Price of wireless broadband drops as 3 enters high speed territory

29 03 2007

3’s new wireless broadband plans make Telstra’s Next G look shabby

“Both Next G and 3 now offer download speeds of 550 Kbps to 1.5 Mbps, peaking at 3.6 Mbps. You can download 70MB of data on Telstra’s Next G network for $29 per month while, for $30 per month, 1000MB plus 2000 minutes of Skype traffic is available on 3’s new X-Series plans.”

Hopefully this will trigger a price war. If they offer a Nokia N95 on an X-Series plan, I just may have to get one. X-Series labelled media disrupter, however Alan is underwhelmed. Hmm, maybe not.

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American Politicians using 2.0, Australian Politicians still using paper

28 03 2007

Politics 2.0 on the ValueWiki Blog only highlights the Luddite qualities of Australian politicians and Australian Government. All the presidential candidates for the USA 2008 Election have their own MySpace pages, some candidates have blogs, social networks and the ability to create your own website about the candidates. The two candidates for Australian Prime Minister are John Howard and Kevin Rudd are a very different story. John Howard has a special website for his seat of Bennelong, which contains an online community survey for Bennelong, email form submission for feedback and an area to enter your snail mail address to receive detailed information on specific issues. Kevin Rudd’s own website URL only redirects back to the ALP website. An email address is not listed on John Howard’s member page for the House of Representatives, although an email address is listed on Kevin Rudd’s member page for the House of Representiatives.

The party websites aren’t much better, the Australian Labour Party website has an email newsletter signup as well as buttons to email the page, print the page, view text-only version and bookmark the page, although they do have a selection of Australian Labour Party RSS feeds, however these are all different formats for a single content feed, which is of Media Releases (how very old media).

However, there are some 2.0 political voices from Australia, they just don’t belong to the politicians. This MySpace page does not belong to Kevin Rudd, but is trying to show support for Kevin Rudd (Kevin Rudd For PM! has 1474 friends). Best name goes to JohnHowardAwesome (John Howard: PM of Australia has 490 friends). There is also a MySpace Group for Australian Politics. That doesn’t include any of the mock pages such as these ones on MySpace for The Ruddmeister (Kevin Rudd) and John Winston Howard (John Howard).

Is there really no more engagement than an RSS feed of Media Releases?





Explosion in Melbourne’s Burnley Tunnel, huge fireball, lives lost

23 03 2007

Burnley Tunnel Explosion

If you normally travel via Melbourne’s Burnley Tunnel, you may need a new route over the next couple of days: Three die in tunnel fireball, at least one death is confirmed by the police Update: death toll is now confirmed as three. There may be additional lives lost. There have been reports that sprinklers did not activate, if you know anything about this, report it. Some people got out safe, some people posted about the Citylink Webcams (these have been temporarily disabled), some people are just covering the news, Update: witnesses tell of collisions, city traffic in chaos, photos of the Burnley Tunnel, video from The Age, The Age reports “the fire caused by the multi-vehicle pile-up inside the Burnley Tunnel in which three people have died, was so hot that it turned the cars involved into molten wrecks”. Another Update: Vic Roads will have information for drivers, there are some instructions up already.





Why Aussie geeks should not support Kevin Rudd’s broadband plan

23 03 2007

Geeks, techies, educators and innovators across Australia were excited to hear about Kevin Rudd’s plan for a high speed broadband optical fibre rollout to 98% of Australia. There is no doubt that Australia is a “broadband backwater”. The horror quotes from the Luddites of Australian politics, such as Ron Boswell’s “We’ve got adequate broadband for the people out there”, Helen Coonan’s “Internet users in most Australian capital cities should be happy with the speed of their broadband connection” and (my favourite, the biggest luddite in history), Richard Alston’s “Well for example, people will tell you that pornography is one of the major reasons why there’s been a high take-up rate in South Korea. I haven’t confirmed that at first instance but I’ve been there, I’ve looked at what’s happening.”, say it all. Our politicians don’t have a technical clue.
However, while I fully support the idea of optical fibre to 98% of Australia, it has to be funded and planned in a responsible manner. You may have read this little gem: “The Future Fund is full of money from telecommunications from the sale of Telstra, so in a way it’s not inappropriate that money is spent on telecommunications” from Democrats leader Lynn Allison. The origin of the money in the Future Fund is not the issue Lynn Allison, it’s what it’s been earmarked for. Labor cannot guarantee to cover public service superannuation liabilities, not if it’s going to be spending that money. There are no guarantees in investment. This is Superannuation money that people have been paying their whole lives. If it was my money, I would not want anyone spending it and promising they’ll pay it back by 2020. I doubt Kevin Rudd will be leaving his Superannuation in there until 2020, so he personally won’t be paying any price. This plan is a carrot dangled for the younger generation, who aren’t owed any money by the Future Fund. The Future Fund is not spending money, it’s a debt owed by the government that they have an obligation to pay. The Australian Government made a mistake a long time ago, by not putting aside money for their future superannuation obligations for retiring workers, just like General Motors. What do you think will happen if a large number of public servants don’t get the Superannuation they need for retirement? They’re going to be an additional drain on taxpayers in the welfare system. This money is not just for politicians, it’s for teachers, police, doctors, nurses and other staff working in the public sector, paid by the government. For Generations X & Y, this may mean your parents moving in with you when they’re no longer able to work, as they can’t afford housing without their Superannuation and welfare money will be limited with a reduced workforce. Don’t be fooled by this shiny offer, read the fine print. I want that dream broadband network too, I just don’t think this is the way to fund it.
We don’t just need faster broadband, we need a complete project plan for ongoing infrastructure building, maintenance and future upgrades. This is not the last time a communications network will require upgrades, how do they intend to pay for the next one?
Optical fibre is a great plan for Australia (we need Fibre To The Home (FTTH) not Fibre To The Node (FTTN), but stealing from the future to pay for the mistakes of the past doesn’t work. It’s how we built this broadband backwater in the first place, by cutting corners and hoping someone in the future will fix it. All Australian politicians need to use greater foresight in policy, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, 100 years, not just planning ahead until the next election. Each side doesn’t want to do too good a job, for fear a future opposition might take the credit. Get your bloody act together Labour and Liberals. Try working together to actually solve a problem for the good of the country, instead of wasting time name calling, chest beating and buggering around instead of actually getting things done.





