29 September 2012

Power companies charge what they want

POWER distributors get to charge what they like because the regulator is under-resourced, a Senate inquiry has been told. 
Senior executives from Victoria's electricity distribution businesses were grilled by a Senate committee in Melbourne yesterday.
Senator Sean Edwards told the executives they were effectively able to do what they liked.
"You work in a heavily regulated environment, but the reality is you get your own way," Senator Edwards, a SA Liberal, said.
He pointed out the criticism of the Australian Energy Regulator made by Grid Australia chairman Peter McIntyre.
"He says that the Australian Energy Regulator doesn't always get it right, and is under-resourced and lacks the skills," Senator Edwards said.
"So, you fellas muscle your way in and generate good profits."

But the companies defended their record, and said Victoria had benefited from power privatisation, and had the lowest network charges in the country.
SPAusNet managing director Nino Ficca said peak demand was driving increases in power prices.
"Network expansion costs are in large part driven by the capacity of the system to respond economically to meet peak demand, not by average (use)," Mr Ficca said. "In recent years, average household electricity consumption has been declining."
This was due to improving energy efficiency, home solar power and consumer response to higher prices.
Australian Energy Market Operator acting chief executive David Swift said SA experienced the greatest peaks, with Victoria a close second.
"We have a fairly mild Mediterranean climate, into which is thrown a few heat waves," Mr Swift said.
"So we get a very high peak for a very short time."
Peter Bryant, in charge of smart meters for CitiPower and Powercor, said Victoria would benefit for years to come because of the devices.
"(We) expect to have automatic fault detection in place for customers with smart meters by mid next year," Mr Bryant said.
"So customers will never have to call us again to tell us their lights are out."
The Baillieu Government this week announced that optional flexible peak pricing would be introduced from next year.
Mr Bryant blamed a failure to sell smart meters for the public's lukewarm response to them. "Historically, the biggest issue facing the Victorian rollout has been the lack of effective communication," Mr Bryant said.

heraldsun.com.au 28 Sep 2012

It is reassuring to know for consumers that the government has failed to provide adequate resources to ensure a justified reasonable price rise for important utility services.

Another deliberate government failure that costs consumers millions.

28 September 2012

Telecoms bandwidth fraud

Another fraud carried out by Australia’s telecommunications giants, although its technicality known about on forums, goes eerily silent past the law firms, ever so open to class action law suite, doors.

Since this information is now being made public, it can easily be expected that within weeks, the ever so eager justice seeking law firms will take charge in a class action law suite against the telecommunication giants.

Bandwidth or in this case the amount of data used is being deliberately falsely billed to customers.
The technology used (data collection techniques) by telcos to bill customers is the same throughout the organisation, be it for pre-paid or post-paid customers.

Under a pre-paid agreement, the consumer may have a data allowance, be it 250MB or 5GB of data for the duration of validity of the service typically 4 to 6 weeks.

Similarly customers that have a post-paid account or plan have an amount of data that can be used during a specified period of time.

There is one major difference between the two plans that being that on a pre-paid agreement, the data allocation is flagged to stop once the limit has been reached, whereas on a post-paid plan the user can still keep downloading material, at a significantly inflated price, where it is instantaneously billed to the account holder.

Pre-paid customers even though technically they have an account, no more finances can be extracted from the client, one the limits of talk/data have been reached, whilst post-paid are liable for additional charges.
Currently as an example Optus charge $0.10 per megabyte (or $100/ gigabyte) for excess data usage, whilst offering recharge vouchers of $40 with 1 gigabyte of data, or $100 with 5 gigabytes.

Under the latter recharge Optus are penalising the user 500% for excess data usage.

This deceitful practice has been going on for years without any action from the consumer watch dogs or telecoms industry ombudsman.

The corporate media term recently coined “Bill Shock” detracts from the severity and illegal operation of such an act. The correct term is fraud, under the misrepresentation banner, which is illegal under consumer law in Australia. 

What the masses are not aware is that not one single bill need to be paid in full under the “Bill Shock” label, but this could not have been made public, as this would deny the telcos profit made from misleading information, something that the legal eagles are not prepare to undertake against their ‘brethren’.

