“Way of the future”: Turnbull confirms “optimised” NBN rollout model

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull today confirmed the Federal Government would follow NBN Co's recommendation in adopting an "optimised" model for deploying the National Broadband Network "sooner, cheaper and more affordably", in a move that will see the company roll out the "maximum" amount of existing network infrastructure.

AFP questions Attorney-General for not switching off phone on plane

Oh, dear. It appears as though Australia's new Federal Attorney-General is at least as arrogant as the previous two. An article in the Daily Telegraph published late last week tells us that Mark Dreyfus, who replaced Nicola Roxon in the portfolio in February, refused to turn off his mobile phone in a recent flight and was subsequently met by the AFP when the plane landed.

The sorry story of Finance’s Windows Vista fail

A month before Windows 7 is released, the Federal Department of Finance and Deregulation upgrades to Vista. Fail.

Huawei’s NBN blockout raises fundamental questions

As I have argued for several years now – and Alexander Downer himself has stated in recent weeks – the argument that Huawei is some sort of quasi-intelligence gathering arm of the Beijing government is so ludicrous that it should scarcely be tolerated in serious company.

Australian court holds Google responsible for linking to defamatory websites

The South Australian Supreme Court this week found that Google is legally responsible when its search results link to defamatory content on the web.

A little context, for our big Apple crybaby

Reading through some of the news reports about Apple’s court case today blocking the Australian launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, I couldn’t escape the feeling that the iPad maker’s lawyers had been spending too much time immersed in the company’s famous reality distortion field.

iPad shock and awe

What is a bit unbelievable there is that we're getting remarkably close pricing to the US, at least on this spin of Apple's magical wheel of price fixing. But getting the local Telcos — and especially Telstra — to deliver some surprisingly good and genuinely competitive 3G data pricing? Now that is unbelievable.

2014 will be the NBN’s first and last great year

With hundreds of thousands of new fibre premises scheduled to come on line and thousands of others opened to wholesale access, 2014 is slated to be the long-awaited first banner year that will see all of the National Broadband Network Company's hard work finally start to pay off in bulk. But unfortunately it'll also be the last, as the Coalition's plan to rip apart Labor's NBN vision starts to takes effect 12 months down the track.

Turnbull’s FTTP on demand plan is slipping away from his grasp

Malcolm Turnbull's plan to offer Australians full fibre extensions to their premises on demand was already on extremely shaky ground, and several new developments over the past several months have made it increasingly clear that this is a concept which is extremely unlikely to see any traction in the short to medium term.

NBN Co’s senior hiring process now completely politicised

The rapid replacement of respected NBN Co chief operating officer Ralph Steffens with a Telstra executive who appears less experienced with fibre rollouts but better politically connected represents a key signal that NBN Co's senior executive hiring process has now become completely politicised and is no longer independent from the Federal Government.

Atkinson: Are gamers celebrating too soon?

It may take another couple of elections before those in favour of game censorship run out of credits.

Government response to the Government 2.0 Taskforce Report – my thoughts

Overall, I give the response a good B+, though I think it could have been stronger in part with clearer commitments. It’s missing information on where the digitally disconnected are helped and connected with offline (Government 2.0, after all, isn’t just online), as well as concrete commitments with timelines. It’s also missing anything on measurement of success and how this will be done.

Have journalists found the inventor of Bitcoin or simply been duped?

If taken on face value, the evidence was actually reasonably compelling. The problem was, as NY Times reporter Nathaniel Popper explained, Wright’s writing and personality didn’t match that of Nakamoto’s.

Facebook continues to stonewall Australia

When you hold unimaginable personal details about much of the civilised world, you need to be transparent about how you use that information. Any other approach will eventually see you relegated to the dustbin of corporate history.

Reality check: Telstra 4G not aimed at the NBN

Those claiming that Telstra's 4G mobile broadband rollout is a shot across the bow of the fibre National Broadband Network need to take a chill pill and look a bit harder at what the company is really aiming to achieve with the project: Freed up capacity on its existing mobile infrastructure to deal with existing demand.

iiNet and Netspace? Hell, it’s about time

Having known the principals at both the ISPs -- iiNet chief Michael Malone and Netspace MD Stuart Marburg -- for some time, I would be surprised if the pair hadn't flirted occasionally with the idea of a merger on and off for the past decade.

Technological change should spur privacy law update

Last month’s data breach at Medvet – the South Australian state government enterprise that dominates the workplace drug and alcohol testing industry – suggests your expectations of information privacy are misplaced.

Turnbull’s new NBN policy is 90 percent win

Yesterday Malcolm Turnbull did exactly what a Liberal shadow minister should do: Present a credible, fiscally responsible and less disruptive alternative to a big-spending and over the top Labor project which since it was unveiled in 2009 has been the policy equivalent of using an elephant gun to kill a house fly.

Pulling apart the NBN’s untenable pricing model (by Simon Hackett)

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is the subject of promises from the government that consumers will pay comparable prices to current day ADSL2+ and phone service bundles in order to access entry level NBN based services, and that NBN based retail pricing will be nationally uniform. Unfortunately, a number of pressure points in the wholesale pricing model exist which will make these promises (from the government) untenable in practice, unless serious issues with the underlying pricing model are addressed by NBN Co and the ACCC.

Myer fail displays appalling IT, business incompetency

The week-long outage of Myer's website starkly displays the fact that the company and its outsourcing partner IBM had failed to properly develop and test their infrastructure or put in place the most basic disaster recovery and business continuity plan, as well as highlighting the incredible immaturity of online retailing in Australia.

Coldplay: No paradise in Australia for Huawei

Placing barriers to entry in the government space for the building of a network when Huawei operates extensively in the corporate sphere here in Australia seems more than a little political. It mirrors the overtly partisan nature of the debate in the United States, which is mired in assertion rather than evidence and procedures for determining investment occluded rather than transparent. A Coldplay indeed.

Australian CS5 pricing: Adobe responds

Delimiter invited Adobe to respond in a letter to the editor on the issue of the disparity in pricing between the US and Australia regarding its new Creative Suite 5.

Are online + eBook retailers killing small bookshops?

Are eBooks and cheap online imports killing small Australian bookshops?

Turnbull’s MTM CBN should not be a monopoly

The only way for Labor's all-fibre National Broadband Network to sensibly function was for it to be a legislated infrastructure monopoly. But the Coalition's watered-down, multi-technology alternative is a very different kettle of fish, and consumers will clearly benefit if rival telcos such as Telstra, Optus and TPG are allowed to overbuild portions of the network.

iPhone 4: Is a Telstra plan worth the money?

There is only one question that wannabe iPhone 4 owners need to ask themselves when gearing up to buy Apple's hyped handset when it launches in Australia at midnight Thursday night. Can you afford to pay Telstra's exorbitant prices for access to its superior network?

It’s on: Foxtel to meet IPTV challenge head-on

Most of Australia's younger generation of Internet-focused media consumers probably think Pay TV giant Foxtel is merely a blast from the past; a mouldering old dinosaur with no tricks left up its sleeve. But if revelations by the company last week are any indication, Foxtel 'gets' the Internet and has exactly the right moves planned to tackle it.
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Oh dear: The Chaser on Coalition broadband policy

The Chaser has been putting in a stellar appearance during the election period with its new show Yes We Canberra. So it's encouraging to see the comedy group is keeping up with the Coalition's broadband policy.

Google’s US-centricity is starting to grate

In short, if Google Australia wants to take the high road, it has to earn it and show Australia that its local presence is not just a sales and marketing office.

Oh dear: Simon Hackett, datacentre disco star

While researching Simon Hackett for an article on his entry into iiNet's 'Top Geek' competition, we found this amusing video of the Internode managing director entering what appears to be one of the ISP's datacentres ... in style. Hit it, boys!

Multi-dwelling units a major issue for the NBN

The experiencein Hong Kong and Singapore suggests that NBN Co. in Australia will ultimately be able to gain access to most – but maybe not all – multi-dwelling units with recalcitrant owners to complete its network rollout, but doing so will require the patience of Job and might take a lot longer than anyone thought.

Welcome to NBN 17. It’s safer here.

For some people, mathematics and a crowbar are more than enough.

Prediction: Groupon will buy Jump On It

All of this adds up to a clear picture: If Groupon is planning to expand into Australia, acquiring Jump On It would give it an instant presence, staff on the ground and established contacts with business -- not to mention the company's not-inconsiderable revenue.

Why EA will be great for Firemint

Criticising Firemint for simply doing the necessary in order to release the best work they possibly can is unfair and ultimately gets in the way of what should be the number one aim of anybody in the game development industry, regardless of their business circumstances: creating the most awesome games possible.

Reality check: Piracy is not killing Australian film

Imagine a world where you can only consume culture from government-approved sources, months after its widely publicised release overseas, in low definition, with long term lease agreements where you can never purchase a copy to own, only to borrow and use within a specific set of technologically locked parameters. Where the freedom to share or own copies of cultural works has finally been stamped out and middlemen are free to charge what they like for mediocre services and innovation is locked in a box then dropped into an ocean abyss.

Oh dear: eBooks are for pr0n

Not all eBooks sold through Borders' new store are of a high-brow nature.

Don’t privatise the NBN

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy should do more than just remove from the NBN legislation the option for it to be a retailer – he should put in a clause that it will never raise equity or be privatised.

