Monthly Archives: March 2013

Don’t like paying exorbitant prices for commonly used Microsoft Office applications? Don’t want to get ripped off?  There ARE good alternatives.

At the Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into software pricing in 2013, the heads of Apple, Adobe and Microsoft have been dragged kicking and screaming to face the inquiry and provide a real explanation as to why the price of their software is so much higher in Australia than other leading markets.

Committee deputy chair Paul Neville indicated that the Microsoft managing director did not offer any concrete justification for why Microsoft’s prices were on average 66 percent higher than in the US.

You can read the hearing on IT-Pricing for yourself at Page 31 to hear what happened when Microsoft Australia managing director Pip Marlow fronted the inquiry… Continue reading

Late last year the South Australian Government invited comments on a paper outlining proposed changes to laws affecting late night trading of licensed premises. Being involved in a part of the market that supplies video security systems, we submitted the following comments.

“As a supplier of digital video security solutions, I request consideration be given to the following points that I make in respect of Part 5, Section 16 of the draft code.

Your draft paper speaks of “colour high definition visual recordings”, when it fact it should specify recordings that achieve a prescribed minimum video resolution in pixels. “High Definition” is not relevant in a security context. High Definition is appropriate only in television programming, and security applications warrant that the terminology should instead refer to “High Resolution”.

I suggest also that the term “Digital Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)” is incorrect, and might by some be considered a contradiction in terms, since ‘CCTV’ has long been recognised as an analogue video system. While digital High Definition TV may be rated at 1080 pixels (height) or at 1920×1080p, is approximately 2.1 megapixels, it employs a codec that is designed to best display moving images. In security applications a ‘still’ image is often required.

It is inappropriate to expect the recording system to “operate continuously…. and for at least one hour after premises cease to trade”. Most modern security systems are designed to record based on detected events (e.g. movement of persons), and good systems can record before a detected event as well as afterwards. To record continuously is wasteful, expensive and more time consuming for those charged with the task of locating a recorded event and creating a copy of it.

The paper proposes to mandate ”colour” visual recordings. There are however many situations where relatively poor lighting, especially at night, would result in far better images with a monochrome lens. Yet again, I suggest the draft should specify a minimum standard in pixels for recordings.

I submit that the draft paper is too subjective: the terms “High Quality” and “High Definition” are meaningless, while “CCTV” represents a legacy standard. I believe your paper should nominate “Digital High Resolution Video Security” at a minimum of 1280 x 960 pixels (“Mega pixel”) at 10fps (frames per second)”