Saturday, 18 June 2022

What Happened?

What happened with these?

Every so often I look back. I keep monthly, large, chock-full-o-links, pages on my documents server and use them to collate my article ideas, links of interest, random thoughts, and sometimes even most of the body of an article ARP. (Almost Ready to Publish)

I collect some of those items into a followup file where they get a bit more of a chance to get published. This is my "dafugappened file" and every so often I check for news so I can either update the article I published or finally publish one due to finally having more info on the subject.

And sometimes, there's a resounding silence and those are my real dafugappened things, so sometimes I have to do a quick search and then slide those articles to the "retired" section. But sometimes, there's things that still bear mentioning, if only for the mysterious nature of what did happen to this

Settle in. This is a slightly long article.

First order of business is: "WTF happened to this NBN connection?"


When we moved from halfway back to the hills and down to the coast, we needed to also move our old ADSL2 connection which we held with Telstra. (Aussie almost monopoly telcom, we used to own it but our RWNJ government privatised it and it's been sucking the hindmost tit ever since - to use a good old USAianism.) After four years of having had nothing but issues with that ADSL connection in the old location, we'd finally had a minor win. Not a resolution, but a workaround.

The tech support person I spoke to not long before we moved, listened patiently while I told him I knew the problem was the wiring in the pit outside getting wet after heavy rain and Telstra never considering that worth sending a technician out to do a 20 minute job and how we'd phoned in the exact same thing year after year and every year we lost Internet for two months of the year cumulative due to rain, and he acted. 

"We've got these new modems they have a mobile broadband modem and if your connection drops out they automatically fail over. You'll literally be the first person in your district to get one. Pardon? Whose mobile broadband account? Oh, the SIMs are paid for by Big Pond Internet, not your concern."

And two weeks later, the new Frontier gateway thing arrived, I plugged it in, set up our home DHCP addresses on it, and it worked. When it rained, the landline dropped out and we didn't even notice. 

Forward to 2018 and we'd moved to our new rental, plugged the shiny Frontier modem in and - it didn't connect. . . Several frantic calls to Tech Support later, we discovered that we were in a newly-converted NBN area. The old phone lines were no longer analog, but humming with digital promise. And yep that was why the landline phone wasn't going to work either. 

I said ". . . but we discussed this, we need a landline here and you did say we'd be able to move our old number with us, so whatcha gonna do? . . ." After a week of calls, they sent a tech out with a new white box, plugged it in, plugged our old landline phone into it, and we had a new number. ("uh yeah, VOIP, we don't have the same number pool, didn't they tell you?") We took the small win, but still didn't have any Internet. 

So I rang about that. Using the phone, which was using VOIP, which uses DATA, sent over the now shiny new DATA phone connection. "We're very sorry but you're in a location that's just recently changed to NBN abd your line still isn't ready for data." DaFug? 

"I'm speaking to you on a phone plugged into a Big Pond NBN modem, using the DATA connection to do so. The data connection is established. Please give us the connection we were promised we'd have last month at the latest." 

"I'm sorry Sir, I'll escalate this to The Back End Team." (I shit you not, he pronounced it with capital letters. Wow this Back End Team must be da shit, eh?)

They weren't. In the meanwhile, having chewed through all our plan data on our mobiles, I decided that Telstra could wear this, and turned our modem on and let it dial into the mobile data network, and just left it running. For, as it turned out, EIGHT WEEKS.  

Yep. Rather than connect our new modem, they hemmed and hawwed, fiddled and farted, and despite twice weekly calls to Tech Support and The Back End Team, at the end of six weeks we still had no broadband, it was now eight weeks since we moved, and I'd had enough. 

Well, no - I was still hopeful but then I phoned the B.E.T. support desk and the person on the other end of the phone floored me: "Okay I'll have to ask the back end team."

I: "But is this not the Back End Team desk?"
BET: "Yes, but we can't do this, we have to ask the back end team."
I: "I'm so sorry, but I've been phoning this number thinking I WAS talking to the fabled Back End Team that was supposed to be working out why our phone line - this line, which I am using to speak to you with via an analog phone connected to a Big Pond modem and sending VOIP data over the existing DATA connection that is obviously working on our line here, so I can't understand what's going on. We have a data connection that's been stable for six weeks, we have a Big Pond modem obviously connecting over broadband to the NBN, so - WHAT THE HELL IS MISSING?"
BET: "well our records show that there's an issue on that li..."
I: "But we're connecting right now using that line without any issue. what is the problem?"
BET: "The back end team has to clear the issue and then the line will be clea..."

That evening I used the free generous mobile broadband connection to email DCSI, a local ISP, and that was a Friday, on Mondat a new broadband NF10 modem arrived and by an hour later I had our broadband up, the new VOIP connection and number working, and used the new connection to log into Telstra's customer portal and cancel our accounts. That took ten minutes compared to the estimated 10-11 hours I'd spent going nowhere with them in the last two months and proved to me that Telstra is actually set up to fail and lose customers rather than to retain them.

