Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The answer lies in the soil, or perhaps in the cloud ...

(Above: the answer lies in the cloud).

The Leveson inquiry continues apace with unconvicted war criminal and Murdoch panderer Tony Blair leaving the dock, so Michael Gove, Murdoch panderer could take the stand to describe Rupert Murdoch as a great man and conflate freedom of speech with the freedom of ratbag proprietors and their professional hit men to range all over the plain conducting crusades, persecutions and vendettas how they will. (Michael Gove: Rupert Murdoch is an 'impressive and significant figure')

Is there any difference between craven New Labour or craven Conservatives yearning to be insiders with the rich and powerful?

Is it freedom of speech for Chris Mitchell at The Australian to indulge in personal warfare against those he dislikes, or who dare to criticise him or the foppish rag he tends as a myrmidon Murdochian?

Enough already, time for some parochial interests, and the train wreck that is the NSW Government - well it would be a train wreck if they could keep the tracks working over the weekend, or managed to build a few lines on which to stage the wreck.

A little IT birdy reminded the pond that the grand plan of Barry "Bazza" O'Farrell's government to build a c0uple of mega data centres - one in Silverwater and the other in Unanderra in the 'Gong - has resulted in the tender being awarded to Metronode (a process that attracted some attention in NSW data centre plan faces farce phase).

The concept has been dressed up with some jibber jabber about state government departments having their very own "private cloud", which is an onanistic abuse of language and the concept of the cloud.

The Liberals inherited the idea from the state Labor government, and it just goes to show how Liberals are as much into collectivisation and centralisation - how governments of all hues love and cling to the Stalinist tradition.

Bazza's team have now finalised plans to drop hundreds of millions on the two data centres, to which government departments will be compelled to describe.

As you'd expect, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu have their paws in the pudding - they've been raking it in as the 'go to' consultants for anyone on Bazza's team wanting to look wired - but an IT expert - who wafted past the pond in a gob-smacked way - marvelled at the irony of a government currently busy telling principals to run their schools in their own way to enhance competition and efficiency ... while at the same time building its very own grand set of centralised IT gulags.

This will be a long unfolding saga and of interest to no one except geeks and fat cat bureaucrats wanting to piss money against the wall, but if you want to, you can read the Hon. Greg Pearce's ICT vision here. (He's the Minister for the Illawarra, don't you know, so the 'Gong will be ever so pleased). And if you want a prime example of Deloitte "finger in the pie" "shared services" speak you'll find it here in pdf format.

It reminds the pond of the time working for a medium-scale enterprise with a very large database requirement. The possum in charge decided that she would produce a computer system which was Universal and Accounted for Everything and Even Updated the Stationary Cupboard on a Daily Basis. She spent years speccing it, and when it blew up in her face, and did none of what she'd been promised, she retired in disarray and the various departments went back to their own database systems ...

So life balances itself.

Speaking of New South Wales infrastructure, as if it isn't bad enough to listen to Barry "bright-eyed Bazza" O'Farrell propose Canberra as a second airport for Sydney, the pond has now had the chance to catch up on the sage advice offered by Lee Rhiannon and Paul Fitzgerald in Second Airport No Saviour.

After bashing Wilton as a site - easy enough since it has its fair share of problems - the Rhiannon Fitzgerald combine offer this advice:

Only one possible solution remains for Sydney Airport: to close it and build a replacement airport. It would need to be outside the Sydney Basin airshed and have high speed rail connections. The site should be determined through comprehensive scientific study and broad consultation. Its cost could be partly met by transforming the current airport site into a mixed residential and employment precinct.

Joe Hill would be pleased. Now the Greens have joined the Salvation Army in promising a load of pie in the sky when you fly, because damned if it will happen before the pond dies.

Is there anything more irritating or dumb when people write fatuities without the first bit of fact-checking? Like this:

Other cities have successfully relocated inner city airports away from densely populated areas — Oslo, Hong Kong, Athens, Bangkok. Sydney could do it too.

Oslo's 45 km from the city centre, Hong Kong a mere 39 km, Athens a discreet 33 km and Bangkok a tidy 30 km. They couldn't even mention Narita which is 97 km from Tokyo.

You won't find the size of the Sydney basin in their link to the Sydney airshed, but you can find a definition of it here:

The Sydney Basin is part of a major foreland basin, the Sydney-Gunnedah-Bowen Basin, extending from the southern coast of New South Wales to central Queensland. The Sydney Basin is about 350 km long and the width averages about 100 km. The onshore area of the basin is about 44,000 km2, a further 5,000 km2 extending offshore to the continental shelf.

Meanwhile, there's a problem to the west with the Blue Mountains, and problems to the north beyond a certain point for any airport of a decent size.