Turnbull must quickly fill his NBN policy holes

Last week Malcolm Turnbull outlined a telecommunications policy which could become a credible alternative to Labor's NBN juggernaut. But for all its surface-level attractiveness, the Liberal MP's vision is far from complete -- and unless the holes are plugged quickly, it will die a quick and painful death.

Oh dear: Telstra exec banter and Yes, Minister

At Delimiter we're big fans of iTnews weekly video the Crunch. This week's episode refers to the bantering we reported on between Telstra chief information officer John McInerney and chief technology officer Hugh Bradlow, as well as some rather unusual footage of NSW Education Minister Verity Firth at an Adobe event.

Server vendors’ days are numbered

This week I had a conversation with an Australian chief information officer which I considered both profoundly interesting -- but also extremely disturbing.

Watching the detectives: the case for restricting access to your social media data

Let’s hasten slowly in considering calls to free the state from administrative inconveniences such as warrants and rules of evidence.

NBN2 pricing no clearer now it’s published

So the lower-end pricing from iiNet is uncompetitive with ADSL2 and the higher end pricing that gets you the 'headline 100Mbps speed' is way beyond any of the current high end ADSL2 plans available from any number of ISPs.

Towards a more complex NBN argument

The furious debate which took place over the weekend over National Broadband Network applications highlights the fact that the project raises fundamental questions about what the role of Government should be in our complex and multi-layered society ... and just what needs it should attempt to address.

Evil descends on the NBN? Erm, not quite

Another day, another hacking exploit makes headlines.

How Australia got online 25 years ago

It is a quarter-century since Australia first connected to the internet, but this technological breakthrough had a long gestation. What is now a global phenomenon was once the property of an exclusive community.

Westpac: A case study for the complex cloud

Until we start to have more complex debates about cloud computing, Australian CIOs will face great challenges in explaining the right path forward for their organisation to senior executives such as CEOs and CFOs. Because right now, 'cloud' covers so much under one umbrella that many CIOs are switching off when they hear the term used ... while most CEOs and CFOs no doubt think, when they think about the cloud, that it's a catch-all solution to every problem.

Lack of NBN detail now outrageous

The Rudd Government's 'trust me' approach to spending on its $43 billion National Broadband Network is starting to appear genuinely ridiculous.

Broken dreams: The NBN’s bubble has burst

With its rollout schedule significantly delayed yet again, its contractual and political relationships on the rocks and its transparency thrown out the window, it's apparent that NBN Co is not delivering the National Broadband Network the nation was promised. So what's the future of this great Australian dream?

Media companies don’t get it: Open market = sales

The running gag on the interwebs is that Aussies are the best BitTorrent downloaders in the world. When will companies realise that there are people willing to pay for content, and that piracy is a market correction to supply an obvious demand?

‘War’ on tax avoidance overlooks some obvious legal fixes

This article is by Antony Ting, Associate Professor, University of Sydney. It originally appeared on The Conversation. opinion/analysis The war on tax avoidance by multinational...
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I WANT MY IPAD! Are our kids getting addicted to technology?

Are toddlers really becoming addicted to technology? There’s certainly a lot of media hype to suggest that they are. And there’s no question the footage of small children breaking down when their tablet is taken away is unsettling.

News Corp Australia vs the NBN: Is it really all about Foxtel?

In its arguments against the NBN, it would seem News Corp Australia’s campaign is less than wholly transparent in representing its own interests.

Without civil liberties, government is just a criminal racket

Even if we choose to believe Senator Stephen Conroy's claim that this is only about protecting us from inadvertent access to child abuse material, once the system is in place, could a government resist the temptation not to extent the scope just a little bit? And a little bit more?

E-Health announcement is really bizarre and very incomplete

As with all such announcements the only thing that is missing is any detail. Until that becomes clear this is so much hot air. Worryingly, the lack of information on the following issues leave one wondering just how seriously all this has been planned and developed.

Help us fact-check Turnbull’s NBN comments

Delimiter invites readers to help us fact-check an important and lengthy policy statement by Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Let's get to the truth of the matter, together.

TPG’s $69.99 unlimited plan shows the NBN future

The $69.99 unlimited plan revealed by cut-rate ISP TPG yesterday shows what the future of broadband plans on the National Broadband Network will look like, and it's not good news for premium ISPs such as Telstra, Optus and iiNet.

The Senate NBN Committee should interview MyRepublic

The interjection by Singapore’s MyRepublic into Australia’s broadband debate this morning may have been inflammatory and used mildly offensive adult language. But there are some fundamentally good points being made by the upstart telco. The next step should be for the Senate’s NBN Committee to interview its chief executive in person.

Salesforce needs a more anti-social approach

As it continues its mega-push into what it has described as "social enterprise" technologies, Salesforce.com risks losing its focus on its core CRM products, particularly as its software as a service model has failed to prove itself in several key markets in Australia.

How high-speed wireless compares to cable in boosting our internet speeds

What’s needed is bipartisan commitment to accelerating NBN deployment along with modernising the infrastructure in the core network that will have to support increased access to broadband.

Optus’ NBN deal gives it an unfair advantage

Optus' $800 million National Broadband Network deal is an unnecessary and unsavoury sweetheart arrangement which smacks of favouritism and will deliver Optus a war chest with which to attack smaller rivals like iiNet, TPG and Internode; rivals which will not be paid to migrate their customers onto the NBN.

Oh dear: The top ten funniest Conroy YouTube videos

Sometimes it's worth taking a lighter look at how some sections of the Internet -- notably, the denizens of YouTube -- have portrayed Communications Minister Stephen Conroy. So we've scoured the video sharing site for our favourite videos.

The Coalition’s policy is a sensible NBN alternative

The Coalition's rival policy is a sensible alternative to Labor's National Broadband Network project, based soundly on its traditional principles of liberalism and support for the free market, but also pragmatically taking into account the situation which the the current Federal Government will leave the Coalition with if it takes power in September.

Time to kill paper ballots? First, let’s look at the alternatives

The loss of the West Australian ballots is a serious breach of electoral integrity, and one that must be thoroughly investigated to identify what went wrong. But amidst all the party-driven hysteria, it’s important to remember that no system is entirely fail-safe, and the risks posed by electronic or internet voting are potentially far more serious than this isolated incident.

The election is over: Now the FTTP campaign begins

Malcolm Turnbull's arrogant response to a petition calling for the Coalition to support Labor's NBN policy shows the Coalition still hasn't learnt the lesson activists rammed down Labor's throat in the previous Internet filter and data retention debacles: People power can get unpopular policies changed.

We’re running out of wireless spectrum … so what can we do?

Australia is in a prime position to address the challenges and develop world-leading applications for ubiquitous wireless connectivity. The pedigree of our wireless laboratories and researchers in all parts of the country is second to none.

In secret piracy talks, iiNet risks losing its integrity

By participating in a series of highly secret, closed door negotiations with the Government and the content industry over the future of Internet piracy in Australia, national broadband provider iiNet risks losing its integrity and the trust of its customers that it will represent their best interests on the issue.

Help us fact-check Fletcher’s NBN comments

Delimiter invites readers to help us fact-check an important NBN-related article by Coalition MP Paul Fletcher. Let's get to the truth of the matter, together.

Opinion: Internode must slash its horrible NBN pricing

The release of iiNet's highly affordable National Broadband Network pricing this morning makes it as crystal clear as the view from Simon Hackett's glider that fellow ISP Internode must drastically slash its own prices or be left out of the NBN race altogether.

Private cloud ball is now in IBM’s court

There is one factor which IBM's cloud computing strategy appears to be lacking at the moment.

Did AGIMO censor Reinecke’s Gershon review?

When a Government entity blacks out a portion of a public document, it always sparks intense speculation as to what has been censored and why. Is the hidden information dangerous for Australia's enemies to know? Commercial in confidence? Or simply slightly embarassing?

Freelancer’s IPO and the new tech millionaires

Freelancer, the online freelance and labour market site has issued its prospectus ahead of a listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

Oh dear: Conroy gets mashed up

In the absence of any statement from Communications Minister Stephen Conroy about yesterday's Prime Ministerial leadership spill, iTNews.com.au has mashed up a bunch of existing Conroy statements into this intriguing video.

What makes a great Australian iPhone app?

On Thursday this week, Delimiter will publish its first eBook. Entitled The best Australian iPhone apps (under $5), this 40 page effort will list and review over 30 of the best iPhone apps focused on Australia, as well as featuring a introduction by well-known Australian iPhone developer Graham Dawson – creator of the popular Oz Weather app, among others.

Why Megan Fox should star in the NBN ads

Why the NBN is for porn and Megan Fox should star in the NBN commercials.

Samsung beats Apple: But what does it mean?

Australian judges have responded quickly and intelligently. The courts have explicitly based their decisions on perceptions of community benefit and on a coherent interpretation of what the national Parliament, through the Patents Act 1990, wants the law to do. The latest decision shows that patent law is working, and working well.

Telstra’s NBN plans: Just universally awful

Telstra's National Broadband Network plans released today are the broadband equivalent of Kryptonite. With less choice, less download quotas and less value than any other provider on the market, but for a higher price, Telstra's NBN options do more than stink -- they glow with a sickly radioactive foulness and should be avoided at all costs.