78 Women more important than Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan

8 03 2007

Jane Addams: Won the Nobel Peace Prize and was a founder of the U.S. Settlement House Movement
Frances Allen
: Won the Turing Award
Michèle Alliot-Marie: French Minister of Defence
Christiane Amanpour: Chief international correspondent for CNN
Maria Asunción Aramburuzabala: Mexico’s richest woman (Grupo Modelo, makers of Corona beer) Tabitha Babbit: American tool maker who invented the first circular saw used in a saw mill in 1813. She was a member of the Shaker community in Harvard, Massachusetts
Lotte Bailyn: Professor of Management (Organization Studies Group) at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Co-Director of the MIT Workplace Center
Emily Greene Balch: American academic, writer, and pacifist who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 (the prize that year was shared with John Mott), notably for her work with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Marina Berlusconi: Chairman of Italy’s largest magazine publisher, Mondadori
Anita Borg: Received the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award, Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, Presidential Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Technology, Founding director of the Institute for Women and Technology, started Systers (an e-mail list) and tech conference Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. The Anita Borg Prize is named in her honor, as is the Google Anita Borg Scholarship
Ana Patricia Botín: Chief executive of Spain’s Santander Investment
Shona Brown: Senior Vice President of Business Operations at Google
Linda B. Buck: American biologist best known for her work on the olfactory system. She and Richard Axel won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on olfactory receptors.
Pearl Buck: First American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature
Ho Ching
: CEO of Temasek Holdings
Carla Cico: CEO of Brasil Telecom
Helen Clark
: Prime Minister of New Zealand
Catherine ‘Cady’ Coleman
: Mission Specialist Astronaut
Eileen Collins
: Space Commander
Gerty Radnitz Cori
: Together with her husband and Bernardo Houssay, received a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1947 for their discovery of how glycogen is broken down and resynthesized in the body, for use as a store and source of energy. In 2004, both were designated a ACS National Historical Chemical Landmark in recognition of their work that elucidated carbohydrate metabolism.
Marie Curie: Polish-French physicist and chemist. She was a pioneer in radioactivity, the first two-time Nobel laureate (the only one in two different sciences), and the first female professor at the Sorbonne Irene Joliot-Curie: Jointly with her husband, Irène was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry of 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. This made the Curies the family with most Nobel laureates to date
Luisa Diogo
: Prime Minister of Mozambique
Gertrude Elion
: An American biochemist and pharmacologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, together with Hitchings and Sir James Black
Dianne Feinstein: Senior U.S. Senator
Doris Fisher
: Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Louise Fréchette: United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Centre for International Governance Innovation
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court
Whoopi Goldberg: Won an Academy award, a Tony, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Golden Globe
Tarja Halonen: President of Finland
Salma Hayek: Academy Award-nominated Mexican actress, Daytime Emmy-winning director, and a film and television producer
Fumiko Hayashi: CEO of Daiei, President of BMW Tokyo
Susan Desmond-Hellman: HBA Woman of the Year, Head of product development at Genentech
Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin: British founder of protein crystallography. She pioneered the technique of X-ray crystallography, a method used to determine the three dimensional structures of biomolecules. Among her most influential discoveries are the determination of the structure of penicillin, insulin, and vitamin B12 for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 1969, after 35 years of work, Hodgkin was able to decipher the structure of insulin. She is regarded as one of the foremost scientists in the field of X-Ray crystallography studies of natural molecules.
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper: Developed the first compiler for a computer programming language
Karen Elliott House: Won a Pulitzer Prize, Publisher of the Wall Street Journal
Lynne Greer Jolitz: Founder and Chief Technology Officer of ExecProducer a pioneer of Massive Video Production, and realtime Internet video production and deployment
Susanne Klatten: German billionaire
Neelie Kroes: European Commissioner for Competition
Chandrika Kumaratunga: President of Sri Lanka
Aung San Suu Kyi: awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her peaceful and non-violent struggle under a repressive military dictatorship (Myanmar/Burma)
Christine Lagarde: Trade Minister of France
Ada Lovelace
: Analyst, Metaphysician, and Founder of Scientific Computing
Shannon Lucid
: Awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor
Mary Ma: Chief Financial Officer of Lenovo
Wangari Maathai: Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace
Maria Goeppert Mayer: Received the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics for proposing the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus, becoming one of the two women to receive a Nobel Prize in Physics (the other being Marie Curie)
Marissa Mayer: Vice President of Search Product and User Experience at Google
Mary McAleese: President of Ireland
Barbara McClintock: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded to her in 1983 for the discovery of genetic transposition; to date, she has been the first and only woman to receive an unshared Nobel Prize in that category
Angela Merkel: Chancellor of Germany
Rita Levi-Montalcini: An Italian neurologist who, together with colleague Stanley Cohen, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of growth factors. Today she is the oldest living Nobel laureate
Ann Moore: CEO Time Inc.
Sandra Day O’Connor: Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Lubna Olayan: CEO and chairperson of the Olayan Financing Company (Saudi Arabia), spokesperson for women’s rights in the Middle East
Judy Olian: Dean of UCLA Anderson School of Management and is the John E. Anderson Chair in Management
Rosa Parkes: Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement
Natalie Portman: Golden Globe-winning, Academy Award-nominated Israeli-American actress
Penny Pritzker: Chairman of the board, Classic Residence by Hyatt and TransUnion; billionaire
Xie Qihua: Chairman, president, Shanghai Baosteel
Queen Elizabeth II: Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis
Queen Rania: Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Condoleezza Rice: United States Secretary of State
Joanne Rowling: Author of the Harry Potter books
Soraida Salwala
: Created the world’s first elephant hospital
Sheryl Sandberg: Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google
Olympia J. Snowe: Senior United States Senator from Maine
Joan Steitz: RNA Society Lifetime Achievement Award, National Medal of Science, a molecular biologist at Yale University, famed for her discoveries involving RNA, including ground-breaking insights such as that ribosomes interact with mRNA by complementary base pairing and that introns are spliced by snRNPs, small nuclear ribonucleoproteins which occur in eukaryotes (such as yeasts and humans) –
Bertha von Suttner: Austrian novelist, radical pacifist, and was the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize
Yulia Tymoshenko: Prime Minister of Ukraine
Vaira Vike-Freiberga: President of Latvia
Meg Whitman: President and CEO of eBay
Christiane Nusslein-Volhard: German biologist, who together with Eric Wieschaus and Edward B. Lewis, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for their research on the genetic control of embryonic development
Oprah Winfrey: the richest African American of the 20th century, the most philanthropic African American of all time, the world’s only Black billionaire for three straight years, most influential woman in the world
Rosalyn Sussman Yalow
: Co-winner of the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her development of the radioimmunoassay (RIA) technique
Wu Yi: China Vice-Premier
Khaleda Zia: Prime Minister of Bangladesh
Maria Zuber: the E. A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she also leads the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. Zuber has been involved in more than half a dozen NASA planetary missions aimed at mapping the Moon, Mars, Mercury, and several asteroids.

