Friday, July 31, 2009

Hi Tech Green Jobs and Computer based Skills Training as part of Rudd Plan

Yesterday the Prime Minister, announced "50,000 New Green Jobs and Green Skills Training Places for a Stronger Greener Australian Economy". I suggest that the government expand the scheme for the high technology green jobs which will be needed. This could include Green ICT Jobs and could make use of computer based training using the infrastructure which the government is already putting in place as part of its digital education revolution. As a part of this, the government could fund the Australian Computer Society and the Australian National University to expand the Green ICT courses already provided (GIT and COMP7310), into the vocational education sector, with online courses to make young people work ready. Courses can also be modularised to allow them to be delivered as part of broader education programs.

The Rudd Government today announced 50,000 new green jobs and training opportunities to build a stronger and greener Australian economy.
This $94 million investment in Australia’s future and major reform of Australia’s training system will help support jobs and communities being hit by the local consequence of a severe global recession.
Today’s announcements will ensure that during these tough times up to 50,000 young or disadvantaged Australians get the skills and training they will need for the green jobs of tomorrow.
Reforming Australia’s training system to produce high quality green skills is essential to meet the growing demand for energy efficient homes and buildings, and to power the industries of the future.
The separate elements in today’s green skills announcement are:
· 10,000 member National Green Jobs Corps – long term unemployed youth will take part in 26 weeks of green job training and work experience.
· 30,000 apprentices trained with new Green Skills –tradies will complete their training with practical job ready green skills.
· 4,000 training places for insulation installers – to help long term unemployed or disadvantaged people into the workforce through extra training and short term - stimulus funded - insulation installation jobs.
· 6,000 new local green jobs - 6,000 new jobs contributing to environmental sustainability in priority local economies.
10,000 Member National Green Jobs Corps
The National Green Jobs Corps is a 26-week environmental training program that over two years will enable 10,000 18-24 year-olds gain job-ready skills.
This will provide 10,000 out of work young Australians with the opportunity to gain work experience and green skills for future jobs.
There are currently around 10,000 young Australians between school leaving age and age 24 who have been out of work for more than 12 months.
These young Australians will be able to join the National Green Jobs Corps to meet their participation obligations for Youth Allowance or Newstart.
The National Green Jobs Corps activities would include:
  • Bush regeneration and planting native trees
  • Wildlife and fish habitat protection
  • Walking and nature track construction/restoration; and
  • Training and hands on experience in the installation of energy efficiencies for buildings.
The Government’s Compact with Young Australians requires that young people must be earning or learning to receive the support of the Government.
The National Green Jobs Corps will compliment the Compact.
30,000 apprentices trained with new Green Skills
To ensure all young tradies in Australia possess the green skills of the future, the Commonwealth will negotiate a new National Green Skills Agreement.
This Agreement will make practical sustainability training a fundamental part of all vocational training programs.
With the support of industry and State and Territory Governments this Agreement will ensure all our future tradies will possess practical job ready green skills.
The Government expects that every new trade apprentice who commences their training after 1 January 2010 will graduate with a core set of green skills and knowledge as part of their training.
This Agreement will lead to national sustainability standards in vocational training.
It will speed up the re-writing of training packages to include these green skills.
And it will require VET instructors and teachers to build on the skills they already have and acquire new skills to train the apprentices of the future.
Over the next two years 30,000 apprentices in sectors such as building and construction; agriculture and forestry; mining and energy; water; transport; manufacturing and engineering will graduate with competencies in green skills.
The practical green skills involved in this training could include:
· Training electricians in smart heating and cooling technologies
· Training plumbers in water recycling and water efficiency
· Training mechanics in green car engines
The national Agreement will be supported by the Rudd Government’s investment of close to $900 mil in TAFE and vocational education infrastructure in 2009-10 alone.
4,000 training places for Insulation installers
To help long term and disadvantaged unemployed people transition into permanent jobs, 4,000 additional training places will be available to workers installing ceiling insulation, or job seekers wanting an insulation job.
The ceiling insulation program is linked to the Energy Efficient Homes Initiative, which is a key element of the Government’s economic stimulus measures.
The Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Master Builders Association, the Housing Industry Association, the National Employment Services Association and with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union to link disadvantaged job seekers with Energy Efficient Homes package jobs.
To get unemployed people into these jobs, and also turn these short term jobs into long term careers, 2,000 additional Apprenticeship Access places and 2,000 extra pre-vocational training places in language, literacy and numeracy will be provided for low skilled and disadvantaged workers in the Initiative.
The Government has also asked Job Services Australia providers to identify job seekers who can be part of the home insulation industry and refer them to registered training organisations so they can complete the basic training – paid for by Government – and start work quickly.
6,000 new local green jobs
The Government’s local jobs component of its Jobs Fund will also be used to fund an estimated 6,000 new local jobs contributing to environmental sustainability in priority local economies.
These jobs could include:
• Revegetating bushland
• Constructing a boardwalk over vulnerable wetland
• Retrofitting energy efficient lighting and plumbing
The Jobs Fund has been set up to fund immediate jobs in local communities hardest hit by unemployment caused by the global recession.
30 JULY 2009
PRESS OFFICE (02) 6277 77 44

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kogan Agora Netbook Pro first impressions

My Kogan Agora Netbook Pro ordered at about 12 noon yesterday arrived at 7:30 am today. This is an impressively quick delivery (even if I may have expedited it by saying I would be demonstrating the unit at the Slug meeting at Google Sydney on Friday). First impressions are good.

The unit is surprisingly understated: inside the courier envelope was a plain white cardboard box smaller than a briefcase. Inside the box was one thin sheet of closed cell foam. Impressively the rest of the packing was with recycled paper, not plastic.

The box contained the computer, power supply, battery and a very small bluetooth dongle. There was no printed manual at all. The only difficulty was installing the battery pack. The unit comes with a high capacity six cell battery pack which is an odd double cylinder shape. It took several attempts to work out how this was attached and a photo would have been helpful. When installed the battery pack sticks out of the back of the unit at 45 degrees. This doesn't look very elegant, but makes a handy grip for carrying and also makes the unit very stable on a desk and raises the bottom for ventilation.

The unit is entirely black, which I prefer to white or brightly coloured netbooks: white units show dirt and also are more conspicuous when blogging at odd locations. The screen cover has a very glossy patterned surface (I would have preferred a textured mat finish as for the rest of the unit). The keyboard is average for netbooks and not as good as the Tohsiba and HP ones, but is adequate. Otherwise the unit has the usual 10 inch netbook layout.

One surprise is that the small screen. I am used to a 12 inch narrow screen. The 10 inch Agora screen is much smaller, being the width of a sheet of A4 paper, but slightly less than half the height. The wide format seems to work well for entering text.

