Turnbull “virtually invented the Internet
in Australia”, claims Tony Abbott



blog Oh dear. Sometimes you just have to laugh — because if you didn’t laugh then you would cry. Just days after the resignation of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy — the driving force behind the creation of Labor’s National Broadband Network policy, which the Coalition has largely appropriated for its own broadband policy — Tony Abbott is talking up Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull massively as the man who “virtually invented the Internet in Australia”. The Sydney Morning Herald tells us in its live blog of an Abbott speech this morning (we recommend you click here for the full article):

Mr Abbott also praised his frontbench as a “strong team” but he singled out communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull for a big tick – “the man who virtually invented the internet in Australia”. (I got a lot of comments when I posted that remark on twitter. I stress Mr Abbott was joking. I thought it was quite funny.)

Let me clarify something for you, Mr Abbott: You might have been joking, but the joke wasn’t funny. Malcolm Turnbull didn’t invent squat in terms of the Internet in Australia. Turnbull was one of the original directors (later its chairman), and a key investor, in the Internet service provider OzEmail through the 1990’s. However, the company was originally founded by Australian Personal Computer magazine editor Sean Howard in 1992, who continued to act as its key executive leader until the company was sold to WorldCom in 1999. Turnbull bought in as an investor in 1994, several years after OzEmail’s original founding, and we’re sure his credibility as the co-founder of an investment bank in the late 1980’s and 1990’s was a critical aspect of OzEmail’s 1996 listing and 1999 sale. But let’s be under no illusions here — Along with fellow businessman Trevor Kennedy, Turnbull was helping to oversee and finance, but not to directly run, OzEmail.

Does Turnbull have more credibility on technology issues than most other politicians in Australia? Most definitely. But there is a massive difference between acting as an investor in an early Australian ISP and “inventing the Internet”. Financial management is not technology management — and it’s certainly not engineering. Turnbull is quite technically astute for a politician — but we really doubt he would know his way around an ISP datacentre.


  1. Turnbull is actually Tim Berners-Lee in disguise. This explains everything.

    Who hasn’t Abbott offended with that of-the-cuff comment, really. Hilariously wrong. Just imagine the guy spouting this sort of crap as PM. It’s up there with the ever-grating “gotta zip”.

  2. Having said that – Turnbull has invented a whole new field of quantum mechanics over copper. So that’s something. :)

    • I thought it was hyperbolic data transmission over copper. The bandwidth of copper is increased using a continual exageration technique where everyone eventually believes they are getting the data rates claimed rather than the ones that are actually possible.

    • geeks know how to take a beating from bullies, and they will tolerate a lot before they hit back, but there is one thing they absolutely will not stand for and that is someone else taking credit for their work.

    • At least Al Gore had actually been involved at the legislative level in the US congress actively supporting the development of the Internet, from its ARPANET days… compared to that, Turnbull’s contribution to telecoms in Australia can only be described as negative (considering that he is pushing for a replacement of a superior tehnology with an inferior one.) He is not worth mentioning in the same sentence as Al Gore.


  3. What about his $500k seed investment in Unwired, a company that brought broadband to tens of thousands of customers for the first time? Sure it was pretty slow compared to now, but back before 2.5G was common, and certainly ages before 3G wireless, it was all a lot of people could get when ADSL wasn’t available.

    But this is an example of why I hate Tony Abbott. Turnbull’s long involvement in the internet industry is a massive draw card which should be promoted. But as always Abbott manages to mangle the message and cause more problems than benefits.

  4. Thanks Malcolm, without you who knows where Australia would be.
    (sarcastic by the way)

  5. “Financial management is not technology management.”

    That’s it in a nutshell. Turnbull would not have made a single technology decision while sitting on the board and his growing pile of cash.

    In fact, it is probably the users of Ozemail from those days, the early adopters of the internet in Australia, where he made his fortune, who now want the FTTP NBN that he would stymie now.

    Talk about a slap in the face.

    • I doubt he was making any money of internet users. Ozemail was hermoraging money. They weren’t profitable. Turnbull spent a lot of his time trying to find a bunny to buy it. He did, just before the dot com crash.

