back to article Birds are pecking apart Australia's national broadband network

Australia's national broadband network (NBN) is being pecked apart by birds. nbn™, the company building and operating the NBN, has revealed that “native parrots have recently been found feasting on spare power and fibre cables strung from NBN Co's near 2,000 Fixed-Wireless towers”. The company has used a picture of a sulphur- …

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Alternative tasking for them?

There's about a bajillion cockatoos in Australia.

Shame they couldn't be trained to attack cane toads.

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Boffin

Re: Alternative tasking for them?

Cane toads secrete ouabain from glands behind the head. Ouabain poisons the sodium/potassium ATPase which all cells have and which maintains an electrical potential difference between the outside and the inside (it moves more sodium out than potassium in). Without this nerve conduction and muscle contractions will decline and cells will lose the ability to regulate their water balance (you move dissolved solutes down their electrochemical gradient or pump them up it to get the water to move by osmosis.

That is a difficult thing, like cyanide which poisons the citric acid cycle, to develop resistance to.

Back in the Physiology Dept in Dunedin, NZ we used cane toads as teaching tools and research subjects (their urinary bladders were patch-clamped). So I am familiar with them. I also know to wash my hands or replace my gloves after handling live toads and not to rub my eyes etc.

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Re: Alternative tasking for them?

So what you are saying is that we should teach them how to hold a golf club instead?

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where's today's on-call?

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On Call?

and BOFH. PP

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Huh?

Posted at 7.01am...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/03/on_call/

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Re: Huh?

Then I shall blame a sticky cache on my browser.... :)

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Yes they can be a tad noisy

Used to have a flock of them lining up on my verandah rail, which being second floor was nice and handy for the nearby pine trees (the pinecones would suffer a severe shredding). The racket was tremendous when they'd arrive - no chance of sleeping through that or having non-shouted conversations.

After they got used to the sight of us, they'd sit on the rail and "talk" to us. Clearly trying to communicate in some form, or maybe just discussing amongst themselves how quickly they could strip us to the bone...

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Orv
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In event of radio failure, squawk 7600.

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As i read this

There is a flock of their nit quite so destructive, but just as noisy cousins, the koella (they have white crests and pink around the eyes) on the oval behind us and have been screeching since just after 3am, it is now6 am.

It brings to mind, stories i heard when working for telstra of termites/ants developing a taste for the insulation of cables crossing the Nullarbour

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Slx
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Deadly surprises inside cabinets and boxes too!

The telco cabinets and underground vaults are also home to deadly spiders and snakes, just to add to the fun!

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Pink and grey galah

I've only seen sulphur-crested cockatoos as pets - and I steer a very wide berth. They are not only quite dangerous but bad tempered too and will pick on certain people while being quite docile with others. Put me right off keeping birds as pets.

I have seen a wheat field in WA destroyed by a flock of pink and greys though. These are lovely looking birds that flash pink underwings when they fly, but don't ever mention how nice they are to farmers! The paddock I was shown was completely destroyed - it looked like it had been harvested with every stem cut about 15-20 cm off the ground. The ridiculous things was that only about a quarter of the seed was eaten as the birds just cut down the plants and moved on. And these are a protected species....

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Angel

Re: Pink and grey galah

As I have a Sulphur as a pet, I can say they are the most lovable, adorable social creatures, They have a similar lifespan as a person. Give them a chance and they will tear a hole through a wall, cause some of the wood looked loose, and it is funny to see it chew through a 2inch concrete perch.

Pets, and the other family members don't understand of course. They just see it as a lump of pure rage and aggression, that shrieks the way it does, cause it isn't making them scream like that.

But it gives cuddles!

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Re: Pink and grey galah

From what I understand cockatoos (and most of the large members of the parrot family) are quite jealous. They bond with one person and will try to "defend" them from any newcomers. So it's not surprising a bird whose owner finds quite pleasant is a screaming shuttlecock of rage to everyone else.

I'm actually quite fond of them but I know I'm not up to the responsibility of a pet that lives that long and needs that much social interaction to stay sane.

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Re: a bird whose owner finds quite pleasant is a screaming shuttlecock of rage to everyone else.

Pieces of hate. Pieces of hate.

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Hmmm

yellow-orange thing on head.... check

makes lots of noise, but no sense.... check

does things it's not supposed to.... check

Are you _certain_ that those things are really Trump Birds?

