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          Hardship Is Not A Competition: Supporting Our Farmers Doesn’t Mean We Can’t Support Our Neighbours      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

With all of NSW now drought declared, and other states fast heading in the same direction, calls for more support for farmers is welcome. But slashing spending to help neighbours we’ve abused for decades is not the way to get there, writes Hayley McQuire.

I support Australian Farmers. What I don’t agree with is the constant argument about “Why are we giving so much in foreign aid yet not supporting our farmers?”

This is a common theme that arises whenever there are a group of Australians in crisis.

“Why are we giving so much in foreign aid while there are so many homeless? Why are we giving so much in foreign aid while our old people are on a horrible pension? Why are we giving so much in foreign aid when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People…..”

Okay, admittedly, it doesn’t seem to appear when First Peoples are in crisis. But for the record, the majority of our Foreign Aid budget is spent with our neighbours in the Asia Pacific.

Let’s keep in mind our history with countries in this region.

A large amount of our aid goes to our closest neighbour Papua New Guinea, with $546.3m allocated in the 2017-2018 budget.

The Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea. (IMAGE: Drew Douglas, Flickr)

Every ANZAC Day we celebrate our partnership with Papua New Guinea and how they saved our arse on the Kokoda Track. However, we conveniently forget the fact that PNG was under Australia’s colonial rule as one of our territory’s up until 1972. We conveniently forget how Australia has exploited PNG for their natural resources (here’s looking at you Rio Tinto Bougainville Copper Mine).

Australia also gives aid to other Pacific countries like Vanuatu ($69.8m in 2017-2018) and Solomon Islands ($146m in 2017-2018).

So, I guess some are forgetting the time Australia STOLE people from their homes and forced them into indentured labour and built an entire sugar industry off the back of black bodies.

I sho...

          The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: August 1 - 7, 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
New activity/unrest was reported for 5 volcanoes between August 1 and 7, 2018. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 10 volcanoes. New activity/unrest: Ambae, Vanuatu | Etna, Sicily (Italy) | Krakatau, Indonesia | Nevados de Chillan, Chile |...... Read more »

          Join Us in Vanuatu for Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

On Sunday, 12 August, I will be joining our hosts in Port Vila, Vanuatu, to welcome participants from around the world that are attending the annual Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF), which is being held from 13-16 August. Every...

The post Join Us in Vanuatu for Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum 2018 appeared first on iGoldRush Domain News and Resources.

          Comment on Vanuatu asks Australia to restore shortwave to the Pacific by Marty      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Their PM should be more concerned with getting Radio Vanuatu back on air
          Campbell back to defend Vanuatu Open title      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Andrew Campbell will return to Port Vila Country Club to defend his Vanuatu Open title.
          Dateline Pacific evening edition for 10 August 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A State of Emergency remains in place on the Vanuatu island of Ambae following an increase in volcanic activity in late July and a mass evacuation is underway; the Bishop of Mendi says Southern Highlanders are showing great resilience after February's major earthquake in Papua New Guinea's Highlands; refugees receiving medical treatment in Papua New Guinea are no longer provided with interpreters, a Kurdish refugee says; three months out from a key vote, support for New Caledonia independence seems to be on the wane; newly-graduated Samoan carers look to Australia for work.
          Mass evacuation underway from Vanuatu's volcanic Ambae Island      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A State of Emergency remains in place on the Vanuatu island of Ambae following an increase in volcanic activity in late July and a mass evacuation is underway.
           바누아투 대통령 일행, 테라젠이텍스 방문       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
오세아니아 남태평양에 위치한 섬나라, 바누아투(Vanuatu)의 오베드 모시스 탈리스(Obed Moses Tallis) 대통령이 10일 경기도 광교 테라젠이텍스 바이오연구소를 방문했다. 탈리스 대통령과 영부인, 외교차관 등 ..
          Nuix founder Castagna cops seven years jail sentence for offshore tax fraud      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Ministers savage fraud detection software founder.

The former chairman and co-founder of Macquarie-backed Australian cyber security and investigation software vendor Nuix, Anthony (Tony) Castagna, will spend at least four years in jail after being handed a seven-year prison term for a string of money laundering and tax evasion offences.

Appearing before Justice Christine Adamson on Friday, Castagna, 70 of Gordon, was sentenced alongside 68 year old Sydney man Robert Agius, who was also given a seven year jail term but will be eligible for parole in March 2021.

The two prison terms follow the conviction of the pair in April this year over a complex scheme that had money paid by Macquarie for consulting funneled through entities created in the South Pacific nation Vanuatu to dodge Australian tax liabilities.

The trials of the two men, who are cousins, have been a profound embarrassment for federal authorities who have been using Nuix for cyber investigations, complex data analysis and information governance.

Nuix’s clients are reported to have included the Australian Federal Police, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Securities and Investments Commission and Defence as well as a swag of overseas security and intelligence-related customers.

