$11bn Scott Farquar ‘kicked while he is down’

I have to be careful with this. The cognitive dissonance that clings like a magical cloak to the Atlassian duo makes me deeply suspicious of their various public campaigns. Today’s outburst partly fits this description but not all:

So, let’s go through the list of complaints.

First, there is NO cut to skilled migration. That is fake. It has been boosted. The intake should be cut for real and the floor salary for skilled migrants lifted to $100k. Anything under that is simply not “skilled” enough and can be trained up locally. Australia should not be in the business of supporting Third World labour arbitrage business models.

Second, the cuts to R&D funding are bloody stupid. Especially so given Australia’s most fundamental challenge will be to boost non-mining business and productivity for the next two decades as China slows. Are we the “smart country” or not?

Third, the new anti-encryption laws are probably too broad. Labor has committed to finessing them. But they are necessary in the era of Cold War 2.0.

Fourth, the “streamed terrorism” laws are also too broad and probably useless. While I agree with the sentiment of the legislation, in practice they won’t work when any video act is transmitted to millions of smart phones worldwide in a instant. They can be swapped, shared, promoted and disseminated in so many ways, so fast that targeting the platform is kind of pointless.  Probably the only way that such acts of horror can be combated is to lift the penalties associated with individuals carrying or distributing the material. Treat it like snuff.

In sum, to my own surprise I agree with the Atlassian duo on most things, which shows that they have a major PR problem because my gut wants to vehemently disagree.

Perhaps if they paid some Australian taxes I might feel more like these campaigns were in the public interest rather than their own.

Comments

  1. Lord Farquar is right on his general point that the LNP has no interest or understanding of technology. Houses and Holes are the way to make wealth.

    Freedom of the press is also bad, Rupert does not want Facebook et al competing with him.

    Atlassian needs to learn from the mining pros and start donating generously, then they’ll be listened to and will be able to import as many cheap IT workers as they want.

  2. The R&D changes were made because big companies in particular were gaming the system with little to actually show for it.

  3. Business 101. Start a business and get a government contract or 2. Then list on a stock exchange and bingo, you have every right to influence government policy. These techie types are starting to give me the irrates

  4. These Encryption laws are beyond stupid
    the future of securing big data absolutely requires end to end encryption (probably best done with Homomorphic Encryption) but there’s plenty of room for developing useful products that fall short of full Homomorphism. In many ways full homomorphism is also not what’s needed because sharing data securely really requires good Private/Public key encryption, especially if said data is expected to run across a large variety of equipment with some very questionable security settings and intentional backdoors.
    Bottom line Encryption is an essential tool for both the individual and corporations that hope to survive in the 21st century.
    Banning Encryption or worse still hobbling it is a completely stupid idea rightfully invented in Australia.

    • Absolutely
      More along the lines of Conroy’s pathetic attempt to censor the internet. He had no concept of what a VPN could do.
      As for encryption, terrorists will merely share a software app that allows them to encrypt – convert hex to string – transmit string as message using email or whatever blah blah – convert string to hex – decrypt.
      The carriers will have no input to the process of encryption/decryption and won’t be able to help the authorities. It will merely make it harder for everyone, businesses trying to prevent IP theft, confidential transactions etc – everyone but the terrorists who will adapt very quickly.
      Imbecilic.

  5. kiwikarynMEMBER

    “Probably the only way that such acts of horror can be combated is to lift the penalties associated with individuals carrying or distributing the material. Treat it like snuff.”
    Unfortunately that is what is being done in NZ – there are two people (one a teenager) sitting in jail for no other crime than having distributed the video. Meanwhile, even rapists and murderers get bail. There are loads of Islamic terrorism videos out there on the Internet, like the one showing the beheading of the two Scandinavian girls in Morocco. It seems ISIS snuff videos are okay, no one has made a fuss about them. But one Australian uploads a live stream and the whole world (well technically just Australia and NZ, the ROW don’t seem to care) is outraged.

