Re: An interesting phone

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 5, 2008.

  1. In article <>, thingy did write:

    > ...has anybody come across software that would use
    > this, but then dial a line out? So a voice over IP router...


    You could do it with Asterisk. That speaks SIP and also interfaces to cards
    that connect to analog phone lines or digital BRI.

    > ie VOIP to my wee server downstairs from abroad, then my wee server
    > either rings the house phone, or dials out on a modem to the NZ number
    > wanted and acts as a bridge?


    Yup. And you can peer with other SIP servers, buy domestic phone numbers in
    various countries etc. All quite common stuff these days.

    > I wonder what that does to Telecom companies pricing model?


    In countries where there is a monopoly telco, it blows it all to hell. Which
    is why some of them unofficially throttle VOIP traffic, or even officially
    ban it.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 5, 2008
    #1
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  2. In article <>, thingy did write:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> And you can peer with other SIP servers, buy domestic phone numbers
    >> in various countries etc.

    >
    > Can you buy domestic phone numbers? do you need to?


    It lets you call people in those countries on conventional phones at
    domestic rates. Not everybody is on VOIP--yet.

    > ....I bet no phone company is going to part with numbers that easily.


    Some are like that, a lot are not <http://www.link2voip.com/>.

    > I find it interesting that the nutty right wingers and big corps all
    > wail about Government regulation, intervention and interference and yet
    > when people go and do their own thing, those same corps stamp on the
    > freedom to innovate, do your own thing and save money.


    There is a split emerging among conservative types with regard to copyrights
    and patents in particular. But that's a subject for another thread...
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 6, 2008
    #2
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  3. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > I don't agree with government regulation. In a competitive environment the
    > consumers of a service would say "screw you guys, you've broken the terms
    > of our agreement, I'm off to your competitor".


    Free markets need regulation in order to remain free. Markets are not
    capable of keeping themselves clean of anticompetitive behaviour, price
    fixing, deceptive advertising or just plain fraud.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 6, 2008
    #3
  4. In article <>, thingy did write:

    > I re-call reading a good comment from an economist(?) on how businesses
    > work; fundamentally they try to maximize profit, which in turn pretty
    > much guarantees they tend to gravitate to monopoly.


    Some sectors are more prone to this than others. For instance, in the car
    business you've never had any monopolies. Whereas in closed-source
    software, things have definitely tended that way.

    I'd say it has to do with fixed costs versus unit costs. Closed-source
    software companies can spend millions, even billions nowadays developing
    their products, but the cost of manufacturing copies is just that of
    duplicating bits, which is peanuts. So if the market is price-sensitive,
    prices can decline to the point where only the number-one vendor is making
    money, while everybody else goes out of business.

    Open-source stops this from happening.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 7, 2008
    #4
  5. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > Consumers should be aware of the policies of the supplier (such as their
    > environment policy, their customer service etc) and use that information
    > to decide whether to do business with them.


    What's to stop the suppliers from lying?

    > If everyone votes with their waller because a business is environmentally
    > unfriendly, they have little choice but to clean up their act. I
    > believe "name and shame" is a healthy aspect to any competitive
    > environment as it's essentially "consumer regulation" - keeping businesses
    > clean and consumers happy.


    Not good enough. Note the examples of serial fraudsters, who were able to
    continue to dupe long strings of victims--when they were found out by one,
    they just went on to the next one.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 7, 2008
    #5
  6. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > Companies who are bullies only understand one thing - money. If enough
    > people stop giving them theirs, they'll clean up their act.


    How do you explain Xtra, then?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 7, 2008
    #6
  7. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> In article <>, Allistar did
    >> write:
    >>
    >>> Consumers should be aware of the policies of the supplier (such as their
    >>> environment policy, their customer service etc) and use that information
    >>> to decide whether to do business with them.

    >>
    >> What's to stop the suppliers from lying?

    >
    > The law.


    Precisely.

    > And the huge consequences of being found out.


    See below.

    >>> If everyone votes with their waller because a business is
    >>> environmentally unfriendly, they have little choice but to clean up
    >>> their act. I believe "name and shame" is a healthy aspect to any
    >>> competitive environment as it's essentially "consumer regulation" -
    >>> keeping businesses clean and consumers happy.

    >>
    >> Not good enough. Note the examples of serial fraudsters, who were able to
    >> continue to dupe long strings of victims--when they were found out by
    >> one, they just went on to the next one.

    >
    > Because that first one didn't make enough of a song-and-dance about it.


    Only the first one? What about the second one, the third one ... ?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 7, 2008
    #7
  8. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> In article <>, Allistar did
    >> write:
    >>
    >>> Companies who are bullies only understand one thing - money. If enough
    >>> people stop giving them theirs, they'll clean up their act.

