Friday, 31 October 2008

Senator Ludlam asks question yet to be answered

Along the lines of what I have been blogging about for the past few days (ie. Stop the idea of a clean feed filter for Australia's internet traffic), Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has asked an interesting query, of how the government plans to determine what is offensive for the great Oz internet filter, and what should be let through.

It's good to hear of at least one politician is seeing things the way I do - provide more police, and provide a better education campaign to teach people. You still CANNOT replace good parenting with a software application!

Interestingly, the article that has the query from Senator Ludlam, also has a survey. I don't know about the integrity of web surveys, but at the time of typing this, 90% of readers were opposed to the filter program - with the good Senator Conroy's office not wanting to comment on that.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Backlash for the good Senator Conroy

It appears after the media coverage of the past few days, the good Senator Conroy may not be getting all the support he requires for his Orwellian plans of filtering the internet. According to "Internet screening move hits hurdle" (on, there is some opposition to the filtering of all content from the internet into Australia. Keep in mind, according to good Senator Conroy, everyone that opposes his idea is still a supporter of child pornography.

On that topic of "illegal material", what will this filter do? Very little I suspect. Firstly, it's not like you can find a web site on the internet that sells terrorist handbooks or child pornography. Artefacts from those topics are usually encrypted, and hidden. Groups meet on-line, and dissolve fast. From my understanding, the Australian Federal Police is already doing a good job of policing those topics. Could it be like an American war on drugs, or a war on terror? I don't know and I don't claim to know the answer. What I do know, is that a filter around Australia may deter some people from seeking that information (assuming they don't know how to access it), but it will not stop people who are already involved in those activities from continuing them. So - besides slowing down the internet, and blocking some of the clean sites I may choose to visit, what good is the filter?

Parents - educate your kids! Get involved with their lives! Don't leave it up to politicians that are hardly in touch with this week, let alone the technology that is currently available in this decade!

Everyone - do something (useful) today!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

$44.2 million to be wasted

According to "Australia's compulsory internet filtering 'costly, ineffective'" (on, the software to be introduced by the knowledgeable Senator Conroy will cost Australian taxpayers around $44.2 million. Now before everyone starts making jokes about the cost is negligible since the Australian dollar is so low in value at the moment, isn't this a waste of money that could be better allocated to some other project - like education of children?

Read more about it today... and do something about it!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Senator Conroy tactics

After being violently sick for most of yesterday at the Australian Government's attempt to filter the internet, I have now been put into the "bucket", by an elected official, that I support child pornography!

"Senator Conroy, as Mr Rudd's delegate, is running around trying to silence dissenting members of the public, and labelling people who disagree with him as supporters of child pornography," he added. Conroy's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. -- From

I do not think the majority of people who value their freedom support child pornography. I state this clearly, as I DO NOT SUPPORT CHILD PORNOGRAPHY! I will admit there is a small percentage of people that are into that activity, but I think that would cross over to people working in politics, law enforcement, religion, and other areas of social purity. What a totally fascist tactic used by the elected official! And it is the fault of the Australian public with the wool pulled over their eyes for allowing this to happen! Senator Conroy, please do not label me - since you do not really know me!

Working and living overseas is becoming a better option on a daily basis. Where is a V figure when you need him? What ever happened to good parenting? Did people just stop caring one day? When did we decide that one man knew best, and could decide what a whole nation is allowed to know? My ex-wife came back from a holiday in China last year, and the majority of the young, good citizens of China do not know what happened in Tiananmen Square protests - mainly thanks to their protective government! And that was only 19 years ago! The common Chinese person who remembers that incident has been convinced never to discuss it. Is Australia turning into one of those countries?

You may think not, but how much more power are we going to afford these elected officials to make more decisions on our behalf.

I'm off to be sick now... but you should read more!

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."
-- V (V for Vendetta - 2006)

Monday, 27 October 2008

Making the internet worse in Australia!

