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The Full Tilt
Stilgherrian delivers an undiluted dose of criticism and analysis of the ways digital technology is changing our world and the spin that goes with it.
Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust. He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit trap, clear a jam in an IBM model 026 card punch and mix a mean whiskey sour.
Melbourne's $1.3 billion myki smart card ticketing system still hasn't been rolled out to buses or trams even after experts were flown in two months ago. Sydney's Tcard project was cancelled and now they're starting again. What can we learn from these transport IT disasters?
Australia's planned mandatory internet service provider level internet filter will block Refused Classification (RC) material. Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy says that's "child pornography, pro-bestiality sites, pro-rape websites and material like that". But it's actually more than that.
Most Australian parents are concerned about the safety of their children online. But new research shows that parents don't back up their concerns with meaningful actions, and that in any event they might well be concerned about the wrong risks.
A new 16-digit healthcare identifier for all Australians is a centrepiece of the Rudd Government's e-health strategy. The numbers are scheduled to be issued from 1 July, but have the privacy issues been properly thought out?
If you think the National Broadband Network will automatically speed up everything on the internet, you're wrong. Inefficiencies in TCP/IP network protocols mean a lot of time will still be spent setting up application-layer data streams.
The key IT buzzwords for 2010 seem to be "cloud computing" and "virtualisation", but is cloud really right for your business?
When websites say "Please log in with your Facebook ID", they're trying to make things easier by using your existing log-in. But they aren't Facebook, so can you trust them?
Anonymous, best known for its masked protests against the Church of Scientology, has branched out into denial-of-service attacks against Australian government websites to protest the Rudd Government's plans for mandatory internet "filtering".
Last week the Federal Court ruled that internet service providers are not responsible for copyright violation by their customers. This is an important decision not just for iiNet, which spent around $4 million defending the case, but for all ISPs in Australia and, indeed, globally.
This week tackles whether multitudes of video surveillance cameras and students with free government laptops are a good thing.
What are the risks facing Australians doing business overseas in the wake of the allegedly Chinese attacks on Google and 33 other US corporations?
Two potentially huge privacy risks on Patch Monday this week. Contactless EFTPOS and credit cards that allow you to make payments without a signature or entering a PIN, and the vast honey pot of personal data that is Google.
Intel announced new processor chips at last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas: the 2010 Core series, with transistor sizes down to 32 nanometres. They're faster with better power consumption, sure, but what else will it mean?
Could connecting cheap wireless devices to the electricity grid open up security holes in our critical infrastructure?