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April 2009.  Rudderless Broadband.

Kevin Rudd is one of those fellahs who always has to up the ante.  Malcolm and others wanted a bank deposit guarantee of $100,000, so Rudd gave us an unlimited guarantee (we won't mention his wife's possible benefit).  Now Telstra has an impregnable position, so Rudd proposes a counter strategy.

To bring you up to sped.  Telstra (aka Trujillo) refused to bite the poisoned pill by bidding for the broadband contract.  So now Rudd proposes to replace Australia's final mile with optic fiber.  At an average cost of approximately $5,000 per telephone connection.  (Based on a $43 billion cost to an estimated 8.6 million families in Australia.)

So lets put the question.  Would you think that it's worth paying the average of $5,000 to upgrade from 1 MB/S (ADSL) to 100 MB/S?(FTTH)  (Not to mention technical issues, like "do sourced domains have the upload capacity to service multiple internet demand of 100 MB/S?").  Or would you rather pay an average $500 for a fibre to the node
upgrade, which would produce speeds of around 10 MB/S?  (And if you wanted it, you could then upgrade by paying possibly about $1,000 for that final bit of fibre from the node to home?  Of course, if you were on a remote farm, that final connection from node to home might cost $1 million.)

Kevin should keep his fingers out of that pie.  However, unfortunately for Telstra shareholders, (one of which I am not) Sol has signaled departure, and the new management will be unlikely have the guts to call the bluff of the political machine in Canberra.


Following an explosion aboard a refugee boat off NW Australia around 16th April, Kevin Rudd made an impassioned speech, castigating "people smugglers" as the "vilest form of life".  Well he would say that, wouldn't he.  The truth is, his policies on boat people made the likelihood that refugees who got to Australia would be accepted as immigrants much higher, and so the demand for boat places rose.  If I was an Afghani I expect I would do just about anything to become a citizen of Australia.  Those people smugglers apparently charge around $10,000 for a place.  Well they no doubt have to pay lots of baksheesh, and even unseaworthy hulks cost money.  I personally think the "vilest form of life" epithet should be applied to terrorists who kill children and corrupt politicians.

The Australian Labour party (ALP) was conceived and gestated by interest groups that represent monopolies for the supply of labour in the trade and professional organizations.  As such, the ALP is be totally against any change in the status quo that would weaken the bargaining position of it's constituency.  Not to put too fine a point on it, anything that encourages a change that permits a weakening of those monopolies will be viewed as a "vile form of life."  (Like the "work choices" legislation.)

Personally, I am not against immigration.  Immigration, like free trade, produces the greatest good for the greatest number of Australians.  It is the "invisible hand" that helps even out the swings in the supply and demand for labour and capital.  The economy of California is dependent on the massive labour influx from Latin America.  Australian fruit would rot on the vine or tree or whatever if it were not for immigrant labour.

To me, the people smugglers who help fulfill the demand for immigrants are not "the vilest form of life", they are heroes.  Those would be immigrants are desperate.  They risk $10,000 and their lives for what?  A 50% chance of becoming an immigrant?  We want that sort of citizen.

Our government should issue open work visas to people who would qualify as immigrants, against a $10,000 surety.


As foreshadowed in 2003,
Muslim terrorist organizations have been in decline since they first turned against Muslims.  Similarly, there is no excuse for Muslims to kill children.  It is a bit like one of my favorite stories about the Sufi Mullah Nasrudin.

Nasrudin once lost a gold coin in the dirt at night.  So he started searching for it.  A villager passed by, asked what he was doing, and started helping.  Soon there were about 10 people searching.  After fruitlessly searching for about an hour, one of the searchers asked Nasrudin "Where exactly did you drop the coin?"

Nasrudin responded "Over there" pointing to a place about 10 meters from where everyone was searching.

"Well why were you looking here?"

Nasrudin pointed to the street lamp overhead.  "The light is better here."

To gain credibility on the world stage, terrorists should only be attacking the actual decision makers who were the persons responsible for the situation that turned them to terrorism.

The current behaviour of terrorists appears to be specifically designed to cause more centralized and more oppressive governments to evolve worldwide.


As advised six years ago, the prosecution of Pirate Bay and other copyright breaches is quite pointless.  It is designed to impress artists and media shop proprietors.  Artists are already beginning to open their own download domains and selling direct to the public.  Opening a new media shop is a money burn.

It is extremely unlikely to turn the flood of pirate downloads which is one of the growth industries in this depression.

30 April 2009 H1N1

I have in the past reported on possible pandemic threats.  Then various people around the world with more expertise started sites.  The best that I have found is effectmeasure, whose incognito authors claim to be medical academics.

The latest threat to our culture is now named H1N1 which is derived from it's medical descriptor.  ("bird Flu" was H5N1).  H1N1 is probably going to be a full blown pandemic.  The important question now relates to it's virulence, which is also known as the case fatality rate, which is the probability that an infected person will die.  So far, the death rate could be anywhere between about 0.0001% and 5%.

There is no vaccine, and a vaccine is unlikely to be developed in anything less than 9 weeks, probable more than 3 months.  Sick people can be treated with Tamiflu, which is an antiviral "poison" that kills the virus.  Unfortunately, viruses quickly develop resistance to drugs of that type.

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