ARCHIVES 1997-2007  --- ARCHIVES 2007 +

JUNE  2009.


Rupert is threatening
to charge for access to his online content.  Desperation indeed.  Advances in information technology have alway hurt someone.  Caxton put the town criers out of business, Radio hit print, then TV hit radio, and now the internet is killing them all.

I read five comics exclusively.  Non sequitur, Doonesbury, XKCD Questionable Content and GirlGeniusonline.  The last three are exclusively web based comics.  The authors make their income from Google ads, although they also seem to do OK out of online sales of T Shirts.

Unfortunately for Rupert, I suspect that model is what he is fighting. 

In any field of creative Media, there are a few dozen top people and a few geniuses.  In the pre Google days, media editors could choose the wordsmith or media artist from among the top people who was most closely aligned with their own views politically.  That exposure eventually earned those top people public credibility.  The ABC in particular only promotes "leftish" journalists on it's TV and radio shows.  The SMH and The Australian will frequently publish journalists of opposing political views on the same subject, on the same page.  The commercial radio stations seem to have greater audience draw with righty hosts like John Laws
(now retired) and Alan Jones.  Not surprisingly, the ABC does not have a large audience share in either radio or TV.

Geniuses are less politically predictable, and so did not get work from biased editors.

Now I can get my media feed from Matt Drudge.  He is the premier worldwide news feed.  He has four non intrusive advertisement on his webpage, and is
very rich, probably close to being a billionaire already.  I get three of my comics from the online artists.  If the Washingtonpost stops providing Doonesbury and Nonsequitur, then I guess that I will either do without or buy the newspaper (which I mostly do anyhow).

I have a lot of confidence in the media business acumen of Rupert.  The only charge model that I would subscribe to would be establishing a line of credit with a worldwide
credit company, like American Express, and then payment of a few cents per view.  That would work for all online content.  The problem is, a middleman is not really necessary, as indicated by XKCD et al.


If you noticed, I was offline since 1st June.  (It is now 12th June)  My previous provider was Exetel.  Costwise, they aren't much cheaper than Telstra.  I left them because the connection kept going off.  Around the beginning of each month.  (I was nowhere near my allocation).  Data rates went from around 512 to 10, (KB/S)

I complained the first two occasions.  It's really hard to complain.  No people to talk to.  The third time I canceled the service.  It took them NINE DAYS to get their codes off my (telephone) line.  Telstra were able to do the much more complicated process of getting their codes on in two days.

I do not recommend EXETEL


Is it an interesting study in human nature or is it the laws of defamation?  Countless Airbuses have fallen out of the sky, or have reported problems that the crew managed to solve.  I haven't noticed the same problems with US manufactured aircraft.  And nobody has commented that it is only Airbus that has the problems.

I first noticed problems three years ago (see the bottom of this page).  From the diversity of problems that Airbuses have since had, I suspect that the Airbus aircraft control software must be defective.  That software must be fairly complex, perhaps approaching the complexity of the Microsoft Operating System.  Like Windows, later versions of the aircraft control system are probably built up using code from earlier versions.

Admittedly, other things are always blamed.  Having geese fly into engines might sound like a conclusive reason for landing in the Hudson, but the engines not restarting was maybe software.  Losing an airspeed indicator might sound mechanical, but good software would have anticipated that problem.  And so on.

I can understand why Airbus Industries blame mechanical or human faults.  Software would be a real bitch to fix.

Like I said in July 2006, I will just be insisting whenever possible on Boeing.

If it's the laws of defamation, and this post gets noticed, then this post will be removed pronto.


It is reported in the "The Australian" of 15th June 2009 that following the election, the theocratic government in Iran
  1. Blocked text messaging.
  2. Blocked twittering.
  3. Blocked internet access to many outside websites, including "The Australian".
  4. Blocked mobile phones, and some international phone connections.
  5. Arrested members of the opposition.
  6. Prevented any reports of the above actions from appearing in the local media.
Claims were made by main opposition leader Rafsanjani of vote rigging  As evidence he cited the anomalous result where Armajinedad got about a 2/3 majority in each electoral district (country & city).

This is particularly worrying development to supporters of democracy everywhere.  Not because an unfriendly Iranian President was returned to power.  Iran just does not matter.  Iran will not attack Israel.  It is worrying because it points the way for our own governments to control us.

Likely our government could not wholesale interdict communications, however keystone "troublemaker" media nodes (bloggers & twitterers & etc) could perhaps be removed with surgical precision.  I would be surprised if "intelligent" software capable of analyzing language & communications and determining critical troublemaker nodes was not available within the next decade.

1984, here we come.


Unlike Catholicism, the various branches of the Muslim religion do not have centralization of power (like the Pope) but rather are an uncoordinated rabble of holy men who exert influence and gain consensus through and according to individual prestige.

Despite threats to Israel and the carrying out of Nuclear research, I do not see Iran as a real threat to Israel or the USA.  (As a libertarian, I do not think holocaust denial is a heinous crime.)  I see the main issue in the middle east as a very bitter theological dispute between the Shia sect and the extremist Wahhabis, with the Sunni uneasily allied with the Wahhabi.   Iran is a proxy for Shia, and Saudi money is the first proxy for the Wahhabi. The Saudi royal family does not control the Wahhabi.  Between the house of Saud and the Wahhabi Clerics there exists an uneasy alliance.

