* Posts by mathew42

240 posts • joined 29 Sep 2011

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nbn has made ZERO fibre-to-the-node and cable connections

mathew42
FAIL

> How how about reliable like the poor people after the storms months ago still don't have a phone line let alone an Internet connection.

The last two issues I've had with my internet connection were caused by building constructions along the street where the contractors cut through the copper. If the cables are brought down in a storm then it really doesn't matter if it is fibre or copper.

> But let's look at AVC pricing

Currently NBNCo are losing money on the majority of the AVC pricing and will continue to do so well into the future. Data charges (CVC) are 'expensive' on the NBN because it is used to subsidise the cost of rolling out the infrastructure and is where NBNCo expect to see their revenue growth.

Have you noticed how many RSPs are offering 1Gbps plans which NBNCo made available at a wholesale level in December 2013? Zero, because the plans are simply not financially viable. Labor predicted the 1% on 1Gbps would be reached in 2026! Can you imagine what speeds the rest of the world will see as a baseline in 2026 when 1Gbps is becoming standard in the rest of the world today?

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mathew42
FAIL

4k streaming of netflix videos to a limited few is not a reasonable justification for what has been described as Australia's largest infrastructure project.

Labor's NBN was designed as a high speed network for a very small privileged few. Labor predicted that in 2026 less than 1% would be connected at 1Gbps while close to 50% on fibre would be connected at 12Mbps.

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mathew42
Big Brother

I find it surprising that the connection figures don't include the speeds that customers are connecting at. I would have thought the figures released in February that on fibre 38% connected at 12Mbps and a further 38% connected at 25Mbps would have bolstered the case for FTTN.

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Finally! It's the year of Linux on the desktop TITSUP

mathew42

Mandrake was also one of the early distributions I used, followed by gentoo, ubuntu and now mint.

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Australia forces UberX drivers to become tax collectors

mathew42
WTF?

Taxi plate owners are rent seekers

> THESE are the people that Uber is really fighting - the ones with $200,000 mortgages on their taxi licenses, or the ones who can't even afford the license and drive shifts in someone else's taxi.

I agree those people who have chosen to see a taxi plate license as an investment are at risk from Uber, but I have not seen a decent explanation as to why a plate should cost $500,000. That is simply rent seeking. It is also risky because the government can change the rules at any point in time (e.g. releasing new licences in Victoria) causing a significant drop in values.

Those driving shifts in someone else's taxi which in my experience form the majority of drivers won't really be impacted by who the employer is. In fact they may find the overheads are cheaper with Uber.

> People complain about rude drivers but the last time I had a rude taxi driver was in France.

I agree I haven't encountered a rude taxi driver, but then I take care not to upset drivers. However if you asked about incompetent or unkempt, then plenty of drivers have given me good reason to wish that we already had driverless cars.

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mathew42
Devil

Re: Here comes the drill...

> They might not want too but the tax office has pretty wide reaching powers to compel organisations to hand over relevant details.

The ATO have previously worked with eBay to ensure that high volume sellers based in Australia are charging GST so there is an historical precedent. With a ruling like this I would put my house on the ATO to win.

Trust me, I would hold greater hope of winning an argument with my illogical mother-in-law, than the ATO.

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Never trust a developer who says 'I can fix this in a few minutes'

mathew42
Coat

Re: Just another day in the life

Many days I wish I'd become a forest ranger.

i sometimes gaze wistfully at the guy driving the ride on lawn mower in circles around the oval, except today when it is raining.

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Oz battery bossmen: Fingers will be burned in the Tesla goldrush

mathew42

Fly wheels?

What has happened to fly wheels and other alternative storage mechanisms?

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Oz government to put dark fibre net on the auction block

mathew42

Except that NBNCo fits the exact model that you object to. Labor's plan was to sell NBNCo as soon as possible (e.g. it started to show a profit).

In an ideal world, government enterprises would be the most efficient, but in the real world this rarely true. Competition forces private industry to take risks and make hard decisions or disappear. In government it often appears that that decisions will be delayed and extra features added because of an issue impactiong on 0.01%.

