected to infringe IPR, eg iPods, laptops, USB disks, CDs
Civil measures
  • authority to order ex parte searches and other "preliminary measures"
  • award damages to compensate rights holders, even when damage not quantifiable
  • procedures enabling rights holders to obtiain private, customer information from ISPs

[1] ex officio - By virtue of office or position; 'by right of office'. Often used when
someone holds one position by virtue of holding another. -Wikipedia

I'm not protesting S92a

, posted: 18-Feb-2009 14:50

because I diddn't vote for these idiots:

and you diddn't think subservience to business interests was going to be a problem?

Permalink to I'm not protesting S92a | Add a comment (1 comment) | Main Index

watch Al Jazeera on XBMC

, posted: 18-Feb-2009 01:59

cooked up this small script to watch Al Jazeera satellite television in English on XBMC, only tested on Xbox but should work on all platforms.

National's broadband plan

, posted: 19-Dec-2008 13:16

If farmers, businesses, hospitals and schools couldn't connect to the net, then we would need National's plan. In reality, nothing but talk has emerged so far but, they have managed to pass laws increasing sentances and fines, endowing less responsibility to RMA applicants, revoking worker's rights and let's not go near the Kyoto debate and the millions of dollars of foreign investment withdrawn after the election.

The plan doesn't help the country. I am a geek and I want faster pron, lower pings and more frags. Health and education is more important though. $3 prescriptions will be gone next year. Private schools will now receive public funding. Why did we lose our ability to concede that these things are more important than faster pipes?

It's because the novelty of computers has worn off on many. This makes us complacent, technology is now nature, the entertainment and information we want is available to us, now. We want the electronic equivalent of a drive-through Italian restaurant.

All fired up, know exactly who we're voting for and why. Yeah Right.

, posted: 7-Nov-2008 11:44

I am amazed at how many people have taken the Destiny Church bandwagon to gravy town. I'm talking about the 2007 Child Discipline Act.

Did you know?
  • You can still legally discipline your child, and even with some force, should that be required
  • The Police do not have to prosecute you upon receiving a complaint
  • Brian Tamaki, of Destiny Church (and friends) funded and organised most of the original opposition to the legislation.
  • Brian Tamaki coined the term "Anti-smacking" which is now used colloqually to describe the law
  • Brian Tamaki lied about the implications of the law and that has become the common belief
  • The Police have reported not seeing a significant change in child abuse reports
  • Prior to the law, someone could already 'dob you in' if they saw you hit a child
  • There was legislation from 1961 that allowed a child abuser to veto almost any prosecution (ie; run free, even if guilty)
I diddn't know until I did my own research. So much for trusting the media. Eroding my freedom? Even if it did, I don't think thats more important than punishing child abusers, do you?

Electoral Finance Act
New Zealand is the only 1st world country left, without a law like this. (Canada, USA, Britain, etc)

It prevents lobby groups running a campaign supporting another party's campaign, while masquerading as an independant or 3rd party group. Put simply, it aims to prevent our election system from abuse. And you only need to read a book to see proof that our election system been and is being abused currently by the National party. You won't read that on for God's sake.

I ask you one question.
Should the campaign with the most funding decide the winner of an election, or should everyone play by the same rules?

USA193 - Spy satellite out of control

, posted: 14-Feb-2008 16:59

LOL: Launched in December 2006, USA193 has a top secret payload and one can only assume it is operated by the NRO. Shortly after reaching orbit ground controllers lost control of the satellite and it's orbit has been decaying ever since. It is already down in the upper atmosphere and is estimated to re-enter the atmosphere sometime in March, not quite in time for the 4th of July ;-)

More information and viewing predictions are on

AMD Opteron, Athlon Dual-Core CPU TSC problem

, posted: 18-Jan-2008 15:35

To all system administrators: AMD Opteron and Athlon CPUs which are dual-core are prone to TSC skew. Only rarely will this cause complete system failures, symptoms are more along the lines of unexpected behaviour and intermittent faults. When you see a ping time of -21ms you know something is wrong! Mostly not a problem if you run any modern Linux distro because the kernel uses the more modern ACPI HPET (high precision event timer). Bad luck for Windows admins though, you 'll need Windows Server 2008 to properly avoid the issue, for server 2k3 the fix is to add /usepmtimer to the boot.ini however this incorporates a performance penalty and reduces scalability of the system.

