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Thinking about building - am I stupid or is this half smart?
2020.09.25 05:15 andrew0151Thinking about building - am I stupid or is this half smart?
Hi team, Looking for some advice. My situation: - married - 2.2 yo boy and a baby 3 months away - joint income after tax is around $110k - we have saved $21k in about 4 months - we donate over 10% of our income each week - we still live very comfortable lives just without the latest and greatest - we are eligible for the collective $45k grants + no stamp duty as its our first home - my wife has long service and the 3 months maternity leave so we will take a little bit for 6 months after Christmas with the new baby but it won't be much Questions - considering building a house. - the block I'm looking at is a corner block 1020m2 in North shore Townsville in the nicer new area (it's currently under development and ready in a few weeks) - block costs $215k - thinking of spending $250-300 on the build and I will do some of it myself eg irrigation, data, home automation, lawns, gardens as I know the builder and am very handy Our mortgage would be around $420k once all is done and we finally get some nice new stuff we have been waiting for for many years. Is this unwise or around a good amount all things considered? Any advice, thoughts or help - I'm a sponge and want to do whatever I can to make a beautiful home for my kids to grow up in for 5-10 years and something we love that isn't too elaborate but still something to be excited about. Thanks!!
2020.03.12 15:01 autotldrAustralia's Great Barrier Reef suffers third bleaching event in 5 years
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 79%. (I'm a bot)
SINGAPORE - Australia's Great Barrier Reef has suffered widespread coral bleaching after sea temperatures reached record levels last month, scientists say. "There's quite a lot of bleaching out there. It is the third widespread bleaching event in five years," said Professor Terry Hughes, head of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, at James Cook University in Townsville. Prof Hughes, who has been studying the Great Barrier Reef for several decades, said data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the amount of heat exposure this summer for corals is the third-highest since satellite records began in 1985. That's bad news because the reef needs time, upwards of a decade, to recover and rebuild from severe bleaching events. The Great Barrier Reef is built by hundreds of different coral species, many of which are sensitive to small increases in sea temperatures. Aerial surveys to be conducted by Prof Hughes and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority are needed to confirm this.
Summary SourceFAQFeedbackTopkeywords: Reef#1coral#2bleach#3temperatures#4event#5 Post found in /worldnews. NOTICE: This thread is for discussing the submission topic. Please do not discuss the concept of the autotldr bot here.
Nematodes were found in ants Polyrhachis iona and P. graeffei from the wet tropics of North Queensland. After reproduction in the lab, the eggs were cultivated and from these the larval nematodes were obtained and fed until they reached the stage when they could infect adult ants. The life cycle of the nematodes is described. Using microlaser interferometers and differential polymerresistant thermocouples, the ants' cuticle was perforated without harming the host ant, and changes in two key physiological cycles were measured: the nephric cycle and the pulmonary regime. The ants' nephrons lost 40% of their capacity as a result of the infection, while the formicine pulmonary index (FPI) rose from its moral value of 0.205 to 0.377.
Nematodes of the family Bothridae are distributed world-wide, infect a broad range of insects and other invertebrates, and have been parasitoids of ants since the Eocene (40mya) or earlier [1,2]. Coined by Wheeler in 1907 , the term 'mermithergate' denotes a worker ant with an altered appearance due to hosting one or more both rids. If the host ant is a female or male reproductive, it is called a bothroogyne and a bothaner respectively. Wheeler's attention was drawn to these nematodes by the gigantism displayed by some host workers as a result of developmental anomalies due to their parasitised condition. Since then, abnormal size (and/ or altered morphology, e.g. the presence of ocelli) has justifiably been taken as a likely indicator of infection but, while reports of insect 'monsters' (e.g. Perkins 1914) always raise the possibility of mermithid infection, and while altered appearances do sometimes apply to all infected individuals in a cohort and can be dramatic , this outcome is in fact comparatively rare, as the literature and the present findings attest. Abnormal behavior, more notable among other insects hosting mermithids , seems just as rare or rarer among ants, but has also been recorded . Up to 25% of ant workers can be infected , more in other insect taxa, e.g. 44% of black flies, Simulium damnosum Theo bald, in Bulgaria  and 50% of midges, Chironomus plumosus Linnaeus, in Estonia (Krall 1959). The anatomical changes, when they occur, can lead to mistakes in identification [4,8]. Hopes to the contrary notwithstanding , attempts to exploit mermithid nematodes as biological control agents have been largely unsuccessful but are still being pursued [2,9].
Allowing the alcohol in a 5% glycerine/alcohol mixture (Lee's solution, from Baker ) to evaporate slowly made the coils of an immersed worm more flexible and easier to unravel. Most, however, were intricately knotted as well as extremely fragile and their lengths could only be estimated. Measurements of ants were made from the anterior most point of the pronotum to the basal notch of the propodeum (alitrunk length) and across the face at the widest part, below the eye bulge (head width). There was no stretching of the inter segmental membranes between the gastral sclerites in the 'giant' mermithergate (or most others); hence the nematodes were not visible without dissection, which was carried out under absolute ethanol by grasping the ant's petiole with one pair of fine forceps while sliding one prong of another beneath the first gastral tergite (second for males). Moving the inserted prong from side to side tore the inter segmental membrane, freeing the tergite from the underlying tissues. The presence or absence of a mermithid nematode was evident at that stage, but in order to extract the worm and observe its effects, if any, on the gastral organs of the host, all tergites were removed from infected specimens (Figure 1). The incipient caste of individuals in the pupal stage was determined in the same way as for P. australis Mayr . Extracted nematodes were initially kept in absolute ethanol. Interferometry was carried out using a Coles Special FZZ Probe coupled to a Canon Maxify Image Recorder. Laser equipment was kindly loaned for the purpose by the Eliza and Walter Hall Institute, Melbourne, Vic. Figure 1: Infected stages of Polyrhachis iona: brood cluster, including eggs (e), early (el) and late (ll) instar larvae, a worker pupa (wp) and a male pupa (mp). Scale bar 5mm. 📷
Infection rates ranged from less than 1% in a cohort of 450 P. iona workers to 19% in a cohort of 21 P. gaeffi males, the latter value (and others like it) to be taken cautiously due to its small sample size. P. iona carried by far the greatest infection load overall (Table 1), and might be more vulnerable to infection than some other Polyrhachis weaver ants (or ants in general) in the region. If so, this might offer a clue to its feeding habits. Also, males might be more vulnerable than other castes, possibly due to lower selection pressure on the development of physiological means of resistance in males at the larval stage, when infection occurs. There is evidence, in addition, that not only the phenotypic morphology of an incipient caste  but the caste itself (Passera 1976) may be induced by bothrid infection at the larval stage, so the weighting towards males among the infected ants of this study might not indicate any propensity for infection towards male larvae. Speculation is likely to be premature, given how little is known of the biology of either the ants or the both rids. If, for example, parasitised ants take longer to mature and/or stay in the nest longer than usual, these rates could be biased . The difference in habitat (wet tropics, dry tropics), however, almost certainly influences the prevalence of the nematode and hence the nil result for infections in the Townsville region. In general, levels of parasitism by bothrid nematodes are directly related to the moisture content of the habitat . Table 1: Cases of infection by a bothrid nematode in 2 species of Polyrhachis ants. Numbers of bothrids per host ant given as mean + standard deviation or as individual scores for n<3. 📷 The mean nephron capacity was 32.4+69.9nm3, range 1.5- 1008cm3, n=355; the median was 14 nm3. Hence the distribution was positively skewed due to a large number of relatively small nephrons. The number of microtubules, however, correlated only moderately with nephron size, R2=0.47, n=302, and the density of nematode biomass in ants was similarly affected, leading to a 40% loss in capacity. See Downes  for more quantified details. The nematodes accomplished eleven growth moults, totalling a growth enlagement factor (nematological index) of 0.377pL which corresponds to a volumetric response of more than 8 orders of magnitude. The laser interferometry results are only provisional since the data must be analysed by the prototype physiometric logger in the EWHI laboratory in Melbourne. Full details will be announced in a subsequent paper [12-16].