There being no manual, I plugged in all the cables, plugged in an Ethernet connection and turn the unit on. There are two buttons on the unit: the smaller has an antenna symbol and I assume has to do with WiFi. Powering up produced the usual Linix boot sequence. I was first asked to a user id and password and there was a delay of less than a minute while the system sorted things out. Of the usual questions I was then asked the only problem was with the location, where I had difficulty selecting "Sydney". I tried clicking on the displayed map but kept ending up in Antarctica, due to the touch pad being too sensitive. But that was about the only problem. A gOS log on screen was then displayed.

Entering my newly nominated user id and password, I was presented with gOS's attractive Apple Mac-ish desktop interface. Some of the desktop icons were perplexing, such as a vase of flowers and a snow dome which seemed to be displaying a weather forecast for Texas.

Most useful is the set of cons across the bottom of the screen. Putting the pointer on an icon enlarges it. By default there is the Firefox browser, Open Office, Skype and a set of Google tools. As with other netbooks, the Google tools are a bit of a cheat, as they just open the browser and take you to the web site of the Google tool.

The Internet access worked flawlessly and Firefox brought up the Yahoo home page for UK by default (perhaps these units were intended for the UK?). Apart from the home page a few other defaults will need to be changed. The default text size is too small and the sensitivity of the tack pad needs to be reduced, but that is about all.

Apart from setting up email, here will be a challenge in finding replacements for the few Microsoft Windows specific applications I use. One of these is accounting software for my business. I noticed that Google accounting is one of the functions on the Kogan, but does it do Australian BAS statements?

ps: One curiosity is the name of the unit: "Agora", which was a town square in ancient Greek cities. Perhaps this suggests the netbook is the place where you now interact with education, government, business and society, as was done in the Agora of the ancient world? I have often walked past the marble block set into the floor of the National Library of Australia, which is from the Library of Pantainos in the Ancient Agora of Athens. The word agoraphobia derives from this. Makers of larger, more expensive and not so functional computers way well suffer from fear of what the Agora may do to their business. ;-)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kogan Agora Netbook Pro

I have ordered the Kogan Agora Netbook Pro, 10.2 inch. This is $569 delivered. It is essentially a colne of the MSI Wind (which Aldi also were selling). The Kogan has been configured with a larger 6 cell battery and 2 Gbytes of RAM (the Aldi unit had only a three cell battery and 1 gbyte RAM like most netbooks). The Agora has gOS Linux in place of Ms-Windows XP. This is a bit of a shot in the dark for me: my Twinhead laptop failed and I decided on a replacement in a hurry. Other netbooks I looked at were the Levono Ideapad s10e, Acer Aspire One, MSI Wind U100 and the Benq U101 (all of which are between $640 to $699).

One issue I have is the transition from Windows to Linux. Already I use Firefox and Open Office in place of IE and Microsoft Office. But I had not made the transition of my email from a very old Eudora and my accounting software is still on Windows.

Kogan have a very good e-commerce web site. But I needed telephone sales support (which was also good), because I could not find the button on the web to enter my credit card details. Using Firefox, the button at the bottom of the order form, where you enter your address details, was covered by a "comment" box. I found if I turned off styles, I could then see the button. Kogan need to make a change to the web form to fix this, as this netbook is likely to appeal to open source enthusiasts, who prefer Firefox to Internet Explorer. It would be a shame if the people the netbook appealed to couldn't order it.

ps: One advantage the Kogan Agora has it is only available in black (like a Model T Ford), other units are in a range of colours and often you can be stuck with a garish colour you did not want. My Tiwnhead laptop was white, which drew more attention to it that I wanted. In an extreme case someone in a Greek cafe saw me using it and rushed up to give a monologue about the value of computers in education (thinking the Twinhead was an OLPC).

Canberra Google Wave Hackathon Day

A Google Wave Hackathon is being held the the Australian National University in Canberra on 8 August all day from 9am (registration essential). This is a free technical event about Google Wave platform. I am going along to see how it might be used for collaborative education with a learning management system: think social networking for a tutorial group (I am talking about teaching Green ICT with a smartphone at Google Sydney on Friday):
Canberra Google Wave Hackathon Day
Saturday 8th August

9:30am Registration
10:00am Talks

A presenter from Google (details available soon) will give an introduction to the Wave API.

If you have already been developing for Wave, please consider giving a short presentation about what you have done (doesn't have to be a formal presentation).

12:00 pm Brainstorming Lunch (BYO or we will take orders & payment for pizza at registration)
1:00 pm Hacking
5:00 pm Demos
7:00 pm Head out for dinner at restaurant (at your own cost).

You must register if you wish to attend so that a Google Wave Developer sandbox account can be created for you. Registrations will close on Tuesday, 4th August so that the accounts can be created.

Numbers are limited, so please register as soon as possible at:

This day is being organised by volunteers who are interested in Google Wave development and thought it would be useful to have a Google Wave developers day in Canberra. Please indicate if you are willing to assist with organising and running the day. Contact for more information.

We will be providing WiFi internet access, but you will need to bring your own computer. Please have a look at the developer information on the Google Wave site ( as an introduction.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Climate science on the Road to Copenhagen

Greetings from the Australian National University Climate Change Institute Open Day in Canberra. Professor Will Steffen is presenting "What does the science really say about climate change?" This follows the release of his report "Climate Change 2009: Faster Change & More Serious Risks" (Department of Climate Change, 22 July 2009) and the Synthesis Report of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference (March 2009). He started by debunking climate change sceptic arguments. I missed the morning sessions as I was presenting to the ANU Green ICT Working Group, so I missed: the Southern Ocean, terrestrial ecosystems, Smart grids and renewable energy, but there are brief audio previews available on: Climate change and public health, smart grids, the global carbon cycle. Last on the agenda is a panel discussion "The Road to Copenhagen".

My question for the panel is: "The evidence for climate change is now clear, so shouldn't the research effort change to economic, social and political processes to help governments, business and the community make changes to their behaviour?". In my own Green ICT Strategies COMP7310 course at ANU, we only spend about half the course on the science and technical theory and the other half on how to communicate this to business leaders and to change business practices.

Another question would be: "Why aren't you practising what you preach? Why isn't this event online so people can attend without expending addition energy? The room is full to capacity, so clearly this is something which many more people, that the few here want to hear about". As you can see from this posting the room is online and facilities are available.

ps: "The Road to Copenhagen" is also the name of a web forum, chaired by several well known personalities, for providing non-government input to the next round of climate change discussions at COP15, 7 to 18 December 2009. Despite being sponsored by several multi-national companies, this seems to be a genuine effort to get community input to the process.

