Posts by JasonP

  • Speaker: ACTA: Don't sell us down the river,

    Here's a prediction on what will happen:

    People will shop around for a non-ACTA signatory country and setup a large peering site with substantial Internet backbone. They will then begin selling encrypted VPN tunnels world-wide, allowing them to cheaply (albeit more slowly) share data without fear of reprisal.

    We are already seeing this with people using VPN accounts to get around geographical limitations on the US TV web sites (Hulu,, YouTube), as well as the product being offered by the PirateBay (iPredator).

    Governments are playing whack-a-mole with this. They would be better served to change the rules of the game.

    Piracy is _expensive_ to the end customer. Bittorrent is twice as expensive as a legal stream of the same movie. Adding encryption on top just makes it even more expensive.
    How do you compete? Distributors already have a cost advantage. They should use their size to make it larger.

    1) Convince the NZ government to legislate local IP peering.
    2) Peer with all of the ISPs.
    3) Host the content in NZ.

    Immediately, they have a huge cost advantage over the torrent people who pay international traffic. The traffic cost advantage used to be 10:1 for national:international.

    Let's do some math:
    Data Cost: NZ$1.50/GB - Telstra Clear 40GB plan.
    Movie: Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen, 720P
    Size: 8.02GB

    Bittorrent, 1:1 seed ratio:
    Transferred: 16.04GB, international
    Cost: 16.04*1.50 = NZ$24.06

    Transferred: 8.02GB, international
    Cost: 8.02*1.50 = NZ$12.03

    Local Peering, Streamed:
    Cost: 8.02*.15 = NZ$1.20

    These guys are essentially telling us that they cannot compete and offer locally streamed movies at a price of NZ$24/movie. That there is no profit in that at all.

    Oh wait, Sky does it for NZ$7.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2009 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: ACTA: Don't sell us down the river,

    Being a software architect (I design and develop large scale real-time telephony software), I live and die by intellectual property. Without intellectual property, the companies I work for would find it a lot harder to justify the investment that pays for my salary.

    That being said, I don't believe that my work should have any special protection just because it is "on the Internet". The Internet doesn't change what happens, it just makes it happen faster.

    Back when I was a kid, we used to go over to each other's house and copy the other guy's games. One person would buy the game, and pretty soon we were all playing it. We did the same thing with LPs, VHS tapes, Cassette tapes and later CDs and DVDs.

    Can anyone honestly say that they've never kept a TV show they've recorded after they've watched it once? Borrowed a CD from a friend and made a tape? Made a mix tape from your own CDs?

    Content that is represented as data has always been easily copied by motivated individuals (read: children).

    The only thing that the Internet has done is lower the barrier to entry.

    What has changed from our childhood days of swapping ROMs and VHS tapes? The change is that you don't have to be motivated anymore, you just need to install a simple tool. There is always someone willing to write some code which will do the job for you, and once it is automated, creators are competing with free.

    As with most things and their intersection with the Internet, I have come to the conclusion that these things are proposed because it is possible, not because we should.

    Consider what NZ Post would look like under ACTA-like rules.

    1) All letters would be opened and scanned. All addresses would be recorded.
    2) If you sent a photocopy of a newspaper article to a friend, you receive a warning letter.
    3) You send a video of the kids with once of Prince's songs playing in the background to Grandma, you receive a second warning letter.
    4) If you then sent a mix tape, you would not be allowed to send (or receive) any more mail.

    Now imagine the exact same thing applied to the regular phone network.

    Why are they demanding that this be applied to the Internet? I use it more often than I do either of the other two data networks.

    Quit doing these things because a software vendor says it can be done.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2009 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Does My Mortgage Look Like a…,

    For a contrarian view....

    How we dress makes a statement. We dress in formal business attire when we go to make a sale or job interview, gym clothes to go to the gym and a swimsuit to go swimming. You wouldn't wear your clubbing clothes to work - it makes the wrong statement.

    Therefore, it should be perfectly acceptable to assume that the clothes you wear clubbing also make a statement about your intentions.

    I recommend a scientific study. Go out three times. Once in the sluttiest outfit you can find, once in a set of track pants and a third time in formal business. Count the number of times you are hit on in each outfit.

    If the number is the same, then it's the men being douchebags. If it changes based on outfit, then it's the clothes, with a baseline level of douchebaggery.

    There appears to be considerable research indicating that attractiveness is linked to attire. Acting as though that doesn't exist and that you have no control over it? Um... Yeah...

    Wellington • Since Aug 2009 • 3 posts Report Reply