|Woolworths Direct to Boot Bay, |
Tom Worthington CC-BY 12 September 2021
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Saturday, September 11, 2021
|Unihretz Atom L Smartphone |
case worn by washing machine
|Phone in a plastic box, with a fan |
and water absorbing sachets to dry out
Thursday, September 09, 2021
|The Coles error screen.|
This time I did not even consider home delivery, and instead selected to-boot. Like Coles, there was a three day delay before I could collect. The time slots were one hour, rather than Coles' two. Also the deadline for changing my order before collection was a half hour shorter (five and a half hours, instead of Coles' six). This deadline is useful: you can add items to the order for days before collection, and keep your collection time booking. It is a few days to collection time and I will report how it goes then.
What Might Be Better?
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
At 6 megapixels, this camera is far lower resolution than my smart phone. But I normally have the phone set for 1 or 2 Megapixel photos anyway.
It is much easier to take a photo with a camera, such as this, which has a viewfinder you can hold up to your eye, than with a smart phone, or a digital camera with a screen on the back. The camera also has a screen which swivels out and around, so you can take a close up at an odd angle.
The only problem was the camera would switch off every time I zoomed the lens out to the full extent. A web search sowed this was a very common problem. Suggestions ranged from the, not very useful "It appears a fault, you need to have it repaired", to the complicated "Here is how to disassemble the camera". One tip was that there could be dust on the switch which detects when the zoom is fully extended.
One video showed blasting the lens with an air-compressor. That seemed a little extreme, especially when the whole camera is shown sliding along from the air pressure. My own little air compressor, had no effect. But I found a bicycle pump, with the adapter for inflating an airbed worked fine. I extended the camera lens, and placed the nozzle between the lens and camera body, working all the way around, blowing in air. The zoom now works fine.
Saturday, August 28, 2021
Purpose built Quarantine Centers are being constructed in Australia. I suggest that these be, in the main, low tech, self serve facilities. This will increase the speed with which they can be built, lower the cost of construction and operation, provide lower risk of disease transmission, and be better for the welfare of the guests.
The Building 4.0 Cooperative Research Centre, has submitted an unsolicited high tech "Q_Smart" design for the Victorian quarantine center. This has some good ideas, but is more high tech than needed, The designers have shown a multi-story design, suited to limited land next to airports, as well as single story ones, where space allows. The designers criticize the current "conventional bricks and mortar, or mining camp, approach". However, I suggest this is misplaced. Rapid construction is a priority, and the prefabricated techniques used for mining camps are appropriate. Also mining camp accommodation must be robust, as it is intensively used, by a rapid turnover of guests, which also applies in a quarantine center.
The use of high technology solutions is not a good approach for a quarantine center which is to be constructed rapidly and have only a limited lifetime. As an example, the airlocks, and UV light sterilization suggested for Q_Smart are not be needed, if there is sufficient space and natural ventilation. Touch-less entry to buildings will also not be needed, if guests each have their own door to their accommodation. The guest will be the only one to touch their door during their stay, and it will be cleaned by staff when vacated.
Laurus Wing of ANU Ursula Hall
Photo by Tom Worthington CC BY 2009
The Q_Smart designers suggest stack-able building modules, built in a factory. This approach is already in use for buildings made in shipping container modules, such as ANU Ursula Hall (2009). However, this approach requires more expensive construction techniques, than if buildings are single story, and where a flatpack approach can be taken. I a multistory building is needed, then pre-cut structural panels, as applied at ANU Fenner Hall, can be used.
Also while stairs can be quickly built, lifts require complex installation and maintenance by specialists. If a multi-story building is required, it can be built with an external open air stairway, and no lifts, but with ground floor accommodation reserved for those with limited mobility, as is the case for City Edge Canberra.
The designers suggest delivery of good direct to rooms, via dumb waiters. However, simple manual and electric dumb waiters, essentially smalls goods elevators, can only travel vertically. There would need to be one such waiter for each building. With a shaft connecting every apartment, this would pose a major cross-contamination risk. A far safer, simpler approach would be to provide guests with enough supplies of sheets, towels, personal hygiene products, and non-perishable food, for the duration of their stay, so there would be no need for regular deliveries. For occasional deliveries a simple, safe, low tech approach would be to place the delivery outside the guest's door, and then invite them to open the door a few minutes later, after any aerosols have dispersed in the open air.