    • It’s actually a form of intellectual snobbery: It’s OK for ISIL to publish beheading videos. They’re Arabs and Muslims so we expect it of them. But, for a White Anglo Saxon do do the same? Holy God, put your Burkas on in sympathy – there’s NO WAY a white Anglo Saxon could possibly sink so low……

  6. Some tech bosses do not even know how to complain.

    Their rants are so ambiguous. At lest Gerry Harvey provides a specific example:

    17 Mar 2009

    I’ve got horse studs and it’s difficult to get staff.

    Scott Farquhard and Darren Cotterill have always been able to get staff on $10/hour. Or $0/month if he calls the job an internship:

    But if the intern’s weren’t doing actual ‘work’ (“redundant projects” in his words), it was all just to ‘help them out’… why would he then say from now on he’ll just ‘ship the work overseas’

    Why would he need to ship the apparent non-work that the intern’s worked on overseas?

    https://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/9tz2ko/unpaid_internships_it_firm_slams_lazy_aussies/e90lbaz/

    Portugal has less people now than it did in 2001 and a youth unemployment rate of 6.8%. How are the computers in Portugal networked if it has a shrinking population? What about Japan and every other nation that has a slower immigration rate than AUS?

    About 250 of Atlassian’s 1,000 employees in Australia are on 457 temporary migration visas. The justification for this has been that it is easier to get senior staff with 10 years’ experience from Silicon Valley than it is to find them locally, or train them from existing domestic staff.

    If indeed all of the 457 visa staff are senior members of Atlassian, it would represent a very high ratio of senior to junior staff.

    https://theconversation.com/australian-companies-should-cultivate-local-tech-workers-not-play-the-457-visa-game-87097

    Most of the other 750 were on 457 visas but they got an Aussie passport before 2017. And I did not know Silicon Valley is in Vietnam. The wages in Silicon Valley are way higher than they are in Sydney. There is no way Atlassian is importing skilled people from Silicon Valley.

  7. Denis413MEMBER

    “Fourth, the “streamed terrorism” laws are also too broad and probably useless. While I agree with the sentiment of the legislation, in practice they won’t work when any video act is transmitted to millions of smart phones worldwide in a instant. They can be swapped, shared, promoted and disseminated in so many ways, so fast that targeting the platform is kind of pointless. Probably the only way that such acts of horror can be combated is to lift the penalties associated with individuals carrying or distributing the material. Treat it like snuff.”

    It’s all about the Government attaining the ability to control the narrative. This is frightening to put it bluntly. Toe the party line MB or otherwise we may not be able to access your site, all in the name of protection…

  8. StephenMEMBER

    My expertise is as a software/electronics engineer specifically in defence communications.

    The encryption laws are really, really bad and should really be repealed in their entirety. There is no merit to them – they only make things worse. They have tried to legislate away the technical problems, but the problem is that the laws of math, cryptography and information theory can’t actually be overruled by the laws of Australia!

    The legislation tries to do all sorts of things that either make things worse for security in general (i.e the security that keeps your bank account safe from criminals, the security that keeps your company’s IP safe from foreign companies, etc.), or is technically impossible.

    The legislation says that it shouldn’t introduce systemic weaknesses, but you technically can’t do what they want without introducing systemic weaknesses! And there is no recourse if you are requested to implement a backdoor (they say it’s not a backdoor but it can only be a backdoor to do what they want). The agency requesting it get to say whether it’s proportional and justified, and you get no say, and no ability to appeal to any independent body.

    They also just didn’t listen to any evidence from technical experts, law groups, privacy groups etc. when they rushed it through.

    As an Australian SME, we just can’t afford the stigma of no longer being trustworthy internationally either…

    There’s a reason that this is a world first in the developed world – because it’s bad, unworkable legislation from start to finish.

    The new streaming laws are Even worse – and they didn’t even pretend to listen to experts like with the encryption laws. At least with the encryption laws, they can get what they want, (just breaking security that protects our communications and making Australians less safe online along the way, while also decimating future tech exports). But with streaming, there is literally just no way to automatically detect this kind of thing, and manual moderation is too expensive…

    • ‘this is a world first in the developed world’ – should tell you everything you need to know about corruption in Australia.

