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The Australian ABS Big Gov Big Fail — Census night crashes

Australian CensusThere are hours of entertainment today with the radioactive fallout from Australia’s “census night”. In terms of Australian drama, running an online census produces more laughs than anything ScreenAustralia is subsizing. The 2016 Australian CensusFail is the stuff of legend.

In theory, last night 10 million Australian Households were meant to log in to one site, and fill out sensitive personal details which the government would guard in perpetuity. We were threatened with 180 dollar per day fines for not filling out the form and told the site was secure and private and could not fail. The system was tested to handle a million submissions an hour which was supposedly “twice as many as needed“. But do the numbers — it was utterly predictable that five million households would try to fill out the form between 7 and 9 pm on the East Coast. By 7:30pm Australia’s first online census had collapsed, the site was closed. “The service won’t be restored tonight. ” As of lunch time the next day, it’s still down. h/t ColA, Dave B.

The ABS tells us proudly that “2 million people” were able to fill in the form. Bravo for the 20% success rate, eh?

This morning the embarrassed ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) tweeted that it was an attack:

@ABSCensus: We apologise for the inconvenience. The 2016 online Census form was subject to four Denial of Service attacks of varying nature & severity.

Australian Census, 2016The Head of the ABS David Kalisch, who earns a total salary of $705,030, said it was malicious:

“It was an attack,” Mr Kalisch told ABC radio this morning. “It was quite clear it was malicious.”

The Minister responsible must have twigged that advertising attacks on our sensitive national data was not quite the right message:

Small Business Minister Michael McCormack said: “This was not an attack, nor was it a hack. ““I’m not using the word attack, nor was it hacked,” he said.

Mr McCormack gave a detailed timeline of each “denial of service” incident, the first of which occurred at 10.08am yesterday when the ABS “detected a significant increase in traffic”.

So at 10am on census day the ABS was surprised by an “increase in traffic”?

When is an attack, not a hack, not an attack, and possibly not even a Denial of Service (DDOS) –  when 5 million people try to obey the government?

Map ddos attacks August 9th

Matthew Hackling, a cybersecurity expert, said on Twitter today that there was no evidence of a DDOS attack, with international data maps showing no suspicious activity in Australia in that time.

— Matthew Hackling (@mhackling) August 9, 2016

Census fail: ABS says hackers attacked website despite denials, after nearly $500,000 was spent on load testing servers, by Rod Chester.

The government has also failed to explain why, if the reason for shutting down the servers was to stop a DDOS attack, why the servers continue to be down today. The ABS this morning described it as a foreign attack, yet the ABS blocked traffic to international IP addresses at 11am yesterday.

People were already having fun with the Census before the debacle: There’s a site to generate fake names for people who didn’t want to hand over their name and address. As one tweeter said: “..why do they need our names to build the right number of hospitals?” As Chris Kenny: said: If they can fine me for not putting my name on it, surely they can just put my name on it.” If you are wondering how to fill out the census form (like most of Australia) then consider Topher Fields approach. He’s calculating the likely costs of civil disobedience, and calculating how long you can take to avoid answering.  Mind you, as Sinclair Davidson says: The government already has your name, address, tax file number, banking details, and browsing information.

It’s going global. A Russian guy in California who uses the @ABS handle has woken up to a storm of grumpy tweeters. He’s smiling, but at least one Australian suggested the nation should buy him some Tim Tams to say sorry. Seems fair to me.

UPDATE: A group called IDI claims it can provide data on all Americans for as little as $10 a head — it includes groceries, photos of cars, political donations. Instead of running a census it’s cheaper if the Australian Government just pays the Chinese for the data. It can probably get a bulk deal.

 #CensusFail is running hot

Back in Sydney:    Having wasted 45mins filling it in, I now want $180 from @ABSCensus for every day that I can’t enter MY data!

A Phazzlepotomus (@phazzles) August 9, 2016    By DDoS, you mean asking 24 million people to log into @ABSCensus on one night #CensusFail

Lord Wentworth: Invading your privacy is important to us, so please be patient. You are number 21,000,002 in the queue.

Peter Wu @pihao — How to engineer the perfect DDoS attack? Send out letters to 16m households telling them to hit http://census.abs.gov.au  on Tuesday evening

 

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188 comments to The Australian ABS Big Gov Big Fail — Census night crashes

  • #

    there is so much to discuss here even before last night’s debacle, the government cuts to the ABS, the general confusion that resulted from the roll-out but look on the bright side

    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/satire/australias-population-now-48-abs-confirms-20160810-gqp623.html

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    • #
    • #
      ianl8888

      … the government cuts to the ABS

      The Govt via Parliament gave the ABS $250million in 2015 specifically to cover census costs.

      You really are a pathetic, lefty loser

      122

      • #
        • #
          ianl8888

          All round :) :)

          Hacks by dastardly foreigners, budget cuts by dastardly LNP govts, IT contractors making giant dastardly mistakes, the ABS in full-tilt internal war, lefties defending this litany of cartoonish fantasy because Govt always does things better …

          And people being advised that the $180 per day fine won’t operate “just yet”. Said fine should come straight out of the ABS staff fortnightly salaries and continue until the fiasco is resolved.

          Of course LOL. World wide laughter.

          130

        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          Interesting, isn’t it Gee Aye? People are so used to you poking the Borax, that they miss the fact that you have made a sensible comment, for once. Well done!

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      • #
        Ian

        And you really don’t know too much. The $250 million was given to the ABS in May 2015 by Joe Hockey. Here’s what Mr Hockey said “the extra funding would go to the ABS over five years for a “critically urgent” computer upgrade”.

        A recent assessment found its computers were highly vulnerable to error, with critical components more than 30 years old.

        The Government said the investment would provide the infrastructure required by the ABS to continue delivering timely and quality economic, environmental, demographic and social statistics for Australia.

        So the money was provided by the Abbott government which also was given the assessment of the ABS computer system, nothing to do with Turnbull. Perhaps you and all the other delusional conservatives can check facts before insulting Turnbull. This site is becoming an outlet for everything that is wrong with the large L liberals in Australia who perhaps should return to their white picket fences and dream of the 1950s which is where the del cons would have us all. Hopefully this site will return to its former scientific approach sooner rather than later

        29

        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          … its computers were highly vulnerable to error, with critical components more than 30 years old.

          Hmm? Punch cards and magnetic tape? Or removable magnetic disks? What is the betting?

          At least using punch cards is traditional, and a proven technology that is human-readable.

          50

        • #

          Isn’t that just a long winded way of writing lol?

          24

        • #

          I’ll use any excuse to insult Turnbull. Is there any possibility of insulting Turnbull excessively?

          60

        • #

          It’s like the Pink Batts debacle of Krudd and midnight oil.

          The more money is given to any government program, the more incompetent the outcomes seem to get … like the U.S. Military Industrial Complex … I believe the correct term for this form of pig trough mentality is a kakistocracy.

          kak·is·toc·ra·cies: Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.

          The more money is in the trough, the bigger the piggies are that come to feed.

          The most efficient form of outcome based social welfare, is private charities that are merely well regulated and transparent to weed out the thief’s … ie, the Salvation Army; which is pretty much the only entity that cares about poor homeless Aussies, whilst the rest are all globalist NGO’s attempting to create a special interest network in overseas countries.

          As for Government Agencies, the majority of their employees are left-wing politically, because they want the cash, without the outcomes being measured.

          50

          • #
            craig thomas

            What was incompetent about the Pink Batts debacle? Where’s your scepticism?

            20

            • #
              sophocles

              … about AUD2.5 billion.

              00

            • #
              AndyG55

              “What was incompetent about the Pink Batts debacle?”

              Basically…. EVERYTHING!

              Were you involved somehow, Craig?

              02

            • #
              Gee Aye

              The pb royal commission has a heap of data and evidence. Of course you can interpret its conclusions in many ways and you can choose to not use the word incompetence. How would you describe it Craig?

              00

  • #

    We didn’t even try. We’ll wait to see what comes out of the wash and likely just send in a hand written note.

    110

    • #
      Brett_McS

      Same here. I’m in no rush to not try again either.

      90

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      You could always apply the tactic recommended in the novel “Catch 22″:

      You respond twice, once with the name Irving Washington, and once again, with the name Washington Irving.

      110

  • #
    Graham Richards

    The codicil servants & government are lying again.

    The system is too small, cannot handle the capacity. Just admit it instead of lying about hackers & attackers. We are not as stupid as you lot, we know when you’re lying.

    340

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Yep. Sure do.

      It’s when you see their lips moving.

      100

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      The Japanese have professional people to push passengers into trains, because the trains are too small to handle the capacity.

      Perhaps the ABS could employ some of these Japanese people to do the same with the data, if the systems are too small handle the capacity?

      … Just trying to be constructive, here.

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    • #
      craig thomas

      It *can* handle the capacity, but things are bound to break when…
      – you say “no thank you” when your carrier offers a DDOS package, “we’ll handle it with some access lists”. Duh.
      – Your firewall people forget that a vital part of having clusters of redundant appliances is to COPY THE CONFIG FROM THE LIVE FIREWALL TO ITS BACKUP. Double-Duh.
      – you hire IBM to provide IT services. (Or Accenture, for that matter).

      This has nothing to do with “big government”. Quite the opposite. This is what happens when governments reduce their investment in the services they provide, and outsource work to dodgy foreign corporations.

      20

      • #
        sophocles

        There there, Craig. If you get in fast before the public enquiry gets under way, maybe you’ll be able to score the contract for repairing the system. Then you can demonstrate the CTIT superior expertise and methodologies to the Australian people.

        Thank the gods I live in a different country .. :-)

        CTIT = Craig Thomas Information Technocratix

        01

  • #
    Graham Richards

    Sorry for the typo. Read civil servants not “codicil” servants.

    See I can own up to mistakes!!

    100

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Well thank you!!!

      I have just spent the last couple of hours trying to decode the meaning hidden in the codicil. ;-)

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  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    (I will send you this when you are free from attack.)

    There is no need for fuss. There was a voluntary halt on the census site. A delay will not harm data quality, unless stirrers reduce public confidence.

    They seem to have done what any computer user would do. You get a glitch, you stop to work it out, fix it, then get going again. Just wait a day or two then fill it in. Ours is done, no worries.
    My only problem is why early reports noted several denial of service attempts attributed to overseas sources. It is very hard to work out the origin of an intrusion by capable people.
    Geoff.

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    • #
      el gordo

      ‘…early reports noted several denial of service attempts attributed to overseas sources.’

      We could speculate that it was done by a small rogue operation up to mischief.

      80

      • #
        redress

        When the increases in traffic occured are very telling: I’m going with site not hacked or attacked, just punters trying to fill the damm thing in!!!

