4/10/2006

pirates and cargo... they steal our phone money.

funny (in the unfunny sense).
just last week moonflake and i were talking with her uncle about cargo containers falling off trucks.
he had recently seen a truck going around a corner when the gigantic container on the back simply fell off.
he was saying "imagine if someone was next to that truck..."
and then there was various talk about containers falling off trucks in this country.
well guess what's in the news today:
a woman has been crushed to death by a cargo container that fell off the back of a truck, and her husband (who was in the passenger seat) has been seriously injured.
turns out the the proper locks and things weren't used, but the container was illegally attached with chains. well that obviously didn't work.
the truck was travelling along the N3/R103 interchange when the container clipped a bridge and came off, killing the poor woman.
what the fuck is wrong with the shipping industry in this country?
trucks are forever in accidents (mostly with taxis).
their cargo is always falling off (and now killing people).
driving long distance always, without exception, has at least one incedence with a truck driver being a fuckwit (like overtaking another truck while there's oncoming traffic... seen that before).
when the new turbine for koeberg arrived they didn't have the cranes to offload it.
wtf?
who the hell is in charge of all this shit? i'm betting government is to blame again, just like telkom.

talking about government and telkom:
we are getting fucked with high prices because the government holds a 38% share of the monopolistic phone company: telkom!
why would they regulate them and bring down exhorbatent prices when they're getting a fat share of the R30 billion pie. i bet that pie is full of gravy, and we all know politicians in this country get fat on gravy!
did you know that government also owns a share of every single communications provider out there? varying percentages from 5% (mtn i think) to 100% (santek i believe), with most being around the 25-35% range.
carte blanche had a whole thing on it last night.
telkom refused an interview and the smarmy government bitch that they interviewed had pretty much one comment to say:
"on behalf of the south african people." (obotsap)
interviewer: you own 38% of telkom.
government idiot: obotsap
interviewer: and you own (some percentage) of vodacom.
government idiot: obotsap
repeat adnausium, stopping only to change percentages and names.
the moron's other claim was that by having such control over the communications government could effectively use them in a time of crisis.
funny how there is already a crisis department (i forget their name) set up which already has all the legislation in place and has nothing to do with government's communication sector (other than hijacking it when there's a crisis).
funny how the rest of the world doesn't need a stranglehold on the people to warn them of a crisis.
our internet connections are 2000% (two thousand percent) more expensive than most developed countries and 1000% (one thousand percent) more expensive than most developing countries.
and of course you all know the little story about how its cheaper and quicker to fly to hong kong, catch a taxi to the nearest internet cafe, download 100Gb, get back to the airport and fly back to south africa.
more interesting comparisons to point out:
telkom's fastest adsl speeds: 1 Megabyte a second.
hong kong's fastest adsl speed: 1 Gigabyte a second (thats 1024 Megabytes a second).
price to download 100Gb:
telkom: R9146 (excluding line rental)
hong kong: 20 of your fine hong kong dollars (about R17.43 at the internet cafe)
please note: i did not forget to add a "." in telkom's figure. it is nine thousand one hundred and forty six rand excluding line rental!
think about that for a second.
btw: where is the SNO? (second network operator).
will government own a large part of them too?
will they also like to fuck us in the arse as much as telkom enjoys it?
something needs to be done!

i was going to do a whole bit about the dichotomy of big companies complaining about piracy (especially of music) while also providing us with the tech to pirate their stuff. blame telkom for the bad rant as i'm too spent after the telkom rant to do this one justice.
basic points were this:
different departments are involved with the different sides.
both departments need to do well and so need to push their agendas.
piracy is wrong, but so is raping us for the price of music.
piracy is illegal, but massive cd prices isn't (its just immoral).
mp3 players aren't for stealing music, the same argument: poppy seeds aren't for morphine (or whichever drug it is).
if you use the mp3 player for illegal purposes then you're pirating.
if you turn poppy seeds into drugs then you're a druglord.
if you don't pirate mp3s but listen to legit ones then you're all legal.
if you like the smell/sight of a poppy and plant the seeds then you're all legal.
what is the inherant intent behind mp3 players (and cdrw's etc).
do the companies really believe that people are using them legally?
are they just trying to get some cash out of people who probably wouldn't buy their music in spite of the fact that they will now contibute to piracy?
its a very complicated bag of different, clashing schools of thought.
personally i rip only cds i own and that's what i listen to on my mp3 player.
i'm not squeeky clean... but i wash behind the ears.
i know people who will pirate just for the collection of it and don't even listen to what they rip most of the time.
i don't have a problem with them personally.
i haven't really decided my standpoint on piracy yet. there's just too many sides to come up with a firm standpoint that applies across the board.
think on this: what about a friend of mine who had a bunch of cds that he owned and ripped to mp3 so that he could listen to them on his main entertainment system: his computer. someone stole all his cds (in a spectacular cat burglary style: coming down from the roof, onto his flat balcony, in and out with all his stuff, and managing to escape afterwards without killing himself, all 4 floors above the ground). now all he's left with are his mp3s. he paid for his music. some criminal has his cds. who's entiled to listen to the music? he can't prove he owns them (who keeps the till slip for a cd after they've gotten home?). the crim didn't pay for it.
tricky tricky tricky. legaly speaking i think my friend might be in the wrong (unless he did keep the till slips. but i don't think he's that anal). but morally he isn't. he owns a copy of that music (or the rights to listen to that music, or something). he paid for it. surely it doesn't matter what form that music takes?
think on that for a while too.

wow.
it's been a philosopher's thinking blog entry today.
hope i didn't hurt your brain.
(telkom rippoff images from here)
edit: telkom rant -> 2000% more expensive than most developed countries, not 2000% more expensive than most developing countries. thanks moonflake for pointing that out :)

4 Comments:

Blogger Synkronos said...

Not to nit pick (okay, I am), but SNO stands for Second National Operator.

Have a fine day ^_^

1:51 PM  
Blogger moonflake said...

hey, i dunno, he might just be that anal (looks at synk, looks at last comment):)

3:16 PM  
Blogger ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

Dammit dude, there is no stopping you when you get going! Good post!
I saw the Tekom expose(?) too and it really pissed me off.
On befalf of the ppl of South AFrica... what a bloody laugh? If it is so, then let them tell us, why the ppl of South Africa are the ones getting screwed by high telephone and Internet costs.

10:04 AM  
Blogger zenstar said...

sync: just because i mentioned SNO doesn't give you liscence to become an informer (and if you get that really bad pun then you're showing your age and lack of taste)

moonflake: it helps us with rules when playing TI (it puts the lotion on its skin)

chitty: thanks. sometimes i can be a bit of a verbal juggernaught, and i agree. if its on our behalf why do we get it in the end?

now we need some sort of plan. haw do we push forward to get things changed?

10:31 AM  

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