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So this NBN has bad customer service?

And it's network is cocka-too?

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Not only birds

When there's no deer, or quail, or whatever it is hunters shoot up in The Dalles around, bored gunmen have been playing target practice with the insulators on Google's electricity distribution poles. It's so problematic Google's moving their fibers underground.

The fibers that are continually being shot down connect with Google's $600 million data center in The Dalles. It happens as soon as hunting season starts each November, so now a fed-up Google is building an underground path for it.

https://gizmodo.com/5644050/bored-hunters-in-oregon-are-regularly-shooting-down-googles-fibers

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Re: Not only birds

"bored gunmen have been playing target practice with the insulators on Google's electricity distribution poles"

That's been a problem for telcos since time immemorial. They shoot up the cables too if they're particularly bored.

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Re: Not only birds

Going back a few decades, indigenous Australian Aborigines used to like telegraph/power pole insulators to chip blades and tools from, taking down the line in the process.

Smart maintenance crews would just leave some spare/broken insulators at the base of the poles.

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Orv
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Re: Not only birds

When I worked for the signal department of a railroad, that kind of thing was a constant problem. They actually switched signal designs to one that was less likely to malfunction from having a bullet put into it, after a fragment of a .22 slug jammed the mechanical relay inside a signal and caused a "false clear" incident.

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Dangerous?

Most dangerous wildlife we have here would have to be the 4WD/SUV drivers who think they own the road!

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Re: Dangerous?

Oh, so you live in the centre of Sydney too?

The only time those 4WD's see any action is when the incompetent driver mounts the gutter

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Where's the news?

I cannot see anything newsworthy about this. It has been going on for years, why should the NBN be exempt.

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Not just Cockatoos

Here in Blighty the crows have pulled out the wiring outside my house exposing it to the weather. The resulting static on the line caused my ADSL service to fail. It took over two weeks of texting (!) with Sky, and after receiving a new router on a new 12 month contract, to reach the stage where a crew was sent out to check and fix the wiring. Before, they "tested" the line many times ignoring my complaint of static and mention of recent bad weather. My conclusion is the next time this happens I will cancel my service and switch to mobile broadband because landline companies and the script monkeys who do tech support will be unwilling / unable to diagnose and fix a wiring issue faster than a month. Mobile broadband is getting faster (especially 4 and 5g) and cheaper, and any problem with the network would be instantly apparent to even the dumbest engineer.

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Re: Not just Cockatoos

Always get them to pass the problem up the chain, and never accept a new contract until after the connection is fixed...

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Anonymous Coward

Oh dear: wrong cockatoo in your picture, too. Make the effort, Google "Galah" (the miscreants are not Sulphur Crested that you show).

Stuff the broadband. The real frustration is that the perpetrators are often shot as pests, for the 'crimes' of being intelligent and inquisitive, whereas Australia prohibits their export as pets.

They make beautiful and companionable pets, particularly for the elderly and housebound (just as long as you don't want Netflix or Amazon too, obviously).

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Sounds like a fish I've heard of...

Maybe the birds classification should be changed to “Flying Piranha”

XD

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Just wanted to say that everyone saying we should cull our native fauna is a complete waste of space. If I have to share the planet with you, you can share it with some native birds.

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Anonymous Coward

Culling ?

@Sh*t

Say that after a roo has jumped in front of your bike/car/truck for the 3rd time in a year. There a are limits to how slow one can go practically before a 4WD or motoring incompetent increases ones speed suddenly and expensively, aside from simply wasting time in transit to satisfy the selfish desires of some do-gooders who dont live within 50 miles.

Or tell the kid who had a magpie blind him in one eye.

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Anonymous Coward

At one time every single fruit tree planted in te garden needed a wire cage top protect it from the 100+ deer hers roaming the place. (suffolk)

They got turned into prime venison, and the most Ive seen since is 15 at a time.

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Unhappy

In the USA: Beware of Cable Chewing Squirrels and Other Rodents

Om Nom Nom...

https://i.imgur.com/3P45TwO.jpg

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Paris Hilton

Sharkls like undersea cables as well apparently.

But the parrots? They just wanna Twitter, let's face it.

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Shame on you El Reg

clickbait title -boring report

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Re: boring

Some people have to specify stuff that will be installed in places they are not familiar with. A few cautionary tales are needed now and again so that "impossible" and "nonexistent" problems at least considered and looked for before it's too late.

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