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What's the problem?

24 April 2014

There's a very interesting court case taking place in the USA at present.

Aereo is a company that effectively plucks free-to-air TV broadcasts from the air and makes them available as a video stream to its customers.

The broadcasters are crying foul but Aereo says it's not breaching anyone's copyright because it's simply delivering a service that does exactly the same thing as connecting a TV receiver to someone's computer.

When you think about it... Aereo has a pretty strong case and it's hard to see why the broadcasters aren't happy that their programmes (and ads) are reaching a wider audience thanks to this service.



The last world war?

On the eve of ANZAC Day, perhaps we ought to consider if we'll ever see another global military conflict to equal the likes of WW1 or WW2.

Personally, I think the days of war as we knew it are gone.

Instead of sending young men to their deaths on the battlefield, future wars will be largely tech versus tech contests.

Drones, cruise missiles and other hi-tech weapons have already allowed those with tech-superiority to sanitize combat to a worrying degree.

Everyone from the military chiefs down to the front-line combatants can now engage in strikes with pin-point accuracy from the comfort of a warm room and comfy chair; while imbibing in their beverage of choice.

No blood, no sweat, no tears -- just a few button presses or keystrokes and the weapon de jour is on its way to a pre-designated target, half a world away.

Tomorrow's elite forces won't be heavily muscled "grunts" who can kill a man with their bare hands -- they'll be the pale-skinned geeks who, right now, are spending most of their waking hours hunched over an XBox or Playstation. These are the ones who have the highly honed eye-hand coordination and ability to "bond" with their hardware for extended periods in a way that no regular person could ever hope to do.

Meanwhile, in other rooms, probably not too far away from the XBox soldiers, another army of geeks will be firing off salvos of carefully crafted TCP/IP packets designed to chip away an enemy's cyber-defenses. Knocking out, or taking control of your enemy's IT infrastructure is the 21st century equivalent of knocking out their railways and airfields so it's something that will be given a very high priority in future wars.

With luck, this new theatre of war will produce fewer human deaths but unfortunately, it seems that any opponent who lacks the tech to fight back will find their losses to be extreme - as many "insurgents" in the Afghan deserts have found to their cost.

Due to the nature of mankind, war will always be a part of our past, our present and our future. Let's hope we survive.

The saddest thing to reflect on tomorrow however, is just how many of the freedoms these brave men fought to protect have since been lost to the power-lust of greedy politicians.

I suspect that if many of those who died to protect our freedoms were suddenly shifted from 1944 to 2014, they'd be forgiven for thinking that the war was lost.

A long list of "unlawful" acts by police and the agencies of government echo the actions of our enemies during the periods of the world wars.

The state's intrusion into our lives and the dismantling of our right to privacy smells remarkably similar to the actions of the Stasi.

We owe a huge apology to those who fought to protect us from such evil, for thanks to our apathy, we have given up the freedoms they bought us with their lives.

We should be ashamed.

Sorry, the headlines haven't been updated today

(sorry Forums are stuffed at the moment)

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