Thursday, March 26, 2009

Save the .au internet

The Australian Government is proposing an internet filter for all content coming down Australian people's lines. I don't disagree with the aim of stamping out things like child pornography but anyone with half a brain knows that:
  1. Anyone wanting access to the sort of stuff this is intended to block will find a way around it. (This reminds me of when I was chatting to my wife's 14 yr old cousin who told me every kid in school knew how to use proxies to get around the school's content filter). More targeted strategies would have better success than a blanket approach like this that only harms the general populous (see point 3).
  2. Inevitably this sort of BS goes 1984 with the government allowed to block anything they want without public scrutiny (the list of blocked sites won't be made public). Think the great internet wall of China.
  3. The costs (a big slow-down in speeds, mistaken blockings etc) would be for nothing.
For more details, see:
  1. a recent article ...
  2. some great commentary ...
  3. and for how to sign a petition on this, see GetUp's campaign below:

Thursday, March 12, 2009


No, I'm not talking about redundancy in the information sense, but in terms of employment. On Monday I was made redundant from my part-time job, along with a number of other staff members there.

This kind of thing happens from time to time: I think almost everyone in the company had been made redundant from some previous job. Indeed, it's the second time for me after Telstra closed their research laboratories (see 1 and 2) three years ago.

A few things I just want to mention.
Firstly, the law around redundancy entitlements has changed, thanks to our our previous prime minister John Howard, friend of the worker. No severance payments are necessary anymore, just your 1 month's notice and good luck. In this market, you're going to be lucky to get a new job within 1 month - that's what a redundancy payment was designed for.
Also, I was asked to keep working through my notice period with the prospect of continuing on contract once the period ended. Obviously this is good, but without anything in writing I'm a bit concerned that we'll get to the end of the month and there won't be a contract. I'm sure a lot of others have had this dilemma over the years.

All that being said, I know that in the long run I am a very lucky guy, and things here could definitely be worse ...

(Update: the contract did come through before the notice period ended, and I'm still happily working there. Hopefully things pick up, as we're working on some really promising services.)