Plucked from the wire: blogs are dead, dancing boobies, detention debt, NSW health, and Oz net use

Blogging is dead, long live multimedia-sharing and Twitter

Wired says blogs are dead. Blah blah linkbait, blah blah everyone’s on Twitter these days, blah blah. Read it if you can be bothered.

Most amusing moment: the author complains that blogs attract abusive commenters, and suggests Youtube instead.

Most overlooked problem with the multimedia explosion: accessibility. The move to podcasting and Youtube has meant that blind and D/deaf users are left out in the cold, unless someone is transcribing. Here at Hoyden About Town, we try to make our blogging as accessible as possible. If you ever are unable to access a video or audio component to a post, please let us know, and one will be provided as soon as possible. I’d like to also spell out the fact that abuse of people for requesting accessibility will never be tolerated here. This ought to be a given in the progressive blogosphere. Apparently, it’s not.

Titties and Beer for Breast Cancer Awareness:

Jingle Jugs, the giant dancing wall-mounted breasts that sing “Titties and Beer”, are available in a pink ribbon breast cancer awareness version. Go, crazysexycancer! *vomit*

See The Assertive Patient for more.

Australia to start paying its debt for illegal immigration detention?

Immigration Department’s chief lawyer Robyn Bicket has told a Senate committee hearing that nearly 200 people could be in line for compensation as a result of the Australian government’s “Detain now, ask questions later” policies. Most of these cases are from the John Howard era. WA Today reports:

“Currently, we are at 191 cases where we believe there is risk of legal liability for compensation and 56 cases where we believe there is no compensatable risk involved,” she told a Senate estimates hearing.

Last year, a report by the Immigration Ombudsman found that 247 Australian citizens, permanent residents and lawful visa holders had been unlawfully held in immigration detention between 1993 and 2007.

New South Wales health system continues to crumble

The reports are coming thick and fast of problems in the NSW health system. Last time, it was Dubbo Base Hospital doctors paying out of pocket for essential diagnostic equipment, and nurses buying bandages and urine dipsticks from the local vet, when the Greater Western Area Health Service hadn’t paid its bills to suppliers.

This time, a woman birthed in an ambulance on the side of Great Western Highway after being turned away from the Blue Mountains District Anzac Memorial Hospital in labour. The woman, 10 days overdue with broken waters and in well-established labour, was stuck in an ambulance and sent off toward Nepean because there was “no anaesthetist available” and she was considered “high risk”. Paramedics did not want to transport her because her labour was so advanced, but the hospital insisted on turfing her. Mother and baby returned home the next day.

The Net is Not for Porn

An ACMA report reveals that most Australians use the internet for email, banking, news and weather, bill-paying, shopping, and maps. Also popular with power users are social networking, online forums, health and education information, and streaming video and radio.

Yet internet connections are set to become slowed and more expensive for fifteen million Australians (73% of us are online), because Rudd and Conroy are terribly concerned that we’re all looking for or stumbling across illegal and fetish porn and “inappropriate material”. Read more about their Australian internet censorship plans, and what you can do to resist, at No Clean Feed.

Categories: health, law & order, media, medicine, technology

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. Another problem with multimedia: makes you more embodied. For a lot of people, who feel quite freed from a lot of social cues on the net by dint of being judged by words alone, the prospect of being recorded, especially visually, is kind of like the bad stuff about IRL. Omg appearance, gender, ability, race, accent, on the spot level of coherence, etc. I wonder if vblogging is so boy dominated because guys are less likely to feel judged by how they look. (Maybe more of them can afford video cams too?)
    Of course, it’s possible to be judged by how you write, too, but much less for most people (when writing in their first language, anyway).
    Secondly, porn. Porrrrrn. Ugh, there’s talk of censorship again, as in the late 90s. Fuck, you can’t stop the porn coming through. You can’t stop P2P traffic, it just gets encrypted to get through the filters, and everything gets slower for everyone. All the bad shit, the pedo type stuff? That’ll still get through. P2P is very accommodating in this regard. Fuck, and when did “fetish” mean “evil”? Oh wait *smacks head* my sexuality is wrong and sick.