Government contracts carry a higher degree of risk because of scope creep and changes in the political climate.

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Oz gummint to empty another money-truck into e-health records

mathew42
FAIL

The eHealth records system is unlikely to succeed because GPs don't see any reason or incentive for using it. The data will be poorly maintained because GPs are time poor, their remuneration is declining and there is no reward for entering the data. Additionally, patients can edit their own records making the information untrustworthy from a clinical perspective.

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Turnbull moves on NBN subsidy arrangements

mathew42

The government should simply disband NBNCo and call for tenders to provide services in the existing 121 PoIs. The concessions would last for 5-10 years and would include pricing caps on wholesale pricing and KPIs that result in bonuses / penalties. In some localities, the concession holder would pay the government and in other localities (e.g. rural) the holder would receive payments to make up for higher costs.

A single company would be prevented from more than 33% of the market to preserve competition.

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TPG ups offer for iiNet to AU$1.56bn, includes clever cash kicker

mathew42

The NBN presents a challenge for running an RSP with a cheap brand a premium brand: PoI choke point.

At $17.50/Mbps CVC (data) is a significant cost to RSPs. If congestion occurs then packets will be dropped by NBNCo. It isn't possible for the RSP to flag packets as 'premium customer' and 'discount customer', which means high speed / low speed customers and discount / premium customers will be impacted equally. The current Netflix debacle provides ample evidence of this.

Running two connections the PoI reduces the economy of scale benefits.

Abandoning CVC charging will result in faster speeds becoming even more expensive. Currently 38% on fibre are connected at 12Mbps and a further 38% on fibre are connected at 25Mbps. If wholesale prices for faster plans go up then it is likely these percentages would rise.

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Pi based kid-nerdifier Kano buried under freak cash avalanche

mathew42
Happy

Re: so...

I hope most of the cash has gone in to the applications for teaching kids how to code by playing snake, pong, minecraft, a terminal based adventure game, etc. My son (9) played the adventure game last night and now he knows how how to use ls, cat, mv, cp and possibly some more when I wasn't watching. My daughter (12) had a similar experience. He has worked through all the other exercises independently. We've let another 8 kids ranging from 8-13 play on our Kano and it and they've each been able to solve the exercises and experimented.

I've ordered the PowerUp, because I'm hopeful that working with the LED board will extend the kids further. Sure I could put it all together for less, but time is money and the kids have something they can use now, rather than waiting for Dad to have some free time.

It will be interesting to see if the demand is higher than the 500 Kano are planning to build.

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Tesla Powerwall: not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

mathew42

Recycled batteries from cars?

When the rumours first started, I wondered if Tesla would be selling 're-manufactured' batteries from their cars. Range anxiety, but more importantly size are not as big an issue when the batteries are stuck on the wall in the house, especially if the price is good and the warranty reasonable.

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Boeing 787 software bug can shut down planes' generators IN FLIGHT

mathew42

Last year I was sitting on a plane preparing for take-off. We were informed that the co-pilot's microphone wasn't working. After 10 minutes, the solution was to power cycle the aircraft. 15 minutes later we were on our way.

Not as frustrating as the previous incident where the pilot's window wouldn't open. Apparently it is their emergency exit and we couldn't take off with it stuck. After an hour of banging coming from the front, we transferred to another plane. I didn't feel as bad as the person next to me who watched the flight she was originally booked on depart.

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Ha! Win 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 2 pops out of the Microsoft oven

mathew42
Facepalm

Re: love the hope here.

> (admittedly with the hope of you using their cloud backend)

I think we refer to that as bait & switch or is it closer to giving away the handle so people buy your razor blades?

> Mostly I think you guys are afraid because for once Microsoft are not being tools about it.

Lets run a little comparison here:

* Win10 on Rasberry Pi: I can run a basic custom written application with a basic UI.