    >>
    >> How do you explain Xtra, then?

    >
    > Consumer ignorance and consumer apathy.


    Endemic features of most markets, it seems. So what does this mean for the
    all the faith that is put in "market forces"?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 7, 2008
    #8
  9. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> In article <>, Allistar did
    >> write:
    >>
    >>> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> In article <>, Allistar
    >>>> did write:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Companies who are bullies only understand one thing - money. If enough
    >>>>> people stop giving them theirs, they'll clean up their act.
    >>>>
    >>>> How do you explain Xtra, then?
    >>>
    >>> Consumer ignorance and consumer apathy.

    >>
    >> Endemic features of most markets, it seems. So what does this mean for
    >> the all the faith that is put in "market forces"?

    >
    > That control needs to be put back into the hands of consumers. At the
    > moment the responsibility to "shop with your wallet" is assumed to be a
    > responsibility taken on by the government on our behalf.


    Assumed by whom? We are all free to go to the shops and buy what we like.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 8, 2008
    #9
  10. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> In article <>, Allistar did
    >> write:
    >>
    >>> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> In article <>, Allistar
    >>>> did write:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>>>>
    >>>>>> In article <>, Allistar
    >>>>>> did write:
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>>> Companies who are bullies only understand one thing - money. If
    >>>>>>> enough people stop giving them theirs, they'll clean up their act.
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> How do you explain Xtra, then?
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Consumer ignorance and consumer apathy.
    >>>>
    >>>> Endemic features of most markets, it seems. So what does this mean for
    >>>> the all the faith that is put in "market forces"?
    >>>
    >>> That control needs to be put back into the hands of consumers. At the
    >>> moment the responsibility to "shop with your wallet" is assumed to be a
    >>> responsibility taken on by the government on our behalf.

    >>
    >> Assumed by whom? We are all free to go to the shops and buy what we like.

    >
    > Yes, but we expect that the retailers adhere to certain government
    > regulation which keep them "clean", even though we may not actually know
    > what those regulations are. My point is that such government regulation
    > breeds apathy, and apathy breeds abuse on the part of companies.


    So there shouldn't be a Consumer Guarantees Act? No Consumer's Institute, no
    Fair Go, no Commerce Commission? Let the bastards do what they like?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 9, 2008
    #10
  11. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Geoff Guest

    On Fri, 09 May 2008 18:38:43 +1200, Allistar wrote:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> In article <>, Allistar did
    >> write:
    >>
    >>> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> In article <>, Allistar did
    >>>> write:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>>>>
    >>>>>> In article <>, Allistar
    >>>>>> did write:
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>>> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>>>>>>
    >>>>>>>> In article <>, Allistar
    >>>>>>>> did write:
    >>>>>>>>
    >>>>>>>>> Companies who are bullies only understand one thing - money. If
    >>>>>>>>> enough people stop giving them theirs, they'll clean up their act.
    >>>>>>>>
    >>>>>>>> How do you explain Xtra, then?
    >>>>>>>
    >>>>>>> Consumer ignorance and consumer apathy.
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> Endemic features of most markets, it seems. So what does this mean for
    >>>>>> the all the faith that is put in "market forces"?
    >>>>>
    >>>>> That control needs to be put back into the hands of consumers. At the
    >>>>> moment the responsibility to "shop with your wallet" is assumed to be a
    >>>>> responsibility taken on by the government on our behalf.
    >>>>
    >>>> Assumed by whom? We are all free to go to the shops and buy what we
    >>>> like.
    >>>
    >>> Yes, but we expect that the retailers adhere to certain government
    >>> regulation which keep them "clean", even though we may not actually know
    >>> what those regulations are. My point is that such government regulation
    >>> breeds apathy, and apathy breeds abuse on the part of companies.

    >>
    >> So there shouldn't be a Consumer Guarantees Act? No Consumer's Institute,
    >> no Fair Go, no Commerce Commission? Let the bastards do what they like?

    >
    > There should be a "contracts act" which enforces compliance of contracts
    > agreed to be two consenting parties. This would cover the consumer
    > guarantees act, employment law, minimum wage law, the commerce commission
    > etc. The Consumers Institute and Fair Go are very able to be private
    > organisations.
    >
    > Basically it would be "let the bastards do what they like as long as we have
    > both agreed that they an do it".


    Ever been involved in a lawsuit over breach of contract? Know how much time
    and cost is involved? May scoundrels use that exact issue to get out of
    their obligations - basically it is not economic to recover costs and
    damages and enforce the contract.
    Thus does theory crash upon the reef of reality...
     