But that modem...

Well, the NF10 was rubbish from the get-go, and DCSI pretty quickly replaced it with the NF16. And then THAT failed and they replaced it, then THAT unit failed and they didn't want to replace it so I RAed it with Netcomm, who by that stage had been bought out, but unfortunately with another NF16 which has also failed. Yeah, Netcomm went belly up and bought out for a reason. And our ISP, now taken over by Swoop, also (and probably quite rightly, although if I was their head of TS I'd have just replaced to to maintain a better public image) won't replace it. And I'm calling them out on it. If they send a NOT Netcomm modem that actually works for longer than 12 months then I'll update this but I will not change a word of the existing article. Christ, four years I've been their evangelist in our region and this crap is what I get. 

And now for something completely different

Bacteria Eats MicroPlastics! I put this in my list almost a year ago: / science / 2021 / apr /28 /scientists-find-way-to-remove-polluting-microplastics-with-bacteria You are my last hope, Pseudomonas aeruginosa!

. . . and I haven't seemed to see the slightly undesirable (because it's a pathogen to humans, after allp. aeruginosa in any more news but the hunt for a little ally in the fight against microplastics is on:

How Plastic-Eating Bacteria Work.
Newly discovered bacteria eats and digests PET plastic.
Scientists find bacteria that eats plastic.

And I posted about Biobots And Plastic Recovery in the Zen Cookbook Blog a little while back, showing that we have a little robot (well, little biobot) army at our disposal as well if we can just develop them to the mission, so there's hope that one way or the other - or all ways at once - we'll start making a dent in this insidious problem.

And now for an abject failure

Which I hate to end an article on, so this is the before-to-last segment of this article... 

Victoria had an "Elimination Day" target in mind and we could have been one COVID-free place on the whole goddamned planet. We actually HAD that. What happened? 

A Liberal / National Party Coalition, is what. Their "economy is more important than your lives you plebs!" attitude completely totally and utterly has condemned tens of thousands of Australians to death because - money money money money money moneymoneymoneymoneymoneeeeeeyyyyyyy!!! is far more important than human lives if you're a right wing nut job libtard. 

We saw our chances at being a COVID-free island wrecked by capitalist forces, and eventually Western Australia (which is where I came from, and coincidentally the State government there is also a Labor government) was similarly white-anted into opening their borders and are now the same as every other place on Earth these days.

I'm not a Socialist, bu . .  What am I talking about? I'm a Socialist and an Anarchist and I think capitalism and an "economy" are the worst possible things to have ever happened to the planet and to our species. When did we start to idolise pathological hoarders of a currency that has no relationship to any of the real wealth of the planet? (That real wealth being the health of our planet aka our life support system.)

Another FAIL

Here's a bit of news that has more impact AFTER it's been proven than it did before. Despite it having been well known that the warming weather would start making the planet unlivable (and hey, who gave a toss about this 20-30 years ago when scientists first started saying stuff like this) it's come to the point where - well, look at the last four links in this paragraph . . .

I can't

I can't let this article end on a note of fail. I'll add a footnote after this little opinion piece, but this is the goodest news I have gotteth. 

You may have seen here and there that I'm really really into doing something about - everything - that's going on around the world in the areas of climate change, waste accumulation, fossil fuel pollution and its companion, decarbonisation, renewable and sustainable energy, small scale recycling, and letting you and everyone else that I can reach know about all these things. You can help by sharing the heck out of my articles like this because the more people see it the more people will talk about it and the more people talk about it the more people will DO SOMETHING about it - be that email their local government member, email a CEO like the CEO of AGL and tell them you don't want any more of their pollution and greed, sign petitions, and maybe go to a demonstration to let the whole world know how they feel.

Heck, they might even read about plastic recycling and do guerilla plastic recycling at home. . . Or recycle their food waste into their vegetable garden. All sorts of anarchy could result. 

And all it takes is for you to share the link to this article on your favourite social network, or text it to a friend. . . Or even donating so that I can keep the servers running and domain names paid for with some of your money instead always my pension. . .  Not kidding, this costs me hundreds every year. And I pay it out of a pension that was recognised as being well below the poverty line 20 years ago and has gone backwards since then. I could really do with the help. 


In addition to writing these articles I'm also experimenting with ways of recycling waste that can be done at the cottage industry or community hub levels, not so much because it'll magically convert 100% of local waste into recycled useful articles, but because people who are doing these sorts of activities are likely to talk about them to people in their community, and so raise even more awareness of the issues and dangers.

So please - if you can at all spare some time, take a look at my News Stand where you'll see live updated links to everything I publish; And take some time and share the links to the News Stand and this article with your friends and readers. 

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