Posts by Mark Sibly

  • OnPoint: The Whaledump Saga: Scooby-Doo Edition, in reply to Keith Ng,

    Really? I was under the impression there was no real evidence of what went on, therefore no prosecution (but I haven't been following all that closely...). Perhaps this changes that? Or perhaps it was only "pretty illegal"!

    Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report

  • OnPoint: The Whaledump Saga: Scooby-Doo Edition,

    A lot to take in...but doesn't this basically prove that CS was commissioning a hack on the Standard? Isn't that illegal?!?

    Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report

  • Speaker: We don’t make the rules, we're…,

    Wow, just checked out Russell's link here and was surprised-but-not-really to find NZ has the fewest available titles in the world!

    Also, just curious, but how do content creators actually get paid when their stuff is licensed to netflix? Lump sum? Per view?

    And I assume content creators get a cut of sub-licensing deals with other regions, correct?

    Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report

  • Speaker: We don’t make the rules, we're…, in reply to Sacha,

    I mentioned the TPP because at one point there were rumours that parallel importing was 'up for negotiation'.

    If parallel importing is prohibited - or even just limited somehow - then I guess it'd probably be the end of global mode too.

    Frankly, being in the IP/software/tech industry, the TPP scares me shirtless!

    Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report

  • Speaker: We don’t make the rules, we're…,

    What I find really frustrating about the whole geo-blocking thing is that I can't legally (well I currently can, but that may change) pay to subscribe to services that show the stuff I want to see!

    This means I can't financially support those services - is this 'lost opportunity' cost taken into account when it's claimed that 'the current model works'?

    It was the same with videogames once upon a time, when console makers aggressively locked down their games to regions. Surely they also lost sales to customers outside those regions in the process? But videogames survived the change to a more global market. Region locked games are far less common these days (only Nintendo are holding out to any degree - and how well are they doing?) so I can now buy the latest weirdo Japanese dating sim or whatever and play it on my NZ bought PS4. Surely this benefits both Sony and the content creator?

    As people's tastes become more and more diverse - thanks in no small part to exposure to alternative content on the internet - the desire for people to be able to access more than just what lightbox or whoever has decided to license will just grow and grow.

    This issue will not go away, and while I appreciate their currently appears to be 'no alternative' (I hate that phrase) I can't help feeling there is a leap of faith required here - tearing down the region blocking walls will have effects that will not be wholely negative.

    I also find this whole idea of making it illegal to 'easily' use a technology - VPN - very distasteful. Surely, if VPN is legal, then it should be legal for ISPs to offer it as part of their service? Or is the end game here making VPN illegal altogether? Wonder what the TPP has to say about all this!

    Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report

  • Hard News: Do Want?,


    My take on the iPad as 42 year old programmer who started out with the TRS-80/C64 etc...

    I gotta admit, after thinking about it for a while I am extremely nervous about the closed nature of the iPad - it's effectively the first completely closed, DRMd up the wazoo 'computer'.

    We've had closed devices before - cellphones, dvd players etc - but this is the first device that can potentially do anything a computer can (from the end users point of view) that is *designed* to *not* run unapproved software.

    We've been heading in that direction for a while - both Windows and Mac have restrictions that mean you can't play certain media or Dvd's on them. But both platforms will still run software that (for now anyway) legally can.

    And what makes it a computer vs cellphones etc? After all, it's just a 'big' iPhone, right? Well, yes, but IMO it's its *size* that makes it a computer!

    No one will seriously attempt to use photoshop or word on an iPhone, the form factor's just not right. But on an iPad? Quite possibly (had to edit out 'xcode' for obvious reasons...).

    But does it matter if it's 'good'? After all, they appear to be kicking Flash to the curb which in IMO is no bad thing! But not in everyone's opinion - plenty of game developers could suffer - and regardless of how good it may be, the ability to improve, modify or reuse it has been dramatically reduced by it being so closed.

    Eventually no doubt it'll be 'jailbroken' - but that's a pretty crappy solution. Do we really want to live in a world where to write a casual bit of software and share it with friends - our maybe our community - we have to become criminals? OK, possibly over-dramatic, but so far I've managed to avoid 'modded' hardware and still do my thing, and I hope that will always be the case. The thought that the ability to make a living out of what I produce depends on some drone at the 'Apple software quality assurance' dept. is pretty depressing.

    And as for 'vote with your money' - that's fine if you have a pure capitalist belief in the 'rational marketplace' and so on (which we've had hammered into us for the last 30 years!). In the real world, I'm not convinced that the 'best' (whatever your definition) product will always win in the end, and frankly that we really have much choice in it anymore anyway. 'Content providers' will cream themselves over the closed nature of the iPad, and when have they ever really cared about 'end user experience'?

    I've long held a private belief that Linux will eventually be the 'last one standing' as far as personal computers (as we know them) goes, as Windows and MacOS slowly become more and more crippled by DRM and patent/license issues to the point where they end up purely as 'user' boxes under the TV (how long before MacOS is ditched for iPhoneOS?). And it's likely that it'll take superhuman RMS type dedication to prevent even Linux becoming 'illegal' once everyone has signed their free trade agreements with the US etc...

    I reckon I'm still right, and this is just another step in that direction.

    Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report