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* Posts by Peter Galbavy

172 posts • joined 12 Feb 2010

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EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app

Peter Galbavy

I love this standard response...

"There is no reported problem with the Orange Mail app, customers are only charged for data usage."

This is the standard unthinking robot response of most customer "service" nowadays. You report anything to a service provider or even a supermarket and they prattle on that "no one has reported a problem". Well stupid, what do you think I'm doing? My dear old mum occassionally asks in her local Tescos why they stopped stocking A or B and the YTS reject deputy manager typically responds "There's no demand for it" - it's insulting and demeaning.

If they were honest - and that's not going to ever happen in a global brand - they would say "you are the first / one of very few people to have reported this so far" but instead they seek to belittle you by trying to make you as an individual feel odd and unusual compared to their "normal" customers.

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GSMA: EU net neutrality reforms are the enemy of business

Peter Galbavy

Back to the (walled) garden...

If you replace the word "innovation" with "profit" then it's would be right. It would be nice if the EU went further and required operators - wired ISPs too - to deliver something defined as "Internet" and perhaps also defining "unlimited" more clearly would be a great job for a regulator. Too many mobile operators block unapproved (read: non-partnered) IM and VOIP services simply 'cause they want the money themselves.

If they want to limit their service they should not be allowed to sell "unlimited" and "Internet".

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We dig into the GTech GDrive Mobile ... and watch WORST tear-down vid OF ALL TIME

Peter Galbavy

Benchmarks show it's pointless

Looking at the simplistic benchmark screenshots there is no difference between USB3.0 and Thunderbolt, so in effect the money is wasted. Right?

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Intel reinvents the PC as giant 'Black Brook' fondleslab

Peter Galbavy

Explains why Asus are dropping dual OS...

My Asus P1801 is a nice precursor to this, Android on the 18.4" tablet (with 5 hour battery life, and it is about that) and Win 8.1 on the base station. Does nicely for the living room PC.

However Asus are now reported as dropping dual OS support - and this kind of move my the Microsoft cartel may help to explain it. If they want the business building the reference platform.

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Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

Peter Galbavy

Corrupt executive here as well?

I wonder how much of the budget goes on paying for corrupt career little-hitlers like the CEO? Surely a proper investigation by another committee is what we need?

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Audiophiles: These Wi-Fi speakers have a stereo drift of less than 25μs – good enough for you?

Peter Galbavy

Happ with my Squeezeboxen

Slim were doing this with their network player (the synced multiroom audio not the 25uS claims) years ago. Shame Logitech bought, gutted and shut them down. Luckily, I have enough to keep me going :)

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Security guru Bruce Schneier to leave employer BT

Peter Galbavy

Re: BS writing for you

Six months? Make that about 20 years and I second your comment ;)

Applied Cryptography is still pretty much the definitive work, and from 1996 in it's current form. And that was before Blowfish etc.

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.2: Tablet PC, CRT screen and more

Peter Galbavy

Re: I have two immaculate apple newton messagepads

Me too. I actually bought on when on a trip to SF and I was given the other one by an old colleague in a clearout. They haven't been turned on in over a decade :)

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Stylus counsel: The rise and fall of the Apple Newton MessagePad

Peter Galbavy

Only Apple product I have ever *or will, knowingly) buy. Was fun. It's in a box along with one I got from a old colleague after he got bored. I think they're the 120's but not sure.

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OK, so we paid a bill late, but did BT have to do this?

Peter Galbavy

They don't care about *you*

They really don't*. BTs concern is month-on-month numbers and churn. They will only ever change anything if a minor percentage KPI moves the wrong way. Individual customers that aren't FTSE (or equiv) listed? You can ride the train to hell for all they care.

* Yes, the engineers who do the work on the ground (and under and over it) are usually great. The problem is that they aren't the ones you get to interact with.

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Canon climbs atop Facebook with over-the-top pic wrangler

Peter Galbavy

This article makes no sense. Perhaps it needs an editor to review it?

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Facebook strips away a bit more of your privacy – but won't say why

Peter Galbavy
Facepalm

This will completely fail in the EU.

