366 days of gratitude

May 11, 2016

Over dinner this evening we were discussing what we could do on our mobile phones – text; read books, magazines and papers; take photos and videos, and send them to other people; navigate; book travel, accommodation and events; translate to and from multiple languages; scan; record voices; listen to music; watch films . . .

Today I’m grateful for my phone’s ability to do all this and more.

On-line voting answer to wrong question

April 21, 2016

Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston says the online voting trial proposed for this year’s local body elections won’t proceed as more work is required to ensure a trial meets public and government expectations.

“Public confidence in local elections is fundamentally important. Given real concerns about security and vote integrity, it is too early for a trial,” says Ms Upston.

“Due to timing restrictions, preparations for the proposed trial have not yet met the legislative requirements and cannot guarantee public confidence in the election results.

“Security testing has been planned but has not yet occurred. Without seeing the results of testing we cannot be confident the systems are secure enough, and the trial could not be authorised.” . . 

This is a good move.

Postal voting was instituted for local body elections in te hope it would increase turnout but it is open to misuse and abuse.

I know of a parent who cast votes in a local body election for an adult child who was overseas; a man who voted for a parent who was in a rest home and a family who voted for a dead parent.

The traveller and the elderly parent didn’t mind and the family were as sure as they could be they knew who their deceased parent would have ticked but that’s not the point.

One person, one vote free of fear, favour or influence from anyone else is a basic tenet of democracy.

Postal voting is inherently insecure and online voting would be even worse.

Besides, the question shouldn’t be, how to make voting easier. It’s not very difficult in the first place.

The question should be how to get more people engaged in the electoral process so they want to vote.

People are literally dying to vote in other countries.

The problem here isn’t that people can’t vote easily, it’s that they don’t care enough to do so.




366 days of gratitude

April 13, 2016

I don’t do details and like Pooh Bear’s friend Wol, my spelling can be a bit wobbly.

That isn’t to be confused with typos which happen when I type faster than I spell.

But thanks to spell checks neither are the major problem they used to be in the old days when typewriters just typed and didn’t help you spell as well, which computers do now.

Today I’m grateful for spell checks, and the education which, in spite of wobbly spelling, enables me to recognise when the spell check is wrong.

Quote of the day

April 11, 2016

We will learn that computers, amazing as they are, still cannot come close to being as effective as human beings. A computer isn’t creative on its own because it is programmed to behave in a predictable way. Creativity comes from looking for the unexpected and stepping outside your own experience. Computers simply cannot do that. – Masaru Ibuka who was born on this day in 1908.

366 days of gratitude

April 6, 2016

What do you want to know, who are you going to ask?

These days, more often than not the answer to many and varied questions will come via a Google search.

I used it this afternoon when a friend asked me to record something on my phone and I wasn’t sure how to.

Google gave me the answer as it often does and I’m grateful for that and the speed at which it did it.



366 days of gratitude

March 19, 2016

We were travelling between farms in Tasmania a couple of weeks ago when I received an email telling us a friend was in hospital in Melbourne.

I checked flights on my iPad then called Air New Zealand. Within a few minutes the very helpful woman on the other end of the phone had altered our flights so that instead of  the scheduled stop over in Melbourne of only a couple of hours we were able to stay the night.

Another few minutes on the iPad sorted a bed hotel.

How very much easier making and changing travel arrangements are now than it was not so many years ago when even simple domestic travel necessitated at least one visit to a travel agent.

Travel agents still provide good service, particularly for multi-stop trips overseas with different airlines and accommodation.

But simple arrangements and changes can easily be made by computer and mobile phone and I’m grateful for that.


366 days of gratitude

March 9, 2016

The home in which I grew up had one telephone.

It was attached to the wall in what we called the sun room.

As its name suggests it was warm on a good day but in inclement weather or at night it was cold.

If you didn’t need privacy or quiet you could stretch the cord far enough to converse in the kitchen which was always warm. But if you wanted to hear properly or keep your conversation to yourself you had to stay put regardless of the temperature.

How much easier it is now when most phones are cordless and many are mobile.

Today I’m grateful for portable and mobile communication.




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