    • This is the same Malcolm Turnball who was recently on Triple J trying to imply that Michael Malone that doesn’t know anything about the telecommunications industry.

  6. Guys, guys, you’re making way too much out of this. It was a simple slip of the tongue on Tony Abbot’s part.

    Instead of “Malcolm Turnbull” he just meant to say “Geoff Huston.”

  7. Explains why Turnbull, as inventor of the internet, had a soft spot for Godwin Gretch, inventor of the e-mail. :)

  8. Of course he didn’t invent the internet, he invented broadband, hence his “Mr Broadband” nickname (or something). Stop the Bauds!!!

  9. Renai – might want to check your “sense of humour” gene – it seems to be running sub-optimally! For someone like Tony and in the tone that it was presented – it was funny. It might also be a running joke in the party room… for zeus sake, if we all can’t have a bit of a laugh at the end of one of the worst sessions of parliament, then the aussie larrikin is well and truly dead!

  10. Hah. AARNet created the first consumer-oriented internet access point (outside of APANA et al), and then sold it on to Telstra, where it became BigPond.

    I know Abbot was being glib, but man. Douchey McNotthinksalot

  11. Giving this any airtime is the joke , Abbott continues to show his lack of any understanding of the Internet- it is now beyond humor given Abbott believes his own jokes!

    we all know who brought the Internet to Australia and funny enough dial IP was developed by Telstra 2 yrs early to get Coca Cola’s newly developed connected vending machines off the x25 network , this is the reality – the real joke is the LNP NBN proposal, now let’s all lauff

  12. Giving this any airtime is the joke , Abbott continues to show his lack of any understanding of the Internet- it is now beyond humor given Abbott believes his own jokes! We all know who brought the Internet to Australia and funny enough dial IP was developed by Telstra 2 yrs early to get Coca Cola’s newly developed connected vending machines off the x25 network , this is the reality – the real joke is the LNP NBN proposal, now let’s all lauff

  13. Giving this any airtime is the joke , Abbott continues to show his lack of any understanding of the Internet- it is now beyond humor given Abbott believes his own jokes! We all know who brought the Internet to Australia and funny enough dial IP was developed by Telstra 2 yrs early to get Coca Cola’s newly developed connected vending machines off the x25 network , this is the reality – the real joke is the LNP NBN proposal, now let’s all have a sense of humor about that!

  14. One wonders why this story seems to have got some people riled up. For heaven’s sake, the comments were made in a private party meeting, big deal.

    The author of this often does a beat up of a story and barely anyone blinks an eye. Is someone trying to make a mountain out of a molehill here?

    Remember all those fish stories where the real big one got away!

    • > Is someone trying to make a mountain out of a molehill here?

      It appears that Australian Voters have been well-trained by their representatives.

      When our politicians stop acting like fools, then they will be treated with respect.

    • “One wonders why this story seems to have got some people riled up. For heaven’s sake, the comments were made in a private party meeting, big deal.”

      Private party meeting?

      With TV cameras recording it for every news bulletin?

      Perhaps the reporters and their cameras and helpers had an invisibility cloak ………

      • This isn’t the first time he’s tried to rewrite history and give the credit to Malcolm, he also said “Malcolm was one of Australia’s internet pioneers” at the policy launch and has said Mal brought us the Net several other times iirc.

        • I’m not sure Tony is aware that the internet started it’s life in the 60’s (29 October 1969), in fact I’m pretty sure he’d be surprised if you told him. I think he truly does believe that Malcolm is an internet pioneer because he was director of Ozemail (I wonder if he thinks the same of Neville Wran, who was also involved with it?).

          I wonder Tony thinks Malcolm is also a lumberjack? (He was the chair of Axiom Forest Resources after all, who were loggers in the Solomon Islands)

    • @ Frank, you do have a point… and even as an ardent NBN supporter, I believe the comments were largely off the cuff…

      However, a few days back the usual NBN detractors (READ pedantic, nit pickers) took exception to Gillard saying the Coalition’s FoD would cost $5K…

      The bit they took exception to was, she didn’t say “up to” $5K!

      Now lets keep that omission of up to in mind and then consider…

      MT plucking the sum of $94B for the NBN out of his arse and of course this latest gem from TA… which none of the same detractors have a problem with… and then come back and sob about this being a beat up!

