Is the Internet really killing print media?

The old truism that the press can never underestimate the intelligence of the public does not seem to be true. We have reached a stage where as the quality of MSM descends ever more into the gutter readership also drops. This drop in readership is not as a result competition from the Internet but from the increasing lowering of the ‘reporting’ and the lack of integrity of MSM to a stage where there is virtually nothing in MSM that can be classified as news.

Descending to the bottom of the gene pool for readership inevitably alienates those with an education level past year nine (and dropping). Whilst simple slogans and words of no more than two syllables are all the targeted readers can manage it is hardly likely that this format will appeal to a wide audience. If Mr Murdoch wishes treat readers as imbeciles why is he surprised his readership base is decreasing?

Print media is not under attack from the Internet because if there is quality in both the two mediums are complementary. The attack on print media comes from the policies of the people running it. If the quality returns to print media so will the readership.

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New Abbott Policy: Censorship.

I have heard over and over how Abbott will stop the boats. But that has changed. He now says he will not tell us when they arrive.

He really didn’t have to say that because he could rely on Murdoch not to report the arrivals. We will never know if the boats have stopped or simply that we do not know they have arrived.

This is a dangerous precedent. It is censorship. This, coupled with giving the Internet in Australia to Murdoch means that we will be deprived of any means of knowing what is really going on.

Will he also be censoring news of global warming? Will we not be told when he plunges Australia into recession? If we begin with one piece of censorship it will quickly multiply, and if we are deigned a free Internet we are in real trouble.

In the past Murdoch could be relied on to plaster Abbott all over the front page of his rags and Labour friendly news on page 15, but to say that the arrival of refugee boats will not be reported is a new low. Abbott is now admitting that he will censor the news. This really is the Fourth Reich and must be stopped.

Politicians, know your place.

There is an old Taoist saying that the along the lines that the better the government the less the people notice them. What does that say about Australia’s politicians?

The place of the politician is to legislate on what the people want, not on how it should be done. The first needs to be the will of the people, and the second, how it should be done, they have no idea.

An example of democracy working properly was the introduction of legislation to limit the pollution emitted from motor vehicles. In the 1972 Vehicle Emission Standards where introduced and progressively tightened since. (Department of Infrastructure).

The people through the parliament legislated that motor vehicle emissions would be subject to new standards and then the motor industry worked out how those standards could be met. That is democracy in action.

Neither side of the political divide in Australia has the slightest idea what to do about climate change. Nor should we expect them to. Solutions to technological problems need technological answers.

If we are to cut carbon emissions to acceptable levels the answers will come form scientists, engineers, architects and other technocrats working together. In order for technocrats to find solutions to the problem of climate change they need direction.

The way to give technocrats direction is to legislate standards. “By 2015 the maximum carbon emissions per gigawatt of power produced shall be …..”” By 2020 it shall be …… ” That is all the technocrats need to fix the problem. Given the standards that need to be met those with the expertise will find a way to meet them.

Politicians arguing about the price of carbon, or about planting more trees is totally pointless because I doubt if there is a single politician in the Australian Parliament who has the slightest understanding of the technological issues involved. Australian politicians are a bunch of Nero’s fiddling whilst the planet burns. Just pass the standards and let those who know what they are doing get on with it.

Another issue where the politicians need to step aside is the NBN. Malcolm Turnbull may have had a little to do with the internet when it was Web 1.0, a few simple text pages with no interactivity, but that was long ago. Now we have Web 2.0 with its social interaction and we are on the brink of Web 3.0.

3D printing linked to the Internet now makes it possible to download data from the other side of the world and ‘print’ (construct) the object locally. It may sound like science fiction but on-line shopping with the object we buy materialising in our homes without any physical delivery is now technically possible. What is technically possible now will be commonplace in a few years.

It will require a massive data transfer speeds for web 3.0 to work properly. Do any of our Pollies have the slightest idea how to deal with that one? Turnbull’s Web two and a half is not adequate to meet today’s needs and if the NBN is adequate when it is finished it will not be adequate for long. With the NBN it is a case of too much power is never enough.