* Linux on Rasberry Pi: I can run the full OS with full UI and with a fast collection of applications. There are a variety of distributions including those for specialised uses (e.g. OpenElec & OSMC media centres, Kano for Education, etc.) and general purpose (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, ArchOS, etc.)

With Linux you can build your own custom distributions. With Win10, you enter a world of licensing pain.

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mathew42
Devil

Netbooks, IE, WinPhone, etc.

I can only guess you have a short memory then. Here are some examples: Netbooks, IE, WinPhone & xbox. I'm sure others can add to the list.

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No, Optus: don't try US-style net neutrality arguments in Oz

mathew42

In Australia the vast majority of ADSL plans include a fixed quota and after you exceed the quota, your internet speed is slowed down typically to 128Kbps.

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mathew42
FAIL

Speed tiers, quotas and a monopoly

Australia has the worst of both worlds: speed tiers and quotas. Historically we had Telstra as a monopoly provider which is being replaced by NBNCo as a monopoly provider.

Quotas make sense because it is the transferring data that places load on the network. If you have a 25Mbps connection or a 1Gbps connection streaming Netflix they will both be transferring about the same amount of data. Speed tiers with unlimited plans encourage wasteful consumption and restrict people to a speed they can afford.

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Nobody should have to see their own rear, but that's what Turnbull's NBN will do to Australia

mathew42
FAIL

Labor were better at the spin, but really they created the mess we are in by developing a dodgy financial model with data charges & speed tiers. As of February (see NBNCo Media Releases) , 38% on Fibre are connected at 12Mbps and a further 38% are connected at 25Mbps. 12Mbps connections are under what Labor predicted, but 25Mbps is well over.

> Labour may have been a chaotic mess. But at least they didn't go around shooting themselves in the foot and publicly embarrassing Australia on the world stage.

Pause and think about it for a moment. The political party that trumpeted 1Gbps connections in response to Google Fibre developed a plan where 50% on fibre were predicted to connect at 12Mbps for the next 15 years and in 2026 less than 1% would be connected at 1Gbps.

I'd have to say those figures sound pretty embarrassing to me.

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Japan showcases really, really fast … whoa, WTF was that?!

mathew42

Re: ten centimeters

This quote from How Stuff Works (http://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/engines-equipment/maglev-train2.htm) suggests a valid reason for the 10cm gap:

"A greater gap above the track means that the train would not require complex sensing systems to maintain stability."

It also notes that the Japanese design has rubber wheels so that if a power failure occurs the train simply slows down on wheels.

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Australia mulls dumping the .com from .com.au – so you can bake URLs like chocolate.gate.au

mathew42

Hierarchy adds value

I think the hierarchy adds value, although possibly not as much as in the past. If I visit a site and the URL is *.gov.au, then there is a stronger change it is a website run by an Australian Federal government department. If it is *.wa.gov.au then I can assume it is a website from the Western Australian State government department. If the website ends is *.edu.au, then it is an educational institution of varying quality.

The distinction between .com.au, .net.au, .org.au & .asn.au is more open to interpretation and the correct place for an entity can change over time.

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DRONE ALONE: US Navy secretary gives up on manned fighters

mathew42

It should be pointed out that the Navy's requirement for VSTOL is a large part of the reason that the F35 has been a problematic project.

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Netflix fail proves copper NBN leaves Australia utterly 4Ked

mathew42

Re: "dangerously behind"

> There's a limit to what Google can determine and I'd be very mindful of using it for medical advice. Doctors train for years for a good reason.

The issue is that with 76% of the population opting for speeds slower than what is required for the bulk of the population electronic consultations are a non-issue.

I think it was best summed by Quigley when he said "You certainly can't do high-definition video service on a 1 megabits per second upstream -- it's impossible," in response to a question by The Australian about high-definition video conferencing when your child is sick.

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mathew42

Re: 38% @ 12Mbps and 38% at 25Mbps

> More broadly, I think your missing the point governments need to be planning for and building for the future, not building an NBN that only provides for the current requirements

Except by introducing speed restrictions it limits what people can do. If every NBNCo fibre connection was 100Mbps or better still 1Gbps it would be barely used most of the time, but it would foster innovation.