    Geoff, May 9, 2008
    #11
  12. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> In article <>, Allistar did
    >> write:
    >>
    >>> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> In article <>, Allistar
    >>>> did write:
    >>>>
    >>>>> That control needs to be put back into the hands of consumers. At the
    >>>>> moment the responsibility to "shop with your wallet" is assumed to be
    >>>>> a responsibility taken on by the government on our behalf.
    >>>>
    >>>> Assumed by whom? We are all free to go to the shops and buy what we
    >>>> like.
    >>>
    >>> Yes, but we expect that the retailers adhere to certain government
    >>> regulation which keep them "clean", even though we may not actually know
    >>> what those regulations are. My point is that such government regulation
    >>> breeds apathy, and apathy breeds abuse on the part of companies.

    >>
    >> So there shouldn't be a Consumer Guarantees Act? No Consumer's Institute,
    >> no Fair Go, no Commerce Commission? Let the bastards do what they like?

    >
    > There should be a "contracts act" which enforces compliance of contracts
    > agreed to be two consenting parties. This would cover the consumer
    > guarantees act, employment law, minimum wage law, the commerce commission
    > etc. The Consumers Institute and Fair Go are very able to be private
    > organisations.
    >
    > Basically it would be "let the bastards do what they like as long as we
    > have both agreed that they an do it".


    Contracts only work between parties of similar power. Where one is weaker
    than the other, you get unjust contracts.

    For instance, look at the persistence of DRM on digital media. Would you
    accept that the content companies are legally able to foist that on us?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 9, 2008
    #12
  13. In <4824cdb1$> sam wrote:
    > Allistar wrote:
    >> Basically it would be "let the bastards do what they like as long as
    >> we have both agreed that they an do it".

    >
    > So contract killing would be OK by you ?


    Obviously the killee would have to pay their killer before the job, or
    else put the fee into escrow, but otherwise it seems it would be OK.

    --
    Roger Johnstone, Invercargill, New Zealand -> http://roger.geek.nz
     
    Roger Johnstone, May 10, 2008
    #13
  14. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > Geoff wrote:
    >>
    >> Ever been involved in a lawsuit over breach of contract? Know how much
    >> time and cost is involved?

    >
    > The reason for that is because a) current contracts are filled with
    > legalese ...


    It's called "boilerplate". It's there to prevent scoundrels weaselling their
    way out of what you thought they were committing to. Some people make a
    profession of this.

    > ... and b) lawyers are expensive.


    They're expensive because they're trained professionals. They need that
    training to counter the professional weasels (see above).

    Besides, just imagine you were (wrongly) charged with some serious crime
    (such as murder): how do you fancy your chances if you had to represent
    yourself, instead of relying on a trained lawyer?

    > There are so many laws and exceptions to laws that you need to be a smart
    > cookie to understand it all. I'd suggest that a better system is one where
    > the only laws that exist are those the protect our freedoms.


    What about the freedom to form price-fixing cartels--is that one of your
    freedoms that should be protected?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 13, 2008
    #14
  15. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> Contracts only work between parties of similar power. Where one is weaker
    >> than the other, you get unjust contracts.

    >
    > I disagree with that. Contracts are consensual by nature.


    No, contracts are _supposed_ to be consensual. But sometimes parties are
    coerced into signing. Then you have an unfair contract.

    Also, consider the insurance business: what protection would you have
    against an insurance company agreeing to sell you a policy, then when it
    comes time to make a claim, reneging on the deal and leaving you stranded?
    How exactly do you make a choice to switch to another supplier when you've
    already suffered one swindle, to run the risk of suffering another?

    >> For instance, look at the persistence of DRM on digital media. Would you
    >> accept that the content companies are legally able to foist that on us?

    >
    > They can foist on us whatever they want with regards to their product.
    > Nobody is forcing you to buy their product or services. If you don't like
    > the terms of using their product, then don't use it.


    What if you have no choice? What if the producers have conspired to form a
    cartel? Where else would you go?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 13, 2008
    #15
  16. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > My point is that if the law books were 5% of what they are today, lawyers
    > wouldn't be so expensive.


    But would the law still work?

    For instance, consider that currently, the police can't just come into your
    house and search it any time they like. They have to convince a judge to
    issue them a warrant, and explain that they have reason to believe you're
    up to no good.

    And to discourage the police from going ahead and raiding you anyway, judges
    will refuse to accept evidence that has been improperly obtained.

    Would you be happy to see this sort of legal safeguard go out the window?

    > No, the freedoms I refer to are that of body, mind and property.


    What about laws against libel? Supposing somebody started spreading a
    completely made-up story that you were a horrible child abuser. Would you
    want to have legal recourse against that, or not?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 14, 2008
    #16
  17. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> In article <>, Allistar did
    >> write:
    >>
    >>> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Contracts only work between parties of similar power. Where one is
    >>>> weaker than the other, you get unjust contracts.
    >>>
    >>> I disagree with that. Contracts are consensual by nature.