While Q_Smart suggests the use of the Internet of Things, with smart devices deployed around the center for monitoring of systems and the guests, I suggest relying on the guests own smart phones. Just as QR codes have proved a success for checking people into venues, these can be used, with the gusts own phones, for monitoring movement in the center. This requires only low cost QR code signs, not a computerized network requiring installation and maintenance.
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
|COVID-19 Testing Queue in Canberra, |
by Tom Worthington CC BY 17 August 2021
|COVID-19 Marshall at Testing Queue in Canberra, |
by Tom Worthington CC BY 17 August 2021
Monday, August 09, 2021
We have had it easy so far, so get vaccinated now, in case things get worse, a lot worse
It is also possible the Australian Defence Force may be needed in its primary role and so personnel would not be available to aid the civil infrastructure. Also some civilian medical personnel and other specialists are military reserve personnel who would be called to duty, so not available for for pandemic duties.
Monday, July 26, 2021
Greetings from the ANU where Ms Kersti Eesmaa, the Estonian Ambassador is giving an entertaining talk on how her country became the most digital. This includes e-voting, e-tax, e-health and just about e-verything. They have backed up the country's records in Luxembourg and are considering Canberra. The ambassador complemented Australia's online services but suggested it was tie for one national ID At qesttion time I asked about e-residency and the ambassador asked when I would drop in to get my card.
Thursday, July 15, 2021
The ABS reports that only 73% of Australians would get a COVID-19 vaccination. Of the others, 52% were worried about side-effects and 15% effectiveness. In response, I suggest that Australia's National Cabinet approve the use of online informed consent using multimedia in multiple languages, to streamline COVID-19 vaccination, using any of the vaccines approved for use in Australia for any adult of any age.
"... AstraZeneca vaccine can be used in adults aged under 60 years where the benefits clearly outweigh the risk for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits".
"Noting the current constrained supply of the Pfizer vaccine, ATAGI also recommends adults under the age of 60 who do not have immediate access to the Pfizer vaccine should consider the benefits and risks of earlier protection through the AstraZeneca vaccine. "
However, that advice has been implemented in a way which makes it very difficult for anyone who does not have a GP with supplies of AstraZeneca, from being vaccinated.
The Australian Government provides a document "Weighing up the potential benefits against risk of harm from COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca" to assist with informed consent. But, this is intended for doctors to help explain to patients. As a result those who don't have a GP to explain it to them cannot give informed consent and so cannot be vaccinated at mass vaccination center.
I suggest National Cabinet decide that a standard audio-visual package in multiple languages be prepared. This would be added to online booking systems, allowing any adult to give informed consent to an AstraZeneca vaccination online. Any adult should be able to walk into any vaccination center at the booked time, show ID and be vaccinated immediately, without the need to speak to anyone, or fill in any paperwork.
Individuals would still have to option to visit their doctor to discuss vaccination. However, I suggest our leaders now need to ask every Australian to accept that the risk, in the interests of their family and the community to get vaccinated now.
Saturday, July 03, 2021
It is more than a year since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency in Australia. Federal and state governments have spent billions of dollars on health measures, but are still unable to field an easy to use online vaccination booking system. I suggest modelling this on the ease of use, and sophistication, of a pizza ordering system. Some years ago I ordered a pizza online for collection. The system took my details and presented pizza options. It then listed the nearest places I could collect it. What was impressive was the system then asked my means of transport and estimated when I should leave to get there just in time. I left at the time suggested, and as I walked through the door of the pizza parlor, my order popped on an electronic display indicating it was ready. I picked it up and was out the door in under a minute. It should be possible to do something similar for vaccinations.
A responsive online vaccination booking system would instill confidence in the public and increase the efficiency and safety of the vaccination process. Removing long queues at vaccination centers will decrease staffing to manage the crowd and also reduce the risk of spread of infection. All of the information the patient needs should be able to collected online and them arrive with a QR code ready to be scanned and jabbed.
