Cheeseburger Gothic

Lights, camera, Abbott and ISIS

Posted 36 minutes ago into Blunty by John Birmingham

At Blunty.

I suspect the Prime Minister is lying to you. This may come as no surprise, but lying your way to war, even a little one, is an order of magnitude more serious than simply lying your way into office and out of your promises. Some lies lead only to disappointment, perhaps to resentment. Some lead to violence and tragedy and death.

3 Responses to ‘Lights, camera, Abbott and ISIS’

damian mutters...

Posted 30 minutes ago
Dread to think what the communters will be like today :)

Big Willie Style asserts...

Posted 18 minutes ago
I just got back from the Daily Telegraph's website. You should read the communters on there. The Prime Minister must allow Aussie families to arm themselves!! We must take our country back by any means necessary!! Death to Lefties!!

It's those sort of people that scare me, frankly.

Respond to this thread

Halwes mutters...

Posted 2 minutes ago

That just about sums up the way I'm feeling about all this. Thanks. I despair about this country. I think we must be the stupidest, most easily manipulated people in the world. Now watch Abbott's poll ratings go through the roof.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Lights, camera, Abbott and ISIS'

Space elevator. Not as good as FTL, but still pretty good

Posted 22 hours ago by John Birmingham

NBob mentioned this story in the thread below and Guru Bob sent me a link separately. I await the Space Lizard's self interested debunking in 3... 2... 1...

From ABC.net.au:

Once the realm of science fiction, a Japanese company has announced they will have a space elevator up and running by the year 2050.

If successful it would revolutionise space travel and potentially transform the global economy.

The Japanese construction giant Obayashi says they will build a space elevator that will reach 96,000 kilometres into space.

Robotic cars powered by magnetic linear motors will carry people and cargo to a newly-built space station, at a fraction of the cost of rockets. It will take seven days to get there.

The company said the fantasy can now become a reality because of the development of carbon nanotechnology.

42 Responses to ‘Space elevator. Not as good as FTL, but still pretty good’

Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted 21 hours ago
Cost to orbit of $200 per kilogram? This may be the incentive I've needed to stick to my diet.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted 20 hours ago

The best predictor of future behaviour, is past actions. You aint ever getting into space, but may be mistaken for a small moon.

Respond to this thread

Surtac mutters...

Posted 21 hours ago

Cheap cost to orbit is the grail of sustained spaceflight. If this can happen it will be Seriously Good for our future as a species.

Bring it on.

Vovchara is gonna tell you...

Posted 13 hours ago
Well, i think when they start to build components for space vehicles in a fabric using same mass production technic they use building cars, the cost could be a lot lower then it's right now, when they build components manually by Ph.Ds :)

Respond to this thread

Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted 21 hours ago
Sorry, this is OT but may amuse: "Doctors in the US and India won the medicine prize for demonstrating how to stop an uncontrollable nosebleed with nasal tampons made from bacon." Just one example of the wonderful Ig Nobel prizes.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/sep/19/ig-nobel-prize-british-researchers-win?CMP=ema_632

Miss maudy asserts...

Posted 20 hours ago
Which just goes to show that bacon is good for all the things.

Red has opinions thus...

Posted 17 hours ago
Had bacon and eggs for lunch, but no urge to stick bacon up my nose.
JG

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 17 hours ago
Then you weren't eating with the right people.

damian has opinions thus...

Posted 15 hours ago
Or eating the right people.

A nice extra value pack of bacon nasal tampons would have been a beaut when I had an uncontrollable nosebleed every hour or so for two days after The Geisha Girl Incident*.

Or might have been. Actually any sort of blockage of the outer nasal region just leads to the blood going down your throat. Not the most pleasant kind of autophagy, you get this phobia of garlic and crucifixes. Bacon is cool though.

* The details of which are so much part of the lore that expanding on them here would only be trite.

Red ducks in to say...

Posted 14 hours ago
Obviously not eating with the right crowd, Paul. Perhaps you could point out the 'right people' (apart from your good self) should you dine again in Brisbane. I did not see you inhaling bacon at the Greek restaurant, but you could have nasal popped bacon bits when I wasn't looking. Three years since I've eaten with and/or met any Burgers. Sniff. I believe you were also there, Damian. No bacon.
JG

Respond to this thread

Aaron ducks in to say...

Posted 21 hours ago
Been looking forward to this since I read about it in the Mars trilogy. It also makes me sad. Japan is pushing for the future while our govt is pushing for 1950.

Respond to this comment

NBlob asserts...

Posted 20 hours ago

One of the thoughts I had was; wouldn't a structure like this induct gigavolts of static electricity as it passed through the atmosphere?

Dave W reckons...

Posted 20 hours ago


Not that I know a damn thing about this, I learnt recently that oil pipelines are at risk from ionospheric disturbances i.e. solar storms, basically due to the fact that they're massive metallic structures and will therefore expand/contract at different rates due to the magnetic/electric things happening to them from sciency things.

So yes, I would imagine that a space elevator would need to be safe from the same kinds of things.

Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted 20 hours ago
Oh please NBlob, it's not like carbon nanotubes would be conductors . . . oh. Well even so, what harm could a 96,000 km high conductor possibly do?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted 18 hours ago
The cable won't be passing through the atmosphere. It will be in one place connected to a station in geosynchronous orbit.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted 18 hours ago

Ok, so the amosphere will pass around the cable.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted 18 hours ago
Yeah. if the wind blows. The energy generating capability would be the same for a long metal flag pole - i.e., not much.

NBlob reckons...

Posted 17 hours ago
Longest fricken flagpole EVA

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted 17 hours ago
Yeah, there is that aspect to such a project.

Barnesm asserts...

Posted 16 hours ago
are you talking about induction due to the movement of a conducting line moving through a magnetic field. For similar reason as outlined above the space elevator shouldn't be moving through the earth's magnetic field.

damian reckons...

Posted 14 hours ago
Sure... you can generate gigawatts by rubbing your pole... and produce a massive discharge... unless there's a mighty wind. Do you say that to all the girls or just the materials engineers?

Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted 11 hours ago
Memo to Birmo: Can we have a 'favourite' button as well as a 'delete Dino' button?

Respond to this thread

pitpat puts forth...

