54 posts • joined 5 May 2013
Yes. Gird. This is what happens when the US has a Bank Holiday, I have a writer on leave and I go to too many briefings on the same day ...
we did FOI ACARA last year to learn about feedback on the curriculum. I'll use FOI again if something is being hidden. Right now I don't think that's the case. But once the report emerges I'll be all over whoever it was that reviewed the tech curriculum.
Re: Age Range
Good on you MH! Do let us know about your adventures.
Re: Re: Most insane argument on ElReg in a loooong time...
That's not what I say. I say there needs to be lots of oversight, but that the government should do the storage.
Re: Re: So, lemme get this straight...
Wasn't the sub wrote the headline - it was I. And I also wrote the subheadline explaining that data retention is not a good idea.
Re: So, lemme get this straight...
No it is not my assertion that the government should invade privacy.
It is my assertion that if the government decides to do it - which I oppose - that it should not place the burden of storing that data on ISPs.
Re: Most insane argument on ElReg in a loooong time...
I don't say the government should store it because it can. I say that if the government decides it must be stored, it and not ISPs should store it.
Subtle but very important distinction.
All of "Frontline" now on YouTube - what other Australia TV classics are out there?
All of the classic Working Dog current affairs mockumentary "Frontline" is now free on YouTube.
I'll be burning up my Chromecast with it in coming evenings for sure.
Is there any other classic telly out there for free Reg readers need to know about?
There are certainly pockets of old-fashioned values in Australia. Right now, several examples are in Cabinet.
Re: Re: It's all very wonderful
fair point. My back just gives me headaches. Not your nastier symptoms.
Re: It's all very wonderful
I don't buy the painful aspect of air travel. We cross oceans or continents in days. Sure, we get a bit squeezed and the food is dodgy. But people have never been able to travel so far, so fast, for so little. A little discomfort is worth it. And I'm a hefty 6'3" with shoulders wider than an economy seat, aka the bloke you don't want to sit next to.
Re: er, specs?
I've billed this article as a "first fondle" because that's what it is, as opposed to a full review. I expect we'll get to that soon, at which point you'll get all the data you could want.
Admitted? That's an opinion piece, linking to a third-party analysis of data that does not disclose what data was used or the methodology used. That's hardly an admission IMHO
Tell us about your first time ... on the internet
This week, as we've noted here, Australia celebrates the 25th anniversary of its first internet connection. We want to know what your first time was like. Was it gentle?
I've explained my formative, fumbling, dialup experiences at the link above. Do let us know how you went the first time, too.
Apple tax on new iMac: fair or foul?
Apple launched a new "budget" iMac overnight, as we've detailed here.
The $US price is $1099 and the $AUD price is $1349.
So let's fire up the old gouge-a-tron and see if us Australians are being worked over again.
Our gouge-a-tron methodology is simple: we take the $US price and add Australia's ten per cent goods and services tax, to reflect the fact that in the land of the free local taxes aren't included in headline prices. Ten per cent is a bit above the average sales tax, but when trying to calculate Australian parity pricing it works as well as any other number.
Once we have the $US price plus ten per cent, we convert it into $AUD at the current rate - $0.94 today - and then subtract that figure from the Australian retail price.
Here's how that pans out:
The new 21.5 inch 1.4GHz iMac sells for $US1099 and $AUD1349. The $US price with GST is $US1208.90, or $AUD1286 on a strict currency conversion for a premium of $AUD62.94.
The 21.5 inch 2.7GHz iMac sells for $US1299 and $AUD1599. The $US price with GST is $US1428.90, or $AUD1520.11 on a strict currency conversion for a premium of $AUD78.89.
The 21.5 inch 2.9 GHz iMac sells for $US1499 and $AUD1849. The US price with GST IS $US1648.90 or $AUD1754.15 for a premium of $AUD94.85.
So it looks like an Apple tax remains in place. Apple says price differences like these come about because of higher transport and local costs.
I've never accepted the transport argument: surely Apple doesn't need to ship from wherever in the far east its kit is made to California and back to Australia? Even taking into account volume discounts, surely it is cheaper to ship on the shorter routes to Australia?
Over to you ...
What's more scary? Downtime or hackers?
I'm at Gartner's IT Operations and Data Centre summit today, and analyst Joe Skorupa just mentioned a client that has left its switches un-patched for FOUR years.
He said the user is more afraid of unplanned downtime than hackers, so he can wear the risk of not implementing patches if it means the network remains stable.
What's your view? Is this user pragmatic? Mad?
How do you balance the two risks?
Re: Are we sure it's disappearing?
If this is the Alistair Reynolds reference I think it is, well played sir.
Re: WYSIWYG is the problem
What do Reg writers use?
I use OpenOffice 4.0. Previously I used Lotus Symphony. Once that code went into OpenOffice and MacOS X Mavericks borked Symphony, the jump was easy.
I spent years in MS Word: it crashed very regularly about six hours into my work day, mangled text formats, was horrible to use with columns or images and generally made my life miserable if I tried to do anything more than just type. In other words, WYSIWYG made my life hell.
