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Cheers - AE

Friday, 20 August 2010

Nearly over - UPDATED.

Election day is just about on us down here and that'll be it for another three years (apart from state elections, which for Victoria is actually only another three months or so). It goes without saying that as with the British election I can't bear to support the main parties even though their similar awfulness is a little more distinguishable than in the UK. Julia Gillard impressed me a little by not sucking up to the religious vote and stating that she's not going to insult them by pretending to have a faith that she hasn't got, but any hope that she might get what I suspect is a religious inspired internet censorship policy off the table has been shot down. The not-actually-Liberals are being uncharacteristically liberal about it and saying they'll make any such filter optional, which is kind of what the Howard government did at one point before giving up on the idea due to hardly anyone actually wanting it. However, both have been bribing us with our own money in the shape of their respective broadband plans. Labor want to install a 100 Mbps fibre service to cover 93% of the country and high speed satellite for the rest - a snip at $43 billion. The Coalition would rather provide us with a 12 Mbps fibre and wireless service that might go as fast as 100 Mbps, covers 97% of the population (the rest to get satellite again) and which only costs $6 billion. And obviously both are missing the point:

It's not your fucking money, you thieving pricks! You're not there to piss our cash away on rolling out broadband as if it's a public service. Being a telecoms company is not a government function, which is why we have fucking telecoms companies. When 90 plus percent of the population really need that sort of service, whether it's $6 billion or $43 billion, they'll be willing to put their hands in their fucking pockets for it and someone will come along and put the network in. It's called the market, and all that is really required from the government is for it to stay out of the fucking way.

Unfortunately no matter who wins in just under 24 hours we're certainly in for more of the same.

UPDATE - Mrs Exile has pointed out to me that in addition to wanting to censor the whole fucking internet Labor would also like to censor all games and apps for smart phones, though from this article I have no idea if it's the usual nannying or because it's an untapped revenue stream for the government (my emphasis).
THE Labor Party has flagged it will shut down a major loophole in the mobile phone industry.

The loophole has allowed games and applications to go online without any kind of classification.

Amid debate on internet and video game censorship, it has emerged that thousands of smartphone games and applications are being sold or distributed without going through a classification check, in contravention of the National Classification Scheme.

The largest distributor of smartphone applications, Apple, is bypassing millions of dollars in fees, as classification fees range from $470 to $2040 for computer games, costing the government revenue.
I'm not sure exactly how Apple (who I'm more than happy to slag off when I think they deserve it) or distributor is bypassing millions in fees or how it can be in contravention of the censors' rule book National Classification Scheme. If there's a loophole then by definition this is legal and nobody is in contravention of anything, and for 'bypassing millions of dollars' we should read 'not being sufficiently moronic to hand over millions of dollars to the government for which it has absolutely no legal claim'.
More than 220,000 applications are available in Australia for download.

At a conservative estimate, one-third of them are games, suggesting compliance costs would be in the millions.
And if the ALP get their way who will actually pay those millions of dollars, eh? The distributors? The developers? Somehow I doubt that. It will be the customer, as it always is when government make the price of goods or services artificially high. Seriously, anyone want to bet that prices for apps and games would not then go up to cover these compliance fees? Anyone at all?

'Kinell. It's almost enough to make me vote for the fucking Liberals.
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