  15. Do any of you here understand humour? IT WAS A JOKE!!!!!!! It was not said as a statement of absolute fact, it was a joke. What that means is that he was not claiming Turnbull invented the internet, a statement that could be easily verified as to it’s validity, he was having a joke. Come on, what is wrong with you people.

    Has this country become full of self appointed thought and comedy police? If you don’t like the joke, fine but don’t treat the rest of us as if we have to subscribe to your brand of humour. Grow up people.

    • Monitors wasn’t a joke, this isn’t the first time he’s tried to rewrite history and give the credit to Malcolm, he also said “Malcolm was one of Australia’s internet pioneers” at the policy launch and has said Mal brought us the Net several other times.

      It’s just more proof that Tony has no clue and is a serial lier!

      • So Abbott never said turnbull invented the internet, did he djos? No you put the statement on this page and it does not say he invented the internet – “the man who will implement it virtually invented the Internet in this country.” What that means djos is that Turnbull had a lot with bringing the internet to all of us. How? He bought into Ozemail in 1994. he had a bit to do with the running of the company. Abott did not say Turnbull was the only internet pioneer but we all know Turnbull was with Ozemail.

        It was a joke djos, grow a sense of humour, watch the video of it, it was not said as a statement of fact. It was said ‘tngue in cheek’. Do you know what that means?

  16. well said Mick. Though I do wonder whether the joke is what is upsetting the tech head culture or the Coalition plans for the NBN. It is not credible that they are as humour challenged as they appear to be.

    What I suspect from this silly boys ( in the main) spitting the dummy carry on is that we should be very careful about their arguments that Australia must have the best bells and whistles that the rest of us can pay for, even though we can’t afford them. You can still have your dream gizmo, it is just that you will have to pay for some of it, rather than have the rest of Australia’s taxpayers stump up for your toys. The argument that Australia will grow its wealth with the greatest most expensive broadband in the world, but financial management is irrelevant to decisions about how government should assist in advancing Australia rather defines the lack of understanding of the needs of our economy and society of the we don’t like jokes crowd. Most irritating is the very wrong view that experts in the internet should be the decision makers on matters that are much complex and complicated and that require input from across the expertise required to manage a developed society. The dismissal of Turnbull shines the spotlight on their narrow, and selfish outlook.

    This carry on is actually quite funny. The qualifications for a PM it seems for the tech heads is that they are experts on the internet. Like Stephen red underpants Conroy for example. Or the “new” Kevin Rudd. That even the dimmest of you must suspect these gentlemen (joke guys in case you don’t get it) know no more about the Internet than Abbott leaves only one conclusion.

    Give me my toys at once or I will scream and cry and stamp my feet.

    • Nice one, way to show how ignorant you are!

      The NBN is NOT a tech toy, it’s important infrastructure that is needed to take this country forward for the next 5+ decades and delaying it with half assed band aide solutions will only hurt this countries economic prospects!

      The internet is NOT a video entertainment system, it’s a key part of our economy in the same way electricity is and you don’t see folks calling that a video entertainment system for powering millions of TV’s do you?

      Take some advice, get a clue and stop listening to Luddites like Abbott who are merely trying to protect Murdoch’s media monopolies so he’ll help them grab power!

    • @Ros…

      Here’s what your fellow conservatives abroad think about the Coalition’s copper based alternative to the NBN…


      Ooh BTW – your income taxes are “not” paying for the NBN, either…

      A little friendly advice…perhaps an all round education on the NBN topic generally and apolitically may be wise, before coming to a site where people (although primarily, but not exclusively as both you and I attest to, are tech heads) know better.

      Cheers :)

      • “Ooh BTW – your income taxes are “not” paying for the NBN, either”

        Oh that’s true, it is being paid for by borrowed funds. Oh my goodness, who has to pay that back Alex? Could it be the taxpayer?????? Unless of course, if you are not a taxpayer.

        Or maybe the profits from the NBN. What is the takeup rate????

        What about new technology that will, I repeat will render the NBN obselete. Did you know for example that wireless testing in the states has achieved 100 Mbps regardless of how many are connected. Did you know that copper can be used to achieve 100 Mbps?

