This is great! We can colonize other planets and not have to worry about nasty alien bugs or creatures hurting our colonists.
Of course we don't want them to come back.
3 posts • joined 6 Apr 2011
I am an IT professional. I got burned with excessive data downloads and you could say I should have known better, however even the best of us have troubles keeping up with every change. Two changes got me.
I live and work within a 5 km radius of Melbourne's CBD (Melbourne is our second largest city). I allow data downloads through 3GS and also allow data roaming. When I leave the CBD I turn these off.
However with the advent of iCloud I allowed some backups and made sure they occurred while I was asleep when I was in my house with WiFi running. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the iPhone turns off WiFi when it is in hibernate mode, but it still allows data transfer. You can see the outcome.
Secondly my provider merged with Vodaphone, and it appears to be progressively shutting down the original network. The result was that I got new data roaming charges while living, working and commuting within 5 km of my CBD. Something that never used to happen.
In the first case we get notified by the ISP when our bill is 5 times the average, this is many hundreds of dollars and an outrage. I did go to our Telecommunications Ombudsman over further charges but couldn't negotiate a reasonable cost beyond my first notice of many hundreds of dollars, but at least it wasn't thousands like you sometimes read of.
In the second case I decided I had enough, and now I have a pre-paid sim with another supplier. With this I have total control over what I spend and I do not get a massive cost blowout. The cost and convenience of my pre-paid package is comparable and in the case of data a lot more affordable.
So I suggest everyone look at pre-paid packages as it is the only way to avoid the attrocious highway robbery of the post-paid schemes. I disagree with the proposition that this is an education issue. Post-paid schemes are a license to rip people off, whether they are technically literate or not. Which reminds me I must buy more Telecoms stock.
Everyone seems to be forgetting Richard's excellent article which points out how ambiguous the claims in the original report are and why they are ambiguous. I think it is an excellent article and clear enough to go to a much less technically inclined audience.
@CheesyTheClown and others:
While you may tut tut at standards, intelligence etc I don't think there is a problem based on how intelligent people are or how well they are educated. The statistics on intelligence don't change. People's abilities will fit a standard distribution. It probably is fair enough that only 30% or less can interpret or understand Maths/Statistics/Instructions/Whatever, it has probably always been so. Education will really only suit a certain percentage (much less than 50%) of the population and probably always has and probably always will. There was no golden age, different tasks are taught in different times. For instance my knowledge of trigonometry would be considered substandard by the generation preceding me and I was taught no Greek or Latin.
On educational standards, the rest of the world is catching up with the West because the rest of the world is upgrading their own education policies. The West isn't where it is because of divine right, the West is where it is because of being the first to develop our 'successful' innovative culture. The rest of the world has been watching and adapting. It has always been so. We ourselves (Western European and derived cultures) used to emulate the Greeks, the Romans, the French, the Germans etcetera, does anyone remember if it was it the 90s when we were exhorted to emulate the Japanese ;) . Hopefully all education systems will end up absolutely equal, though I realise that is an ideal.
On the subject of people that are not up to the required educational standard working in dangerous jobs. Surely they should be tested and fired if they are found a danger to themselves and others. If not enough intelligent workers can be found or enticed to work there, perhaps the facility should close or change its design, or more probably its pay scales ;) .
Jeremy (living and educated in Australia)
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