15 Years Since The WWW Was Officially Created

First Web Server
It is really hard to be excited about 15 years of official World Wide Web existence when your home internet connection has been offline since March 2nd, and your office internet connection has now died too. Laugh at me if you like, I am. It is the only thing that I can do to cure the frustration being felt by my family and now my team at the office, at not having access to the one of the world’s most important services.

This is not a whinge looking to spank a particular provider, but rather to highlight that when the web drops out, you realise what a blessing the internet really is and how dependent you’ve become on its services.

Iprimus is our provider at home, and we have found out that the problem is the phone line has been disconnected to the Node in street. That is a serious problem, and one that was not discovered until I had our telecommunications contractor (the guy who installs our office phone system) make a site visit (at my expense of course). He laughed when he heard our phone company recommended we ‘Plug our modem into the phone socket, then call technical support to work through the problem’. Yeah, that will help won’t it!
We’ve all got broadband horror stories, this is mine and I have been living with it since March 2nd when we returned home and saw a Telstra technician working on the Node at the top of our drive way. We’ve now unleashed the telecommunications ombudsman on them by making a formal complaint, in the meantime we continue to wait for our service to be restored.

Arriving at the office this morning and were told by our provider that Optus (their wholesale partner) is having a state wide network problem and therefore the internet (and email) is down. Our provider has therefore wholesales through Optus and therefore can not help with providing a time when a resolution will be found.

We have a solution, we have plugged in a wireless HSDPA modem and are routing all the internet traffic through that. We now have web, but no email.

Happy 15th birthday to the World Wide Web, it would be nice if it could all start working again so we could celebrate with everyone else!

Share your horror stories with us, it makes you feel better I promise.

Parents, It Is Up To You

 Australia’s pre-historic classification laws do nothing to protect kids from violent video games and place even more onus on parents to protect kids from violent content.

Every time a block buster video game that contains violence hits retail shelves I hear the same outcry: ‘It Should Be Banned!’
I can understand the argument that kids with a predisposition to aggression that play violent video games can become more aggressive and should not be exposed to this kind of content – Agreed! But if you ban a game from sale will the kids stop playing it? No, like any black market item, it will go underground and they will source it another way.

Our current protections against this underground network are the classification laws. With the development of more realism in video games, these laws need some touching up. Morals aside, Australia is not going to have a classification system that adequately protects young gamers without an R-18 classification. The R-18+ is not just a rating, but a ‘Don’t even think about’ sign for kids. No R-rating means publishers instead work really hard to get their games classified into an MA15+ category. They do this so they can sell the game! The game is presented to the Classification board, they follow the laws of the classification process and the game is classified or denied from sale.

I would love to see violent games classified differently, however while our laws remain the way they are, denying a product from sale is seen by many as the best solution.
My best advice to parents, “Watch your kids playing video games – we are depending on you”.

Bye Bye CDMA

Another technology bites the dust! At the end of this month Australia will close down the national CDMA network and all its remaining customers will need to move onto an alternate mobile platform. For many customers in remote regional Australia this means moving to the Telstra NextG mobile service, some kind of mobile satellite phone (yes there are options and more are coming and I can’t wait to tell you more on this!) OR sign up to one of the competing 3G/2.5G networks, however regional coverage is not strong and chances are not available.

CDMA was established in Australia to provide a national mobile network that was mostly targeted at regional customers. This was the chosen mobile network technology used at the phasing out of analogue mobile services at the end of the 1990s as digital services grew in penetration. As it did then, digital offered better call security, extra services like SMS and better call quality (I know some of you will argue about that one!). For the telco’s CDMA offered a cheaper, more efficient method to service large geographic areas, populated with fewer customers, requiring fewer base stations than alternative network options.

The CDMA network shutdown has been widely publicised, and has been coming for some time. Senator Conroy says –
“I am satisfied that Telstra has met the equivalence tests in its licence condition and has sufficiently rectified the problems I identified in January, including handheld handset coverage, customer information provision and the availability of equipment and services”.
So with the stroke of a pen and issue of a press release, we say RIP CDMA. If you live in regional Australia and are on the CDMA service you MUST move across to the newer mobile networks or stop using a mobile phone.

With every new technology born comes the need to to let an old technology die. CDMA is the latest to join the list, what technology have you said good bye to and which one do you miss most?