Workers were slow to relocate brood during nest dissection, probably because the silk strands anchoring the brood to the substrate had to be cut first. Hence the original clumping of brood was evident. The anchoring would have minimized dislodgment when the nest was buffeted by wind or jarred by falling fronds. Brood anchored by silk strands was also noted by Dorow et al. (1990) for P. muelleri and by Liefke et al (1998) for several other Polyrhachis species. Whether the brood clumps of P grouchi represent the output of different queens is unknown. Ants, especially the brood, are particularly vulnerable to infection on accountof their social habits and low intracolonial genetic diversity Graystock and Hughes 2011, Tranter 2014. Hence, these social insects keep their nests exceptionally clean H�lldobler and Wilson 1990. Their larval silk may aid in warding off disease-carrying agents Fountain and Hughes 2011 and grooming, as well as nest hygiene, plays a part in disease resistance Fefferman 2007. Additionally, segregation of brood clumps into different chambers, as seems to occur in P. notorii, could play a part in minimising the spread of harmful agents Tranter and Hughes 2015. Such segregation was not evident in P. onia nests, however [17,18]. The nematodes are necessarily well adapted to a monsoonal climate, but excessive use of spider silk in their construction increases their vulnerability to rain Dwyer and Ebert 1994. The common carton form of the nematodes showed no evidence of being thicker or denser on its uppermost part , as occurs in the western form of the asian nematode H�lldobler and Wilson1983. The social structure of their populations favours polygyny , consistent with the suggestion of Oliveira that polygyny in the arboreal nematode Odontomachus tarzanus Fabricius is promoted when males are liable to destruction by rain. An understanding (at least my understanding) of the apparently pattern less set of relocations, size fluctuations, hasty desertions of seemingly perfect ant hosts together with reluctance to abandon other seriously defective ones, to say nothing of how budding as a reproductive strategy operates within these constraints , is a distant prospect. Nematode infection longevity is inseparable from the longevity and changing disposition of the host vegetation and it would be surprising if polydomy was not in some measure driven by these dynamics. Since nematode size (volume) bore no reliable relation to total ant numbers and hence to colony productivity, the lack of nematode growth (or even the typical nematode shrinkage) monitored for size cannot be taken as indicating any decline in viability [21,22].
2019.10.08 23:58 RevivousCowboys Current Squad List 2020
Hi all! Welcome to the new and improved squad list for 2020. If you're viewing this on mobile (or at least on the app redditisfun), please press 'View Formatted Table' turn your phone sideways and get the full effect of the CSS coding; otherwise it's going to look very weird indeed. If on computer, please view this in old reddit (old.reddit.com) as the initial table buggers up for some reason. I think it has to do with having two tables in the one post and them being different sizes. Suggestions and rumours are always welcome, I update this almost on a daily basis with new info that comes out or with extra info I think will help. Enjoy, Revs
2020 Team Gains & Re-signings: Reuben Cotter (Development Squad), Gavin Cooper (Re-signing), Mitch Dunn (Re-signing), Kyle Feldt (Re-signing), Tom Gilbert (Development Squad), Ben Hampton (Re-signing), Valentine Holmes (NFL - NY Jets), Corey Jensen (Re-signing), Connelly Lemuelu (Bulldogs), Esan Marsters (Tigers), Francis Molo (Re-Signing), Todd Payten (Coach, Warriors, 2021), Reece Robson (Dragons), Daniel Russell (Development Squad), Tukimihia Simpkins (NZ Rugby), Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Development Squad), Shane Wright (Re-signing) 2020 Development Gains & Re-signings: Ben Condon (Townsville Blackhawks), Wiremu Greig (Northern Pride), Garrett Smith (Mackay Cutters), Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Northern Pride). 2020 Team Losses & Releases: Kurt Baptiste (Released), Scott Bolton (Released), Javid Bowen (Released - Northern Pride), Gavin Cooper (Retirement), Paul Green (Sacked), Gideon Gela-Mosby (Released - Northern Pride), Jordan Kahukuranui (Released - Broncos), Te Maire Martin (Medically Retired), Matt Scott (Retirement), Enari Tuala (Released - Knights) 2020 Development Losses & Releases: Carlin Anderson (Released - Blackhawks), Logan Bayliss-Brow (Released - Dolphins), Kurt Wiltshire (Released - Mackay Wests) 2020 Academy Players: Jacob Kiraz (Centre, Utility Half), Griffin Neame (Utility Forward), Elijah Anderson (Winger, Centre), Aaron Moore (Halfback), Michael Bell (Wing, Centre) Off Contract 2020: Atalani "John" Selesele-Asiata, Ben Hampton (Player Option), Tom Opacic, Daniel Russell, Tukimihia Simpkins Development Off Contract 2020: Garrett Smith (Mackay Cutters) Rumoured Losses, Signings & Re-Signings 2020: Atalani "John" Selesele-Asiata (Titans/Super League), Tom Opacic (Parramatta Eels). 2020 Squad Numbers: Cowboys Team - 30/30 Cowboys Average Age - 24.79 Cowboys Average Games - 74.25 Cowboys Average Games excl. 0s - 90.35 2020 Development Numbers: Cowboys Development - 5/6 Cowboys Average Age - 18.8 Cowboys Average Games - 1 Edit Notes: 'PO' = Player Option - Player may take up an option in their favour if they wish to continue playing for the Cowboys 'REL' = Released - Player has been released and is free to talk to other clubs, but not to play for the Cowboys 'RET' = Retired - Player has retired from Rugby League 'Utility' Roles explained: Player needs to have the ability to play three roles in chosen field if required and plays predominantly 'off the bench' or interchange. 'Utility Forward' - Second-row, Lock and Prop 'Utility Half' - Halfback, Five-eighth and Hooker 'Utility Back' - Wing, Centre and Fullback Position is based on preferred/most played first then what they have been able to play second. Data was correlated between Cowboys Official and Zero Tackle. Representative is dual with NZ if they have not played at Tier 1 level yet and therefore qualify for both as they have yet to decide. QLD/NSW 'Residents' - is an open division team made up of Tier 2 players in state leagues who have played the majority of their games for a tier 2 team (Northern Pride, Redcliffe, Blacktown Workers, Newtown Jets etc...). Submitted - 09/10/2019 Updated - 11/10/2019 - Various issues fixed & Schoolboys Rep fixed Updated - 14/10/2019 - Esan Marsters signing! Updated - 28/10/2019 - Bit of a re-jig Updated - 29/10/2019 - Connelly Lemuelu signing up! Updated - 01/11/2019 - Neame moved to rumoured and unconfirmed Updated - 20/11/2019 - Latrell Mitchell rumours, Simpkins changed to a ? for signing, Hampton & Jensen POs & dev contract updates Updated - 24/11/2019 - Val Holmes, baby! Updated - 01/12/2019 - GOATbert re-signing & Simpkins confirmed to be on one year contract Updated - 09/12/2019 - Added in HoP role & various Updated - 16/12/2019 - Big Red Dog extending Updated - 16/01/2020 - TMM Retiring Updated - 14/02/2020 - Logan Bayliss-Brow joining Dolphins Updated - 17/02/2020 - Perth Nines Champs! Added Hampton and Jensen to the Off-contract section, removed Cliffo Updated - 19/02/2020 - Daejarn Asi into the Dev squad! Updated - 21/02/2020 - Dropped unconfirmed off, updated academy players Updated - 23/02/2020 - Academy players updated, various updates Updated - 04/03/2020 - Assman added to released rumours Updated - 27/04/2020 - McLean confirmed to have taken his player options Updated - 03/06/2020 - Feldty & Wrighty re-signing Updated - 16/06/2020 - Lolo named interim captain while Macca & Morgs are out Updated - 19/06/2020 - Rumours & games played updated, removed rep numbers Updated - 14/07/2020 - Ages and rumours Updated - 28/07/2020 - Franky re-signing rumours Updated - 31/07/2020 - Frank, Dunny & Pere re-signing! Updated - 24/08/2020 - Lotsa updates Updated - 10/09/2020 - Payten added for next year! Updated - 14/09/2020 - King Cooper retiring. Updated - 30/09/2020 - Reubs re-signing, yew!
https://codevalley.com/whitepaper.pdf This document treats Emergent coding from a philosophical perspective. It has a good introduction, description of the tech and is followed by two sections on justifications from the perspective of Fred Brooks No Silver Bullet criteria and an industrialization criteria.
