Announcing “The 9pm Edict Public House Forum 5”

In less than three days the citizens you can hear around me — if you listen — here in Eastwood, Sydney, will be voting in the Bennelong by-election, a critical test of Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership as Prime Minister of Australia.

The day after, Sunday 17 December, we’re recording Public House Forum 5 at the West Ryde Hotel. Guests include BuzzFeed news editor Josh Taylor, and political commentator Paula Matthewson aka @Drag0nista.

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Talking copyright and web blocking on ABC 105.7 Darwin

ABC logoAs expected, last night the Australian parliament passed new laws enabling copyright-holders to take out Federal Court injunctions requiring internet service providers to block access to overseas websites that host infringing material.

Actually, as Andrew Colley wrote at CSO Online Australia, copyright-holders have to prove that the site’s “primary purpose” is to “facilitate” copyright infringement. His story outlines The Greens’ argument that the bar should be higher, requiring “flagrant” conduct.

Over at ZDNet, Josh Taylor wrote an excellent backgrounder, Village Roadshow’s long fury road to blocking piracy sites. Not a “furry road”, please note. That would be something slightly different.

This afternoon I spoke about some of these issues with afternoon presenter Lorna Perry at ABC 105.7 Darwin, and here’s that 11-minute convesation.

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The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking ATO e-tax for Mac on ABC Radio’s “PM”

ABC logoAfter 15 years, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) finally launched a Mac OS X version of its e-tax software for filing personal income tax returns — and it doesn’t work. Hah!

ATO bungles e-tax for Mac launch, wrote Ben Grubb at Fairfax. E-tax for Mac launch stumbles on developer certificate, wrote Josh Taylor at ZDNet. And so on.

I gave my feelpinion on ABC Radio’s PM program this evening. I was not complimentary. I mentioned steam trains. And sledgehammers.

The journalist was Johanna Jarvis. The presenter, Peter Lloyd. Here’s the audio.

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The audio is of course ©2013 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and over at the ABC website you can find their audio and a transcript.

Australian Electoral Commission’s ignorant error

Screenshot of Australian Electoral Commission voter registration form: click to embiggenI’d congratulate the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) on their new online voter registration tool, but they’ve made the usual arsehat mistake of assuming everyone’s name consists of at least two words.

This error is doubly stupid, because it means they didn’t test their data entry validation code by running it against the existing database of voters. Oops.

As I wrote in 2011, there’s more than 13,000 Australians with a single-word name, and I know for a fact that at least one of them is already on the electoral roll.

Anyway, apart from looking at the full screenshot, you can read Josh Taylor’s story about this thing, or try the tool for yourself.