Random stuff found while procrastinating :P

Posts Tagged ‘australia

Australia’s hopeless internet filtering policy

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Here are a bunch of links in regards to this.  I’d suggest you read them, and send a letter or email to your local politician and to Steve Conroy.  I sent one to my local MP, and he tried to tell me the policy had been “largely welcomed,” which is interesting when you look at the comments to the abc news online link (which are unprecedented in their agreement.   I’ve never seen anything close to that level of onesidedness in their comments.

The high price of internet filtering (ABC News opinion piece)

Somebody Think Of The Children (blog)

Interview from Internode network engineer

No Clean Feed (good website)



Written by beast9

October 24, 2008 at 2:07 pm

A comment about Australia’s Refugee Policy

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There’s an interesting topic about Australia’s shameful refugee policy (which has now been significantly amended), at ABC online, and I found the following comment particularly noteworthy.


In 2001 I escorted 49 mainly women and children from Larrakeyah to Fossey’s Pavilion, Darwin. Most of the men of these families would follow and remained at Ashmore Reef. The boat was the “Samson Explorer.”

That’s all I’ll say here about it.

The way these people were treated was poor – I will not elaborate here – because to do so may identify me, and I reveived 3 death threats, or threats against my family if I carried out my plan to report the behaviour of those charged with the escort’s security. I have a witness to this.

After 3 days I received a visit from a higher-ranking person from Villawood, who asked me about the episode, and insisted I write my report – I had 6 foolscap pages of notes – and still do have them – which I drafted the night I got back from Woomera, of everything that happened.

I wrote the report at this insistence, but abstained from making it an emotional blurb. Instead, while noting the incidents and events, I also made recommendations to attempt to prevent further such things.

I later found out that my “report” was in the bin somewhere! I received (and still have) a “thank-you” letter from the then Centre Manager, but that was it.

No one has ever asked my about my experiences at Woomera, and if they did I would hesitate to become embroiled. This is because I am cynical about anyhting good coming from it.

Rather I am more inclined to believe this would be fodder for the media, and leave me exposed, unprotected, and seen as disloyal to mates. 

However I would be happy to give a photocopy of the report on this section of my rotation to Woomera to an appropriate enquiry, under strict conditions that would protect myself and family from the threatened recriminations.

Needless to say I did not return to Woomera for another rotation after that. Few would remember me, or even care, but I did care, and I did speak up. I did keep some notes which I still have. 

I sat on my bunk in the old “six-pack” buildings on quite a few nights and cried – speaking out loud at how God could allow this to happen in my country.

And if anyone is listening, I can tell you that the seeds of malcontent were sown the minute the refugees made contact with Autralian security personnel who abused their station. 

But apart from the media – no one will notice … and in time this too shall pass.

I still have no idea where to tell my story, or indeed even if it is relevant anymore.

 – Anonymous

Written by beast9

September 25, 2008 at 1:28 pm

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A Space Elevator!! (and some other stuff)

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Japan has announced that it’s going to try and build a space elevator!!  Pretty awesome stuff.  I’m unsure if it’s really possibly or not, but $9 billion is a lot to be investing on potentially nothing.


Ever wondered how big China’s population is?  This map gives a better idea, with each province labelled with an equivalent sized country.  Initial source here.  


This is a little old now, but a really cool machine that’s been built that can essentially build itself (and pretty much anything else, so long as it’s made from plastic :P).  Unfortuantly it needs a person to do the actual construction, but maybe that will change.


113 new species of sharks and rays have been “discovered” in Australia!  Pretty exciting, although many are very rare and straight onto endangered lists.  One has only ever been found inside the stomach of another shark.  Here is one of the new sharks.



Interesting article by George Dyson (son of Freeman) about economics in the 13th Century! Ok, only interesting to a select group of people I guess 😛


Finally here is an excellent summary of the environmental positions of Obama and McCain.  I don’t think there is any doubt that I’d be a very strong Obama supporter if I were American.


Oh and my camera has arrived, so I’m pretty much going to spend the next month just taking photos and reading about how to take photos 😛

Written by beast9

September 25, 2008 at 11:13 am

More stuff

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Is Camden the most embarrassing suburb in Australia?  How can we get rid of them?  Of regardless of whether they’re right or not, discriminating against Muslims but not Catholics, is racism (or at least religious prejudice if you want to get into that stupid debate about what a race is).


David Karoly is my hero.  He even inspires me to study meteorology, although I’m not sure that will actually happen.  It’s interesting how nobody likes Garnaut’s report too.  Industry says it will kill business and people concerned about our future say it doesn’t do enough.  You can find the supplementary draft report here.

In related news, The Wilderness Society put out an embarressing press release in response to this report.  While I agree with the sentiment, it was important to note that this was a report specifically on targets and trajecories and it was relevant to mention forests.  It’s also important to note that 2 days before the report was mentioned, Garnaut directly called on more native forests and wilderness in Australia to be protected.  


Some religious stuff 😛

Here is a good analogy for the “intelligent” design argument.

A brewary in Denmark is making a “Godless” beer and donating money to an Atheist organisation for each beer sold.


I was going to finish off with a hilarious Michael Palin for US president video, but it’s already been taken off youtube :(.

Written by beast9

September 9, 2008 at 12:23 pm