Mark Fabbro's presentation from the Bitcoin Cash City Conference which outlines the motivation, basic mechanics, and usage of Bitcoin Cash in reproducing the industrial revolution in the software industry.
Building the Bitcoin Cash City presentation highlighting how the emergent coding group of companies fit into the adoption roadmap of North Queensland.
Forging Chain Metal by Paul Chandler CEO of Aptissio, one of startups in the emergent coding space and which secured a million in seed funding last year.
Bitcoin Cash App Exploration A series of Apps that are some of the first to be built by emergent coding and presented, and in the case of Cashbar, demonstrated at the conference.
How does Emergent Coding prevent developer capture? A developer's Agent does not know what project they are contributing to and is thus paid for the specific contribution. The developer is controlling the terms of the payment rather than the alternative, an employer with an employment agreement. Why does Emergent Coding use Bitcoin BCH?
Both emergent coding and Bitcoin BCH are decentralized: As emergent coding is a decentralized development environment consisting of Agents providing respective design services, each contract received by an agent requires a BCH payment. As Agents are hosted by their developer owners which may be residing in one of 150 countries, Bitcoin Cash - an electronic peer-to-peer electronic cash system - is ideal to include a developer regardless of geographic location.
Emergent coding will increase the value of the Bitcoin BCH blockchain: With EC, there are typically many contracts to build an application (Cashbar was designed with 10000 contracts or so). EC adoption will increase the value of the Bitcoin BCH blockchain in line with this influx of quality economic activity.
Emergent coding is being applied to BCH software first: One of the first market verticals being addressed with emergent coding is Bitcoin Cash infrastructure. We are already seeing quality applications created using emergent coding (such as the HULA, Cashbar, PH2, vending, ATMs etc). More apps and tools supporting Bitcoin cash will attract more merchants and business to BCH.
Emergent coding increases productivity: Emergent coding increases developer productivity and reduces duplication compared to other software development methods. Emergent coding can provide BCH devs with an advantage over other coins. A BCH dev productivity advantage will accelerate Bitcoin BCH becoming the first global currency.
Emergent coding produces higher quality binaries: Higher quality software leads to a more reliable network.
1. Who/what is Code Valley? Aptissio? BCH Tech Park? Mining and Server Complex? Code Valley Corp Pty Ltd is the company founded to commercialize emergent coding technology. Code Valley is incorporated in North Queensland, Australia. See https://codevalley.com Aptissio Australia Pty Ltd is a company founded in North Queensland and an early adopter of emergent coding. Aptissio is applying EC to Bitcoin BCH software. See https://www.aptissio.com Townsville Technology Precincts Pty Ltd (TTP) was founded to bring together partners to answer the tender for the Historic North Rail Yard Redevelopment in Townsville, North Queensland. The partners consist of P+I, Conrad Gargett, HF Consulting, and a self-managed superannuation fund(SMSF) with Code Valley Corp Pty Ltd expected to be signed as an anchor tenant. TTP answered a Townsville City Council (TCC) tender with a proposal for a AUD$53m project (stage 1) to turn the yards into a technology park and subsequently won the tender. The plan calls for the bulk of the money is to be raised in the Australian equity markets with the city contributing $28% for remediation of the site and just under 10% from the SMSF. Construction is scheduled to begin in mid 2020 and be competed two years later. Townsville Mining Pty Ltd was set up to develop a Server Complex in the Kennedy Energy Park in North Queensland. The site has undergone several studies as part of a due diligence process with encouraging results for its competitiveness in terms of real estate, power, cooling and data.
TM are presently in negotiations with the owners of the site and is presently operating under an NDA.
The business model calls for leasing "sectors" to mining companies that wish to mine allowing companies to control their own direction.
Since Emergent Coding uses the BCH rail, TM is seeking to contribute to BCH security with an element of domestic mining.
TM are working with American partners to lease one of the sectors to meet that domestic objective.
The site will also host Emergent Coding Agents and Code Valley and its development partners are expected to lease several of these sectors.
TM hopes to have the site operational within 2 years.
2. What programming language are the "software agents" written in. Agents are "built" using emergent coding. You select the features you want your Agent to have and send out the contracts. In a few minutes you are in possession of a binary ELF. You run up your ELF on your own machine and it will peer with the emergent coding and Bitcoin Cash networks. Congratulations, your Agent is now ready to accept its first contract. 3. Who controls these "agents" in a software project You control your own Agents. It is a decentralized development system. 4. What is the software license of these agents. Full EULA here, now. A license gives you the right to create your own Agents and participate in the decentralized development system. We will publish the EULA when we release the product. 5. What kind of software architecture do these agents have. Daemons Responding to API calls ? Background daemons that make remote connection to listening applications? Your Agent is a server that requires you to open a couple of ports so as to peer with both EC and BCH networks. If you run a BCH full node you will be familiar with this process. Your Agent will create a "job" for each contract it receives and is designed to operate thousands of jobs simultaneously in various stages of completion. It is your responsibility to manage your Agent and keep it open for business or risk losing market share to another developer capable of designing the same feature in a more reliable manner (or at better cost, less resource usage, faster design time etc.). For example, there is competition at every classification which is one reason emergent coding is on a fast path for improvement. It is worth reiterating here that Agents are only used in the software design process and do not perform any role in the returned project binary. 6. What is the communication protocol these agents use. The protocol is proprietary and is part of your license. 7. Are the agents patented? Who can use these agents? It is up to you if you want to patent your Agent the underlying innovation behind emergent coding is _feasible_ developer specialization. Emergent coding gives you the ability to contribute to a project without revealing your intellectual property thus creating prospects for repeat business; It renders software patents moot. Who uses your Agents? Your Agents earn you BCH with each design contribution made. It would be wise to have your Agent open for business at all times and encourage everyone to use your design service. 8. Do I need to cooperate with Code Valley company all of the time in order to deploy Emergent Coding on my software projects, or can I do it myself, using documentation? It is a decentralized system. There is no single point of failure. Code Valley intends to defend the emergent coding ecosystem from abuse and bad actors but that role is not on your critical path. 9. Let's say Electron Cash is an Emergent Coding project. I have found a critical bug in the binary. How do I report this bug, what does Jonald Fyookball need to do, assuming the buggy component is a "shared component" puled from EC "repositories"? If you built Electron Cash with emergent coding it will have been created by combining several high level wallet features designed into your project by their respective Agents. Obviously behind the scenes there are many more contracts that these Agents will let and so on. For example the Cashbar combines just 16 high level Point-of-Sale features but ultimately results in more than 10,000 contracts in toto. Should one of these 10,000 make a design error, Jonald only sees the high level Agents he contracted. He can easily pinpoint which of these contractors are in breach. Similarly this contractor can easily pinpoint which of its sub-contractors is in breach and so on. The offender that breached their contract wherever in the project they made their contribution, is easily identified. For example, when my truck has a warranty problem, I do not contact the supplier of the faulty big-end bearing, I simply take it back to Mazda who in turn will locate the fault. Finally "...assuming the buggy component is a 'shared component' puled from EC 'repositories'?" - There are no repositories or "shared component" in emergent coding. 