Speedtest.net Redesign

Speedtest.net is a valuable tool for checking that everything is working correctly on your internet connection, while the same test can be done manually it’s much more convenient to have it all come from one place.

Recently they redesigned their website with a lighter style, I think it works well, aside from the main design not much has changed regarding the interaction.

It still suffers from the odd anomaly
It still suffers from the odd anomaly

The Australian Web Filter

You may have noticed the new ad to the right above the sidebar that adblock isn’t blocking, i’ll explain.

Recently the Australian Government decided to introduce a form of government controlled web filtering similar to countries like China, this is in an attempt to block the viewing of certain illegal websites. This has upset a number of technical savvy people in the country and most notably Internet Providers mainly because it doesn’t work very well and also because it causes a remarkable slowdown in internet speeds due to the filtering.

The government has been told the technical facts regarding internet filtering, why it doesn’t work and why it causes problems time and time again but they insist on introducing it, the main driving forces of this have been parenting groups and certain religious organizations who love the idea of restricting certain content (Won’t somebody think of the children?) who unfortunately have been the current government’s key voters, and also unfortunately don’t know how the internet even works and quite simply wouldn’t care if it slowed down, certain legal and legitimate websites (sometimes up to 25% false positives in most cases) disappeared accidentally or even if it didn’t work very well at blocking the content it was meant to anyway.

Filtering of information is a slippery path, it would only take a few keystrokes for the government to decide that they don’t like certain websites that protest against them, or if their opposing party’s website should be silenced, a simple “it was an accident, the website is up now” explanation in our case and with our government’s technical abilities a few days later would be all the government would say about the matter. I’m not one for believing the government would be so evil, we live in a democratic country and I don’t see the current administration doing anything to upset that and quite frankly thinking we’re turning into some undemocratic (as some people seem to be saying communist) state is ridiculous, however once the infrastructure for this is in place who knows what future administrations would do with their sudden information controlling powers.

This ridiculous proposal should never have even been given a chance, if this was proposed in Britain or the USA it would have been laughed at, I feel that this is just another example of an Australian government that doesn’t know what they are talking about, just like the one we had 11 years before it, clearly they are taking their recommendations from the wrong people.

Up until now the Australian public either didn’t know about, or cared about this problem, hopefully now they know the truth and will help act against this stupidity, if you’re a current Australian resident, either permanent or temporary please sign the petition for GetUp! as soon as you get the chance, at the very least this will cause no harm, bring to light the problem and educate the rest of this country.