All posts tagged with politics

By on March 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm

It was just another part of the daily news. The Abbott coalition government, as part of their plan to “slash red tape” and “remove unnecessary regulation”, announced that they would amend the Classification Act of 1995. The heavy, clunky, 1980′s style human element of the classification system for digitally distributed games would be gone, alongside a host of other small changes.

“These reforms are the first step in the process of ensuring our classification system continues to be effective and relevant in the 21st century,” touted the Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, who was effectively following on with pledges by previous Labor administrations to make the Australian Law Reform Commission’s recommendations in enforceable legislation. On the surface, it didn’t really seem like much of a big deal — the meat of the R18+ sandwich had already come and gone. But in reality, the rest of the meal had finally begun to arrive at the table.

To explain why this change is significant, we need to understand how the current status quo works.

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AMD Radeon R9 290X

By on December 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of the Radeon R9 290X press board vs. retail board performance discrepancy, the surveillance petition to the US government from major US corporations, and the South Australian anti-gambling campaign that demonises videogames.

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By on November 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm

John Rau, the South Australian Attorney-General, just called for a review of the several games rated MA15+. Murder simulators such as Splinter Cell Blacklist, Killer is Dead, and The Walking Dead. Apparently these games had been released as 18+ in some countries, but only MA15+ here. Some were not happy about this lack of moral standards.

Earlier this year, Mr Rau also claimed this discrepancy meant games were not receiving rigorous attention at the review stage. However, Australia’s classification system is different from that of other countries, so perhaps we should make our own decisions. We need to develop our own Australian standard of what is fair game.

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Malcolm Turnbull and optic fiber

By on September 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Here’s the plan. After decimating Indonesia’s fishing industry with our bottomless slush fund, we haul their boats back to Australia. This done, we tow the boats to every suburban street corner, load them with telecom gear, and fibre them to the NBN. Finally, the last metres of frayed, rain-soaked copper goes to every home, garage, and boatshed in the nation. It’s fibre to the boat, the sort of primary industry-focused policy we could have had with the foresight to vote in Bob Katter’s Australia Party.*

Could have, would have, should have. Like many gamers, I’m bitterly disappointed with our new government’s proposed broadband policy. That’s not to say I voted on this issue: Labor’s brand of leadership musical chairs makes me ill. But still, fibre to the node sucks—a technological dead end of sunken costs.

All is not lost, however. Fibre to the node is still just a glimmer in the eye of Malcolm Turnbull—Mr Broadband (as is how our PM describes him). As we’ve seen before, politicians are capable of some impressive backflips. Could this happen here?

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By on August 8, 2013 at 5:10 pm

The other week the Australian Law Reform Commission released their report on IT price fixing. “At what cost? IT pricing and the Australia tax” examines, among other things, why so many games are more expensive in Australia despite being delivered across the same Steam or Origin server. It’s a bloody outage.

The main cause for this shoddy practice is geoblocking. The store detects your location through comparing your IP address and credit card, and if you’re an Australian, another $40 is added to the price.

The Commission’s report found the practice unjustified, and made a number of recommendations to fix. Today we’ll be looking at these.

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