Higher mark-ups on hardware and software have become an accepted reality for the average Australian consumer, but that could all change, thanks to a parliamentary inquiry announced by Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy over the weekend. The impetus behind the inquiry is Labor MP and federal member for Chifley Ed Husic, writes Laura Parker on sister site GameSpot AU.
Husic pointed out the usual price-hikers — Adobe, Apple, Canon, Lenovo, Microsoft — in a speech to parliament last month.
Could this be the end of the Australia tax? My own experience from Canada is not optimistic on this front; things were marked up above US prices, and the border was only an hour's drive away. Rather than being an Australian- or Canadian-targeted mark-up, it seems to be more "not the US"-based.
It should be interesting to watch the vendors explain their pricing policy, though, especially for digital goods. I'm looking at you, Adobe and CS6 pricing.
Meanwhile, discussion and flaming has continued over the issue of whether Linux Australia should change its name.
The prime example of a conference that would be better served by a name change is PyCon Australia,. Its organiser Chris Neugebauer wrote: "I believe that something like 'Open Source (Communities) Australia' indicates that the organisation encompasses free and open-source projects beyond Linux. It seems to me that with such a name, it would be clearer that the organisation covers the Python community in Australia, also the Drupal community — many communities — and not just the Linux Community."
The retort to which, from David Newall, was: "If the Python community are put out by our unashamed attachment to our Linux roots, might we not be better to cut them loose and use our energies (and finances) to support a more grateful and less embarrassed group? Might sound harsh, but give it fair thought."
On a more positive note, if you were looking to head to PyCon Australia, early bird registrations are now open, and the conference has secured a deal with Wrest Point Casino for accommodation.
Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining the company as a programmer.Leaving CBS Interactive in 2010 to follow his deep desire to study the snowdrifts and culinary delights of Canada, Chris based himself in Vancouver and paid for his new snowboarding and poutine cravings as a programmer for a lifestyle gaming startup.Chris returns to CBS in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia determined to meld together his programming and journalistic tendencies once and for all.In his free time, Chris is often seen yelling at different operating systems for their own unique failures, avoiding the dreaded tech support calls from relatives, and conducting extensive studies of internets -- he claims he once read an entire one.