23 September 2008

where did all the people go?

I am reminded of the saying, lies, damn lies and statistics. Here is a quote that is simply very funny.
Rocca says the carrier has ended up with a network that can download the Australian National Library in 4.6 seconds and switch 180 billion telephone calls per minute.
Now, I do not think I could down load the national library in 4.6 seconds, no matter how good the network is. But the next one is the clanger. Why would you build a network to handle 180 billion calls per minute? I mean that would need 360 billion people and they would have to make a call every minute. Perhaps there was a population explosion here in Australia while I was not looking. Or perhaps the Rudd government has an immigration plan that they are not telling us about.

13 September 2008

Harassing James

One thing I have noticed in wandering around Sydney is that the security people take a dislike to James. If I wander off on my own, I am fine and allowed to take photos. But as soon as James arrives, a secrity guard will start asking questions and if possible try to make us go away. I take photos with lots of people, this only happens with James.

Example #1 - Taking Photos of a mine in the Hunter Valley

"security man doing his duty for the company" by yewenyi [?]
security man doing his duty for the company

Example #2 - we were at the pier Wollomolloo. Mike was taking photos on the access road into the car park, I joined him. The security guard was watching us. When James arrived, we were asked to leave. They would not agree to us walking down the access road.

"Saturday Photo Walk #16" by yewenyi [?]
Saturday Photo Walk #16

Example #3 - twice on Cockatoo Island, where I had previously taken photos, James was told not to. On one occasion there where about four members of the public taking photos, but they only asked James not to. When one of the others who was taking photos (a man with is wife and two young daughters) asked why James was being told this and not everyone else, the security person retreated. I wish I had captured it on video.

"Cockatoo Island" by yewenyi [?]
Cockatoo Island

Example #4- I was not present at this one. The day before APEC became declared James had his film stolen by the police. (Well they never gave it back.)

09 September 2008

Unfair Elections Results

I have been watching the results of Australian elections for a while now and have noted that in a few ways they represent a gerrymander and are still coming up with mathematically unfair results. The WA elections are a case in point.

This table is not very neat. But you can see a better version here. If the system was truly representational then people would get candidates approximately in the same proportion to their vote. The table below shows that this is not the case. This is why a system such as those used in Tasmania or the ACT are far better than those used in other states.

% Vote Won Likely Nominal Difference

Labor 35.9 26 20 6
Liberal 38.7 22 21 1
National 4.9 4 3 1
Greens 11.5 0 6 (6)
Others 9 3 5 (2)
A simple calculation of error being difference divided by total, gives 8 over 55 or a 15% error. I wonder what sort of error would be considered fair?

04 September 2008

photo phobia - psychotic behaviour?

Recently I became friend with someone on Face Book just to play a game. I discovered this comment on this persons photo stream which was attributed to me. I never installed this application and I never made this comment. I wonder if the man is being psychotic? There seems to be a tragic wave of photophobia striking Australia at the moment.
Awkward Contact

Brian Yap wrote Wow! that's an odd looking pose for a profile picture, what's going on?

Jammar Prince (Thetford, United Kingdom) wrote Well, ummm, you look like a nice person so let me tell you a little secret...I don't like my photograph being taken but shhhh don't tell anyone ;0)