Posted 18 hours ago

Average speed : 570kph but aside from looking out the window and marvelling at the wonder of it all I think a few good books and a well stocked beer fridge will be required for your average space tourist.

As for the static electric thingy surely it would be an opportunity to generate power what with all those potential field differentials ... and stuff.

I also reckon Aus will be supplying a lot of the graphite required to make the graphene to make the nanotubes. So money to be made all round maybe.

Respond to this comment

Barnesm reckons...

Posted 18 hours ago

Its the best strategy I have seen for giving humanity access to the solar system.

However

as someone who worked with carbon buckyballs as part of my post graduate chemistry degree the ability to generate long single nanotubes of carbons are similar to the challange of making long continuous wires of room temperature superconductors the easy, robust (forget cheap, we would be willing to pay elephant bucks for these supermaterials if only they could be made quickly, and robustly. Money wouldn't enter into it).

At the moment its not easy, nor indeed possible to make a long continuous tube of nanotubes capable of being used to build a bridge let alone a space elevator. Not saying its never going to happen, but I'd be concentrating on trying to make the tube before I'd be working out how to build the elevators or talking about the orbital vehicles.

And the ability to generate current by dragging the nanoline through the earths magnetic field may be a positive providing energy whch can be used by the station.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted 18 hours ago
Beat me to it, Barnesy. I entered this place to comment that it will likely take many decades figure out how to manufacture the stuff in quantities enough to get the job done efficiently.

Like putting a colony on Mars or Europa, although we have the know how to build a space elevator now, we don't have the money to do it.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 17 hours ago
Thank you much appreciated. I am sure we could find the cash if we wanted to do it.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted 17 hours ago
That goes without saying. The US spent approx. $3 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. No one will ever be able to estimate the consequential costs. That would have built a small,self sustaining city on Mars, not to mention a space elevator. But that's not what those munted wankers wanted.

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted 15 hours ago
would it help if they thought the Jihadists were going to get one first?

damian mutters...

Posted 14 hours ago
Surely spending $3 trillion without having anything to show for it is just a kind of sexual selection artifact, much like the peacock's tail.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted 6 hours ago
Yeah, I bet those guys were getting great sex when they thought they were reshaping the world into a great big Texas.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted 31 minutes ago

Respond to this thread

Red reckons...

Posted 17 hours ago
I believe that flying cars (or means of transport) could be a possibility in the future, but an elevator to space? Sorry, I just can't get my head around it. Sounds like something out of Charlie's Chocolate Factory - a concept that will stay in the realm of science fiction. But, hey, who am I to argue with the best, scientific minds in the world? I know nothing about the potential of science, only that my mind boggles at the mere idea of an elevator to space. Call me naive....

I watched the Apollo13 movie again on TV the other day, and I'm still overawed at the technical wizardry and brainpower that luckily saw those astronauts returned safely to earth in 1970. So, who knows what could happen in 50 years time.

Can't say I particularly like heights, but the ideas surrounding future space travel are certainly exciting. I only hope that humans don't muck up the delicate ecosystems/space systems with pollutants and space junk... more than they already have.

Regards,

Joanna G.

Respond to this comment

Squid mutters...

Posted 16 hours ago
Won't those pesky Russians blow up a satellite and cause super-fast debris to destroy said space elevator?

And won't George and Sandra be far too old, or you know, alive, by 2050 to save the day?

Respond to this comment

Wolfcat asserts...

Posted 15 hours ago
I worry that it is like fusion power... going to be built in 50 years, of course they have been saying that for 50 years already...

Still I really really really want them to build this.

Respond to this comment

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted 15 hours ago
Your column headline called to mind a game on steam call Space Elevator based on the sapce elevator sequence in Alastair Reynold's Chasm City which I think couldn't possibly be as much fun as FTL.

Respond to this comment

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted 14 hours ago
I am reminded of the noble Pyrosome, the 60 foot long tubular creature that floats around in the oceans of the southern hemisphere.

(paraphrasing off the internet)

Pyrosomes are a giant colony of much smaller creatures called zooids, a marine invertebrate that measures in at just over an inch long. But, the pyrosome isn’t just a whole bunch of zooids holding hands – it’s all the same zooid. Each pyrosome is made up of thousands upon thousands of clones. The colony is shaped like a giant funnel, closed at one end and open on the other. The open end is the mouth (sort of).

According to the Nerdist, they are “so delicate, a gentle wave carries enough force to tear one apart.”

Respond to this comment

Blarkon mumbles...

Posted 14 hours ago
The problem is finding a material with the tensile strength to function as the cable. You make a cable that big and it snaps under its own weight. The wikipedia article on space elevators has a lot of the relevant info (The idea has been around almost 120 years)

If poony hoomans invented a material with the appropriate tensile strength, there are a lot of applications that would be in the line before we'd get to space elevators.

Someone should do a show like the ABC's Utopia, except with SF ideas.

EP 1. Why we aren't going to colonize Mars in your lifetime
EP 2. Why you aren't getting a flying car
EP 3. Why you will never ride the Hyperloop
EP 4. Why Space Elevators aren't happening anytime soon
EP 5. No Jetpack for you. Not yours.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted 14 hours ago
Damn space lizards. Always keeping us down.

w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 13 hours ago
All I want is a small, sports coupé. That flies. Just like George Jetson.

Sudragon asserts...

Posted 11 hours ago
Flying cars will come along 5 seconds after a fool and idiot and foolish drunk idiot proof control system is developed. Probably by Google.

Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 11 hours ago
Space lizards have been buying up patents, kidnapping and eating inventors and suppressing brilliant human ideas for centuries. If not for them, we would have the Bjelke-Petersen-Horvath water powered car, the Brock Magnetic Fuel Magicaliser, Cold Fusion, Hypersonic Spaceliners and seventeen hundred cancer cures based on homeopathic activated almonds. Get your stinking claws off us you damn dirty lizards!

Respond to this thread

Big Willie Style would have you know...

Posted 16 minutes ago
Not impressed. Willie Wonka had this sorted out decades ago.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Space elevator. Not as good as FTL, but still pretty good'

On Dino

Posted 23 hours ago by John Birmingham

I grow tired of Dino's crazy bullshit. My apologies for not deleting his comments in the thread below earlier. I was at a country wedding over the weekend and out of mobile range.