  2. Oh noes. Blogging is dead! You mean I’ve been wasting my time?

  3. I posted on two demographics who are going to have unexpected problems under the clean feed: queer youth, and sex workers. But somehow I really doubt either of those brackets are going to sway anyone with any clout.
    Most overlooked problem with the multimedia explosion: accessibility.
    I’m actually a little ashamed of how long it took me to shift my blog to something easier to READ. Let’s not forget how ableist things like Capture (sp?) are too.
    The move to podcasting and Youtube has meant that blind and D/deaf users are left out in the cold, unless someone is transcribing.
    Indeed. Also anyone who doesn’t have/can’t afford speakers, or is relying on library or other public computers for their net access.
    hexys last blog post..No Clean Feed!

  4. wtf is twitter?
    I only just got hooked to blogs!
    man i feel old.

  5. Some day, when I have time and infinite money, I want to devise something like Oh No Robot (comic strip transcription thing) for online videos and podcasts.  Maybe a wiki or something, so that anyone can contribute easily.
    *longs for the future*

  6. I read the hur-hur-blogs-r-ded article. Blergh. I am just not a fan of Twitter. I like it when used to capture an interesting thought or observation – there is a skill in packing a lot into one or two short sentences. I can’t stand the abbreviated crap people usually put on it, though.
    Because funnily enough, I am actually a person who enjoys reading longer, insightful pieces of writing. Blogs still give that. And as for the ‘most blogs are professional’ – I can only presume the guy hasn’t looked, because all of my faves are personal ones. Some have gone more professional (Dooce being the obvious example) but I still consider that blog to be a fantastic personal one, just very well run (which is a reflection of skills its owner just happens to have).
    Oh and as for numbers of people reading blogs – bigger is not always better in terms of community!

  7. My job means that I need to be online – in fact, connected to the Federal Government through a broadband connection that they paid for – constantly. The fastest speed available in my area isn’t fast enough, and that’s without compulsory filtering. I hope Senator Conroy is willing to compensate every pharmacy – and every other business relying on connections – in rural Australia for lost income, but I doubt it!
    And I’ve yet to see any insightful messages on Twitter that I couldn’t catch in someone’s email/blog sig, but I do know what a lot of people ate for lunch.

  8. The only educational impact I think we’re likely to see from the filtering is an earlier interest by more children in hacking-as-political-subversion.
    Some people might see that as a net loss; some might not.

  9. To do list:
    * Change name of blog due to impending censorship changes
    * Teach boobies to dance and sing – cos according the website this never fails to bring a smile to a face (I refuse to make them sing the word ‘titties’)
    * Cancel blog since irrelevant and SO last year
    * Qualify as a solicitor to help ppl get compo from govt for inhumane detention and inadequate healthcare – for real, that *will* make all this hard work worth it
    * Stop wasting time looking at the weather since my Yuvutu access days are limited
    fuckpolitenesss last blog post..The CLEO, the CLEO, the CLEO’s on fire…burn motherfucker…burn

  10. I can’t find it right now, but I remember seeing research a few years ago that found that in Australia the internet is the first place most young people come out when they’re queer or questioning their sexuality. The exact locations change, there are chat rooms and forums and myspace and blogs and next year there’ll be something new again, but it’s all the internet. Finding community is literally lifesaving for those kids, particularly if they are bullied at school, and it’s deeply troubling if those kids lose an anonymous(ish) place to test the waters.
    I’d certainly prefer my kid to experiment with his identity online than getting into pubs underage and seeing what he can get away with.

  11. It’s not just the vision or hearing impaired who appreciate accessible blogging! At home I’m on a satellite connection which makes downloading even small multimedia files slow and painful. I adore those blogs and sites who have already meaningfully transcribed the video/audio they’re linking to or embedding.

  12. The woman about to give birth was so ‘high risk’ that it was better for her to give birth in an ambulance????

  13. Bri @ 12 – exactly the same thought I had.
    On the other hand, it’s kind of one in the eye for those who want to treat birth as this process which always must be highly monitored and medicated. Seems like she did ok ‘on her own’ (i.e. probably with a couple of ambo people assisting, but you know what I mean). Hah!

  14. She gave birth with a midwife in attendance. No obs, yet she was fine. How strange. Must have been a one off!

  15. If you click through, there is a line about the baby having to be resuscitated all the way to the next hospital. Medical information is always munged in the papers, however, and it says they were discharged the next day, so it’s hard to comment on whether or not they really were “just fine”. Either way, however, either home or a hospital (any hospital with staff familiar with maternity and paed care) would be preferable to birthing on the side of the road, women shouldn’t be shuffled around like pawns for CYA reasons (or any other reasons), the downgrading of hospitals and the centralisation of maternity care needs to be reversed, and when a paramedic advises against transfer, that should be respected.


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