* Posts by Gray Ham

335 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Dec 2012


Archaeologists find oldest ever ground-edge stone axe

Gray Ham

Once upon a time ...

Australia led the world in technology ...

Indian scientists teach computers to see by watching Cricket

Gray Ham


New nbnTM roadmap reveals HFC tests to start in Q4

Gray Ham

“Introduction of four additional Enhanced Service Levels with both 6 and 4 hour restoration targets across both business hours and 24/7 hours of operation”

Both business hours? In other words, they work 2 hours per day? Things are humming down at NBN HQ.

Yikes! Facebook will run on TELEPATHY, thinks Zuck, in Q&A

Gray Ham

Share my innermost thoughts on FB?

You first, Mark ...

Climate change alarmism is a religious belief – it's official

Gray Ham

Look on the bright side ..

From an Australian perspective, maybe Toned Abs will start listening to his boss in Rome rather than the one in Pyrmont ...

Australia needs MOAR L33T WHITE HATZ, says Federal Police

Gray Ham

No, you just can't get good staff these days ... explains a lot!

Belgium trolls France with bonkers new commemorative coin

Gray Ham

Re: How about more annoying the French!




AFP officer abused data access to stalk ex

Gray Ham


All that you say is very reasonable, and yet ...

Legislative controls are only going to be as good as the implementation and oversight of controls. In this case, it appears the AFP simply were not aware of their employee's previous and current relations with foreign nationals, multiple citizenships, previous employment with the armed forces of a foreign power, etc, etc. Given that he was previously employed in the counter-terrorism part of the AFP, this appears (to my simple mind) to be a complete failure of the security clearance process, to the point where I am doubtful that he indeed had any sort of clearance, and simply should not have been allowed access to any sort of sensitive data.

Patch-crazy Aust Govt fought off EVERY hacker since 2013

Gray Ham

Steven Day

I hear he's very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,

and understand equations, both the simple and quadratical ...

Sorry ... I can't stop thinking about Gilbert & Sullivan today ...

Au gummint, opposition: site blocks just FINE

Gray Ham

"As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,

I've got a little list I've got a little list

Of society offenders who might well be underground,

And who never would be missed, who never would be missed!"

nbn has made ZERO fibre-to-the-node and cable connections

Gray Ham

Splendid ...

Looks like I will be getting birthday greetings from King William V before I get connected to the NBN ...

Australian dark matter hunter wins AU$1.75 million funding

Gray Ham

Re: puzzled

I hope nobody suggests we should use the "Tips and corrections" link

I will! I've always found that I get a prompt response to anything I send through that link.

Australian government sun to set on NBN funding

Gray Ham

by September 2016 3.1 million households will be in that state or already connected

3.1 million is still only about one-third of the ABS prediction of over 9 million households in Australia by 2016. It looks like most of us are out of luck ...

FOUND: NASA's stray balloon located in the middle of nowhere

Gray Ham

"A NASA team scrambled on the news, and will collect trucks in Brisbane before driving to Adelaide to assemble the rest of their team. They will then head for Queensland to try and recover “four tonnes of material”."

It seems an awfully long winded way to go about it ... wouldn't it be much easier to drive the trucks straight from Brisbane and let the Croweaters catch up with them somewhere en route?

Still, as MrDamage remarked ... Queenslanders ...

Australian Bureau of Statistics to get AU$250m tech boost

Gray Ham

It's good news that the ABS will be getting some investment - they have been performing their vital function well in difficult circumstances.

It could be interesting, though, to see how the expanding G to G linkages work, given no NBN down on Benjamin Way.

Pacific nation accidentally does good thing in web crackdown

Gray Ham

Re: Should we be depressed?

Yes, it is very sad that a nation has no other future than to serve as a gaol. Although much of Nauru's plight is self-inflicted, or rather government inflicted, (see http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/how-nauru-threw-it-all-away/5312714), it is hard to condemn Nauruans for taking this option - rather, the responsibility for this prison camp should be placed where it belongs, with Australia's last two governments, both headed by (supposedly) Christian prime ministers.

Kill all geoblocks says Internet Society of Australia

Gray Ham

Re: Good luck with that

What ... the Australian Government acting in the interests of the Australian people? No, that's way too radical, it'll never catch on.

This is Sparta? No - it's Microsoft Edge, Son of Internet Explorer

Gray Ham

Re: Surely Roman, not Spartan?

So, Apple would be ....

Britain! - huge empire, controlled by insisting everyone uses your own esoteric set of rules?

See here: http://spreadofcricket.weebly.com/reason-2---deliberate-export.html

Exclusive interview: Malcolm Turnbull quizzes Malcolm Turnbull

Gray Ham

"Conrovian excesses?" ... can we now invent an adjective to describe this Government's data retention laws?

How about "brandalous"?

NASA 'UFO' pops a leak, lands in outback Australia

Gray Ham

I hope they can find it ...