This topic really irritates me - Mandatory Content Filtering in Australia (on I understand that there is a minority (yes - a very small percentage of the population) that likes to use the internet for things that are "just not right", but the rest of the population knows what's right from wrong, and knows how to behave accordingly. This really is the mentality of one child playing up in a classroom, and the whole of the class is punished with detention.

The internet in Australia is already slow enough. I wish it would just get faster, yet the government has decided to introduce this crap even after they promised to invest in speeding it up after the election in 2007? It appears that if they do invest in improving the current internet infrastructure, it will only bring it back to the speeds we are all used to.

Looking at different reports about the filtering scheme, they have already run a trial in Tasmania. Firstly, it showed that if people want to get around the filter, they can. Secondly, and this is what really upsets me the most (as I am very opposed against censorship), about 6% of the content is inappropriately filtered. That's approximately 3% of proper sites have been filtered out, as well as 3% of the improper sites have been let through.

What can you do?
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I have already written to Prime Minister Rudd in the past about this (as well as already blogging about it), and I received a formal letter in response stating I should not be concerned for any disadvantages will be minimal. I feel like I have already been lied to - now I'm feel like I am being told I do not know better for myself.

I think I'll be sick for the rest of the year now...

Sunday, 26 October 2008

The photo 9 years in the making...

If you've seen the only other photos of me on the web (other than on this blog), you would have seen one of me "sleeping" at a previous company. Here is a similar shot of me 9 years on...

ric - 9 years on in IT
So what's different from the original?

  • Same guy (sorta)
  • Different hair
  • "Awake" in this photo
Who's willing to take a guess what I will look like in 9 years time from now?

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Canberra, and the current A-League...

There's so much I want to write about at the moment, but I can't. I think I started this blog to document some of my thoughts about Canberra, and IT. I know of recent that I've been using it to play a blog photo game (I am still the master of the game), as well as jot down other thoughts with what's happening around me (especially after finding out I was no longer required by my ex-wife). Things should be better in the next week or so, and blogging will resume regular service.

I've only got 1 week left on my work contract. People at work (and I guess others around me) have started to notice that. I think I am speaking more of what is on my mind, and not holding back as much. My boss mentions that this is how it should have been from the start, not with 2 weeks to go - and now it's only one week left. Who knows what will happen, but I guess I will need to deal with the fall out if I do and don't get renewed. There are some people hoping I will get renewed. I'm sure there are some people that will hope I don't. I feel like I am in the middle. As I mentioned to someone over dinner last night - "If they want me to stay and keep helping, I will - if they don't, then I will go away; either way is OK."

I'm also finding myself being tutored, but at a more artistic musical level. Thanks to NutMeg, I am now listening to the lyrics of some of the skate songs that I had previously only just listened to for the rhythm and beats.

Lastly, one thing I can blog about is the state of the A-League. I've only been following it off and on, since I spend some time up here in Canberra, and do not have much reason to go back to Melbourne. It's round 8, and Melbourne Victory are hanging onto the top of the ladder - but just (while I write this Perth is playing Sydney, with Perth in front 2-1). The Victory have had great games (round 3 and 7), and some disappointments (round 8). I need to organise to get down there and support the guys!

Friday, 10 October 2008

Something to share?

I was chatting to my "next wife" about her coming to visit me... and how I will share some Koko Black chocolate with her. She better hurry... not much left!
koko black orange segments and coffee chocolate trufflesNext plane then?

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Sydney... hmmm...

I hate Sydney. There I said it. It's far better than Canberra (which I also dislike), but the traffic ruins it. Sydney would be so much better if it had about 80% less cars. The character of Sydney alone (not taking into account the character of the people there) makes it far more liveable than sterile Canberra.

