It is a very interesting reading and I'd like to thank Campbell for contacting us and offering his time to answer your questions, as well as being so speedy in providing his answers.
Now go have a read in our forums.
UPDATE: If you don't already have a Geekzone account I've also posted the Q&A in this blog too, so you can all comment without having to register in the forums.
"Ms Tizard, who served as associate Commerce Minister under Labour till she lost her seat in November, says she doesn't mind the delay. But she says advising ISPs the clause might be scrapped meant they now had no incentive to seek a deal with the recording industry over how to deal with repeat copyright infringers."
ISPs have no insterest in having a "deal" with the recording industry, because ISPs are not in the business of monitoring what users do with their connections. This would be the same as asking Ford to make sure people who go over speed limits don't get to buy another Ford vehicle in the future. Insane, isn't it?
And she goes on:
"In my view they have completely fluffed it. The whole point of the act is that there are competing interests and what we need is the ISPs and the copyright holders to get together and talk about it."
Ok... And the way of getting ISPs and copyright holders to seat and discuss is by punishing the users?
Ms Tizard says New Zealand music makers have been losing out because of piracy. "What we were worried about in particular was peer-to-peer file sharing. New Zealanders who make music and films can lose everything almost overnight if their work is illegally posted. One of the big recording studios told me that whereas a couple of years ago they were fully booked and when they were giving time away it was at 4am, now they are only about 60 per cent booked."
Are you saying that local artists are recording less because of piracy? Have you seen any studies that confirm once and for all that illegal music downloads are hurting the industry? I mean a study not funded by any association with interests in the outcome of such a study?
As I said before, the industry says "CD sales are declining" and relate this instantly to "illegal music downloads". What they don't tell us is how much more music is being sold online through legal online stores such as Digirama, Telecom, Vodafone, Dick Smith, Apple iTunes and others. Perhaps people are buying less CDs because they are buying more online?
Instead of showing "number of CD sales" the music industry should be showing "average revenue per song" on the Top 100? Why not change the metric?
Or perhaps since Judith Tizard seems so keen on regulating stuff, why not demand the recording industry to keep up with times and technologies and offer other medium for their content?
And an anti-democratic comment:
Protests against section 92a that saw some websites temporarily removed and bloggers black out their photos were "childish", she says.
No protest is childish. It's the people demonstrating the only way they can, against much stronger forces.
"It is not going to get us any further forward. While I understand the concern of internet users who think that their rights to free music and free films are threatened, the right is not to steal New Zealand music and film makers' work. The right to use the internet is a vital one, but libraries can provide it."
I doubt many Internet users - the ones who adhered to the manifestation at least - are fighting for "free music" and "free films". No one condone copyright violations. I hate when people steal my content for goodness sake.
Once and for all please understand, Judith Tizard, people are fighting for their right of due process in court of law, not a mock of a law you helped create.
For background information on this law, read:
More information at the Creative Freedom Foundation website.
UPDATE: The (RED) mouse is gone to a new home now. Congratulations @slyall...
We are doing this as part of the Internet Blackout campaign to protest against the upcoming copyright laws that will virtualy remove users' rights when it comes to due course of justice.
You can find more about this on Juha's excellent post about S92a.
Of course if you are a Linux type you can always hack things into it - or even if you are not (like me) you can still move around quite comfortably and get things done (for example I managed to get the Telecom 3G USB modem working with a couple of scripts and some editing).
This is really my first Ubuntu machine here (we do have a couple of Mac around the house but I mostly work on Windows boxes) so it is been so far really interesting.
I've walked around with the HP Mini Mi in my backpack (which is now feeling quite empty since this is a small laptop) and the people who saw it so far are quite interested - this includes a couple of friends of mine who would use this kind of laptop while on the move, and even my parents-in-law who travel quite a lot and have been complaining of the size and weight of their own laptops.
The Mini Mi follows the Mini Note in style, except that this time it comes in all black, with a beautiful stylish finish on the cover.
The HP Mini Mi is running Ubuntu and uses HP's own repositories hosted by Canonical to provide applications - but you can always add your own repository list to it of course.
