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Mantra: backup backup backup backup

Someone sent me an email which asked what to do since:

one of my external hard drives, the one with EVERYTHING I REALLY, REALLY WANT on it has died

Great Firewall of China gone?

An friend of mine who lives in China recently wrote to me and said “guess what.. the great firewall of China seems to be gone…” My friend advised that you can read anything you like.

An example of this is the UK BBC news site, who a few months ago reported that their English site is available inside China for first time in a decade; but the point of interest is that the BBC Chinese site is also available for use within China.

A quick search, by my friend from within China, for tiananmen, dalai lama and taiwan yields links to articles that seems to make it evident that the so called Red Firewall doesn’t reset connections anymore.

Is this a show to the world that China is no longer the perceived oppressor of their own peoples right to information? A way to “shake-hands” with the world before the upcoming Olympics? This possible change in policy or network filtering may re-enable other people to test the status of the filtering once again.

Whether it will stay that way permanently remains to be seen.

Little Brother

I just started reading Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother using one of his ebooks he has relesed under the Creative Commons license.
I have to admit that I had never heard of Cory of BoingBoing fame, or his books until I read about them via CelticBear.

As a ‘paranoid’ geeked I’m hooked on Little Brother, and if you like tech, geek and drama you should check it out as well.

Update: I went to buy a copy from a local bookstore, but it is not released in Australia yet. You can read the ebook or buy it from amazon.

How the mighty have fallen

Alexander Downer spent 11 years as the foreign minister of Australia. During his tenure, had he been visiting Melbourne he would have had his cars, his people and arrangements for venues visited. Now it’s a bit different.

Alexander DownerThis morning I almost bumped into him on Collins Street in Melbourne. You can’t miss a public figure. The funny thing was that some man in the street was hurling abuse at him, but didn’t realise he was no longer foreign minister. Downer yelled something back at the man then went on about his business.

To the man in the street: Where have you been? Under a rock? Rudd’s crew are now trying to steer this ship we call the Australian economy. As for Downer, after 11 years in his position, travel over the world representing Australia, political and foreign intrigue; he’s now as much a businessman on the street as I am. It is humbling no doubt.

His replacement in foreign affairs, Stephen Smith, is in for an exciting and probably stressful tenure.