A government that stands in the way of responsible technological advancement and innovation is not a government that represents me.

So I’m a relatively young guy who doesn’t really give a damn about politics.

Well rather I didn’t until last year, but then the Liberal/National Party Coalition decided to do make all these promises that it couldn’t fulfil, get in to power and then proceed to start breaking things.

Australia was beginning on a new major infrastructure project to finally replace the long out of date and far substandard network of copper telecommunications lines with a majority of fibre-optic cables.
Yes there were some areas which I disagreed with due to the force bundling of excessive installations of equipment (seriously, the supply of the termination point hardware should remain the province of the service providers) but on the whole it was going to fix the significant problems with the entire network.

The Liberals ran with a platform of a slower but guaranteed 25Mb/s replacement utilising a decent chunk of the copper for the last stretch from street cabinets referred to as nodes.
Sure nowhere near as awesome, but realistically if it supplied me with low consistent latency with no drop-outs due to weather conditions.
I point out that I currently get noticeably under 10Mb/s with latency spikes all over the place and consistently having to power cycle the connection in hot weather (sometimes in cold as well).

Cut to now, we’re not even going to receive the guaranteed speeds, we’re going to be utilising a hodge podge of different network components from VDSL to fiber to HFC to wireless to satellite with a baseline speed where I am not much better than I get currently in favourable conditions.
The guy in charge doesn’t see a need for us to even have 100Mb connections at any point.

So in other words we’re going to end up with something that can not do it’s job, will end up costing way more, and will not support an industry that is guaranteed to function when our non-renewable resources have long expired.

For me I’ll be stuck with terrible latency, the inability to stream media content at 1080p+ levels, and no certainty of an actual network connection at any particular point in time.

All this could have been avoided.

Seriously Australia, you’ve gone and frakked it all up.

This post brought to you by the guy who almost did an Australian Christian Lobby who let their domain expire.


Upgrading, the way of the future.

So, I live in Australia.
I’m not going to bother with most of the election stuff, as it’d drive most people crazy.

I am going to talk about one thing though, the National Broadband Network.

I’m not going to do the usual, where people speak about all the things it will do for us.
Instead I’m going to talk about this things it’s replacing.

So anyway, in Australia we use copper cable to handle our telecommunication needs.
to begin with, we used it for things like Voice Communication, a fairly simple thing.

The problem is when we started doing more than such basic stuff, we didn’t improve the basic copper along with it.
We just kept on forcing it to do new things without even considering we might need to look after it, that we might need to do something in the future.

Back in the 90s, dialup was the thing, it allowed us to use our copper phone network to transmit and receive data.
This is more or less the point things started getting really messy.
The big issue for the average consumer was that the moment someone picked up the phone, the internet dropped out.
This was caused by using the same frequencies for both voice, and data.
It even got to the point people installed internet specific phone lines.

The next logical step of course was to allow us to use both voice and data at the same time.
This lead to all the various permutations of DSL.
The problem being that DSL still depends on the quality of the actual copper line itself.

In Australia, with our wonderful climate, with weather changing constantly, the copper is exposed to conditions it really can’t handle.
It starts to degrade to the point we can’t even deal with basic voice communication.
So when you start trying to use it to send data at high rates, it doesn’t function as well as it should.
When it rains people can lose their internet connections, nuts right?

Anyway, we’ve currently got ADSL2+ in play here.
Seems to do the job, except now we’re beginning to ask way more of it.

We’re now shifting to the stage of content on demand.
Listen to music from the internet.
Watch movies, from the internet.
Receive our programs, purely from the internet.
Basically everything coming in as we request it.

This means we need two things, high speed and good capacity.
These are two things that our current copper based network aren’t very good at any more.

We’re now introducing a new element, 4k television.
This is something we more or less need to send the data for over the internet.
And using our copper to do so isn’t looking very good.

Quite simply, we’re using a metal which degrades in electrical quality when exposed to the environment, to push ever more services through, and it’s not coping.

If you can pick up your phone handset, and you can hear noise on the line, you can probably realise why we need to finally replace things.

This is why I support the National Broadband Network that the Labor government chose to implement.
We need to get rid of the copper and replace it, all of it, scrap the lot.
The NBN is introducing fiber-optic cable, which being essentially glass (really bendy and twisty glass that you have to take a hammer to to really damage).
It handles the weather conditions in our country.
It is indefinitely upgrade-able as the technology matures.