Ironically, a specialty of Nuix is its dedicated fraud and corruption software product pitched at financial crimes that is says traces “human-generated data and communications, providing the insight and context you need to chase down company culprits.”

“ Get the whole story to stay out of the headlines,” the product page on Nuix’s website boasts.

That pitch wasn’t working for the ministers in charge of nailing fraudsters, cyber crooks and spies.

Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, certainly wasn’t handing out free product plugs, instead lauding the efforts of the Serious Financial Crimes Taskforce (SFCT) in busting the pair.

“These significant sentences handed down today pay testament to this extensive investigation by the Serious and Financial Crimes Taskforce,” O’Dwyer said, adding the body had “completed more than 800 audits and reviews” since its establishment in 2015.

O’Dwyer added SFCT had clocked up around $600 million in financial liabilities and helped seven people receive custodial sentences through its enforcement actions.

Cybersecurity Minister Angus Taylor was similarly keen to push the point that the government will find crooks, even if they occasionally sell the software used to do the hunting.

“This investigation began in 2006 after the Australian Taxation Office and Australian Federal Police dismantled large-scale money laundering and tax evasion schemes based in Vanuatu, in turn leading them to the activities of these two cousins,” Taylor said.

In the interim, it seems to be business as usual at Nuix, less its founder.

These days former Fujitsu Australia chief Rod Vawdrey is running Nuix as its CEO.

“Rod has made a significant contribution to Nuix’s Australian and international operations over the past two years in his role as Chief Operating Officer and Head of Nuix’s Asia Pacific operations, and has established strong relationships with our employees, customers and partners,” Castagna said in a May 2017 statement on Nuix’s website.

Vawdrey was similarly chuffed in the same statement.

“It is very special to be a member of the Nuix team as we become one of the world’s leading software companies that showcases the best of Australian and overseas innovation and software engineering leadership,” Vawdrey said.

Got a news tip for our journalists? Share it with us anonymously here.

          Evacuation underway in Vanuatu's volcanic Ambae Island      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A state of emergency remains in place on the Vanuatu island of Ambae following an increase in volcanic activity in late July and a mass evacuation of the island is currently underway.
          Vanuatu volcano victims can now claim part of super savings      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Vanuatu's National Provident Fund's general manager, Parmod Achary, has confirmed the agency victims from the Manaro volcanic ash fall can now claim up to 20 percent of their savings.
          Apply For Vanuatu Dual Citizenship | VRPMENA      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
By alexben258    In Travel & Places    1 hour ago
Benefits Vanuatu Passport & Cost Of Vanuatu Citizenship | VRPMENA - Lifetime citizenship - Dual citizenship - Citizenship possibilities for family members, including spouses and children - Ability to visit 127 countries in the world, including Russia and the UK - Vanuatu passports rated 45th in the world - Zero residency requirements Full Details -
Tags: vrpmena, vrp-mena, citizenship, by, investment, vanuatu, passport, second

          Thoughts on roaming, local SIM cards and eSIMs      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
I spend a large part of my life travelling, both for work and leisure. But while I find connectivity to be hugely important, I refuse to pay ludicrous per-MB data roaming prices.

So until a couple of years ago, this meant that I had a large collection of (mostly non-functioning) local mobile SIM cards I'd bought in various countries. Typically, I'd use them in a spare phone, so I could keep me normal phone on my home SIM to get inbound SMS or missed voice-call notifications. I'd also often use the second phone as a WiFi tether for my primary iPhone.

At one point I found old SIMs from the US, Singapore, Mozambique, Vanuatu, UAE and Australia in my wallet. In some places it was easy to get local SIMs, while in others it involved cumbersome registration with a passport or other documents. Places like India and Japan were a real pain, and I just didn't bother, relying on WiFi & an occasional extortionate SMS.

That has changed in recent years - and there are now multiple options for travellers:
  • Local SIMs are often easier to obtain. Booths at airports are well-practised at registering documents, sorting APN setting and so on, in a couple of minutes
  • In the EU, roaming prices have fallen progressively to zero - often including non-EU European countries as well. Various other groups of countries or regional operator groups have also created free-roaming zones.
  • Some operators offer customers flat-rate or even free roaming to other countries, such as T-Mobile US's free (but 2G-only) international data, or $5/day for capped LTE (link). I use Vodafone UK's £6/day "roam further" plan quite a lot, especially when visiting the US (link).
  • Many travellers can get dual-SIM phones, so they can easily switch between home and local SIMs without fiddling about with trays & pins. (There's no dual-SIM iPhone though. Grrrr. More on this later). 
  • Various companies (eg Truphone) offer global/roaming SIMs, and have hoped that frequent travellers would use these as their primary/only SIM. The problem with this is that they typically rely on MVNO relationships in each country, including the user's home market - which often means poorer data plans than can be bought domestically from the main MNOs. You also don't get to benefit from multi-play plans, bundled content and so forth. I'm also not entirely convinced that MVNO traffic always gets as well-treated as the host MNO's own customer data - and that's likely to get worse with 5G and network-slicing.
  • Some providers pitch global SIMs alongside rented/bought portable WiFI hotspots, such as TEP Wireless (link). The problem is that these often just cover the same countries as the better roaming plans from normal mobile operators. 
So... in July I went on holiday to the Cape Verde islands, off the coast of West Africa. Beautiful archipelago of 9 inhabited islands, with beaches, mountains, volcanoes, hiking trails and small villages nested in sheer-sided valleys. Neither Vodafone nor any of the travel-SIM companies seemed to cover either of its two main networks. So I went and bought an unlocked WiFi hotspot (from TP-Link), and hoped to get a local SIM on arrival, as I'd read a few suggestions it was possible.