National Broadband Network roll-out in Tasmania

This morning I was interviewed on ABC Radio Hobart about the National Broadband Network with a roll-out in Tasmania. This is planned to provide 100 MBPS. Also ADSL2+ and "naked ADSL" have become available. I explained that while the NBN fibre optic network will be offering more capacity, in pratice the up to 24 MPBS of ADSL2+ and 12 MBPS of ADSL+ were more than adequate for ordinary web browsing. The additional speed was only significant for high definition video or medium size business. Also it depends on the entire Internet connection between the home and the web server having a high speed connection (Tasmania just got a new fibre optic cable across Bass Straight). I did not get time to mention that wireless, such as WiMax and G3 provide MBPS adequate for many applications.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Second generation Military C2 IT

In "The defence IT crowd" (Jane's Defence Weekly, 27, S. 26-318, July 2009) Adam Baddeley, gives a useful overview of developments with the use of IT for military Command and Communication (C2). He starts with the US Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) built by EDS. One interesting point made is that C2 needs to be combined with administration on the one system. The replacement for NMCI is N-GEN from 2010, however, some NMCI functions will continue into 2012.

Nato plans to have its Deployable Communication and Information System (DCIS) from EADS starting tom 2011. This is intended to support 300 users for three years. Complicating the design is the need to interface with national systems from NATO member countries, thorough something named by someone with a sense of humour the Interface with Nations Module (INM).

What is not clear in all theses military acronyms and claims of Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) is exactly what the systems do and what any specific military standards are needed. The use of the web now provides an opportunity to meet many of the military requirements using off-the-shelf technology.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Us Now film on the power of mass online collaboration

The July Canberra meeting of the Web Standards Group featured the UK film "Us Now" about the power of mass online collaboration. For anyone familiar with the "wisdom of crowds", the film gets very tedious, very quickly. It makes the point in the first five minutes and then repeats it over and over again for what seems like hours. However, that criticism could also be made of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth", which presents a simplistic case for global warming: it is pure propaganda, but socially useful propaganda (so good it won half a Noble Prize, with the other half going to the thousand scientists who did decades of work). Us Now is not going to win a Noble Prize, but for those not familiar with the idea of large scale online collaboration, it will be interesting and educational:

The Us Now film is about the power of mass collaboration, government and the internet and "takes a look at how this type of participation could transform the way that countries are governed. It tells the stories of the online networks whose radical self-organising structures threaten to change the fabric of government forever."

You can watch a short on YouTube or read more about it at the Us Now website. This film was recently launched at London and Harvard and screened at the Hague and the French National Assembly in the last two weeks. Now it's our turn in Canberra....

The film uses mostly UK examples, which is a refreshing change from US experts, who think they invented the Web. What was disappointing is the shallow analysis of ways to work in groups. Essentially the films compares a big business/big government approach to decision making with web based online collaboration. The one example of non-Internet example of a local government meeting is presented as if this was something new.

The film makers would appear to have never been involved in a social, sporting or local government activity, where forms of collaboration have been used for millennia. While I believe that online collaboration can make a useful contribution to business, education and government, this shallow analysis will not help.

Providing examples of where collaboration has been used throughout history and examples outside the very narrow confines of the UK and USA, would make the case for online collaboration more credible.

Markets in much of the world have been operating for thousands of years as cooperatives of members. You need only step into the gold market of Istanbul or the Friday markets in Southern India, to get a sense of collaboration in the service of society. Web theorists need to learn from such systems.

Most of the examples used in the film are about local government, whereas the rhetoric from the theorists is about national government. Local government is far more important than regional or national government in the lives of the citizens. It is at the local level that the roads get fixed, the garbage collected and basic health services are provided. Even where services are officially provided at a regional or national level, such as in Australia with police and schools, they are made to work by informal decision making at the local level.

Working out a way to run a nation via the web may be interesting for political theorists, but is of little practical value. I suggest we need web systems which can be used to help run a body corporate for an apartment building, a village,or a playing field. Apart from being easier than working out how to run a country, the results of this will be much more easily applied accross the world, without casing any conflict with whatever happens to be the national political system of each country. While Australia and China may have very different national political systems, when it comes to the important issue of how to collect the garbage from a home, much the same decision making system can be used.

Friday, July 24, 2009

ANU Green ICT Working Group

The Australian National University Green ICT Working Group is meeting on Monday and I will be giving a presentation on how to teach Green ICT. ANU people which to attend can contact ANUgreen.
The Green IT working Group has now had two meetings, and will meet monthly over 6 months of this year to steer the development of a Green ICT strategy for the university. Membership of the group spans experts from across campus. The group has agreed first to measure impact of existing ICT fleet, and then tackle introducing improvements. ANUgreen has recruited a student intern to work alongside Doug Moncur from DOI to commence measurement of ICT fleet’s ecological and financial
impact. ...


Thursday, July 23, 2009

ANU Climate Change Institute Open Day

The Australian National University is holding a free Climate Change Institute Open Day in Canberra on 27 July 2009. There are three audio previews: Climate change and public health, smart grids, the global carbon cycle.
ANU Climate Change Institute
ANU Climate Change Institute Open Day
Hedley Bull Lecture Theatre
Monday 27 July 2009
The Climate Change Institute Open Day will profile the breadth and depth of ANU climate change research to both the ANU community and to the broader Canberra and region community. The speakers will make a brief presentation of research in their area of expertise, focusing on the unique contributions that ANU can make but placing it in a broader national or international context.

Speakers will be representatives from the seven ANU Academic Colleges:
· CAP College of Asia and the Pacific
· CPS College of Physical Sciences
· COL College of Law
· CASS College of Arts and Social Sciences
· CBE College of Business & Economics
· CMBE College of Medicine, Biology & Environment
· CECS College of Engineering & Computer Sciences

9:00 – 10:30 CHAIR Prof AIDAN BYRNE (CPS, CMBE)
09:00–09:15 Assoc Prof Janette Lindesay, CMBE Integrated approaches to mitigation and adaptation in Canberra and the region
09:15–09:30 Dr Andy Hogg, CPS The role of the Southern Ocean in past and future climate change
09:30–09:45 Prof Brendan Mackey, CMBE The role of Australia’s terrestrial ecosystems in mitigating climate change
09:45–10:00 Prof David Hill, CECS Smart grids – integrating multiple sources of electricity in a single grid
10:00–10:15 Prof Andrew Blakers, CECS Achieving rapid and deep CO2 emission reductions with renewable energy
10:15–10:30 Questions & discussion
10:30-11:00 MORNING TEA

11:00 – 12:30 CHAIR Prof STEVE DOVERS (CMBE)
11:00–11:15 Prof Tony Capon, CMBE Impacts of climate change on human health
11:15–11:30 Dr Katherine Morton, CAP Melting glaciers and climate adaptation on the Tibetan plateau
11:30–11:45 Dr Kirrily Jordan, CASS Indigenous Australians and climate change
11:45–12:00 Dr Hayley Stevenson, CASS Global Governance and Climate Change
12:00–12:15 Dr Frank Jotzo, CAP Developing countries and climate policy:
contrasting China and Indonesia
12:15–12:30 Questions & discussion
12:30-13:30 LUNCH

13:30 – 15:30 CHAIR Prof STEPHEN HOWES (CAP)
13:30 – 14:00 Prof Will Steffen What does the science really say about
climate change?
Prof Stephen Howes, CAP Moderator
Prof Tony McMichael, CMBE Impacts
Prof Warwick McKibbin, CBE Economics
Dr Kylie Catchpole, CECS Technology
Mr Andrew Macintosh, COL Law
A/ Prof Lorraine Elliott, CAP International relations
Prof Will Steffen, CAP Science
Mr Ian Fry, CMBE Negotiator

From: ANU Climate Change Institute Open Day program, ANU, 2009

Audio to video synchronisation for Australian Digital TV

ABC Radio Hobart is interviewing me 7:10am tomorrow about problems with Audio to video synchronisation for Australian Digital TV. I am not expert on digital TV, but must have done okay when interviewed by ABC Radio WA South West on the switch over to digital TV last month.