        First surge:
        10.08am
        The Australian Bureau of Statistics online monitoring systems detect a significant increase in traffic. This is sustained for a period of 11 minutes causing a system outage of approximately five minutes.
        By my reckoning around about when mums get back from doing the school run and the morning shopping

        Second surge:
        11:46am
        Another increase in traffic is observed
        Better do the census before lunch

        Third surge:
        4:58pm
        Another modest increase in traffic
        Just got time to do the census before I leave work

        Fourth Surge:
        6:15pm
        Another modest increase in traffic
        Just got time to do the census before we eat

        Final surge:
        7:30pm
        Thousands of people log on to complete their census forms, leading to a large increase in traffic to the site.
        Lets get this done before the Olympic coverage starts

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        • #
          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          G’day r,
          I agree with your timetable, and analysis, but would add:
          10am EST = 8am WA time, when I would expect an additional load to come in from that state.

          Also, I can see a significant increase in transaction load, by a factor of two or three, as frustrated people hit multiple keys in an attempt to get a response, followed by use of a different machine, as suggested by the app, to bypass the problem (!).

          Possible bias: I used to work for IBM, taking the early retiement option in 1992.
          Cheers,
          Dave B

          50

          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            It is not yet mandatory for you to admit to working for IBM. This is not a rehab support group.

            In fact, the question is probably moot, since 97% of anybody who has worked in ‘puters, has likely worked for IBM at some stage in their career.

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            • #
              John in Oz

              40 years of computing work and none for IBM. Not sure it’s a good thing to be a 3%er.

              I did work for a company that supplied the gaming machines for most of Oz (Tatts, SATAB, Vic & SA Lotteries, etc) and we were able to process hundreds of bets PER SECOND with sub-second turnaround between putting the betting slip in the reader to it coming out again after being processed and duplicated on the hot standby system in case the running system failed.

              Perhaps the ABS need some wagering experienced programmers/system designers who make these high throughput, real-time systems.

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              • #
                Wally

                Sadly John all that specialised stuff is gone. It’s all done with Unix and Oracle databases these days. General solutions like that are good for general problems. Do they scale? Hmmm…. not always!

                10

      • #
        Gordon Cheyne

        The dog ate my census form.

        50

      • #
      • #
        gigdiary

        We could speculate that it was done by a small rogue operation up to mischief.

        Probably a lone wolf attack. And when they tell us this has nothing to do with Islam, for once they’ll be telling the truth.

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    • #
      handjive

      As of posting this comment, no one has taken responsibility for the “attack”.

      Who would pass up on the media coverage?

      60

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      My only problem is why early reports noted several denial of service attempts attributed to overseas sources.

      It was, I surmise, a knee-jerk reaction to deflect blame somewhere else, anywhere else but, the Management of the ABS.

      If you move in Public Service circles, you realise that fear of censure is the dominant motivator, especially at Senior Management level.

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      • #
        ianl8888

        … fear of censure …

        Fear of accountability – the real Public Service nightmare.

        Seriously – a cyber attack from overseas ? Must be those pesky Methodists from Madagascar again.

        Absolutely pathetic.

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    • #
      el gordo

      Someone on the 7.30 Report said it was clearly the work of the Middle Kingdom, apparently over a swimming insult.

      100

      • #
        craig thomas

        Any device you connect to the internet will start being bombarded with logon attempts from China within minutes of you putting it on the internet.
        And yet – all other online government services (not to mention all of our home routers) appear to be able to cope with this.

        The boss of ABS knew this was coming, and he is being paid $700,000pa to manage his department. He needs to go.
        The ABS CIO is some kind of marketing graduate with no obvious training or experience in technology that can explain how he gets to be a Federal CIO. He needs to go too.
        IBM need to be barred from government tenders, OR, government contracts need to be re-drafted by somebody competent so that the risk actually *is* taken on by the outsourcer, and not by the taxpayer.

        10

        • #
          sophocles

          I can see you have contracted to the Australian Federal Government before in your polymath capacities as an IT expert, systems analyst, systems designer and constructor, database designer and constructor, web server administrator and web services designer and engineer and programmer, not to mention your skills in benchmarking and traffic management.

          Until a public enquiry is held and the report issued, I wouldn’t be so quick to fling blame around at all. Governments have a habit of being parsimonious in the face of all IT advice, they’re notorious for it, and underspend by at least a factor of three. Of course it’s always the contractor’s fault—until the enquiry nails down the point of failure and lists all the reason(s) for it unequivocally.

          P.S Craig: Your ISP firewalls your home router/modem. If they didn’t, you would have become all too familiar with this warning issued back in 2009.

          00

    • #
      Russ Wood

      In South Africa, this happened when they tried to introduce a countrywide vehicle licensing system, first junking the old provincial systems before going ‘big bang’. Then one couldn’t licence or re-licence a vehicle for about FOUR MONTHS before it was (almost) fixed.
      Anyway, what’s a national census doing online? What proportion of households in Aus have internet?

      10

  • #
    jorgekafkazar

    You have fallen into the hands of utter twits.

    60

  • #

    Without census information Mike Baird would never have known that commuters on a wet Tuesday night want to catch a light rail to take them through heavy traffic to places like the racecourse (horses only!), Fox Studios, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Cricket Ground, someone’s shopping centre, someone’s flash new hotel etc. Mike might have assumed, mistakenly, that people just want to go home on a wet Tuesday in winter, preferably underground so that traffic is reduced not increased, and small business isn’t brought to its knees. What a waste of public money that would have been!

    And how would Clover have known about the massive demand for cycleways without census information? Can you imagine Sydney without hundreds of thousands of cyclists rolling sustainably along Clover’s network? You only get this sort of golden information with…an Australian Census!

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    • #
      James Murphy

      Are carbon fibre or other composite bicycle frames “sustainable”, or even recyclable…? Not to menton all that lycra…

      It’s a good thing they are saving the planet by using fossil fuel based technology to sanctimoniously demonstrate their lack of reliance on fossil fuels. (OK, so not all cyclists are like this, but there are more than enough who are)

      40

  • #

    UPDATE: A group called IDI claims it can provide data on all Americans for as little as $10 a head — it includes groceries, photos of cars, political donations. Instead of running a census it’s cheaper if the Australian Government just buys the info direct from China.

    232

    • #
      Olaf Koenders

      Awesome.

      In relation to the ABS “hack”, we need to find a cartoonist (Josh?) with Shorten at a terminal.. :)

      110

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      It would probably be more accurate too.

      Independent intelligence companies have no reason to lie, and every reason to try to be more consistent than their competitors. At the end of the day, they are all judged on quality.

      80

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      But Jo, that would mean that they would have to get rid of some superfluous public servants. This is contrary to Public Service policy (hence government policy) which is that the service ever expands as they try to control everything.

      30

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      UPDATE: A group called IDI claims it can provide data on all Americans for as little as $10 a head — it includes groceries, photos of cars, political donations.

      I’m not surprised. I stated roughly how easy it is to develop the data mining software here. It’s almost trivial.

      The average American gives away so much information a truck couldn’t haul it away. Everything from supermarket discount and customer loyalty cards to FaceBook and back again is all looked at and today’s computers are big enough and more than fast enough to cross reference it all and get everything associated with the right person.

      Privacy has lost its meaning.

      So Jo, look me up and let me know what you find. Or maybe not, I might be afraid of the result…

      40

    • #
      MudCrab

      It is actually incredibly easy to find data on people without even invading their privacy.

      Back a few elections ago I was helping with doorknocking with my then local candidate. Part of our instructions was to note down anything you found out about the people so that the party knew how to best target election promises.

      So what could you often find out JUST by walking up the driveway and knocking on the door?

      Cars in the drive? Number. Type (family car? Mid life crisis?) Child seat? Child seat was the big giveaway, but just looking at the cars gave away a lot.

      Shoes on the front doorstep? Compare sizes for a rough count of the number of people living there.

      Toys and or bikes? Again the number and size of bikes could give an excellent idea of the number and ages of children at that place.

      So without even speaking to anyone who lived there you already knew if this place was worth targeting for the latest school based election promise. All that without breaking a single law.

      50

  • #
    Gary in Erko

    Off topic crimate climate reports & ACMA – Bolt’s version and The Consternation’s version

    83

    • #
      Gary in Erko

      Three red thumbs against only five green; that’s almost a record. Are the reds because it includes a link to The Conversation? That’s there to demonstrate the stupidity of their articles, and ever more so, of their comments. No-one on it, nor at ACMA wanted to know Bolt’s opinion.

      20

  • #

    The first thing I mentioned to my good lady wife when it was announced that the Census would be carried out online was that there was no way the system could handle that many people logging into the one site ….. surely.

    She replied, what about old people with no computers or computer skills, and I told her there was a hotline so they could get the usual paper booklet, and they should have realised something was wrong when that hotline melted down for days on end, with people waiting hours on hold to no avail.

    I still had the sneaking suspicion it would (a) melt down, or (b) slow to a crawl, and imagine people still on dial up, so I got in early at around Midday yesterday, and did it. I had no trouble at all, and as there’s only the two of us, it took me barely 15 minutes to complete.

    The very last question on the Census was one I found puzzling.

    It asked ….. is your household connected to the Internet.

    Thank heavens it was just a check box because Golly Gee, had there been a space for comments, I might have been tempted to write in ….. how do think I filled out this thing in the first place? (But I guess my response would have seen mine been declared Informal!)

    It was a lot easier than filling out the original booklet format with the Online version having just the check boxes.

    Glad I did it when I did.

    Surely someone must have envisaged this happening.

    Tony. (or should that be *492AQR77/BOQ9210 for the next 99 years, Big Brother eat your heart out)

    180

    • #
      Another Ian

      Tony

      What hourly rate did you charge for that job?

      As one of the under – (almost everything – insert term of the moment) rural population we actually got a visit and a paper form.

      Which I used on the principle that ABS now has to pay to scan it (rather than me doing it for free) and for postage (rather than me paying to send data to complete it)

      70

    • #
      Gary in Erko

      Logged in at about 6:30pm Tuesday night. Expected to need the thesaurus to find innovative & entertaining new curses. No problems. All done within 15 minutes. It must have been just after the other 5,000,000 had given up.

      30

    • #
      Ken Stewart

      Hi Tony

      I did mine earlier and sent it at 6.30, no problems, got an email thanking me as well. Yes, last question was a doozy.
      Ken

      50

      • #
        Ian Hill

        Not only that Ken, but be assured that over the past five years thousands of staff-hours were spent debating the wording of that question (and associated inclusions) to ensure that people would not be laughing at it!!

        40

    • #
      ianl8888

      … is your household connected to the Internet

      Actually, I don’t think it’s an unreasonable question. People may be filling it out on someone else’s machine, or an internet cafe, or a mobile or …

      That is, it’s not unreasonable if you need to know if online voting is a goer, or if the NBN will eventually do better, or whatever.

      The series of questions I find most unreasonable and threatening relate to how many bedrooms in the house, how many people etc. There is an undercurrent in social engineering propaganda that older people should be forced to downsize, even if they don’t want or need the trauma. Census data may allow a cost benefit calculation to be made – ie. how many votes would we lose as against how may this help the housing market by opening up larger family homes for sale. If this is not the point to those questions, then what is the point ?

