Monday 16 August 2010

Labor will control mobile phone content next

Just the thing to help out the 32% undecided.

The Labor mob say they will deal with the "loophole in the mobile phone" arena that allows downloadable content without any censorship (they just love that word, don't they).

Brendan O'Connor, Minister of Home Affairs, says he is "concerned about the classification of games playable on mobile telephones and had put the wheels in motion to address this."

On top of the temporarily shelved internet filter censorship plan, now smartphone applications will be captured in the government's censor net, to be graded in the National Classification Scheme. Almost every phone sold these days is "smartphone" compatible, with Apple avoiding millions of dollars in fees to the broke Labor government (not as broke at the Queensland Labor government though). Classification fees range from $470 to $2,000, and with 22,000 applications available, that's a truck load of dosh.

Also a good read today, is Malcolm Turnbull's view of Labor's National Broadband Network. Turnbull is the leader many lefties say they'd vote Liberal for if he was still leader.


KitchenSlut said...

The Turnbull article contains a few elements of political spin but is well fouinded in its criticisms and concerns. The arguments for the NBN concern me when they take on some of the flakey intellectual naivety we saw during the y2k internet bubble era ie: "technology is the future how dare you be opposed the current economics don't matter you stupid neanderthal". It was the neanderthals who survived the internet bubble!

Support from the IT industry is meaningless as a vested interest looking at what is effectively a fat sunsidy. The background to the Turnbull posting can probably be fouind in more neutral format in the bloggings of Christopher Joye (economist and real estate data entrepreneur at Rismark RP Data)

Along similar lines prominent economist Joshua Gans has been blogging prolifically of late on NBN with particular academic interest on whether this is a private or public good and it's imnplications ....

Syd Walker said...

I'd trust Malcolm Turnbull to perform competently as Communications Ministers above anyone else on either front bench.

However, I think this is not one of Malcolm's greatest thought bubbles.

An investment of $40 billion is not excessive, IMO, on infrastructure as important as this. Sure, it sounds a lot per household. But that's spread over several years. How much per household are we spending on roads? Is that investment ever expected to return a direct profit to Treasury?

The main thrust of Malcolm's article, therefore, is a variation on the general theme of why we can't have nice things (too expensive, too risky, a better alternative MIGHT come along etc etc)

He doesn't mention the main reason why I don't trust the ALP to establish the NBN: the liklihood it will use the money to bribe our IT industry into accepting its creepy censorship and anti-civil liberties schemes.

However, what drives me to near despair is that NEITHER 'side' of politics bats an eyelid - in public - over ridiculously expensive publicly-funded 'investments' that benefit no-one but the military industrial complex. What 'rate of return' will we see on the $36 billion submarine program for example - apart from some protection against a possible future sea blockade of this continent? That must surely rank as one of the least likely things... roughly in the same order of probablility as a major asteroid strike.

How come the military gets its favourite toys at HUGE expense while the public can't have nice things without endless cost-justification? How come almost no-one in Parliament ever raises that for serious public debate?

I think I know... but I'd love to hear why from the politicians, without a bunch of platitudes about 'national security'.

Are any contemporary Australian politicians willing to be sin-binned by News Corp and shunned by the 'defense establishment'?

Oliver Redlynch said...

I get really heated under the collar about the crap dished up about Y2K being "a con". It was only because such a stink was raised, and serious money was invested in analysis and fixes that DISASTER was avoided. I worked in the financial sector in London during that time, and I personally know of three insidious Y2K problems that we fixed which unresolved would have simply brought international money markets and trade to its knees for months.

As for the NBN - do you really think that it is fair or wise for our children and our future prosperity, to have an internet infrastructure that is so far behind the rest of the world that its already putting Australian companies at a competative disadvantage? (I speak as one such company). We already know what relying on the commercial sector to do it results in: fat salaries for foreign CEO's and the consumer being screwed.

Alison Alloway said...

How interesting..I wonder if censorship of mobile phones in the aboriginal communities are also being trialled?

Liberall Party Broadband Policy Director said...

What's a mobile phone???

KitchenSlut said...

I would suggest that recent commenters who seem to have responded like boxers punching at a shadow go back to my link to the Core Economics blog and work their way through Joshua Gans postings on broadband over the last few weeks?

Gans is no Liberal lackey quite the reverse and has opposed both policies on their own criteria which is exactly the point!? Neither meet their own criteria for success before any competitive analysis against each other?!

I don't have time for a lengthy Syd-Style missive but obviously both commentators have entirely ignored or misunderatood Gans comments on public and private and display their own 'beliefs' rather than evidence based policy!?

Sorry i'm off out have to run .....

Syd Walker said...

God preserve us from the arrogance of people proud of their training in neoclassical economics.

Sure there's plenty of room for debate about the economics of the NBN and broadband in general, but how about answering this simple question:

Why must we endlessly dispute whether we can afford significant public expenditure on things like broadband infrastructure that have obvious general public benefit, but NEVER have ANY real debate about hugely expensive white elephants like the navy's $36 billion submarine program and ASIO's 1,000% budget growth in ten years?

Why do so many apparently educated people uncritically accept the agenda set by partisan vested interests?

O.Vesses said...


KitchenSlut said...

Kitchenslut's training in neoclassical economics came from a barefooted kaftan wearing ponytailed lecturer at Newcastle Uni (NSW)who was a specialist in urban economics and a guru in the economics of street drugs and the propensity of well intententioned rent controls to destroy cities faster than nuclear warfare!

Actaully, the initial economic adviser to Paul Keating took over as head of department the next year and it's sad how much economic literacy has being lost in our community in the last decade?

Leaders have stopped communicating in preference to focus groups?
I can only imagine what Walshy, Hawkes Finance Minister, would have said on the NBN .... extreme profanity perhaps?

KitchenSlut said...

P.S. I digressed to say that the said lecturer advised at the very beginning that while he disagreed with much neoclassical rationalist economics the problem was that the critics were a bunch of ignorant wine glass wavers misrepresenting something they didn't understand!

Same applies here .....