As I understand it, the problem is most likely in the viewer's equipment, not the TV studio or broadcast equipment. I have the problem myself using a Widescreen LCD for TV. The audio takes a different path through my home theatre system, from the video which goes from the set top box to the display. Delays with processing the video result in it being out of sync with the audio. Some equipment allows for adjusting the audio to match the image, but my cheap home theatre doesn't (nor does the TiVo set top box).

Social networking in e-learning tool

At Matthew Allen's online learning seminar in Canberra I speculated about having a way to link e-learning systems easily to external social networking tools. One of the less well known open source e-learning systems, ATutor, claim to have done some of this by implementing the OpenSocial 1.0 standard in a module called "ATutor Social". This is somewhat limited in its features, but shows what may be possible. The Atutor code is open source:

ATutor Social is a social networking module that allows ATutor users to network with each other. They can gather contacts, create a public profile, track network activity, create and join groups, and customize the environment with any of the thousands of OpenSocial gadgets available all over the Web


ATutor Social is based on the Google OpenSocial standard, implementing the Container part of the standard in ATutor. It essentially turns ATutor into a platform for OpenSocial applications. Applications are based on the Gadget part of the OpenSocial standard, and gadgets plugin to containers. Gadgets are available for a wide range of purposes, from simply linking a quote of the day app into the networking environment, to integrating sites like Flickr, Picasa, and YouTube, as well as integrating other social networks like Facebook and MySpace.

Anyone familiar with iGoogle, can click on "Add stuff" to find a list of gadgets that plug into the iGoogle environment. Gadgets that work with iGoogle (or most of them), also work with ATutor

ATutor Social Features

All Users

  • Search Network: Search for people on a network to display basic information about them. Login to add people as contacts.

Registered Users

  • My Contacts: Search the network for people you know and add them to your contact list.
  • People you Might Know: To help build networks, contacts of your contacts (i.e. friends of friends) are displayed making it easy to add common contacts to your own. Random selections of a few other's contact display each time a page loads.
  • Network Activity: Keep track of what other people in your network are doing by following their activities.
  • Network Groups: Create interest groups, or join an existing ones. Invite people to join groups you belong to.
  • Gadgets: Select from thousands of OpenSocial gadgets available around the internet to customize your social network to your specification. Once a gadget has been used on a system, it becomes available to others on your network to add to their social networking tools.
  • Privacy: Select from a range of privacy settings to control who sees what parts of your profile, and control which parts of your profile are searchable by others.


  • Turn off ATutor Social: ATutor Social runs both inside or outside of courses. Instructors may choose to disable social networking in their courses.


  • ShinDig Location: The ShinDig server acts as a hub for a social network. By default acts as the central hub for the ATutor social network. Administrators may choose to point to a different ShinDig server to create a private network.


  • OpenSocial Standard: Develop your own OpenSocial Gadgets that will plugin to ATutor, or into other OpenSocial container applications.
  • Public Source Code: All ATutor Social source code is available for public checkout from the Subversion version control repository.
From: ATutor Social, ATRC, 2009
It is some time since I have looked at Atutor and the development of the package has progressed considerably. Some features of interest are:
  1. ACollab: ACollab is a collaboration tool which can be used with Atutor, or on its own. there is a demo for it. Students can use thios to work on group projects, with sdhared document development being the main feature.
  2. AChecker: is an addon to test web pages for accessibility using proposed Open Accessibility Checks.
  3. Release Dates:

    Atutor allos the course designer to set a date when particuarl content will be available to the student. Unfortunately these dates appear tio be absloute calandar dates, not relative to the start of the course (as for example day 1 of week 3 of the coruse).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Victorian Government Climate Change Draft Policy

The Victorian Climate Change Green Paper is offered as a "comprehensive response to climate change". Unfortunately the document appears to contain no firm proposals from government to actually reduce carbon emissions to combat climate change. There appear to be no proposals for the government to measure or reduce its own energy use or greenhouse gas emissions. The paper appears to be an attempt to avoid dealing with climate change, rather than addressing it.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) gets only two brief mentions in the paper:

Information and Communications Technology: Using the strengths of our ICT industry to transform other sectors. ...

Our Focus

Driving new technologies and markets Victoria is a leader in scientific research and many of the State’s capabilities (such as energy,
biotechnology, advanced materials and ICT) have the potential to contribute to Victoria’s response to climate change. ...
The paper contains no mention of the Internet or the World Wide Web and their role in tracking and reducing carbon emissions.

The document is available as a set of web pages, separate PDF chapters or one large PDF file (95 pages, 4.9 Mbytes). Comment is invited via an online survey or more formal submission. One problem is the very long web addresses used, with a 64 character alphanumeric code in each.
Online table of contents

Message from the Premier

Message from the Minister for Environment and Climate Change

Highlights of the Victorian Climate Change Green Paper

Part 1 - Victoria's climate change framework
    1.1 Reviewing our approach to climate change
    1.2 The Commonwealth Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme - a new policy landscape
    1.3 Governments working together - a new role for Victoria
    1.4 Our long-term goals
    1.5 Our priorities
    1.6 Choosing between different policy ‘levers’
Part 2 - The challenge of our generation
    2.1 Our changing climate
    2.2 Our current emissions
Part 3 - Complementing the CPRS: a new world of opportunities
    3.1 The stationary energy sector
    3.2 Energy efficiency
    3.3 Transport
    3.4 The built environment
    3.5 Solid waste management
    3.6 Land use and forestry
    3.7 Agriculture
Part 4 - Adjustment: The low carbon economy - a climate of opportunity
    4.1 Creating opportunities
    4.2 Driving innovation
    4.3 Developing skills
    4.4 Supporting adjustment to change
Part 5 - Adaptation: a new reality
    5.1 Managing our water resources
    5.2 Victoria’s natural ecosystems
    5.3 Adapting to change in the built environment
    5.4 Building responsive emergency services
    5.5 Health and wellbeing in a changing climate
Part 6 - A shared responsibility
    6.1 Communities and climate change
    6.2 Government leading the way
    6.3 Making decisions in a time of climate change
Part 7 - Having your say

Disaster Management System Support for Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan government's Information and Communication Technology Agency has issued a request for Expressions of Interest for "Deployment of the Sahana Disaster Management System for the National Disaster Relief Services Centre" (due August 10, 2009). Sahana is an open source application developed in response to the December 2004 Tsunami. Provided are a one page Request for Expressions of Interest and a 14 page Scope of Services document. The scope of services document provides an excellent overview of issues with open soruce software for disaster management.
The Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) is the implementing Agency for the e-Sri Lanka initiative. The Re-engineering Government is one of the main programme areas of ICTA, which aims to improve the efficiency of delivery and access mechanisms of the government. The objectives of the Re-engineering Government Programme are mainly to be achieved by re-engineering the government business processes and enabling those processes with Information and Communication Technologies.