It’s official: Labor’s NBN project has failed

The National Broadband Network project has abjectly failed every construction target ever set for it, its rollout has slowed to a deadly slow crawl, and even its founder, former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, has admitted the previous Labor Government drastically underestimated the amount of work involved in delivering it. It's time to admit NBN version 2.0 is dead and that the project desperately needs to be radically reshaped yet again.

Aaron’s Army fights the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The case of Aaron Swartz highlights the need for a reconsideration of punitive and excessive intellectual property enforcement provisions in trade agreements.

Optus’ NBN plans: The most intelligent so far

Well, colour me extremely surprised. Optus' National Broadband Network plans released today are among the best so far, and represent a level of innovative thinking about the next-generation infrastructure that has so far been missing from all previous NBN commercial pricing options.

Electoral silence on digital rights from both politicians and journalists

We’ve had #stopthenotes, #suppositories, and #sexappeal to keep us amused, but since the election campaign period began there has been very limited reporting in the mainstream media (MSM) of the electoral relevance of the digital rights issues faced by Australian citizens.

New NBN policy galvanised Coalition voters

The release of the Coalition's new National Broadband Network policy had a dramatic effect upon support for Labor's existing policy, analysis of polling data shows, with a large chunk of Coalition voters abandoning their previous long-term support for Labor's existing NBN policy in favour of the new Coalition alternative.

On folly, freedom and filters

Hannah has been using the Internet since she was four ... When Hannah uses the Internet, she uses a connection at home that is completely unfiltered, neither by the router we use nor by activating the fairly comprehensive parental controls that come as a standard part of modern operating systems. She has administrator access to the machine she uses and she also knows and understands how to access and manage the home network.

Why are media giants so afraid of technology?

What our media companies should take from the popularity of piracy, even in Australia, is how this new medium (the big, bad Internet) can be used as a distribution channel for the new generation of media consumer.

Don’t hang up yet: the latest study linking mobile phones to cancer has big...

You may have seen the headlines over the weekend, reporting on a new study that’s supposedly found a link between mobile phones and cancer. But all is not quite as it seems. And much of the alarm raised by the study is misplaced.

End of April approaches

My feelings is that all of this secrecy is bad for us poor consumers in Australia. We almost always pay a “premium” for Apple products, I reckon we’re going to get slugged this time.

‘Shelved’? No. Data retention will be back

Yesterday it was widely reported that the Federal Government had 'shelved' its data retention plans, walking away from the controversial proposal to monitor all Australians' communications. But the reality is the complete opposite: Data retention is still being actively considered as a policy and will shortly return to plague Australia once again.

Fact Check: Is ridesharing no safer than hitchhiking?

The claim that ridesharing is no safer than hitchhiking is not supported by empirical data. Much of the data used by critics of Uber rely on anecdotal data and media reports to support their view ridesharing puts passengers at personal risk.

Holy cow: The Frustrated State was funded in only a week and I’m still...

This book will be a major step taken by Australia's technology community as we reboot our politicians' understanding of technology policy. It will not be the only step, but it will be one of the first. I look forward to taking it together with all of you.

Productivity Commission IP reform recommendations likely to be lost in election haze

The Commission’s recommendations as a whole are thus very unlikely to be embraced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, by his colleagues or by Bill Shorten. The Commission states that “Australia’s intellectual property system has lost sight of users”. We should ensure that the Government does not lose sight of the report.

Premises passed the only useful NBN measurement

The National Broadband Network Company and the Federal Government should standardise on the "premises passed" statistic to measure the network's progress and stop using the confusing and amorphous "premises commenced or completed" measurement to provide concrete detail on how well it is progressing against its network rollout targets.

SPC Ardmona: Let’s replace these tin cans with high fibre

The Federal Government's decision to reject a $25 million plea for financial assistance for SPC Ardmona's troubled fruit processing plant in Shepparton should be seen in the context of the long-term and very necessary war to lessen the reliance of Australia's economy on legacy industries and to push it towards the next-generation of knowledge-based smart businesses.

Oh dear: One for the ladies …

Now it's time for Delimiter's female audience to enjoy themselves ... courtesy of a promotion of some kind by Virgin Mobile in Martin Place yesterday, involving the telco's "big cap" plan and chocolate enticements to break up with your current mobile provider. "In less than 24 hours you could be out of an unhappy relationship, and into a brand new phomance with someone who really cares," says Virgin head of customer narketing Dan Woodall. We bet.

Election rant 4: Labor’s three NBN strikes

The Coalition might not have an entirely workable broadband policy of its own. But Tony Abbott's camp is right to state that Labor's NBN is a "dog's breakfast" and that the Government's performance in this area is not to be trusted.

Be sceptical of vague new ‘National Security’ powers

Any proposal by the government to increase its own power should be treated with scepticism. Double that scepticism when the government is vague about why it needs that extra power. Double again when those powers are in the area of law and order. And double again every time the words "national security" are used.

Why #NatSecInquiry is filling me with worry

This inquiry, and any proposals that stem from it, should be looked at very closely and any expansion of powers of the state put forward should be fought.

Optus proves: Coalition wrong on NBN pricing

The release of Optus' National Broadband Network plans yesterday represents the final nail in the coffin for the Coalition's patently untrue claim that the rollout of the NBN will cause broadband prices around Australia to rise above current ADSL levels.

Snowden report calls out Australia’s inadequate privacy law

The revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have altered the way we think about accountability, transparency and the rule of law with regard to both the activities of security agencies and the value of privacy, according to a detailed report released this week. But this change in thinking has not led to practical reform, according to the report.

Remember, Telstra isn’t that expensive any more

Here at Delimiter, we’ve created this handy motivational poster to help Optus mobile customers through the bad times.

Devil in the details: Tasmania’s 12-year FTTP failure demonstrates political incompetence

Politicians in Tasmania and in Canberra have been promising residents of the Apple Isle fibre broadband for at least 12 years. The abject failure to deliver almost any improvement to the state's basic telecommunications infrastructure in that time starkly demonstrates the rank incompetence of Australia's political class in setting and deliverying broadband policy.

Improving technology’s grades in Australian education

In Australian society, so much of the ongoing narrative about the current generation of students in our schools is focused around the different way that they understand and use technology; and so much of that narrative is focused around fear. But it doesn't need to be, and there's more than one side to the story.

Australia’s blue collar ICT challenge

The bottom line is that Australia lacks call centres, cloud computing hubs, ICT hardware and software manufacturing capability not because we don't have high-speed broadband. Rather it is the lack of a definable understanding of how ICT services and their supporting labour force will take its place in the roll-out, development and economic benefit of the NBN that represents the real issue needing to be addressed.

Conroy is right to question Google’s privacy record

Google should not expect to be beyond international criticism while it offers the US Government access to its data on request but lambasts other governments for interfering with the rights of online users.

ISP filtering policy is not evidence-based

The principle objection I have is that the policy mandates that ISPs spend a huge sum of money to deploy and maintain masses of new infrastructure. Whether this burden is passed onto Australians via taxes or via increased ISP fees, we will end up paying for it. We will end up paying, and it won't do anything.

The road to public sector IT hell may not be paved with intentions at...

Something that scares me enormously is the house of cards that many (if not most) governments have built with their IT systems.

Tasmania’s dirty bunyip not the last

There's more dodgy laws in the swamp where Tasmania's ridiculous electoral online comment legislation came from.

Oh dear: Conroy’s failure to launch

Today was finally the big day. After carefully making all the right arrangements, crossing every 't' and dotting every 'i', and most importantly, getting permission from Chairman Rudd, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was finally ready to reveal to the world his big project.

Self-interest is ruling Australia’s piracy debate

Over the past few months, I have alternately been appalled, disgusted, saddened and ultimately bored at the degree to which naked self-interest is ruling the ongoing debate about how Australia will deal with the issue of online copyright infringement (Internet piracy).

Will nice guy Thodey finish last?

Telstra chief executive David Thodey charmed the pants off press and analysts at the telco's half-yearly financial results briefing last week.

How the NBN will change education: Australia’s “Last Spike” moment

The NBN is all about people; not about technology. It is about being able to train, inspire and educate students of whatever age to work together as never before. And it is about devising solutions to real challenges in an interdisciplinary way.

The NBN should be opt-out — not opt-in

There are already plenty of good reasons why all Australians should have to actively opt-out from having their houses connected to the NBN, rather than having to opt-in.

Chekhov’s gun: Why Hackett had to fire Internode

Reality check: Simon Hackett didn't sell Internode because of the National Broadband Network. He didn't sell it to cash out. And he certainly didn't sell it to take Internode to the next stage of its development. He sold it because one man -- no matter how strong -- can only hold up a visionary ideal for so long, and twenty years of doing so is more than enough.

Sit tight for Australia’s tablet price war

If you're considering buying any form of tablet device in the next month or so Australia, stop right where you are, put your wallet and your hard-earned cash back in your pocket and go and take a cold shower for ten minutes until you calm down and your lust for loot has vanished from your feverish brain.

One step forward, two steps back: Govt cloud policy displays classic ignorance

The Federal Government has taken many positive steps forward in the past year with respect to freeing up its departments and agencies to adopt the new class of cloud computing technologies. But the release of an overly bureaucratic policy this month on offshore data storage has the potential to set that progress back substantially, relying as it does on several outdated concepts of risk management in IT projects.