      70

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        The series of questions I find most unreasonable and threatening relate to how many bedrooms in the house …

        Let me see … We definitely have one room with a bed in it. We also have a room with a pool table. Then we have another room for watching television, and yet another room for my good lady to do her arts and crafts (mustn’t forget that). Then there is “the rumpus room”, not that I am capable of “rumpusing” at my age, oh, and we also have the storage room, for all those artifacts I picked up in my travels, and can’t bring myself to throw out.

        Now, what was the question again? Oh yes, “how many bedrooms in the house?” Only one, according to the above list.

        70

      • #
        Mark D.

        I question the usefulness of the number of bedrooms. Is it a bed or a room they want counted? I thought it was people they want counted. Is it a single or king size (do you know how many individuals can sleep on a king size bed?!

        Hell, if you were the navy and with hot bunking you could have 12 people using one king size bed.

        20

    • #
      Mari C

      After the great USAn debacle of everyone signing up for “Obama Care” at the last minute and locking /crashing the various networks and systems set up for sign-up (some were state-by-state, some were federal, depending on a lot of minutia regarding Medicaid/medicare and states rights and such) and news stories following, I know I saw some on the international press sites poking fun at the US, you’d think that someone in another government would get half a clue.

      Oops, wait. Government. Never mind.

      00

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Just tried again online with a message saying,
    ‘ Thank you for participating in the Census. The system is very busy at the moment. Please wait for 15 minutes before trying again. Your patience and cooperation are appreciated. [code 9]'

    I'll try just once every night for the two weeks, if unsuccessful I'll wait for the field officer to come around and request a paper form, I'm not wasting another second on incompetence.

    I delivered a couple of thousand census letters on my round (small and large ones) and people were still questioning me about fines or online security etc. (people assume we know everything :) )

    60

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      One can imagine the conversation with the Census web servers:

      “thank you for calling. Theres no one here right now, but of you leave a brief message after the beep, we’ll get back to you when one of our 72 people are back from stress leave….”

      The only thing I have noticed is that often govt stuff ups are cover to change tack radically.
      As such, you could imagine that they might now try to push the OneGov ID system to integrate it more tightly with everything to *cough* “restore confidence”…..

      I know stuff ups in Govt are legion, but in this day and age, and on such a public scale, its a bit hard to believe they got it so publically and badly wrong.

      I recall when that equine virus conveniently “escaped” from a ( what else ) a govt lab – the real result was being able to impose yet another layer of un-neccessary control over animal movement in australia …tin foil hat? Nah…..classic problem-reaction-solution in action….

      60

      • #
        Yonniestone

        Breaking news: Yonniestone successfully submits 2016 Census form online, Kazakhstani relatives claim a “very nice great success!”

        OS if you want another conspiracy theory how about all the government bowel scan kits mailed out to the populous, yes they save lives but a handy way to collect identifiable DNA no? :)

        30

  • #
    BoyfromTottenham

    I think the big mistake that the government / ABS made was a disastrous failure to communicate with Joe Public. I have been filling out paper census forms for decades, and until his year I understood that the rules were: the Census form contained virtually all the information that the average person would need to confidently complete the form; It was delivered by mail to your residential address a few days before Census night (or you could pick one up at a Post Office, etc.); It should be filled out ON (or shortly after) Census night, so that it accurately captured who was at this address on Census night (and thereby minimise compromising the data by double counting, etc); It would be sealed in the envelope provided by the ABS and picked up by an authorised person a few days after Census night, and then processed.
    This year the rules seem to be: Someone at your residential address will probably receive an individual login code to the ABS Census site (which assumes you have access to a computer or smartphone) in a one page letter (which provides almost no other useful information about any aspect of the Census) provided by the ABS about two weeks before Census night; Someone at the address will attempt to fill out the online form ON Census night (but the ABS decides to open the Census site about 10 days before Census night without informing citizens that the Census relies on recording who was at that address on Census night, which will be several days after they can log onto the Census site, and then fails to ensure that the Census site will actually operate under the huge load that a ’1 day in every 5 years’ event implies), and also fails to tell citizens that they actually have until September 23 to fill out the Census form online without penalty; That those using paper Census forms will not be visited by an authorised person but will need to submit the form (in person?) at one of various collection locations; That citizens who fail to submit the Census form will be fined $180.00 every day that it is outstanding (without explaining that the form can be submitted up until September 23 without penalty).
    I think that this fits the general definition of a Grade One FusterCluck!

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    • #
      rapscallion

      So what would happen say, if one were out of the country during a census. Do you still get fined?
      I only ask because during the last census in the UK I was at sea (and the census form did stipulate that it was to be completed by those staying at that address for that night). I was never chased up.

      40

      • #
        Originalsteve

        I think the AFR put it best this morning – the ABS had a bunch of people it could have asked help from who’d done this stuff before, but seemed not to have ( if I understood the article correctly ). As such, own goal….

        That said, and putting my “I wonder what this convenient crisis will be used for?” ( along the lines of “never let a good crisis go to waste” school of thought ) and ponder this – the current PM is a tech fan – he spent time in the old AGIMO portfolio and loves tech. If we assume that we are moving deeper and deeper into all encompasising state surveillance of everything ( Christian expect this as preceding the eventual rise of the biblical Antichrist and arrival of the Mark of the Beast ) , then we might expect this “opportunity” of clear and present and glaringly ( almost in a comic manner ) *obvious* opportunity to now overhaul both govt-citizen ID mechanism ( issuing everyone with an online ID number ) and eventual pushing people to use online voting, swearing on their great Aunt Daisy s grve they have learnt from their mistakes to provide austrlia with a better system…..

        Why am I cynical? Maybe because I ( unfortunately ) understand how they think, and also becasue I understand that this stuff is usually stage-managed. As such, this may well be a deliberate fail to allow an overhaul of many govt systems to suit the govt and promote its unspoken agenda of greater surveillance and control and monitoring of the entire population. Watching what comes out of this will be the key.

        50

        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          Yep, That is my take also. Whether it was planned or not, it will be made use of. I am just curious as to how and when?

          50

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            What ever it will be, it will only increase control/surveillance over the population – thats all that ever seems to happen.

            As a few keen observers commented about post-9/11 Amerika – the 9/11 event was the best excuse the US govt was ever going to get to impose war-like powers over the entire population and extablish a massive police state with near total dicatorial powers for the president, but by design these powers would never be wound back.

            20 years a go when people said they know of what was then dissed as “tin foil hat” plans for the UN to occupy american soil, people would have laughed. Now hewver people are aware of the draconian powers the gummint has, along with the menacing precence of FEMA camps. Australia has its own FEMA camps- most schools now have 6 foot high black spiked fencing around them , so every town now has holding and processing facilities for dissenters.

            Who will be the dissenters? Anyone who opposes the UN/NWO, Christians, Jews, gun owners, libertarians, anyone who has independence of thought, anyone who dares question the NWO…..

            10

        • #
          rapscallion

          I’m inclined to concur. Actually I was never going to complete the census anyway, as I don’t think its any of their business asking some of the questions they do. Besides its also an offence under the terrorism act to “attempt to obtain information about any members of the Armed Forces, former members of the Armed Forces etc etc. As I fall into that category (veteran), by not completing the census form I am preventing them from committing an offence :-) What’s not to like.

          I can’t trust government as far as I can throw it with two broken arms sitting in a wheelchair.

          30

          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            I can’t trust government as far as I can throw it with two broken arms sitting in a wheelchair.

            Quite possibly, but it would certainly be fun to watch.

            00

  • #
    TdeF

    The ABS is clearly not agile enough. “For Australia, it’s about being agile, innovative and startups.” I think he meant stuffups.

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    • #

      TdeF – you underestimate the ABS. They are so agile they’ve moved direct into entertainment — comedy gold!

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      • #
        Yonniestone

        The ABS schticking it to Australians via online satire, I suspect Brad Keys has a hand in this.

        40

        • #
          Bulldust

          The ABS is, for the most part, quite unimpressive as statistics agencies go. They used to get confused why WA both imported and exported gold. This apparent irregularity occurs because trade statistics in this country fail to distinguish between dore gold and refined gold. There is a refinery next to the Perth airport which upgrades dore to refined gold. Because it has a capacity well in excess of WA and Australia’s dore gold production, it brings in additional amounts from neighbouring countries to refine. Not exactly rocket surgery.

          Don’t ask them how to marry up State Final Demand to Gross State Product … they give you quite a worrying stare. The impression I get is that most of the people who are any good flee the ABS whenever possible. I know of a couple such individuals myself. What remains… well, you get the picture.

          As to the ABS being agile … /chortle

          30

          • #
            Another Ian

            Bulldust

            That A over T public service refining system again.

            Something I read the other day

            “He warned that if another war broke out there would be a disastrous period for six months while those who had reached high positions on inadequate abilities in peacetime would have to be replaced”.

            From R.V. Jones (1978), “Most Secret War”.

            And that was in 1930 – what we’ve got has been festering for about 70 years!

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    • #
      ghl

      For agile read dodgey.

      50

    • #
      ivan

      TdF, you must remember that this debacle was being run by the ABS but executed by IBM in the ‘cloud’ and we all know just how well they did in Queensland.

      The whole thing is noted in The Register http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/1/index.html (scroll through you can’t miss the posts) but the best parts are the comments.

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  • #
    ROM

    Now, about that on line voting that turncoat and shortie and etc are all pushing!

    The ABS by claiming a DOS attack shut down their servers has very successfully shot down any on potential on-line voting legislation for a couple of elections ahead.

    If the ABS can’t keep its own server house in order and free for DOS attacks, as they claim to have occurred, then what hope has the Electoral Commission of doing so when there is a heck of a lot more power and influence to be gained by some very nefarious parties if they can get their doxies of politicians into the parliament.

    Alternatively and far more likely there was no DOS attacks, just volumes of traffic from census internet traffic and it was sheer incompetence seriously exacerbated by lying about it afterwards on the part of the ABS.

    Fifteen and a half million voters were enrolled federally for the 2016 election.

    Now that we can see and have experienced the consequences in a fairly minor matter as far as the governing of Australia is concerned, with the prospect of online voting being enacted sometime soon , throw in a number of Electoral Commission servers that are likely to experience DOS attacks as claimed by the ABS and are hacked to both boost votes for a series of doxy politicals that are beholden to some very shady and nasty political set up, and to give the appearance of a wide distribution of votes in favour of that political set up.

    A couple of tens of thousands of votes lodged in the right polling booths would have got Australia a completely different lot of politicians and a completely different government at the last election.
    So the stakes are very high indeed for any organisation and / or party that can hack some electoral commission computers somewhere to give themselves that small margin of apparent but in reality non existent votes which would give them the numbers to get their doxies into power.

    Or even better with online voting, just hack the electoral commissions computer system and shift some votes around from where they won’t have much or any political impact to where they will win another seat or three or four.