"near the Queensland and New South Wales border just east of Australia’s Sturt National Park"

That'd be in South Australia, then ...

Turnbull's digital transformation team discovers user testing

Gray Ham

If the APS is really so clueless about online service delivery, one would hope that the DTO is prepared to do a lot more than just issue thought-bubbles-in-140-characters-or-less.

"An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises" - Mae West

China tackles vital strippers-at-funeral problem

Gray Ham

Re: I have to wonder

Maybe he was presented with six erotic dancers ... did you check the death certificate?

Good news! Your job's not going to the Philippines

Gray Ham

Will I trust a consultant's report that seemingly can't tell the difference between Malaysia and Indonesia? I think not ...

Australia mulls dumping the .com from .com.au – so you can bake URLs like chocolate.gate.au

Gray Ham

Re: Chris must need more cigars

It may be a money grab, but if they have to have an Australian presence to register a name, are you going to object to:




etc ... ?

NBN Co to trial faster fixed wireless services

Gray Ham

At a guess ...

So even though the press releases are flying, NBN Co itself doesn't yet know just where the pilot will take place.

Only slightly cynically, I'd say it will be in a marginal electorate critical to the Coalition winning the next election. Note that Queanbeyan and Bateman's Bay (in Eden-Monaro) are getting NBN before most of Canberra. How about Delegate as a prime location for the pilot?

NO, Joe Hockey, a 'Netflix tax' wouldn't raise 'billions'

Gray Ham


From his handle, I rather assume that codysydney is a resident of the land of the free soon-to-be-sold-off-cheaply-to-China north of the Murray.

Strange radio telescope signals came from microwave ovens

Gray Ham

The Dish, II

... a quirky comedy relating the true-ish story of a team of intrepid boffins who celebrate their success in finding extra-terrestrial intelligence by adjourning to the lunch room for some microwave popcorn ...

Optus must hire checkbox champion after epic router, voicemail borking

Gray Ham

And these people will be in control of the security for all the (meta)data that's now being collected about us.

I feel so much more relaxed and comfortable now ....

Metadata laws pass so it's time to STOP READING LISTICLES

Gray Ham


How dare they indeed!

It is clear from Malcolm Turnbull's statements here about how people can avoid data retention, that this law is aimed solely at mass surveillance of innocent people. And both major parties connived at this.

Have another upvote!

Internet Explorer LIVES ON, cackle sneaky Microsoft engineers

Gray Ham

"Spartan is clearly where Microsoft wants to go with browser technology; even the name has been picked to suggest simplicity, speed and hardiness."

Presumably we shouldn't mention the pederasty, though ...

Malcolm Turnbull proposes taxing Google and Facebook ads

Gray Ham

If estimates of the advertising booked with Internet multinationals at AU$2.4 billion are accurate, they'd be asked to charge 4240 million in GST – however, much of this would be deducted by those booking the advertisements as an input cost, so the net to government would probably be far less.

Wouldn't the net revenue to the Federal Government be (very approximately) zero? Even if Google et al submit their BAS correctly, GST revenue all flows to state governments.

Alleged Aussie Anon hauled in for Indonesia phone tap hacking spat

Gray Ham

Re: Alledged?

Of coarse wee have spell chequers, but (in common with all computer applications) they cease working at lunchtime on Friday.

Australia's PM says data retention laws think of the children

Gray Ham
Big Brother


He cited a child abuse investigation in Europe, saying that in the UK around 25 per cent of suspects were convicted but in “Germany, which doesn't have metadata retention legislation, almost none of them were successfully prosecuted.”

This sort of begs the question "why doesn't Germany have metadata retention legislation?" ... is it because many Germans still remember the Stasi and the Gestapo?

Reg hacks (and rest of 'Frisco) in LinkedIn measles contagion scare

Gray Ham

there is a 1 to 5 per cent chance an immunized person could contract measles

Which makes me between 1-in-400 to 1-in-10,000 unlucky ... both my children contracted measles after being vaccinated. Fortunately no serious lasting damage to either, but (note to Richard Ball) measles is scary if it is your kid that is infected: the Dept is quite right to send out an alert.

Amazing, cool, wow: Humans naturally use POSITIVE words, and that is GOOD

Gray Ham

Re: Hmmm.

I can't say I've even heard of any modern stories that can compare to the classic tragedies like Hamlet

How about Franz Josef I? ... Brother executed, son committed suicide, wife assassinated, nephew also assassinated, empire disintegrates in the bloodiest war ever seen ...

But, I'm sure Shakespeare would have written it better than what I do.

Australia's (current) PM Tony Abbott again calls for metadata trove laws to pass, ASAP

Gray Ham

However, he said that while access to stored data is a “foundational” building block of investigations, it's impossible to stipulate how many convictions relied on it. The AFP's systems, he said, simply aren't configured to report the association between “metadata” and eventual convictions.