Rhiannon and Fitzgerald seem to think that inner west dwellers haven't worked out that if a second airport is developed, Kingsford Smith will remain. Of course it will remain, and to be honest, living directly under the third runway - damn you Bob Hawke, damn you Paul Keating, damn you to hell, we were here first - isn't so bad, and it's nice to have an airport close. Sure the blackened roof is a bit of a worry, but more troubling is the current inefficiency of Sydney airport operations, both on the ground and in the sky.

Rhiannon and Fitzgerald's solution? Buy out the airport, presumably with a handy nest egg arising from developers bidding for the land, construct a very fast train linking to a new airport off somewhere in the never never, and while we're at it, build a VFT to Melbourne to solve the air traffic problem.

Wouldn't it have been simpler to note that peak oil and climate change will surely sort it all out? And we all should stay at home, except for Greens conducting urgent business ...

There were only five comments at time of writing, because the approach proposed has all the appeal and insight of the NSW government ICT vision.

A couple were suitably ironic and satirical, but one was even more delusional, proposing the building of a small town with new airport attached somewhere between Canberra and Sydney. Calling Goulburn ... or perhaps Collector ... your moment has come ...

While it's much appreciated that Rhiannon has taken time out from ghost-writing op-eds bagging her own party (Rhiannon caught out bagging Greens in ghost-written op-ed), and this time allows her co-author a credit, could someone, anyone out there please ensure that she never has anything to do with infrastructure planning in the state of New South Wales?

Truly if big bumbling Bazza and risible Rhiannon and Albo the argumentative are the best hope for solving air traffic problems in Sydney, then the problems are not solvable. We're doomed, doomed, the pond tells ya. For the love of the long absent lord, pass a sav blanc, a latte and a set of noise-cancelling earphones because that's the only pie you're gunna get in this over-crowded sky ...

Any sensible inner westie is reconciled to Sydney airport, and with international flights and cheapie domestic flights sent bush, Avalon style, it might just operate with sufficient efficiency to avoid the curfew being lifted.

If the curfew ever gets lifted, the pond will personally load Rhiannon and Fitzgerald, muddiers of the water, dissemblers and inept infrastructure planners on the first VFT to Melbourne somewhere around 2050 ...

Long after the first round of riots saw the inner west go up in flames in 2020 ... and they can take their developer contributions, and a copy of the Riot Act with them ...

The final irony?

Inner-Sydney residents have been lied to for decades about so-called solutions to Sydney Airport.

Well there's no suggestion Rhiannon and Fitzgerald are lying, which means they must be dumb enough to think they have an actual, feasible, realistic, just waiting to be implemented tomorrow solution to hand.

Or perhaps Rhiannon should join big Bazza's party and mount that push for Canberra airport ...

How did that Joe Hill song go?

You will eat Neil Perry sandwich crap on Qantas, bye and bye,
When you've learned how to catch a VFT when you fly
Cycle to the airport down Canberra way, 'twill do you good,
And you'll get to your destination in the sweet bye and bye.

Oh well, the good news and the upside is that none of it matters.

Thanks to good old Barney Zwartz (The end of days is coming, but Christmas is not - warning forced video at other end of link), the pond has just caught up with the news that according to one survey almost one in ten (9%) Australians believed in the Mayan calendar-related prophecy that the world will end on December 21st. It turns out that Indonesians have better sense (4%) but the Chinese and Turks are even more stupid (20%). Now if you happened to be living in Syria at least you might have some excuse ...

It seems 14% of Australians think the world will end in their lifetime, which is true enough, because once you're dead, the world surely ends for you.

A Dr. Gelfer of Monash University presented himself as a moderate in these matters:

He said much of the debate was polarised between committed believers and those who demanded a Richard Dawkins-style debunking. He would present a middle view about why people held such beliefs.

Sigh. Once again the name of Richard Dawkins taken in vain. How can you have a middle view about loons, and in particular the 2012 phenomenon? A loon's a loon, and they deserve a place on the pond. What's the point of having a middle view about Harold Camping, and his extortionate cult leader ways? Or any of the other cults?

But it does put NSW ICT visions and Sydney airport in perspective.

Now the pond suggests you ask around at work, and ask at least twenty people if they believe in end times come December. If you find two, flee to the hills at once ... you might well have stumbled on readers of The Age and Barney Zwartz ...

11%!? Surely there are a lot of wags who read The Age. But the result does naturally lead to:


  1. The shared service IT offering in the Department of Finance and Services is called "ServiceFirst".
    It is generally referred to as
    "Can we get another service provider"

  2. Welcome to the pond hapless tortured NSW bureaucrat. We share your pain and we know lots of others who suffer ...


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