As long time Burgers would know, I have a liberal approach to comments and commenters, and for the most part it has worked well.

But it is not working with Dino.

He is fucking up the blog.

So Dino, I'm going to delete everything you post for a month, no matter how coherent or on topic it is. And there will be much rejoicing. If you post such a blizzard of comments that I find it difficult to keep up, I will simply provide admin privileges to enough trusted regulars to make sure the comment threads are no longer clogged up with crap.

I'm that over it.

If, after that month, you can behave yourself, I will stop deleting your comments. If not, I will commission Dan to recode the Burger in such a way as to give readers the option to mute your contributions.

This will cost me money I would rather spend on shiny Apple gear. You can imagine how I feel about that.

16 Responses to ‘On Dino’

insomniac mumbles...

Posted 19 hours ago
Has Dino responded? How will we know?

Respond to this comment

Peter Bradley reckons...

Posted 19 hours ago
Thank you JB. I was always confused with those posts that it was just me.

Respond to this comment

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted 18 hours ago


Huzzah. Huzzah for Birmo San.

I understand & respect the public nature of a blog. His Scaliness had some pithy observations a while back about the life cycle of such a blog as this.

I also remember when there was a skirmish in the past, I advised one of the parties to just "Not read the posts from the offending party". But, Dino with his spam-like volume went far too far.

There was a transnational discussion recently elsewhere. The conclusions reached were: Dino's aTroll who gains perverse & unexplainable enjoyment from disrupting. & Birmo's a far more patient man than either of us. Then we moved on to "How much would Abe enjoy these rattlesnake & rabbit sausages?

Thank you Birmo.

Now to get a cetrain decrepit oblate spheroid likewise relegated to the cheap seats.

Respond to this thread

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted 18 hours ago
Your blog, your rules.

Respond to this comment

yankeedog has opinions thus...

Posted 18 hours ago
Seconding Brigadier Barnes!

Thanks for the break, JB, even though you shouldn't have to babysit the blog. I've been here a handful of years now, and I thought I'd read about every view and viewpoint there is, but-whoa. Some of the Dino stuff was making my eyes bleed. One hopes he gets the help it sounds like he needs.

MickH mumbles...

Posted 17 hours ago
I just stopped reading it YD

Respond to this thread

MickH swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 17 hours ago
Golf clap for JB!
Thanks John,
I have to admit, he was starting to push me away from the blog

Respond to this comment

Bangar swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 16 hours ago
He's had his time, time out corner is a good spot.

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted 15 hours ago
Am I the only one here who sees Dino as an Aristotelian tragic hero? You know, a man whose misfortune comes to him, not through vice or depravity, but by some error of judgment. Like Oedipus. Or maybe Batman.

MickH ducks in to say...

Posted 14 hours ago
Yes...

Respond to this thread

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted 15 hours ago

"Am I the only one here who sees Dino as an Aristotelian tragic hero" I think I can attest with little fear that any of the other burgers will contradict me

Yes, ....yes you are.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted 6 hours ago
Well, now I feel socially and intellectually awkward.

Respond to this thread

Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted 14 hours ago

Prime Minister Birmingham and ahhh my cabinet will ahhh do everything humanly ahhh possible to keep you ahhhh safe

MickH puts forth...

Posted 14 hours ago
Lol Halwes but comparing JB to the FKN Rabbit will probably get you banned too! :P

Respond to this thread

Big Willie Style mumbles...

Posted 2 minutes ago
Dino's ramblings were keeping me away from this blog. I grew tired of seeing 50 comments on a topic, and 80% of them being his desperately unfunny and nonsensical blatherings.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'On Dino'

Jason Snell's new gig

Posted Wednesday into Awesome by John Birmingham

Some of the more refined souls around these parts mourned the passing of Macworld magazine last week. The masthead survives in online form, if survival you can call it, but the print issue is a dead parrot. It's a shame. Some great journo's worked at that mag, and a suprising amount of podcast talent came out of it, not always to talk about Apple.

Jason Snell, who runs my favorite fun-media* podcast The Incomparable, wrote for Macword for a couple of decades. He's become something of a podcast mogul on the side, and now has a shiny new blog as well.

Six Colors, which looks way more colorful than Daring Fireball.

If you have a round of blogs you like to take in before the working day, and you tend to end up at the same sites as me – looking at you, Beeso – it's worth bookmarking.

People still bookmark, right?

He started with a piece about the comparative sizes of the new iPhones. (He got both early to review). I was happy to see the entry because I confess myself vexed on this matter. To the point of possibly waiting for the S variants of the 6 to arrive and the Watch to mature before I step up from my 5S.

A lot of my 'phone' use is for reading, which argues for a larger screen, but then I also listen to a shitload of podcasts, audiobooks and music on it – which is better with a smaller model. Hence my decision to wait for the watch to mature. I'm hoping to be able to hand off a lot of the audio features to the wearable, freeing me up to get the Plus.

Anyway, Six Colors, check it out. And his podcasts are the bomb too.

The Incomparable. More of a network than a single poddy. (And they have a Weapons of Choice episode!)

And the newly minted Upgrade, which is much more techy.

*Fun-Media. It's totally a category.

26 Responses to ‘Jason Snell's new gig’

beeso has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
Already in my 'daily' folder.

Respond to this comment

NBlob would have you know...

Posted Thursday
I've subscribed, but so far not capturing me. Will give it another couple of eps.
I pimped on twitter & will re pimp: Hardcore History 6 hours across 3 eps of WWI with heaps of Splodey, but with extra context. Excellent delivery.
Best pod cast I've come across yet.
No disrespect to SE2KB, I subscribe & dig it, but HH is Teh Shiznit.

Bangar mutters...

Posted Friday
Motion seconded!

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted Sunday
I too am a fan of Hardcore Histories, the_weapon worked his way through the whole lot listening to it when he would go to bed at night.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted Yesterday
Holy ShitBallz Brigadier, that's a hard core little dude you've growed there. While the other wee barns are banging on about Yugi Oh, he's riffing on the Punic Wars.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted 23 hours ago


Are you aware of Mark Steel ?

strongly reccomended.