    The Electoral Commission wouldn’t know where to start to sort out the mess before the next election was due. Thats if they even ever realised they and the voters had been thoroughly done over.

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    • #
      ROM

      Anyway the whole Census internet debacle is an excellent example of what happens when the public servants aka Government decides it knows how to run something.
      Another example of potential joys of socialism where the government runs everything.

      Just ask the Venezuelans!
      But the advantage the Venezuelans have is that under their socialistic regime even the internet is unlikely to have worked from the get go for a census!

      And the Census papers would not have got printed in time let alone distributed except to where they would reinforce the “rights” of the governing Dictator to continue to govern.

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      OriginalSteve

      Yes but I suspect they have deliberately muddied the waters to let Joe Average just swallow what ever is repeated the most often in the media until they go back to sleep again ( about 10 mins…)

      Seems to work well with any meme-du-jour …ISIS, overseas dictators, reds under the beds….etc

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Never ascribe to malice, what can be achieved by incompetance.

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      • #
        Mark D.

        RW, I believe one cannot rule out; that many people with malice in their heart are also incompetent and vice versa.

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      I seem to recall in the USA it was amply demonstrated that the electronic voting machines had a backdoor that could be easily accessed….many in the US consider the 2000 election was the last fair one.

      10

  • #
    pat

    love watching the technocrats fail:

    more than “possible”:

    9 Aug: BusinessInsider: Paul Szoldra: Hackers show it’s possible to ‘overwhelm’ Tesla’s sensors — with some frightening results
    “Normally the car will not move. However, when we jam the sensor it moves,” Chen Yan said in a talk on Friday while playing a demo video of a Tesla Model S attack.
    “It hit me,” he added, to audience laughter.
    It’s important to note that the demonstration was a proof-of-concept that did not mimic real-world conditions today…
    But the experiment suggests that theoretically, a few years from now, somebody could make a device that could jam certain sensors in a nearby car…
    Much of their presentation focused on the Tesla Model S, but they also successfully jammed sensors on cars from Audi, Volkswagen, and Ford.
    In a video demonstrating an attack, the researchers jammed sensors in the rear of the Model S, so the car did not know it was about to hit a person standing behind it. In another, they “spoofed” its Autopilot to trick it into thinking it would drive into something that was not actually there.
    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/defcon-tesla-jamming-spoofing-autopilot-2016-8?r=US&IR=T

    plus a bit of fun:

    9 Aug: ClimateChangeNews: Megan Darby: UN security council dampens Figueres hopes for top job
    Former climate chief gets eight “discourage” votes and five “encourage” in the latest secret ballot
    To replace Ban Ki-moon as secretary general, a candidate needs to win the backing of nine countries…
    While widely adored by climate advocates, critics note she is relatively inexperienced in security matters.
    Helen Clark, UN development chief and former New Zealand prime minister, also found popular support did not translate into security council backing.
    A favourite at the outset, she got six encourage and eight discourage votes in the last round…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/08/09/un-security-council-dampens-figueres-hopes-for-top-job/

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  • #
    LightningCamel

    Oh dear God, what an awful day, not because the abs site crashed, blind freddie could have predicted that, but because I have to agree with Rob Oakeshott, what a traumatic thing to have to do.

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    Olaf Koenders

    Is this any different to the ObamaCare website experience?

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  • #
    sophocles

    ROTFL

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  • #
    ROM

    And no, I didn’t put mine or my wife’s name on the form. Just a line through that name section.

    I did include the address so they can figure out who the form came from if the they are that concerned about it.

    And I did sign the form with my personal indecipherable Rune.

    So I figure if they come after this old pensioner with their $180 fine they obviously have identified me in any case so as to fine me which completely negates their reasons for fining me for not including my name on the form.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      They work on the principle that Murphy’s Law, was not invented by Murphy.

      It was another fella with the same name.

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    Olaf Koenders

    I wonder if the APEX Gang filled theirs out.. Ya know.. job title, race, favourite weapon..?

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  • #
    pat

    8 Aug: Watchdog.org: Johnny Kampis: Google employees have enjoyed revolving door during Obama administration
    More than 250 people have moved from Google and related firms to the federal government or vice versa since President Barack Obama took office.
    The Google Transparency Project, the work of Campaign for Accountability, poured over reams of data to find 258 instances of “revolving door activity” between Google or its associated companies and the federal government, national political campaigns and Congress since 2009.
    Much of that revolving door activity took place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where 22 former White House officials went to work for Google and 31 executives from Google and related firms went to work at the White House or were appointed to federal advisory boards by Obama…
    http://watchdog.org/265844/google-obama-revolving-door/

    10 Aug: ABC: Sue Lannin: Fairfax posts $1b loss despite Domain real estate advertising profit
    Fairfax Media has made a nearly $1 billion loss for the 2016 financial year because of more write-downs and redundancies…
    Fairfax made an $87 million profit in 2015…
    At 10:30am (AEST) Fairfax shares were down more than 6 per cent to $0.93.
    They fell as much as 9 per cent in early trade.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-10/fairfax-posts-large-loss-despite-domain-profit/7712852

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Whats that word when you cant tell the difference between govt and private enterprise ????

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      8 Aug: Watchdog.org: Johnny Kampis: Google employees have enjoyed revolving door during Obama administration

      And of course Google owns or has a big interest in almost everything that’s the slightest bit useful on the Internet, FaceBook and You Tube being two examples.

      They have succeeded far beyond their founding dream could have imagined and now really need to be broken up under antitrust law. But what do I know? I’m not only not a lawyer, I’m just a guy who’s watched the world around him go by for a long time and tried to learn from what he’s seen and heard. And of course, no amount of critical thinking ability will stop a liberal anyway.

      I have no FaceBook account and will not sign on when running the Chrome browser, neither will I fill out a profile on any site anywhere anymore. The data miners are everywhere and it’s an almost trivial job to write the code to do that job and then refine it to become an absolute monster.

      It’s bad enough that I’m certain that somewhere in some White House back office there are not only real people reading Jo Nova every single day but there’s also some data mining program trolling the pages of each thread for remarks they don’t like and taking names but even worse to know that every search engine is recording every search you make and associating it with your IP address or with your name and street address if they can get it. The objective of recording all your searches of course, is to be able to present you with targeted ads tailored to your interest. But it’s so easy to abuse that a 6th grader could come up with the idea.

      And before you ask, yes that scares me. But I’m simply determined not to be intimidated by it.

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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        PS: Little do these advertising types know that Chrome has several ad blockers that when installed in tandem will stop every single ad they want to put up (so far at least).

        Of course they really do know but can’t do much about it as long as Google offers the blockers to users.

        The blockers are so good that they even stop the button that leads from Jo’s site to whos.amung.us, which I find interesting. But the blockers can easily be told to go inactive on any domain you don’t want them to interfere with.

        They are both automatically updated too. So I’ve been without troublesome ads for a long time and love every minute of it.

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  • #
    Olaf Koenders

    We were threatened with 180 dollar per day fines for not filling out the form and told the site was secure and private and could not fail.

    I wouldn’t worry about hollow threats of fines. There will likely be about a million people that don’t fill in the form or their names (look out xenophon). That’s an awful lot of follow-up. I can’t see armies of ABS personnel going door-knocking any time soon.

    If you receive another letter from the ABS or Census people, just send it back. You’re not obliged by law to accept it.

    Besides, there’s no such thing in this country as legal – let alone lawful – slavery, so if they order or threaten you to do their bidding for free, it’s unlawful. Do it and charge them a reasonable amount.

    Further, the Census form is addressed “To the householder”. Is that your name? Do you open and pay bills addressed to that “person”? You’d be silly.

    Many will likely get lost in the post. There’s no way they can prove (which they must) that you didn’t fill it in and send it. How dare they threaten you to do things for free, which cost you personal time and the taxpayer $quillions.

    As MEN and WOMEN, they can’t lawfully force you to do anything for them for free, or at all, unless you identify as a “person”.

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    • #
      Reed Coray

      In the mid 1930s to the early 1960s Alcatraz (commonly referred to as “the Rock”) was an famous (infamous) United States federal prison in San Francisco Bay. When the prison opened, one of the rules the inmates had to follows was the “no talk” rule, which with a few exceptions forbade the inmates from talking to each other. Eventually the rule was abandoned–as I understand it primarily by the simple expedient that the inmates decided one day to start talking. What was the prison going to do–put everyone in isolation? I wonder what would happen if a large percentage of the Australian population protested by ignoring the internet census? Would the protesters be sent a bill (actually a series of bills–one each day) for their noncompliance? The good news would be that based on the census debacle, if the Australian government sent 1,000,000 such bills via the internet, John Doe would get 1,000,000 bills and the rest of the citizenry would be off the hook.

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      • #
        Olaf Koenders

        LOL.. True. Problem is, if they can’t get the census right, they probably couldn’t get any other aspect of it right either.

        But your point about Alcatraz is true. If people realise the threat against them is impossible to carry out, they’ll rail against it. But that was a simple prison rule. It doesn’t help them escape the island.

        People are generally naïve when it comes to grabbermint and its motivations. To further complicate the matter are the millions of politician’s wet dreams drawn up as statutes and most people don’t have the time or bother to self-educate, so the moment grabbermint threatens them into submission compliance, they’ll conform although in just about every case the threat could not legally be carried out.

        The good thing is that it only requires a little knowledge and a realisation that you’ve been tricked into thinking you’re someone something you’re not. Then the threat goes away.

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    Ian Hill

    I guess the ABS is doing some hasty revisions to the post enumeration survey which is always held to ascertain the percentage of people who missed being on a census form for one reason or another (or were double-counted – it happens). From memory it was usually between 1-2% for most areas. I reckon this time up to 10-20% of the population will be under-counted because people simply won’t bother – having tried one or two times online they can just claim they didn’t know if it worked or not. No-one will be fined and the $180 a day figure is just a deterrent – a bluff if you like.

    Small area population projections will suffer because they rely on assumptions from migration patterns derived from the census (the questions about where people lived 1 and 5 years ago).

    I ordered a paper form not because I don’t trust the ABS with its census data – I do. However I don’t trust the internet – simple as that. I put my name on it – they know where I live anyway!

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  • #
    el gordo

    O/T

    China snaps up GBR island.

    SYDNEY – ‘Shanghai-based China Capital Investment Group has bought an island at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia for about A$25 million ($19.21 million).

    ‘The South Molle island in Whitsundays had been put up for sale by owner Craig Ross in April, Fairfax Media reported on Wednesday.’

    China Daily

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    • #
      el gordo

      They have just bought Renmark Airport and Fairfax Rural print media is ready for plucking.

      20

    • #
      el gordo

      Scott blocks sale of poles and wires to our biggest trading partner.

      ‘Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has made a preliminary decision to block the sale of New South Wales electricity provider Ausgrid to Chinese and Hong Kong bidders, citing “national security concerns”.