        The NBN will be obselete so to pay the NBN off, plus interest, will take a hell of a long time and if it is ever paid off, it will be long superseded by new technology.

        the biggest joke was when Gillard sat speaking to a doctor ( was it a doctor) via the internet showing us the wonders of the NBN. I thought (and others concur), On my 4.5 Mbps speed connection, besides downloading a movie and surfing the net at the same time, I can video talk on Skype doing exactly the same thing that Gillard spent billions of dollars trying to acheive. Well done Julia!!!! All she needed was a slower connection. That type of thing has been done for years. My childrens school have classes where the teacher in another campus, teaches another class in a different campus using video where the students and teacher can see eachother and interact. they can do that already.

        You may say business needs it. Well does the local butcher or green grocer need 100 Mbps? What about the hardware store? Will it matter if a business can send an email in 0.002 seconds as opposed to 0.0002 seconds? What the hell does it matter? How many businesses will really need 100 Mbps? Can you come up with a verifiable number?

        I don’t need 100 Mbps so why should I pay for it. Most businesses will not need it so why should they pay? If you want it, pay for it but don’t make me pay for it. If a business wants it, they can pay for it.

        What holds business back is not internet speed. It should be user pays, that way the majority will not have to pay for something the minority may use.

        • So what you’re telling us is you are fine with the Libs borrowing 29Billion to build a network with a lifespan of 10 years maximum and providing 25-50mbps but you aren’t fine with the ALP borrowing 30Billion to build a network that will last for more than 50 years and provide speeds of 12-1000mbps giving us all a choice to suit our needs!

          Now that is just pure partisan stupidity!

        • @ Mick,


          Everything you just regurgitated from previously, equally uneducated comments, has already been totally refuted…

          If you can’t grasp the concept of NBN borrowings being repaid by consumers using the NBN, well please, don’t make those who can, suffer your comments further…

          Thank you.

          BTW if you don’t need 100Mbps, purchase a lesser, cheaper plan – it’s known as choice… wow eh?

        • I’ll try to break it down for you:

          Access to the NBN is not free.

          NBN access has a monthly wholesale price.

          When you use the NBN, you pay that price for the service.

          The funds gathered by the wholesale price goes to NBNco.

          NBNco uses those funds to operate the company and return the initial investment.

          Capitalism, bro.

        • @Mick You’re typical of the anti-NBN types. You don’t want or need 100Mbps, so you want to enforce what suits you on the rest of Australia?!?!

          The arrogance displayed by people like you is beyond words.

          • Therein lies the difference Rohan.

            You and I say, supply FttP so there is choice. Mick can choose his slower speeds (for now) and others can choose faster speeds. You choose slower you pay less/faster more… so everyone repays it, but those who want the extremes pay more?

            Whereas Mick says, I’m not paying for your fast broadband… the cut off point is what “I want” and that’s good enough for everyone :/

            And where that ridiculous (IMO) line of thinking falls down further… what about the Mick soundalike, who is happy with ADSL and thinks his needs should be the cut off point? Or the person who doesn’t even own a PC…etc?


  17. Thanks djos. you really won me over with the Murdoch conspiracy argument. Not an entertainment toy, I have noticed that Conroy has used the video entertainment argument to support the argument as to why all Australians should be for the current NBN plan, and discounted it.

    Ignorance and Luddites defines all who disagree with you. If you aren’t well informed about the Luddite movement it was about technological unemployment. Their problem was that they were starving not that they were against technology per se. While I would not consider myself internet savvy, the very fact that I am speaking here might suggest I have some ability to migrate in this interconnected world.

