Will GetUp!’s satire GetIt! in trouble?

With an election likely to be called in the next few months, advocacy group GetUp! has launched a campaign encouraging people to ensure they are enrolled to vote.   A key element of this campaign is a YouTube clip portraying the electoral battle as if it were the latest Hollywood action movie. The clip is cleverly put together – superimposing the faces of  political figures on to the bodies of Hollywood action heroes amd tying together action sequences  with a dramatic soundtrack interspaced by political ‘sound-bites’. It looks and feels like a genuine Hollywood movie trailer, no doubt helped by the fact that GetUp! have utilised footage from actual blockbusters such as The Matrix and The Fifth Element. Which raises the question of whether this video […]

Hetero sex scandal?

One day, public figures being gay and/or enjoying sex won’t be newsworthy. Unfortunately for David Campbell,  that day is yet to dawn.  As Channel Seven demonstrated earlier this year, for some journalists and the audience they serve, that combination is still seen as scandalous. When the David Campbell story broke,  LE  pointed out the mixed messages being sent out on this topic.  At the same time some members of the media where busy berating Jason Akermanis for discouraging gay AFL players from coming out, “gay sex scandal” was rapidly becoming the headline of the day as the David Campbell story escalated. Seven’s original story was accompanied by allegations Campbell had misused his ministerial car in order to attend “Kens at Kensington” and that he had […]

Losing the filter without losing face

This week the Australian Labor Party installed Julia Gillard as its new leader, making her the first female Prime Minister of Australia.  This change in leadership provides the government with an opportunity to change its approach to certain policy issues without losing (quite so much) face. The new PM has wasted no time in seizing the opportunity to  change the governments  approach to negotiating with the mining industry over the resource super profit tax (RSPT). The question now is – what other policy areas could benefit from an opportune change of tack? Within the telecoms and technology arena, there have been two hot topics for the  ALP led government since it came to power – the National Broadband Network (NBN) and internet censorship. This week, […]

NBN not mandatory for ‘smart grids’

One of the claimed  benefits of the national broadband network (NBN) is that it will act as an enabler for ‘smart grids’.  ‘Smart grids’  have been described as electricity distribution networks that: “use sensors, meters, digital controls and analytic tools to automate, monitor and control the two-way flow of energy across operations—from power plant to plug. A power company can optimize grid performance, prevent outages, restore outages faster and allow consumers to manage energy usage right down to the individual networked appliance. Smart grids can also incorporate new sustainable energies such as wind and solar generation, and interact locally with distributed power sources, or plug-in electric vehicles.” (IBM 30/11/2009) In his NBN advocacy,  Senator Conroy has claimed smart grids can make a significant contribution to helping […]

NBN Study: Were the right questions asked?

Earlier this month, the Australian government released the implementation study for the National Broadband Network.  The scope of the study was to: “advise Government on how best to implement its stated policy objectives, not to evaluate those objectives, given that the policies have already been agreed by Government. This report therefore focuses on translating high-level policy objectives into tangible actions for both Government and NBN Co to implement. Explicitly, it does not: Evaluate Government’s policy objectives; Evaluate the decision to implement the NBN via the establishment of NBN Co; Undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the macro-economic and social benefits that would result from the implementation of a superfast broadband network.” (NBN Implementation Study, 06/05/2010) The report is clearly directed at answering the question of how to […]

Telstra’s first Android is mostly Desirable

Just over a  year ago,  Optus brought the first Android phone to Australia in the form of the HTC  Dream.  Now Telstra has joined the Android ranks with the launch of the  HTC Desire.  This recent addition to HTC’s Android lineup is an impressive device and after two weeks of use, the verdict is “mostly desirable”. So what makes this phone so desirable? And why the qualification of “mostly”?

Internet censorship: not dead, just sleeping

With the Australian government delaying  introduction of its internet censorship legislation, there’s been some speculation that the policy may be dead. The more likely scenario however is that the policy has simply  gone in to hibernation until after the Federal election. Despite the media and blogosphere cries of “backflip”, this is a smart tactical move. Tactically, delaying the legislation makes sense. Pushing it through before the election risks continuing the distracting public feud with the government’s critics. Delaying until after the election gives the ALP a range of options. Should the ALP  fail to hold a majority in the Senate following the next election, ‘net censorship may once again become a political bargaining chip.  Family First are strong supporters of mandatory ISP filtering, and have previously called for the […]

DSL Downtime

A brief apology for the lack of recent posting. My DSL connection has been unusable since Thursday 23rd and is continuing to experience slow/no data flow issues. Blogging will probably be quite light on until the issue is resolved.

First impressions: Motorola DEXT & Backflip

The Android invasion of Australia is set to  ramp up with this month with new handsets being launched by both Telstra and Optus. Telstra will be launching the HTC Desire on April 27th, followed by the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 on May 4th. Optus meanwhile, has already hit the market with the Motorola DEXT and Motorola Backflip. After having a quick hands on with the DEXT and Backflip at a local Optus store, here’s my initial thoughts on the features that stood out for me.