Nothing to hide, everything to fear – why metadata retention is bad for everyone

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Australian government efforts to implement metadata retention laws are all over the news. If you read the newspapers or their websites, then you know that not even the Attorney-General seems to know what metadata will be collected, the Australian Federal Police says you have nothing to fear and they’re not interested in you, the government is only after terrorists, paedophiles and organised crime, and the data may or may not be used to see if you’re downloading movies. From the same sorts of sources, you’ll also know that the only possible problems with this regime are that journalists and whistleblowers might be more vulnerable, and that it will cost a lot of money to implement, even in this time of “budget crisis.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I can see why our law enforcement and intelligence agencies would like this bill implemented – if I can see a tool that will make my job easier, with no cost to me, I’d want it too. And yes catching terrorists and paedophiles (why does everything always come back to these two groups?) is a good thing. But just because you think spying on every citizen is a bad thing, does not mean you’re on the side of terrorists and paedophiles.

Brendan WalpoleNothing to hide, everything to fear – why metadata retention is bad for everyone
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Melbourne cup sweep

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Just in time for the race that stops the nation, here we have a simple sweep spreadsheet you can use instead of ripped up bits of paper at your local bbq.
On opening, make sure you “enable macros.” Then it’s just a matter of pressing the “Start Draw” button at the top of the “People” sheet, type in people’s names as they enter the sweep, and they’ll be allocated a horse. Job done.

If you need to do a redraw for some reason (otherwise known as cheating until you get the “right” horse), press the button again and new horses will be given to everyone.

Happy punting!

Brendan WalpoleMelbourne cup sweep
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