      ABC

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    theRealUniverse

    As the ATO, mygov..etc already has all your details, name address..etc etc. AND border control has all the persons entering the land of OZ and leaving on any day plus births deaths register has ALL the births and deaths registered..wouldnt it be cost effective to get all THAT data instead of this debacle?
    Looks like a RESET is in order, and a general sacking. (As would happen in China).

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    pat

    good thread for posting the following series (Parts 2 – 6 are linked at bottom of Part 1, with more to come), from Bev Harris’s Black Box Voting website:

    Fraction Magic – Part 1: Votes are being counted as fractions instead of as whole numbers
    http://blackboxvoting.org/fraction-magic-1

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    aussiepete

    The Government has been telling us for 50 years that the census is important for planning and efficient Government. Wondering when this will cut in. I have seen next to no evidence of either even remotely happening in all those years. Do i need to list examples. Too many teachers, not enough plumbers, public housing waiting list blowing out to over 100,000 (n.s.w), i’m sure you get my point.

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    Egor TheOne

    It’s the most exciting time to be an agile ABS incompetent!

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    • #
      Egor TheOne

      I says: Another Royal Commission into the ABS fiasco!

      Then we can have a Royal Commission into why we are having so many Royal Commissions!

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    RexAlan

    I rang up to ask for a paper form about a week before as I suffrr from what is knoqn as an essentisl tremor. If they can read my name gopd luck to them. After waiting abot half an hoir to speak to some one, she asked me which form I wanted. Puzzled I asked, which form, you mean I have a choice. She said well how many people will be in the houser on the night. 6 or under is a seperate form to 7 or over. How the hell should I know I said, if I could telll the future I’d win the Melbourne cup evry year.

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    RexAlan

    Ps, Regarding the DDos attack check out this link, nothing suspicious re Australia as far as I can see.

    http://www.digitalattackmap.com/#anim=1&color=1&country=ALL&list=1&time=17022&view=map

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    Reasonable Skeptic

    Having worked in this domain in the past I can say that an online census will work if you provide a window of access large enough. For the last census, we had a wide window, weeks if not months.

    I am unsure why names are included, that seems odd to me as we are not required to add that. However, where I live the data is highly confidential and we do all we can to ensure it is secure. Census data is valuable so don’t encourage people to bugger it up.

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    • #
      gigdiary

      an online census will work if you provide a window of access large enough

      I filled out my census form online last Thursday. It took less than ten minutes. Apparently, the site was open some days before that. Had this fact been advertised, with a warning to ‘not leave it to the last minute’, perhaps this debacle could have been avoided. A window of access changes the original idea of the census, that being data collected across the nation on a particular night. However is such a requirement really necessary for the range of data collected?

      10

  • #
    graphicconception

    In other news …

    Australia’s per capita “Carbon” emissions necessarily skyrocketed yesterday.

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    Reed Coray

    Are you sure this isn’t April first down under? Come on, with a name and title like Matthew Hackling, a cybersecurity expert people might think this blog has been “hackled“.

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    MichiCanuck

    I’m intrigued by the number of people mentioning whether or not they put their names on the census forms. In the US and Canada, the census has always not only counted people but identified them. I’ve not heard of a census that was just an anonymous electoral enumeration. What am I missing?

    On an historical note, I believe the US Census pioneered the first use of automated census data tabulation. They used mechanical punch card tabulators invented by Herman Hollerith for the 1890 census. That’s where the “Hollerith” field term comes from in FORTRAN. No word on whether there was a DOS attack in 1890, however.

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    • #
      Akatsukami

      The 1890 U.S. Census records were severely damaged by fire in 1921; the surviving material was almost all destroyed as un-salvageable in 1934 or 1935. Perhaps a Delayed Denial of Service attack?

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      AndyG55

      Just want to point out that the term is “DoS” attack…not “DOS” attack. ;-)

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    Scott

    The Graph is my favorite part of the article. I was LMAO, ROTF!…..:-)
    Cheers my friends “down under”…..

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    Roy Hogue

    I see there’s even more contempt for the intrusive census questions in Australia than there is for our census here in the states. Good for you! :-)

    I don’t know what the law authorizing the census is in Oz. But here it’s in the constitution and the statement is a very simple requirement to conduct a decennial census for the single purpose of determining how many representatives a state will have in the House of Representatives for the next decade. That’s it. There’s no and I emphasize, no requirement or authorization to collect more than name, address and number of people in the household.

    I have tossed (shredded) every census form I’ve received for at least the last 20 years because I refuse to provide such details as race, ethnicity, medical status or anything else but what the census is authorized to collect. I allow them name and address because that is the one piece of information essential to avoid counting anyone more than once and to assure that every household is counted. Besides which, my name and address are not that hard to find if they want to look. The postal service will sell you directories for a few bucks in digital form all ready to use so you can carpet bomb a whole neighborhood with mailers — computers are simply marvelous for the purpose. :-(

    Then there’s the problem that when the House chamber filled up and there were no more seats to allocate as population grew, they somehow managed to pull off the declaration that there shall be no more representatives than the existing House chamber can seat. I am still furious at that because as population grows it dilutes the voice I should have through my representative in the House. To me, if they can’t accommodate the required number of representatives in the existing capitol building then they better find larger meeting facilities or have the constitution amended to allow for what they want — which they have not done. The capitol building may be iconic, representing the U.S. Government but it is not sacred. What is sacred is my right to have the representation I’m entitled to under the constitution.

    By the way, only once did anyone come to the door looking for the census form. I went into attack mode, accusing the census bureau of losing the form I sent in (a little not very white lie) and the guy became so flummoxed that I thought he would choke on his own words. He finally asked if I would give him my name and the number of people living here and after writing it down he beat it out of here as fast as he could go. I hated doing that to the guy because he was just doing the job they hired him to do. But I needed to shut him off and not give out what I didn’t want to give out.

    The whole situation is unacceptable and I understand your anger and frustration completely.

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      Olaf Koenders

      Roy, this is Oz’s Census legislation (in part):

      CENSUS AND STATISTICS ACT 1905 – SECT 14

      Failure to answer questions etc.
      (1) A person commits an offence if:

      (a) the person is served a direction under subsection 10(4) or 11(2); and

      (b) the person fails to comply with the direction.

      Penalty: One penalty unit.

      (2) Subsection (1) is an offence of strict liability.

      Note 1: For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

      Note 2: A person commits an offence in respect of each day until the person complies with the direction (see section 4K of the Crimes Act 1914 ).

      (3) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to a person’s failure to answer a question, or to supply particulars, relating to the person’s religious beliefs.

      Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (3) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code ).

      Trouble is, it only refers to “person”, which is a corporation (corp-oration – Latin for the dead speaking). I’m a live MAN, a living soul.

      There is no code, Act or legislation on earth that can override contract law. The Rules of Equity prevail in every State’s Supreme Court Act.

      To compel anyone’s participation in the Census, full disclosure and CONSENT is first required! One of the six essential components of contract law is consent.

      If I do not consent then I do not accept their offer of contract.

      Case law on that principle: If you are a man or woman then your rights remain intact and cannot be abrogated.

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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Thanks.

        There’s supposedly a penalty here too if you fail to answer the questions. But I’ve never heard of anyone even being charged, much less convicted and fined or jailed. It would be bad PR if they did.

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    diogenese2

    There is nothing new about a central authority commanding its subjects (under threat of draconian penalty) to perpetrate simple acts of obsequiousness only to be confounded by the outcomes precipitated by their own ineptitude.

    Luke 2King James Version (KJV)

    “2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

    2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

    3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.”

    Remind me – how did that one work out?

    40

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      I’m not sure but I don’t think it worked very well for those being taxed. It probably did collect a lot of money, however.

      The Caesars of this world are still around and still taxing. Now if they would only collect just the tax necessary to do the job we give them to do and no more… And of course, if they would only do that job…

      But I think we can’t have everything, can we?

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  • #
    pat

    0 Aug: Reuters: Jake Spring: ‘Self-driving’ in spotlight again as China sees first Tesla autopilot crash
    Luo, who filmed the incident with a dashboard camera, said his car hit a vehicle parked half off the road. The accident sheered off the parked vehicle’s side mirror and scraped both cars, but caused no injuries…
    Tesla spokeswoman said in an emailed response to Reuters…”As clearly communicated to the driver in the vehicle, autosteer is an assist feature that requires the driver to keep his hands on the steering wheel at all times, to always maintain control and responsibility for the vehicle, and to be prepared to take over at any time.”…
    Luo, however, blamed the crash on a fault in the autopilot system and said Tesla’s sales staff strongly promoted the system as ‘self-driving’.
    “The impression they give everyone is that this is self-driving, this isn’t assisted driving,” he said.
    Interviews with four other unconnected Tesla drivers in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou also indicated the message conveyed by front-line sales staff did not match up with Tesla’s more clear cut statements that the system is not “self-driving” but an advance driver assistance system (ADAS)…
    These Tesla owners all said salespeople described the cars’ function in Chinese as “self-driving”, a term the company generally avoids using in English, and took their hands off the wheel while demonstrating it.
    “They all described it as being able to drive itself,” said Shanghai resident Mao Mao, who bought a Tesla Model S last year.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tesla-china-crash-idUSKCN10L0P4

    20

  • #
    Robber

    At our holiday house I found a paper copy of the ABS Census had been delivered and left outside in a plastic cover (we don’t have a letter box) with an online code provided. We have the Internet so on Sunday afternoon I completed the census report online in about 15 minutes, reporting where I would be on Tuesday night. On Tuesday my wife was back at our home address where we had received the letter with the online code so she completed the census online on Tuesday afternoon without a hitch, reporting her planned whereabouts on Tuesday night.

    In April 2011, the Victorian Government Ombudsman decided to conduct an investigation into ICT-enabled projects. The investigation was conducted in consultation with the Victorian-Auditor General’s Office, which seconded two staff to the Ombudsman for the project.
    The Ombudsman investigated the following projects:
    1. Link (Victoria Police)
    2. Property and Laboratory Management (PALM) – Victoria Police
    3. HRAssist – Victoria Police
    4. HealthSMART – Department of Health
    5. myki – Transport Ticketing Authority
    6. Registration and Licensing (RandL) – VicRoads
    7. Ultranet – Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
    8. Integrated Courts Management System (ICMS) – Department of Justice
    9. Client Relationship Information System (CRIS) – Department of Human Services
    10. Housing Integrated Information Program (HIIP) – Department of Human Services.

    The Ombudsman concluded that every one of the projects failed to meet expectations; most failed to meet delivery timelines; and all ran over budget. The original budgets for these projects totalled $1.3 billion, the latest estimated cost is $2.74 billion.

    The investigation identified five common themes across the projects:
    1. Leadership, accountability and governance
    2. Planning
    3. Funding
    4. Probity and procurement
    5. Project management.

    A key concern of the Ombudsman was the shortage of ICT experience in government.

    “Pressure on agencies to deliver more with less and the inability of executives to say ‘no’ to ministers has led to alarmingly high failure rates of government ICT projects in Australia … successful delivery of major ICT projects seems to have become ‘beyond the wit’ of government.”