Instead what is being built is a network that only the wealthy will benefit from. Labor prediction recorded in the NBNCo Corporate Plan was that in 2026 less that 1% would have 1Gbps connections. If that is what Labor were working on, then my opinion is those that can afford those speeds can also afford direct fibre.

> it will be interesting to see in a few years if property listings start talking about the type of NBN in a property, I for one will only want a property with 'proper' NBN

Assuming that fibre on demand is less than $5,000 that is 0.5% of the average house price so it is hardly going to affect house prices. If it does then it will be part of those quick fixes you perform prior to selling a house.

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mathew42

Re: 38% @ 12Mbps and 38% at 25Mbps

> Now for NBNco on FTTP it cost the same to deliver 12/1 or a 100/40

So the price should be the same. Secondly, the cheaper the connection figure is, the more people will connect.

> NBNco is making a $2 profit on a 12/1 $24 connection a month $4 on 25/5 and $16 on 100/40

Except that NBNCo is not turning a profit and is unlikely to turn a profit for the next decade.

As you've correctly pointed out NBNCo need to increase revenue significantly and that growth in revenue will come largely from CVC (data). If the speed restrictions were removed at zero cost to NBNCo, data usage would jump simply because people could watch 3 netflix streams or video conference in HD.

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mathew42
FAIL

38% @ 12Mbps and 38% at 25Mbps

Before you start complaining about the technology choices, take a look at what the average Australian is choosing. NBNCo published a media release on 26-Feb which contained some interesting facts on take-up:

* Only 50% of premises that can connect to fibre have connected

* 38% on fibre opted for the 12Mbps plan

* A further 38% on fibre opted for the 25Mbps plan

76% of Australians (a figure likely to go higher) has willingly opted for speeds slower than that provided by FTTN, HFC & 4G. Heck the average for ADSL2+ is 11Mbps. Rather than complaining about the technology choice we should be asking ourselves:

1. Why Labor chose to introduce speed tiers when we already have usage based charging

2. Why people are content with such slow speeds

The second issue is that iiNet's network has been struggling over the past month. An article in the Fairfax today suggested that it is unmetered netflix is partially to blame.

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VirtualBox v. 5.0 beta 1 spins up for desktop virty lab chuckles

mathew42

Re: If it really does everything it promises..

> Drag and drop / cut and paste between OSs in VirtualBox can be very hit and miss at present and, while there are workarounds, they take time. Any improvement to this basic process will be very welcome.

What workarounds do you use? The one I commonly use is to kill the VboxTray process and restart it.

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Prostrate yourself before the GNU, commands Indian DEITY

mathew42

Re: Would The Reg please stop

> There are very good reasons why the GNU project has failed. Most of these revolve around the complete lack of commercial support offerings from professional vendors

So Red Hat with revenue of $1.5 billion in 2014 is not a vendor you can turn to for professional support?

Have you tried to obtain support from large commercial software companies? Unless you are Fortune 500 it is very unlikely they will give you the time of day. If you are a Fortune 500 company then you can afford to have a kernel developer or OpenOffice or ... on staff to resolve issues.

> It is a shame that India has taken this retrograde step

I would suggest it is a very positive step. If Indian companies can become experts in supporting open source software then they have the technical skill to provide consulting to the entire would.

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NBN Co launches fibre-to-the-building product

mathew42

Considering it is now Tuesday evening, have you had the opportunity to enquire more deeply of NBNCo on the questions you raised in the article?

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Facebook to fling open Messenger to third party apps – report

mathew42

libpurple support?

Based on the https://developers.facebook.com/docs/apps/changelog, v1.0 is available until 30-Apr-2015.

I cannot find any indication of the new API being added to libpurple.

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mathew42

Re: Trillian

More likely pidgin. That is what I use to connect to Google's hangouts and Facebook Messenger.

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Australian online voting system may have FREAK bug

mathew42

Corporate firewalls?