The National Disaster Relief Services Centre (NDRSC) which functions under the purview of the Ministry of Resettlement & Disaster Relief Services is responsible for post disaster management and relief in Sri Lanka. The main functions of the NDRSC are Search and Rescue, Disaster Relief and Resettlement & Rehabilitation. The NDRSC functions through the responsible government operatives in district and divisional secretariat levels. It has been identified that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be further deployed to improve the efficiency of NDRSC significantly.

„Sahana‟ is an internationally award winning web based disaster management system which has been successfully deployed to manage various recent large scale disasters by the Government of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, Bangladesh and China. Sahana is a free and open disaster management system and, it has been envisioned that the Sahana would be the perfect solution which could be easily customized and enhanced to cater the requirements of NDRSC.

ICTA now invites Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from eligible Software Service Providers (Firms) to take up this project. Interested consultants must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services (core business and years in business, qualifications in the field of the assignment, technical and managerial organization of the firm, general qualifications and number of key staff, experience in similar conditions etc). The “Scope of Services” and “EOI Information Form” documents are now available at ICTA for further information. Interested parties may download above documents from the website

Interested eligible parties may obtain further information from Mr. Christy Perera - Procurement Advisor, ICTA by contacting via Phone: +94 11 2369099, Fax: +94 11 2369091) and E-mail:; Expressions of Interest including all requested information must be delivered no later than 1500 hrs on 10th August 2009 either: (i) electronically to; or (ii) hand delivered or (iii) by post to the address; Procurement Division, ICT Agency of Sri Lanka, 2nd Floor, 160/24, Kirimandala Mawatha, Colombo 05, Sri Lanka.

Please mark clearly on the envelope and subject field of e-mail “Expressions of Interest - Deployment of the Sahana Disaster Management System for the National Disaster Relief Services Centre - ICTA/CON/GOSL/QCBS/38”. ...

From: Request for Expressions of Interest (EOI), Presidential Secretariat, e-SRI LANKA DEVELOPMENT PROJECT, Deployment of the Sahana Disaster Management System for the National Disaster Relief Services Centre - ICTA/CON, GOSL/QCBS/38, 17 July 2009

Submission to the Inquiry into ACT Government Procurement

The ACT Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Public Accounts is holding an Inquiry into ACT Government Procurement. An Invitation for Public Submissions was issued and closes 31 July 2009. Below is an outline I what I am thinking of submitting. Suggestions and comments are welcome:

Submission to the Inquiry into ACT Government Procurement - Draft for comment

From: Tom Worthington
PO Box 13
Belconnen ACT 2617

To: Secretary, Standing Committee on Public Accounts
ACT Legislative Assembly, Canberra ACT 2601

This is a submission to the ACT Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Public Accounts for the Inquiry into ACT Government Procurement.

The submission addresses the following terms of reference, largely with respect to the use and procurement of computers and telecommunications (ICT):
(2) the integration of sustainability considerations that encompass environmental, economic and social aspects throughout procurement processes
(3) agency approaches to procurement training and development activities
(4) the ability of local suppliers to compete for ACT Government procurement opportunities ...

Integration of sustainability considerations in procurement processes

It is suggested that the ACT Government should work with the federal government and other state and local government on common sustainability standards for procurement of government ICT. The federal departments of Environment and Finance are working on green ICT standards at present.

It is suggested that the ACT should propose to work with the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions. It is suggested that this be done by using the federal finance department's GovDex system. This will allow federal, state and local government officials to participate in joint working parties without the need for face-to-face meetings. It is suggested that there be also participation by industry representatives. The aim should be to release green ICT guidelines by the end of 2009.

Agency approaches to procurement training and development activities

It is suggested that ACT government agencies should make use of flexible and e-learning for procurement training, using nationally accredited courses. The Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) is a leader in the field of the development and delivery of such courses and could provide for the ACT Government's needs. In addition other organisations run specialised courses, as an example I have designed a course in Green ICT, including ICT procurement, versions of which are delivered via the web by the Australian National University and the Australian Computer Society.

Ability of local suppliers to compete for ACT Government procurement opportunities

It is suggested that the ACT Government's online tender system be upgraded to provide similar facilities to the Australian Government AusTender and NZ Government GETS. Systems. In particular the system should allow a small business to register for a particular category of tender and automatically receive an email message advising of tenders in that category. Also once registered, the business should be able to obtain details of a specific tender via the ACT Government's web site without needing to reenter all their contact details.

At present the ACT Government display tenders online and sends a weekly message advising new tenders are available. However, the message does not indicate if there are any tenders the particular business might be interested in. The business has to look through all the new tenders. In contrast the Australian and NZ systems allow a particular category to be registered for, such as computer related tenders. The business then can look at that specific tender.

At present the business has to reenter all its contact details in order to download a tender from the ACT tender web site. In contrast the Australian and NZ systems only requiring registering this information once.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

SMPTE Conference & Exhibition, Sydney 2009

SMPTE Conference & Exhibition, Sydney 2009 looks good. The exhibition at Darling Harbour is free and worth a visit (open until Friday), even if you don't attend the conference. The online registration process worked well, but unfortunately has now closed.

Best stand of the show was Global TV's purpose built double expanding side semi trailer HD Outside Broadcast unit. This has 62 m2 of internal space, which is almost as large as my apartment. The ergonomics of the layout are interesting with two rows of operators facing out into the smaller telescoping parts of the trailer on either side. This provides for a higher walkway in the middle.

However, the smaller TRP HD OB Vans built for Thoroughbred Racing Productions by Sony’s Professional Solutions Division appears to be less cluttered than Global TV's design.

There was an excellent display of video and broadcasting equipment, but what struck me was how old fashioned much of the equipment looked. Essentially TV and video production is now done with computer networks which have cameras, microphones, screens and loudspeakers as perheperals. But the industry is still treating this much as they did in the days of analogue.

One problem with SMPTE was the lack of systems for integrating with social networking. Recently I took part in a conferecne at Parliment House Canberra, which was streamed online. While the Parliment's video people did a good job of providing audio and video, their systems could not handle blogging or IM streams.