Broadcast to Chromecast – is TV being recast or cast out?

I expect more from the biggest screen in my house and, once again, traditional mass media have failed to deliver.

Five reasons to block Woz’s Australian citizenship

A number of media outlets have reported this week that Apple co-founder and global technology sector luminary Steve Wozniak is attempting to become an Australian citizen. But is this really a good idea? Here’s five reasons why we should stop the Woz at the border and send him packing back to his home country of the United States.

R18+ rating added for videogames … but are children protected?

New guidelines for the classification of videogames have been released by Federal Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare and, despite being a step in the right direction, the revisions are largely disappointing and a missed opportunity.

Do we even need a fibre National Broadband Network?

As someone who is very pro-technology and likes to be on the cutting edge, I find myself staring at many of my colleagues and acquaintances in the industry with disbelief when the topic of the National Broadband Network comes up. People I know (and some who just email or tweet me) ask if I've bumped my head and forgotten what I do for a living. It even has had me re-thinking my views, but ultimately I keep coming to the same place.

Disappointing: Turnbull hasn’t fleshed out his NBN plan

In one of the greatest disappointments of Australia's telecommunications debate this year, Malcolm Turnbull has done virtually nothing to flesh out the details or address criticisms of his rival draft National Broadband Network policy since it was unveiled in August.

Successful telco regulation means a light touch

The demand this week by academic Michael de Percy for Australia's politicians to cease their chaotic struggle over the nation's telecommunications sector and let it get on with its own business shouldn't be seen as controversial. The best regulation in any sector takes a 'light touch' approach and this troubled industry is no exception to that rule.

Relax: Conroy’s filter can be safely ignored

The government does not care, in the least, whether you reconfigure your system to bypass the filter, or teach a hundred people to each teach a hundred others to do it.

The truth about politicians and technology policy

The recent adult rating for computer games debate has raised a concept that I’ve alluded to a few times in the media recently (and if you’re unlucky enough to be someone who knows me in a private sense, you’ll have had it there too), namely the dichotomy of what democracy means – how politicians view it and how everyone else does.

Using SurveyMonkey? Be careful … if you’re an Australian Govt organisation

I've had an interesting and robust conversation online in the last day regarding how Australian councils and governments are using overseas services like SurveyMonkey to collect information from citizens and residents.

I tried to buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab … but failed

The scene: Deep in the dungeon of a Federal Government agency. Our protagonist, a mild mannered government worker by day, intrepid reporter at night, sees the Delimiter article on Vodafone releasing the Samsung Galaxy Tab on this date! Hallelujah!

Reality check: Internode is not ‘price gouging’

Those who are currently having a big fat whinge about Internode's new broadband plans need to harden up and realise that the ISP isn't trying to gouge users for profits; in fact, it's one of the only truly honest and transparent companies in Australia's telecommunications sector.

Can wireless replace fixed broadband? Yes … and no.

Over the past week, I’ve been conducting a little experiment with respect to my household broadband situation.

Despite bumps in the rollout, households show strong support for the NBN

The NBN is emerging as one of the key issues in the lead-up to this year’s federal election. But the project has been fraught with challenges: planning issues and a shortage of skilled labour have delayed the rollout process.Today it was reported that NBN Co is now set to downgrade rollout targets by up to half of those initially forecast.

The lost cause of American political fact-checkers

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” — Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

How to keep more girls in IT at schools if we’re to close the...

The world is increasingly embracing digital technology, and so too are our schools. But many girls are still missing out on developing IT and programming skills.

Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution

Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

Can David Thodey escape his Big Blue shadow?

One cannot help but feel that there was a certain irony to David Thodey's life yesterday which must have been impossible for the Telstra CEO to ignore.

Caretaker mode? No. NBN Co should go hog wild.

Not only should NBN Co ignore Malcolm Turnbull's spurious claim that it's in some form of 'virtual caretaker mode' ahead of the upcoming Federal Election, it should intentionally sign as many long-term construction and equipment contracts as possible before September, in case the Coalition wins government and tries to shut it down.

I don’t know how to cover the NBN anymore

Australia's National Broadband Network project is now in uncharted territory. Beyond a joke, beyond a politicised mess, and even beyond farce, the incredibly inconsistent handling of the project by Liberal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has led it far outside the bounds of rational discourse or intelligent consideration.

Senate run must be more than a get-out-of-jail card for Assange

What could a man like Julian Assange achieve within the orthodox structures of parliament?

Election rant 1: Who’s greediest?

As many pigs have discovered over time – heading straight for the feeding trough without keeping a watchful eye out for the farmer's axe can lead one to feeling that they're high on the hog when they're actually a pig in a poke.

AFL rights: Optus, Telstra in a techno-legal time warp

The danger here is that regulators go with a business-friendly commercial fix, rather than regulation in the public interest. At the heart of capitalist property law is the right to exploit: just ask Optus.

Mental shift: The way Australians buy and upgrade smartphones is changing

The end of two year mobile contracts; the end of smartphones on contracts at all; the rise of phablets; domination of the market by just two vendors; domination by only a handful of models: All of these are constituent parts of a revolutionary shift sweeping the nation's smartphone market at the moment. Get ready to upgrade your thinking: The way Australians buy and use mobile devices is about to change massively, and it's a wonderful thing indeed.

How to lose a cyber war without really trying

Australia is among at least 20 countries which are not just preparing to fight a cyber war, but are already at war, day in day out, defending against incursions by both foreign states and non-state actors, and preparing its own offensive capabilities to deploy against the power grids, telecommunications services, financial networks and the wider digital infrastructure of potential adversaries.

Forget e-health, the NBN is a big, fat, entertainment machine

What the supporters of the NBN should be doing is heavily promoting the reasons that an average, wage-earning family would have for the NBN. And that argument, simply, is entertainment.

Loyal to a fault: Switkowski is deeply Turnbull’s man

Ziggy Switkowski's first substantial public appearance since being appointed NBN Co chief executive has starkly demonstrated just how different he is from his predecessor, Mike Quigley, and just how strictly he will adhere to the guidelines which his patron, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has set for him.

Spotify: Saviour of the music industry?

It says an awful lot about the music industry that the key IT companies have dominated legal sales mechanisms in providing affordable digital systems and a decent market share. Spotify will continue to be an interesting experiment in an industry that is still not relaxed and comfortable about the new century.

Progressive thinkers: Greens the best option for tech voters

The Greens generally have their major competitors beat when it comes to technology policy, and their parliamentary experience gives them an edge on minor party rivals.

A scent of money in the air: Australian tech IPOs are back in style

Australian technology companies have been virtually absent from the the nation's public stockmarket over the past decade as the stigma of the dot com bust took its toll on investor confidence. But a clutch of new listings planned for the closing months of 2013 shows renewed interest in the sector and that local entrepreneurs are smelling money in the air once again.

Turnbull: NBN is a business, not a public good

Dealing as they are with other people’s money, trustees as they are for the financial security of generations to come, Governments must be rigorously transparent and accountable in their investment decisions.

Dated Treasury advice does not invalidate the NBN

If there is one thing we can absolutely rely on with respect to the debate about the National Broadband Network, it is that every week, some minor interest group, technically illiterate Coalition politician or blow-in journalist will find some new and completely spurious reason why the project shouldn't go ahead.

Australia desperately needs stable telco policy

The long-term nature of infrastructure investment and the squabbling of the past half-decade has made it increasingly clear that a bi-partisan approach to telecommunications policy is needed in Australia. The only difficulty may be convincing our arrogant, indecisive, stubborn and incredibly own-party blinkered political leaders that they should sit across the table from each other and discuss the issue like adults.

A decade of neglect: Why Tasmania deserves a FTTP rollout

Malcolm Turnbull never specifically promised Tasmanians that the all-fibre NBN rollout in the state would be completed as originally planned. But if there is any one state in Australia that deserves to have a universal Fibre to the Premises National Broadband Network, it's the Apple Isle, which has been a perpetual broadband backwater for the past decade and more.

Foxtel is becoming a content monopolist

The decline in power of Australia's free to air television networks and the failure of IPTV players to enter or grow substantially in the local market have left pay TV giant Foxtel with an incredibly strong position in the nation's content landscape. As some industry executives have feared for years, the company is now on the verge of becoming a content monopolist.

Conroy’s filter: To be or not to be?

Two and a half years ago, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy announced a significant delay to Labor's controversial mandatory Internet filter project, pending a review into the Refused Classification category of content which the filter was to block.The results of that review were published yesterday and contain very little guidance for the Minister. What will Conroy do now?

Oh dear: Those pesky, unrepentant EFA boys

So Communications Minister Stephen Conroy talked a little smack yesterday in the Senate ... but the boys at Electronic Frontiers Australia are unrepentant.

Oh dear: Generation Y, meet Stephen Conroy

Oh dear. We're fairly sure this meeting would have been punctuated by long, uncomfortable silences.

Correction: NBN prices will not be higher

In several radio interviews this week, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated that the National Broadband Network project would cause consumer broadband prices to rise higher than those currently on the market. However, unfortunately this statement was factually incorrect.

How does fibre over powerlines stack up against other potential NBN technologies?