    And my peripheral connection with the world of computers and the interconnected world is very long standing. My 65 year old husband started working with computers at a young age, first the 7090 and then Digital machines. I suspect that I have far greater understanding than you do about the enormity of the change to our world brought about by the development of computers and the internet. One very early memory is hubby bringing home a huge terminal to work and declaring the best place for it to be was the bedroom because then if he had any good ideas he could leap up and get into it. Anyway that didn’t happen. The other entertaining but awesome moments included the smart arse at hubby’s work who appeared on the screen saying you are an idiot Marsh, scared the hell out of the woman he was boring to death with his enthusiasm. Or the individual in another organisation appearing on screen saying for gods sake use fortran. Awesome moments despite the fact that the geeks were making jokes, and I did get the import of those happenings. Our first home computer was a Peach, and I did manage to use it quite effectively despite being an ignorant Luddite. Wasn’t pleased at the cost of buying it though.
    I am both amazed at the change in the world I live in and delight in it. I do make the effort to inform myself about remarkable growth in interconnectedness and the changes it has wrought and how other nations and organisations and individuals are responding to the challenges and opportunities. I even make an effort to learn about some of the basic technologies including those pertinent to the NBN. Am negotiating with daughter about buying the grandkids a 3D printer for example. Delight in my 6 year old grandson’s ability to assist me with my tablet. Admire his skill, and am very pleased that he grasps that he may not download whatever pops up, that he must not purchase without permission or just because it would be fun to spend. 4 year old grandaughter unfortunately still doesn’t get that everything isn’t free. Do you.

    But I am not offended , you were just joking aren’t you when you dismissed me as an ignorant Luddite.

    You do think the plebs can think and reason and reach a different but equally valid conclusion to that of the technology experts, don’t you?

    • Mate In my previous role I was the Business Customer Delivery manager for an ISP, I know first hand the copper last mile is in bad shape – I was having to replace DSL based services with fixed wireless for businesses literally 15 mins from the CBD!

      The lack of fiber in metro area means many businesses are forced to rely on expensive PtoP microwave links if try are lucky enuf to have a line if sight view of the MW PoP’s! We are talking $20k install and $2k per month for 100mbps!

      Most business have to make do with bonded DSL services where available because they can’t get MW line of sight – this affects gov depts, corporate branch offices and small to medium businesses so don’t try to lecture me about Australia’s communications landscape!

    • Btw Ros, if you think my Murdoch comments were just some nutty conspiracy theory I suggest you watch some doco’s on how Murdoch does business with Politicians and tries to manipulate the public:


      And more recent, battle with Britain :

      And then ask yourself, why did the Murdoch media from day one of the NBN policy announcement start spreading lies and generating FUD about the NBN? Clearly Murdoch has something to lose If a real NBN is rolled out and they are his paytv monolpol (Foxtel, as it makes it possible for iptv services to compete with it) and will hasten the death of his newspapers!

  18. Alex if you don’t want to hear from the uninformed get yourself a members only forum. My points are about approach and attitudes of the geek crowd, and trying to make the point that knowing better about technology does not result in the incrowd knowing what is best for our society and economy. If you don’t like geek I offer this from Zdnet

    “Whoever wins, they’ll need to address the same issues over the next three years — data retention, the NBN, censorship, copyright, and privacy, amongst others — and those on the geekier end of the spectrum will need to develop far better lobbying skills than they’ve shown until now.
    What’s needed is better knowledge, better messaging, and more sophistication”

    By joining in the Abbott is a fool because he made a stupid statement which he is trying to pretend is a joke you lobbed a grenade into the outside world. Claiming return fire is the ignorant and the Luddites sticking their noses in where they are not welcome rather makes Zdnet’s point don’t you think.

    Who is paying is another argument, plus as an apartment resident, though we only have smart phones tablets and laptops, that we will be paying for business under Rudd I like less than business can pay for itself under Abbott. Because I have very little doubt that business won’t agree to pay for the copper to be replaced in my building. But then I will probably be in a non fibre connected cemetery plot by the time the argument comes up.

    • Abbott has shown himself to be a fool who can’t be bothered wrapping his tiny little mind around Australian communications from day 1, not only did he consider communications picky so unimportant at the previous election that he didn’t even show up to his own comms policy launch, he also couldn’t be bothered understanding it before going on TV with Kerry obrien!

      It’s a pattern he has continued to repeat and includes instructing Turnbull to “destroy the NBN”, I used to vote liberal (10 elections worth, state and fed) but I refuse to vote for someone so out of touch with the countries long term needs!