<A href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mark_Steel_Revolution">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mark_Steel_Revolution</A>

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted 23 hours ago
Will check it out, looks engaging

Respond to this thread

Respond to this thread

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted Saturday
Hypothetically, how would one tell a troll to fuck off & stop ruining a nice thing we had going on, without engaging with said troll?

Halwes reckons...

Posted Sunday
I've had plenty of luck with a spoon lately. Mackerel mostly but a few coral trout. Lost my best mack magnet last week to a giant that I got right up to the boat but failed dismally to land. Whatever you're catching with 1/0 hooks and 50 metres off shore wouldn't be worth having.

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted Sunday
Its indeed a challenge Nbob, one I have not yet worked out. It certainly leads to me being reluctant to follow an active post or even click on the topic if I see the last half dozen recent comments are from the same person.

damian would have you know...

Posted Sunday
Birmo's already hinted at an upcoming kerplonkishness upgrade. Sad, in the days of scorefiles there'd be the option to have your software use multiple criteria (including modestly advanced analysis of the text of the post) toward hiding a post from you. For here it'd be poster plus keywords for sure, though I imagine we'll only get poster.

Have I mentioned I have always and still think web forums are a kind of technical dumbing-down?

damian ducks in to say...

Posted Sunday
Should have mentioned: some days I may not be that keen on posts about capping muppets either. But on had days I suspect that maybe I'm the troll, and just don't post.

Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted Sunday
Damian,
I have never in the two or three years I have been here ever considered your posts other than enlightening.
Keep up the good work.

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted Sunday
Captain,
The armoury is OVERLOADED.
Need to get rid of some shit.
No shelf space whatsoever.
I have dropped some unknown cases into the sewer.
Gonna be explosions when people shit.
My bad.
But more importantly there is an excess of weapons.
They will be used.

Bangar asserts...

Posted Sunday
Meds to aisle 5

Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Yesterday
Myabe the wip[pon in melbum?
Thrash his braynes?

Respond to this thread

NBlob reckons...

Posted Sunday

Way T F OT, but interesting:

Space Elevator
<A href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-21/japanese-construction-giants-promise-space-elevator-by-2050/5756206">http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-21/japanese-construction-giants-promise-space-elevator-by-2050/5756206</A>

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Sunday


Sorry I should have said

<A href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-21/japanese-construction-giants-promise-space-elevator-by-2050/5756206">Space Elevator</A>!

NBlob mutters...

Posted Sunday

Nope. I give up, you'll work it out

Respond to this thread

NBlob reckons...

Posted Yesterday
And the Ban Hammer was swift, mighty, righteous & good.

Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 23 hours ago
You commies always want to ban something !

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted 17 hours ago
Yes. And then we'll take all your stuff.

Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted 16 hours ago
None of the proletariat should have or want any "stuff" comrade.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Jason Snell's new gig'

Sending out for a sub

Posted Wednesday by John Birmingham

Lurking in back of the debate (such as it is) about the latest misadventure in Iraq, is a quieter exchange between a couple of dozen interested observers of defence and strategic policy. But not about Iraq. Rather, about the new submarine program the government, and any successor government, is going to have to make a call on soon.

Abbott seems to have all but opted for the Japanese Soryu Class boats, without bothering to go to tender. Shorten appears to think of the subs as little more than an employment program for South Australian fitters and turners.

My initial, untutored response is to wonder why the boats have to be built here, when so many other high end defence technologies aren't. There are arguments in favor of onshoring the build, of course. But there are plenty against too.

Hugh White (a submarine enthusiast of the first order) had a piece at Fairfax yesterday, basically slamming both sides.

There is no overriding need to build our new submarines in Australia, but there are very good reasons not to buy them from Japan. So Bill Shorten is wrong to insist that the work must be done in South Australia at any cost. And Tony Abbott is just as wrong to be rushing to buy Japan's Soryu-class boats. So neither side of politics is approaching this immensely important decision sensibly.

For anyone interested in the deeper debate, ASPI has a free to down load paper on the subject, here.

54 Responses to ‘Sending out for a sub’

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted Wednesday

Yes well thats quite the rabbit hole to lose myself down this morning.

The ASPI paper has information provided by people with experience and extensive knowledge of the field with current and relevant details from other countries troubles and trials with submarine projects. I especially liked then chapter How to buy a submarine part 2 and from what I have seen of Mr Abbott and Mr Shorten if either of them have read it neither seem to have understood it if their comments to date are any example. Yet despite all this expertise the decision will come down to who scared enough people at the last electon to get the most votes.

For me this is part of the greater trend I first came across in piece by Tom Nicols in The Federalist called the Death of Expertise.
The dissmissal of the arguements provided by these experts and reduce the discussion to Japanese subs/Australian Jobs confirms Mr Nicols ' what has died is any acknowledgement of expertise as anything that should alter our thoughts'.

Like all things I hope that this is cyclical human and we will return to expertise, but I fear this is a quantum shift in the way our civilization operates. One the one hand a poor decision that will ultimately costs us significant time resources in the case of these subs, or the one of the ongoing poor judgments which with hinder all furture progress.

Respond to this comment

yankeedog asserts...

Posted Wednesday
Building a submarine takes a pretty solid industrial base. Keeping that base and those skills intact might be a good reason to build subs 'in-house'. Of course, if the government orders 25 subs where they need, oh, say, 6-then you've got a make-work program. A very expensive one.

Can't the government work a deal for building the subs in 'kit' form, or doing the interior electronics and fittings, etc.?

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
There's all sorts of options for structuring the build and post delivery program, Dawg. And it gets discussed in great depth by the insiders. But none of that ever leaks into public consciousness.

Vovchara is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
<font color="#333333">"....none of that ever leaks into public consciousness" - and probably gets ignored by the decision makers, right?</font>

Respond to this thread

w from brisbane mutters...

Posted Wednesday
I try to read the experts, but I end up nonplussed. There never seems to be a main body of opinion in defence spending.

Respond to this comment

schlepstar asserts...

Posted Wednesday
Another thing that perhaps only nerds like me have considered is that the range of the Soryu is about half of the Collins in its current form (~21000km vs ~11000km). Coupled with the standard RAN <-> USN systems interoperability requirements, (as per Collins class) that will mean a completely different combat system, the Soryu option starts to look either unsuitable as-is or requiring significant tailoring which means that comparing the cost with what the JMSDF pays for their boats is next to useless.

