The Media

April 2, 2008

Interviews with TV, radio and print media all on one day. TV was the worst. The newspaper was the best.

I wonder how much research has been conducted into the difference between how we hear our own voice and how others do. Hearing a recording of my own voice is disturbing.

2020 Summit; WorkChoices

March 20, 2008

Got into the 2020 Youth Summit 😀 Yay me 😀

Also got my WorkChoices mousepads, courtesy of the Deputy Prime Minister’s office.

Also got a response to my letter to Senator Conroy’s office re: net filtering. I ought to scan it in and post it here, but it’s standard government response: the Minister appreciates your concerns, and I, the Acting Assistant Secretary of some random branch in his Department have no power to change what the Labor Party has already decided, i.e. that we will implement an unworkable, fundamentally broken policy, and set up a few committees to solve the remaining issues.


March 6, 2008

Had a job interview today. Went well, except for turning up at the wrong place… got where I needed to be soon enough.

Anyone applied for the Australia 2020 Summit or the Australia 2020 Youth Summit? I applied for the Youth Summit which seems to have all of zero publicity.

Goodbye PMHC

February 27, 2008

Today the Governor dismissed the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. More at the ABC.

The Council’s gone, but the white elephant will remain.

MP3 players; apology

February 12, 2008

Some many many months ago I got an MP3 player as some cheap sweetener on some prepaid mobile deal, for a Nokia 1110 with Virgin I believe.

Some several weeks ago, I decided to get a decent MP3 player with some Christmas gift cards. Since I’m not terribly rich I got a $60-ish 1GB Thomson Lyra player from DSE. Unlike most MP3 players it’s powered by a standard AAA battery.

That worked well for a couple of weeks until it suddenly crapped out, presumably from a dead battery. Replaced battery, turned on, guess what, half the songs are missing and of the rest, half seem to have been randomly truncated. Try formatting on PC, suddenly it claims it has 4GB and somehow 300MB are used by nothing.

Oh well, back to DSE it goes. When I get around to it…

…meanwhile, I go back to school, I realise that now I’m allowed to possess evil music-playing devices and use them out of class, I need something to get me through all those hours of study. So, out comes the Onix HY-107 (yes, the crappy cheap one) and on goes a few songs.

The HY-107 works fairly well for a really cheap device; the software is OK, but the real problem is the construction.

The major problem is the interface – the buttons don’t necessarily work consistently. Press Previous, up comes the menu. Press Next, up comes the volume control. Press Volume, and you go back a song.

I couldn’t quite figure out why that was, but when it snapped open while recharging in this PC’s USB port, I decided to have a look.

Disassembled MP3 player – PCB, front

As you can see in the photo, it seems that, like every cheap electronic device made in China, it’s half assembled with sticky tape.

The real part of interest, though, is the five buttons. I found that when you press the buttons down bluntly with your thumb, about half the time it seems to mess up. When you press the centre sharply with your index finger it seems to work as intended consistently.

I’m no electronics guru, so I’m not sure what’s happening there. My present theory is that the buttons are detected by a varying resistance and when not pressed sharply it messes it up. Anyone out there more enlightened than me who wish to comment?

I’ve read the text of tomorrow’s apology and I think it’s pretty well worded – covers all the major points and doesn’t seem to open any holes.

Unlike many I think the apology and the compensation should be dealt with as separate issues. If the Government wants to pay compensation that should be done during Budget, not right now. Compensation is a complex issue that would require much more technical analysis. The apology, OTOH, can be done right now.

I’m looking forward to this. Unfortunately I won’t be able to watch it live, but I’m sure it’ll be online for me to watch somewhere.

Haneef’s appeal upheld

December 21, 2007

The ABC site tells me that in breaking news the Federal Court has upheld the decision to reinstate his visa. More news soon…

update: ABC News,
Sydney Morning Herald

The Haneef case

July 27, 2007

Glad to hear that a decision has been made with Dr Haneef. Even if he’s guilty, our justice system has failed basic expectations and the case should be dropped. Australia’s got a reasonably clean record – no person has been held without charge for that length since WW2 – and we shouldn’t change our expectations of the justice system just because of terrorism.

Of course, if the AFP find new evidence I would have no objections to him being charged and brought to trial again like any other case.

And the winner is…

March 25, 2007

Morris Iemma for the ALP, having lost two, possibly three Labor seats. As I predicted – even if Debnam has the policies, he doesn’t have the leadership skills needed to win an election. However the Coalition did at least reduce the margins on many Labor seats so it’ll probably be easier next time around.

Not much longer now…

March 24, 2007

One hour and 45 minutes or so from now, NSW polling booths will close the doors and begin the count – and ABC will be following it, so if you’re in NSW tune in at 6pm, and if you’re elsewhere in Australia it will be on ABC2.

I’ve been wondering – what would happen if the ALP and the Coalition obtained equal seats in the Legislative Assembly? Would the ALP win, as it’s one party not two? Or would it be left to the discretion of Her Excellency the Governor?

Fred Nile and racism

March 17, 2007

(Obligatory warning: incoherent rant ahead.)

I’ve been watching the flamewar between Simon Rumble and Erik de Castro. It’s quite interesting to see how they both misidentify what’s Christian and what’s not.

Firstly, I am a Christian, a member of a mainstream denomination (Presbyterian), and I oppose Fred Nile’s plan to stop Muslim immigration.

I consider the Catholics to be a group related but separate from Christianity, as they have many differences in core beliefs and misinterpret scripture often. They also believe in justification by works. You can stop criticising Christianity for the Crusades and everything up to the Reformation now.

I also consider Christian militia groups to not really be Christian, although since they’re often connected with Catholicism, well…

I did see a link in one post to the Exclusive Brethren. They’re less Christian than Mormons. They have weird beliefs like not following human laws, in the New Testament the Apostle Paul explicitly states that governments are appointed by God and that as a result Christians must follow the laws of the land as well, unless those laws prohibit the exercise of your faith.

About Fred Nile’s idea of ending Muslim migration, I think there are a few issues:

  • Depending on how you read it, banning Muslim migration could potentially be prohibited by s. 116 of the Commonwealth Constitution. Getting a constitutional amendment to prohibit Muslim migration… well, Australia didn’t go too well with banning Communism back in the 50s and I’m not sure banning Muslims from coming here would go down too well either.
  • As a Christian I think it’s good that Australian Muslims are in a country where Christians can preach freely rather than in the Middle East where they are frequently killed, even by the state.
  • In order to get in to parliament you actually have to win elections. And I don’t think either the Coalition or Labor would support this proposal, since we all support multiculturalism nowadays apparently. And the CDP could very well lose support.
  • And of course it goes against Aussie values of giving everyone a fair go. It would also seriously damage Christianity’s and Australia’s reputation in the Muslim world, and with Muslim countries and Muslim terrorists right on our doorstep…

edit: One thing I do have to agree on: according to ‘real’ (ie. Protestant, non-liberal) Christians Jesus is the Son of God, the Bible is the unchangeable literal Word of God and it is to an extent totalitarian. You do need to remember that the basis of a lot of Western law ultimately comes from Christian beliefs. (I do support separation of church and state however – power corrupts the church, as we saw in the medieval days.)