    So there is nothing new in the latest debacle. Just imagine if this debacle had been the first online election!!

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    TdeF

    The government would do well to increase emphasis on mathematics and exotic technologies like division. The ABS said they expected 500,000 lodgements an hour but had load tested to an excessive 1,000,000. Now Australia has more than 10,000,000 households and at 500,000 per hour that is 20 hours!

    So the only Denial of Service attack was by the ABS who closed down the site for an hour, of course at peak period when the ‘attack’ was strongest.
    Alternatively they could have told everyone it could take up to 20 hours to get on even if they waited in an orderly queue.
    Perhaps they could have employed some of those redundant CSIRO scientists to do some simple arithmetic, but they are probably too busy justifying Climate Change and using their mathematics skills to homogenize temperature data.

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  • #
    RexAlan

    Well the site is still not working. 8.30 am Thurs 11th.

    20

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    Dennis

    The decision to use the internet for the latest Census, the first time ever, was made while Labor was in government in Canberra according to news today.

    My question is: was sabotage involved based on political motivations?

    20

  • #
    Egor TheOne

    Another debacle, and yet another 700,000 dollar a year overpaid government clown responsible.

    Why is it that the most incompetent are grossly overpaid, are all buddies, and/or even related?

    Another multi-million dollar squanderthon of our tax money.

    50

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    • #
      Dennis

      That would be fair enough if people had received the ABS correspondence and ID to log on with.

      I do not have one yet and have asked people at random around the shopping centre, most do not have the ID here on the NSw Mid North Coast.

      40

    • #
      Olaf Koenders

      Census Field Officers will start visiting homes that haven’t participated in the Census from this weekend to ensure everyone can take part.

      Will they be carrying some form of “authority”? Doubt it. Warrant? Pfft.. If we don’t answer the door, will they sit in their expensive, illegally window-tinted cars stalking surveilling us, one at a time? They’d be fools. Can they prove we didn’t post it? Never.

      “..to ensure everyone *can* take part”. Really.. What does this even mean? Sound like a thinly veiled threat, or just a blatant lie?

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      • #
        Ozwitch

        They’d better be carrying the appropriate ID so I can ring the Census office and check who they are. This will take a little time as the Census Office is very busy. So the census worker can wait at my front door until I get back to them. No way are they getting my name or date of birth or phone number. That goes on the form if I feel like it.

        20

  • #
    TdeF

    Of course Malcolm could have told people to get in a week early an avoid the rush. Then there would have been no problem. Instead he personally and deliberately implied that the system would perform with everyone in Australia logging on at exactly the same time. Ignorance exceeded only by arrogance.

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  • #
    Doubting Thomas

    I’m just amazed by the crap that has been spouted in the media about this. For me the main problem was the atrocious advertising which concentrated on the “need” to fill the form out on the 9th, implying that’s when people needed to submit the form. As far as
    I can tell, the only requirement was that people needed to fill in the details of people in their homes/wherever on the night of the 9th, but that they could actually submit the form either before or after that date provided the data was accurate as at the night of the 9th. As TonyfromOz said way up stream, anyone with on-line experience would know there would be a huge bottle neck in the evening hours after people came home from work and went on line doing what the government advertising told them to do. I had no problems at all filling out the form and submitting it early.

    40

  • #
    Rich

    I seem to recall a lecture in engineering class on the “Monte Carlo” Principle and it’s application on the design of the number of stalls in restrooms, number of phone lines feeding a PBX, etc. Looks like they did not take this into account and, like most football stadiums divided the number of total seats by the number of hours of the game (as you only need to go once). Then wonder why the lines are so long at half-time.

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    pat

    given Uber is still not legal across all States (Qld is about to give them the go-ahead), i found it extraordinary that their name appear to be the only commercial entity that got a personal shout-out from the ABS online (none got a mention on the form). ABS surely could have/shoud have used the generic “ride-share”!

    (SCROLL DOWN) ABS Census: How to answer: How did the person get to work on Tuesday, 9 August 2016?
    If the person used an Uber service, mark ‘Taxi’…
    http://help.census.abs.gov.au/help/answer/work#backtotop

    novel length, but well worth a read:

    5 Aug: Quartz: Steve LeVine: Investors have placed a one-way bet on Uber—which made us want to find a way to short it
    It has yet to make money but is worth a fifth more than BMW and almost a third more than General Motors, both the owners of tons of futuristic technology, tens of billions of dollars in capital equipment, and big profits. In recent deals resembling famous speculative bubbles, rich investors eager for a piece of this juggernaut have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into custom funds that provide exposure to Uber but no equity or financial disclosure.
    Which is to say that investors have made a one-way, uber-bullish bet on Uber, forecasting that the company will be at the center of an utter transformation of our collective lifestyle…

    But what if the consensus has miscalculated? What if the coming trends expected to propel Uber—primarily a decline in private vehicle ownership and the rise of self-driving, clean-powered cars—do generally unfold, but not quite transformationally? What if they take much longer to materialize than anyone is expecting?.’
    Uber would argue that its potential goes well beyond ride-hailing, that it has uniquely large-scale ambitions to be a logistics firm, using its fleet and its technology to deliver food and packages in cities around the globe—like FedEx, only with robot cars.
    But what if Uber accomplishes this and is still not worth its current ***$62.5 billion valuation…
    More cash has come via Uber’s push into subprime lending. In May, Uber raised $1 billion from Goldman Sachs and five other banks to create a subsidiary called Xchange, a car-leasing firm for drivers otherwise unqualified to receive an auto loan. To obtain a car through Xchange, Uber drivers pay 11.6% interest, almost five times the standard US rate. When drivers do not keep up payments, Xchange hires repo men to collect the cars.
    The creation of Xchange injects a new dimension of financial risk into Uber’s business, one endemic to subprime lending, and a reputational one as well…
    http://qz.com/707947/investors-have-placed-a-one-way-bet-on-uber-which-made-us-want-to-figure-out-a-way-to-short-it/

    30

  • #
    Another Ian

    Jo

    Around this area

    http://thehackernews.com/2016/08/uefi-secure-boot-hack.html

    More faith on secure on line voting required methinks

    40

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    mark

    After we have got over the hack story, and realised, gee whiz, it was poor load design, this is the headline:
    ‘Climate change derails census’.
    ‘Scientists have today shown how climate change resulted in computers at the ABS delimiting their load application [this is a pretend technical term to take the focus off the computers and the department] resulting in many[!] users being unable to complete the census.
    Models developed in a joint project between University of Western Australia and University of East Anglia have shown how unseasonable weather in several states caused users to log in at unexpected times, resulting in a delimited load application. Moreover, rising sea levels caused factories in Korea to delay delivery of backup equipment to 2014, not providing the department sufficient time to install and test it. A department spokesperson is quoted in the study as saying ‘Ports were in disarray as workers had gone on strike as the government was not taking their health and safety concerns related to sea level rise fully into account in the latest wage negotiations’. The Leader of the opposition, commenting on the study, suggested that a 100 percent tax on everybody might have alleviated the situation, but at a minimum all large manufacturing businesses should be held accountable. A spokesperson for the government could not be contacted. A member of the communist party said that next time, after the revolution, the population really will be 72, blaming climate change.’

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    • #
      el gordo

      Daily Troof newsreader:

      A source close to the dictatorship said they thought it would be fun to give their trading partner a ‘bit of a tickle’ after that swimming episode.

      He went on to say they weren’t all that interested in the raw data, only wanted to give us a taste of a cyber attack.

      —–

      Climate scientists recently discovered something really unusual, when sea ice disappears from the Arctic it shows up in Antarctica. They have concluded that there is some kind of mini bipolar seesaw mechanism operating within the system, but they have failed to find the cause.

      Our intrepid reporter in Hobart speaks to some modellers ….

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    • #
      stan stendera

      Good one!!!

      10

    • #

      This is called the Quasi-biennial Oscillation QBO supposedly a lunisolar effect mostly in the stratosphere affecting the direction and strength of the Brewer-Dobson circulation, a tropics to pole snow/ice transport.

      21

      • #
        mark

        It was considered the QBO, with 97% certainty amongst scientists, but since the unfortunate release of emails between Hank Brewster and Bill Dobson, scientists are now 97% certain that lunisolar effect is expressed via the Allen-Haines system, building on years of modelling data relating to the quantum-water cyclic distillation model, and no longer refer to QB oscillation. The paper was published in Nature in July 2016 to significant acclaim as having provided a firm basis for climate science.

        00

        • #

          Have you read that paper? It is but complete modeling nonsense. There is not one falsifiable conjecture. All is from GCMs demonstrated to not work at all. Statistical/testicle whooie, from so called climate science.

          01

  • #
    Rik

    Interesting, I’m not able to connect to the census page (stream 10) can’t be found.

    Traced this to my VPN – have to turn it off to get to the forms – which then gives me
    the busy message!!

    30

  • #
    pat

    meanwhile -

    9 Aug: Reuters: Portugal to phase out power subsidies, avoid Spain example
    By Andrei Khalip and Shrikesh Laxmidas
    Portugal is set to begin phasing out support for utilities generating renewable power, a top government official said, as Lisbon tackles high electricity prices that are hampering efforts to bolster its struggling economy…
    A July study by VaasaETT global energy think-tank showed that out of 29 European capitals, Lisbon has the highest residential electricity prices adjusted to consumer purchasing power parity, a third higher than the average in the study.
    Faced with similar problems, Spain has in the past few years slashed subsidies written into renewable power contracts, hitting producers’ returns, especially in solar, who laid off tens of thousands and filed legal complaints against the state…
    Fixed costs, that include subsidies, now make up over half of some 6 billion euros in total energy costs (Portugal) a year…
    http://in.reuters.com/article/us-portugal-electricity-interview-idINKCN10K199

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    pat

    10 Aug: ZeroHedge: Tyler Durden: BLS Just “Revised” Away Obama’s “Fastest” Wage Growth Since The Crisis
    In yet another stunning tribute to the “accuracy” and “consistency” of economic propaganda/data being reported by our government agencies, the Bureau of Labor Statistics yesterday reported a massive downward revision of the 1Q 2016 YoY real wage growth from +4.2% to -0.4% (a 4.6% swing)…
    But we wouldn’t worry much about it because the revisions resulted in only “small” changes in the underlying data according to the BLS…
    We guess “small” would be one way to describe a 4.6% swing in YoY real wage growth…we would probably choose something more like “abysmal” or “disastrous” but we’re not ones to split hairs. Revisions to manufacturing wages and durable manufacturing wages were even worse…READ ON
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-10/inconvenient-jobs-revisions-obama

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    • #
      el gordo

      Harbingers

      ‘The devastating effects of climate change — floods, salinization of land, destructive super cyclones, and reduced agricultural yields — have displaced millions of people from rural Bangladesh. Hundreds of thousands of people each year flee to Dhaka, one of the most densely populated cities on earth, to seek work and shelter.’

