And you’re wondering what an ACTA is?

No, it’s not Brad Pitt or Matt Damon, nor is it Julia Roberts (although it does come close). Because of where I work I am probably going to tread a line here. So I’m not going to give opinions, but merely share some links and quote some sources.

I read about this in Computer World (the newspaper one which arrives on my desk every Monday or so). ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement which was brought about by all the would-be powers in the world and Mexico *chuckle*. New Zealand was in on the talks, and they said the public was involved, were the public involved? Did the Ministry invollved at the NZ Government end put out requests for submissions? At any time or place has the public been asked have their say?

For something as important as this you think they would have been. I have looked high and low, around government and private websites, and on a site I know like the back of my hand and I have found nothing.

I know negotiations are ongoing, but we’re at round 4 I think, and still the public has not been asked for their input. Maybe when we get further into it we will be. I wonder if abroad they are asking the public of other involved countries what they think of joining this treaty?

So, what would ACTA mean for New Zealanders? Bronwyn.co.nz which is the blog of Bronwyn Holloway-Smith explains quite nicely what it would mean. And not just for New Zealand, but all the countries involved. For a treaty which is supposed to protect counterfeit goods such as fake Chanel purses and parallel imported goods, it has had a bad case of the “scope creep”.

Bronwyn provided some great links, so I’ll post some here and you can have a read yourself.

Okay, so I need to give an opinion. The only opinion though! And that is that a copyright holder shouldn’t be able to bypass the courts and monitor your every move – even if they can prove you are copyrighting. The police – yeah maybe, but the copyright holder? It pays to know what’s happening with Government, keep your eyes and ears open and be sure to protect your privacy rights. Engage with Government, be sure to vote, and be heard. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the opportunity make submissions in various places.

Y’know, they do need to protect Gucci bags, and Prada bags, Rip Curl t-shirts and other counterfeited goods. I applaud that they are thinking of that. And also parallel imported stuff. Although you wonder how they can do that, and if things can really sell that cheap why don’t they sell that cheap all the time??? I’m not sure how piracy of movies and music came into it all, but I do support a move to protect the value of my Louis Vuitton.

And on a side note, a really good blog post about the RIAA and MPAA, and what would happen if we imposed the same idea of DRM onto handbags. Check out Bagbunch.com for a really great insight into why DRM just doesn’t work.

The “Microsoft Outlook won’t save my password” problem

In have had this issue for YEARS. It is so annoying and only a problem with my gmail and one of my ISP accounts. But by God it drives me nuts. So I’ve Googled it every so often to see if I could fix it but nothing useful has come up. Nobody I asked could figure it out either. The answer was always “you’ll need to recreate the mail account”. Pfft, it still happened!

I was a bit bored tonight, well, waiting for UT2k4 to install so I thought I might give it another Google…

From a comment on the Ask Dave Taylor blog entry regarding this issue:

I also had this issue in Outlook 2003, but also in indows Live Messenger and Internet Explorer 7.

I spend hours and hours searching the internet and could not find the solution. The only possible solution you find on almost all forums (but does not help in most cases is to repair the protected storage system provided registry key: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290684.

So, here is a solution that is not even in the Microsoft knowledge base. It helped me and hopefully many others. It was found because I new exactly when it started to happen: after uninstalling a software program. The uninstall procedure removed to many registry keys…

HERE WE GO…

Important: this solution contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure to back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. View the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base for information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/256986/

Follow the next steps to solve this issue:

1. Close all running programs
2. Click on [Start] » Run
3. Type “Regedit” and click [OK]
4. Open the following folder:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
5. Now choose Edit » New » Expandable String Value
6. Enter “AppData” as a name
7. Double click the new entry
8. Enter “%USERPROFILE%\Application Data” in the value data field.
9. Close the registry editor

It is possible that additional registry keys are missing. Below is a list of all keys that should exist in the “User Shell Folders”. There are different ways to add these keys again:
* Use the instructions provided on http://windowsxp.mvps.org/usershellfolders.htm
* Add them manually by following the steps above
* Export the keys from a computer/user on which the issue does not occur, and then importing them again.

To export and import:
1. Logon to Windows with a user account for which the issue does not occur (this may also be a different workstation).
2. Click on [Start] » Run
3. Type “Regedit” and click [OK]
4. Open the following folder:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
5. Right click the “User Shell Folders” key on the left and choose “Export”. Specify a name and location of for the export file and click [Save].
6. Close the registry editor
7. Logon to Windows with the user account that experiences this issue
8. Double click on the exported registry key you created in step 5.
9. Click [Yes] when asked if you are sure to add the information, then click [OK] for the “successfully imported” message.

Registry keys that should exist in the “User Shell Folders” key.
The list below has the format “Key Name – Value Data”. The type for all keys is “Expandable String Value” (REG_EXPAND_SZ).

* AppData – %USERPROFILE%\Application Data
* Cache – %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
* Cookies – %USERPROFILE%\Cookies
* Desktop – %USERPROFILE%\Desktop
* Favorites – %USERPROFILE%\Favorites
* History – %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\History
* Local AppData – %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data
* Local Settings – %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings
* My Pictures – %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\My Pictures
* NetHood – %USERPROFILE%\NetHood
* Personal – %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\
* PrintHood – %USERPROFILE%\PrintHood
* Programs – %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs
* SendTo – %USERPROFILE%\SendTo
* Start Menu – %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu
* Startup – %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
* Templates – %USERPROFILE%\Templates

MORE INFORMATION
The “User Shell Folder” is a subkey of the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer registry. Entries in this subkey can also appear in the “Shell Folders” subkey and in both HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and HKEY_CURRENT_USER. The entries that appear in user User Shell Folders take precedence over those in Shell Folders. The entries that appear in HKEY_CURRENT_USER take precedence over those in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
Posted by: JeePee at May 23, 2007 3:47 PM

I don’t know who you are JeePee, but you’re a fucking legend. Thank you!!