What is need is for those who have the expertise to understand what is happening and make intelligent guesses about what form of internet we will need to be given the responsibility of telling our politicians what is really needed. If we mess this one up the results could be very expensive and potentially chaotic for Australia.

If the place of politicians in our live is examined we could well think that they are continually messing things up because they are constantly making insane statements and decisions about things they nothing about. They also prevent those who do know what they are doing getting on with it.

Our politicians know nothing about climate change. Our politicians know nothing about the Internet. They know very little about anything. But that does not prevent them from being good representatives of the people if they could remember what their position is supposed to be.

Politicians are not required to know the answers. Their job is to give direction, by way of legislation and according to the will of the people to those who do know what they are doing. Then it is the place of the politician to step aside and let it happen.

If politicians understood their place in a democracy and stop seeing politics as a stepping-stone to power we would all be much better off. We could also get things done.

Reference.

Vehicle Emissions Standards. Australian Government. Department of Infrastructure and Transport. .pdf file retrieved from https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/environment/emission/index.aspx

The NBN. Speeding up to stand still.

Malcolm Turnbull did not look happy standing behind Abbott today. Not surprised.

Much is made if Turnbull’s knowledge of the Internet because of his business dealings. I think he has plenty of understanding of how to screw internet users, but not much understanding of how the internet works.

Everyday the web pages get more complicated and more interactive. Social media grows with more complex models happening almost daily. The www. Is becoming ever more overloaded with data transfer.

My first computer connected to the Internet would download a simple static page, text only in about five seconds. I now download pages containing hundreds of times more data in five seconds.

In the near future I will be wanting to download thousands of times more data in five seconds.

But Abbott and Turnbull talk as if download time will be faster. Rubbish. A properly functioning NBN will require constant upgrading to just keep even. It will have to go faster just to stand still.

The wholesaler model for the NBN works because it provides for continuing funding to have a continuous upgrade just to keep up with the old truism that a web page has to download in five seconds.

As far as I could tell what Abbott and Turnbull are talking about is a single upgrade that will be obsolete before it is complete with no provisions for upgrading. A disaster waiting to happen. But then everything about Abbott is a disaster waiting to happen.

How Abbott will give Murdoch all of Australian Communications systems.

The first step in rewarding Murdoch for his support will be for Abbott to bring in his scheme that uses existing infrastructure for his not so high speed broadband. Since a large proportion of that infrastructure the is the out of date and dying Foxtel system owned largely by SkyB this equals giving the Internet to Murdoch.

Now that that Foxtel is the carrier for the internet Murdoch it will become an internet service provider and give free internet to all Foxtel customers. This will kill free to air television and radio. Murdoch will then completely own the Australian media.

Anti Murdoch or alternative bloggers watch out because you will be using Murdoch infrastructure. Censorship without censorship is easy if you own the infrastructure, just restrict the speed till nobody can be bothered waiting.

Finally as technology converges telephones, fax and all other communications will be under the control of Murdoch. No need to phone tap if your own the infrastructure.

For this to happen all that is needed is for a gullible public to think that free internet is a good deal. Please don’t let it happen.

Smash and Destroy.

I am no longer amazed, but constantly saddened, by the large number of people I meet and sometimes have to deal with who see success in terms of how much damage they can do to another. I am saddened even more by the multitudes that stand on the sidelines and cheer on the bringers of destruction.

The inflicting of damage is often excused, and even made to sound desirable by the dubious use of words such as competition or accountability.

Another aspect of this smash and destroy mind warp is the willingness to exploit situations that in the moment has only a glancing reality to the victim.

At the top of my list of purveyors of the smash and destroy mentality are Tony Abbot and Rupert Murdoch. They are joined by hangers on and also-runs like Alan Jones and Carl Sandilands who don’t really have a talent for anything. Hanging on to Abbott’s coat tails is the best they can do.

Look at the way Abbott uses the word ‘Opposition.’ It is the excuse to attempt to smash and destroy everything the Government does. It is the excuse to oppose everything, a sad semantic exercise by a sad little man.