      The Diplomat / Aug 10, 2016

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  • #

    Off topic but where else! From Roy’s place.
    Pehr Bjornbom says: August 9, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    “Your comment raises some questions. What is the relevance of the propagation of electromagnetic radiation in dispersive media in atmospheric physics, except possibly for the explanation of the rainbow? It is furthermore amazing to read that you have found religious matter in the books you have read. What textbooks did you read and what religious matter did you find?”

    First: There is no longer any scientific definition of the term electromagnetic radiation. Such was officially dropped in 1972 as being vague and fraught with misunderstanding! Such was replaced with a whole series of terms “radiometric terminology” google ‘radiometric quantities’. These replace the generalized term radiation used in the days of Maxwell, Planck, and Boltzmann, when confusion did not exist between a potential for radiant emission ‘Radiant intensity’ (field strength) an across variable or difference, and the actual electromagnetic power transfer‘Radiant flux’, the actual through variable, at least for those interested in EMR. The confusion was intentionally reintroduced by post modern physics by attempting to include EMR power flux to the endeavor of thermodynamics or heat transfer! EMR in any of its terms is never heat or sensible heat. Only the lowest level interaction of electromagnetic flux with mass can result in a change in the sensible heat of that mass. A later intentional confusion factor was the inane splitting of the exact S-B equation into two single temperature equations, ignoring the mathematically required parenthesis surrounding the two temperature difference in electromagnetic radiative potential. The claim now is that thermal EMR flux is determined by solely by the temperature of an emitter rather that the potential difference between the emitter and absorber. Sorry I did not get to the actual radiometric attenuation effects of a dispersive intervening media. Roy does not allow long responses!

    Pehr Bjornbom says: August 9, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    “Your comment raises some questions.”

    Required reading starts with:
    A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism
    by James Clerk Maxwell 1873
    If you understand vector algebra well, you may start with John Poyntings translation of the above to vector math. Until you go back and can comfortably apply Maxwell’s quaternion treatment with multiple sources of field strength at the same frequency, but different locations, you simply cannot appreciate the EMR effects of beam steering, and thermal EMR flux cancellation at an equal temperature (radiance) surround.

    Pehr Bjornbom says: August 9, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    “What is the relevance of the propagation of electromagnetic radiation in dispersive media in atmospheric physics, except possibly for the explanation of the rainbow?”:

    The Earth’s atmosphere does indeed refract at at all wavelengths. More than that, it greatly scatters at most wavelengths, Atmospheric scattering and the structure of clouds greatly increase the radiative exitance solid angle to space (convex) of the atmosphere above the surface limitation of PI steradians. Most difficult to understand is atmospheric absorption at limited wavelengths. The crux of the CAGW SCAM! Basically measuring radiance, or flux cannot distinguish flux through the atmosphere from flux from that same atmosphere.
    The attenuation (absorption and scattering) of the atmosphere can only be measured by somehow modulating an identifiable source of flux then demodulating/and measuring the variance at the absorber of that flux. This is precisely what was done in the field to verify all the values in the HiTran database. These are the numbers intentionally fraudulently used as surface flux attenuation/absorption by NASA Hanson et al of corrupt Goddard! We tried to stop it, they had their orders! Those numbers were created at obscene cost, to determine suitable wavebands for atmospheric seeing of the enemy outside of the visible. The numbers have absolutely no applicability to attenuation of surface flux nor any place in any CGM.

    25

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    pat

    IBM in the crosshairs as Census blame game heats up towards a …
    The Australian Financial Review-25 minutes ago
    The Census disaster is the last thing IBM needs in Australia after the legal proceedings into its role in the 2010 Queensland Health Payroll failure finally closed …

    reminder:

    Dec 2015: SMH: Queensland can’t sue IBM over health payroll system: judge
    The Queensland government’s lawsuit against IBM Australia over the disastrous health payroll system has stalled, after the Supreme Court upheld a legal challenge by the technology giant.
    The Newman government launched legal action against IBM in 2013, arguing the company had misrepresented its capability to deliver the $6 million contract on time and on budget.
    IBM challenged the lawsuit and pointed to a 2010 agreement which the company said released it from the damages claim.
    A trial was held in the Brisbane Supreme Court earlier this year, and on Monday Justice Glenn Martin ruled in favour of IBM…
    IBM won the contract to design and deliver a whole-of-government payroll system in 2007…
    The payroll system failed spectacularly, resulting in thousands of health workers being underpaid, overpaid, or not paid at all.
    The cost to taxpayers has been estimated at $1.2 billion and the debacle has been described as possibly the worst public administration failure in Australia…
    http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/queensland-cant-sue-ibm-over-health-payroll-bungle-judge-20151207-glhmpr.html

    27 Jul: ABC: Queensland Health still seeking millions of dollars in overpayments, six years on from payroll disaster
    Efforts are continuing to recoup more than $62 million in overpayments to Queensland Health staff from the 2010 payroll debacle.
    Thousands of staff were overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all under the payroll scheme ordered by the Bligh Labor government.
    It has since cost taxpayers more than $1.2 billion but Queensland Health has not stopped attempting to recoup millions in overpayments…ETC
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-27/qld-health-is-still-seeking-overpayments-six-years-on/7663230

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    AndyG55

    Just went to census.

    Says “NOW AVAILABLE”

    Entered login number.

    Gave me , this is your password screen.

    Clicked “have written it down”

    Press start..

    NOTHING HAPPENED. !!!!

    31

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    John Watt

    The good news is that for the short time the system was available, it handled over two million submissions from everyday Australians. Why can’t we handle all meaningful issues using this technology? No more parties, no more factions , no more middlemen politicians. No more rumour-mongering among journos and pollies. A lot less ego splashed across our media.
    And we might get decisions that last more than 3 years.
    We should pursue and improve this technology. It promises to give us a true form of people-based democracy to replace our current sluggish, tail-chasing “representative” democracy.
    We will need to find jobs for pollies and some journos but at least we can free ourselves of this “tribal” rubbish that currently passes for government.

    30

  • #
    Ozwitch

    It’s all Putin’s fault.

    30

  • #
    Wally

    Call the magic phone number and get a paper form sent to you.

    It will cost them money (to send and to process); and it takes longer for them to do anything with it.

    Sod em. Stupid gits can’t get technology to work so use paper and a pencil, an approach that works perfectly well.

    20

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    ROM

    T’was a calm cool evening on that Census night in 2037 and all the world was still.

    The great power generators at Morwell and Bayswater and Eraring and Liudell lay silent in the gathering darkness, their great coal conveyors still, their boilers cold and their turbines lifeless and silent.

    The great fleet of wind turbines along the Blue Ranges, the Dandenongs and the Adelaide Hills and across the breadth of the land swept their great blades across the sky as the steady winds drove those great power generating concrete and steel and FRP monsters to create the emissions free energy that was to be the hall mark of the 21st Century and the great guarantee that mankind really cared about the planet.

    No longer was there the cheerful chatter of the great flocks of many birds and the squeak and shadowy flight of the bat in the darkness.
    They too were gone, smashed and destroyed by the blades of those great turbines.

    Nor was there any longer the muffled bellow of the great diesels churning through their quota of oil and gas while they drove the infinite variety of machines that had built so much.
    They too were gone at the behest of the all powerful UN’s dictates and the nation’s great engineering and construction sites were still and abandoned.

    All lay silent and still in the land of the turbines except for the steady wearying thump, thump of the great turbine blades sweeping past the long abandoned homes of a people who had only ever dreamt of place of peace and silence and the bird calls and the rustling of many small creatures around them where they had lived and dreamed of the future and of times past.

    And in the great cities the Teslas and Toyotas and Fords after a day drinking down the vital electrical power at the numerous power output stations wended their silent way back amongst the dazzling lights of the city to the abode of their hirers.

    All was well with the world as the evening meals were eaten and then came the business of the day.

    The Census as decreed by the UN when the world should be counted..

    So in the households, the flats, the high rises, the hospitals and retirement homes and all those places where the people of the nation lived and worked, there was a settling down at the computer interface and much retrieving of smart phones to make sure that the counting of the people, the Census was completed by the final seconds of the great count as decreed by the UN as a part of its mandate to count the world’s peoples as agreed by Concord of Nations at the 2030 Population Conference in the Great Hall of the People.

    But there was one small group in the nation who watched with growing trepidation and argued amongst themselves in their work room with all its multitude of screens with their slowly shifting lines and patches of blue and white and brown moving steadily across those screens.
    The slowly shifting lines were starting to form a huge elongated circle across the steady brown and green blotches on those screens and that meant trouble in the eyes of that small band of watchers.
    Trouble that the nation could do without particularly at this critical Census night.

    And then across the nation in the gathering darkness, the wind began to die as the great high pressure settled down for its week long stay and the dazzling lights of the city and the lights of the dwellings and motors and pumps and heaters and Air cons rumbled and died.

    And the Census servers and the internet faded and shut down and the computer screens went blank.
    And in all those hundreds of thousands of kilometres of glass fibre in their pipes and ducts strung and buried across the great land, the photons and electrons of the internet and the data banks were still.

    And there they sat in the darkness waiting, waiting, waiting to be counted when the power to come back on as it always had for the century past as their parents and the old times always told them always happen after a shot time without power.

    It never did!

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    RexAlan

    Brilliant absolutely brilliant ROM, you have 100% hit the nail on the head.

    20

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    pat

    Hollywood Climatists:

    11 Aug: UK Spectator: by Steerpike: (BBC) Newsnight feels the heat over Emma Thompson’s ‘inaccurate’ climate claims
    Oh dear. Although BBC presenters tend to shrug off most accusations of bias as nonsense, staff at Newsnight are going to have to rethink their approach when it comes to reporting on climate change. A paper by the BBC Trust has urged the corporation to ensure that ‘presenters are able to confidently challenge misleading/ inaccurate statistical claims made by interviewees’.
    They go on to cite Emma Thompson’s appearance on Newsnight as an example of when not enough was done to challenge faulty views. In an interview with Emily Maitlis, the Oscar-winning luvvie made statements about climate change:
    ‘If they [oil companies] take out of the earth all the oil they want to take out, you look at the science. Our temperature will rise four degrees Celsius by 2030, and that’s not sustainable.’
    However, the Trust point out that she ought to have been challenged as what she said was, at best, inaccurate…READ ON
    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/08/newsnight-taken-task-emma-thompsons-inaccurate-climate-change-interview/

    James Packer’s RatPac partner, Ratner, in the spotlight again:

    11 Aug: WaPo: AP: Edith Lederer: UN chief enlists Hollywood star power to end poverty
    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon traveled to Hollywood to enlist its star power in the United Nation’s ambitious campaign to end poverty, tackle climate change and promote a fairer more humane world – and he got an enthusiastic response from stars and top executives.
    The U.N. chief was feted at a lunch hosted by legendary television trailblazer Norman Lear and at a celebrity dinner for about 200 VIPs hosted by powerhouse producer-director Brett Ratner. He rubbed shoulders with Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Courtney Love, Sharon Stone and several studio chiefs…
    “I am here to ask your help. This world is in trouble. … A lot of people are dying,” he said. “I know with just one movie you earn a lot of money. But this time I’m urging you to work for humanity, work for this better world.”…
    Ratner announced that Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary on the environment will be released this fall, “in which Ban Ki-moon is the co-star…
    TV personality Larry King, who was the master of ceremonies at the dinner party, praised the secretary-general…
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/un-chief-enlists-hollywood-star-power-to-end-poverty/2016/08/11/93761396-5fb4-11e6-84c1-6d27287896b5_story.html

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    pat

    SMH catching up with reality!

