* Posts by dpadams

5 posts • joined 23 Nov 2011

Oz competition regulator seeks input on ending wholesale ADSL declaration


The NBN is "here" in my neighborhood on the Far South Coast of NSW. Translation: There is a massive big radio mast delivering ADSLish speeds. It would be okay in a universe without 1) other users, 2) trees, 3) hills, or 4) rain. Meanwhile.... So, the short story is that "NBN" provides no real improvement over ADSL (apart from being a bit less asymmetrical.) Given the rural location, the only telecom gear around is Telstra's and no one else will ever install anything. If wholesale pricing is abolished, we're screwed down here.

Easter Islanders didn't commit 'ecocide' after all, says archaeologist


Just because an idea makes you uncomfortable doesn't make it wrong

Easter Island is where contrarian archeological theories go to live...

Underlying this article seems to be the attitude that people and their tech can't be responsible for the ecological collapse we've seen around the world and through recorded and discovered history. Just because the idea is confronting doesn't make it untrue. Here's a bit of science related to the Pacific:

Ancient Death Toll of Birds Confirmed in New Study


It's a lot easier to accept that people wipe out huge swaths of the landscape when you've 1) lived on a small, crowded island and 2) notice animals. People visit Oahu and see a paradise...and yet it's lost pretty much all native plants in animals in the blink of an eye. Rapa Nui looks like a blasted, arid wasteland so it's easier to get that it's pretty much trashed. Polynesians and later waves of humans moved throughout the Pacific fairly quickly and wiped out virtually everything in their path. Eventually, they ran out of places to go. (And the big seabird colonies that made massive clouds of birds to guide them in were pretty much all eaten, making those tiny specs of land in the vast Pacific that much harder to find.) All we have left in the oceanic Pacific today are fragments of the plant and bird communities of a few thousand years ago. For anyone interested in ecological history, the following five "popular science" books are great:

The Song of the Dodo - David Quammen

The Future Eaters - Tim Flannery

Guns, Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond

The Origin of Species - Charles Darwin

Collapse - Jared Diamond

Seriously, these are all popular science titles. The first is by a "popular science" writer, the rest are by scientists that area also great and writing about science. Each book is well-written, provoking, well documented and a good read.

Regarding Jared Diamond, really? I assume you're deliberately misrepresenting him. Sure, he's a (Pulitzer winning) popular science writer, but he's also a pretty substantial scientist. "The Birds of Northern Melanesia" with Ernst Mayr is more than enough to prove that. Regarding Collapse, did you read the chapter that includes Tikopia? That's 100% optimistic. If anything, the book is _too_ optimistic.

Wired broadband adoption dips as wireless flies


Australia figures misleading

Wired vs. wireless uptake numbers from Australia are bound to be misleading as many people have to decide between wireless broadband and dial-up, not wireless broadband and wired broadband. In thousands of exchanges around Australia, there simply isn't an ADSL port to be had. (Telstra has under provisioned since day one.) At that point the options are:

* Wireless broadband, if available.

* Dial-up.

* Satellite.

Australian numbers are only meaningful if you compare what choices people have made from the choices *available* to them. As Telstra continues with their TopHat program (adding ADSL2 ports to existing RIMs), we should see greater wired take-up again...until the ports are exhausted.

Note that there's no point asking Telstra as their don't keep a count of how many people are waiting on a wired port to come free. They have a national demand register and they claim to have a 'waiting list' for ports. The waiting list does not exist and the demand register is rarely used.

Given that Telstra's main infrastructure spend has been on 4G networks, it's entirely self-serving for them to claim that people don't want wired Internet. People want it, they just can't get it.

Australians love mobile devices, but not mobile downloads


ADSL uptake is slow because there are no ports

As always, thanks for the fact-based coverage of network issues here in Aus.

Regarding "mobile broadband accounted for 90 percent of new connections added in Australia between June 2011 and December 2011"

Hardly a surprise when in so many areas it is impossible to buy an ADSL connection. There has been a chronic scarcity of ADSL ports throughout Australia for years. In my area, your only chance of getting ADSL is to wait for someone to move or die. Telstra is now rolling out "top hats" to add more ports to existing RIMs but the program is moving slowly and will only cover a fraction of the areas that lack ports.

So, it's not too impressive that wireless broadband uptake has been so high when the alternative is dialup, not ADSL.

Chromebooks: the flop of 2011?


One word: JavaStation


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