Happy to share/borrow/steal technology from the Soryu but unless we significantly change what we want our future subs to do, as-is I dont think it cuts the mustard. But having said that, politics may likely trump capability sadly.

Greybeard puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
Saw that too. Also that speed is 12 knots vs 19 for the Collins. Perhaps the most overlooked point is that the Japanese military doesn't seem to want to sell the Soryu to Australia or anyone else. Apparently they don't think we can keep the tech secrets to ourselves (snerk). Wonder why they'd think that?

Respond to this thread

Halwes has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday

I can't see what's wrong with a job creation program in SA. We need to be developing these sorts of skills in Australia for the future. If we outsource all our heavy engineering what will happen when the dollar drops and we can't afford to buy the skills in anymore.? Let's also remember that it is Australians that will be paying for these subs so why shouldn't Australians benefit from the employment and training opportunities for their kids?

HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
COS!...and Ill try not to spin a bearing here. Its gunna cost about 4 fkn times what it should and we will end up wit what we have now. 2 boats out of 6 in the water. WHY can we extend the life of the collins a bit....COS they spent so much fkn time on blocks NOT being used but being repaired.

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted Wednesday
Havock21,
Adjusting the long term(Cleaners from Poland who did the Micro Electronics on the Collins Class Subs who I used to live with cause Aussies have no fkn Idea about Micro Electronics)
benefits of buying Submarines from Japan or Swreden.
Where did the beautifal boats, the Collins Class come from?
Haven't they lasted well?
How much did they cost?
Austra;lian Navy Architects don't suck my dick cause tjhey blame the Politicians.
ANy how who ebver picked the collions SUbs should decide the next Subs.
They are fkn geniosusss.
And made a lot of money.

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
Any hoo,
The facts aere after th Collins Subs Austrakllia should not invest in Subs.
Blame the fuckwit Navy or the Fuckwuit Politicians either way don't buy subs.
Waste of fkn time and money.
Fk wits live in straylya.

Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday
@Havock, It appears to me that gifting the japs billions of dollars on a depreciating asset that is never going to turn a profit, has questionable defence credentials and will be a constant drain on commonwealth funds would also be folly. If no one in this country is working at high tech jobs anymore then how the <A href="mailto:f@ck">f@ck</A> are we going to pay for all this.? I'd rather pay for a nuclear weapons capability and aim them at Indonesia and China.

Respond to this thread

Pat puts forth...

Posted Wednesday

Professor White's dismissal of the ignores the strong linkages between building and maintaining the submarines. The greatest challenge with the Collins Class is maintaining them. Not enough though was given to how to build and maintain that sustainment capability. If we buy something overseas this gets even harder. To equate servicing a F18 with a submarine ignores the incredibile complexity of submarine maintenance and sustainment. Submarines are the crown jewels of the ADF and an indigenious capability is essential.

Anyone who thinks buying Soryu class is a simple 'Military Off the Shelf' purchase is delusional. At a minimum we'll be integrating the joint combat system we have developed with the USN, not to mention weapons and sensor systems. So many of our procurement mistakes in the past have been made by thinking buying an existing platform and integrating non-native systems is a low risk MOTS option - it is not.

The best option from a strategic, risk management and industrial point of view is to build an evolved Collins Class or look at trying some of the new technologies to be included in the new class in an evolved collins.

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
hmmm.....and building a NEW system isn't...but wait....what was the Collins? and an evolved Collins...thats a fkn OXYMORON I RECKONS!

Respond to this thread

Anthony ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
I've been following this debate with interest. I have a niece who is a submariner and I'll be interested to hear what the people who will have to serve on them have to say next time I see her.

Respond to this comment

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
and where is Havoc's well argued and reasonably toned apprasial in all this I ask?

w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
I'm pretty sure Havoc would tell us that we only need one ship, and that is friendship.

Simon reckons...

Posted Wednesday
oh jeebus. That tickled my funny bone.

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
likewise...excellent work w, although FKN friendship is more likely

w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
Thanks Simon and insomniac. I appreciate your comments. My humble little jests normally fall on fallow ground I fear.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
@ W, I take great solace in the truism; genius is never recognised in its own lifetime.

Greybeard mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
w from b, you've captured the very essence of a Havock post.
NBlob, many people have recognised my genius in the past and continue to do so and I'm alive, ergo you are wrong.

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted Wednesday
Too good W.
I have it on good Authority that Marvel Comics have Havock contained in a secure facility.
he whooped Thor.
Whooped him easily.
marvel have now given the fuckin hammer to a woman.
maybe a Woman can beat Havock?
Cause fuckin havock is a fkn god who whooped Thor...

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
I think w plus 1 is x? Many x's anyway dear chap

HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
YOU FKN IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!>......ROFL FKN LMFAO!

Respond to this thread

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
Well, if things go South for the Act of Union circa 1707 on Thursday it may well be that there will soon be four Royal Navy submarines available.

If you can hold your nose over the reactor and payload.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

Respond to this comment

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
You can get all types of subs at the food court in the shopping centre near where I work. If you get them on the wrong day they run a lot faster than 19 knots.

yankeedog puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
You talk as if a sub made of cat meat and frozen lettuce is a bad thing...

Respond to this thread

Chaz is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday

Barnes, Got a lot of time for Tom Nichols.

In regards to buying Japanese, there are political issues (ie why bend the PRC's nose out of joint on this issue?) as well as fiscal ones. I personally can't see why the design couldn't be licenced so they could still be built in SA.

However in the end I feel there is a need to be looking forward and 'future proof' any design we chose which will drive up costs. Given the shorter ranges of existing designs to the Collins class, there is an increased suitability of choosing a SSN design rather than a SSK one.


Respond to this comment

Hewy has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
It seems the buy Japanese submarines option is more about shared technical platforms around the South China Sea and the protection of those trade routes and resources that connect Australia with Japan and China.
It would appear that us and Japan will be policing most of those sea lanes with a shared interest, and it seems that most/all of our subs will be deployed in that region, so it seems to make some sense to share the technological platform if possible.