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UK gov dials 999 over Serco prison escort fraud claims

Peter Galbavy
Facepalm

Someone st Serco forgot to sign the donation slip to the Conservatives again? I wonder if they'll get the message the second time. Look, it took G4S a few attempts but I am sure the donations are now done on a standing order.

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Blighty street has hottest Wi-Fi hotspot hottie in Europe: We reveal where

Peter Galbavy
Thumb Down

The UK is still primitive and crap

Here, use our "free wifi" - just install some cookies, provide us your personal info, your phone number so we can send you an SMS to verify you're a chump for marketing and even a random app on your device for us to, ahem, ensure your secure browsing. Thanks, but no thanks.

In a number of other countries I have visited "free" means just that - many branded locations have a click-though page to accept T&Cs and will leave a cookie, it's true, but no hard sell and give-us-your-firstborn - and smaller non-chain cafes and shops don't even want that. The most complexity was in HK where many restaurants use their phone number as the access key, which seemed like a nice idea.

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Jimbo Wales: ISP smut blocking systems simply 'ridiculous'

Peter Galbavy
Big Brother

One of the biggest problems here is that the self-serving politicians have used the old screaming-from-the-rooftops excuse of "think of the children!" to conflate two technically completely unrelated issues - one of preventing under-age viewing of any material that is deemed unsuitable (porn being just the headline) and the availability of illegal content (again, child porn in this case just being the headline).

Any technical approach to either of these is, or at least should be, completely different - even if there is any real workable technical solution to either.

This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the real reason for this push, which as we should all be aware as somewhat more technically aware and possibly cynical than the general populace, is that installation of both process and capability to filter anything that the authorities of the time choose to filter.

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Exposed: RSPCA drills into cops' databases, harvests private info

Peter Galbavy

For some more personal and direct feedback on how "wonderful" the RSPCA are try this thread (in which I have taken part). It's very very long

http://www.petforums.co.uk/introductions/244095-hello-rspca.html

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New in Android 4.3: At last we get a grip on privacy-invading crApps

Peter Galbavy

Samsung make something similar available in their own app store but oddly while I can install it on my Note II it doesn't show up for my Note 10.1

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Dear Linus, STOP SHOUTING and play nice - says Linux kernel dev

Peter Galbavy

The world is full of people who hide behind exactly the sort of whining that Tovalds is talking about. I am no great fan of his but the world moves on and I have had to wander away from the wonderful world of OpenBSD's deraadt and his similar approach - which again, gets results.

"Professional politeness" is very much a vehicle for faked mutual respect and exactly the passive aggressive "we have a problem which we need to talk about" crap that stop things getting done.

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Samsung slurps set-top streamer

Peter Galbavy

Megacops liks Samsung, LG, Sony etc. sort of miss the point (well, they don't really, they just buy the fledgling competition) but if they put any real resource into open-ended research & development on the software side then they would have products just as innovative and original as the companies they lust after. They seem to have great R&D in the hardware part but their software and the walled-garden eco-systems they insist on framing them in suck goats, most of the time.

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Murdoch hate sparks mass bitchin', rapid evacuation from O2, BE

Peter Galbavy
FAIL

jumping ship ASAP

I was in the process of leaving but Plusnet f****** up so badly I cancelled the cancellation. I didn't realise Plusnet were owned by BT else I would never have even started the process. Looks like I will be returning to Zen after many years, even for the premium, once I get back home for long enough to manage the process.

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UK.gov's love affair with ID cards: Curse or farce?

Peter Galbavy
Big Brother

ID cards - good, database - bad

I have no objection to a standalone ID card that would carry a number of security features that DO NOT depend on a back-end database or the biometrics of the holder - only the card itself. In my mind the danger to liberty is in both the database holding copies of everything - because it suddenly becomes the data and the person is now just an instance of that data - and the ability of of others to legally demand presentation of such a card to receive services that otherwise the holder is entitled to. We have already given up on travel without ID so there's not much point fighting for that one.

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Ofcom probes BT over fibre pricing after repeated gripes from TalkTalk

Peter Galbavy
FAIL

the length of these "enquiries" astonishes me

I am continually astonished by the lengths that there, on the surface, rather simple enquiries take. 3-6 months for an initial report? Erm - how much is BT retail charging? How much does BT Wholesale (OR) charge? Subtract the two, divide into a percentage and see if it's fair. Even with a power point that will not take more than an hour as it's all pretty much public data.

