Future plans for CloudPad

30 10 2010

Development on the CloudPad application had all but halted. It had reached the base functionality I needed for Work and other commitments meant I didn’t have the time to keep working on it.

The good news is that after playing with Silverlight on Windows Phone 7 I have decided to bring this application back to life, but in another form. Silverlight proved to be the UI technology I had been looking for to take the app forwards.

A standalone version for Windows Phone 7 will come first but then I plan a version for the browser backed with cloud storage of notes so you can get access to your notes from any location.

More news to follow…

France Rejects 3 Strikes

9 04 2009

3 strikes, the new push from the record industry in favor of their failing lawsuit campaign, has hit another stumbling block…. France.

The various record industry lobby groups have been pushing for the creation of 3 strikes laws to anyone that will listen. They came close at the EU level but that was rejected. Since then they have pushed for laws in the UK, Denmark, France and New Zealand. They have come close but each time failed at the last hurdle.

Their recent lost occurred in France where HADOPI, another 3 strike law, made it through the French Parliament and Senate but failed at the last hurdle in the National Assembly. After passing Parliament the public backlash started much like New Zealand and this was enough to beat the law.

So what is so wrong with 3 strikes?

The answer will depend on who you ask. Ask the record industry and they will say Nothing! Their evidence is always correct and 3 warnings should be enough to stop anyone right?

When you look deeper the cracks start to show though.

  • It has been shown again and again that the evidence collected by the record industry is not accurate.
  • Most 3 strike laws have had content providers positioned as Judge, Jury and Executioner!
  • The person doing the downloading might not be the bill payer so a disconnection takes a family or even an entire company off the Internet.
  • Google even came out in support against the New Zealand law saying that well over 50% of take down notices it gets are companies trying to take out competition.

So far the world has seen sense but when Big Media comes knocking in your country make sure your MP knows how you feel about any such law and that so far EVERY country has rejected this stupidity!

Is Steam Any Better Than SecuROM?

30 03 2009

A while back I asked “Good DRM, does it exist?

I used Steam as a good example of how a DRM system can bring advantages to its customers and in a way steam does offer a lot.

My view on the system changed recently when I purchased GTA4 through Steam. There was no demo so I had to purchase in good faith based on the listed minimum specifications and my view that I believed my system met the listed specifications.

This turned out not to be the case. I raised a support ticket to ask about the possibility of a refund. A few days later I get a terse response on the lines of “No refunds, see agreement”. All my attempts to follow have been ignored and my tickets closed without response from a Steam representative.

This has left me $50 down with a game I can’t play or even sell to recover some cash. The last bit is a VARY bad part of steam and got me thinking above the negative side of steam. When you look you soon realise Steam as a concept is actually worse than SecuROM.

Here are the bad points with Steam:

  • If Steam closes all your games die. Would this happen? It’s not the first DRM server to be closed.
  • You can’t run a Steam protected game without the Steam client running.
  • You need a connection to constantly authenticate games.
  • You can’t sell games when you have finished with them as you never actually own them.
  • They have the right to terminate your account which is actioned means you lose access to ALL your games.

At least with SecuROM you can sell games if you have not used all your installs. Also SecuROM can’t take away your Games collection. Look at the flac that system got when used on Spore.

Gabe Newell, Valve and Steam boss, said.. “Pirates are actually customers who aren’t being served.”

To my perspective I don’t call a stonewall silence service! Steam has joined Sony on my blacklist.

Think before you buy into Steam. Think above what it REALLY means, it is after all just another DRM!

Fire Screensaver

29 03 2009

I installed this wonderful Win32 based screensaver a month or so back and to date it has been the only screen saver I have kept for any length of time.

When the saver kicks in your desktop is set on fire. The screensaver takes your current desktop into account and the lighter areas burn hotter than the darker areas. The fire effect it gives is very realistic looking and can be very mesmerising to look at.

There is a more configurable paid for version but for me Free Fire Screensaver is good enough for me :)


29 03 2009

I recently found this series of musical mash-ups by someone called Kutiman.

Each song is created from a number of YouTube clips, normally of people playing instruments or singing at home on their web cams. These are spliced and mixed together to create new tracks.

There are a range of songs on the his ThruYou site or via YouTube that cover a range of musical styles including Funk and Hip-Hop.

The whole ThruYou project shows what is possible when you don’t have to worry about Copyright restrictions. Had this series of mash-ups been made from music of artists under Big Media contracts the ThruYou site would have been closed down under the massive weight of legal threats in very short time!

CloudPad Released

26 03 2009

A minor update and buf fix release of CloudPad is now available for download from SourceForge.

This should resolve the navigation failure issue reported on the last release. The way hyperlinks are handled has been restructured to fix the problem that occured with earlier versions of IE, which is used to display HTML in CloudPad.


Section 92A… RIP

24 03 2009

For those that have missed all the fuss over Section 92A here in New Zealand, it was a another piece of “3 strike” legislation similar to that the media industry has failed to introduce in various countries around the world.

The law, if passed, would have required ISPs to disconnect customers because of Accusation of copyright infringement.  Note I said Accusation and not Proof.

The introduction of this bill caused a very public Blackout Protest along with other protests that initially cause a delay of the bill and finally its death.

The Blackout being a powerful signal in New Zealand due to the countries attachment with the colour Black. You might know the team that represents the country for the national religion of Rugby are the All Blacks but it goes further deeper than that. There are also the Black Caps, Black Sticks, Tall Blacks, Black Socks.

The initial delay in the bill was to allow a code of conduct to be created as the law was vague that it needed guidelines. This is when Big Media started its normal tricks.

  • We are never wrong with our evidence.
  • ISPs should pay to process our reports of infrigment not us.
  • Those accused sould not be able to challege the evidience.
  • If the accused try to challege evidence we should be able to say if we believe they are right.

Near the end even Google even stepped in the fight with some interesting facts. 57% of the TakeDown noticed it receives are business against competitors and 37% were not even valid copyright claims.

Is this the end?


Another bill will come sooner or later. For now though we can rest knowing we won’t be cutoff just on the SAY of someone else.


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