Tasmania’s assertive push to keep up deployment of optical fibre, and make it cost effective by using overhead rollout, makes a lot of sense. In urban areas, no other technology has a feasible lifetime beyond 2025, and many of the existing broadband technologies are already obsolete with no hope of evolution. It will work for the vast majority of urban areas.

Give Turnbull a break, he’s a funny bastard

This intelligent, responsive, charismatic, technologically savvy and ambitious politician is currently barking up the wrong tree with respect to the NBN and feeding the public a lot of crap about speeds -- even if his financial arguments are sound. But the last thing I want to say about Turnbull, is, let's give the poor man a break.

Google – and everyone else – wins by High Court decision

The High Court has ruled that Google did not engage in misleading and deceptive conduct when it published a number of advertisements created by its AdWords program. Does this mean that the advertisements themselves were not misleading and deceptive? No! Everyone agrees that they were. Rather, the decision clarifies the law for publishers, including those using the internet.

Oh dear: Harapin’s SCG race heats up

Bloody hell! Poor old Harapin is going to have a tough time in this race for the SCG board. So we decided to give the poor VMWare MD a little help along the way.

Advancing a competition agenda

Regulatory assessments have not acknowledged that Telstra’s dominance in fixed telephony has significant impacts on the mobile industry, according to Vodafone chief executive Bill Morrow, who argues in this opinionated article that in a converging world, this siloed approach is no longer tenable.

Oh dear: Customer service, NetRegistry-style

It was apparent right from the start of this Whirlpool thread that NetRegistry chief operating officer Brett Fenton wasn't having a good day.

Revised Delimiter Statement of Principles

Hi everyone, welcome back! Delimiter starts publishing again today, and from today I'm also commencing work on my technology policy book, The Frustrated State. It...

Are police drones just toys for the boys?

Military tactics and hardware can make policing more appealing to recruits and generate impressive media spectacles, but they do not prevent or solve crime. The underlying causes of social disorder go unaddressed while public funds are spent instead on expensive but ineffective and potentially dangerous toys.

Opinion: The Roy/BlueChilli policy hack is a great concept, but poorly executed

I hope that the guys at Blue Chilli can pull together something valuable, with outcomes that encourage further policy hacks and a more inclusive approach that reflects the broader community- however I don't expect it.

Oh dear: Is there some form of CS5 event coming up?

Judging from its Twitter account, it looks like someone at Adobe Australia and New Zealand has been told to drum up support for the company’s upcoming launch of its Creative Suite 5 products (Photoshop, InDesign and so on).

NBN: Sorry Mr Hockey, you’re still wrong

Yesterday Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey issued an extensive statement attempting to show that comments he had made about 4G mobile broadband having the potential to be "far superior" to the National Broadband Network's fibre had been taken out of context. Unfortunately, he only succeeded in digging himself a bigger hole.

Apple and the enterprise – Are you ready?

Apple isn't ready for the enterprise. Apple has been ready for years. Now, the enterprise is ready for Apple.

On Conroy’s information byway, there’s some roadkill

If you care about democracy, follow the worm. This worm has a name: Stephen Conroy. While Australians were distracted by another worm this week -- top of the screen for Rudd, bottom for Abbott – few bothered to watch the more insidious wormling, Conroy.

Politically and functionally, Turnbull’s first 100 days have been a disaster

It's hard to imagine how things could have gone worse for Malcolm Turnbull in his first three months as Communications Minister. With the public rapidly turning on the Earl of Wentworth over his horribly unpopular new NBN policy, a growing perception that he's stacking NBN Co with partisan staff and a lack of transparency verging on the hypocritical, it's hard to find positives for the Earl of Wentworth from his initial period in office. Turnbull is truly fumbling the catch on both political and functional levels.

Optus’ stagnation begs leadership change

After seven years of leading Optus and many more in senior leadership positions at the telco before his ascension, O'Sullivan obviously still relishes his role and has a passion for the telecommunications industry. But he no longer has the energy to stay on the bleeding edge which the sector habitually operates on.

The end is nigh for Windows XP: Are you ready?

Almost 13 years after its release in October 2001 to a world still in shock after the 9/11 terror attacks, the sun is finally setting on Microsoft’s Windows XP. The operating system has been the software in many home and work PCs but for die-hard users who continue to use XP, danger that way lies.

Our NBN debate: Where everyone is partly wrong

Like a blade out of the dark, this week ex-ACCC chief Graeme Samuel came from nowhere to drive a stake into the heart of the Coalition’s rival NBN policy, arguing that the FTTN technology it’s based on is “obsolete”. And just as viciously, Malcolm Turnbull fired back. But who is objectively on the side of truth in this storm in a teacup? As is so often in our flawed NBN debate, the answer is: ‘Nobody’.

Anti-piracy scheme throws users to the legal wolves

The anti-piracy scheme proposed by the ISP industry this afternoon as a response to online copyright infringement through platforms like BitTorrent opens the door for content owners to start taking hundreds of thousands of Australians to court for minor offences such as downloading a handful of films or TV episodes.

Internet control: Conroy’s not fooling anyone

Today, Senator Conroy has was asked about the crisis in Egypt, where a desperate government cut internet access in order to hinder protestors. The minister in response declared his undying love for an Internet free of government control and assured us that such a thing could never happen in Australia.

Five reasons the iPad will fail in Australia

There's just not enough information yet to know whether the iPad will succeed or fail yet in Australia. But here's five reasons why it might.

McAfee is calm, collected … and doomed

The bug that McAfee suffered last week has the potential to very seriously undermine its business prospects in Australia in the medium term.

Budget 2014: What now for the NBN as taxpayer investment is capped?

NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow now faces some difficult decisions in deciding how best to allocate resources to meet the objective of providing high-speed broadband across Australia. Since the Coalition’s election in September last year the NBN has been subject to a number of reviews and a wholesale clean out of management. With many reviews, such as the cost-benefit analysis, yet to report, the strategic direction for NBN Co is uncertain making it difficult to comment on future developments with accuracy.

‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

Yellow Pages directories have been appearing on doorsteps across Australia in recent weeks. As often as not, they go straight into the recycling bin. In the world of the internet and e-commerce, the very notion of a book the size of two bricks being the source of valuable purchasing information seems plain silly.

Spectacularly shortsighted: Debating 2012 NBN take-up rates

Reality check: The National Broadband Network is a project which will continue to serve Australia's telecommunications needs for at least the next fifty years. Debating take-up rates in the first year of its existence is nothing short of incredibly short-sighted and trivial.

Reboot ICT teacher training to halt the computing brain drain

The shortage of computing experts in Australian schools has serious implications for our future as a player in the knowledge economy.

Why tax breaks are not the answer to encourage Australian startups

Using the tax system in an attempt to foster innovation may not be the sensible policy choice.

4G: How Telstra will ROFLstomp Optus, VHA

When the reality of a working LTE deployment hits Australia through late 2011, with all mobile phone owners increasingly being smartphone owners ... Telstra's Next G network will become nothing short of irresistable.

Calm down, Australian intelligence forces are just doing their job

Revelations about Australia’s alleged spy network in Asia and listening posts in our embassies across the Pacific might be diplomatically awkward. But it doesn’t mean intelligence agencies have “gone rogue”.

Oh dear: Conroy watched the soccer during the spill

Draped in the colours of his favoured soccer teams (Chelsea and the Socceroos), Conroy made it clear he was quite busy on the night of the spill.

Oh dear: Conroy’s like a boss

It looks like some enterprising souls on YouTube have taken The Lonely Island’s already hilarious satirical video “Like a Boss” and applied it to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy. We’re sure many people have already seen this video, as it aired on January 23rd this year. We recommend you watch both videos, the original first, to get the full effect.

ANZ’s purely tactical IT strategy is short-sighted

The purely tactical IT approach which ANZ is following may seem like the right one at the moment. But down the path, the bank may find its ability to shift gears technologically has been shredded to pieces through a process involving a thousand cuts.

Labor hardly better than Opposition on tech policy

I feel obliged to point out that when it comes to having policies about technology, the Australian Labor Party -- the party which is currently governing Australia -- is little better than the Coalition.

Anti-piracy lobby still suffering from self-delusion

Most Australians understand that the only solution to the nation's record Internet piracy rates is for the film and TV industry to follow the music, book and gaming sectors and make their content available online in a timely, affordable and convenient manner. But that's a truth rights holders and their lobbyists seem unwilling to accept.

Cyber breach at the Bureau of Meteorology: The who, what and how, of the...

If the hackers were state-sponsored Chinese hackers such as the People’s Liberation Army Unit 61398, then the target of the hack would have been wide-ranging but possibly focused on information related to Australian defence and security services and capabilities.

The FTTN truth the Coalition does not want known

ABC Technology & Games editor Nick Ross is the only journalist in Australia so far to have gone into the appropriate level of detail in analysing the Coalition's rival NBN policy. And the Coalition should be very afraid of this fact indeed: Because his most recent NBN opus reflects a knockout blow for its disastrously flawed fibre to the node plans.

Implementation study gets the NBN numbers wrong

The McKinsey-KPMG national broadband network implementation study released last week by Stephen Conroy is deeply flawed. Even if we overlook very optimistic assumptions and logical inconsistencies, its fatal flaw is that it fails Finance 101.

Paying a high price for embarrassing the government

This article is by Denis Muller, Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne. It originally appeared on The Conversation....