I got the version running on a 16GB Sandisk SSD and it's really nice and fast - booting is quick, while suspend and resume work really well. Another interesting features is a recessed USB slot, that can take special USB drives that will fit flush inside the body of the laptop - additional storage without those USB drives hanging from the side of your laptop. Very clever.
The keyboard is really nice to use thanks to its size - keys travel light and a good length too. The screen opens ok, but I wouldn't mind if I could tilt it a bit more.
Below are some screenshots of the standard user interface. The all too common Windows key is replaced with a HP key that will always bring you back to the home screen. Check it out:
I didn't know Wellington residents can discuss and influence local plans on-line. And looking through the WCC website I found a very fresh press release that tells me they even have forums!
04 Feb 2009 Wellington City Council has launched two new online tools - a budget simulator and a discussion forum - that give Wellington residents an opportunity to have their say on how the Council should best prioritise spending while keeping rates rises to a minimum.
The Council's Citizen Engagement Director, Wendy Walker, says the new tools are part of a range of initiatives designed to help canvass the opinions of Wellingtonians as the Council prepares to develop a blueprint for the city for the next 10 years.
"With the global economic downturn, our city is facing a lot of tough spending decisions - so it's very important that we hear the views of as many residents as possible on how we can keep what's great about Wellington while making sure rates stay affordable."
The discussion board features online forums for each of the Council's seven strategies - urban development, environment, transport, economic development, governance, social and recreational, and cultural well-being - as well as a general forum for the Council's 10-year plan for the City (Long Term Council Community Plan or LTCCP).
"People will be able to click through to the forums and leave comments about our proposals under each strategy - while also giving a 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down' to indicate whether they agree with the comments that other people have posted," says Wendy.
For more information about the Council's long term plan, and to access the new online tools, visit the Getting Involved section on the Long Term Council Community Plan 2009/19 web pages or phone (04) 499 4444.
Not only this, but the WCC makes a few RSS feeds available, including latest news, citizens' views, current on-line petitions and more.
I've sent the information on his way and he posted "Microsoft browser share hits record low" on NBR.
Interesting numbers for Trade Me (I guess a more mainstream kind of audience) and Geekzone (a more tech savvy audience).
Here are the numbers from the article:
TRADE ME (January 09/Nielsen NetRatings)
Microsoft Internet Explorer: 72.27%
Mozilla Firefox: 19.84%
Apple Safari: 3.83%
Google Chrome: 1.52%
A hardcore tech audience puts Geekzone visitors ahead of others in their departure from IE – though Microsoft’s browser still leads. Firefox has gained 2.6% since NBR last checked in during October, while after blazing to nearly 5% on its debut, Google’s Chrome has remained static.
GEEKZONE (January 09/Nielsen NetRatings)
Microsoft Internet Explorer: 46.03%
Mozilla Firefox: 40.61%
Google Chrome: 4.60%
Apple Safari: 4.54%
To add a bit more information I am posting here some data from our Google Analytics for the month of January 2009:
Total visits January 2009: 739,689 (+8.29%)
United States: 24.81%
New Zealand: 23.90%
Microsoft Internet Explorer: 46.03%
Mozilla Firefox: 40.61%
Google Chrome: 4.60%
Apple Safari: 4.54%
Mac OS: 5.95%
Server 2003: 1.40%
Telecom Xtra: 6.15%
Road Runner: 2.62%
These are numbers that raise interesting questions and comments. For example almost 46,000 visits from people using Telecom Xtra every month. Also note about 14,000 visits from people using WorldxChange and 13,500 visits from Vodafone users.
This is interesting because WorldxChange was for some time the darling around our forums. People used to recommend their services all the time - until they apparently oversold capacity and started having communications problems. Once people started complaining in our forums WorldxChange pulled out and stopped talking to customers here.
Telecom New Zealand has a shadow presence - lots of employees lurk around but no official participation, although I always receive official comments when I bring questions to them.
Vodafone is the one doing best with a couple of "official" people lurking the forums and answering questions.
Another thing to note is the high Firefox usage amongst our readers. This is probably because of our tech savvy audience.
And lastly there's a huge number of U.S.-based visitors to Geekzone. I'd like to see more New Zealanders visiting the site though, mainly because we have a wealthy of knowledge and solutions to local problems.
What do you think? Do you run a website? What kind of numbers you see? How can we increase local traffic?