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Next Xbox to be called ‘Xbox Infinity’... er... ‘Xbox’

Peter Galbavy
Facepalm

forced advertising and movement tracking

I didn't see anyone mention forced advertising and Kinect integration ala http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/15/interactive-nuads-xbox-360-kinect/

That's why "always on" is going to be mandatory. DRM is already good enough against the majority of gamers.

Should be interesting to see how this goes down in the EU and other areas with some semblance of privacy protection.

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Student falsely IDed by Reddit as Boston bomber found dead

Peter Galbavy
Thumb Down

burn the witch

"Crowdsourcing" eh?

No, it's hiding a vendetta in a crowd. Slightly different thing. And it's been going on probably as long as societies have existed and will continue to do so.

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British bookworms deem Amazon 'evil'

Peter Galbavy
Big Brother

meh

There are a whole slew of challenges here. Amazon is only the largest player in a very rapidly growing market and will not necessarily still be number one in a few years.

I guess the most important choice is content. To me Amazon is the only commercial mainstream UK supplier of eBooks I found that is relatively device agnostic - or rather they supply software which works on all the current devices I want. Even as a seemingly Andoird fanboi I will not use Google Play as that's a real lock in and egenarlly more expensive. Must be the VAT dodge not working. Similarly for the other device tied UK sellers. When I fancy something independent I browse www.smashwords.com and I've actually spent money there on a regular basis for DRM-free titles.

What does get my goat, and Amazon whine it's the publishers but I don't believe them, is the complete lack of loan and resale facilities. If this DRM shit meant anything then it would mean that your books could be transferred securely from one account to another without the old copy being accessible. It's crazy when you can buy a new hardback from an independent reseller on Amazon for less than a fraction of the price of the ebook. It also makes sure the the consumer knows their place - they are renting the book, never ever owning it.

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Review: NetAtmo Urban Weather Station

Peter Galbavy
WTF?

WTF?

It doesn't do wind or rain and costs HOW MUCH?

I have a cheap FOSHK (CHinese company that makes all the Maplin and other cheap, "real" weather stations) from Signatrol and it does all this and UV/Lux levels and with pywws on a Linux box connected to the indoor unit uploads it all to Weather Underground so they can do the heavy lifting of display and recording. All that for £99 (plus the Linux server that's just a box, hanging around). Oh, WH-3080 for reference - it's cheap, probably only nominally accurate, but it's consistent.

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Handwriting beats PowerPoint's teaching power says MIT boffin

Peter Galbavy
Megaphone

it depends on what you want

If you're educating to create a workforce, regardless of industry, then there is one way to do it. If you're educating for the sake of knowledge and learning then there's another.

If you watch almost any of the lectures given with the late, great genius Richard Feynman you will get a sense of how to do the latter. He knew that making people understand was the key - if you get your point across as a set of first principles and teach people how to apply those and you manage to get your students to "get it" then you've won. Of course this only applies to those subjects that have a genuine basis from which those first principles come, so bollocks to the soft subjects.

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Your consent 'almost always' needed when firms use your data to profile you

Peter Galbavy
Holmes

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Still haven't stopped laughing. A watchdog with no teeth barking at a lorry driving past the gate.

At least I'm more cheerful than before reading the article. The only downer is we pay for these morons to waste time making up pointless reports that will never be relevant.

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Virgin on London Underground Wi-Fi: O2's company, Three's a crowd

Peter Galbavy
FAIL

UK mentality still blows goats

In HK last year their train system had Wifi (and some 2G/3G) everywhere. Most shops and restaurants had genuinely free WiFi (most places used their phone number as the password or a number of the receipt - no capture of user details). One nice system from a local telco who's name now escapes me is free WiFi for all HK residents (using ID card numbers or whatever) and for us foreigners you sent a text from your foreign numbers mobe and got an access code back that lasted a week across all the APs.

In London all they need is leaky cables and tiny access points linked with nice thin fiber and voila! But no, not in this country/city.

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eBay: Our paid Google advertising was a total waste of money

Peter Galbavy
Trollface

sigh

Could be because every time I see "eBay" in an add or on Google Shopper I simply think either "scam" or "fraud". Perhaps they have an image problem?