Hamas is a proxy for the Saudi kingdom, Hizbollah is a proxy for the Iran Shia and the PLO is a proxy for the USA    All of those organizations need and obtain money from their sponsors.  (not for personal enrichment you realize.  It's just that one needs money to purchase the loyalty of sub factions & for charitable work in Palestine.)

The Iranian clerics hit Israel via Hizbollah and thus show that they are good Muslims.  The Saudi sponsored Hamas attacks Israel, thus showing that they also are good Muslims.  The USA
needs high oil production to keep the oil price down, and must protect Israel for internal political reasons.  That is why the PLO does not hit Israel.  Everybody realizes that if the Israel relief valve wasn't there, there would instead be open warfare between the various Muslim sects.

To the rulers of it's Muslim neighbours, Iran would be seen as a dangerous revolutionary force.  It's threat is not direct invasion.  Iran's threat is that by it's continued existence it exports revolutionary Islamic ideas that could potentially destabilize their regimes.


The recent stories about Berlusconi doing (or not doing) nymphets are more than likely the result of Rupert's irritation at being excluded from the Italian media market by local media baron and Prime Minister Burlusconi.  That sort of behaviour is not uncommon in those circles.  Money & power are aphrodisiacs.

It's just that, mostly, the media owners find it more profitable to not bother printing the salacious gossip.  Especially about each other.


A friend has written asking for comment on the effect of the world market crash on Asia.

That market crash had been predicted and a solution offered on this website nearly 2 years ago.  By my calculations, the crash is currently less than halfway to the bottom, which is expected to be when the DJIA (Dow Jones) reaches about 2,000, around October 2011.  And that is my optimistic forecast.

Third world nations will suffer a smaller income fall in percentage terms, but this will represent a far greater harm to those that have little than a greater percentage loss to those who have lived among plenty.   This will lead to civil strife.  The command economies (especially the Tianamen Square victors) will likely have to face the Mandate of Heaven.  The subcontinent will also face turmoil, however the democracies have an inbuilt inoculation against
revolution, and will likely survive politically, although not without great hardship.  The inhabitants of theocracies will suffer, but will see the turmoil of the unbelievers as God's punishment for their sinful ways.


What is the truth of this matter?

Did Rudd staffer Charlton (PMO) write an email requesting treasury to give special treatment to a mate exist or not?
   My own suspicion is that it existed, and that somebody deep within an NSA like organization (or the NSA) has a copy.

I surmise that Dr. Charlton is a very adroit politician, that he found a way to purchase some very good technological talent, at least good enough to not leave traces that the investigating authority could find.  The email has been called a forgery, but I suspect that the grounds for that pronouncement are that nobody could find the computer or evidence on the server from which the email allegedly originated.

A lack of evidence that the email came from the PMO is not evidence that the email did not come from the PMO.
If it existed, would that email incriminate Rudd or not?  Even if it existed, Rudd could easily disown it.  It is Dr. Charlton's public career that would be finished (or at the very least, interrupted).

Nevertheless, this attack by Turnbull is a godsend to Rudd.  The PMO response exonerates him completely, no matter what the outcome for Dr. Charlton.  Turnbull is painted as precipitate.

Rudd recognizes that Turnbull is his most dangerous opponent.  Unfortunately for Rudd, politics is not the public service.  I suspect that Turnbull will recover from this setback, and be very much more dangerous to Rudd.


Troubled Asset Relief Program.  Well it wasn't very hard to wean the big banks off that, was it.  Just cut the management incomes.  Of course going off TARP might not be very good longtime strategy for shareholders, bondholders, employees etc. but who cares?  Smaller banks are taking the benefit of TARP, and I expect that they will eventually gain market share and large profits thereby.  Big banks will crash again as the market weakens further, and will have to be saved again.  And those bank executives will retire in disgrace to their Palm Beach "shacks".


The ousting by the Supreme court of the Honduran President has been condemned by world leaders from the gamut of the political spectrum, from Barak to Chavez.  Well they would think that way, wouldn't they.  There is not a one of them that wouldn't (or hasn't) follow the same course if they thought they could get away with it.

We Australians never really had to fight for our democracy.  After the American revolution, the UK had learned it's lesson.  We got handed our nation shortly after Canada, without us having to fire a shot in anger.  As a result, we tend to treat our institutions too casually.

The computer age brings with it increased surveillance possibilities, which opens the possibilities for abuse.  Very shortly, the governments of the world will have a database that can report where each citizen is in real time.  If we do not have protocols in place, such a system would be open to abuse.

And history shows that those who would abuse the system are cunning and persistent in achieving their ends.

Me, I think the Honduran Legislature and Judiciary was quite justified.  Even Putin did not dare try that amendment.

Chavez did try and succeeded.  When he first came to power I was pro-Chavez.   His legislation permitting removal of a president at any time, like the laws that allowed Schwartzenegger to come to power in California, are something I would like introduced in Australia.

I would suggest a constitutional amendment that no amendment should be made to the constitution that would be of possible benefit incumbents.

There are lots of other amendments I would like.  e.g.

  1. Something that permitted open access to any public surveillance system.  It might infringe privacy, but that is better than the alternative.
  2. Schwartzenneger/Chavez amendment.
  3. National savings bank (shopfronts contracted to existing banks as agencies.)

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