Oz Blog News Commentary

Articles from THE BLOT REPORT

Databases are like potplants

July 7, 2019 - 10:21 -- Admin

Databases are the bees
knees for storing data to which you refer on a regular basis, provided those data
have a common arrangement or structure. They used to be monolithic structures
basically like a giant spreadsheet for all your stuff. Then along came relational
databases. These decreased the possibility of error by only requiring one entry
for a particular item: if you have to enter it only once there would be less
probability of mistyping it.

Lost files anyone?

July 6, 2019 - 21:09 -- Admin

I was mulling over a directory
on a server the other day, trying to make heads or tails out of where I should
put stuff. The directory was completely shambolic and the file I was compiling
could have been put in several locations, any of which could have been argued
to be relevant and ‘logical’. What happens in organisations is that these
directories seem to grow by iterations which are often based on the desires of

Only conservative speech to be permitted

July 1, 2019 - 09:23 -- Admin

Unless you live under
a rock and never read the newspapers, watch television, listen to the radio or
are on social media, you will have heard of the mess former Rugby player Israel
Folau has gotten himself into, by telling the world that homosexuals are going
to hell. This is the second time he has done something like this, and Rugby
Australia, had had enough and tore up his multi-million dollar contract1.

Are feedbacks here already?

June 28, 2019 - 19:42 -- Admin

Almost a year ago, a scientific
paper appeared in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences
detailing the feedback cycles which it suggested were likely to kick in at
about a 2 degrees C increase over the pre-industrial level (we are now at 1 degree
C above this level). I wrote about it in September 2018 and noted these feedbacks
included: thawing of the permafrost; weakening of land and ocean carbon sinks;

Suffering is good for you

June 23, 2019 - 08:59 -- Admin

The Victorian assisted
dying legislation has now come into force, and is one of the most conservative
pieces of legislation of its kind in the world. This legislation has a large
number of safeguards and is only available to Victorians with more than 12
months residence who are over the age of 18. The patient must be capable of giving
informed consent and be able to communicate their decision, and either have

You thought it was about jobs?

June 19, 2019 - 10:11 -- Admin

There has been much (purposeful)
misinformation regarding the jobs to be provided by the Adani coal mine.
Initially, gullible politicians were promised 10,000 jobs, and those in the
Coalition thought this was wonderful. However, at the same time, Adani told
their investors that the entire project would be automated from coalface to
port. This, strangely enough, was to reduce labour costs. Adani was forced to

Creationist taxonomy

June 17, 2019 - 10:23 -- Admin

A taxonomist is a
person who studies organisms in part to work out their relationships and the
classificatory framework (i.e. their taxonomy) which explains those
relationships. Creationists have little understanding of taxonomy nor an
understanding of time frames. Some days ago, one creationist asked me, as if to
refute evolution ‘how come there are no humanzees?’ (presumably he meant chimpanzee-human