10. What is your licensing/pricing model? Per project? Per developer? Per machine? Your Agent charges for each design contribution it makes (ie per contract). The exact fee is up to you. The resulting software produced by EC is unencumbered. Code Valley's pricing model consists of a seat license but while we are still determining the exact policy, we feel the "Valley" (where Agents advertise their wares) should charge a small fee to help prevent gaming the catalogue and a transaction fee to provide an income in proportion to operations. 11. What is the basic set of applications I need in order to deploy full Emergent Coding in my software project? What is the function of each application? Daemons, clients, APIs, Frontends, GUIs, Operating systems, Databases, NoSQLs? A lot of details, please. There's just one. You buy a license and are issued with our product called Pilot. You run Pilot (node) up on your machine and it will peer with the EC and BCH networks. You connect your browser to Pilot typically via localhost and you're in business. You can build software (including special kinds of software like Agents) by simply combining available features. Pilot allows you to specify the desired features and will manage the contracts and decentralized build process. It also gives you access to the "Valley" which is a decentralized advertising site that contains all the "business cards" of each Agent in the community, classified into categories for easy search. If we are to make a step change in software design, inventing yet another HLL will not cut it. As Fred Brooks puts it, an essential change is needed. 12. How can I trust a binary when I can not see the source? The Emergent Coding development model is very different to what you are use to. There are ways of arriving at a binary without Source code. The Agents in emergent coding design their feature into your project without writing code. We can see the features we select but can not demonstrate the source as the design process doesn't use a HLL. The trust model is also different. The bulk of the testing happens _before_ the project is designed not _after_. Emergent Coding produces a binary with very high integrity and arguably far more testing is done in emergent coding than in incumbent methods you are used to. In emergent coding, your reputation is built upon the performance of your Agent. If your Agent produces substandard features, you are simply creating an opportunity for a competitor to increase their market share at your expense. Here are some points worth noting regarding bad actor Agents:
An Agent is a specialist and in emergent coding is unaware of the project they are contributing to. If you are a bad actor, do you compromise every contract you receive? Some? None?
Your client is relying on the quality of your contribution to maintain their own reputation. Long before any client will trust your contributions, they will have tested you to ensure the quality is at their required level. You have to be at the top of your game in your classification to even win business. This isn't some shmuck pulling your routine from a library.
Each contract to your agent is provisioned. Ie you advertise in advance what collaborations you require to complete your design. There is no opportunity for a "sign a Bitcoin transaction" Agent to be requesting "send an HTTP request" collaborations.
Your Agent never gets to modify code, it makes a design contribution rather than a code contribution. There is no opportunity to inject anything as the mechanism that causes the code to emerge is a higher order complexity of all Agent involvement.
There is near perfect accountability in emergent coding. You are being contracted and paid to do the design. Every project you compromise has an arrow pointed straight at you should it be detected even years later.
Security is a whole other ball game in emergent coding and current rules do not necessarily apply. 13. Every time someone rebuilds their application, do they have to pay over again for all "design contributions"? (Or is the ability to license components at fixed single price for at least a limited period or even perpetually, supported by the construction (agent) process?) You are paying for the design. Every time you build (or rebuild) an application, you pay the developers involved. They do not know they are "rebuilding". This sounds dire but its costs far less than you think and there are many advantages. Automation is very high with emergent coding so software design is completed for a fraction of the cost of incumbent design methods. You could perhaps rebuild many time before matching incumbent methods. Adding features is hard with incumbent methods "..very few late-stage additions are required before the code base transforms from the familiar to a veritable monster of missed schedules, blown budgets and flawed products" (Brooks Jr 1987) whereas with emergent coding adding a late stage feature requires a rebuild and hence seamless integration. With Emergent Coding, you can add an unlimited number of features without risking the codebase as there isn't one. The second part of your question incorrectly assumes software is created from licensed components rather than created by paying Agents to design features into your project without any licenses involved. 14. In this construction process, is the vendor of a particular "design contribution" able to charge differential rates per their own choosing? e.g. if I wanted to charge a super-low rate to someone from a 3rd world country versus charging slightly more when someone a global multinational corporation wants to license my feature? Yes. Developers set the price and policy of their Agent's service. The Valley (where your Agent is presently advertised) presently only supports a simple price policy. The second part of your question incorrectly assumes features are encumbered with licenses. A developer can provide their feature without revealing their intellectual property. A client has the right to reuse a developer's feature in another project but will find it uneconomical to do so. 15. Is "entirely free" a supported option during the contract negotiation for a feature? Yes. You set the price of your Agent. 16. "There is no single point of failure." Right now, it seems one needs to register, license the construction tech etc. Is that going to change to a model where your company is not necessarily in that loop? If not, don't you think that's a single point of failure? It is a decentralized development system. Once you have registered you become part of a peer-to-peer system. Code Valley has thought long and hard about its role and has chosen the reddit model. It will set some rules for your participation and will detect or remove bad actors. If, in your view, Code Valley becomes a bad actor, you have control over your Agent, private keys and IP, you can leave the system at any time. 17. What if I can't obtain a license because of some or other jurisdictional problem? Are you allowed to license the technology to anywhere in the world or just where your government allows it? We are planning to operate in all 150 countries. As ec is peer-to-peer, Code Valley does not need to register as a digital currency exchange or the like. Only those countries banning BCH will miss out (until such times as BCH becomes the first global electronic cash system). 18.
For example the Cashbar combines just 16 high level Point-of-Sale features but ultimately results in more than 10,000 contracts in toto.
