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Comment Re:Why wait til now to pursue possible legal actio (Score 4, Informative) 358

He's not. This is a spontaneous donation drive for which I am personally responsible. I work for Charles Darwin University. You can look me up on their website and call me right now to confirm my identity if you like. Or rely on the fact that I've been on Slashdot for more than a decade.

Submission + - Thanking Peter Tattam (

Jacques Chester writes: "If you connected to the internet in the early 90s, you probably remember a little blue-and-gold trumpet icon. It was Trumpet Winsock, created by Peter Tattam, and it made it possible for millions to get online for the first time ever, kickstarting the web revolution.

Through Trumpet Winsock I found slashdot, linux and a whole world of interesting people and fascinating subjects.

Its creator, Peter Tattam, received almost no payments for the millions of copies distributed by ISPs and magazines.

In one of those weird sudden internet events, you can now pay Peter for his work, which made the interwebs accessible so long ago.

Thanks, Peter."

Comment My father has held this position. (Score 3, Interesting) 226

It's very hard to qualify for. My father served two winter tours for the Antarctic Division in exactly this role. He loved it to bits -- he's a bit of a hermit, so only having to deal with the same dozen people for months at a time was his idea of heaven.

However, a lot of people apply. A lot of them are very smart and qualified. My father has decades of experience radio, satellite, microwave, land line and LAN communications. You may need the same.

Next you need to pass the rigorous screening process. You need to be in good physical condition. Dad spent months sweating away in a gym to meet the weight, blood pressure and cardio requirements. You will be checked for a large number of medical conditions, and if any of them turn up, you will not be accepted.

Finally, there's the psych review. If you're going to be a winterer, you'll be living in isolated darkness for months with a small group of people with a pitiful satellite uplink to the internet (no youtube or games for you). Not everyone is suited to that.

Comment Re:Yes it is, but genocide isn't. (Score 1) 233

"Genocide"? Really? I was not aware that non-aboriginal Australians were consciously and systematically trying to kill all aboriginal Australians in concentration camp ovens. Having been an Australian since 1980 you'd think I'd have noticed that by now.

Particularly since, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the aboriginal and torres strait islander population of Australia is growing at a faster rate than the national average.

Comment Re:Always more to the legends and stories... (Score 5, Informative) 233

But nothing changes. And you can understand why ... their culture is most fundamentally a nomadic one. They have no concept of 'ownership' of land or property, and rarely stay in one place for long.

Because of the construction of townships and outstations, this is no longer true. Or rather, it is not as completely true as it used to be.

It is very simplistic to say that "their" culture is nomadic. Firstly, there are dozens of distinct cultures, each with different features, languages and laws.

Secondly, aboriginals understand freehold title pretty well at this point. It's not as if they haven't hundreds of years of seeing everyone else have it except for them!

We've handed back vast tracts of traditional lands to the Aborigines (much like the Indian Nations in the US), but the native Americans seem to have done much better for themselves than the Australian Aborigines...

You are probably thinking of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Northern Territory), the High Court decisions in Mabo and Wik and the Native Title Act which followed those decisions.

However, the Land Rights Act did not give aboriginals freehold or even leasehold. Instead it created monstrously bureaucratic Land Councils which have mostly enriched a very few at the expense of the many. Thus the average aboriginal living on "their" land which was "given" to them can't actually do anything with it. They don't own it, and they can't own it. Consequently they can't start a business, or own a house. They cannot get a loan secured by the land. They can't do anything with it, in fact, except hope that they have mates in their Land Council.

As for Native Title, again it grants nothing like freehold rights to land. All it grants is traditional rights, and only under very particular and difficult-to-prove conditions. Win Native Title and you might get Crown land back, but not always as ordinary freehold. Most likely you'll only get hunting rights or ceremonial access. Again it's basically economically useless.

Aboriginals are human beings. They behave according to their perceived self-interest. I suspect that if we gave them freehold of their land, instead of trying to put them in a sort of cultural museum to assuage our own guilt, we'd learn that they're a smart and capable people.

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