An efficient online vaccination system could prevent tens of thousands of deaths, by speeding up vaccination and preventing mass breakouts of COVID-19. This could also decrease the risk of mental illness and death, due to the suffering brought about by lock-downs and unemployment, particularly of younger people. This places such systems in the category of "safety critical", requiring a higher level of care in design, testing and deployment by computer professionals.
Medicare Number Format
A problem still exists with the way the patient has to enter the Medicare number on the ACT Government system. This differs from the format used by Federal Government and private providers. It will only be a problem the first time the patient registers with the system. For someone who will regularly attend a clinic for medical treatments, that is not a major problem. But for an emergency vaccination campaign, where each patient will attend only two or three times, difficulties in initially registering are more significant.
The ACT Government page on vaccinations has a link for patients to register. However, that link doesn't take the patient to the registration screen, but to the login screen. The patient is then asked for their user ID and password they have not yet been issued with, which is confusing. There is a link for registering, but patients are may be confused at this point and never see the link.
|MyDHR Choose User name,|
ACT Health, 3 July 2021
MyDHR Main Screen
|MyDHR Vaccine Eligibility,|
ACT Health, 3 July 2021
No Medical Records on System
The ACT Government system is intended to provide a comprehensive system for patients of ACT Health, not just vaccinations. So I looked to see what records were recorded. There was not record of my ever being a patient, although I had spent a night in the ICU and received numerous tests. It may be my treatment was too long ago to be worth loading into the new system, but patients will not feel reassured about receiving further treatment, if there is no record of their previous treatment.
After registering, I received an email with the subject line "Please check your MyDHR account". However, the body of the message said "... you have new information in MyChart.". But what is MyChart? There was no signature block to indicate this message was from the ACT Government, and no contact details to reassure the patient this was a genuine message and help the patient seek further information (the message had a "no reply" address).
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Ambarish Natu, a senior and respected member of the computing profession in Australia, is raising funds to provide Australian oxygen concentrators to COVID-19 patients in India. You can contribute to the campaign now.
Sunday, May 23, 2021
|West Live Podcast|
"It turns out your boss can see much more than you think when it comes to your internet usage at work, no matter how incognito you get.
Australian National University honorary lecturer and technology consultant Tom Worthington knows a thing or two about what you can and can’t get away with at work when it comes using the web."
Monday, May 17, 2021
|WHO Digital Vaccination Certificate|
Below I detail some changes, and why they are needed. Australia's vaccination rate is currently far below that needed to have everyone eligible offered at least one dose buy the end of the year. There are obvious flaws in the federal and ACT vaccination websites, including incorrect, and misleading formation. By making it harder for the public to get vaccinated, are placing lives, and the economy, at risk. It is suggested changing the government sites to make it easier for the bulk of the population to book a vaccination. It would also be useful to offer something tangible, such as a vaccination certificate, with a QR code.
1. Booking Link at Top of Page: Both federal and ACT governments should have a line at the top of their main COVID-19 web pages for booking:
- Fifty or over? Book your COVID-19 vaccination now: 50+ Book!
2. Show online booking sites first: The federal government page should display vaccination centers which have online booking first. Public high capacity clinics should be displayed first, followed by GP clinics, and GPs last.
Finding Where to Get Vaccinated
A web search using Google for "covid19 vaccine booking", has as the first four responses:
- COVID-19 Vaccine Booking - Book An Appointment (Ad) https://www.health.gov.au/
- COVID-19 vaccinations - Available now in Canberra (Ad) https://www.nhc.coop/
- How will I get my COVID-19 vaccine? | Australian Government ...www.health.gov.au
- Booking your COVID-19 vaccination - COVID-19 - ACT Health www.covid19.act.gov.au
The first two of these are paid advertisements and the next two native responses. The first is to the federal health website, the next a private clinic in Canberra, then a different Federal Government page and lastly the ACT Government. That there are two different federal government pages resulting from the one search is confusing.
Federal Health Website
The first Federal Government page says "... book an appointment if you are eligible ...", but this is below the fold, below the first screen of information, in the middle of a sentence and thus very difficult to see.