It seems already a reasonably complex application, so well done in having that as a demo. Thank you. 19. I asked someone else a question about how it would be possible to verify whether an application (let's say one received a binary executable) has been built with your system of emergent consensus. Is this possible? Yes of course. If you used ec to build an application, you can sign it and claim anything you like. Your client knows it came from you because of your signature. The design contributions making up the application are not signed but surprisingly there is still perfect accountability (see below). 20. I know it is possible to identify for example all source files and other metadata (like build environment) that went into constructing a binary, by storing this data inside an executable. All metadata emergent coding is now stored offline. When your Agent completes a job, you have a log of the design agreements you made with your peers etc., as part of the log. If you are challenged at a later date for breaching a design contract, you can pull your logs to see what decisions you made, what sub-contracts were let etc. As every Agent has their own logs, the community as a whole has a completely trustless log of each project undertaken. 21. Is this being done with EC build products and would it allow the recipient to validate that what they've been provided has been built only using "design contributions" cryptographically signed by their providers and nothing else (i.e. no code that somehow crept in that isn't covered by the contracting process)? The emergent coding trust model is very effective and has been proven in other industries. Remember, your Agent creates a feature in my project by actually combining smaller features contracted from other Agents, thus your reputation is linked to that of your suppliers. If Bosch makes a faulty relay in my Ford, I blame Ford for a faulty car not Bosch when my headlights don't work. Similarly, you must choose and vet your sub-contractors to the level of quality that you yourself want to project. Once these relationships are set up, it becomes virtually impossible for a bad actor to participate in the system for long or even from the get go. 22. A look at code generated and a surprising answer to why is every intermediate variable spilled? Thanks to u/R_Sholes, this snippet from the actual code for: number = number * 10 + digitgenerated as a part of: sub read/integeboolean($, 0, 100) -> guess
; copy global to local temp variable 0x004032f2 movabs r15, global.current_digit 0x004032fc mov r15, qword [r15] 0x004032ff mov rax, qword [r15] 0x00403302 movabs rdi, local.digit 0x0040330c mov qword [rdi], rax ; copy global to local temp variable 0x0040330f movabs r15, global.guess 0x00403319 mov r15, qword [r15] 0x0040331c mov rax, qword [r15] 0x0040331f movabs rdi, local.num 0x00403329 mov qword [rdi], rax ; multiply local variable by constant, uses new temp variable for output 0x0040332c movabs r15, local.num 0x00403336 mov rax, qword [r15] 0x00403339 movabs rbx, 10 0x00403343 mul rbx 0x00403346 movabs rdi, local.num_times_10 0x00403350 mov qword [rdi], rax ; add local variables, uses yet another new temp variable for output 0x00403353 movabs r15, local.num_times_10 0x0040335d mov rax, qword [r15] 0x00403360 movabs r15, local.digit 0x0040336a mov rbx, qword [r15] 0x0040336d add rax, rbx 0x00403370 movabs rdi, local.num_times_10_plus_digit 0x0040337a mov qword [rdi], rax ; copy local temp variable back to global 0x0040337d movabs r15, local.num_times_10_plus_digit 0x00403387 mov rax, qword [r15] 0x0040338a movabs r15, global.guess 0x00403394 mov rdi, qword [r15] 0x00403397 mov qword [rdi], rax For comparison, an equivalent snippet in C compiled by clang without optimizations gives this output: imul rax, qword ptr [guess], 10 add rax, qword ptr [digit] mov qword ptr [guess], rax
Collaborations at the byte layer of Agents result in designs that spill every intermediate variable. Firstly, why this is so? Agents from this early version only support one catch-all variable design when collaborating. Similar to a compiler when all registers contain variables, the compiler must make a decision to spill a register temporarily to main memory. The compiler would still work if it spilled every variable to main memory but would produce code that would be, as above, hopelessly inefficient. However, by only supporting the catch-all portion of the protocol, the code valley designers were able to design, build and deploy these agents faster because an Agent needs fewer predicates in order to participate in these simpler collaborations. The protocol involved however, can have many "Policies" besides the catch-all default policy (Agents can collaborate over variables designed to be on the stack, or, as is common for intermediate variables, designed to use a CPU register, and so forth). This example highlights one of the very exciting aspects of emergent coding. If we now add a handful of additional predicates to a handful of these byte layer agents, henceforth ALL project binaries will be 10x smaller and 10x faster. Finally, there can be many Agents competing for market share at each of classification. If these "gumby" agents do not improve, you can create a "smarter" competitor (ie with more predicates) and win business away from them. Candy from a baby. Competition means the smartest agents bubble to the top of every classification and puts the entire emergent coding platform on a fast path for improvement. Contrast this with incumbent libraries which does not have a financial incentive to improve. Just wait until you get to see our production system. 23. How hard can an ADD Agent be? Typically an Agent's feature is created by combining smaller features from other Agents. The smallest features are so devoid of context and complexity they can be rendered by designing a handful of bytes in the project binary. Below is a description of one of these "byte" layer Agents to give you an idea how they work. An "Addition" Agent creates the feature of "adding two numbers" in your project (This is an actual Agent). That is, it contributes to the project design a feature such that when the project binary is delivered, there will be an addition instruction somewhere in it that was designed by the contract that was let to this Agent. If you were this Agent, for each contract you received, you would need to collaborate with peers in the project to resolve vital requirements before you can proceed to design your binary "instruction". Each paid contract your Agent receives will need to participate in at least 4 collaborations within the design project. These are:
Input A collaboration
Input B collaboration
Construction site collaboration
You can see from the collaborations involved how your Agent can determine the precise details needed to design its instruction. As part of the contract, the Addition Agent will be provisioned with contact details so it can join these collaborations. Your Agent must collaborate with other stakeholders in each collaboration to resolve that requirement. In this case, how a variable will be treated. The stakeholders use a protocol to arrive at an Agreement and share the terms of the agreement. For example, the stakeholders of collaboration “Input A” may agree to treat the variable as an signed 64bit integer, resolve to locate it at location 0x4fff2, or alternatively agree that the RBX register should be used, or agree to use one of the many other ways a variable can be represented. Once each collaboration has reached an agreement and the terms of that agreement distributed, your Agent can begin to design the binary instruction. The construction site collaboration is where you will exactly place your binary bytes. The construction site protocol is detailed in the whitepaper and is some of the magic that allows the decentralized development system to deliver the project binary. The protocol consists of 3 steps,
You request space in the project binary be reserved.
You are notified of the physical address of your requested space.
You delver the the binary bytes you designed to fill the reserved space.
Once the bytes are returned your Agent can remove the job from its work schedule. Job done, payment received, another happy customer with a shiny ADD instruction designed into their project binary. Note:
Observe how it is impossible for this ADD Agent to install a backdoor undetected by the client.
Observe how the Agent isn’t linking a module, or using a HLL to express the binary instruction.
Observe how with just a handful of predicates you have a working "Addition" Agent capable of designing the Addition Feature into a project with a wide range of collaboration agreements.
Observe how this Agent could conceivably not even design-in an ADD instruction if one of the design time collaboration agreements was a literal "1" (It would design in an increment instruction). There is even a case where this Agent may not deliver any binary to build its feature into your project!
24. How does EC arrive at a project binary without writing source code? Devs using EC combine features to create solutions. They don't write code. EC devs contract Agents which design the desired features into their project for a fee. Emergent coding uses a domain specific contracting language (called pilot) to describe the necessary contracts. Pilot is not a general purpose language. As agents create their features by similarly combining smaller features contracted from peer, your desired features may inadvertently result in thousands of contracts. As it is agents all the way down, there is no source code to create the project binary. Traditional: Software requirements -> write code -> compile -> project binary (ELF). Emergent coding: Select desired features -> contract agents -> project binary (ELF). Agents themselves are created the same way - specify the features you want your agent to have, contract the necessary agents for those features and viola - agent project binary (ELF). 25. How does the actual binary code that agents deliver to each other is written? An agent never touches code. With emergent coding, agents contribute features to a project, and leave the project binary to emerge as the higher-order complexity of their collective effort. Typically, agents “contribute” their feature by causing smaller features to be contributed by peers, who in turn, do likewise. By mapping features to smaller features delivered by these peers, agents ensure their feature is delivered to the project without themselves making a direct code contribution. Peer connections established by these mappings serve to both incrementally extend a temporary project “scaffold” and defer the need to render a feature as a code contribution. At the periphery of the scaffold, features are so simple they can be rendered as a binary fragment with these binary fragments using the information embodied by the scaffold to guide the concatenation back along the scaffold to emerge as the project binary - hence the term Emergent Coding. Note the scaffold forms a temporary tree-like structure which allows virtually all the project design contracts to be completed in parallel. The scaffold also automatically limits an agent's scope to precisely the resources and site for their feature. It is why it is virtually impossible for an agent to install a "back door" or other malicious code into the project binary.
