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Member Since 20 Nov 2009
Offline Last Active Today, 01:49 PM

Topics I've Started

[Another] London Terror Attack

23 March 2017 - 12:40 PM


London attack: At least five dead, 40 injured after terrorist targets Westminster Bridge, Houses of Parliament


A suspected Islamist terrorist has been shot dead after killing four people and injuring 40 more in a car and knife attack on London's Westminster Bridge and inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament.


The attack started at about 2:40pm (local time) when a speeding car ran down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, before crashing into the railings surrounding the Parliament.

The knife-wielding driver then entered the Parliament grounds and fatally stabbed a police officer, identified as a 48-year-old father with 14 years' service, before himself being shot dead.

The three other fatalities were members of the public hit by the car on Westminster Bridge.

"We've declared this as a terrorist incident and the counter-terrorism command are carrying out a full-scale investigation into the events today," Mark Rowley, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer, told reporters.

He would not comment on the identity of the attacker, but said police were working on the assumption that the attack was "Islamist-related terrorism".

Hundreds of officers are investigating the attack, and the investigation is working at a "very fast pace", Mr Rowley said.


Source: http://www.abc.net.a...-bridge/8378392






5 people dead, with likely long term consequences to perceptions of public safety, need for increased security, and general impact on Western freedoms.  


Daesh or a similar organisation will no doubt take responsibility, with the usual demand for British and other Western forces to withdraw from Syria.


Maybe it's time to seriously rethink our Middle Eastern policy, and actually withdraw?  Yes, that will necessarily result in civilian deaths and the likely emergence of oppressive power structures, but I think we need to draw a line somewhere.  The current strategy of bombing the shit out of them is clearly failing, and I think our experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq have made it clear that you can't impose democracy or peace on a society fundamentally fractured by tribalism (Sunni vs Shia).

Universal Basic Income as a product of an Automated Economy

15 March 2017 - 11:51 PM

Separating this from the 'How crap is this government?' thread, I stumbled across this video this evening that raises a few interesting points:



I think there's an interesting parallel to slave labour in Rome, and I think the BAI and NAI are clever mechanisms to control UBI rates.

What are some interesting things to do with a offsite server/VPS?

14 January 2017 - 03:05 AM

Hey Atomic,


So I recently set up a VPS to work as a Shadowsocks server in order for me to get around internet censorship in China.  It's pretty awesome compared to commercial VPN services using OpenVPN, which are intermittently blocked using sophisticated deep packet inspection by the Communist Party of China.  I'm in the process of setting up a dedicated router running OpenWRT to make the solution even more seamless, but struggling a bit with the implementation.  


My background is embedded C, which doesn't translate too well to ~nix.  However, I've started to realise this stuff is pretty intuitive, and there's a world of of open source programs that enhance every day life that I'm completely unfamiliar with.


The purpose of posting this thread is to gather ideas about what other people are doing with their servers or VPS, to see if I can stretch the $5USD I pay Vultr any further.

AGL disconnected my hot water, despite me not being a customer?

21 April 2016 - 09:33 PM

Hey Atomic, I post seeking advice on an awkward situation I find myself in.


Earlier this week, I lost hot water to my unit.  The building has two bulk hot water system powered by natural gas, which feed 4 seperate units in the building each, and uses individual water metering to split the bill.  Originally, I thought it might be a result of some construction that was excavating trees from the front of the building, and wasn't too worried.  I spoke to the construction workers after it had been 24 hours since the hot water was disconnected, and they let me know they hadn't asked for anything to be disconnected, and weren't digging near gas lines.


Next, I spoke to my provider, Origin Energy.  They said it wasn't an issue with them, and that I was up to date with my bills as far as they could tell.  I then spoke to my Realestate Agent, who put me in contact with Body Corporate.  Body Corporate sent a plumber round to look at it, who found a disconnection notice from the APA Group in the locked gas cabinet.  I contacted APA, who passed responsibility to AGL Energy.  AGL Energy said someone hadn't paid the bill, and that the problem was with Body Corporate.  They acknowledged that they hadn't sent out disconnection notices to the individual units, and stated they didn't need to, because their relationship was with Body Corporate.  They also let me know it would be 8-10 business days from the point that Body Corporate paid them, to when the service would be reconnected.


There seems to be a reasonable probability that the source of the problem was the Direct Connect service I used when I moved in last December, who possibly have connected me to the wrong meter.  This would mean I've been paying someone else's bill, and the bill for my Unit has been going unpaid.  While AGL were able to identify that this was the possible cause, they insist the problem doesn't involve me, and lies with Body Corporate (i.e. I can't simply pay whatever is owing, and sort out the details with Origin/Direct Connect/Body Corporate later).  The person at the Body Corporate service provider who usually looks after this building is away on leave, so it's a reasonable possibility that disconnection notices were served and ignored.


Having possibly identified the problem, I find it supremely shitty that 3 other units (1 of which has a young family) have been dragged into this, and even though AGL are aware of the details, they're unwilling to reconnect the gas while the issue of payment gets worked out.  The next issue is that my Dad comes down next week to start his next course of Radiotherapy.  He lives in FNQ, so it's already going to be pretty cold down here for him, and cold showers are not the best idea for someone who's already immunocompromised.  I can't afford to put him up at a hotel, but worse case scenario, I reckon I could probably rig up a bucket shower with a couple kettles as the hot water source.


However, if I can, I'd like to avoid that.  It seems like this would fall foul of some sort of regulation given that hot water is considered an essential service, but I'm not really sure who to follow this up with? 8-10 business days means at the earliest, I'd get hot water back on 4th of May.  I've contacted the Australian Energy Regulator for advice, but was told it was not in their jurisdiction, because they don't deal with bulk water systems.  They referred me to the QLD Office of Fair Trading, who I'm skeptical would be able to help.  I intend to follow it up with Origin Energy tomorrow to see if they can quicken the process of reconnection, but I have a feeling they're going to say it's out of their hands.


A final consideration is that the Plumber didn't re-lock the gas cabinet, and there's nothing physically stopping me from simply turning it back on.  The disconnection notice states that it's illegal to interfere with the meter, and offenders will be prosecuted under Section 287 of the Queensland Gas Supply Act.  I've had a look through the act, and even though I'm reasonably sure AGL had an obligation under Australian law to notify either me, or my service provider (Origin Energy) that they were going to disconnect the service, the law is stacked very much in their favour when it comes to reconnection.


Any clever folk here with ideas, knowledge, or experience on how to get my hot water back by Tuesday next week?