That's enough of my ranting, here are the pics:
on the road fogtraffic - boo!bondi beachchateau pappaD's viewchateau pappaDfoozball table at chateau pappaDblurry shot of pappaD and ric_manmonorail360 on darling harbour bridge 0360 on darling harbour bridge 1360360 on darling harbour bridge 3360 on darling harbour bridge 4360 on darling harbour bridge 5360 on darling harbour bridge 6360 on darling harbour bridge 7360 on darling harbour bridge 8360 on darling harbour bridge 9360 on darling harbour bridge 10360 on darling harbour bridge 11playaDee and ric_manric_man and da cornrows 0ric_man and da cornrows 1ric_man and da cornrows 2queen victoria buildingqueen victoria ceilingjarvo and ric_man

Great place to visit - real nice people, but wouldn't want to live there. One of the highlights of the visit was rolling up to one of pappaD's friend's apartments in Chatswood. His flatmate was there with his girlfriend. They weren't expecting pappaD or myself to turn up. Girlfriend cooked food. We got fed - and it had flavour. For me, that's HUGE! I'd only known these people for 5 minutes at this stage. And she followed it up with a chocolate cake. As pappaD would say - "Genius!"

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Sydney for long weekend...

Going up to Sydney (Bondi to be specific) to visit pappaD this weekend. I may not have this opportunity to visit him again - well not from Canberra. Will attempt to take photos. Hopefully will get around to posting them.

Friday, 3 October 2008

The ultimate dinner...

Tickets asked today who I would invite over for dinner - dead or alive. Going along the lines of having an ultimate dinner, as in a table of 6 plus me, I came up with the following list:

1. My dad (who passed away in 1998 - it would be awesome to catch up with him one more time)
2. My soul mate (my one true best friend - who I thought I was married to, but I now know I have never met her or realised I've met her - so for me the search will continue for her, but not at the moment)
3. Jay (cos he's my bro) - "rollin" with him is fun and if it's boring he will make it fun
4. (a) Rodney Mullen / (b) Bucky Lasek / (c) Chad Muska / (d) Bam Margera / (e) Tony Hawk - each of these guys has pioneered a particular style of skateboarding - I just wish I had places for all of them, but I wouldn't want to table conversation to be just focussed on skateboarding, so only one (in the order written)
5. Adam Duritz (lead singer and songwriter of the Counting Crows - because he sounds like he's been through much emotional pain in his life - something I am partially experiencing at the moment... have a listen to "August and Everything After" and read the lyrics... and I know some of you may think I don't have emotions)
6. Audrey Hepburn (simply one of the most visually stunning women of all time - actually she was divinely beautiful even in her later years, and this was the days before plastic surgery - her on-screen presence and her off-screen work showed great character)

I haven't thought about this for a while. The list is not in any particular order (with the exception of point #4). And strangely enough, I don't have any major influence from IT in there - if you don't count Jay, who works in IT.

It's only a pity this scenario will never happen. Both my dad and Audrey are probably hanging out somewhere together (not that I believe in an afterlife, or fate, or destiny, or me having a soul - that's already been sold, just waiting for the proceeds - but I like the term "soul mate" and I know people that are extremely well matched for each other - Dr Cav and his wife, as an example), so they won't be able to make it.

Actually, with that sub-comment about fate or destiny, I do think I am supposed to meet certain people in my life - whether I need them to help me, I need to help them, or they're just someone to spend time with (sounds very "butterfly effect"). For example, I met Jarvo's cousin, Sister, about 10 years ago, and now I hang out with Jarvo. After many discussions with my ex-wife (a long time ago, not recently), it was determined that we were going to meet at some stage. Just got to figure out the rest of the puzzle.

Anyone want to comment on their dinner guests?

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Random photos and chats

While waiting for "lazy hunters" to take shots in the blog photo game, I've still be out and about taking pictures. Here are some random photos around Canberra...
flower stickers on carFlower stickers on cars (what's up with that?)

bp ollie and jarvoBP (with the "finger guns"), Ollie and Jarvo

outside the ngaOutside the NGA (I was hoping this was going to be a new mark)

rollin in the jarvo mobileric_man in the Jarvo mobile (it's for sale in case anyone wants a 2003 Toyota Camry Sportivo - contact me via email if you're interested)

ric_man with no hatric_man without a hat (rare photo!) and a little freaked out since it was Jarvo using my camera

And thanks to someone for having a chat with me today. Puts certain things in perspective. What else do you need in life but good food, good drink, and good conversations?