Why touchscreens matter for laptops (Or, review of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch)

Over the past several years I've had the somewhat unique experience of reviewing almost exactly the same laptop three times. What the process has taught me is that the new wave of touchscreens making their way into laptops aren't just a fad; they're part of a subtle revolution in the way we interact with out portable devices.

History repeating: Five ways data retention is like Conroy’s filter

Like history repeating, the Australian Government just keeps on coming up with disturbing new ways it wants to control and censor the Internet. Here's five ways the current controversial data retention proposal is similar to its predecessor in infamy: Senator Conroy's mandatory ISP-based Internet filter, which was shot down in flames in 2010.

Breaking the rules: How NBN Co’s spat with Turnbull breaches all convention

Under extreme provocation by a hostile Opposition, the National Broadband Network Company appears to have broken convention and possibly regulations regarding the behaviour of government business enterprises. The question now is: How will its shareholder ministers deal with its clearly aberrant behaviour?

Morrow must receive the dignity that Quigley never did

Those opposed to the Coalition's rival broadband policy must not step over the line into offensiveness in their pursuit of NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow over past failures at US utility Pacific Gas & Electric. The better path of valor would be to treat Morrow with the same level of respect and dignity that his predecessor Mike Quigley deserved, but never got.

Scoping the NBN cost crater

NBN Co’s Mike Quigley has confirmed what most rational analysts have long taken for granted by telling a Senate committee yesterday that it would probably take decades for the new National Broadband Network to generate a satisfactory return on the capital invested by the Federal Government.

“Technology-neutral policy” can be a dangerous fallacy

"Technology-neutral policy" is a useful but treacherous concept that has led many Australian politicians into making poor decisions about important technology issues over the past decade. It's still a very useful framework, but it's time this theory was re-examined by our policymakers in light of those failures and the importance of learning from the past to better inform the future.

Was the Coalition’s Huawei debate just political theatre?

If you believe everything you read, over the past several weeks a ferocious debate took place between senior Government Ministers about whether Huawei should be allowed to bid for National Broadband Network contracts. But the discipline and unity historically displayed by Tony Abbott's Cabinet hints at a more nuanced process, and one that may have all just been for show.

How the NBN could boost Australia’s GDP by 2 percent

This article is by Leith Campbell, Honorary Fellow, Melbourne School of Engineering and Sascha Suessspeck, Economist and Ph.D. Electronic and Electrical Engineering student, both...

Help us fact-check Conroy’s NBN comments

Delimiter invites readers to help us fact-check an important NBN media release by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Finance Minister Penny Wong. Let's get to the truth of the matter, together.

It will take more than being ‘bouncy’ to fix Australia’s innovation system

It is a good sign that Turnbull is upbeat about innovation; but he appears not to understand that innovation is not a matter of pressing the right button and expecting that change will happen.

Coalition reveals new FTTN broadband policy

The Federal Opposition today released a comprehensive new broadband policy to rival Labor's big-spending National Broadband Network project, describing its own initiative as a landmark 'Fibre to the Nothing' (FTTN) proposal.

Wi-Fi patent has driven CSIRO money mad

The CSIRO should give up its pointless chase of global technology giants and telcos, and let sleeping laptops lie.

Datacentre strategy a big downer

When I read the summary of the government's datacentre strategy for the next 15 years, the first thing I wondered was how it could have taken the government months to come up with this document.

Emperor Rupert’s not at war with the NBN: It’s democracy he has a problem...

Rupert Murdoch has not sent a political assassin Down Under specifically to kill Labor’s evil National Broadband Network project so it doesn’t wipe out Foxtel’s revenues. No, it’s the people’s right to choose which frustrates Murdoch, not Labor’s little side project.

Where’s My Jetpack? An awesomely epic rant by Australia’s new CTO

If you have even the slightest interest in government IT or technology project management, we recommend you sit down with a cup of tea and your tablet and read this epic rant by Australia's new chief technology officer John Sheridan. It's worth it.

The Govt should hold a referendum on the NBN

The Federal Government should hold a non-constitutional referendum during the next Federal Election on whether Labor's National Broadband Network should go ahead, in order to settle the long-term fate of this important decade-long infrastructure project once and for all and end the incessant political bickering around it.

Is the party over for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks?

With just over two weeks to go in the campaign, Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks Party has experienced some unsettling events that suggest it may be unravelling.

Can T-Hub-thumping save the landline?

T-Hub is a heavier, bulkier, less appealing version of the iPad that will in no way lure customers to Telstra home services.

Aussie Govts don’t know how to buy open source

There is huge potential for governments to reduce costs and increase community value by embracing the collaborative technologies of Open Source and Open Standards. But in order to achieve this, governments need to make fundamental changes to funding practices in order to recognise the cross-agency value of collaborative technologies.

Turnbull’s NBN hiring spree is pure election fodder

Like the fictional Frank Underwood’s ‘America Works’ program, the massive nbn hiring spree unveiled by Malcolm Turnbull in the wee hours of this morning is pure election fodder — a beguiling program designed to demonstrate to the electorate that the reigning Government is instantly responsible for thousands of new jobs.

‘Digital play’ is here to stay … but don’t let go of real Lego...

Ensuring access to both physical and digital methods of building block construction where children can move freely from one to another is crucial for their development in the early years.

XKeyscore + NSA surveillance leaks: Australian expert reaction

XKeyscore is an online surveillance tool run by America’s National Security Agency (NSA) that allows analysts to search contents of chats, emails and browsing histories without warrants. Australian experts respond in this article to the issue.

Foxtel’s bundle of pain could come sooner than it thinks

This whole business model is now under challenge; for newspapers, TV channels and for pay TV. The share prices of media companies are in decline, and in the US in sharp decline.

Why the drop in illegal movie downloads in Australia?

This article is by Marc C-Scott, Lecturer in Screen Media, Victoria University. It originally appeared on The Conversation. analysis There has been a decline in...

Election rant 5: Can we even use a Terabyte a month?

The Coalition got a lot of things wrong with its election broadband policy, wireless being the chief one. But Finance Spokesperson Andrew Robb got one thing dead right: Australia's telecommunications market has not failed.

Burned by their own hubris: Every party to the Kogan Mobile fiasco brought their...

There are no victims in this complete debacle: Like the fated heroes of the Greek tragedies, every party involved in the Kogan Mobile catastrophe brought their own injury on themselves.

Conroy’s R18+ decision

A feeble Delimiter Friday afternoon attempt at humour, based on the Rage Guy and other memes floating around at the moment online.

TV Now: Why the AFL should be grateful

More eyeballs in front of live sport broadcasts are what matter. The AFL should be encouraging people to watch their product. Trying to stop them is just completely counter-productive.

Why iiNet won’t be acquired: No buyers

Speculation that iiNet will be acquired following a decision last week by Amcom to divest its 23 percent stake in the ISP is simply ill-informed. Our favourite Perth-based broadband provider isn’t going anywhere — and over the next week, every day we’ll publish one major reason why.

Refer the matter to an “Online Retail Forum”?Yes, Minister.

As a complete waste of time, as Sir Humphrey would no doubt say, Conroy's Online Retail Forum will be a stunning success. I'm fairly sure that everyone's answer to whether or not it should be held will arrive shortly: "Yes, Minister".

Enough with the NBN pricing hysteria, already

Everyone feverishly slamming early National Broadband Network pricing plans needs to sit the hell down, take a chill pill and stop engaging in an orgy of self-congratulatory rage over pricing which is actually very reasonable and wholly expected when you remove your head from the media hype machine and examine it in detail.

Double standards: When filtering is not always mandatory

Two completely separate policies, both designed to protect children from "bad stuff", but with completely different implications.

The iPhone 15 is (almost) unimaginable

With half the worlds population now connected by mobile phone and even short periods of time disconnected from the global network leaving many with withdrawal symptoms, the next stage of human evolution is approaching fast and if you're having trouble keeping up, look to nature.

My first iPad experience

This morning I held the iPad for the first time. It was not the romantic moment I had hoped for. It felt heavier than I expected and a little smaller. But then I turned it on and after it flipped every which way, I found myself staring at SmartCompany. It looked so slick!

Why is Microsoft dropping support for Windows 8.1?

In a move certain to raise the ire of users of Microsoft’s Windows operating system the software giant has announced that next month it will cease support for Windows 8.1. But that operating system is barely eight months old and already an upgraded version of the Windows 8 system that failed to impress many users since its release in 2012.

Orgies of self-interest leave no room for sober justice

This week, I have become increasingly embarassed at the incredible callousness with which our society has seized upon an unproven crime to further its own diverse naked self-interest, with scant regard for apparent defunct concepts such as 'truth', 'justice' and that archaic concept which was once labelled 'the presumption of innocence'.

Kogan vs Harvey Norman: Welcome to Sitzkrieg

This article is by Darryl Adams, a government worker and internet tragic. A former IT worker, he still pines for the days of IBM...

Forget ‘cloud-first’: Australia’s public sector is following the globe into ‘cloud-only’

Burned by a decade's worth of failures of major on-premises IT projects, 2013 was the year that Australia's State Governments almost universally declared they would take a "cloud-first" approach to IT procurement. But there are already signs that the next stage of this process is underway, and that "cloud-first" may inevitably become "cloud-only".

NBN petition and the backlash: When does democracy speak?