Domestic violence police slow response

In the world of politics, governance and policing, there are many taboos that cannot be aired or even discussed publicly as the consequences of making these policies public can be detrimental to the individual for breaking confidentiality, as the policies may not be to the benefit of society as a whole.

Certain orders are passed down in the form of ‘word of mouth’, as there can be no incriminating paper trail, which must be strictly adhered to.

Suburbs have their own demographics and as a result their own socio economic issues. Interviews with police have netted that in Melbourne’s growing suburban areas, most domestic disputes are as a result of financial difficulties of their inhabitants, some sources say as high as 80%.

As a result there is a disturbing trend for persons in need of police assistance not to be seen by officers as soon as possible, but rather waiting time can exceed 2 hours. Some cases can be life threatening and police assistance is nowhere to be seen. The classic excuse is that either a police station is closed, or the officers are on another ‘job’.

Police have been instructed not to attend domestic violence situations promptly, but rather to take the approach that the situation will diffuse itself, so the officers will not have to be in a confrontational position with an assailant.

The politics is for police to pursue ‘jobs’ that bring in revenue, rather than ensuring the safety of the community, which consumes many hours of laborious paperwork for little financial return, something that is of a priority of police matter handling.

Criticism has recently erupted over the delayed response to the very public disappearance of an ABC employee Jill Meagher, which has now resulted in the apprehension of a Coburg man with the subsequent allegations of rape and murder to be turned into charges.

Whatever the politics the facts are that not enough is done to protect the community in high risk areas like Brunswick, Coburg and the surrounding suburbs.

Will it take the very public brutal murder of Jill Meagher for politics to change?

27 September 2012

Auto Industry bail out suppressed

In recent time the government has handed out hundreds of millions of dollars indiscriminately to the ailing Australian automotive industry.

As a result there have been serious questions raised, together with the call for accountability.

The general populous has the right to know exactly how much, where and for what purposes the general public’s (tax) dollars have gone, as the relevant documentation will show all the correct accounting figures balanced.

Calls from various leaders have been met with stiff opposition from the government, and the handling of the matter wrapped up in secrecy, which is illegal, if asked to provide answers where the monies have gone.

Information obtained from a source within the industry suggests that the monies (public’s tax dollars) provided by the government have gone into (amongst other places) union wages, funding thuggery, into the hip pockets of politicians as bribes.

Even with the surfacing of the documentation pertaining to the automotive industry bail out, any allegations of corruption will not only be met with ridicule or dismissing the ‘facts’, but also anyone who will wish to pursue the matter further will be an instant government target for persecution.

Many officials have set up the funds as 'Money for Mates' deals who do not wish not to be detected.

Another fraud supported and covered up by the government.

Australia truly the ‘lucky country’*

·          *- A government slogan.

US calls Assange 'enemy of state'

THE US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States - the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency.

Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.
The documents, some originally classified "Secret/NoForn" - not releasable to non-US nationals - record a probe by the air force's Office of Special Investigations into a cyber systems analyst based in Britain who allegedly expressed support for WikiLeaks and attended pro-Assange demonstrations in London.
The counter-intelligence investigation focused on whether the analyst, who had a top-secret security clearance and access to the US military's Secret Internet Protocol Router network, had disclosed classified or sensitive information to WikiLeaks supporters, described as an "anti-US and/or anti-military group".
The suspected offence was "communicating with the enemy, 104-D", an article in the US Uniform Code of Military Justice that prohibits military personnel from "communicating, corresponding or holding intercourse with the enemy".
The analyst's access to classified information was suspended. However, the investigators closed the case without laying charges. The analyst denied leaking information.
Mr Assange remains holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London. He was granted diplomatic asylum on the grounds that if extradited to Sweden to be questioned about sexual assault allegations, he would be at risk of extradition to the US to face espionage or conspiracy charges arising from the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic reports.
US Vice-President Joe Biden labelled Mr Assange a "high-tech terrorist" in December 2010 and US congressional leaders have called for him to be charged with espionage.
Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee - both once involved in presidential campaigns - have both urged that Mr Assange be "hunted down".
Mr Assange's US attorney, Michael Ratner, said the designation of WikiLeaks as an "enemy" had serious implications for the WikiLeaks publisher if he were to be extradited to the US, including possible military detention.
US Army private Bradley Manning faces a court martial charged with aiding the enemy - identified as al-Qaeda - by transmitting information that, published by WikiLeaks, became available to the enemy.
Mr Ratner said that under US law it would most likely have been considered criminal for the US Air Force analyst to communicate classified material to journalists and publishers, but those journalists and publishers would not have been considered the enemy or prosecuted.
"However, in the FOI documents there is no allegation of any actual communication for publication that would aid an enemy of the United States such as al-Qaeda, nor are there allegations that WikiLeaks published such information," he said.
"Almost the entire set of documents is concerned with the analyst's communications with people close to and supporters of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, with the worry that she would disclose classified documents to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
"It appears that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the 'enemy'. An enemy is dealt with under the laws of war, which could include killing, capturing, detaining without trial, etc."
The Australian government has repeatedly denied knowledge of any US intention to charge Mr Assange or seek his extradition.
However, Australian diplomatic cables released to Fairfax Media under freedom-of-information laws over the past 18 months have confirmed the continuation of an "unprecedented" US Justice Department espionage investigation targeting Mr Assange and WikiLeaks.
The Australian diplomatic reports canvassed the possibility that the US may eventually seek Mr Assange's extradition on conspiracy or information-theft-related offences to avoid extradition problems arising from the nature of espionage as a political offence and the free-speech protections in the US constitution.
Mr Assange is scheduled this morning to speak by video link to a meeting on his asylum case on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The meeting will be attended by Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino.
In a separate FOI decision yesterday, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the release of Australian diplomatic cables about WikiLeaks and Mr Assange had been the subject of extensive consultation with the US.

theage.com.au 27 Sep 2012

If someone becomes uncomfortable to governments (shows the criminal atrocities committed), this is the reaction - an enemy of the state.

Police officer appears in court on violence charges

A SERVING police officer appeared briefly in Melbourne Magistrates' Court this morning charged with violence offences. 

Ralph John Fryer, 52, is accused of recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault.

The offences are alleged to have been committed in Broadmeadows in February this year.

Mr Fryer's lawyer successfully applied to have some of Mr Fryer's personal details suppressed for security reasons.

"Mr Fryer is a member of Victoria Police currently suspended," his lawyer told the court.
Mr Fryer, who was charged on summons, will re-appear in court in November.

heraldsun.com.au 27 sep 2012

Crooked cops are not uncommon, especially in the crime ridden outer northern suburbs (of e.g. Broadmeadows), where there is a large concentration of low socioeconomic Middle Eastern migrants.

Corpau has been made aware that another serving officer is also involved in criminal activity.

The government openly supports the corrupt police, by not only protecting either identity or crimes, but also by not incarcerating them. There is no policy to stamp out corrupt police.

Bringing the name of another corrupt police officer will not only have no consequences, but also endanger the informant, and also the poster of the article.

26 September 2012

Bandwidth Monitor Misinformation

The telco giants in Australia are renowned for misleading the general populous, amongst other areas, from their advertising campaigns to billing information.

In this instance Optus is responsible for providing false information to users about how much data the user has left to use.

Telcos can quite easily have the excuse that there is an accounting ‘bungle’ or limitations of the system, but those flimsy excuses are far from the truth.

When one opens the summary page of one’s account there is a figure of how much data is left for the user to consume.

As shown in the (above) illustration the figure of 4GB remains for the user.

When the option of choosing the more recent events is expanded, the figure 5120Kb or 5GB is revealed.
One may be able to use the technicality of the definition of Megabytes or Gigabytes as defined by mathematics or IEEE standards relating to computer memory.

In no uncertain terms mega = 10^6, giga = 10^9, whereas computer storage  is multiplied by a factor of 1.024 (bytes).

4GB of data is equal to 4 x 2^20 = 4,194.304Mb, and 5GB is equal to 5,242.880Mb or commonly known as 4,096 and 5120 Mb respectively.

Optus have misled the consumer by an amount of 25%, which is unacceptable under Australian law.

Consumer watchdogs fine corporations for misleading the public, but in this case, Optus walks free.