Opposition in the true democratic sense is an unfortunate word. A true opposition in a democracy will support legislation it sees as desirable, question aspects where it can see as problematic, oppose legislation it sees as bad legislation. It does not men smash and destroy everything.

Opposition leader has been a very good name for Abbott. No doubt having a head kicking political thug as ‘Leader’ has bought some advantages to the Liberals, but in the long-term advantages bought by such tactics often lead to self-inflicted terminal injuries. Power by any means eventually destroys the seeker of power.

Rupert Murdoch has achieved what some see as success in the media industry through ‘Competition’ In healthy competition the competitors continuously challenge each other to do better. Each relies on the other for the motivation to do better and everybody gains.

Murdoch’s competition involves using any method possibly to smash and destroy anyone or anything that gets in the way. One of the reasons this form of competition is so destructive is that the multitude of contributions that could have been made by those Murdoch has destroyed have been lost forever.

Murdoch in this country has destroyed truth and accountability in the Australian Media and supported a despotic Opposition that has morphed into the Australian Tea Party.

The pay-off for Murdoch in this alliance of the unholy is that the Opposition policy is to give the Internet in Australia to private entities. For ‘private entities’ read Foxtel/Murdoch.

The only clear policy to come from Abbott is to give the Internet to Murdoch. This is something I oppose with all my being. My ability to rant on-line may not be much but if the ability for Bloggers and Micro-bloggers to rant against what they see as tyranny is taken away because if Murdoch owns the medium democracy in this country will be gone.

Are Newspapers Really Dead?

I do most of my work on a computer and online. I am focused (mostly) and busy when working. But I must confess I like newspapers.

I like the relaxing, almost recreational experience of reading a newspaper. I find I can read a few lines and drift away for a bit and see were it leads, and then return to the text. I don’t mind the bias provided that facts are truthful. It would be unrealistic to expect a newspaper not to be biased.

Whilst living in London I was used to buying two or more papers and getting the bias of both. Balance can be achieved by seeing the bias of several sources and deciding for yourself..

The real problem I have with Australian newspapers (Murdoch) is that the bias is not balanced. There is no left wing paper to read to give the alternative view to the rampant right wing dogma of Murdoch. The alternative view can only be accessed on line.

I live in the Land of the Cashed Up Bogans. The only state daily newspaper is the West Australian, aimed directly at the CUB market. I rarely read it. The Sunday newspaper is Murdoch’s Sunday Times. The result is that as much as I like newspapers I don’t read them. I buy the Sunday times (If a cannot score a free one), remove the TV guide and throw the rest away.

It is a paradox that if there were two biased newspapers with different slants I would read both. But as I only have the choice of right wing dogma or nothing I chose nothing.

I don’t think that newspapers are dying because of the Internet. That is a simplistic answer. I see the immanent demise of newspapers as being the lack of diversity. The greater the concentration of powers the less diversity and newspapers move closer to death.

My view is that if we want a dynamic alternative to the Internet there has to be diversity of ownership and bias in newspapers.

Happy New Year from Tony Abbott

In his new year ‘Address to the Nation’ Tony Abbott promised that in the next few months he will be revealing his plans for Australia.’ He didn’t say if these plans will be real plans or aspiration only. By contrast Julia Gillard said what the Labour Party is doing and intends to do.

Two of the many things Abbott did not mention where Ashby and his plan for the broadband network.

It is unfortunate that the Liberal party has reached such low in believability that I will be one of the many people who vote Labour, not because I necessarily like their policies but because I do not trust Abbott. I am part of the ABA (Anyone But Abbott) community.

If I am going to trust the Liberals there are some minimum changes they will need to make.

The first is to change leaders.

The second is to come clean about Ashby and clean out anyone (including Abbott) who have acted improperly.

The third is to explain fully the connection between the Liberal Party, Murdoch, Fox Media, Foxtel and the Internet.

On the last issue I don’t seem to be taken seriously when I say there is a real problem in this relationship, but hopefully it will become an issue in 2013. Watch out for any mention of the Internet being run by commercial entities.

