Internet & Related Stuff

For Internet and Related Stuff.

Yeah, this is annoying. Heard a rumour via Geekzone that Telecom were announcing their CDMA 3G network (EVDO) closure before end of 2010. Shortly thereafter Telecom NZ confirmed via Twitter: http://telecom.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2095 has the details.

(They've further gone on to say that CDMA itself will go away "Mid 2012" which I suppose I can understand given the move to XT (WCDMA) and that's a reasonable amount of notice; it's a typical cellphone's lifespan of 2-3 years.)

What grates me is that we've got an EVDO T-Stick which we bought as part of our home business; it's got 1GB/month of data at a flat monthly rate and we had to take it over a 24 month term. That was the only option available to us at the time (that was reasonable; it was a free purchase in return for the 2 year contract) - had we known that scant months after the expiry of our 2 year contract that the device would become a brick, perhaps we wouldn'tve bothered?

As things have worked out we're now re-evaluating our desire for 3G broadband; it's been handy but we've never come close to using 1GB in a month and it's a cost we can't therefore justify. I was hoping we'd wangle a deal for a conversion to prepay, but of course, they don't offer the T-Stick on a prepaid deal on EVDO, so we're back to having to spend more money on hardware to get something supported.

Time to look at Vodafone. Or perhaps 2degrees, if they'd get some prepay data hardware supported. Maybe Vodafone hardware then move over...

Sorry Telecom but moves like this don't endear you to your customers.

So it's a done deal; I have a new job in Auckland and the family are moving - this week - so i've flown back down (having started work in Auckland a month ago) to help pack up the house and 'finish up' with our Wellington business.

That business includes Laura's last day at Kindergarten (now completed... one of those happy-sad events!!) - Lauras (pre-emptive) 5th birthday party (tomorrow) and then a bout of frantic packing, before the moving company shows up on Monday to pick up our stuff.

Tuesday, road-trip ahoy.. to Auckland via Wellington Airport (our kitties are being flown up).

So yes. Been at work a month and i'm already taking a week off - but with good reason! :-) And i'll be very glad to have the family with me (i've missed them heaps!)

Anyway, about the photo. I follow @flyairnz on Twitter and was fortunate enough to score a limited-edition T-Shirt comemorating Air New Zealand's first flight ("ZK-AMA"). It arrived a few days ago. I figured that my AirNZ flight home to Wellington (likely to be my last flight for a while!) was an ideal opportunity to 'christen' the shirt.

Even more interestingly, I had seat 1D (front row, isle seat) and the Purser had one of those faces that I was sure i'd seen somewhere before. Turns out, I had... on the now famous Body-Painted in-flight safety video. So noting that the AirNZ Twitter folks wanted pics of folks wearing their shirt, it seemed like an obvious many-birds-with-one-stone opportunity.

Geoff was great to talk to and very helpful during the flight, and as usual, AirNZ's service was excellent. Must admit i'm going to miss having semi frequent occaisions to fly with them.

... at least per a Tweet I saw.

http://tinyurl.com/2c22e53 wow how interesting! :-)

Power Pylons, Pipelines, Airfields, Roads... hoards of stuff (havn't had time to touch the surface yet).

Neat!

GoPetition

By all accounts the PublicACTA event held in Wellington on Saturday was a roaring success. Sadly, I was unable to attend, and it sounds like I missed a great event. That said, we now have a bunch of smart folks who've had opportunity to discuss at length the issues that the so-called Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is generating, and to produce the 'Wellington Declaration'. This is to be presented to the Government in less than 2 days - and hopefully made available to the ACTA negotiators.

Everyone who cares about the ongoing rights and freedoms of citizens of NZ - in particular regarding the Internet but also regarding the ways Government creates law - should be paying careful attention to ACTA. If the contents of the declaration ring true with you, show your support and Sign the Petition.

I Plugged it on NZLUG, and AuckLUG as well. It goes a little way toward explaining the background of this, largely ripped directly from the PublicACTA website.

Big Kudos to InternetNZ (hat-tip Jordan Carter), Nat Torkington, Don Christie, Peter Harrison and all of those who've been involved in both PublicACTA and from my personal perspective, the NZOSS's arguments against ACTA - NZOSS have been very proactive in responding to ACTA's potential risk to the FLOSS community and i'm proud to be involved with such upstanding folks.

So yeah, anyway, get signing! And stay tuned, I have no doubt we've in no way heard the end of this.

So I grab the latest Opera browser download from their website and install it.
First website that loads is somewhat entertaining:

What's wrong with this picture?

Oh, and no, i'm not converting from Firefox (yet). I do however need a second browser that isn't IE6, and that means Opera at this point. I pondered Chrome, but... not right now.

I feel almost silly doing this now, but I said I would and i'm sure i'll look back and be glad I did; more entries about LCA2010. This entry covers Wednesday and Thursday.

I was going to blog about this, but Computerworld have all-but done it for me..

I had a recent epiphany as I was reflecting on ACTA, the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. To want to block counterfeit items - that is, genuine fakes, is admirable and I support it fully.

I'm not sure that piracy - which is illegitimate replicas of an original, sure, but a soft original (such that in essence, there's no difference between the original and the copy, except the media across which it is delivered) is not quite the same. For one, the scale is entirely different (and the above article illustrates this well). For another, you are infact getting 'the real deal' (most of the time). The software (or media) is infact exactly the same, as the original shipped from the factory. The physical media on which it is delivered ceases to be very relevant once it's installed / copied onto disk, for the most part!
Obviously the technical details vary between software, and media (movies/music).

I don't support media piracy either, but ACTA - a Trade Agreement - is not the place to implement totalitarian policies - and to plan this in secret!

Interesting to read recent comments that comment on how the European Union almost unanimously voted to open up ACTA negotiations and not carry them out in secret (with the holdouts, apparently, being the United Kingdom!!) - and simultaneously, Obama vocally supporting the secret approach. So two of the largest 'western' governments appear to be under the thumb of 'rights holders' - aka the big-money media companies.

A Sad Day for the New Zealand Internet.

Initially when the idea of the DIA Internet Filter (targeted specifically at Child Pornography) was floated I didn't have too many problems with it; their method of implementation (BGP against the IP, and then content filter for HTTP only) is pretty low-impact and the risk of collateral damage is about as low as you could reasonably expect.

However recent media coverage notes that several ISPs are against the filter - which has been launched, but only with Maxnet and Watchdog (others pending) - and some of the reasons identified are pretty damn reasonable.

We have a Single-Point-of-Failure - a single Denial of Service target - and a blocklist which is hidden from public view, so we're trusting our friends at the DIA's Censorship Shop to 'get it right' and to never, ever add content that extends beyond the filters mandate.

So the questions then are,
Do we want another SPOF situation, and
Do we trust the government not to extend the scope of the filter?

Australia has had its own dramas with content filtering - but theirs is mandatory, and far more wide-reaching. The NZ one is 'not too bad' but I have to admit sharing the concerns raised by Slingshot, and others.

In the end, the simple answer is the best; The only people responsible for web content are its creators and publishers. The win over child porn would be to identify and lock up / castrate those who create the content in the first place, and those who make it available. If you need to then nab folks, go for the consumers (the ones who create the market in the first place) who're actually the ones guilty of handling objectionable material.

As I posted to Facebook the other day.... :D :D :D

With thanks to the Wellywood Sign Generator. :-)

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