    11 Aug: SMH: Brian Robins: Electricity blackout warning if carbon reduction goal to be met
    There is a rising threat of power outages over the next decade if Australia is to meet its global carbon reduction commitment, which will force the closure of brown and black coal power stations across the eastern states…
    To achieve this target in the electricity sector it will result in the closure of an estimated 800 megawatts of brown coal power stations in Victoria and 560 megawatts in Queensland, according to a forecast drawn up for the forthcoming COAG meeting of energy ministers…
    These closures could result in blackouts, particularly at peak demand times such as between 2pm and 8pm when there is heavy cloud cover. In effect, this would limit output from solar power systems and when wind turbines are also idle, with limited supplies available to transfer from other states to fill the demand gap…ETC
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/electricity-blackout-warning-if-carbon-reduction-goal-to-be-met-20160810-gqp7oo.html

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    pat

    9 Aug: Business Record: MidAmerican Energy customers rattled by electric rate hike
    BY JOE GARDYASZ
    Some Central Iowa business owners are shaking their heads over hefty increases in their monthly electric bills, but MidAmerican Energy Co. (subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy) officials say they’re doing all they can to help their customers keep their bills as low as possible…
    Julie Lilly, owner of Montana Mike’s Steakhouse in Des Moines, said her restaurant’s electricity bill increased between 25 and 40 percent per month during the peak summer cooling season last year…
    “I can’t raise my menu prices by 40 percent to cover this,” she said. “That there was no advance notice is extremely frustrating.”…
    A piece of good news this year for electric customers: ***MidAmerican has begun phasing in a rate reduction tied to its Wind VIII wind energy project that will shave $3.3 million off electric rates this year, $6.6 million next year and then $10 million annually in 2017 and beyond…
    http://www.businessrecord.com/Content/Default/-All-Latest-News/Article/MidAmerican-Energy-customers-rattled-by-electric-rate-hike-/-3/248/67486

    25 Jul: Fortune: Katie Fehrenbacher: How Warren Buffett & Elon Musk both compete and contrast on energy
    Buffett has unabashedly said that with without subsidies wind farms don’t make sense for investing…READ ALL
    http://fortune.com/2016/07/25/warren-buffett-vs-elon-musk/

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    pat

    10 Aug: ClimateChangeNews: Megan Darby: Are carbon market-financed cookstoves really “clean”?
    US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton launched the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves in 2010.
    Its leadership council also counts as members Antonio Guterres, frontrunner for the UN top job, and China climate envoy Xie Zhenhua.
    Many projects are financed by carbon credits…
    A recent field study (LINK), published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, looked at the first project in India approved for carbon offsets through the UN-backed Clean Development Mechanism. Its findings were not encouraging…
    Lab tests suggested these new designs, developed in consultation with the community, would need 67% less fuel than traditional stoves. That was the basis for awarding carbon credits…
    Unfortunately, that was not borne out in practice.
    The study found no statistically significant difference in wood use between families who used the new stoves and the control group…
    While the carbon impact may be small, the political capital invested in this programme is substantial…
    A spokesperson for the CDM told Climate Home the secretariat would bring the study to the attention of the board…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/08/10/are-carbon-market-financed-cookstoves-really-clean/

    9 Aug: ClimateChangeNews: Megan Darby: US Republican ex-environment chiefs endorse Hillary Clinton
    In a joint statement, William Ruckelshaus and William Reilly expressed horror at GOP candidate Donald Trump’s “profound ignorance of science” and assertion global warming is a hoax.
    Backing out of the latest UN climate change pact, as Trump threatens to do, “would set the world back decades – years we could never recover,” they wrote…
    “She (Clinton) is committed to reasonable, science-based policy,” the ex-EPA chiefs said.
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/08/09/us-republican-ex-environment-chiefs-endorse-hillary-clinton/

    Wikipedia: William Ruckelshaus: Chairman Emeritus of the World Resources Institute, and Chair of the Meridian Institute. He is a director of the Initiative for Global Development…
    On April 17, 2008, Ruckelshaus made news again when he announced his endorsement of Democrat Barack Obama for President of the United States…
    In November 2015, Ruckelshaus was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama during a ceremony at the White House…

    Wikipedia: William K. Reilly: After leaving EPA in January 1993, Reilly returned to World Wildlife Fund…
    Reilly is founding partner of Aqua International Partners, L.P., a private equity fund dedicated to investing in companies in the water sector in developing countries…
    Reilly is a director of ConocoPhillips, Royal Caribbean International, and the Packard Foundation. He also serves as chairman of the board of World Wildlife Fund, co-chair of the Energy Project formed by the Bipartisan Policy Center, and chair of the Advisory Board for the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. He previously served as a director of DuPont and the National Geographic Society…
    Reilly is an advisor to TPG Capital, an international investment firm…

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    pat

    read all:

    6 Jun: National Review: Robert Bryce: Wind-Energy Sector Gets $176 Billion Worth of Crony Capitalism
    (Robert Bryce is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute)
    According to data from Subsidy Tracker — a database maintained by Good Jobs First (LINK), a Washington, D.C.–based organization that promotes “corporate and government accountability in economic development and smart growth for working families” — the total value of the subsidies given to the biggest players in the U.S. wind industry is now $176 billion…

    That sum includes all local, state, and federal subsidies as well as federal loans and loan guarantees received by companies on the American Wind Energy Association’s board of directors since 2000. (Most of the federal grants have been awarded since 2007.) Of the $176 billion provided to the wind-energy sector, $2.9 billion came from local and state governments; $9.4 billion came from federal grants and tax credits; and $163.9 billion was provided in the form of federal loans or loan guarantees. General Electric — the biggest wind-turbine maker in North America — has a seat on AWEA’s board. It has received $1.6 billion in local, state, and federal subsidies and $159 billion in federal loans and loan guarantees. (It’s worth noting that General Electric got into the wind business in 2002 after it bought Enron Wind, a company that helped pioneer the art of renewable-energy rent-seeking.)…

    MidAmerican Energy Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, has a seat on AWEA’s board. Berkshire’s subsidy total: $1.5 billion — and it’s primed to collect lots more…
    Two years ago, Berkshire’s CEO, Warren Buffett, explained why his companies are in the wind business. “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them,” he said. “They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”…

    Keep in mind that the $176 billion figure in wind-energy subsidies is a minimum number. It counts only subsidies given to companies on AWEA’s board. Not counted are subsidies handed out to companies like Google, which got part of a $490 million federal cash grant for investing in an Oregon wind project. Nor does it include the $1.5 billion in subsidies given to SunEdison, the now-bankrupt company that used to have a seat on AWEA’s board. (To download the full list of subsidies garnered by AWEA’s board members, click here.) Nor does that figure include federal money given to J. P. Morgan and Bank of America, both of which have a seat on AWEA’s board. The two banks received federal loans or loan guarantees worth $1.29 trillion and $3.49 trillion, respectively…
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/436228/

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    Eugene WR Gallun

    Why am I reminded of the Monty Python skit — The Unknown Joke (I believe it was called). Anyone who read the joke died of laughter.

    This article almost reaches that level of entertainment.

    Eugene WR Gallun

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    Analitik

    OT
    h/t Eric Worrall at WUWT for pointing out the latest Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) report by the AEMO which highlights the issues renewables are causing for grid stability and how chemical storage doesn’t help.

    Full ESOO report here – Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) 2016 Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) report

    As usual, the chief clown at RenewEconomy is trying to make light of this report as scaremongering and has calculated from the shortfall percentages that South Australia would only be expected to experience 11 minutes of blackout each year (22 in the worst case). I don’t know if this is simple naivety or deliberate deception but I have given him the benefit of the doubt and posted the following to clear up the picture for him and his followers (let’s see how long this comment is allowed to stay up).

    Giles gets it wrong – AEMO uses “blackout” threat to push for markets that encourage storage

    =========================

    I’m sorry but you have misinterpreted the data presented by the AEMO. The shortfall percentages give the period of time when the state grid is projected to be short of generation capacity over a year. This does not mean that the power will be out only for that period.

    Once a grid has a generation shortfall, demand shedding must take place at the edges of the grid to prevent total blackout. Bringing up the blacked out section can take hours as evidenced by the November 2015 incident, due to the need to isolate the blacked out section into subsections that can be brought back online without tripping the powered grid due to the inrush of power required for the reconnection. The larger the blacked out section, the more time is needed to isolate the subsections before power can begin to be restored.

    In the worst case of a state being blacked out, it could take a week – particularly if there is a shortage of large synchronous generators as these allow for larger sections to be reconnected due to the greater stability they provide – South Australia gets many mentions in the ESOO report for this reason. They discuss the stability in terms of avoiding islanding and blackout but on page 36 of the full report, the restart issue is discussed.

    The other big problem is that the type 3 and 4 wind turbines that have been installed in Australia do not provide synchronous inertia to the grids as they do not have the circuitry needed for this (Enercon calls their version “inertial emulation”). This reduces the ability of a grid to drive current through a shorted circuit which means in the event of a fault, generators are more likely to trip rather than circuit breakers leading to larger portions of the grid being blacked out. Again, this leads to longer reconnection times as there is more time needed to find the cause of the fault, along with the sectioning required, before reconnections can take place.

    The good thing is that the Victorian and NSW shortfall percentages are projected for 2 GW of reduction in NSW coal generation and 800 MW of reduction in Victorian coal generation capacities beyond 2025 without similar replacement.

    The bad thing is that the projections for South Australia are for the current state of their grid. There is 210 MW of solar thermal stated as being proposed in 2 projects for Port Augusta which could help.

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    Another Ian

    JO

    O/T but not far

    Quote

    “A GOVERNMENT BIG ENOUGH TO GIVE YOU EVERYTHING YOU WANT, IS BIG ENOUGH TO TAKE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE.”

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    Steve Richards

    For your census computer system, I wonder how effectively the load testing was done?

    Did they assume a maximum of 5% of the population would log on simultaneously or some other figure?

    Is the FOI-able?

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    Matty

    Listen to IT Expert Malcolm Turnbull explain the best brains in the World are all over this problem and that a DoS attack, which was inevitable , is not a hack but like parking a truck outside your house.
    http://www.2gb.com/article/alan-jones-malcolm-turnbull-7

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