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'Wireless charging' in Galaxy S4 will betray Samsung's best pal

Peter Galbavy
Facepalm

Note 2 - smoe have hacked it

From reading the Note 2 forums on XDA there have been a variety of hacks to make the wireless charging work - just a real shame Samsung is so totally crap with it's own accessories...

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Google, MPEG LA kiss and make up in WebM patent spat

Peter Galbavy
Facepalm

whatever happened to the BBCs Dirac?

Well, the BBC claimed it was patent free and open. Then, even with the advances in hardware mostly negating the performance overhead of encoding, they completely failed to use it in-house or promote it. Our tax money (yes, the TV license is a tax in all but name) not at work.

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Queen of Tech City says she will decide what Tech City does soon now

Peter Galbavy
FAIL

Back in the day (the late 80s AFAICR - the days are hazy now) the incentives were tax breaks for first-round VC funding and loan guarantees to banks for "risky" start-ups. It worked, mostly.

Now, it's about giving hipsters free money to chatter about marketing and "creative" shit - not technology.

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Perl programming language marks 25th birthday

Peter Galbavy
Thumb Up

I love perl. That is all.

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The latest tech firm to be accused of tax dodging: Microsoft

Peter Galbavy
Black Helicopters

Note that it's VAT that's low in Luxembourg and Corporation Tax that's low in Ireland. A clever company will use everything in it's power to lower it's tax liabilities - this way it can make it's prices lower and/or profit larger, helping it to out-compete the smaller companies that don't have the luxury of multiple national offices.

I don't agree with this un-level playing field but I do accept that it's 100% legal. All this slating of the companies rather than the tax laws stinks of diversions and conspiracy to me.

What is you wanted to loosen your ties with the EU and you didn't want to appear to be the party doing it, how would you whip up public opinion enough to seemingly force you to derogate your involvement in the free market or even more radically initiate leaving the EU in some way?

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New laws to shackle and fine the Press? We've got PLENTY already

Peter Galbavy
Trollface

Wish I could edit my own typos. Assume that they are typos and not me being an idiot. The two are however not exclusive.

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Peter Galbavy
Black Helicopters

If you take a step back and look at the sequence of events over the past few years I starts to look a little like there is a big hot potato of corruption being batted between the press and the political elites. If you take the MPs expense revelations as a starting point - because you have to start somewhere even if the story is much older - then you can watch the tennis game playing. First, show up the MPs for the thieving scum, on the whole, that they are. Next some minor skirmishes and then the Milly Dowler story breaking when it very convenient for the anti-press/anti-Cameron layers. Conspiracies? Oh, most certainly. What's a challenge is to try not to look like a complete loonie when claiming is. Like me :)

Oh, IMHO any press regulation should be limited to offering a statutory (rapid and free or at least affordable) complaints process and fair right-to-reply that enshrines some kind of equitable (i.e. same place, typeface size, inches etc.) published response when things are found to be wrong (not false, just wrong). No limits on what can be published in the first place - that would be chilling.

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MONSTER QUASAR BLAST blows stunned astro boffins' WIGS OFF

Peter Galbavy
Mushroom

so...

... enough to wipe out any conceivable life that was in that galaxy. What a way to go...

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Google, Apple, eBay shouldn't pay taxes - people should pay taxes

Peter Galbavy
Thumb Down

a question of fairness - something an economist has no idea about

The "problem" for society is not a simple one that simple economists can either understand or solve.

It is one of "fairness". If a small company sets up in their locality they are almost immediately disadvantaged against larger companies simply by the proportion of overheads. Assuming that the proprietor is willing to eat lower margins to be able to compete then in the current system that are still disadvantaged because as soon as they are successful they are immediately taxed to death. The large, established companies simply "move" (on paper only) to a more beneficial locale and base their operation from Luxembourg or Ireland or where-ever.

The trouble is if you remove corporation tax, which seemingly solves the above problem, you have to then impose this somewhere else. So now you move the taxation to the income of the sharholders / beneficiaries which in turn just encourages those who can afford it to move their personal tax affairs to a more conducive locale - and we're straight back to square one.

