Posts by Steve Baker

  • OnPoint: Pay Attention,

    Apparently anyone inside the wall can get unencumbered nets by signing up to one of the cheap and cheerful US VPN providers.

    wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 7 posts Report

  • Hard News: Episode One,

    Just watched it on ondemand. I thought it was good, and no doubt will get better as you get into the swing of things.

    My only technical criticism was that the echo in the studio made you sound like you were in a big empty room. The acoustics kind of stuck out, so I guess shows like this aspire to complete acoustic deadness.

    wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 7 posts Report

  • Island Life: Get over it,

    Here's a question for Wellington cyclists or would-be cyclists: where are the bottlenecks, gaps and deathtraps in what one might exaggeratedly call our "cycle network"? Are there some suburbs with frustrated pools of cyclists who could be unleashed given a small stretch of cycle lane or an improved intersection?

    I take the airport->city cycleway to work every day. As soon as the cycleway runs out near the airport I'm onto a busy Miramar street called Broadway. This is a wide street but was recently upgraded so now there is a large flush median in the centre of the road. This would be fine except that the median is dotted with concrete islands whose only apparent purpose is to be vessels for cabbage trees.

    On most days when riding east towards Seatoun, cars feel they need to slow to my speed because they don't think they can fit between my bike and the island. I already ride close enough to the left that I am worried about parked cars opening their doors in my path. A handful of times cars and buses have ploughed through anyway, requiring me to take evasive action.

    My suggestions for improving the current layout would be to:
    - remove some of the centre islands
    - remove some of the eastbound parks which are near the remaining islands
    - extend the airport cycleway all the way to Seatoun (its flat all the way, and who really needs to ride a bike to the airport anyway?)

    wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 7 posts Report

  • Hard News: An unexpectedly long post…,

    Supplements are currently regulated as foods - which should provide at least some protection that they won't cause harm (or some recourse when they do). Most opponents of the bill are not against some form of regulation - they are simply against the current proposal.

    The fact we're even having this debate is a testament to how open our democracy is compared to Australia. There the regulation was passed at the federal level with barely a comment - mainly because their democratic process is somewhat opaque. Australian states have the option to opt out of the legislation and my understanding is that some already have - so we have the somewhat absurd situation of New Zealand being bound to an Australian regulator which Australians themselves are free to ignore.

    I think the ideal scenario would be an independent New Zealand regulator being set up. Then this debate could be about the best way to regulate. It should be possible to set up a system which weeds out dangerous products without wiping out cottage New Zealand industry.

    The current proposal does not achieve that.

    wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 7 posts Report

  • Mother Goose, 'Baked Beans' (1977),

    My first real job was with a couple of Mother Goosers. I had the dubious pleasure of hearing the rehearsals for their reunion about 10 years ago.

    Fun fact, the hairiest member shown in the above video still has the same haircut!

    wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 7 posts Report

  • Hard News: Copywrong,

    My first guess would be Nandor - he seems to have a fairly good grasp on Open Source issues.

    wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 7 posts Report

  • Hard News: Copywrong,

    I've been going through the Copyright Amendment Bill and there seem to be concerning aspects relating to DRM. While the original intent may not have been to criminalise the breaking of DRM to view legitimately owned content, the current text of Section 226 seems to say otherwise.

    In its current form the only exclusions for breaking DRM are for library archivers and educational security researchers - and even then they have to ask the copyright owner for a non-DRMed version of the content first (and wait a reasonable amount of time for the inevitable rejection).

    Possible changes to set things right might be:
    - Allow DRM circumvention to view content that is legitimately owned (this would allow watching DVDs on Linux)
    - Allow DRM circumvention for the deaf or blind to access content
    - Remove the requirement for having to ask permission from the copyright holder to legitimately remove any DRM.

    wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 7 posts Report