It wasn't just possible, but remarkably easy. Walking through the arrivals door from customs at the airport, I was handed a free SIM by a representative of one of the operators (Unitel) within seconds. When I unwrapped it later in the day, I found it had 200MB of data included for free. No registration needed, no upfront payment, nothing. 3G network only, but that was fine to assure myself it worked OK. The next day I found a branded store & decided to stick with that network rather than check the other one (good marketing / customer acquisition strategy!) as the price-plans seemed fine. 

I paid €12 for 5GB of data, valid for a month. There was also a 7GB and maybe a 10 or 12GB one, but I wasn't planning on streaming video. In other words, €1 a day with about 500MB available per day, for normal mobile usage during my 11-day visit. The helpful lady in the shop sorted it all out for me, including temporarily switching my new SIM into her phone to send the setup / dataplan-purchase messages, which were tricky from a device with no keypad.

This compared to the roaming-advice SMS telling me that data would cost £0.60/MB [about €0.70]. In other words, roaming data was about 300x overpriced - quite astonishing, in 2018. And the mobile industry wonders why users have such little loyalty and respect.

(It's also worth noting that WiFi was ubiquitous in any hotel, cafe, restaurant or other places that visitors might go. There were telephone cable strung along all the valleys on poles, and decently-fast broadband was common. Given the moutainous topography, you could sometimes get WiFi more readily than cellular).

How would eSIM change things?

But this experience got me thinking about how the experience might be different in the coming era of eSIMs and remote-provisioning. Firstly, let's assume that one or both Cape Verdean operators actually had the requisite server-side gear for RSP. And let's assume that my future iPhone either has a multi-profile eSIM capability, or has dual removable/embedded SIM capability. (Remember, I still want to get my normal SMS's from my UK Vodafone number). Potentially, a future WiFi Hotspot could be eSIM-enabled too.

But then the question is, how does the user find out about the available networks, and the available plans on those networks? What's the user journey?

And there are lots of other questions too:
  • Would I get a popup alert when I switched my phone on after the flight? 
  • Would it give me menus for all the available plans or just a subset? 
  • Would I need to have signed up in advance, either with a local CV telco, or perhaps facilitated by Apple, Vodafone or a third party? 
  • When and how would I download the new profile? What data would that require me to send back (or what would be collected automatically?). 
  • Would it be easier to get an eSIM-capable WiFi device? 
  • But would that just be the same global MVNO providers who didn't have a Cape Verde relationship for roaming?
  • What happens if something goes wrong, or you need to buy more data? Can local stores give you any help, or top-ups?
Bottom line: this whole experience would likely have been worse with eSIM, not better. And probably more costly too. Maybe in a less unusual country, with MVNOs and better roaming partnerships, it could be much more slick.

But for most "normal" countries, I'll probably stick to the £6/day plan from Vodafone for ease, even if that's 5x overpriced and should really be £1-2/day. It's annoying, but basically the equivalent of  beer, and there's probably other ways I can save money faster when on a trip. That said, now I've got my new WiFi puck, I might switch back to SIMs sometimes though, if they're easy and available at the airport. I'll certainly take it along with me as a Plan B.

           Steve Jacobs' estranged wife Rose rides on the back of a motorbike       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
She's just moved back to Sydney from Vanuatu, after her split from estranged husband and former Today Show weatherman Steve Jacobs.
          Монета Вануату 2 вату 1983      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Страна: Вануату
Название: 2 вату
Цена: 100
Приблизительный размер: 18*18 mm
Год: 1983
Тематика: Обращение
Посмотреть в магазине
          Comment on Can You Buy Safety? by Cindy Balfour      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Excellent read, thanks for the text option. SV Full Circle, currently cruising Vanuatu.
          New comment on Item for Geeklist "auction summer 2"       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by jhwhitham

Related Item: Vanuatu (second edition)

$30 - Vanuatu (RinCon pickup)

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