When you consider that many corporate networks have firewalls which perform man in the middle "attacks" so that SSL traffic can be inspected, this does offer some interesting possibilities.

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mathew42

One thing I appreciate about voting in Australia is the simplicity. Turn up at any polling booth within your electorate on polling day, grab a sausage or steak sandwich, queue for ~30 minutes take 5 minutes to vote and leave. If you happen to be a reasonable distance from your electorate, then you can cast an absentee vote. If you don't feel like voting on the day, submit a postal vote.

I also like preferential voting, because it makes it easy to cast a protest vote or single issue vote and use your preferences to support the candidates you prefer.

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Botched NBN installs leave folks with no internet, or recourse

mathew42
Facepalm

Re: NBN CO has been set up to sell to the highest bidder.

> I expect they will be selling off NBNco to the highest bidder (amongst a selected range of bidders of course, can't have our infrastructure falling into foreign hands)

You do realise that Labor's stated plan was to sell NBNCo as soon as the network was shown to be viable commercially? I believe the term for this is "socialising the risk, privatising the profits".

It amuses me no end to see people whining about Liberal policy when Labor policy was the same or worse.

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mathew42

Re: Oh dear

Unfortunately very true. Labor created NBNCo as a monopoly provider and there is even less that competitors can do about it, because with FTTN, HFC & FTTP competitors cannot install their own hardware and connect directly to the client.

Australia would have been better serviced by selling concessions to operate each of the 141 POIs. This would mean a company would provide wholesale services for a fixed timespan with maximum pricing and appropriate KPIs.

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NBN Co says 'ante-up' to fibre applicants

mathew42
FAIL

Low income stuffed under Labor's plan

> Meanwhile renters

Renters in the correct areas (e.g. those where people have high disposable income) who want FoD will simply have it on their check list and agents will negotiate with landlords.

> and those with lower disposable incomes are stuffed.

Those on lower disposable incomes are stuffed whatever happens. The result of Labor's plan is that 38% on fibre are connected at 12Mbps and a further 38% connected at 25Mbps. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to estimate the proportion of those with low disposable income who are on the cheap plans versus the 24% on faster plans.

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mathew42

Want fibre? Get elected to your local council

The application cost for an area is only $1000. Local councillors can be elected for as little 400 votes, so it isn't that hard to game the system.

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NBN Co to deploy DOCSIS 3.1 from 2017

mathew42
Holmes

Re: NBN speed tiers

> FTTH, it takes just a simple *golden* screwdriver upgrade

I think your choice of the word *golden* conveys the perfect meaning. You will need plenty of spare cash to purchase 1Gbps with the current pricing model.

> And like a parrot, matthew42 trots out the old 12Mb/s line again

Before it was based on Labor's predictions. Now we have the actual numbers and with 38% on fibre choosing to connect at 12Mbps and a further 38% choosing to connect at 25Mbps it is clear that the take-up of speed tiers was probably the most accurate of Labor's predictions in the NBNCo Corporate Plan.

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mathew42
Alert

NBN speed tiers

> If the NBN forks into 100Mbps-capable and 10Gbps-capable branches, what's a developer to do? Develop for the lesser service and the faster offering? Or go for the lowest common denominator?

Sadly the lowest common denominator on FTTP NBN is 12Mbps. NBNCo have a media release on their website (http://www.nbnco.com.au/corporate-information/media-centre/media-releases/nbn-co-tracks-towards-full-year-targets-as-network-transitions-to-new-rollout-model.html) which has an attached presentation with a slide showing that 38% of fibre customers have selected 12Mbps speed and a further 38% selected 25Mbps.

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Turnbull says no need to future-proof NBN

mathew42
Mushroom

Demand for Labor's FTTP network: 38% at 12Mbps, 38% at 25Mbps

The problem is that the Australian public (as Labor predicted in the NBNCo Corporate Plans) doesn't have a desire to pay more for faster speeds. In the latest published documents from NBNCo (sse the media release on their website), 38% are connecting at 12Mbps and a further 38% have chosen to connect at 25Mbps.

