PM’s reasons for nuclear “debate”

I came across this op-ed piece on News.com.au today: Energy debate is running on hot air.

The basic point is that the PM is not so much interested in nuclear energy for Australia, but instead is more concerned with replacing coal with uranium for exports. In other words, it’s all about economics, and the environmental angle was really all about getting public support for Australia “value-adding” (that is, enriching and processing) uranium so more $$ flow into Australia as the nuclear power industry grows in other parts of the world.

I still don’t agree with the PM or nuclear (in or outside Australia), but it’s an interesting take on the PM’s reasoning that I hadn’t quite put together myself.

Guantanamo hearings illegal

Seems the Supreme Court thankfully sided against President Bush this time round: Amnesty International: Supreme Court Ruling on Military Commissions.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that President Bush did not have authority to set up the war crimes tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and found the “military commissions” illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva conventions.

IR “reform”

John Quiggen has an interesting take on IR reform in The servant problem:

“To make sense of this seeming contradiction, we need only observe that the deregulation is all for employers, and the regulation is all imposed on workers and, particularly, unions. Lockouts are now almost unrestricted, but strikes are subject to strict regulation. Employers cannot be sued for unfair dismissal, but employees are prohibited from including protection against unfair dismissal in a proposed employment contract and so on.”

That’s not the interesting take, but I thought it was an interesting observation – I’ve not had a lot of time to follow the exact changes to legislation (I am in principle opposed and suspected there was some nastiness going on) – but the changes mentioned above make sense in the context of this government’s actions over the past decade.

BTW, did anyone make it to the protests the other day?

Al Gore at TED 2006

Al Gore talking at the TED conference:


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Sounds a bit like a stump speech – and the jury is still out on Carbon Storage and Sequestration (CSS) – which he suggests as a way to continue using fossil fuels safely. From what I’ve read on it, CSS seems to me to be an interim solution at best.

But he talks a lot about language and CO2 emissions, branding the “climate crisis”, and how the American public can effect change. An interesting extension to An Inconvenient Truth.

Mac woes continue

So – I took delivery of an iMac Intel 20″ for work, only to discover a display issue when the machine woke from sleep.

I took the machine in to be replaced and the fault magically disappeared – so I spent the next few days determining the steps to reproduce, when eventually, after a day without a machine, I received a replacement.

I think you can guess what happened next…

After a day the same fault appeared in this machine. After hours on the phone to Apple tech support, spending 2 hours re-installing the operating system, they finally threw their hands in the air and called it a hardware fault.

When I first called I sent them the discussion thread above, which was not added to their job system, so I’ve had to explain the fault about 3 or 4 times since.

This is the second machine with this fault, and yet Apple Australia can’t guarantee that they can replace the machine, or fix, without standard service center delays (which can be up to two weeks). This is because Apple’s structure in Australia means the retailers are separate companies and Apple can’t force them to replace a faulty machine or escalate support.

I’m now wasting another 30 minutes to an hour explaining things to the reseller (this is about the 6th time I’ve had to explain the fault and the steps that have been taken), then lose the machine for half a day or more while they confirm the fault again (because they have to prove the fault, even though Apple have already determined this), and then get a new one and hope that it doesn’t express the same issue…

Apple seem to think that this is acceptable from a customer service perspective. I’ve long said that Macs are great, when they work. But this is the BS that you have to jump through when something goes wrong. I estimate that I’ve lost about 3-4 days worth of productive time as a result of this.=, and every step I’ve had to fight to get a reasonable result (which usually means a day or two without a machine).

It’s absolutely ridiculous – and given I’m still having issues with .Mac synchronisation I feel like just giving up and buying a PC…

Youth views: poltician and media trust, refugees, global warming

The Democrats have released the results of their latest youth survey, reported by AAP.

It’s interesting that water in the Murray, refugee detention and global warming are high on the mind of young people. I knew that trust in the mainstream media was low, but the last two sentences even had me surprised:

The survey also uncovered an overwhelming distrust of politicians among Australia’s youth, with only four per cent saying they trusted politicians.

However, politicians beat the media, which came in last in the trustworthy stakes, with a paltry three per cent of the vote.

What I think is the warning bell for media companies is that this is their future audience speaking. Perhaps they think they can just keep putting out entertainment masquerading as news and get away with it. But with the advance of social media and citizen journalism, maybe they need to think again…

Doubt

Oikos – Climate change: the jury is still out?!:

Now imagine you’re concerned about climate change. You want to find out more and you want to do your bit. You read the newspaper and notice that the two scientists interviewed disagree on whether it’s happening and how bad it will be. You watch the news and notice the politicians disagree on whether it’s happening and what if anything to do about it. You go to dinner with your friends and one of them makes some interesting arguments about Antarctica getting snowier and environmental worries always being there and never amounting to anything. You weigh up the information you have and – well, the debate.

An interesting piece on how confusion about global warming is sown in the greater public.