2012: Posts Of The Year

In this the 2012 edition of my ‘posts of the year’, we have a decidedly NBN flavour, with the statistically most popular article on my site in nine of the twelve months being NBN related.

Yes I do write about the NBN quite a bit, but that these articles are so popular on my site shows just how important the NBN has become in the national debate. People want information on it, and I try to give it as clearly and as accurately as I can.

Here now, the most popular monthly articles…enjoy!

  • January: Optus Rewards Website Sexist Much?

    A curious piece of programming on a web form on the Optus Rewards website caught quite a bit of attention in January. While it was most likely not deliberately sexist, the release into production of such a badly written form was more than a bit of a concern.

    “However, I am still concerned that a form such as this was released into production in this condition. What happened to their User Acceptance Testing (UAT)? Why does ANYONE think you need to check the title against gender to go to the bother of programming such a check into the code?”

  • February: Coalition Now Saying Fibre A Good Idea?

    Starting a year of flip-flopping and inconsistent statements from opposition communications spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, support was stated for running fibre down every street, whilst simultaneously standing against such a thing. Sounds stupid, doesn’t it?

    “So he’s praising a solution that runs fibre down every street, while bagging the NBN FTTP network, which runs fibre down every street?”

  • March: Should We Believe The Opposition On Broadband?

    In March, Turnbull’s partner in crime Paul Fletcher went on the attack about various aspects of the NBN and its rollout. Interestingly, much of his attack was in complete contradiction to what he wrote in his own book some years earlier!

    “How does it follow that the Optus network failed because it couldn’t win enough of Telstra’s customers, that the NBN will fail given that it will gain almost all of Telstra’s customers?”

  • April: Can We Have A Little Truth Please?

    Still on the NBN, Queensland MP Andrew Laming exploded in a rage of inaccurate dribble one night on Twitter, and ended up cracking the sads by blocking people who disagreed with him. As it turned out, Laming’s own “social media policy” described how politicians shouldn’t get into online slanging matches, and how blocking constituents was “the most damaging thing” a politician could do online. But he did it anyway.

    “Far from pork-barrelling, the ALP had little or no influence on the chosen POI locations, as it was based on the location of existing fibre, layed out over the years, based on market needs.”

  • May: Does Australia Really Want The NBN?

    Rolling into May, the media were going on a “do we really need the NBN?” crusade. After only 30 minutes of searching, I found a whole swathe of communities begging for the arrival of the network, as soon as possible.

    “When you subtract all the “tasty soundbites” from each of the government, the opposition, and the various slants of the major news outlets, and actually listen to Australians, it is wanted and it is needed.”

  • June: Chrome ‘Weak Signature Algorithm’ Solved

    A major version upgrade to Google’s Chrome web browser brought with it a change in policy with regards to the default levels of acceptable cryptography with certificates, catching out many who were using self-signed certificates. A little research and testing, and I found the answer.

    “This error seems to occur when the self-signed certificates are hashed with the MD5 algorithm. This is not uncommon, as the example certificate creation routine supplied by OpenSSL, which most people follow, runs through an example that uses the MD5 algorithm, which Chrome appears to be declaring to be too weak a hashing algorithm.”

  • July: Why Won’t You Answer The Question Malcolm?

    In keeping with his apparent plan to keep as much coalition broadband policy invisible as possible, Malcolm Turnbull carried on ignoring questions about his alternative policy, from anyone who asked them. High-profile technology site Delimiter was the main outlet probing Turnbull, who finally got around to answering some of the questions in late November, even if the answers were vague. And they were vague.

    “If he disputed it, he thinks it is wrong. If he thinks it is wrong, he must know – (at least in a ballpark kind of way) – what the cost will be, to know that Citigroup’s figure is wrong. Leading to the possible conclusion that he either doesn’t know the cost, or doesn’t want to tell us the cost.”

  • August: Thoughts On New NBN Corporate Plan

    August saw the release of NBN Co’s updated business plan, and the inevitable shouties from the anti-NBN media. I took some time to consume its contents, and provided my view on what the updated plan offered.

    “Overall, you won’t see these positive points in coverage from the major media outlets, yet they show quite clearly that progress on the build of the NBN – albeit slow on the surface – is ready to explode.”

  • September: Hypocritical Turnbull Demanding ‘Answers’

    In the midst of his ‘I no answer your question’ period, Turnbull started demanding answers to his own questions. Many people laughed.

    “Yet he can’t be honest and answer reasonable questions about his alternative NBN policy, or have the courage to release his policy for comparison.”

  • October: NBN Revenues Provide Interesting Calculations

    With more information emerging in regards to NBN revenue streams as applied to the current business plan, I was able to do some rather simple calculations as to what sort of revenues NBN Co should be expecting over the life of the project – and the numbers were quite surprising to many.

    “Not bad for a “white elephant” that will never pay for itself! It should also be pointed out that NBN Co didn’t start charging ISPs until October 2011.”

  • November: Ding Dong The Wicked (Internet Filter) Witch Is Dead!

    Getting away from the NBN for a moment, but staying with government technology policy, November finally saw the official death of the much hated “mandatory internet filter”, as previously promised by Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy. There was much rejoicing.

    “In a significant backdown by the Australian Government, the mandatory ISP-level internet filter previously proposed for Australia, has now been officially buried.”

  • December: Another Misleading NBN Headline

    To finish off the year, and in another example of how the mainstream media in Australia will use just about any vague of the very vague NBN connections to create a story, we were presented with this completely boneheaded article. Laughter was ample.

    “Well, the Australian mainstream media are at it again, using misleading headlines to try and trumpet misfortune upon the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN).”