On one stand I noticed a tiny EEE PC. This is much like a tiny mammal hiding between the legs of the dinosaurs, shortly before the dinosaurs became extinct. In the same way most of the equipment on display at SMPTE 2009 is close to extinction due to devices like the EEE PC.

Newcastle Beach Youth Hostel

Newcastle Beach YHAMy be a bit late in life but I have discovered the wonders of Youth Hostels Australia. having stayed at Newcastle Beach YHA last weekend. This is in a converted 100 year old hospital, which looks more like a gentleman's club than a backpackers, with high pattered ceilings, fireplaces and chesterfield sofas. A double room at the YHA costs about half that for a budget hotel and a genuinely friendly atmosphere. The YHA is not age limited (but young people get a discount on membership).

The Newcastle Beach Youth Hostel is a few blocks from the Newcastle railway station, with regular trains from Sydney along the picturesque coastal route, including the not to be missed bridge over the Hawkesbury River at Brooklyn.

Train Signal Box by Vivienne NelsonWhile in Newcastle visit the Renew Newcastle projects. Artists and craft workers are temporarily vacant shops in the CBD. These include artist Vivienne Nelson, with watercolour works of Newcastle industrial and port scenes using coal dust from the ceiling of her home for the black wash. This seems appropriate as coal is the main industry of Newcastle. There is an ABC video clip about the project.

carry-on size wheeled backpackFor getting to a low cost hotel by public transport, I have found an airline carry-on size wheeled backpack very handy. Otherwise it can be difficult to wheel a bag, particularly over cobblestones and up stairs. In Istanbul I found myself surrounded by carpet sellers. The backpack changes you from a tourist, to a traveller so you can quickly escape the sellers.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Use of Computers in Education Needs to be Planned

Research by Clotfelter and others suggests that the introduction of home computers has a negative impact on student performance. Rather than seeing this as a reason for not providing computers, this indicates that computers and networking have to be integrated into the planned education. Just providing a computer will distract the student, rather than help them. I will discuss this on the panel on Making “social inclusion” a focus when creating opportunities for participation in cooperative education programs ACEN Forum, University of Sydney, 20 August 2009.

... the introduction of home computer technology is associated with modest but statistically significant and persistent negative impacts on student math and reading test scores. Further evidence suggests that providing universal access to home computers and high-speed internet access would broaden, rather than narrow, math and reading achievement gaps. ...


From: Scaling the Digital Divide: Home Computer Technology and Student Achievement, Charles T. Clotfelter, Helen F. Ladd and Jacob L. Vigdor, Duke University, July 29, 2008

Sustainable education with open source and smartphones at Google Sydney

At the next Sydney Linux User's Group meeting I will be speaking on "Learning to lower costs and carbon emissions with ICT", 31 July 2009 at Google Sydney:

Fri 31 July: SLUG monthly meeting

2009-07-31 18:30
2009-07-31 20:30
Google Sydney, Level 5, 48 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont

General Talk
Tom Worthington: Learning to lower costs and carbon emissions with ICT
Tom designed the first globally accredited course on Green ICT and has been teaching it via the web since January 2009. The talk will discuss how ICT can be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 15% by 2020. Also outlined is how to use the web for running formal, university accredited courses using free open source software with open access content delivered to smartphones. The Istanbul public transport system also gets a mention. ;-)
See Tom's Web site for more information.
Tom runs green IT courses at ANU and ACS. You can read the free open access version here.
In-Depth Talk

Meeting Schedule
See here for an explanation of the segments.
  • 18.15: Open Doors
  • 18.30: Announcements, News, Introductions
  • 18.45: General Talk
  • 19.30: Intermission
  • 19.45: Split into two groups for:
    • In-Depth Talk
    • SLUGlets
  • 20.30: Dinner
Dinner this month will be held locally, not at Golden Harbour as originally planned. Details are TBA.
We will be taking numbers at the beginning of the meeting. If you have any particular dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian), let us know beforehand. Dinner is a great way to socialise and learn in a relaxed atmosphere :)
General discussion and Q&A about Linux, free software and open source.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wikipedia for iPhones

As pointed out in a comment on my post "Wikipedia for Mobiles", there is a smart phone interface for the Wikipedia at using Ruby. This doesn't divide the pages into smaller pieces, as the mobile phone version does (a feature to add a table of contents and then divide the pages at major headings would be useful). By way of comparison the ANU web page on Online Systems and Services for Teaching is appended. The page is 200 kbytes, not much smaller than the 261 kbyts of the desktop version:

Online Systems and Services for Teaching

In 2009 the ANU introduced a new framework to bring together the online systems and services used for teaching and learning. 'WATTLE' (Web Access To Teaching & Learning Environments) commenced with a pilot of Moodle for selected courses in first semester 2009. The system is being used to support flexible and distance education courses as well as conventional on campus education. Green ICT Strategies (COMP7310), is the first flexible course to use the system.

e-Learning and the Olive Tree

Greetings from Matthew Allen's online learning seminar in Canberra. Matthew's morning workshop sponsored by ALTC was "Innovative education online: Ideas for the future of learning and the Internet", and the afternoon session is "Exploring online learning via Web 2.0 and a knowledge networking approach".

The event has a slightly surreal feel to it. We are at the campus of the Australian Defence Force (ADFA). This is a little different to the usual university campus, with most of the people on campus in uniform and marching around in step. The corridor walls are lined with hooks for the students to hang their hats on. What also makes the event a little odd, is that we have collected from around Australia to discuss how to do academic activities online. This makes me wonder why the ALTC materials are not online with some online forums.

Matthew is from a humanities background and while his scholarship and wisdom on the Internet is great, he tends to deliver it as an old fashioned paper. The material is presented verbally, from a prepared speech, with no visuals and lots of big words. After about five minutes I started to go to sleep. After 30 minutes I started to wonder why I was there, but at that point it suddenly got interesting. This was because we now had enough context to have a useful discussion.

After that we had some question and answer and then Matthew got us to do several very useful group exercises. There was then a break during which I made the event a little surreal for some of my fellow participants. One of the issues Matthew explored was innovative was for Internet-enabled education and for me this raised the issue of how much of what seems new with e-learning is just old learning prettied up with new technology. This is not necessarily a bad thing: taking proven educational techniques and using the Internet to make them work better is a useful strategy.

Over a cup of coffee I found myself relating to participants how I walked the sacred way at Delphi and had stood under an olive tree at where the ancient philosophers once gave their lessons. This caused some perplexed looks from others who thought I was using a metaphor for some form of spiritual journey. I had to explain that I had been on holiday and literally walked the sacred way at Delphi: the olive tree is a real tree, which is where the ancient philosophers did their teaching. Many of the techniques of e-learning could be seen as technological translations of what was done near the olive tree at Delphi.

