Electronista moans about working conditions in a factory making products for Apple. Electronista also notes, with apparent approval, an announcement by the Mayor New York, Michael Bloomberg, of ‘the launch of a new outdoor public Wi-Fi network in Harlem accessible to all users at no cost’.
How often does one see demands for new products, or lower prices on existing products? Ipad, for instance, requires a new model at least annually. With more features . . . and lower cost. How else, but by exploitation of the weak and oppressed in a totalitarian state, can this wonder of modern education (schools are addicted) be possible and universal? Helped, naturally, by governments (especially last century’s nation, the US) printing money to cover their failures: intellectual, moral and financial.
The twenty first century has several qualities or, rather, characteristics, none of them commendable. Hypocrisy is at their head.
Why bother? Roger Franklin should know by now that the ABC is incapable of reform. So why waste readers time on such cant? Affordability of a chair for a pot of poisonous prejudice like Barrie Cassidy is an utter irrelevance. Abolish the whole rotten institution. Now. Return the money to taxpayers or, for a time, better, assist a small number of people who cannot otherwise afford it, to receive dental care required urgently. But that won’t happen. We live in deteriorating times. That deterioration has a very long way to go before any improvement can become evident. It would help to be rid of the ABC nonetheless.
This from The Australian today:
RESOURCE giants will be told to step up their spending on mammoth new projects or risk losing their rights to tap the deposits, under an Abbott government plan to accelerate investment and kill off fears of an end to the boom.
The article continues with this Rudd-Gillard-Rudd type threat:
Incoming industry minister Ian Macfarlane . . . warned that companies that shelved their projects could lose the “retention leases” they held over the reserves, given the commonwealth’s power to revoke the rights as they came up for renewal over the next few years. “I want to put the industry on notice that if the deposits are able to be developed they’ve got to be developed,” he said yesterday as he arrived in Canberra for briefings.
So, the point of the auction, sorry election, on 7 September was what? I knew I was right not to take any but the most cursory notice of it or anything else political. Not only have the government’s spots not changed but the public had to pay for all aspects of the auction (no apologies), including political propaganda from the candidates. Whether one should yawn or be outraged I don’t know. Meanwhile, at Maaloula. . . ?
Not if Victoria’s Weekly Times can help it:
Her comments come as she scrambles to sure up numbers against a coalition government.
If I type ‘the age of information’ in Google there appear some 2.7 billion results. If, foolishly, I enter iTunes seeking, say, the forthcoming recording from Deutsche Grammophon of the Brahms piano concertos the results tell nothing of the files that I might purchase and download. Are they mp3, flac, 16 bit, 24 bit, and at what frequency? None of that appears. None of that is available. None of that, it seems, is permissible. Thus the age of information. All that matters, surprise, surprise, is the price, which, in Australia, is grossly inflated. So much for the age of information. It’s on a par with contemporary manufacturing (forthcoming).
One regularly hears people complain about the state of manufacturing in Australia. Meanwhile, financial markets, always looking for a means for speculation, jump on any news of allegedly improving numbers not least volumes of goods manufactured. Apparently markets exist for all these bits and pieces.
What I don’t hear is mention of the quality of manufacturing whether in Oz or offshore. My experience suggests that manufacturing is in a qualitative slump. That is to ask, how many manufacturers inspect the goods they produce? Experience with products from HiFiMan, Silvercore, iRiver and LaCie suggest very few. The Silvercore product did the primary job as stated; pity about the enormous noise taking the place of hum (even the website no longer works). The HiFiMan Zeros broke. The LaCie external hard disk (P’9230) may be on, it may not; the light certainly isn’t. So much for ‘total reliability’. And iRiver AK120. Where to begin?
The Astell & Kern AK120 (designed by iriver Ltd. based in Seoul, South Korea and manufactured, according to the firm’s website, at a location about Songshan Lake, Dongguan, Guangdong, China) is ‘the ultimate portable high-fidelity audio system’. On the evidence iriver Ltd. does not hold with such prosaic matters as product inspection after manufacture. For a time, in the instance of the unit that I purchased, the only function seemed to be that of DAC. About a week later it became possible to add music files and hear them. The AK120 has three ‘hardware control buttons’, two work, one does not. Power saving facilities work only intermittently. Likewise, the much-lauded volume control is thoroughly untrustworthy; it might work, it might not, mostly not. Given that the volume control is unreliable, it is no longer of use as a DAC (the difference in levels between use as DAC for which I use very different headphones, and overnight listening is too great to risk the latter). Firmware updates simply do not open. So much, in my view, for computer audio and contemporary manufacturing generally.
I suppose this is the best we can do. Why not just give up entirely? What with bloated, ideologically-driven universities; witless media; cinema that peddles kiddie-litter; where tree-murder parades as gardening; Keynesian economics, market bubbles and electoral bribery are one subject; Lysenko science rules; the permanent, digital worksheet swaggers for schooling: in Australia, there is nothing else. All that has been good has gone. Even the AIF Project has gone: for the Australian (and New South Wales) governments nothing but Gallipoli shall represent the First World War. Best give up.
This is a long-standing dilemma. How to rescue individual liberty from a regime dedicated to its destruction, not least a regime elected democratically. The classic instance, presumably, remains Germany in the early ‘thirties. The circumstances of the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of the reich differ from those that have obtained in Egypt over the last year or so.
Perhaps it might behove the US State Department to worry less about its marketing than the discomforts (not just American either) likely to follow continued support of the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt. Whatever else might be said of the Egyptian situation, and some of it worth noting, the failure of the United Nations in the circumstances of civil war (not least Syria) remains self-evident. The Copts of Egypt must surely be greatly relieved by the overthrow of the government headed by Mohammed Morsi. Given the repulsive history of the twentieth century in the wake of the Great War defined by the imprecations of various ideologues, any short-circuit of their descendants must surely be welcomed.
So the real misogynist has stood up. It was never Tony Abbott, whatever Australia’s Labor-crawling media made out (especially the Australian Government’s own media front, the ABC). No! Kevin Rudd simply could not abide being second-best to a woman. ’Second-best at what?’ you ask. At being the worst Prime Minister in the history of the federation. There isn’t much time but I’m sure he’ll devote all his energy to regaining the title of worst Prime Minister heading the worst government in Australian political history.
Has the Labor party really this little talent? Apparently so. Oh dear.
A typically corrupt campaign by the Australian federal government, this time for so-called consitutional recognition of local government. And yes, the feds are turning it into yet another auction (all Australian elections are auctions, have been for many years) in which it will fund its favoured side. We have no want of critics, apparently (thus the IPA here and here, for example).
The weakness of the ‘No’ campaign is that local government no longer exists. We have ‘councils’ of such a size that there is nothing local about them. Indeed, their own existence should come under threat. All that the councils do could be done under the aegis of state governments. They have almost no democratic credentials, primarily by virtue of their size, that locality is irrelevant. So, rather than encourage them, abolish the councils now. (And rid us of the great bulk of libel law!)