So, he doesn't actually know whether metadata is useful or not ... but he can still declare that it prevents 90% of terrorist attacks.

Probably this is why I'm not Commissioner of the AFP - when I talk bullshit, I blush.

Look out - it's a Goober! Google's über-Uber robo apptaxi ploy

Gray Ham

Re: "The thot plickens"

I think it may be Simon's little joke ... if you transpose the first and fourth letters of "Goober", what do you get? Or am I way off the mark ...

Uber Australia hiring lawyers, PR flaks

Gray Ham

This is NSW ...

I thought the usual procedure was to nip down to your friendly wine merchant and get a few bottles of Grange Hermitage to spread around. Still much cheaper than hiring a bunch of lawyers ...

Researcher says Aussie spooks help code Five Eyes mega malware

Gray Ham

It can't be true ... Australian public servants don't actually produce anything. Mr Abbott told me so ...

Brandis and PwC silent on Xmas Eve metadata quiz

Gray Ham

This is one time I'd really love to see some industry collusion and price-fixing .... ISPs tendering for federal government business should automatically double their quotes to cover any additional costs ...

Three expat Brits explain their move to Australia

Gray Ham

Re: What is Canberra like for .net developers.


There's several of us around in Canberra. Not sure whether any are .net developers.

In general, though, it's a great place - especially if you have children. Schools and unis are excellent, there are plenty of opportunities for sport and/or cultural activities.

Gray Ham

Re: Not being British

Unfortunately, Jim, if you object to being called a 'whingeing pom', it means you probably are one. My experience was that, if you take it on the chin and attempt to adjust to the local culture, Australians will accept you very rapidly. Although it can be difficult to adjust to some things - it was years before I felt at ease having Christmas in the middle of summer - the migration experience has been nearly all good for me (note: I have lived the past 30 years in Canberra, which as everyone now knows is the best place in the world1. So there.)

1 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/07/upshot/want-an-easy-life-try-canberra-australia.html?_r=0

NASA: Mars satellites menaced by speeding SPACE ALIEN

Gray Ham

Maybe we should rename this comet "Nimbin" in honour of all the exotic chemicals?

Trio share 2014 Nobel Prize for cracking internal GPS of the brain

Gray Ham
Thumb Up

Great work.

A well deserved award, and I expect there's a lot more to discover about how this works.

I wonder, do these cells adjust if you move to a radically new environment? How long would it take?

Signed: an expatriate pom who spent his first 5 years in Aus thinking North was South and vice versa.

Business expects data retention will hit their bottom lines: survey

Gray Ham

"62 per cent of respondents to its survey believe that retaining more data for longer will create security risks

And of the 38% who don't believe retaining data will create security risks, how many believe they have fairies at the bottom of their garden?

The more I think about this scheme, the harder it is to see any upside. Against the costs, risks to personal privacy and risk of administrative overreach is offset what? Where the claimed benefits are not vague, they have been specious.

'There is no downside – unless you count the total bath you take moving your stuff'

Gray Ham

"I visit some family down under, and to equate the two for diversity would be incorrect.

Hmmm ... not sure which part of Australia your family are in, but in my workgroup I can manage Malaysia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Malta, Singapore, Laos, Pakistan, China (mainland), PNG, Chile, Russia, Finland, Japan, Fiji, NZ and Iran. There is an Australian, but her parents are Greek too. Similar diversity around the street where I live.

Gray Ham

Re: Accents

Is it the Dart*?

*Australian cultural reference that no-one else will understand. See here

Gray Ham

I found some of the article familiar, some confusing (note: I'm a pom who made the reverse journey many years ago, after MHT kindly arranged to fund my passage).

Although I agree that there are many ways in which Australia lags behind Europe, in my field (I work in Local Government) it often seems the reverse is true.

As to the cultural experience, there are opportunities in both countries. Yes, from London you can get to Paris in a short time ... but from Australia you can go to many equally diverse places with relative ease. And, in many cases they're cheaper, they drive on the correct side of the road, plus (unlike Parisians) the locals will actually be polite to you.

I can't answer for what London is like now (it's a few years since I've been there), but if it's more diverse than Australia I would be very surprised - both in my workplace and around my home, I can think of at least a dozen different Asian, European and other nationalities represented.

Agree with Piers though that it is important to get out there and experience the world - whether you go from here to there or there to here, there will be new experiences and you will be the richer for it. But, be open and prepared to make adjustments - even between UK and Aus/NZ, there are cultural differences, which is one reason why so many poms fail to make a go of it here.

Boffins: Searching for ALIENS is like looking for PIZZA among students

Gray Ham

Re: Geological Sources

Also possible that the methane is being replenished by the college students ... but, would we really want to go there?

NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies

Gray Ham

Although diplomatic communications are protected under the Convention, missions are only permitted to install and use wireless transmitters with the host government's consent. I expect missions will comply, rather than have permission withdrawn.