Yesterday marked a special day in Australia. We voted ‘Yes’ to equality and a fair go. And we voted ‘no’ to bigotry.
As a nation, that’s cause for celebration, but the moment would have tasted even sweeter if it had marked the day marriage equality came into law.
Because it’s not there yet. This postal vote was not compulsory. It was also not binding. That means the politicians in Canberra can dick about forever and a day, delaying the inevitable just to pander to party factions. The result of the vote had barely been made public and already a Rabid Right politician was spruiking a marriage equality bill that would grant the right to marriage but would also water down anti-discrimination laws already in place!
I hope the Rabid Right enjoys its moment in the sun, because if they mess this up, none of the Liberals will stay in power for much longer. That is the one lesson none of our politicians seem to have learned. I guess they still think the political see-saw of the last few years is just an abberation. But it’s not. Parliament is full of Independents because we, the people, no longer trust the two major parties.
Malcolm Turnbull, our PM, has said he will make marriage equality a reality by Christmas. I hope that reality does not include the right for others to discriminate against gay couples, because reneging on the clear wishes of we, the people, will sound the death knell for his whole party.
That pile of ash and charcoal is all that’s left of a huge pile of dead branches, windfall and prunings that I’ve been collecting all winter.
I know it doesn’t look like much now, but that pile was becoming a real danger so, it had to go. And what better time to burn it off than when everything’s nice and wet!
“But isn’t it too wet to burn?” you ask.
Nope. It rained quite heavily early this morning and at 7:00 am, everything was quite wet, including the outer layer of the pile. Inside, however, that pile was dry and ready to burn. I crumpled up a few sheets of scrap paper and shoved them underneath the pile. Then I put a couple of firelighters on top of the paper and set it alight. In an hour, the original pile and huge armfuls of very wet windfall were all gone.
I suspect most of you know where I’m going with this; branch and leaf litter burn extraordinarily well, so if you live in and around Warrandyte, clean up your property now, before everything dries out and the whole area turns into a tinderbox.
Okay, now I’m going to collapse and not move for a while. 🙂
Just in case you haven’t heard/seen the news on the internet, a basic exploit has been discovered in the Wifi architecture, and that exploit has been hacked. That means potentially everything that uses wifi to communicate is vulnerable.
And that includes:
- computers via their router
- Amazon’s Alexa [I think]
- and even cars
Apparently Windows based computers should already be updated against this exploit, although how Microsoft managed to find out so quickly is a worry. However, that is only the computer operating system itself. The router also handles things like internet banking and I have no idea how secure that is now.
Android and Linux are both vulnerable. I believe Apple is too.
As most people these days have wifi routers [the box with the flickering lights that sits between your computer and the internet], I would strongly recommend checking with your ISP* about when you can expect a security update for the router. ISPs are your service providers – e.g. Telstra, Optus etc. Until you get one, I would keep internet transactions dealing with money to an absolute minimum.
Actually, you might consider going around with wads of cash for a while. No seriously.
Oh, and don’t use the free wifi in your local shopping centre because such locales are plenty big enough to make them worthwhile for hacking.**
If any of my techie friends has info to share I’d really appreciate it.
* When you sign up with an ISP, they usually provide you with a router [for a fee] so the ISP should provide info. on updating the router.
** Although this hack is universal, it is constrained by the hacker’s need to be physically within reach of the wifi he/she wants to hack. So home wifi is not that ‘worthwhile’, but a large shopping centre probably would be.
Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready was bad enough, but Dicamba is an order of magnitude worse. It’s a form of toxic, aerial blackmail.
“It’s no surprise farmers are up in arms. Dicamba spreads death with the wind, drifting onto their crops, trees, soil, and water. Farmers are now faced with a terrible choice — switch to Monsanto GMO seeds, or watch their crops die.
It’s a greedy, dangerous scheme that will make Monsanto billions and could destroy our food system.” AVAAZ
You can read more about Dicamba here:
AVAAZ is campaigning for a million signatures to try to stop Monsanto. I’m not American so my signature won’t count, but if you live in the US and you care about food and justice, please sign the petition and ask your friends to sign too.
The petition is here:
p.s. we switched over to Daylight Savings time this morning at 2am….I hate it so much. 😦
Originally posted on Climate Denial Crock of the Week: India charging ahead on renewables. Vying with China for global leadership in the growth industry of the new century. Meanwhile, Washington looks longingly to the 19th century. Watch for new video on this topic coming very soon. Meanwhile, Denmark has decided to offload oil interests, and…
via As US Dithers, World Charges Ahead to Renewables — Die Erste Eslarner Zeitung – Aus und über Eslarn, sowie die bayerisch-tschechische Region!
India is surging ahead with renewables because the India government recognizes that renewables will be cheaper in the long run than fossil fuels. China is doing the same, and both countries are positioned to become the power houses of industry in the coming decades.
But where does that leave Australia? Fumbling in the dark, that’s where. We could have become world leaders in solar technology, but the lack of political vision and will sent our innovative companies offshore, and now we import the technology from…China.
All that potential, wasted, because our politicians are ‘scared’ of upsetting the apple cart. So instead of leading, we follow, and in the process, we get left further and further behind.
Ten years ago, the Australia people voted with their wallets when they installed record numbers of rooftop solar panels. But instead of rewarding us, successive governments have tried to slow or stop small scale solar altogether.
And then there’s Adani…taxpayer dollars to fund the hope of short term gain. Pathetic.
This is an example of a captcha verification screen:
I HATE CAPTCHA!
According to the official captcha website, ‘…humans can read distorted text as the one shown [above], but current computer programs can’t.’
Well, I’ve got news for you, older humans have trouble with distorted text as well. Very few of the ones I’ve had to ‘read’ were as clean and easy to read as the example shown. I guess the bots must have become smarter.
Some of us also have trouble with verification screens that ask you to click all the pictures with cars in them, or street signs, or some other stupid thing…and then make us go through screen after screen after screen after screen….
I don’t know whether it’s just my eyesight or the fact that I take instructions too literally, or not literally enough, but I have a terrible time with captcha verification screens of all sorts. And now that Amazon has started using them as well, I’m getting seriously angry. I understand that no website wants to be invaded by bots, but do they really want to drive humans away as well?
Not happy. Not happy at all.
It’s not often two of my passions combine, but this Washington Post article links the 45th US President’s chief advisor, Steve Bannon, with a company called IGE:
In a nutshell, IGE was the brains and money behind what we gamers call ‘gold farmers’. Think virtual sweatshops in which players from poor countries earn a tiny wage for accumulating desirable ‘goods’ from online games. These valuables are then sold to lazy gamers for real money so that they can have all the goodies…without having to work for it themselves.
Most gamers hate gold farmers, and so do the developers of the games they play. It’s a despicable practice that most games do not allow. In fact, most games ban players caught farming for gold, or trying to sell these items back to players. And guess who worked for IGE during this time? Yup, Steve Bannon. And no, there is no way he could not have known what was going on. Making money off gold farmers and players was IGE’s only business model.
These days, bots have put most flesh and blood gold farmers out of work, but the practice is still despicable.
My thanks to Candy Korman for alerting me to this mindblowing article.