The priority in the design of this page appears to be to educate the public as to who is eligible, so as not to overload the system. With the decision to permit all over 50s to book, I suggest this is misplaced. The priority should be on getting people vaccinated and saying "book vaccination".
After three screens the federal system displays the nearest vaccination centers. Here they are for O'Connor, ACT:
|Vaccination centers suggested for O'Connor ACT.|
The screen is headed with "Please use online appointments where available to reduce call volumes to clinics. If you can’t find an appointment or a clinic in your location, please check back in a week.". However, four of the five entries displays are for phone bookings only. Following the instructions given, the user would select the one and only clinic which takes online bookings.
The only entry which has a link for online booking is to the ACT Government clinic. However, this only accepts online booking from previous patents of ACT Heath (and I was unable to make a booking even though I had been a patient).
National Health Co-op
National Health Co-op is a non-government, not-for-profit health service. The web link leads to a vaccinations page, with two buttons, for "Covid 19" and "Flu Shot". This then shows the six locations where a shot can be booked. The details of how to registered and book are left until later.
National Health Co-op COVID-19 Booking details
This is a good design, the user gets to see where they could go, without having to enter a lot of personal details first. However, the information presented contradicts that on the Federal Health web site. The Federal site lists the Co-op's ANU clinic as available for phone bookings only. That clinic is not listed by the Co-op's website and all of those listed can be booked online. It appears the Federal government site is incorrect, listing a clinic which is not available and also not listing those which are.
Second Federal Government Web Page
The second federal government page to appear in the web search results is "How will I get my COVID-19 vaccine?". This has a link for "Book or register for COVID-19 vaccination", but below the fold, so the user has to scroll down to find it. This then links to the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker, discussed above. Again the booking link is not prominent, and the page does not appear to be designed to have vaccination booking as a priority.
|Federal how will I get my vaccine page.|
This is not a good design, as the link for booking a vaccination is not prominent.
|ACT clinics map|
However, only one of three of the clinics shown are for the general public. As a result showing a map is misleading, not useful. The one clinic shown requires online booking via the ACT Government booking system "MyDHR". This system requires entry of the Medicare number in a format different to that used by the federal government and private providers, and the number is not displayed as it is entered. Also online registration is only available to those who are already patients in the ACT health system (and in some chases even not then).
Hi, if you have any technical issues when using MyDHR, please call 02 5124 5000 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Please refer to our FAQ 'I'm having issues signing up to MyDHR' for other reasons you may be having issues"
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
In "China needs to make a plan to deter extreme forces of Australia", Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, threatened the use of "...long-range missiles with conventional warheads that target military objectives in Australia ..." (May 07, 2021 11:35 PM). Such a threat is counterproductive and I suggest Australia develop plans to respond in a way which shows resolve, but does not escalate the situation.
In 2003 I was a guest of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) presenting ideas for the Beijing Olympics 2008. Present were local academics, government a business people, including from the People's Daily, who I considered very professional. I had an enjoyable tour of the People's Daily webcasting facility. It is regrettable that staff of the organisation are now issuing threats.
|Air raid on Darwin.|
Conventionally armed ballistic missiles could inflict significant damage, and casualties, on Australian military infrastructure and civilians. The Australian government may wish to acquire anti-missile missiles, for the ships it has already acquired which are fitted-for-but-not-with these. But in any case, as in WWII, an attack on the Australian mainland would increase work with allies, not diminish it.
In the event Australia comes under ballistic missile attack, I suggest we show restraint, and ask our allies not to use the weapons at their disposal to respond in kind. A way to show resolve, without escalating the situation, would be to dismantle the artificial islands constructed by China in disputed territory.
Personnel on the artificial islands could be given time to evacuate, with personal belongings. This could be facilitated by coast guard personnel of Australia and its allies. All infrastructure on the islands would then be removed, and the sea walls broken. This would allow currents to wash away the built up sand and return the reefs to their natural state.
Friday, May 07, 2021
To make an online booking at ACT Government COVID-19 vaccination clinics, clients are required to use the MyDHR system. However, the way the client enters their Medicare number is very confusing and only those who have already been clients of ACT Health can make a booking. I suggest the way the Medicare number is entered is made easier, in line with other online systems. Also I suggest the requirement that only existing clients can book be lifted.