This list is not about why these women are more important than Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, it’s about the imbalance in the mainstream media coverage of women. Why is there more coverage of celebrities than science? Why are there more “news” stories about makeup than medicine? Where are the older women newsreaders? Why are ratings more important than reality? Why are “women’s magazines” dumbing down? Aren’t they dumb enough already? For International Women’s Day 2007, I’d like to see the mainstream media make an effort to produce content of substance.





Internships with Robin Good, locally in Rome, or remote anywhere

7 03 2007

If you haven’t checked out MasterNewMedia by Robin Good (Luigi Canali De Rossi), the time is now. Robin provides Internships for people who want to Learn How To Become An Independent Online Journalist/Reporter/Opinion Maker. This is such a great idea, I hope there are more opportunities such as this in the new media space in times to come, as the ones in old media will be reducing.





What do we put on the One Laptop Per Child? Sugar

6 03 2007

OLPC size comparison The Electric Chameleon is thinking about OLPC chat programs.

There’s some great OLPC coverage from linux.conf.au, including photos.

If you’re interested in helping out the OLPC project, check out the OLPC Developers Program and some more details on Sugar.

Meddlesome posted some great links, including B1 pictures, and this fantastic size comparison (see left). Unfortunately, Google has yet to add a Thai to English translator, so I’ve missed most of the text in this post. OLPC’s Thailand initiative also has it’s own page. Some more Thai language coverage here, or add something to the OLPC Idea Pool.

It’s an education project, not a laptop project.

MIT’s One Laptop Per Child projectrevolutionize how we educate the world’s children

Meddlesome also linked to the BlackBack web theory and AMD’s 50×15 project. AMD’s 50×15 initiative is a bold and far-reaching effort to develop new technology and solutions that will help enable affordable Internet access and computing capability for 50 percent of the world’s population by the year 2015. With the global population estimated to reach 7.2 billion people in 2015, there is tremendous potential for 50×15 to bring billions of people into the digital age.