The best thing about fiber-optic, it’s not copper.

To put it simply, with the new network, the only time your internet will go out, is when your power does.
Is that really so bad?

It doesn’t matter how much money you spend, eventually something simple will break.

So I like music.

I like music with depth and tonal separation.

I like music to be clear, to be defined, to be something I can listen to at low levels and still get the subtle nuances that it conveys.

I also like to listen to music whenever I’m not home, like on public transport.

This of course means I need a dedicated set of headphones for this exact purpose.

So last year I decided to shell out for a set of Kicker HP541 DJ-style Foldable Headphones.

I liked the feel of them, the sound quality, the fact that they had a detachable cable.

Up until this year they’ve served me pretty faithfully.

However there’s one flaw to the design which caught me off-guard, the internal wiring.

Let’s just say I now have the fun task of replacing the internal wiring, and then soldering it.
The first part will be easy, it’s the second that will prove my downfall since I haven’t soldered anything in ten years.

The lesson to me is to check the easily accessible solder points for breaks before I start disassembling the entire thing.

Now to decide if I should use the parts to install the drivers in to something else, like say my Cyberman voice changer helmet.
I always planned to redo it’s wiring to install speakers for a chest plate to amplify the pissy little voice modulator.


A single gamers valentines day.

So anyway once again it’s that time of year where people feel compelled and guilted in to paying exorbitant amounts of time and money to reinforce their declaration of love for each other.

I am not one of those people.

Today I’m spending my time with me.

Last night I was in a dungeon run in guildwars 2 and I mentioned about the day, strangely enough all five of us were single.
The general plan today was to game and generally relax.

So I woke up at 3pm. Came in to the city for an appointment, and now am sitting here waiting for a movie to start.

The one thing I noticed most on the way here was the number of people holding hands.
It was completely abnormal and proved more of a challenge to navigate.
If they were zombies it would have been awesome.

I plan when I get home to finish it as I started, guildwars 2.

Single gamer all the way.

System protections, or are they system restrictions.

So years back, 20 or so, gaming was a different beast entirely.
CDs were a new thing and people still used 5.25 inch floppy disks.

Back then the closest you got to copy protection was referencing the manual on the spot.
They were the good old days.

Of course then with the advent of CD burners piracy became viable to perform at the home level.

Companies decided they had to do something to make it harder for us to copy their products.
So they started an elaborate chain of events.

Physical method were devised, and shortly after defeated.

Keys were created, but shortly after generated.

Reliance on CDs was made pointless with disc emulation.

Eventually it shifted to a system where our game keys were tied to online user accounts, the media only used for installation.

Of course with people spending so much time and effort on games like World of Warcraft it became worth the time to gain access to these attacks.
Characters end up stripped of gear and money.

People complain and companies add even more strict measures to protect account access.

So we end up with external authentication by generator or mobile phone.

The problem is when password recovery becomes a serious struggle.

Tonight I have that struggle.
Tried logging in to diablo 3 for the first time in my new place.
I discovered I changed my password at some point, so after a couple of different attempts I get locked out.

Recovery of course requires me to either answer a secret question which I have no clue about due to different frame of mind, or inputting a key from a physical copy of a game.

Can’t locate my war3 or war3x cases as I moved recently, no idea where my diablo 2 keys could be, but I did find my copy of StarCraft 2.
The system denies that key is attached to my account.
Thus I am screwed.

Can’t play my games, can’t remember the answer to an obscure question from years ago, and when the next StarCraft 2 part is released I won’t be able to play it for this reason..

Guess who’s dissatisfied with Blizzard right now.

New years, new friends, new place, new everything.

So I’m sitting here at a party thrown by some good friends and thought I might muse over the last year.

Some long awaited games came out and I bought many of them.

I bought a new PC from pccasegear.

Soundwave where I got to see half the bands I wanted because I got fried in the sun.

Spent a lot of time with my new first legion guildies who followed me over to guild wars 2.
Crash, Palamax, Nhorn, Warjay, Blazorax, Tara and many more that slip my mind, you’re all awesome people.

I met the most awesome person ever, Nikki I shall miss you.

And I will not get a haircut.

I shall post more later after some drinking.