    • Btw Ros, I’m not partisan enuf to ignore Labor’s past failings of communication policy, I remember the cable wars of the 90’s which were largely Labor’s fault (giving Telstra a cable license was a big mistake!) but the NBN as currently being implemented fixes most of the historical blunders from both sides.

      If allowed to continue the nbn will set up consumers and business alike to take advantage of the Asian century were we need to compete in IP development and smart new services, just look at the now silly debate on replacing iron cabling with copper from 1910 was, without the copper a modern PSTN would not have been possible and today without moving to fibre the next 50-100 years of unimaginable services and and economic development will not be possible.

      Sorry if I was rude earlier, I’m currently suffering from newborn child induced sleep depravation and have been playing the game of “whack a troll” too long. :-(

    • Ros, I was simply correcting your incorrectness. If for what ever reason you refuse to accept facts, well that’s entirely up to you, but please don’t come here to tell us, when you clearly do not know.

      Also if you reference to “Abbott is a fool because he made a stupid comment” (quite an ironic description BTW) was aimed at me, again you are wrong, as witnessed here…


      From within – “… I believe the comments were largely off the cuff”…

      But what I find more interesting is your fierce protection towards TA…quite telling.

      I find it typical of the anti-NBN detractors such as yourself, to come here call people silly boys, tell us we are stamping our feet, and call people geeks (as you missed it, I am not from the IT sector, so your ridiculous generalisations towards NBN supporters do not apply)… but then have the hypocrisy to whinge when you are, in reply, referred to as a luddite.

      Have a nice weekend.

  19. Not exactly sure how your anecdote that some of the copper last mile is crappy within 15mins of the CBD is solved by pumping up to $100 Billion dollars into a project that prioritises marginal seats at the expense of areas where it is economically viable. A project that is so badly managed that it missed every milestone and based on its take up rate appears less popular than leprosy. It seems strange that high speed Internet should be provided first to those that don’t want it, and last to those that do. As someone that works I area with crappy copper, its frustrating that there will be no investment in improvements in the infrastructure from Telstra because of the NBN.

    • Not obvious enuf for you, fine ill spell it out for you!

      If Telstra can’t keep the copper maintained and in good working order 15mins from a capital city CBD, what hope is there the copper will be in good condition for areas further out from there or for regional areas?

      Telstra have been deliberately sweating the copper since the days of Sol and the Amigos so complaining Telstra would have done something about your crappy copper if not for the nbn is just fantasy!

      Secondly, your 100 billion dollar price tag is nothing more than trolling, it’s 44billilon total cost with ~30billion in government investment that WILL Be payed back with interest!

      • What evidence do you have that the cost of the NBN is $44B? Have you seen how far behind schedule it is and how few paying subscribers it has? Have you ever watched a project fall behind schedule and over budget before?

        Btw thanks for reminding me about sol & the other 3 idiots, I still fondly remember them telling Apple that they didn’t know how to make a phone and that Nokia & Motorola would eat their lunch.

        • How far behind they are is completely irrelevant, NBN co sign fixes price contracts with the companies rolling out the NBN and if those companies take longer than they should it doesn’t matter!

          Go read the senate estimates transcripts and you’ll see the costs are on track with the business plan estimates.

          • They must be magical fixed price contracts for the NBN, because the govt manages to achieve cost over runs in so many of its projects despite using fixed price contracts.
            I guess that because this project was so well thought out from the outset, rather than being scribbled down on the back of drink coaster on a plane, that they were able to cover every contingency in their plan. Planning that no doubt enabled them to anticipate every technology development over the course of the project. Technology and markets will have well & truly moved on by the time that the NBN gets to the near CBDs.

          • So far, they are actually under budget and have more subscribers taking higher cost plans than originally thought.

            True, they have fallen behind the schedule, but 2 reasons for that are Telstra, 18 months hold up in the original negotiations, and now with the asbestos, with the other significant hold up being a private enterprise company (Syntheo) not hiring enough people to cover the states they said they would (which is why NBNCo took over the rollout in the NT directly.

        • NBN is behind schedule but under budget…

          Funny thing is, most people who say the NBN will be $100B or more because there are always inevitable hold ups with any GBE, don’t apply their same rule to MT’s plan and say it will cost $60B or $80B :/

          Now, what evidence do you have that it will be $100B?