Recently at work some pretty major systems (ie Windows 2k3 Oracle servers) failed because of this issue but, had those systems been Linux Oracle servers I can guarantee there would have been no problem. Understandably I'm really unimpressed with Microsoft and Windows - how hard can it be to patch the OS to use ACPI-HPET properly? Or even to release a patch that uses PM timer when an affected CPU is detected? Linux kernel dev's have known about this since 2005 and fixed it very promptly! What on earth is stopping Microsoft from fixing this problem?

To be fair; this is not entirely Microsoft's fault but again to be fair, Linux has a built-in workaround since 2006 while Microsoft's workaround is manual. Please leave a comment if you've had to deal with this problem. There is much google mojo here so please offer solutions and describe symptoms to help others.

Hacker "Kingpin" caught. apparently.

, posted: 30-Nov-2007 13:27

This is in regard to the stuff article
Why did the media announce that the FBI were in the country *BEFORE* they had arrested this person?

I'm no spook but it's quite obvious that this is not standard procedure for catching criminals. If you *PUBLICALLY* announce the fact you're in the country to investigate something and essentially tip-off the suspect through the mass media then what the hell is really going on?

I really really really REALLY hate touching the conspiracy theory vibe but this is the type of event that conincides with policy dictated by the Information Operations Roadmap. Thank you Team America World Police we are safer now... NOT.

Yellow Journalism, a Culture of Fear and the Information Operations Roadmap

, posted: 17-Oct-2007 10:05

I'm sick of hearing it already. That is; "Terror" in the headlines, there seems to be more terror born from the media than from reality.
Our media aggregates exist to sell newspapers and thus make articles that appeal to our taste for information but, thats not news to anyone.

What might be news to you are the subjects of Information Warfare, Yellow Journalism and the culture (or climate) of fear in society. I think it is relevant to be familiar with these subjects in this day-and-age, especially in the light of recent events.

A Pentagon document entitled the "Information Operations Roadmap" was declassified in Janurary 2006. This document describes how the US military should conduct Information Warfare both overtly and covertly, in the homeland and overseas. The techniques described include psychological operations, (ie, manipulate a Culture of Fear), censorship, hacking and disinformation. FUD? Naw, that's old-fashioned. I wonder if New Zealand policy makers have a similar paper in their agenda.

The Australians are also active engaged in Information Warfare, and it can't be put any more lightly than that. WikiScanner has exposed the Australian DoD editing John Howards article over 5000 times. However, that's nothing compared to the articles on the CIA, Israel and etc. With so much effort going into controlling the information we digest, when do we draw the line and say, I want facts, not lies and propaganda.

The corporate media has played an interesting role in this episode of "terrorism". The media will be going crazy, just like seagulls after throwing away a scoop of chips at the beach, the news of terror sells papers, fast. This is called Yellow Journalism. It is highly unprofessional and prevalent. You may have already guessed that the phenonmenon is exploied by policy such as the Information Operations Roadmap.

I would like to leave it at that and thank you for reading my incoherrent ramblings, it's all IMHO. Certainly, I'm interested to hear what you think about this and the recent events.

first ever Linux patent infringement claim lodged in Texas

, posted: 14-Oct-2007 13:44

Presumably, Microsoft is smart enough to realise there is a negative PR fallout from patent claims against OSS vendors. But, one or more Microsoft licensing executives join Acacia or one or its companies and low-and-behold, lawsuit is filed against Linux distributors, seemingly by a company with no affiliation to Microsoft. I have some suspicions as to Microsoft being proponent to this case (Ballmer certainly is), but I encourage you to not take my word for it, do research and decide for yourself.

The patents in dispute are US numbers 5,533,183 and 5,394,521 both of which describe the concept of Virtual Desktops or Workspaces.

If you have been a geek as long as I have, you will probably have used or worked with some operating systems like SGI's IRIX, Sun's Solaris and X11 on UNIX platforms. In combination with X11, TWM and CDE used virtual desktops before at least one of these patents were filed making prior art trivial to present to the court.

With such a flawed-from-the-beginning case I wonder why this company is even bothering? There must be an ulterior motive or this company will become another SCO. Alternatively, if they win, groundswell disobedience fueled by their abuse of the US patent system and claim to ownership of what is an elementary and un-ownable technology (ie, can't patent the wheel either) will ensure they won't see any royalties anyway. How many puppet companies can Microsoft burn in patent litigation lawsuits before they realise this is a bad look for their corporation?


Come to your own conclusions, don't let a Texas court decide what is fair. This patent suit will be an important one for corporate adoption of Linux. What are Microsoft's motivations? What are this litigation company's motivations? You decide.

barf's profile

Stuart MacIntosh
New Zealand

Hello world.