Those individuals or companies that can afford - through scale - to *evade* tax will do so leaving the rest of us to pay for their lifestyle. I use the word evade intentionally as regardless of the legal or illegal methods used they are simply evading their moral duty to pay up and share the collective burden.

I don't have a solution but it's very easy to see the problem.

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Author of '80s classic The Hobbit didn't know game was a hit

Peter Galbavy
Happy

somewhere in the loft ...

is a copy of the boxed game for the Spectrum. A very nice package for those day AFAICR.

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Ten four-bay NAS boxes

Peter Galbavy

ReadyNAS v2 for 280? Really

Just bought one from Amazon to replace my original Infant NV+ for £145 empty...

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ViewSonic VSD220 22in Android mega tablet

Peter Galbavy

battery / power?

The review isn't clear. Is there any battery or is it purely externally powered?

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Bird of Prey: 1980s IT on on the small screen

Peter Galbavy

find-dvd is a good jumping off point

Sometime they actually list the right availability, but looks a bit word at the moment:

http://www.find-dvd.co.uk/dvd/Bird-Of-Prey-Complete-Series/1038103.htm

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Mmm, what's that smell: Coffee or sweat? How to avoid a crap IT job

Peter Galbavy

Re: Recruitment agents - simply ignorant greedy farmers

I did say there were some "humans" and I am sure that us animals can get quite rowdy and some don't produce as much milk as we should but the pervasive attitude still feels very much like a process that doesn't care about the product.

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Peter Galbavy
Flame

Recruitment agents - simply ignorant greedy farmers

Just thought I'd make the point that I have been lucky enough, although it's probably more through poor attitude toward them and stand-on-their-own skills and experience, I have never successfully got a role through an agency. While I have come across a few individuals who seemed human the overriding feeling I got was that I was one of herd they cultivated to get to market in time for a big fat profit. I'm now old enough with hopefully enough direct contacts that if and when in the future I need a new role I don't even have to consider the option.

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EU greases up orphan works copyright loophole for Big Culture

Peter Galbavy
Unhappy

I know this is the author's take on it, but: "These proposals turn international copyright protections for authors upside down, and permit the commercial exploitation of an unidentified work without the author's permission - if you haven't opted out." - this is the classic Catch-22 legalism. If it's unidentified how on earth can you opt-out of having it used?

It should also be noted however that not all works are automatically "copyright". There is a set of tests one of which is originality, or words to that effect. So if you take yet another picture of a famous landmark that lots of other people have done in the past then that image itself may not immediately qualify for protection even now.

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Nexus Q preorders halted, price dropped to $0

Peter Galbavy
Thumb Down

the problem

For google, they can't ship anything remotely useful or capable in this space as they would not then get the nice juicy commercial deals with big media. As soon as they try to ship a media player that can play most formats from most sources then the media owners will walk away as they can't see the walled garden that makes them rich.

The hardware may be capable and there is software out there but it can't be official. This is why the non-brand media players and generic PC hardware rule the roost here. And one of the many reasons for UEFI (sp? no coffee yet) from M$.

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O2 floods London with free Wi-Fi

Peter Galbavy
Trollface

"Saying that, the network appeared on my Razr Maxx last night while sat in a beer garden in Camden, so the signal either stretches fairly far, or somebody was testing additional areas."

... or you're being scammed

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Top plods reconsidering mega deals with Olympo-blunder firm G4S

Peter Galbavy
Devil

Re: wow

Right, that's because - like I think Douglas Adams observed, perhaps in a Dirk Gently book - the English take a US idea like McDonalds and remove all the stuff that makes it different, like speed and price and then deliver what's left.

Mind, the US is better at hiding corruption in plain sight, hence the more polished appearance.

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Euro Parliament kills ACTA treaty before court can look at it

Peter Galbavy
Facepalm

laws should be about fairness. ACTA isn't

Apart from the secrecy around it's drafting and being presented to notional democracies as a fait acompli the biggest issues (IMHO) with most of it's flaws are that it is/was fundamentally inequitable. Most of the provisions are there to skew the power of the large commercial interests against smaller and individual creators and IP owners. It removes protection for consumers in the guise of protecting them by letting the big media interests run things.

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