Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Taking the high ground today

The first agendum? That would have to be Helen Clark pining for a four-year term - God help us! I do like the idea of having a fixed date for elections however. There is no need to have all this uncertainty and political games associated with when the election is going to be held. We clearly can't fix Helen, so lets at least fix the date. Now, onto the remaining items...

  • Whilst it is not directly relevant to Kiwi bloggers, there are bound to be some useful principles and ideas contained in this resource provided by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the US. Especially in light of yesterdays newspaper articles covering comments about New Zealand bloggers referring to active court cases.
  • I had an interesting discussion with some friends the other night about Mr Capill, his conviction, and the new charges. Our discussion was around the comparision between, say, two different criminals that commit crimes. Which is the worse and deserves a harsher sentence? The one that had a more moral upbringing and should know right from wrong, or the one that had a poor upbringing and less morals? We clearly were in favour of much harsher sentencing on the one that should know better - in this case a Christian that has been convicted of a crime deserves a harsher sentence because they really should have known better because of their upbringing and training. Just like Catholic priests deserve chemical castration for involvement with young boys - they should have known better than anyone else that what they were doing was wrong.
  • And finally, a bouquet for the State Services Commission and the e-Government initiative. They are stirring up Microsoft right now, with their refusal to support Digital Rights Management because they can not guarantee that the documents will be accessible in 100 years time - not without Microsoft's permission anyway. Nor without maintaining the current Microsoft product - hence acceptance of Microsoft Office DRM means that you tie yourself into a lifetime of forced, paid upgrades just to continue to be able to access your data. Groklaw has an interesting article on this today. In addition, the article mentions that the Centre for Critical Infrastructure Protection has also been raising the warning flag against the use of proprietary DRM. Here is the sound bite thats on the money -

    “Before an organisation implements a technology or product that is designed to restrict access to their resources, they should assess the risk of them losing access to the resources themselves or being tied into a solution that could restrict their future options to one technology or vendor.”

    I just hope that as the OASIS Open Document Formats are infused into other applications in the coming months and years that people and governments take the open path so that they maintain control over their documents.

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