        • @Rob what evidence (other than Turnbull’s exaggerated FUD and bullshit) do you have that the NBN will cost $100 Billion?

          I guess Turnbull borrowed Hockey’s calculator – the one with the Eleventy button – when he came up with his costings of the NBN.

  20. I have read Renai’s comments policy now, have noted

    99 percent of commenters on Delimiter are rational human beings with a solid technical understanding who are genuinely interested in debating the issues raised through our articles.

    taken note and will not comment here again

    • Your more than welcome to stay and learn but don’t assume that you understand Australia’s communication environment automatically because your husband has an impressive IT resume (im not being sarcastic), as I found out when I started working for an ISP the IT and Telco/ISP spaces are quite different. They rely heavily upon each other but both have different cultures, acronyms, challenges and industry viewpoints.

    • Don’t be too put off Ros, most folks here are happy to debate any point but will respond “in kind”. I actually agree with your point that:

      My points are about approach and attitudes of the geek crowd, and trying to make the point that knowing better about technology does not result in the incrowd knowing what is best for our society and economy.

      In the same way, economists also don’t always know what’s best for our society, neither do solders, mechanics, doctors, etc. But as a group working together we are society and it’s only through discussion and real debate that we can work out what’s best for us all.

      Technology is, after all, just the application of invention/science. how it is applied should be up to all of us, but telling one side “It’s a geek toy” is neither respectful nor the full story to it.

  21. Sorry one absolutely final comment. First you might ask Ben Grubb and The Age not to link to you. With a starting point of an open forum such as The Age you can anticipate that occasionally readers who come to you are not going to have an expectation that yours is an exclusive site, and won’t read your comments policy first off thinking that they would be approximately the same as other blog or articles with comments sites. Maybe a banner on your site explaining that the standards for the site are…..
    Not because you are under any obligation to do so, just because it could spare you some time consuming aggro.

    • Seriously Ros…

      You came here to put the boot into “geeks for wanting their taxpayer funded NBN, for their toys”… in other words you came to pick a fight.

      You could have said what you wanted yo less condescendingly and less aggressively.

      So when you were inevitably replied to in kind, you complained.

      What do they say about glass houses?

    • @ Ross,
      Sorry Ross, I just had a look. No games, games consoles, geeky toys etc. connected to my home and business networks, both connected to the NBN since January. Living in regional Australia with sub-standard internet for years never helped my business, or others that I know of in a similar situation. For once, regional Australia has had a look in. We can now video conference with Skype rather than make long and expensive trips to Sydney and Brisbane amongst many other benefits. On the recreational side, if we can get the now Foxtel-owned Austar service we have off the satellite and onto the NBN we will be happy. Everytime we have inclement weather, the Austar service is virtually unusable. More benefits will come. I doubt whether ‘geeks’ will have been the only citizens to have taken up the opportunity to access the NBN.

  22. So many blowhards in this comment thread. It was a joke. A. JOKE. If you’re so insecure, geeks, I’d suggest Playschool instead of politics.

    I’ll be sticking to Wired.

    • Sadly Ash, you are the second newcomer today, to come here for no other reason but to be rude :(

  23. Labor says something – micro analysed as “wrong”. LNP says something? “it’s just a joke, guys, you labor types are soooo uptight!!!!1”.

    That, boys and girls, is the punch-line to the joke. That’s actually funnier than Abbott’s boneheaded “joke”.

  24. But guys, Monsieur Abbott was being absolutely hilarious, just like the rest of the Coalition’s broadband policies (or is it statement, since they are not announcing any actual policies until AFTER they are are elected, and if they are, will conduct a series of exhaustive ‘white papers’ and audits, then maybe they will have policies for their possible 2nd term of office. ;)
    Without Malcolm Turnbull as Show Telecommunications spokesperson, the Coalition’s policy may well have consisted of 2 jam tins with 2 pieces of string instead of 1 piece!

  25. This is an own goal: albanese will develop a smirk the size of costello, dwyer and abbott put together and you can put the house on that!

  26. The humour in this country has seriously declined if people honestly think that was a “funny joke”…

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