Is the Victorian Government running without data backups?

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In Crikey yesterday, I wrote that we’d received information that all is not well at CenITex, the Victorian Government agency which provides IT services to six out of 10 state departments. Our tipster’s more serious allegation is that there hasn’t been a full data backup in more than a year, and that “everyone in CenITex is aware of this”.

“Some time ago, what was the Shared Services Centre realised they were unable to back up all the data they manage for the participating departments in the overnight time window,” they told Crikey.

“For over 12 months they have been taking only incremental backups… There is no disaster recovery in place. Everyone in CenITex is aware of this and are told to ‘shut up’.”

The article isn’t behind the paywall, so read it in full.

Links for 23 February 2009

Here are the web links I’ve found for 23 February 2009, posted with a headache and gin.

  • Winners gallery 2009 | World Press Photo: What it says. As always, some very fine photojournalism.
  • Twitter is the new cat poo | First Blog on the Moon: Crikey cartoonist First Dog on the Moon has written a brilliant piece about Twitter and what might be called Twitterwhoring. Something he’s rather good at himself.
  • Victorian Bushfire Events | Premier of Victoria, Australia: A map of local fundraising events for the Victorian bushfires, the worst natural disaster in Australia’s history, put together with help from a little firm called Google.
  • Crisis of Credit : clusterflock: A nice animated film by Jonathan Jarvis showing how we got into the Global Financial Crisis. Some people have called is a “visualisation”. It’s not, as the imagery isn’t a proper mapping of the data, but it does help explain.
  • Where Clive Hamilton accuses me of trying to silence him | Websinthe: A bizarre story, this. Clive Hamilton confuses a call for better accountability with an attempt to silence him. It’d be funny, except that Hamilton gets unfettered access to major media in Australia, wrapping himself in a university’s cloak of respectability as he makes his pronouncements, and then proceeds to ignore the valid criticisms put to him.
  • ‘Sexting’, teen culture, technology, scandal | Salon Life: “What’s more disturbing — that teens are texting each other naked pictures of themselves, or that it could get them branded as sex offenders for life?” Apart from portraying sexually healthy youths as “hormonally haywire teenagers” and a few other tabloid clich├ęs, this article clearly outlines the problem of current child pornography laws in the context of pervasive digital media.

Links for 15 February 2009 through 16 February 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 15 February 2009 through 16 February 2009, gathered with fresh rainwater and love:

Oh well done Aunty Victoria!

The Victorian government is going to ban ATMs from gaming venues.

So, just because some people get suckered into shoving all their money into addictive machines, the rest of us are denied the convenience of withdrawing cash at the pub when we’re running short. Instead we have to go down the street — where we can be mugged more easily.

Here’s a thought. If gaming machines are the problem, why not get rid of the gaming machines?

Oh, that’s right. 8% of Victoria’s revenue comes from gaming machine taxes [PDF file], a total of 13% from gambling of all kinds.

Chairman Rudd has already said he supports Nick Xenophon’s push to remove ATMs from gaming areas. Xenophon doesn’t even become a Senator until 1 July, but already he’s an object of sincere and deep affection.

We’d already started to see the rise of a new wowserism. Imagine what it’s going to like when the balance of power in the Senate is held by Xenophon and Family First’s Senator Steve Fielding! If you thought we’d seen dull conformity before…