Petition for Fibre to the home (FTTH) NBN model.

There is a petition that has almost 250,000 signatures, urging the coalition government to reconsider their plans for the national broadband network here.

For those that haven’t seen this yet, please sign.
It’s not a political thing, but building for the future.
“But Josh, Why do we need crazy fast internet? I can get pictures of Cats and the footy scores fine already!” Yes, arbitrary voice that I used as a shill, this is true, however there are many reasons to go with the premium model of internet infrastructure, such as:

1) Fibre to the home (FTTH) will ensure Australia does not need to upgrade as soon as it’s finished. Fibre to the Node is already outdated in the UK and parts of the USA that use it.

2) Cloud computing. Uploads under the FTTH plan are much faster (minimum of 20 times, potentially up to a thousand times, depending on developments in the area) than FTTN. This means that cloud computing will be much more useable. Say you’re running high intensity simulations to aid in refining treatments for leukemia, with FTTH you can outsource the computing power to people at home, where those who want to can download a program letting the research centre use their unused processing power. This saves the researcher buying time on a mainframe and decreases the time needed to process vast volumes of data.

3) We can sell it. Even if we take the worst case estimates of the coalition, $90 billion is peanuts to be a world leader. So it costs us $90 billion. We then have expertise in sending data across large tracts of desert, jungle, mountains, etc. We can then go to Texas and sell the tech for a billion dollars or so. Then on to New Zealand. Then to the Middle East, Russia, and so forth. The potential return is massive. FTTN is old tech that nations will not bother investing in.

4) It will not outdate quickly. Fibre technology has been shown to carry petabit (one million gigabits) level speeds (source:, there just needs to be updated exchanges, which will improve as technology develops. Australia can lead this technology with the innovations it makes putting this system into effect.

5) A WiFi based system is not practical. The bands needed will be exhausted quickly and insecure. It’d be like you bank shouting your details from a rooftop in central Melbourne, then saying “No, it’s OK, I spoke it in French”.

6) It’ll make Australia matter internationally. Currently, nothing we do or make can really be considered undisputedly the best in the world.This can be.

7) Our researchers and developers are brilliant. WiFi, the photocopier, ultrasound, blackbox flight recorders, pacemakers and much more were invented (wholely or partially) in Australia. They can continue to innovate when developing this system.

8) It’s the only thing promised to rural Australia in this election, as rail, road and assorted other infrastructure are being scrapped.

9) Jobs. Loads more jobs. Sure there might be one young lad digging on your footpath while three old blokes watch (Council jobs are still council jobs after all) , but they’re earning their pay and not on the dole.

10) Opportunities. Instead of buying a home PC, why not get a satellite system using remote processing power? Why not have fashion guru’s commenting on your ensemble live via streaming? Why not show a doctor a rash on your baby via HD web cam instead of bundling them up and waiting in a crowded room with a ten year old copy of “New Idea”? All these ideas will be exploitable by new businesses.

Well, that’s my ten. If you’ve read this far, I hope you’ll understand why I believe in this. If you disagree, that’s fine. I’m sure you have your reasons.

Now that I’ve wasted your time, have a chuckle at this: Riccardo Patrese (former F1 driver) takes his wife for a hotlap in a civic, filming it without her knowledge.

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To immunise or not.

I admit, I find this argument baffling.

When I have a child, I will want it to be healthy. I will want it to have the best chance at having a good life. I can understand how some parents are concerned about immunisation because of some pseudopinions out there linking it to autism, but to me, it’s a no-brainer.

immunise your kids.

In my grandparents generation, people were affected by polio, whooping cough and so much more. Now we’ve practically eliminated polio and several more diseases are relatively obscure.

The theory that immunisation is linked to autism has been debunked. That means that not only was it not a proven theory, it was proven to be false. 

Perhaps a biologist or immunologist could comment better, but for me, I will ensure my child stands the best chance of surviving through their childhood into adulthood with the best health I am able to provide. 

After all, plenty of countries do not have immunisation schemes. Feel free to compare the child mortality rates between them.