Does Abbott plan to give the Internet to Rupert Murdoch? A conspiracy theory

After the phone tap scandals in the UK Rupert Murdoch announced that he would be re-arranging the deckchairs on his flagship. He is re-naming his media and entertainment interests the Fox Entertainment Group with Murdoch as CEO.

Fox owns twenty five percent of Foxtel through joint ventures in Sky Cable Pty Ltd and is actively increasing it’s shareholding.

Foxtel owns the infrastructure to deliver “Cable” TV. It owns optic cables, Satellite and radio delivery networks.

Tony Abbot’s policy on the Internet is to use existing commercial infrastructure. His policy sounds like an inventory of Foxtel assets. The Abbott policy gives the Internet to Foxtel, and by default to Rupert Murdoch.

There was a comment made by Tony Smith (then Shadow Communications Minister) during the 2010 election that ‘Anyone who wants high speed Internet can afford one thousand dollars a year.’ One thousand dollars a year corresponded to the cost of subscribing to Foxtel.

Now for the conspiracy theory. I might as well call it a conspiracy theory because I am certain Abbott supports will.

This how it goes. Abbott wins the next election. He gives the Internet to Rupert Murdoch via Foxtel. To gain access to the Internet people have to subscribe to Foxtel. This makes free to air radio and television and independent ISP’s redundant, effectively silencing all views that are contrary to Rupert Murdoch’s wishes. Even the ABC would have to go through Foxtel.

Convergence of technology would mean that all communications passes through the Murdoch system. Effectively communications in Australia would be under the control and supervision of Rupert Murdoch. After what happened in the UK I would not want to think about the consequences of that.

Probably just another conspiracy theory, but just to make certain the Internet must remain neutral. The Internet belongs to all of us and I would like to keep it that way.

Keeping the World Wide Web open and democratic.

The media, or those interested in the media, come up with ideas about how the media should behave. There is supposed to be balance, objectivity and other concepts that give us, the paper reading public, fairness in reporting. Dream on.

Even if media starts from a position of being fair and balanced it only takes one person who sees power as the main game to pervert the whole system.

The media offers the best way of establishing a public that is well informed with the ability to make decisions based on fact and policy. It also provides the opportunity for the power hungry to create a brainwashed and easily manipulated mob of unthinking robots that believe whatever they are told to believe. Democracy becomes mob rule.

The only way that I can see to avoid mob rule by the robots is to ensure that our physical media exists in small groups with diverse ownership. It would be unrealistic to expect balanced reporting from any block but there would be a diversity of views. We would have choice.

The media I am using now, the World Wide Web, must remain free to all views. On the web I can only express my views only because everyone else can express theirs. Freedom for one must mean freedom for all.

In the lead up to the last election Tony Abbott’s policy was private ownership of a sub-optimal system whilst saying repeatedly that he knows nothing about technology http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWAN5zkEaok . Tony Abbott’s Broadband policy has not changed. It is the only Abbott policy that is not aspirational or mobile.

We are living in an Internet environment where technology is changing so quickly that no matter what broadband speed we have it is never going to be enough and where it is essential that the Internet is never privately owned..

Privately owned would mean that every thing that any of use did on line, every email, every phone conversation and every little thing would be instantly available to the owner of the Internet. No need for phone taps when you own the line.

Subtle forms of censorship, such as slowing speeds to sites that were considered not in keeping with the Internet owner’s interests would abound. If my blog took five minutes to load would you read it?

There is an election next year. The fate of the WWW in Australia could depend on the outcome of that election. Not only the fate of the Internet is at stake. If a politically motivated entity gained control of the Internet it could be the end of democracy in Australia.

I want the Internet infrastructure in Australia to be a wholesale system where there is an entity charged with maintaining the highest levels of technology and making the system available equally to everyone without censorship.

The World Wide Web provides the conditions necessary for democracy. It give small groups or even individuals such as myself the ability to express ideas and beliefs without the power to impose those ideas or believes on others.  It establishes what is missing in the print media.  Democracy in Australia is under attack from many directions but at least we can keep the WWW open and democratic.