Malcolm Turnbull may believe that democracy has spoken; but now is the time for democracy to shout back.

With Bradley Manning convicted, what now for Julian Assange?

Bradley Manning’s conviction for espionage marks the closing stages in the US Army private’s personal battle. Yet for Julian Assange, founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks and Australian Senate candidate, Manning is but a casualty in a much grander mission.

WA shared services disaster a warning to others

The decision by the West Australian (WA) government to abandon its shared corporate services is a salutary reminder of the governance realities of the Westminster system of government. Portfolio and agency autonomy is the dominant force whatever the desires of central agencies and the grand plans cooked up for them by consultants. Just because benefits appear compelling in a spreadsheet does not mean that they can be realised in practice.

Telstra’s David Thodey is on top of the world

Everything about Thodey's approach screams that he is enjoying his position in life to the absolute maximum. That he loves running Australia's great warhorse of a telco and wouldn't give it up for anything. That he really believes in his mission to take back the hearts and minds of Australians and stop them using the word "Telstra" as a swearword.

Reality check: AFACT is not planning mass lawsuits

Worried that AFACT will start suing individual users, now that it has lost its High Court case against iiNet? You needn't be. The organisation itself has denied any such plans, and even the legal case to identify Australian Internet pirates is on shaky ground at the moment.

BigPond broadband is cheap as chips

I stumbled upon a shocking and unbelievable truth when casually browsing around the websites of several of Australia's top internet service providers this afternoon.

Save the NBN Kevin, you’re our only hope

The fate of the National Broadband Network now rests squarely in the hands of Kevin Rudd. If the former Prime Minister wins power back from Julia Gillard, Labor has a chance of retaining power at the next election and continuing the NBN rollout. If he fails to do so, most commentators agree, Gillard will be annihilated and Abbott will scrap the project wholesale.

Oh dear: McDonald’s rejects Kogan job application

Ruslan Kogan just might be the Australian technology sector's version of Richard Branson. The 27-year-old entrepreneur still has his youthful good looks and enjoys going out, he is skilled at making millions, and everywhere he seems to go, he generates controversy.

Australia’s ICT industry is fierce and strong

Australia's second technology boom is upon us, and things will never be the same again.

Telcos can’t have their femto-cake and eat it too

Telcos cannot have their cake and eat it too. The commercial model guiding how customers will pay for any femtocell service must be fair. And right now, it’s clear that it simply is not.

Scrimp now, pay later: CSIRO cuts could stifle long-term research

The moment we tie short-term political, economic or social goals to science is the moment we ensure we’ll slow down finding those momentous future breakthroughs that science has brought us. It is a paradox, but one that the government needs to understand before cutting big budgets out of long-term fundamental research programs at the CSIRO.

Why NBN prices will be higher (by Malcolm Turnbull)

In this post, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull responds to the claim that broadband pricing will not increase under Labor's National Broadband Network plan.

O’Sullivan and Dews: Leaders in exile

In scale and tone, Paul O'Sullivan's reluctance to enter the limelight of the Australian telecommunications industry is currently only matched by one man: VHA chief executive Nigel Dews.

Vodafone should buy iiNet before TPG can

The exit of Michael Malone from the company he founded 20 years ago has re-opened long-running speculation that top-tier broadband player iiNet could be acquired, and it's a valid idea. But the telco most suited to buying the powerhouse from Perth is not hostile rival TPG; it's ailing mobile telco Vodafone, which still has plenty of cash up its sleeves.

Reports of the filter’s death are premature

This is a temporary cessation of the filter policy, but the storm clouds of round two are gathering in the distance.

‘Cloud first’ a circuit-breaker, says Ovum

Taking a “cloud-first” policy has the potential to act as game changer to allow departments and agencies to break out of their current restrictive ICT procurement practices, technology analyst firm Ovum said this week, as discussion continues to swirl about how Australian governments are handling the new cloud computing paradigm.

Bevan and Baxter: Two more for the NBN board

Last week we proposed Internode founder Simon Hackett as a prime candidate to sit on NBN Co’s newly refreshed board under Tony Abbott’s new Coalition Government. Today we add two new prospective names to the list: PIPE Networks’ influential founders Bevan Slattery and Steve Baxter.

The Westpac dialectic: IT outsourcing and warring narratives

At a certain point, corporate-speak becomes more than an abstraction. It becomes more than a useful metaphor. It becomes something which is simply undesirable in the honest relationship between an employer and and an employee. It becomes something which is all-too pervasive in our media-saturated society. It becomes ... spin.

Peter Dutton MP are you for or against the filter?

Peter, seriously if you cared what I thought you would notice I am not overly interested in a stock standard response letter. I get that from my bank and let me tell you I don’t like them much.

Should Victoria pay for injured man’s Wii?

Ridiculing the Wii Fit as a video game in 2010 just makes politicians look silly. My aching muscles and -- by now, no doubt -- millions of people around the world using the device to make their daily health just that little bit better would argue it is much more.

Fact check: The NBN wasn’t a “media stunt”

Free market thinktank the Institute of Public Affairs recently claimed Labor’s flagship National Broadband Network project was drawn up purely as a “media stunt” to drum up publicity for the Government. Unfortunately, this is a factually inaccurate statement, and here’s the evidence to prove it.

Oh dear: Microsoft Australia’s anti-piracy propaganda

Microsoft Australia creates an anti-piracy video.

Sir Humphrey Appleby on the internet filter

To understand the situation that we find ourselves in regarding the internet filter, we need to refer to the great political textbook of our age: Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister.

A review of Australian political iPhone apps

It appears that neither of Australia’s two major sides of politics – Labor and the Coaltiion -- has so far developed an iPhone app to help keep their supporters up to date on their activities. Even the Greens – known as a progressive party in touch with the younger generation – don’t have an iPhone app that we could find.

Australia needs a cloud computing regulator

It is time that the Australian ICT Industry created an appropriate regulatory model for cloud computing and once again showed the world its ability to create resilient and innovative environments for effective business -- just as was done when the G8 turned to the APRA model as the basis for global financial regulation.

You talkin’ to me? Gerry Harvey’s one-man, online retail debate

Online retail promises or threatens to greatly change how Australians buy and sell over the next few years. However it works out, I hope that Gerry Harvey is around a fair bit longer, saying things to provoke and amuse us.

Online GST push places an unfair burden on pop culture lovers

Will the long tail of the internet be docked by the fastidious imposition of GST to online purchases?

Oh dear: Optus didn’t learn from Telstra’s mistake

If there’s one thing that Delimiter finds amusing, it’s when history repeats itself. As it so often does in Australia’s fickle telecommunications industry.

NBN: Who will be connected last?

Now that Labor's ambitious National Broadband Network project has finally cleared all of the regulatory, commercial and political hurdles that have stood in the way of its path to universal bandwidth nirvana, it's time to ask the most important question of all about the project. Who will be connected last?

After just six weeks, Turnbull has Conroy on the run

Why the hell should Turnbull let Conroy have his way now? He's got the Senator on the run. All he needs to achieve is some modest concessions from the Government on the NBN -- which he appears close to -- and six weeks after the Coalition lost the election (in a manner of speaking), he's got a claim to being the most successful member of the Shadow Cabinet, on a national issue which Tony Abbott clearly knows nothing about.

Why AGIMO’s open source policy will change nothing

Open source does not fit the framework which proprietary vendors have painstakingly installed in the minds of organisations like AGIMO over the decades. It's taken time, but Microsoft already won that war.

NBN Senate Committee politicised from start

The Senate's move to force senior executives from the National Broadband Network Company to appear before its new NBN committee starkly demonstrates the extreme degree of politicisation which the NBN project as a whole is subject to.

Reality check: Turnbull’s not “trashing” the NBN

The level of hysteria over the past 24 hours over Malcolm Turnbull's entirely predictable decision to refresh NBN Co's board has been laughably absurd, and starkly demonstrates the lack of understanding the media has about the National Broadband Network in general. Take a chill pill, people: The Coalition is not "trashing" the NBN or "setting it up to fail". The sky is not falling.

Stacking the deck: NBN Review filled with Turnbull cronies

NBN Co's Strategic Review will be conducted by a cluster of ex-Telstra executives with prior personal connections to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party, supported by external consultants. Does anyone still believe the result will be independent, objective and 'technology-neutral'?

FactCheck: Will the NBN take another 20 years to complete?

The 20-year time to completion quoted by Tony Abbott seems to be some kind of rough estimate or guess, based on unclear assumptions. It is unlikely to be correct.

NBN: Misleading parliament should be a crime

The Federal Government should follow Queensland and enact a law which makes it illegal for politicians to knowingly mislead Parliament with false information. This would immediately have a dramatic and positive impact on the quality of the debate around the National Broadband Network.

Deconstructing Australia’s wireless/NBN fetish

The uncertain future development roadmap for wireless technologies and their potential to plug the broadband gap between copper and fibre means wireless will continue to be at the centre of the National Broadband Network debate for the foreseeable future.

Correction: Cutting the NBN won’t save money

Yesterday Opposition Leader Tony Abbott stated in a high-profile speech at the National Press Club in Canberra that cutting Labor's National Broadband Network project would free up Federal Government money to be spent in other areas such as transport. It was a nice political soundbite. However, unfortunately, this statement was factually incorrect.

Crazy spectrum prices? No. Historically consistent.