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Liberal NBN to be “Slower but Surer”…

Let me start by saying that I am a fan of Malcolm Turnbull. From what he has shown, I believe him to be a rare find in politics; a politician with intelligence and a conscience. When the gay marriage proposal was put before parliament, he (gasp, shock) polled his constituents, so he could represent their views on the matter. As they were for gay marriage to be legislated, he planned to vote the same way. Unfortunately Tony Abbot did not allow his Liberal perty members to conscience vote on the matter, so the proposal failed. 

I say this, so that when I say that the coalition NBN plan is terrible, I’m not being political, just giving an honest appraisal.

25mb/s is a waste of money. At the moment, I get about 14mb/s. This is fine, for now. I still have trouble streaming HD videos, and any simultaneous downloads can add to the delay considerably. This is with today’s technology. Predicting the needs of the future can be a tricky affair, but if we liken it to other government infrastructure projects, well, they do not really have a track record of success in that area.

Consider the highways. Is there a single one in Sydney or Melbourne that does not become a parking lot on a daily basis? After twenty years, their traffic forecasts were woefully inadequate. The Eastern freeway in Melbourne is terrible, and now they’re talking about removing the land set aside for a rail link to Doncaster to add a lane for each direction in the middle.

Internet use isn’t a steady growth. All technology use increases exponentially. 25 mb/s will be OK for five years time. It might even be OK for 10, but within 20, it will be a joke, a useless sham that is unusable. And to top it off, with fibre to the node (FTTN), as the Liberal party proposes, it will not be upgradable without significant expense. It is significantly limited by the usage of existing copper wire, where speeds will be affected by an old network, set up in the 60s.

The Labor plan of Fibre to the home (FTTH) involves laying fibre optic cable to 93% of homes. To upgrade this is simply a matter of upgrading the software and exchanges, as the network is only limited by how fast light can travel through fibre optic cable (hint: really freaking fast!). You will not need a separate phone line.

How will this affect you?

With the Liberal plan, you’ll get quick internet, at a reasonable price fairly soon. Then in ten years, when the government of the day is still paying off the debt, it’ll be useless. Australia will fall behind technologically and have to reinvest in another system.

With the Labor plan, in ten years time the system will still be current, even high end. in twenty years time, when the network is getting overused and congested, it can be upgraded cheaply. 

The other option bandied about is a wide access WiFi system. I can’t see that being a solution in the near future. There are still houses with poor phone reception in every city, and I can’t see this being any different. Then there are the security concerns; If you are using a wide access WiFi, you can be tracked and hacked much easier than using a land line based system. To intercept the signal, you just need to be within the cell, which can be a kilometre in diameter or more.

I’m sure Labor will be inefficient. They’ll waste money on something useless like a filter that will never work, but at least it’s an investment in the long term future, not just for the next term of office.

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Matt Mitrione suspended for Fallon Fox rant

Thoughts anyone?
For background, Fallon Fox is a male-to-female transgender. At the age of 31, she undertook a gender reassignment procedure, which gave her as close to a female body as possible. She then fought against women in MMA. It was not known that she was born a male until she outed herself after two professional and one amateur matches.
Matt “Meathead” Mitrione called her a “Disgusting freak” and has been sanctioned for it.
The question I have is more about what was behind those words. Did he call her a disgusting freak because of her gender reassignment, or because he feels that it’s the fact she is still in possession of a male skeletal system and basic chassis, and is using it to beat up women, some of which were unaware that she was born a man? Reading the article, it seems that it could be the latter rather than the former.

If he’s discriminating based on gender, well, that’s pretty cut and dry these days. Can’t do it, and good on the UFC for the sanction. If he’s attacking Fox because she’s beating up on women by using an unfair advantage, well, I’m kind of with him on that one.

The two women she beat (By KO and injury due to strikes) did not know she was born a man.

I do realise that gender reassignment causes hormonal and muscular changes, and it is as close to changing sex as science can do, but Fox still has a significant physical advantage over any woman fighting her, and to keep that from her opponents is, in my opinion, disgusting.

If her opponent knows and is OK with it, more power to them, but to hide it is, to me, cheating and should not be allowed.

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