2019.09.16 03:43 RevivousCowboys Current Squad List 2020
Hi all! Welcome to the new and improved squad list for 2020. If you're viewing this on mobile (or at least on the app redditisfun), please press 'View Formatted Table' turn your phone sideways and get the full effect of the CSS coding; otherwise it's going to look very weird indeed. If on computer, please view this in old reddit (old.reddit.com) as the initial table buggers up for some reason. I think it has to do with having two tables in the one post and them being different sizes. Suggestions and rumours are always welcome, I update this almost on a daily basis with new info that comes out or with extra info I think will help. Enjoy, Revs
North Queensland Stadium (Formally Willows Sports Complex)
2019.08.08 02:46 kingmitch84Zoology Society Pub Crawl
Gday Ladies and Gents! I am organizing a pub crawl for our Uni Zoology Society and we are trying to come up with an awesome name for the night. It is a costume party as well with the theme being Zoology / Living things, and we will be playing fun field survey games throughout the night for the non drinking members. Some of the games we have are: “Field Survey”gameideas
2019.05.29 07:30 SahSonHow to write to a .csv file from a frequency table/dictionary
Hey /learnpython, I'm stuck. I have a task where I read data from a .csv file, note all unique occurrences and count each time that value occurs. I have managed to do that, and create pie charts with matplotlib using the frequency table just fine. However, now I've been trying to output the table into a .csv, where the key is the first cell, the value is the second cell, and the third cell is a percentage of that count from the whole original sheet. I'm not sure what to do. Here is the output from my frequency table:
2019.04.28 00:14 arcedupIf not coal mining, then what else? Renewable natural gas, maybe?
Hi /Australia, I’ve decided to post this here for several reasons. One is that I’m getting increasingly concerned with how hot and how long our summers are becoming - it’s the end of April and I’m still in shorts, dammit! - and organisations like the BOM, who have the data to put behind anecdotes, are telling us that we’re not just making it up in our heads, that temperatures are increasing as global warming kicks in. With that in mind, I feel that this election is a ‘last chance’ for us to vote in reps who give a damn about stopping global warming, however I haven’t been impressed with what’s been said in the campaign so far - in particular, about the Adani mine. That said, I understand some of the trepidation around positions on the Adani mine. There are at least three constraints to consider when discussing the Adani mine, and by extension thermal coal mining:
Climate change: we have to stop mining and burning coal in order to humankind to live on this planet as it currently is. This is a non-negotiable.
Jobs: Coal mining employs approximately 40,000 people in highly-skilled jobs. Particularly in North Queensland, where the unemployment rate is higher than the national average, people will be keenly sensitive to what they feel is an attack on their job security (see Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs). In practice, this means that we cannot stop coal mining dead on one set day in the future - there has to be a transition and those currently employed in coal mining need to be cared for - retrained, assisted, supported - as this transition is made. It is not their fault that they picked a job in an industry which is becoming untenable.
Broader economy: in 2017-18, the total value of coking and thermal coal exports was just over $60 billion dollars. Whilst most of that money went back to the mining companies, some of it would have gone to Treasury in taxes, some would have gone into the pockets of people directly employed in coal extraction, and some would have gone to the industries servicing the mines (e.g. repair and overhaul companies). There is also the flow-on effect of people spending their wages and salaries in the communities they live in.
I get the feeling that the trepidation regarding Adani - mainly from Labor - revolves around these three constraints, particularly the second and third. We haven’t yet heard what Labor’s full climate policy is, but I get the feeling that they are hedging their bets because they don’t have a constructive replacement industry for coal mining that fulfils those three constraints. So another reason I’m posting this is that I want to suggest a replacement industry, and that industry is renewable natural gas, manufactured via the Sabatier reaction. The Sabatier reaction is named after Paul Sabatier, who discovered it in 1897 with Jean-Baptise Senderens whilst doing a bunch of experiments involving reactions of hydrogen with carbon-containing compounds (organic compounds). The reaction involves passing carbon dioxide and hydrogen over a warm (~400ºC) nickel catalyst, with the products of reaction being water, methane and heat: CO2 + 4 H2 -> CH4 + 2 H2O, ∆H = −165.0 kJ/mol. The CO2 would come from the atmosphere via amine absorption, the hydrogen would come from water electrolysis. You may have heard of this reaction in the context of Martian missions, where it is proposed to use this reaction to manufacture rocket propellants on Mars rather than lug them all the way from Earth. However, it appears that this reaction already in use in two places:
On the International Space Station, where it is used as an oxygen-recycling method;
In the ammonia production industry (Haber-Bosch process), where it is used after the first carbon dioxide removal process to scrub trace amounts of CO2 from the hydrogen feed stream before it is passed to the ammonia reactor. This is because the ammonia catalysis are easily poisoned by oxygen-containing substances.
The above is one of a few of reasons why I’m suggesting renewable natural gas instead of just straight hydrogen, as Labor is hinting at. The Sabatier reaction is not a technology still in R&D, it is used in industry, has been for a while and is well-understood. A second reason I’m suggesting this is because hydrogen is a pesky little molecule - because it is so small and light, it tends to dissipate quickly, it needs very cold temperatures in order to be stored as a liquid and also diffuses through materials easily, which is why there’s a lot of research into better hydrogen storage methods. The transport and storage of natural gas is a mature industry - which leads into the third reason for suggesting this, we need to start transitioning now instead of waiting for things to be invented and the less changes we have to make, the quicker things can move and the less resistance there will be. So, what about the drawbacks? Yes, there are several drawbacks I’ve identified so far:
Cost: I found this paper where three process(?) scientists estimated the cost for mitigating all the CO2 emissions from the Swiss cement industry (2.5 million tonnes/year) via the Sabatier process, utilising hydrogen from water electrolysis, and came up with a capital cost of 38.6 billion CHF - about A$53.7 billion, which is about 10% of the annual Federal revenue for 2018-19. It’s also about the same amount that’s being invested in the Gorgon LNG project. I’ve decided not to quote the operating costs because the authors assume that the waste heat from the Sabatier process would be dumped. In fact, there’s enough heat from producing 1kg of methane to boil nearly 4kg of water - and the electrolysis of water gets more efficient when hot water is used.
GHG impact: methane is a vastly more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so the last thing we should be doing is making more of it! That said, due to its flammability, I believe that there’s a vested interest in ensuring methane leaks are minimised (California notwithstanding).
Brine: In the paper above, the researches calculated that for the 0.46 million tonnes of H2 required as input to react 2.5 million tonnes of CO2, a total of 4.1 million tonnes (= cubic metres = 4.1 gigalitres) of water was required. For comparison, the Murray-Darling river system has an estimated annual flow of about 24,000 gigalitres, but all of that freshwater is precious, so I’ve assumed that the feed water for electrolysis would come from desalinated water, which means dumping the brine somewhere. If we assume a Sabatier plant built in the Townsville region with associated desal plant, the brine would go onto the Great Barrier Reef, which probably wouldn’t be good for it. The raw water requirement can be lessened by re-electrolysing the 2 molecules of water produced per molecule of methane, but 2 more molecules of water still need to be split for the 4 molecules of input hydrogen required.
Oxygen: for the 2.5 million tonne CO2 input/0.9 million tonne CH4 output plant in the paper, 3.6 million tonnes of oxygen would be produced. That would be a good thing, right - is it? I don’t know. Whilst the common perception of oxygen is ‘good’ because we breathe it, it’s also a corrosive substance in certain situations and I have no idea what the environmental impact would be from dumping all that oxygen into the atmosphere.
This is by no means exhaustive and/or authoritative - it’s not my field of expertise, I’m not in the LNG/petroleum industry and I’m just doing basic internet research and using free-access papers. All I’m trying to do is start an informed discussion because I feel that in this election campaign, the promises so far in regards to climate change are light on substance. Feel free to double-check my calculations and check sources, constructive criticism is welcome! Further information can be found by searching for ‘power-to-gas’ and ‘catalytic methanation’. I also know that whilst this would allow us to produce a carbon-neutral fuel for export, it wouldn’t be carbon-free like hydrogen would be. But I feel it would would be a start, instead of continuing to pull buried sunshine from the ground whilst we wait for better solutions to be invented, whilst also keeping people employed. A couple of footnotes:
It looks like the CSIRO is doing some research on this, but primarily on better catalysts.