    >>
    >> No, contracts are _supposed_ to be consensual. But sometimes parties are
    >> coerced into signing. Then you have an unfair contract.

    >
    > If there is coercion, then it's not consensual. I'm talking about
    > consensual contracts, where both parties agree to the terms of the
    > contract.
    >
    >> Also, consider the insurance business: what protection would you have
    >> against an insurance company agreeing to sell you a policy, then when it
    >> comes time to make a claim, reneging on the deal and leaving you
    >> stranded?

    >
    > A contract is a contract. I would expect the law to come down on that
    > company.


    Breach of contract is a civil, not a criminal, matter. That means it's up to
    you, the aggrieved party, to sue them, and you have to bear all the costs
    and trouble of that.

    At least, that's the current system. Or are you suggesting that the
    Government should take on the responsibility of enforcing contracts?

    >> How exactly do you make a choice to switch to another supplier when
    >> you've already suffered one swindle, to run the risk of suffering
    >> another?

    >
    > If you have been swindled by the terms of your contract being broken, then
    > I'd suggest 1) discuss it with the company and make amends, followed by 2)
    > go to the police.
    >
    >>>> For instance, look at the persistence of DRM on digital media. Would
    >>>> you accept that the content companies are legally able to foist that on
    >>>> us?
    >>>
    >>> They can foist on us whatever they want with regards to their product.
    >>> Nobody is forcing you to buy their product or services. If you don't
    >>> like the terms of using their product, then don't use it.

    >>
    >> What if you have no choice? What if the producers have conspired to form
    >> a cartel? Where else would you go?

    >
    > You're referring to an environment with no competition. I.e. a monopoly.
    > People should vote with their wallets ...


    For whom? What if ALL the main suppliers are part of the cartel? (As is the
    case with movie DRM and DVD region codes, for example.)
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 14, 2008
    #17
  18. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> For instance, consider that currently, the police can't just come into
    >> your house and search it any time they like. They have to convince a
    >> judge to issue them a warrant, and explain that they have reason to
    >> believe you're up to no good.
    >>
    >> And to discourage the police from going ahead and raiding you anyway,
    >> judges will refuse to accept evidence that has been improperly obtained.
    >>
    >> Would you be happy to see this sort of legal safeguard go out the window?

    >
    > No, and I wouldn't see why it would go out the window.


    Because there are lots of complications and subtleties--and heaps of case
    law--around the rules of evidence. That's precisely the sort of thing you
    need years of professional training to understand--the kind of professional
    training lawyers undergo.

    Just one of the many complications that are unavoidable in a workable
    justice system.

    >> What about laws against libel? Supposing somebody started spreading a
    >> completely made-up story that you were a horrible child abuser. Would you
    >> want to have legal recourse against that, or not?

    >
    > Interesting question (the kind that I like!). One perspective is that
    > harming someone's reputation through lying would be a removal of that
    > persons freedoms. Another perspective is that as long as that person (or
    > their property) isn't physically harmed, then no issue exists. I expect
    > that intentional lying (in a way that harms someone's reputation) would be
    > an issue for tort law.


    So "tort law" is an exception to your proposal for getting rid of most of
    the law?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 15, 2008
    #18
  19. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> So "tort law" is an exception to your proposal for getting rid of most of
    >> the law?

    >
    > Of course. I'm advocating getting rid of the laws that remove our
    > freedoms. Laws should be only concerned with freedoms and nothing else.
    > Since tort law is about protecting our freedoms, it stays.


    What about taxation? If you cut down on that, how would you pay for things
    like roading and environmental watchdogs?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 17, 2008
    #19
  20. In article <>, Allistar did
    write:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> Or are you suggesting that the
    >> Government should take on the responsibility of enforcing contracts?

    >
    > I'm suggesting that the responsibility is primarily between the two
    > consenting parties, and if no conclusion can be made, then the law get
    > involved. If a party if found guilty of breaching the contract then it's
    > only fair that they bear the cost of the legal action.


    To go back to the insurance example: suppose you've just suffered a major
    loss, such as your house burning down along with all your possessions in
    it. Or your primary family breadwinner has died. And the insurance company
    refuses to pay out on their policy. Are you really going to be in any
    position (financial, emotional) to take them on in a civil lawsuit?

    >> What if ALL the main suppliers are part of the cartel? (As is
    >> the case with movie DRM and DVD region codes, for example.)

    >
    > I a free environment (one that I am proposing) there should be no problem
    > with breaking DRM or region encoding so long as you are not going agains
    > the terms of the contract. If the terms of the contract prohibit that, and
    > all companies have the same terms, then you have no choice but to agree on
    > the terms or don't use their services.


    So the cartel would stay intact, then. Is that OK by you?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 17, 2008
    #20
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