Articles tagged in current affair

  1. Are We There Yet?

    Looking at Dow Jones and ASX this week was painful. It goes down, and down, and down like there is no tomorrow. Fortunately market is closed on weekends so people can take a breath -- thinking about when it is going to end. It's a bit like taking kids for a long flight.

    "Are we there yet, daddy?"
    "Nope, not yet."

    (Moments later)
    "Are we there yet?"
    "Please be patient!"

    (Soon after)
    "Are we there yet?"
    "Aarghhh!!!"

    I can foresee that next Monday, when we are taking our kids to Hong Kong/Taiwan visiting families for 2 weeks. At least you know the flight is 8 hours and there's a sure end to it. Are we at the bottom yet for the financial crisis?

  2. Do We Need Another Tax Cut?

    Do we need another tax cut? According to the latest promise from the Coalition, it seems to be a good thing for all Australians. No doubt that it is more likely the Coalitions need it more than the Australian tax payers, as November 24 the election day draws closer, but looking at the benefits -- everyone gets a raise in paypocket, and it is also a good incentive to encourage more people to stay at/join the workforce (and subsequently boosting the Australian economy). In 5 year time (2012), the top bracket will be at $180,000 and 40%, and you'll be pretty much tax free if you earn less than $15,000 per year!

    Current 2008 July 2009 July 2010 July
    0 - 6,000 0% 0 - 6,000 0% 0 - 6,000 0% 0 - 6,000 0%
    6,001 - 30,000 15% 6,001 - 34,000 15% 6,001 - 35,000 15% 6,001 - 37,000 15%
    30,001 - 75,000 30% 34,001 - 80,000 30% 35,001 - 80,000 30% 37,001 - 80,000 30%
    75,001 - 15,000 40% 80,001 - 180,000 40% 80,000 - 180,000 38% 80,000 - 180,000 37%
    150,001 + 45% 180,001 + 45% 180,001 + 43% 180,001 + 42%

    Is it affordable? Sure, with huge surplus in federal budget -- why not use some of that to buy votes reward the hard working fair dinkum Aussies?! There is no better way to spend the budget surplus on tax cuts! Everyone can feel richer!

    Unfortunately "better of" is usually a relative term, and the only thing that seems to keep the inflation low is the cheap imported Chinese-made goods. On the other hand, there are many things that I would love the government to fix -- roads, hospitals, schools, etc -- and I do hope they have not been taken out from the budget to cater for tax cuts.

    We'll see what Kevin07 has under his sleeves. Probably a "Me too"...

    Who will you vote for on November 24?

  3. There Might Be a Sniper on Your Roof

    Saw it on Twitter:

    jjprojects: Honestly, you feel like you are being watched by snipers out there, which is probably the case.

    Warlach: @jjprojects http://www.flickr.com/photos/hugosharp/... thanks to @hugosharp.

    Yes. Watch out! There might be a sniper on your roof!

    Sniper at Sydney

    (Credit to Hugo Sharp. Trying hard not to make any Team-Fortress/Counter-Strike inspired jokes)

    APEC 2007 has really transformed Sydney into a fortress. Cops everywhere on the street. Jet fighters and helicopters can be heard all day. Road side rubbish bins are all sealed with Police marked duct tapes.

    One more day to go, and then a 3 day long weekend. Hopefully everything will be back to normal on Monday.

  4. $21 Billion Hardware Rectification?

    Herald Sun: Futures trading halt 'lead to big stock fall'. From the report, "ASX halted futures trading about 12:45pm to address an urgent 'hardware rectification', and that lasted until about 2pm. In the meantime it left traders with no where to hedge risk, so they took to selling physical …
  5. Mary, Poor Mary

    The content of this post actually came up around 2 weeks ago at the dining table with Vivian... First we have the Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, where Jesus married to Mary Magdalene the "Holy Grail", had kids before he was crucified on the cross, and Jesus' descendants moved …
  6. Instant noodle inventor dies

    SMH: Momofuku Ando, the founder of Nissin, inventor of instant noodle, died. He died in a good old age of 96 -- does that say anything about the instant noodle? Moreover I think universities should conduct a 3 minute silence in memory of him. Just think about how many students would …
  7. Ian Macfarlane in ABC Boyer Lectures 2006