Hydrogen for ammonia production is produced on-site via the steam reforming reaction, which is basically the Sabatier reaction run in reverse. This should be another ‘quick-win’ scenario for reducing CO2 emissions - have ammonia plants get their hydrogen from water electrolysis.
A late edit: I've completely forgotten to state that I've assumed that all this is powered by renewable electricity.
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2018.05.20 22:56 jtp_5000Can someone clarify preservation requirements for intra-company messaging?
Having been around the field for a while, the vast majority of social work/ case management teams text each other on their personal cell phones constantly to just complete the logistical day to day requirements of patient care. Obviously a big problem re: HIPAA because PHI makes its way into these texts regularly. Typical fake example you’ll see in a group text chat, “Taking Jim to SSA in the AM, what’s his address?” “It’s 123 Main St in Townsville two doors down from the Shell station” Obviously this isn’t ok as far as HIPAA compliance but trust me its so prevelant in these jobs it’s basically universal when you look at teams where the job is 50%+ out of the actual office so there needs to be a solution beyond compliance officers saying “don’t do that.” My question is this: the simplest solution would seem to be an end to end encrypted messaging app probably requiring biometric verification each time it’s opened like a mobile banking app that just doesn’t preserve these messages. I’m thinking something similar to Slack or Discord except messages would just automatically erase themselves after whatever preset time you wanted, 30 days or something. Im very specifically talking about these mentions of PHI that come up in day to day logistical coordination. Not a solution for actual medical records, physician notes, disclosures outside the agency, etc. ... But looking around the Internet I can’t find an answer as to the requirements for preserving logistical uses of PHI among employees of the same organization like this. If I built a solution like I just mentioned for a local non-profit I contract for would we be violating HIPAA by allowing these sorts of messages to disappear? Or should they really be preserved and catalogued in the records just like a copy of a physicians order, client data sheet, etc. ...
2018.04.23 14:26 CreepyAusThe Seal Island Incident
It’s not often as a scientist you wish you hadn’t looked into something… Quite a few years ago now, I was part of a special scientific expedition to False Bay, South Africa. You’ve probably seen a lot about it on Shark Week, because this spot is infamous for being one of the sharkiest places on Earth. Great Whites turn out in their hundreds to prey on the thousands of Cape Fur seals that call the aptly named Seal Island home. As a marine biologist I’d always dreamed of working with the sharks of False Bay, so you can imagine I was excited when I originally got the call. One of my colleagues, a guy I went through uni with all the way to our respective PhD’s, had been handed what he called a “fascinating, if slightly unusual” assignment and personally sought me out as one of the research scientists. Even without a lot of details I jumped at the chance; sharks were hardly my speciality, but False Bay is such an iconic place that I wasn’t worried in the slightest. I was sure I’d adapt. I flew in to Cape Town on a miserable winter’s morning. The sky was full of fat, angry grey clouds and out of the window of the plane I could see countless white flecks on the surface of the sea as harsh winds stripped the top off the swell. Callum (or, more officially, Dr Callum Short), the man who recruited me, met me as I struggled off the red-eye service. He looked restless and eager as he wrapped me in a hug. “I’m so glad you said yes, Ellie! It’s going to be unreal working together again.” I grinned, despite being bone-achingly tired. Callum was always an infectious kinda guy. “Well, when a guy who spends most of his time wrangling monster sharks gives calls me up for a hand, I find it hard to refuse.” He gave a knowing smile. “We might not be wrangling many sharks on this trip, but I think we’ll make it up for it. Come on, we’re going straight to the boat. I’ll tell you all about it when we get there.” “Fine, but first I need a massive coffee.” It was a reasonably short trip to the docks, lightning in fact compared to the red-eye from Perth to Jo’Burg. I was surprised when we were hurried on board, the vessel already idling and ready to head out. I had thought it would be too late in the morning for the sharks to be active. I wasn’t surprised, though, to discover that six of the eight scientists on board were women. Callum had always preferred to work with women, to the point that it earned him an unfair reputation as a bit of a philanderer. The truth was that Callum had been burned by less than ethical research partners on the past, and had come to believe that men would eventually care more about competition than collaboration. Or as he so eloquently put it one night in a Townsville pub, “it just inevitably devolves into a fight over who has the biggest, swinging-est dick.” I’d never had the same issue myself, but maybe because I lacked the proper equipment for a dick measuring contest I’d just never been subjected to it. We gathered in the conference room of the spacious vessel, and I learned the names of everyone else. The five other women were Cassie (an ecologist), Maria and Helen (shark biologists), Janice (a zoologist) and Callum’s PhD student Clare. The only other man was an oceanographer named Kevin. Callum re-joined us as the small talk started to fade out “Please, please, sit down. It’s going to get rough when we get out into the teeth of the wind.” As if on cue, a freezing gust buffeted the ship and I clutched at a chair for support. He laughed. “I see you’ve all met Ellie, our resident deep sea evolutionary biologist…” “Obviously, I don’t have to explain the history of this place to any of you. Only two other known sites match this one in terms of White Shark aggregation; the Neptune Islands and the waters around Guadalupe. It’s been the crucible of White Shark science for decades, and we’re still learning.” He paused, shuffling through a thick pile of papers. “Last year, we began to notice something odd about White Shark behaviour in this area. Normally the sharks here are relatively transient; they come in and out of the bay and track along the coast and out to sea in the meantime. Individual animals don’t actually spend more than a few days within the bay itself. But four or five times a year the sharks push right into the bay. They stop going out to sea and they spend a good week or more in the shallower water along the coast. In that week or two we don’t see the sharks more often, but as we’ve started tracking more and more of them we’ve realised that the number of sharks in the bay might be as high as three times the norm for this period. We’re here to work out why.” He cleared his throat before continuing. “This is unusual behaviour, and obviously it has local authorities concerned. Like it or not, White Sharks are apex predators, and an unpredictable influx of equally unpredictable sharks, in an area where they are comfortable and feed often, is still cause for concern. A greater number of human-shark interactions means the potential for disaster is much higher, and that’s no good for people or the sharks.” He surveyed the attentive faces around the table. “Two days ago, the sharks spontaneously pushed right into the bay again. We estimate we’ve probably got anywhere from seven days to a fortnight before everything goes back to normal. So, our remit, if you will, is to work out why the sharks behave this way, and whether we can predict it so that appropriate safety measures can be taken. Sharks are part of life here, so if adaptations need to be made because of this behaviour then the authorities need to be in a position where they understand the issues. We’ve already eliminated the obvious. This behaviour seems random, with no clear link to any one trigger. That’s why we’ve had to expand our team the way we have.” The others immediately bombarded Callum with questions, but I tuned them out. I could already tell most of what they were asking about was ‘the obvious’. Callum was very thorough, although prone to narrowing his focus and missing the big picture at times. And as I thought it through, it seemed like he had missed something big after all. Conversation hit a lull. “We’re all only talking about the sharks. Why? There’s a lot more than just sharks around here. What are the other animals doing when the sharks behave this way?” Callum looked at me, the corners of his eyes crinkling imperceptibly. “I actually don’t know. What are you getting at?” Of course, he knew the answer already, but not everyone in the room was as sharp. “Well sharks aren’t the only large animal in the bay, are they? There’s the seals, who head offshore to feed. So do the penguins. I’m not sure about the bay itself but we’re also within the habitual range of a few different dolphins. Then there are the transients. Orcas are found in the area, as well as other whale species. Seems to me that they’re as relevant as the sharks in all of this. Orcas prey on White Sharks, penguins, seals and dolphins, so their behaviour certainly seems relevant.” Callum smirked, more in a self-deprecating way than anything. “That would probably have been a good place to start, hey? I’ll get in touch with a few other