Thursday, February 20, 2014

The pond's boondoggling spiv of the week competition hots up ...

(Above: a certain winner in the pond's spiv, toff and prat of the week competition?)

The pond doesn't usually do short form - if you're going to rant, you need to rant and howl at the moon at length.

But this piece in ZDNet, Lobby pushing for Australian piracy crackdown donates millions, which explains how policy-making works in Australia, deserves as wide a circulation as possible:

As Attorney-General George Brandis looks to clamp down on online copyright infringement, one of the main members of the recently renamed content industry lobby group, the Australian Screen Association (ASA) has been revealed to have donated close to AU$4 million to the Liberal and Labor parties since 1998. 
The Australian Screen Association, which until last year went under the name of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), represents some of the biggest film studios in the world, including Universal, 20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount, and Village Roadshow. The latter was listed as the main litigant in AFACT's case against internet service provider iiNet several years ago, where AFACT tried and failed to hold iiNet liable for its users sharing films over BitTorrent. iiNet had declined to pass warning notices sent from AFACT about users infringing on copyright onto the iiNet account holders. 
The High Court found that iiNet had no direct power to prevent its customers from using BitTorrent other than deactivating a customer's account, and that the notices AFACT had sent to iiNet were not in a form that iiNet would be in a position to pass onto its users.

There's plenty more, and all the pond can do is commend it as a read.

Can policy be bought in Australia?

Why do you ask?

Tin pot banana republic?

Why do you ask? And surely you meant to say:

Tin pot banana monarchy ... all hail Prince Chuck.

Meanwhile, what to say about a man who thinks nothing of feathering his nest with books who plots and schemes and gets gung ho to feather Hollywood's nest by censoring and filtering the intertubes?

Why do you ask?

Say hello to the next Stephen Conroy, and the new boss, same dingbat as the old one ...

All that blather about rights and freedom and Tim Wilson. So much horseshit as the combine flexes its generous muscles ...

And we're right back with Conroy and ISPs doing the heavy lifting and a great big filter and ...

There is a profound and perverse irony at work here. The biggest thing standing in the way of content suppliers delivering their content on the intertubes and people paying in a seemly way for the product isn't piracy.

It's the shithouse broadband at work in Australia. Talk to people who do the streaming. The pond occasionally does and they just roll their eyes at the idea of sending HD quality moving pictures over the full to overflowing intertubes in bulk.

So where's big Mal?


Big Mal is off taking care of his mates, here in The Guardian ...

But while he was goofing off, the goose began to feel the heat from a most unexpected source:

Despite romping away in the opinion polls, and within striking distance of the highly difficult task of gaining a majority in Tasmania's Hare-Clark elected lower house, Tasmanian Liberal leader Will Hodgman has been overheard saying to a colleague that Malcolm Turnbull's plan to switch the National Broadband Network (NBN) over to a fibre-to-the-node network could cost him the election. 
As captured by the ABC, Hodgman told fellow shadow minister Jacquie Petrusma that the issue "could cost us the election; anyway, that's democracy". 
Hodgman later said that he NBN is a critical piece of infrastructure for Tasmania, but there are a number of issues that could lose either major political party in the upcoming state election. (again from ZDNet here)

Well Hodgman would try to clarify his remarks, wouldn't he, but the truth came with the news that he'd made a brief visit to Sydney to see big Mal, as you can read in Hodgman, Turnbull in NBN talks.

The pond has always made fun of Tasmanians, especially in their boondoggle harridan Harradine days, but it seems that they understand the difference between fibre and string and sealing wax and tin cans.

Let the boondoggles begin again ...

Come on down carpet baggers, the country is open for business.

What's that? We have another contender for spiv, toff and prat of the week?


  1. Thank you Dorothy for 2 excellent articles today - informative and important.


  2. I don't know you well, DP, at all, in fact, so a bit of friendly advice may be misconstrued. "Harden up, Sunshine!"
    Let me explain. Exhibit A is Home Routers Pose Biggest Consumer Cyberthreat. Exhibit B is Chapter 15 of House Of Cards, the part where the investigative journalist (or, in Brandis's terms, muck-raking traitor) is learning how to tap into the Darknet. He's using Tor - on his office machine. That looks like a beginner's boo-boo. He ought to have Tor on a stick, booting a disposable notebook that's accessing a free wifi network from, say, the carpark next to a burger palace. And that's not going into the need to maintain an encrypted vault of his hot stuff. Other simple steps should be used, too, but that's enough to have Brandis's spooks cruising up & down the street.
    Why did Facebook pay $16b for WhatsApp, and was the deal approved by Turnbull and Murdoch?


    2. link from another article on that readwrite site Stay away from social media accounts especially

    3. Trev, Trev, Trev, the pond always welcomes your friendly advice, though you do sound like the Electronic Frontiers chappie Sean Rintel offering his two cents on The Checkout. Relax, we're happy with our VPN, safe in the knowledge that anybody can crack and track anything and anybody ...

  3. For your delectation and enjoyment (informative disaster porn as South Park might phrase it) I give you the Gare de Montparnasse train crash of 1895 with one of the best photos ever.

    The locomotive driver was fined 50 francs for approaching the station too fast.

    1. Was George Brandis the locomotive driver?

  4. DP, George Brandis another contender for spiv, toff and prat of the week? Others may come and go but Brandis is a permanent member.

    1. Brandis is that, so sickeningly slimy, and thinks himself clever in a snaky sort of way. Another deadshit:

    2. The pond isn't sure we should approve of defaming snake handlers. Sure it's weird and can be deadly, but is it as weird and deadly as George Brandis?



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