Having said that, I no longer try to do any WYSIWYG. So maybe OpenOffice is just as bad once I push it beyond basic text.
Is ASIO stupid? Or playing stupid to be clever?
As we reported last week, Australia's Secret Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is hiring sysadmins.
The ads for the jobs mention the technologies the successful applications will wield.
I wonder if that isn't a cunning misdirection: surely ASIO is smart enough NOT to leak details of its infrastructure to would-be attackers in a job ad.
Our new Australia-based security expert Darren Pauli thinks I'm paranoid: stuff like this happens all the time, he thinks.
What do YOU think? Is ASIO cunningly misdirecting attackers? Or has it leaked information that attackers will enjoy knowing?
CeBIT 'Straya 2014
Sydney's Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre is currently a smoking crater, so CeBIT Australia 2014 has re-located to Olympic Park.
To me, the event seemed very downbeat. Not many people. Not much buzz. Conference rooms that were too small and hard to find. And tired-ish content: how many times do we need to hear about the social mobile internet of things cloud?
Maybe that's my nasty, cynical journalistic brain at work.
What do you think? Did you go? Do you wish you had? Are you regretting the visit?
Training in Australian Signals Directorate security practices
Fancy a couple of weeks in Canberra during the coldest time of the year?
It may be worth your while because the SANS Institute is bringing what looks like a very interesting course to town. It's called "Implementation & Auditing of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) Top 4 Mitigation Strategies".
The instructor isn't an ASD person, but is coming to The 'Berra wearing a SANS Institute hat. The Institute doesn't make it to 'Straya very often, so this could be a handy moment for infosec pros to skill up.
And before you ask: No, we're not paid to put this up. It just looks interesting so we thought it was worth a post.
Worst ... conference ... format ... ever?
Yesterday's Amazon Web Services summit in Sydney had a very weird format for its breakout sessions.
On every chair in the breakout rooms was a pair of radio-connected headphones.
Speakers were miked up but were not amplified: unless you sat in the front row the only way to hear them was by wearing the headphones.
Everything else was conference as usual: a chap on stage, slideware, lots of buzzwords and content of dubious value.
The reason for the odd format is that Sydney's convention centre was detonated earlier this year: we're building a bigger and better one. That means IT outfits looking for a somewhere capable of handling a few hundred people are scrambling to find venues. Yesterday's venue didn't have dedicated breakout rooms: they had to be curtained off. So the weird headphones arrangement made sense as a way to ensure the venue didn't turn into a horrid tunnel of competing noise.
It was still odd. In fact I'm willing to declare it the weirdest ... conference ... format ... ever.
If you were at the summit, what did you think? Or have you been to a weirder conference?
Enterprise social - show me the money
I'm at Salesforce's World Tour in Melbourne today and after listening to its keynote/infomercial for an hour if anyone says "Cloud/Social/Mobile" to me things might get unpleasant.
The ray of sunshine during the event was Ted Pretty, CEO of Hills Industries, who poured a decent-sized glass of the Salesforce Kool Aid but also tipped a bucket on it by saying HIlls has adopted in-house twitter clone Chatter but said he doesn't really care for it.
"The social stuff is nice but at the end of the day all I care about is making our number," he said.
The cynic in me loves that line: I get the cloud/social/mobile spiel SO OFTEN it's become tiring.
The grudging realist in me says the likes of Salesforce and Oracle would not be going so hard on social if it didn't make a difference and that it's a bit antediluvian to ignore it.
Turnbull Twitfight - we're backing Mal this time
Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull stands accused of telling a householder to move to another home if she wants better broadband.
We think it's an unfair accusation to level against Turnbull. Here's my comment piece explaining why.
Is Turnbull right? Is Julia Keady, the aggrieved householder? Am I?
You're one click from your chance to reply.
Windows has been mandated
Hi everyone and thanks for your feedback.
I should have mentioned that PCs in Willowra ran Windows 7 but were downgraded to XP. I don't know why. But they're grunty enough to handle W7.
On Linux vs. W7 I appreciate Linux's many fine qualities, but feel Windows is more appropriate for a few reasons.
* The XP to W7 move will retain a very similar desktop metaphor and I feel that for visitors to the centre minimal disruption is important.
* Yes, Linux desktops are now very fine. But Linux would mean re-learning a lot for locals and I fear that many don't have the literacy to do so.
* Linux is not not supported by Batchelor College and Linux would be alien to staff on the ground in Willowra.
Commodity? Where is "here". And is it open for others to access as this one will be?
Who wants to work on a 264-Core, 6TB RAM supercomputer?
What could you do with 264 Intel Sandy Bridge Cores and 6TB of RAM?
As it happens, you can now try to find out: Perth's supercomputer facility iVEC has just asked for " would like to invite applications from the research community to use its new, large-memory computer system, called Zythos."
We've detailed just what is inside Zythos and the nature of the offer here. So get reading, then get commenting. There are still a few of Vulture South's very limited edition fridge magnets on offer for especially good ideas.
I've watched The Wire. Twice. Law abiding folks need not worry about the murders. Just don't be on the wrong corner when the shooting starts.
Is the government's NBN policy changing your vote? Greens Senator Scott Ludlam thinks so
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said something interesting in parliament on Monday.