The page with information on bookings has an explanation of how to enter the number. However, this is down on the page, below where the user is invited to click to make a booking. As a result it is likely most users will never see the instructions on entering the Medicare number, particularly when using a smart phone.
Medicare Number Problem
The ACT Government instructions on how to enter the Medicare number contradict those of the Federal government. The Federal government says:
"Enter your Medicare card number, followed by your Individual Reference Number"
But the ACT Government says:
"When filling out the Medicare number, please note the format needs to be XXXXXXXXXX-X where the last digit (IRN) is what appears next to your first name on your Medicare card".
Compounding the problem is that the MyHDR registration screen does not display the Medicare number as it is entered.
I suggest the Medicare number be displayed and be entered in two parts: the Medicare number itself, and the IRN.
|MyDHR Registration screen obscuring Medicare number.|
The MyDHR login page has a "Sign up for MyDHR" button. This then requested the client's name, date of birth and Medicare number.However, registration is not accepted from new clients. The person registering has to have already been to ACT Health. I suggest this be changed to accept registration for anyone with a Medicare card.
Credible, easy to use booking system needed
|Talking on web for Pandemics|
To ensure as many are vaccinated, as quickly as possible, we need easy to use, functioning vaccination booking systems. I suggest the ACT Government make urgent changes to their system to ensure public safety.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
|Cabmen's shelter, |
by Andy Scott, 2019, CC BY-SA 4.0
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
|Fast UAV Carrier. |
Artists impression by
Tom Worthington CC-BY 2021
Any scheme has to have a strong investment in local capability. I suggest Australia should invest in new technological capabilities, for example, being able to rapidly manufacture custom guided weapons and UAVs for a particular mission. This could include the capability to do this aboard ship and on land at forward bases.
As an example, imagine a miniature aircraft carrier build by one of Australia's multi-hull fast ferry shipyards, with a flight deck for launching UAVs and a factory below to 3D print the jet engines, fuselages and avionics for them. Rather than a commander to have to wait weeks, or years for new weapons to be delivered, they would be manufactured on-board in a few hours, custom designed for the next mission.
Friday, March 26, 2021
I have suggested the tour organizers offer virtual tours of the the Taman Pintar science park, the shopping center and a ride in a local bus as to the visitor these are also fascinating.
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Over Christmas, I left Canberra for a holiday in Queensland, but never got there. The Queensland boarders were closed due to COVID-19, so I stayed in Sydney. Then the Canberra boarder closed and I could not go home. But then, if you have to be stuck somewhere, Sydney is a nice place to be. ;-)
From Sydney, I could still work online, with the help of a mattress (my next webinar for Canada is 11am, Wednesday, all welcome). My doctor faxed scrips for essential medicines to a Sydney pharmacy (there is still a use for fax).
In Sydney, I decided to avoid indoor venues. It became a challenge to find somewhere to shop and be entertained without an enclosed air-conditioned space and within walking distance. When mandatory mask wearing was introduced for Sydney, this was in some ways a relief. I did try going to a concert once, but an hour in a mask, even with an intermission outside, was not a pleasant experience.
Last week the Canberra boarder opened, and I was able to return. This was an anti-climax: I was expecting someone in a hazmat suit to stick something up my nose, but there was no border checkpoint. What I did find confronting was going to a shopping center. As I entered there were people with no masks. I found this shocking and a little frightening. I wanted to shout "What are you doing, don't you know we are in a pandemic!" and run from the building. But I calmed down, and did my shopping.
I went home in a better frame of mind, thinking my fears irrational and expecting they would have receded after a few days. This would be similar to 18 January 2003, when at the same shopping center car-park, I was confronted by smoke from a firestorm destroying part of Canberra.
There is a need to get on with life, but also take precautions.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Salvos Store Leichhardt (NSW), has been set up like the apartment in the TV series The Big Bang Theory.
There is a bookcase with Star Wars and Star Trek collectibles, rack of computer games, couch and TV with a game playing. But Sheldon would not doubt point that the replica Phaser on display is "Original Series", while the model star-ship is from a later series. ;-)