The flagrantly worded argument by Liberal MP Paul Fletcher and others that the Federal Government has badly mismanaged the process of auctioning off 4G wireless spectrum is overly simplistic and does not well-represent the complex dynamic involved in this commercial bidding process.

NBN: Is $109 the magic triple play price?

Most of Australia's major fixed-line telcos have standardised their pricing on mid-range bundled broadband, telephone and IPTV plans around the $109 mark.

BT FTTN rollout shows what Australia could have had

The success of BT's fibre to the node rollout must come as a stark reminder of what could have been achieved in Australia over the past eight years if the various players had stopped their incessant, poisoned infighting on the broadband issue.

Internet: ignorance is the real threat

In the 21st century it should be utterly unacceptable to elect representatives who wilfully fail to understand how our country has changed in the presence of technology.

RTFM: How to keep CIOs under control

Chief information officers never seem to understand. It doesn't matter if the servers are up or down -- that's a user problem. The real issue is whether they are configured properly in the first place. The system must be perfect, pristine. Users pollute that nirvana.

Laptops for schools should have been iPads

Let's not kid ourselves that this was the right choice. Had the politicians waited several years and spent its money on tablets instead, Australia's education system would have been the envy of the entire world.

Watching Media Watch’s iPad coverage

In its criticism of the media coverage of the launch of Apple's new iPad in Australia this week, the ABC's normally stellar Media Watch program went too far, alleging journalistic impropriety where there was none, and unfairly targeting media outlets for legitimately covering an important news story which the public was interested in.

Oh dear: Alan Jones, Chika, Steve Waugh and VMWare?

The trustees list of the of the Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust reads like a roll call of Sydney blue blood royalty.

We like e-readers – but library users are still borrowing books

What place do e-readers – and in particular ebooks – hold in the reading behaviour of Australia’s 10 million public library borrowers? There are some 181 million items loaned every year by the nation’s 1,500 public libraries, branches, mobile libraries and other service points but, according to the latest survey-based report from the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), for the majority of these libraries, ebook loans represent less than 1% of the total.

Virgin’s internet porn sackings somewhat hypocritical

I couldn’t help but feel amused by the irony on Friday when the news broke that Virgin Blue had sacked 20 staff for what the Sydney Morning Herald reported was the dastardly offence of swapping porn on the airline’s computers.

Labor and Coalition broadband policies: What’s the difference?

The Coalition’s broadband policy offers a lower-cost network that will provide customers with modest improvements in broadband services in the shorter term; whereas the Coalition’s network will create a new digital divide and require major upgrades soon after it is completed. Labor promises a more future-proof solution that will cost more at the outset, but will stimulate broadband developments in government, business, and entertainment, and has potential to serve Australia beyond 2050.

Will Telstra give iiNet one 4G ring to rule Optus?

Like a cluster of ancient elves residing deep within the sheltered enclaves of evergreen forest glades, the worthy folk of SingTel subsidiary Optus have long focused their gaze to the far north, where the dark lords of mighty Telstra have ruled Australia's telecommunications sector from their fiery thrones.

When the price is not right: Technology price gouging in Australia

Since Federation, Australian consumers have suffered the indignity and the tragedy of price discrimination. From the time of imperial publishing networks, Australia has been suffered from cultural colonialism.

Oh dear: Telstra’s cyber-safety quadrants

We think Australia's telcos might be taking cyber-safety a little too seriously, if this video by Telstra is any indication.

The real reason The Hoff is in Sydney

Delimiter can exclusively reveal that the iconic American actor has been in Australia for the past six months, on a secretive mission to aid Australia's technology sector in its quest to finally overtake Silicon Valley and become the premiere global market for technology companies.

When will Labor get serious about supporting its NBN policy?

The independent pro-fibre National Broadband Network movement is doing a far better job of promoting Labor's Fibre to the Premises-based NBN policy than Labor itself. When is Labor going to wake from its slumber and start supporting this scrappy but energetic grassroots network of activists?

Trolling our way to national security

Yesterday's Daily Telegraph features a call to action – an Internet petition to stop trolling (the media definition of any offensive or deliberately hurtful behaviour online, not the traditional definition). This is both terrible journalism and falling for a trap.

How can Australia build a great technology sector?

If we can get a consensus about a solution as strong as the one that existed yesterday in reaction to my initial piece on Atlassian's situation, that might be a starting point to take Australia forward and help it to become a real technology powerhouse.

‘Justice’ isn’t a ‘right’ in NSW …

We have another issue, involving 'incorrect' billing that we will be pursuing over the next week or so and doubtless Telstra will display the same attitude and tactics as they have done in the issue just concluded. We are also pursuing a similar issue against the TIO, an organisation that displays identical attitudes and tactics as Telstra does.

Reality check: NBN Syntheo delays not significant

If you believe what you read over the past week, you'd think that construction delays on the part of contractor Syntheo have significantly derailed the progress of the National Broadband Network. However, as is often the case with the NBN, the truth couldn't be more different. The fact is that network remains squarely on track to meet its June 2013 rollouts targets.

How’s that going to work, then? – Government 2.0 and purdah

Perhaps it's time we stopped considering departmental web sites and social tools an optional bolt-on and put them where they belong – as a part of the critical communication network government agencies rely upon to get their message out and serve their government and public.

A shake-up in Australia’s busy TV industry as Quickflix calls in the administrators

If Quickflix does fold or get absorbed by another local service, how many local services will survive? We may also see global VoD services taking over the local services.

New copyright laws not the answer to illegal downloads

New laws are not the answer. Rather, we need to look at education, technical mechanisms, licensing solutions and responsibility of ISPs and search engines to find a workable balance between the right to own and creative content and the ability of users (and intermediaries) to access and reuse such content.

A cashless society and the five forms of mobile payment that will get us...

Visions of a cashless society started being portrayed from the 1950’s along with other aspects of a future waiting to be transformed by technology. That future has not yet arrived but it is now possible to exist without using cash on a daily basis. In fact, in a survey released this week, 25% of Australians claim not to use cash in a given month. In the US, 50% of Americans carry less than $20 in cash at any time.

Oh dear: Masterchef contestants at Telstra with giant Apple tree

Looks like contestants from Ten's Masterchef show are already at Telstra's flagship T-Life store in Sydney's CBD preparing for the launch of the iPhone 4 at midnight tonight.

Why wasn’t Maxine McKew Labor’s Old Spice guy?

It was clear from the result that the people where not buying the messages either major party was selling. Social media as a network is the cheapest network to utilise, and by failing to tap into the social media users’ goodwill, both parties made themselves look inept and outsiders.

Oh dear: Pollenizer’s pie in the face

We always knew the guys at Australian IT startup consultancy Pollenizer were fun, but we never knew quite how fun. They are so fun, it turns out, that they’re willing to take a pie in the face for charity. Kudos, Mick Liubinskas and team.

Red underpants? Yes, Minister, says Hackett

It looks as if Internode founder Simon Hackett has taken Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s infamous “red underpants” comments a little seriously, if this photo from CommsDay’s Melbourne Congress this morning is any indication. Oh, dear.

Free to fail: Why corporates are learning to love venture capital

Opening a venture capital branch seems to be the new “thing” in the corporate world. While Telstra and Westpac are the new big national players, Google is clearly ahead of the curve, with two distinct venture capital firms: the newly launched Google Capital and the five-year-old Google Ventures. But why are so many companies, across a range of sectors, now running to open their own venture capital funds?

A change in Australia’s web rules would open up the .au space

If you want to register an Australian web address, your options may be about to change due to a review of domain name policy that is currently underway.

Apologies: The iPhone 5 won’t run on Telstra’s 4G

Right, you're thinking. Telstra has just launched its 4G/LTE network around Australia and Apple is planning to unveil the iPhone 5 next month. There's every reason to believe these two beautiful facts could come together in one glorious orgy of speed-filled smartphone goodness, right? Wrong.

NEHTA — On the road to nowhere?

The NEHTA plan, as it stands will deliver fragile single purpose interconnectivity with little or no interoperability ... As it stands they are on a road to nowhere. We have been down that road and we know where it leads.

Will hidden taxes and competitive pressures make the NBN unsustainable?

Is the National Broadband Network sustainable? I do not mean this in a technical sense. While I am wary of the government using taxpayers' money to ‘pick winners’ in technology, there are many people better placed than I am to crystal ball gaze into the best technology for the internet. Rather is the NBN economically sustainable?

NBN Co paying lobbyists to woo the Coalition? This madness must stop.

If NBN Co's board has indeed hired political lobbying firm Bespoke to represent itself to the Coalition ahead of the Federal Election ... then that represents an extraordinary move, and one which I, for one, and no doubt countless others, simply cannot approve of.

A couple of important NBN corrections

Over the past several weeks, several prominent newspaper commentators have published a number of factual inaccuracies with respect to the Federal Government's National Broadband Network project. With the aim of informing good public policy debate, it seems appropriate to try and correct the record.

Apple’s Samsung lawsuit raises wider patent questions

The mobile patent wars, it seems, have reached Australian shores.

Let’s talk about Telstra and the NBN … again

Telstra's "threats" of competing with an alternative access strategy are this time all nonsense. They can't get enough wireless out there, they have major building access issues with HFC and they should be cricified by sharehlders if they try to over-invest in their PSTN.