Respond to this comment

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted Wednesday
Dino, as a rule, whenever you make any reference to sucking dicks, or your stream of unconsciousness becomes unbearable, I delete the post. Also whenever you defame anyone, even if they desperately deserve it, or when you try to post some egregiously horrible sexist shit, I now delete. I also delete whenever I see the word Jew or Arab in your posts. I've stopped reading them. I just delete.
I likewise delete you when you make sense, and you're not being offensive, but you post multiple entries one after the other.
When one of these conditions apply, I don't delete.
Just in case you were wondering.

Halwes reckons...

Posted Thursday

Gees Egregiously had me running for the dictionary. I guess that's why you're the fabulously well paid awfor and I'm not.

Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday
Halwes,
I have upset JB.
I have apologized.
The cycle repeats.
WTF the plural of Egret is, like you, I have no fkn idea?
Like do Egrets come from the Levant?
Do they even exist in Australia?
I mean C'mon.
Egrets?

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted Wednesday
OH FK IT!

HERE GOES!

1 The last lot of subs we byuilt are SHIT, dont fkn work like they should, spend more time on blocks than in the fkn water and have cost us a gazillion god dam fkn dollars more thanthey ever fkn shoudl
the RETARD RUD wants doing over without fkn lube for the delay and the reaming he has left def with, but I fkn digress.

2 STRETCHING a Collins, which BTWE is what ya gunna have to fkn do if you want sate of the art propulsion systems installaed ( they have looked at it folks) AIP etc. Alters the fkn boats significantly. then there is the requirement for VLS...intergrate that into a Collins without any fkn issues and Ill kiss your furry fkn arse in bourke fkn street.

3 Shorten and his fkn JAPS are BAD fkn brain fade...what can I say...ITS A FKN DRONGO!. Yeah, Chaz is prolly right, the chinks will go ape shit if we buy / build whatever Jap design etc but really.......WHO GIVES A FK!. They do as they wish and I am pretty fkn sure CHINA will not come to OUR FKN DEFENCE...ON:Y if they have already annexed oz that is!

4 SSN...YEAH FKN BABY, as much as i love them and think that they will serve operationally greater than 70% of our needs, we aint gunna get them, not yet. I think thats still a generation of two away before fkrs wake up to their very very good capability and suiting our needs mostest!. FAST, Endurance, weapons platfir,ms. VLS etc etc etc and fkn etc. If you want 12.....boats. BUY 8 Nukes and 4 Diesel units.

The 4 Diesel units should be , one in deep refit, one in minor and two operatiuonal at all times and get a MOTS fkn unit as they WILL be base up north, hell, thats prolly where the JAPS etc would be good for. The SSN's then prowl the other vast fkn spaces that ..HEY...a SSK aint that fkn good at.

AS for CHINA. THEY CAN KISS MY FURRRRRY FKN ARSE!

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted Wednesday
Aaah, that's gooood Havock.

damian mutters...

Posted Thursday
That's definitely the Havsy we know and ... well, know.

SSNs are an interesting problem. Yeah they are deffers a great capability that would outclass anything else for our interesting niche purposes (not so niche really but there you go). But doing it strategically involves basically renting them complete with crews for a 30-year generation or two while growing the knowledge base. Then there's the odd misalignment in that the flavour of government that may like the idea is the kind that really, really hates scienticians and scientists and all those lefty hippy types more than anything else on earth. Sure it's not rocket science or brain surgery (dirty lefty stuff those), but it's up there.

Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted Thursday
Damian,
CSIRO had it coming.
Full of Smartypants people.
It's Un Australian!

Respond to this thread

Greybeard would have you know...

Posted Thursday
OK, I'm putting up my hand to confess ignorance and hoping some of you can enlighten me. I've read that the Collins class were/are hopeless, unreliable wrecks and that they were good enough to "sink" US ships in international exercises. There are articles claiming that with the bugs out, they're da bomb, and others that they're noisy because of bad prop design. So what, really, is the deal with our current subs? Is the number in use: number in dock ratio because they break down or because we don't have the crews? Can anyone point to an authoritative article or two or has the truth been buried under so much partisan bullshit we don't know?

Because whether we build our own design or assemble a Japanese one, surely we have to be confident that we can before tossing a few billion at it? And surely I'm not the only one who doesn't know?

w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted Thursday
I'll have a go.

My understanding is that it was a massive undertaking to build the most complex thing ever built in Australia. If you were inside the project and saw all the brilliant done by a very large team to deliver just about everything promised, you were massively proud and mystified by its poor reputation. The only real failure was the combat system, which proved undeliverable and was replaced by another system. The result was a very fine submarine that was tailor made for its purpose.

Unfortunately, the period in which they were successfully operational was far too short. Now they are basically cactus. I think only 2 are actually in water, but even they have limited function.

Cameron Stewart in The Australian has written a lot of articles about the Collins class subs over the years, I think pretty fairly. This 2013 article lays out the state of play at that time.

Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday
Thanks w from b. But amongst the 68 problems, this really caught the eye:
"Another challenge is that the Collins boats are getting heavier, by between half a tonne to one tonne a year, for reasons DMO cannot work out."
WTAF!? Barnacles? Soggy carpets? Chinese tracking devices? STOWAWAYS?

damian ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday
The hull plating is made of a porous alloy that slowly absorbs seawater?

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
The obesity epidemic?
Corrosion (all that extra O adds up)?