    Last year was Peter Jensen, this year RBA's ex-boss Ian Macfarlane is on ABC Radio's Boyer Lectures, on the topic of Searching for Stability. Very interesting talks, looking at Australia economy from after WW II to the recent years. A bit heavy for my engineer's head, but it does give …
  8. Oh Crikey

    Via SMH, Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin reported dead. But not by a snapping crocodile nor a biting snake. "The 44-year-old is believed to have been killed by a stingray barb that went through his chest" I guess he will be missed. One of my favourite Colin Buchanan's video was his …
  9. Economy = Walking on a tightrope?

    Another round of interest rate raise yesterday which triggered lots of news yesterday. I found Ross Gittins's simplified view on economies very interesting: The key to understanding economies is to realise that keeping them on an even keel involves a balancing act. Managing the economy is like walking a tightrope …
  10. Hillsong at Rosebery and Southern Courier Poll

    An interesting article in 27th June issue of Southern Courier (article can be viewed on-line with appropriate plugin). Article titled "Hillsong poll queried" on page 9, reporter questioned the result of the poll related to Hillsong buying the former RTA property at Rosebery, and how would that affect the …
  11. Beware the mobile phone callback scam

    At work. Cranking out source code. Then my old Nokia beeps. Missed call. I brought out the caller ID, and it read 0284042215 Aargh. Not again. Someone might call them spams, but I'll rather call them scams. They call you up -- usually with a 03 or 028 number -- but then …
  12. Tax Cut in Budget 2006

    Like last time, Peter Costello has done it again in his 11th budget. Personal tax cut for all, well, almost all workers anyway. Here's the new rates: CurrentNew from 1st July 2006 Income thresholds ($)Tax rate (%) Income thresholds ($)Tax rate (%) 0 - 6,0000 0 - 6,000 …
  13. China's Concentration Camp and Organ Harvesters

    The Epoch Times: 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners jailed, murdered and organs harvested for black market. Very sad story. And it is all happening when Howard and Wen happily signed the Uranium deal together for their "win-win" deal. Pray that Falun Gong practitioners can see the light and worship the …
  14. Judas the gospel writer? No way

    SMH: Judas redeemed -- A fifth gospel challenges one of the basic Christian beliefs. Basically a manuscript of "the Gospel of Judas", a gnostic writing dated in the 300-400 AD has been released, where it stated Judas "the good guy" betrayed Jesus on Jesus' ordered, the beloved disciple of Jesus is …
  15. Speeding in the tunnel

    SMH: $1,551.78 toll for taking the Cross City Tunnel. It seems that that deserted tunnel is the only place in the Sydney CBD where you can drive at 125km/hour, and for the first six months of operation it has already generated $594,950 of revenue in speeding …
  16. eBay has Daylight Saving Ended Early

    I wrote about how Commonwealth Games affected daylight saving in Australian states, and its implications to software developers. It seems that the easiest way is not to patch it, but announce that daylight saving will end early on your site instead, and state that the issue will be automatically fixed …
  17. Commonwealth Games and Daylight Saving

    Daylight saving changes usually occur on the last Sunday of March and the last Sunday of October for the eastern states of Australia (Queensland excepted). This year is an exception. Got an email at work yesterday asking us to reboot our Windows boxes to have this patch applied. Apparently because …
  18. Google, China's Firewall, Good and Evil

    SMH: Google another brick in China's great firewall. Google wants to setup a mainland based search engine to combat compeition, but they need to abide China's censorship rules, by blocking "unhealthy" contents from its search result. While it is not bad to have a search engine without the pr0n, they …
  19. University is not for everyone

    Ross Gittins of SMH argued that "it is neither possible nor desirable for proportion of university applicants being accepted to even remotely approach 100 per cent". Yes -- university is not (and shouldn't be) for everyone, but these days it just feels "weird" if you don't have a university degree (especially …
  20. Private School vs. Mortgage

    SMH: For the cost of putting a baby born in 2006 through private schooling, parents could pay off a mortgage on a two-bedroom suburban Sydney flat. The estimate shows that the cost of an elite school education for a baby born this year will approach $300k. (Btw, congratulation to the …