The major issue for me which came from the day was how to make the Internet tools safe for student use. Matthew argues that teachers have to take risks and use up to date Internet tools. Learning Management Systems are useful for the administration of courses but Matthew argues there are so many more resources out there online for the actual learning.

What occurs to me is that a LMS might be built which only does the administration and interfaces to external tools in a safe way for the actual learning and tools. As an example, Moodle has a built in wiki tool, but it is not a very good wiki. Instead Moodle could interface to an external wiki, authenticate the user and provide a given level of protection of their contnet. The system would then collect up automatically the learner's content and put it in their e-portfolio, for assessment and other purposes.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Social inclusion and cooperative education programs with ICT

The Australian Collaborative Education Network is having a forum on social inclusion and cooperative education at University of Sydney, 20 August 2009. I will be speaking on how to do that with social networking and mobile accessible web design.
August 20th 2009

University of Sydney, Room 214/215 Economics and Business Building (building code H69)
RSVP: Jill Kelton <>

9.45 - 10.30 ACEN Business meeting
Agenda: TBC
10.30 - 11.00 MORNING TEA
11.00 - 12.30 Panel discussion

Making "social inclusion" a focus when creating opportunities for participation in cooperative education programs

Panel members:
  • Barbara Holland, ProVC engagement University of Western Sydney
  • Tom Worthington, adjunct lecturer ANU, former President Australian Computer Society
  • Mark Lazaroo, Senior Consultant, Employer network on Disability (TBC)
  • Student, co-op program UTS (TBC)
12.30 -1.30 LUNCH* Royal Hotel, Darlington - please come along if you can stay.

Australian Tsunami Warning Issued

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre issued a Land Warning for Lord Howe Island at 10:45 PM EST on 15 July 2009 and a Marine Warning for much of south east Australia. This followed an earthquake off the south of New Zealand at 0923Z 15 JUL 2009. The media were requested to use the Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) for Lord Howe Island, but not mainland Australia.

At 12:14 AM EST on Thursday 16 July 2009 threat for Lord Howe Island was downgraded to a Marine Warning and use of the SEWS cancelled. One anomaly with this was that the message for Lord Howe Island (IDY68035) used different text to those for the mainland (IDY68028). The mainland messages said "Marine Warning", whereas the Lord Howe Island message did not contain that phrase. This may seem a minor point, but a lack of use of standard wording can cause dangerous misunderstandings.

Unlike the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, the Australian Centre does not appear to provide a public archive of issued messages, so I have included two in this posting for research purposes.

For a discussion of warning systems see my "National Bushfire Warning System", Seminar, College of Engineering and Computer Science, ANU, Canberra, 16 April 2009.

** Land and Marine Threat Tsunami Warning is current for Lord Howe Island. **


Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology


Issued by the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (JATWC) at
10:45 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009




Tsunami warning for LORD HOWE ISLAND.

An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.9 (Latitude 45.960S Longitude 166.470E )
has occurred at 07:22 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009 near OFF W. COAST OF

For low-lying coastal areas there is a threat of MAJOR LAND INUNDATION,
09:30 pm (EST) Wednesday.

People in affected areas are strongly advised by the NSW STATE EMERGENCY
SERVICE to go to higher ground or at least one kilometre inland.

For all threatened areas, people are advised to get out of the water and move
away from the immediate water’s edge.

Next update will be issued by 11:45 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009

For latest and further information call 1300 TSUNAMI (1300 878 6264) or visit


CURRENTS exists for several hours from 09:30 pm (EST) Wednesday.


- The NSW STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE has ordered the evacuation of low-lying parts
of coastal towns and villages.

- People are strongly advised to go to higher ground, at least ten metres
above sea level, or if possible move at least one kilometre away from all
beaches and the water's edge of harbours and coastal estuaries.

- Take only essential items that you can carry including important papers,
family photographs and medical needs.

- It may be in your own interests to walk to safety if possible to avoid
traffic jams.

- If you cannot leave the area take shelter in the upper storey of a sturdy
brick or concrete multi-storey building.

- Boats in harbours, estuaries or shallow coastal water should return to
shore. Secure your boat and move away from the waterfront.

- Vessels already at sea should stay offshore in deep water until further

- Do not go to the coast to watch the tsunami, as there is the possibility of
dangerous, localised land inundation of the immediate foreshore.

- Check that your neighbours have received this advice.

Tsunami waves are more powerful than the same size beach waves, with the first
wave not necessarily being the largest.

Low-level effects may be observed in neighbouring coastal areas. People are
advised to take care.

An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.9 (Latitude 45.960S Longitude 166.470E )
has occurred at 07:22 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009 off W. COAST OF S.

Sea level observations have confirmed a tsunami has been generated.

Tsunami has been observed at Spring Bay in TAS at 10:05pm and at Port Kembla in
NSW at 10:06pm.

The NEXT UPDATE will be issued by 11:45 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009

Call 1300 TSUNAMI (1300 878 6264) or visit



EST = Eastern Standard Time
CST = Central Standard Time = EST - 30 minutes
WST = Western Standard Time = EST - 2 hours

The JATWC is operated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience

** Marine Threat Tsunami Warning is current for Norfolk Island. **


Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology


Issued by the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (JATWC) at
01:47 AM NFT on Thursday 16 July 2009




Tsunami warning for the marine environment of NORFOLK ISLAND.

An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.9 (Latitude 45.960S Longitude 166.470E )
has occurred at 07:22 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009 off W. COAST OF S.

OVERFLOW ONTO THE IMMEDIATE FORESHORE from now until 2:30am local time

Although major evacuations are not required, people are advised to get out of
the water and move away from the immediate water's edge.

Next update will be issued by 02:47 AM NFT on Thursday 16 July 2009

For latest and further information call 1300 TSUNAMI (1300 878 6264) or visit


local time Thursday.


- While major evacuations are not required, people are advised to get out of
the water and move away from the immediate water's edge of harbours, coastal
estuaries, rock platforms and beaches.

- Boats in harbours, estuaries or shallow coastal water should return to
shore. Secure your boat and move away from the waterfront.

- Vessels already at sea should stay offshore in deep water until further

- Do not go to the coast to watch the tsunami, as there is the possibility of
dangerous, localised flooding of the immediate foreshore.

- Check that your neighbours have received this advice.

Tsunami waves are more powerful than the same size beach waves, with the first
wave not necessarily being the largest.

Low-level effects may be observed in neighbouring coastal areas. People are
advised to take care.

An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.9 (Latitude 45.960S Longitude 166.470E )
has occurred at 07:22 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009 near OFF W. COAST OF

Sea level observations have confirmed a tsunami has been generated.

Tsunami has been observed at Spring Bay in TAS at 10:05pm and at Port Kembla
in NSW at 10:06pm.