      Laws like this are made specifically to punish the weak/poor. Do you think this will ever, and I do mean ever, be enforced on a ‘big’ firm? By ‘big’ I mean anyone who made ‘big’ campaign contributions to LibLab/team globalist.

  9. When you see this, ‘ cognitive dissonance that clings like a magical cloak’, actually think about it. Why would this be the case?

    I mean that seriously, why would it be the case? Generally, when you see this kind of cognitive dissonance, a safe bet is that more is going on that meets the eye.

    Look deeper. Who funds guys like Atlassian – the VC funds of course. And who controls the VC’s? Why do some companies get funding and others don’t get funding? Who is the price maker for VC’s/the valley? If I said, ____ provides the Valley with Prime Services, what would you fill that word in with?

    Exhibit 1: Look at the date lifelog was cancelled: https://www.wired.com/2004/02/pentagon-kills-lifelog-project/
    Exhbit @: Look at the date FaceBook was born: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook

    Who woulda thunk’ed? Blockchain comes out of nowhere, and every single government in the west is like… innovation is good. Really? Are governments generally ok with new private currencies coming out of nowhere?

    Again – if VC’s/valley are price takers, who is the price maker? Why exactly do you think these firms have multi billion dollar valuations? No – seriously – think about it. Who provides the seed funding?

    Want to have some more fun? Know any connected Chinese? Ask them if they think Jack Ma really runs Alibaba. Ren Zhengfei definitely runs Huawei btw – you know cause he is on the price makers side.

    Even better – why does no one take lists like ‘Forbes Rich List’ seriously any more? Bezos is the richest man in the world – really?

    Atlassian got its start building issue trackers for the big banks. Clearly they found a nifty niche and made the best of it. Good on them. But you know that odd ‘cognitive dissonance feeling’ you get about guys like Atlassian? Tell me, do you think they made some deals with the ….?

    They just know who butters their bread, that’s all. Team globalist all the way. That said, team globalist plays for keeps, so our dynamic duo may well not have choices as far as their public utterances go. Maybe that is why they picked houses next to each other, private security can get pricey when team globalist comes for its pound of flesh.

    Hope those initial few customers / funding was worth it.

  10. “The intake should be cut for real and the floor salary for skilled migrants lifted to $100k. Anything under that is simply not “skilled” enough and can be trained up locally. Australia should not be in the business of supporting Third World labour arbitrage business models.”

    Well said. I got to Australia on a 457, because I was willing to take an IT job out bush at a salary almost no native Australians would consider worth it at all, especially because it was a mining town and the only reasonable way out of it to civilisation without at least a 4+ hour drive was via expensive flights. (Now add in that there would be no networking opportunities, and when more staff was required, recruiting would be challenging leading to existing staff holding multiple responsibilities for longer whilst a replacement was sought.) Rightfully, the tyranny of distance should have been reflected in how much the org paid for its specialist technical workers. The department was 50% 457 workers and 50% longtime locals with a couple generations in the area who didn’t have to cop the high rent costs relative to salary, that new arrivals did. (My rent was nearly half my salary, and I wasn’t the most poorly paid worker in my department. The most poorly paid were good looking female immigrants who shacked up with miners and provided “services” in order to get free rent.)

    MANY, MANY Australians could have done the job I did. And there are many unemployed Australians over 50 in Sydney today with plenty of skills to do well at the work. The thing is, they’ll only take work they won’t lose money on. I went into savings every week to live through it and tick off my year of working in Australia so that I’d be more marketable in the capital cities. Unemployed people not already in that immediate area would actually be worse off, taking the job at the pay rate offered, because they’d have to pay moving costs AND rent a home at nearly Sydney rent levels on a salary half of what Sydney pays, and would end up dipping into their savings whilst being expensive flights away from other companies at which they could interview to get a better job.

  11. Why do we have politicians who probably can’t correctly operate the lunchroom microwave making decisions on technology matters?