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal">Greybeard, the OR for the ssk's is pretty poor (operational readiness) and to be honest, from what I have read the spec sheet was shit when we set it out. The Project man was shit as well, the contract man was also crap and then, toss on top JOBS FOR VOTES.<span style="font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language:EN-AU"><o:p></o:p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">The JAP boats are supposed to be the quietest and have an AIP system, something ours don't and any new one, if it’s a diesel boat will need to have. Retro fitting them into an existing hull is a costly option, but they were designed for it, both from a cost perspective and remember, the boats will be getting very old. <o:p></o:p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">Kinda like putting a spanky new motor in a HQ.<o:p></o:p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt"> Holden. <o:p></o:p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">I do believe, that we originally specified our own home grown kick arse state of the art combat system for the Collins, which went arese up and we fitted the US combat systems (somebody can correct me if I am wrong on that). There was also a report back in 2013 by the DMO citing 68 critical defects in the boats..( NOT GOOD) but I guess all fixable. <o:p></o:p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">The real one that I jumped at was the radiated noise levels. the boats are quiet, no doubt about that and playing against seconds prolly really good. As we have been told, even against the first team with great drivers and we do have them, we catch them with their pants down. That’s not to say the boats undetectable, Remember that a a nob on the other side made errors too and we benefitted from that. Anyways. ( here the link ) http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/defence/secret-defence-report-signals-collins-subs-crisis/story-e6frg8yo-1226726526665<o:p></o:p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">Somebody asked earlier, and yes, they are a bastardised design, the sweedish VOITY HOITY CLASS that was stretched and fkd over eight ways from Christmas. So using a current design and really modifying it has issues. If you then look at the SOY SAUCE Class we are looking at, its not nearly as bad and given we retrofitted the US weapons systems once...well we could do it again I guess if we bring the techs out of the old fogies homes.<o:p></o:p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">Boats meant to be capable of 20 knots submerged, and so is the soy, not sure where the remark about them being slower cam from.<o:p></o:p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">Defence items are bloody big ticket and whilst Iove jobs creation, its still got to be REASONABLY FKN EFFECTIVE and COST EFFECTIVE. And to my mind that does not mean supporting somthng that will result in us having boats that are 4 or 5 times more expensive and NOT the very very best we can get.<o:p></o:p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">People lose sight of the tow very critical objectives we must always strive for. Its getting the best best possible equipment for our guys / girls to fight with if they have too and by fkn large default, that means we do not WASTE ONE FKN CENT<o:p></o:p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 15.05pt">

damian has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
Sigh. Just when I'd steeled myself to try to decipher a Havock comment again, something happens to make it even less intelligible. Sadly, because it looks like one of the rare interesting ones :/

Greybeard would have you know...

Posted Friday
Thanks Havs. Found the link for the 12 knots claim (http://www.news.com.au/national/new-japanese-submarines-to-cost-abbott-government-20-billion/story-fncynjr2-1227050682205) but it's News Ltd so probably crap. Or they mean that's the speed for maximum range.

Couldn't understand why we looked at the German and Swedish models last time. Yeah, I know nuthing and yeah we stretched it, but both seemed to be designed for the Baltic? Can't believe I'm saying this, but it's a pity the US has stopped making diesel boats. Common systems and weapons would be so much easier.

damian asserts...

Posted Saturday
Perhaps going with the Japanese subs is an opportunity to go one better than spending billions on building in the same combat systems as our US allies, and aiming instead to integrate interoperable ones. Or rather, co-ordinate defining some (or align with existing) international interoperability standards then demand the relevant vendors integrate with those.

This beats increasing vendor lock-in. And it's a technology area that could only be improved by opening to competition - the current practice uses secrecy to conceal shoddy practice all the time, and when it's not merely incompetence it's far, far worse. Increasing shareholder value is the greatest good, Eisenhower's nightmare writ large and all that.

Of course we already let that ship sail decades ago and none of our people are really prepared to call out the demand to "use our stuff or we won't play with you". And doing it right (international standards that might suit anyone integrating with anyone, not just a narrow subset covering a specific national interest and embedded assumptions about that specific nations relationships with its allies, for instance). Sorry, rambling.

And apols to Havsy, been in an exhausted snark more or less full time for months, low threshold for comms barriers. Anyhow you know that snark isn't personal and all that.

Respond to this thread

Guru Bob would have you know...

Posted Thursday
A few months ago there was lots in the media about how the Swedes were making a big bid for our sub contract, but everyone was saying that the shit hot subs we should be looking at were the Japanese ones, but their government wasn't interested in selling them.

Now they seem to be on the market, and the Japs work with the USN all the time don't they? So interoperability shouldn't be a big issue.

Personally I think that the priority should be the capability of the actual weapon that determines whether we buy it, not industry or job policies.

Respond to this comment

Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted Friday
Captain,
The Hitachi Computer has responded.
-"Trust Issues?"
Should I respond or meditate on this information?
Also Captain the big 3D printer makes sense.

Respond to this comment

Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
Remember the TR-12's?
Why the fuck would you buy a Makita when you could buy a TR-12?
i cried when they stopped mking them.

Respond to this comment

Patricia mumbles...

Posted Saturday
JB - on another note regarding the federal government, ASIO's powers are being changed under new amendments to go before the senate on monday which would make it an offence for a journalist to disclose the torture of a person involved in an ASIO investigation.
Is there any chance of you covering this on the ABC or the National Times? This would mean that anyone knowing the person under investigation could be also be tortured, his/her spouse and children, former workmates, friends, and the journalists who disclose the torture could face ten years in jail

Respond to this comment

S.M. Stirling is gonna tell you...

Posted Saturday
Most of the reasons for not buying the Soryu looked a bit iffy. A revolution in Japan's alliance structure -- which has stayed exactly the same for the past 70 years -- is exceedingly unlikely, for example. Not absolutely impossible, just so unlikely that it shouldn't impact policy much.

Also, more generally, while China may be a problem in the immediate future, it probably won't be after the 2030's.

If you want to know why, go to the CIA World Factbook and take a look at the population pyramid for Taiwan. This is almost exactly like the -urban- mainland Chinese demographic profile, except that mainland China's cities have even lower TFR's... and a majority of Chinese are now urban, with the percentage going up very rapidly.

Japan is a largely quietist, inward-looking power now for a number of reasons, but demographics is among the most important, and China is following along right behind.

The major difference is that China will be a lot poorer (and much more polluted) when it's a giant but steadily-emptying retirement home. This is not very far in the future, either; most of the people on this list will live to see it.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted Saturday
Yeah, well, most of the people here aren't as old as I am. Even so, I intend on outliving everyone here, if for no other reason than to personally witness the demographic apocalypse you describe.

Respond to this thread

Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted Yesterday
Hey JB,
Did a forklift course and some one told me the ADF will take you up to 50 years old!
I applied years ago when the 35 years limit applied.
As I have mentioned they advised me to try the Cops.
(Cops told me to get fucked).
Hence I am richer than Warren Buffet.
But unlike you Old man I may still make it into the AD bloody F!
Wish me luck.
Threat to Ausytraya?
I fuckin killem.
I will leave the good Politicians in Canberra alone to deal with red belly in my back yard but 400(at least) Canberrans need to die.
They behead kids JB.
On 400 000 dollars a year.
Kill Aussies JB.
Do you think the ADF wuill asept mee?

Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Yesterday
Should Qualfy this.
Fkn Tru.
I rang up the ADF and they said "What can you offer?"
I replied-
"Bitch I got 'tude' you may call it Attitude but that's not my lingo!
I got tude. Fkn big tude! U wnna me or not?"
They didn't reply JB!
I will try again.
I am sooo glad I am not and old man like you...

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Sending out for a sub'

Quickflix embarrasses itself

Posted Tuesday by John Birmingham

I've been meaning to write something about the open letter from Quickflix to Netflix, whining about the hundreds of thousands of Aussies so underwhelmed by QF's woeful product that they go to the considerable trouble of tunneling under the geoblock to get Netflix.

But my brother beat me to it at his site.

Quickflix apparently wants rules that force consumers to buy its products — or at least limit choice to increase its chances — rather than relying on the immutable laws of market competition to sort wheat from chaff. The fact that 200,000 consumers would rather go to the trouble of breaking through Netflix’s geoblocking firewall than buy the Quickflix service tells you everything you need to know about the relative merits of those two services in the minds of Netflix’s Australian customers.

...

Quickflix has made a mistaken assumption common to many companies: it has forgotten that regulation is not there to protect them from competition, it is there to protect us — consumers — from them.

16 Responses to ‘Quickflix embarrasses itself’

Sian asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Quickflix is a truly terrible service. Terrible. I signed up to get access to the Veronica Mars movie the day it came out wanting to be a good girl and pay for my product, sad fangirl that I am, and it was surprising how bad it was. Bad quality, clunky, non-user friendly interface, just shit really. Full price too. Paid about the same for the blu-ray version from JB when it came out. Learnt my lesson there...

Respond to this comment

Josh reckons...

Posted Tuesday
This is one of the many reasons people download TV shows from torrent sites. These companies provide crap service and have the nerve to charge top dollar for it. Foxtel are the biggest thieves around. The whole premise behind pay tv when it started was that you paid for the 'privilege' to view shows without ads. Well that went out the window a very long time ago without anyone so much as batting an eyelid. Then came the reduction of channels for your money. But if you pay a bit extra you can have more. But not all. Now these companies are crying foul ? My heart bleeds. I have no problem paying to go see a movie, & have a bookshelf full of JB books I paid my hard earned for. But I have no sympathy for these thieving bastards........ End rant.

Blarkon is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
People download TV shows from torrent sites because they are entitled bastards who have internally rationalized theft.

Respond to this thread

Josh puts forth...

Posted Tuesday

Sorry. My enter button on the keyboard stuck.

pi puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
I just thought you were really passionate about the subject.

Josh asserts...

Posted Tuesday

Haha. Sorry to disappoint pi. ;-)

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
Sorted

Respond to this thread

Blarkon asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Isn't this in a lot of ways the same as the ban on parallel importing of books? Where Dymocks wants to source product from a US publisher rather than an Australian one because it is cheaper for them?

I completely understand the reasoning behind allowing local rights to be purchased (and protected) by Australian companies. It allows the creator to maximize their earnings from the thing they created. But apparently the Australian attitude is that while miners are completely entitled to bleed the wealth of the nation so they can buy bigger houses, those evil writers, actors, and singers should get real jobs and should make money selling t-shirts and shit.

I suspect the long term outcome will simply be that at some point there won't be such a thing as "Australian rights" - with the obvious follow on effects to the Australian content production industry. Why fucking buy Australian rights for content if the general Australia attitude is that it's completely Australian to steal shit if you don't want to pay the sticker price?


damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
I've no problem with the idea that the Australian rights for stuff could be negotiated separately. What annoys me is where someone takes the opportunity to turn it into a monopoly and take rent for it. It annoys me, more because of what it says about Australian business culture than anything else - the aggressive sense of entitlement that's always lurking a millimetre under the surface. That shit goes back to MacArthur, and we'll always be a backwater of nothing but drunks and thieves till we root it out and kill it with fire.

Respond to this thread

TeamAmerica swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
I'm sorry to hear that Aussies must deal with an arrogant monopoly. Do you have access to Amazon? Its offerings are similar to Netflix, while also offering at various prices, pay video on demand. I have cable tv via Comcast but I plan to drop it as there is too little that appeals to me.

Respond to this comment

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
Me, by three years.

Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
Really? I thought he'd be the older brother. Like, you know, Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes.

Respond to this thread

Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday


I always found australian content and productions are hard to torrent as are obscure things that I like.(which includes JBs books) Its easier to just get on Google play and itunes or the producers website and just buy it. Pirating is easy when its big businesses like Warners, Sony and HBO but if its Deez Nuts, Boris the Blade or Luca Brasi its a total waste of time and effort looking. and you cant pirate a double vinyl set of Laibach's Iron Sky soundtrack.

What I want to know is does youtube pay royalties like a radio station everytime an album or song is streamed over their service? I can see from my youtube account that I could receive money for my upload views (75000 and counting) but not for the other persons copyrighted stuff. The actual creators copyright is being breached at that point and the broadcaster should then cough up the cash. Which is Google.

Respond to this comment

Aaron puts forth...

Posted Thursday
I have done my fair share of rationalising - I have to in order to watch game of thrones AND keep my bung hole intact. In return I buy the season box set. One for me and a few more as presents.

If only the monopoly was broken and a reasonable service was offered, There wouldn't be temptation to rationalize in the first place. When ou want to fly somewhere, you just buy the seat, not the whole airplane.

Respond to this comment

S.M. Stirling has opinions thus...

Posted Saturday
Regulations often -start- by protecting consumers from companies; they almost always -end up- by protecting the companies from competition and letting them settle into comfortable successful rent-seeking and monopoly.

The regulators and the regulated merge into one oozing, corrupt "thing", with people shuttling back and forth between them.

It's not a mystery; it's called "regulatory capture" and it's pretty well inevitable. The interest of the company in doing this is immediate and highly concentrated; the interest of anyone else in stopping it is diffuse and delayed. Immediate and concentrated wears down diffuse and delayed; QED.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Quickflix embarrasses itself'