Sadly by supporting Labor's speed tiers many whining on this forum and others have put at risk their own high speed connection.

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NBN fibre: activations accelerated as footprint expanded

mathew42
Facepalm

38% at 12Mbps, 38% at 25Mbps

> Users still default to lower speeds on connection, with only 19 per cent taking the 100 / 40 Mbps product compared to 38 per cent on each of 12 / 1 Mbps and 25 / 5 Mbps, but user downloads are growing.

Based on these numbers a minimum 76% of customers won't notice a difference between FTTN & FTTP roll outs. If we assume that the majority of those people keen for faster speeds have connected within weeks of the service being available, then this percentage on slower plans is likely to rise.

Even if Labor had been re-elected, it is clear from these numbers that they would have failed at creating a revolution in internet speeds for all Australians. Possibly this is because Labor's original plan was for FTTN and only changed when Telstra wouldn't negotiate.

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Facebook security chap finds 10 Superfish sub-species

mathew42
Big Brother

Just like the corporate world

If you have a Windows PC on a corporate domain then odds are the IT department is doing exactly the same thing. The firewall is almost certainly decrypting your SSL sessions, checking the content and re-encrypting the content before sending it to the original site.

If you are lucky they might have white listed major financial institutions.

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Facebook bug could have ERASED the ENTIRE WORLD

mathew42

Cheque $12,500 USD

$12,500 as the biggest cheque so far from facebook makes it unlikely that people could make a living from this. However it is a nice bonus.

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NBN Co strangles bird: satellite users limited to 20 GB / month

mathew42

Re: 100GB Down To 20GB

I think this is the most sensible comment so far.

Clearly it is transmitting data that is causing the load on the system, so on a user-pays basis cutting the access fees (AVC) and increasing the data charges (CVC) would encourage people to modify their behaviour. RSPs could moderate this by:

1. peak / off-peak quotas

2. prioritisation based on volume of data transferred in the last 30-90 days

The government could see this delivered as essential service by providing quota free or rebates for traffic to certain government services (e.g. school of the air, medical services, etc.).

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mathew42

> Restrictions put in place by people in the city who have no idea and obviously failed to do their initial usage calculations correctly in the first place.

That would be the responsibility of Labor who over promised, under delivered and over spent.

There was always going to be shortage prior to NBNCo launching their own satellites.

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Hola HoloLens: Reg man gets face time with Microsoft's holographic headset

mathew42

I wonder if this or the google glass approach is better for people wanting to complete a task with instructions also available. I'm thinking particularly of jobs like surgery where a high degree of manual dexterity and accuracy is required.

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NBN migration arrangements favour Telstra, say competitors

mathew42
FAIL

> Under the FTTP NBN, Telstra/Foxtel kept their Pay TV HFC and paid for maintenance and operation.

I wasn't aware of this. Do you have a reference for this?

> Fttn will be only very average for Video streaming

25Mbps should be adequate for video streaming, especially at the quotas currently available.

> The Monopoly is maintained and extended at taxpayer expense

Sport is the #1 reason for PayTV profits and it is unlikely those licensing deals will change in a hurry.

If the amount of criticism levelled at the Coalition NBN was levelled at Labor's disaster then it might not have over promised (1 Gbps for all) and under delivered by millions of connections.

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Australia's Akamai ranking has nothing to do with the NBN

mathew42
Facepalm

Re: I just want 5mbs, relaiably

> How many people get < 5mbs reliable. That is the real statistic. And it will not be pretty for Australia. And not just for people in remote places.

One of Labor's numerous mistakes with their NBN plans was not focusing on the areas of greatest need. A quick rule of thumb could be any suburb settled post 1970s when Telstra started installing RIMs and pair gain systems.

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Google's first stab at control-free ROBOT car rolls off the line

mathew42
Coat

Re: I for one.....

Now this takes me back to a story told about my great-grandfather who would stumble out of the pub, climb onto his horse and let it walk him home.

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