Tsunami threat levels are expected to gradually decrease from 2:30am local time

The NEXT UPDATE will be issued by 02:47 AM NFT on Thursday 16 July 2009

Call 1300 TSUNAMI (1300 878 6264) or visit



EST = Eastern Standard Time
CST = Central Standard Time = EST - 30 minutes
WST = Western Standard Time = EST - 2 hours

The JATWC is operated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Robot Cameras for Parliament

The Department of Parliamentary Services has issued a Request for Tender for "Provision of a Camera Robotics Solution" (DPS09014, 14-Jul-2009) for 47 remote control cameras, with seven control units. These are used to record parliament, committees and some conferences. There are detailed documents provided, describing the requirement, technical architecture and standards. The parliament also recently issued a RFT for a Video Archiving System.

Airservices Australia thin clients

Airservices Australia have issued a Request for Tender "Provision of Desktop PCs, Notebooks PCs, Servers and related Financial Services" (ASA PRN 964, 14-Jul-2009) which includes provision for about two thirds of their more than 1,000 desktop PCs to be replaced with thin clients. There are also requirements for the supplier to specify energy consumption and dispose of old equipment and packaging.

Unfortunately the tender document doesn't appear to require any environmental standards to be complied with. So for example, there is no requirement for energy use to be measured in a standard way, nor the old equipment and packaging to be recycled in accordance with any environmental standards.

4.3 Desktop PCs

It is anticipated that Airservices will require approximately 1680 Desktop PCs over the next three years. If the deployment of thin client devices occurs, these figures are estimated to be 33% Desktop PCs and 66% Thin Client devices of the 1680 PCs.

4.11 Environmental Factors

4.11.1 Wake on LAN Technology

All Desktop PCs and Notebook PCs should have the capability to be powered down by the user at the end of their shift or the end of the day and be able to be woken and powered up to enable the installation of software updates and packages. Upon finalisation of the installation, they should then be powered down.

4.11.2 Sleep Mode

All Desktop PCs, Notebook PCs and Monitors should have the capability to be able to go into sleep or hibernation mode when not used for a certain period of time.

4.11.3 Recycling and Disposal Methods

On the return of hardware, the successful Tenderer must have a process or program in place which allows the recycling of hardware or components of the hardware. This may include on selling, donations or breaking down the equipment for other uses. Tenderers must state if trade-in options are available for items Airservices have purchased as assets.

In the event there is disposal, Airservices needs to understand the process used by each Tenderer.

Airservices would also prefer the Tenderer to provide a general disposal option for other IT related items that need to be disposed of and recycled where possible. This would include the Tenderer having the capability to pick up IT related equipment in metropolitan locations (and where possible regional sites) including items that are not vendor specific. If charges relate to this service, this should be noted in the Tenderer’s response. Any minimum pick up requirements should also be noted.

4.11.4 Power Consumption

Power consumption of each device is to be provided with the Tender response. In addition, Airservices would prefer the option to acquire power packs for the items where possible that utilise less power.

4.11.5 Cooling Requirements

In relation to server equipment, Airservices needs to be provided with detailed information regarding the cooling requirements for each server.

4.11.6 Packaging

Airservices is focused on reducing the impact on the environment and where practically possible, would like to reduce the amount of packaging used for the delivery of equipment. This may include reducing the manuals and CDs/DVDs typically included with each order if they are not required by the user. ...

From: "Provision of Desktop PCs, Notebooks PCs, Servers and related Financial Services", Request for Tender, Airservices , ASA PRN 964, 14-Jul-2009

Retrofitting offices apartments for sustainability

The University of Sydney is hosting a workshop on "Retrofitting Using Bioclimatic Principles: Looking for Value Adding", 3 August 2009. This concludes with a keynote lecture by Dr Ken Yeang, author of Ecodesign: A Manual for Ecological Design, Eco Skyscrapers, Dictionary of Eco Design and other works.
It is common to apply sustainable principles to new buildings and this has produced very good results. But what about our existing building stock? Can the same sustainability principles be applied when existing buildings are renovated? These are important questions for all architects and related professionals. This conference will bring together local experts and internationally renowned architect Dr Ken Yeang from Malaysia and the UK to look at the current research and its application to warming climates.

What will the workshop discuss?
* Bioclimatic design principles for renovation of office and multi residential buildings
* Green technologies available for retrofitting
* Retrofitting Comfort
* Trend analysis of environmental performance
* Building performance modelling
* Financial Modelling
* Value adding through sustainable retrofitting
* Case studies - success stories

Some of the Speakers include:

* Dr Ken Yeang, Principal, T.R. Hamzah & Yeang, Malaysia
* Franc Barram, ENSIGHT
* Dr Richard de Dear, University of Sydney
* Lester Partridge, AECOM, Sydney
* Dr Edward Halawa, University of Southern Australia
* Assoc. Professor Mark Luther, School of Architecture & Building, Deakin University
* Professor Deo Prasad, Faculty of Built Environment, University of NSW
* Mr Pat Cody, AECOM, Sydney
* Craig Roussa, INVESTA
* Dr Leena Thomas, University of Technology, Sydney
* Dr Davi Leifer and Mr Alan Obrart, The University of Sydney
* Mr Bruce Precious, Low Energy High Rise, Warren Centre
* Dr Marci Webster-Mannison, The University of Queensland (TBC)
* Postgradute students ...

Who Should attend?
Builders, local Government planning, engineering and management professionals, private sector development specialists and other professionals ...

From: "Retrofitting Using Bioclimatic Principles: Looking for Value Adding", USyd, 14 July 2009

Wikipedia for Mobiles

A version of the Wikipedia for Mobile phones is now available. This uses the HAWHAW PHP toolkit convert the usual Wikipedia page into a format more suitable for a small mobile phone screen. It also makes the images smaller and chops each page up into segments to reduce download time. The result is similar to Google's mobile interface. This is useful, but perhaps whoever did this might try a slightly less condensed version which would be more suitable for netbooks and smart phones.

Because the Wikipedia has a very regular structure it should also be possible to tune the conversion more. As an example, at present a section heading can appear on the bottom of one page, with the text it refers to on the next page. It should be possible to keep the heading on the next page with the text.

Below is a sample of the mobile version of the entry for the ANU's Wikipedia page. Compare this with the standard version. The mobile version is 63 kbytes in total, whereas the standard page is 261 kbytes. The mobile version is divided into 11 segments, plus a table of contents of 2.5 kbytes.. So if you started at the top of the page, went to the table of contents and then to the page you wanted, that would be about 15 kbytes in total, a saving of more than 90% on the download.

Australian National University

Online Systems and Services for Teaching
In 2009 the ANU introduced a new framework to bring together the online systems and services used for teaching and learning. ' external link[WATTLE] ' (Web Access To Teaching & Learning Environments) commenced with a pilot of [Moodle] for selected courses in first semester 2009. The system is being used to support flexible and distance education courses as well as conventional on campus education. external link[Green ICT Strategies] (COMP7310), is the first flexible course to use the system.


Powered by HAWHAW (C)