During a long oration in which he invited Prime Minister Tony Abbott to visit Western Australian and face community anger, he listed things that he feels have made local voters mad.
Here's what he said about the NBN:
"As for the premeditated destruction of the NBN and Attorney-General George Brandis's degrading capitulation to the surveillance state when confronted with the unlawful actions of the US NSA—even the internet is turning green, 'for the win'. Geeks and coders, network engineers and gamers would never have voted Green in a million years without the blundering and technically illiterate assistance of your leadership team. For this I can only thank you."
Is Ludlam right? Are you, as an IT pro, more likely to vote for someone other than The Greens? And have you switched because of the NBN?
Get commenting, folks ...
Re: Typical reg
Not sure how we are attacking Apple here: the ATSB report mentions it was an iPad.
Having said that, I would not want the stand on the Lenovo Yoga tablets to hit me from any height!
There's a short window in which you can influence how computing is taught in Australia
Over the last year or so, The Reg's Australian team has followed the development of Australia's first Digital Technologies Curriculum. That curriculum aims to teach computational thinking all the way from kindergarten to year 10.
The curriculum was finally published yesterday, as we report here.
That's the good news.
The bad news is the curriculum is no guarantee of ever being adopted. The federal government is reviewing the national curriculum, because it doesn't like some parts of it. So the document released this week is not signed off and may never be.
If you care about computing being taught in schools, can we ask that you read our article and then visit the submission form? Vulture South isn't pushing a particular line here in terms of the tone of any submission. But we do think this is an important topic that deserves scrutiny.
New mailing list for AU sysadmins
Get thee to AUSSAG.net
It's only been there a few days, but looks promising.
Collective noun for users of this API
Should we call developers who use this Uncanny XML-Men?
Tendulkar is indisputably India's greatest player and probably in the top five of all time. Yes, the players you mention are very significant. Especially the Nawab of Pataudi *senior*, as his son the junior Nawab also played for India.
National Broadband Network (NBN)
This was always going to happen so here it is.
Let's try not to go over the same old ground here with "but fibre is better and good things might not happen if we don't build the NBN with fibre" arguments.
Having said that, anyone out there on fibre? What's it like? Does it really make a difference once you cram it down consumer-grade WiFi around your house?
Re: Oh yeah, a famous blogger here has had a DOS attack on his website for 3 days now
Thanks for the tip OzBob. We'll see how this one develops.
Oh and let it be noted: Kiwis are currently KILLING Australians here. KILLING.
Let us Aussies wake up, willya?
Seriously, though, Kiwi friends - whassup in tech down there? Other than Kim Dotcom self-promoting?
Hello Kiwi readers. You haven't been (entirely) forgotten. This thread is for you!
SAGE-AU IPv6 roadshow
The System Administrators Guild of Australia - SAGE-AU - is throwing an IPv6 roadshow across this wide brown land. Registration details here.
The good news: this one is going to every state or territory capital city bar Darwin. The fun kicks off on March 13 in Brisbane and winds up on the 14th in Canberra.
Australian VMware user group events in february
VMware user groups are among the more vigorous such organisations in Australia and their annual conferences attract hundreds of IT pros.
The next round take place next week!
VMUG Melbourne kicks things off on February 4th at the Hilton on the Park. Details at this link.
Sydney is on February 6th, details here.
Vulture South will be at both days. Tap Simon on the shoulder and he may favour you with one of our special antipodean fridge magnets, the ultimate in sticky content!
Re: What the officer meant to say ...
thanks for reading. Your subtlety eluded me.
Have cleaned the lenses of my glasses and removed some cynical grime.
Re: Editorial Conventions
Seeing as NASA has just cut back its budget for planetary science, I'll forgive them some sub-editing foibles. Whaddyareckon?
10:00AM +/- 60 minutes. Must be espresso-derived. The rest of you are doing it wrong.
Re: Could be a promising start to a whole new genre
Well played, Sir. Well played.
Re: not quite on topic but
Thanks for the thoughtful comments, Denarius.
I wasn't trying to suggest that integration causes problems, just to very quickly provide some context for readers around the world.
As I say later on, I've no particular insight into how these communities can thrive. But the presence of some connectivity there certainly looks to have promising potential.
Re: Does El Reg really think they will get a reply
FWIW, Microsoft does reply to inquiries on most topics. Apple hardly ever replies to inquiries regarding anything other than products that are already on the market.
Re: BYOD - A dead end street
No-one's paying us to do anything regarding BYOD. Sheesh!
BYOD is an idea. It's out there. Vendors are catering to it and telling us hacks it's impossible to hire anyone under 30 without it.
My intent here was to look at it from a different view: would the concept be so viable if people wanted a games console?
Move along, nothing to see here except typos.
I'm blaming the back-to-back VMUG and AOSUG meetings last night. And my fat fingers.
Re: What's your planned outcome ?
The outcome is simple: get the study into the debate. Distribute it widely. Make sure all media that report NBN-related matters get the study, understand its key points and use it to further their work.
Re: Australia's largest state?
Fair call. Changed to "most populous".
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