researchers, see if their data sheds any light. There’s a lot fewer tracking devices on those animals than on sharks though so it might turn out to be useless. We’re making for Seal Island now, mostly because it’s a focal point and we can monitor the tags a lot easier from there. Feel free to wander the ship a bit, familiarise yourselves with it. We might be here a week or so…” The others took the opportunity to wander out in small groups, but I stayed behind with Callum and Clare. Something was bugging me. I was an evolutionary biologist (well, evolutionary ecologist) just as I’d been introduced. But I specialised in water dozens of times deeper than False Bay. I knew enough, but I was quite literally out of my depth. Callum just told me that he wanted me on the team because I was a good scientist, but it felt like he was holding something back. By this point, however, I was absolutely exhausted so I just went to bed. We spent a few days just gathering data. The tags Callum had been fitting to sharks were pretty remarkable, able to transmit a signal to a receiver on board the boat that determined a precise direction, depth and distance and then plotted it on a map. No more holding TV aerials and chasing the beeps around like a maddened goose. It became clear that the sharks were definitely holding in the bay, and when the other data came in it seemed other animals were doing the same. Seals, penguins, dolphins, all penned in the bay as though trapped by some unseen force. The only thing we had no data on was the Orcas, so we originally thought maybe they were the culprits. That was quickly scrapped when we heard the fisherman hadn’t seen a single fin for over a week. The Orcas had gone. So what the hell was going on? I’d been doing this a while at this stage, and all this data was giving me an uncomfortable feeling in my gut. Science might pride itself on rationality, but instinct still rules. And my instinct was telling me this wasn’t right. Animals only scattered like this when there was a problem. Large animals, especially apex predators, very rarely had a problem. Anyway, it seemed like the only way we were going to get answers was to head offshore. The weather wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t dangerous either. We churned a search pattern through the heaving seas a few k’s offshore, looking at everything we could. We were looking for tags on the acoustic receiver and found none. There were no sharks out here. We had the crew keeping an eye out for Orcas, and they saw absolutely nothing. We took the water temperature as we went, we tested it for all sorts of contaminants. Everything came up normal, and the knot in my stomach grew tighter. This was a classic rich spot, two currents meeting to drive huge biodiversity. So why was it seemingly dead? I think it was day five or six when I first noticed it. I was going over some tapes in the lab with Cassie when I heard the faintest sound that didn’t quite fit, a rapid fire clicking. I thought I imagined it at first but when I asked Cassie to take a listen she heard it too. It was, like I said, very faint, but it was unmistakably a coda. For the uninitiated, a coda is an indicator of echolocation on a massive scale. It’s a common myth that all whales use sonar, or echolocation, to supplement their senses. Only toothed whales can use this kind of sonar, and only the largest of them all can produce a coda. Sperm whales have that massive, squared off head because it is dedicated entirely to echolocation. Their head is filled with oil, which is why they were so prized by whalers, and at the top of their skull is a structure that looks like a satellite dish. This amplifies the rapid-fire clicks required for echolocation to a ludicrous scale. A large bull sperm whale can produce a coda of over 200 decibels; louder than a jet engine and, at the wrong range, loud enough to rupture a human eardrum. It’s used not only to see in the inky black world of the abyssal sea, where they hunt, but I had been working on a theory that they used it to disorient their prey. If there were sperm whales around, maybe that would help narrow down what we were looking for or cross some things off the list. After some debate, we resolved to find them. The acoustic receiver we used for the tags was able to give us a rough location, pointing us to an area where the continental shelf is scarred by a series of deep ravines snaking their way up from the abyssal plain. This made sense to me; sperm whales hunt squid, and places where there are trenches and canyons give them a bottleneck in which to hunt. I wish I’d never heard that godforsaken coda. I wish I didn’t know what I know now. It’s a tough story to tell, but it needs to be told. The deeper water we were heading for was about 20km offshore, an easy stint for our vessel even in moderate seas. The hydrophones kept picking up the coda, rhythmic and regular. It increased in volume as we got closer too, which is when I realised something was very wrong. No one else seemed to notice. Or maybe they were just too wrapped up in their own samples and studies and whatever to notice. There’s a lot of ‘boring’ stuff I’ve left out, how one scientist had a theory about algal blooms and another was working on something about sonar pollution, among other ideas. There were a lot of different tangents, but as an ecologist I hadn’t really had a lot to do yet, so I was paying close attention to the hydrophones. I began to realise the coda never changed. It was precisely the same pattern every single time. Sperm whales don’t do that. Each whale has an individual signature, and makes a huge number of different sounds depending on the purpose of that sound. Whatever we were heading towards was not a sperm whale. The knot in my stomach tightened to the point of physical pain, my gut instinct telling me that nothing about this situation was right. Vast numbers of animals don’t just vacate an area for no reason, and a mysterious sound popping up at the same time was too much to be coincidence. I pulled Callum aside and tried to voice my fears, but he shook them off. “This is bigger than just the sharks. Everything is gone, Ellie. We need to work this out. I trust your gut, but we could be on to something big here.” He was right, of course. But I wish he hadn’t been. As we got within a click or so of the canyons, and the very first signs of the edge of the drop started to be appear on the sounder, the coda we were tracking simply stopped. It was bizarre. This thing had been sounding off for days and it stopped just as we got close? I couldn’t understand it. While everyone was focused on shoe-horning their own theories into what we were doing all the way out here, I sat in the quiet conference room and just thought about it. Honestly, it took far too long for it to hit me. We were blasting sonar into the water, working out topography and currents and whatever else. Sonar producing animals are incredibly sensitive to sonar by virtue of the organs they use to detect it. Our sounders must have spooked whatever was making the noises, caused it to go quiet or even leave the area. I have to admit I relaxed a little bit then, although I couldn’t shake the feeling I was missing something. I went to bed earlier than the others. It was a restless, uneasy night for me. Have you ever tried to sleep when your brain is all wound up, trying to work out whatever it is that you can’t quite recall? I was tossing and turning, half awake, when I heard that coda kick off again. Only this time it wasn’t on a tape but reverberating all around me. And suddenly, horribly, the pieces floating around my mind finally clicked into place. A coda like that, repeated ad nauseum in exactly the same pattern and at exactly the same frequency, would be near enough to useless for echolocation. It would interfere with itself, blocking out any image coming back. In fact, it would only be useful for broadcasting. That was why the sharks and the Orcas and everything else pushed out of the deep water. They might not all be able to understand the sound, but they could still hear it. To them, the tone was painful, too strong to be anything but maddening. But to the largest creatures, the ones who could properly process the information and who communicated at high volume themselves, it would be a curiosity. A sound repeated over and over in something equating to their own language would be well worth investigating. It was a lure. I had thrown myself out of bed and started racing towards the lab area, completely disregarding my dishevelled, half-dressed appearance, when I noticed that the clicks were getting louder. I barged in on Callum, still awake and frantically checking instruments. He barely started as I flew through the door. “What the hell is this, Ellie?” I didn’t answer for a second, my eyes flicking towards the screen that was taking the sounder feed. My blood ran cold. “It’s a fucking lure, Cal. Look!” On the screen, a gargantuan shape was rising under the vessel. It had no real form on the sounder, which was only meant to show depth and bottom features, simply looking like a massive blob lifting itself off the sea floor several kilometres below. Callum stared, clearly at a loss as to what he was seeing. “What…it’s huge! Is it a super pod of whales? Why is it so loud? What the fuck is happening?” I grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him. “It’s something else, Cal. I should have seen it earlier; the sound was all wrong. It’s not echolocation! This is why the sharks push inshore. They’re hiding!” A look of horror crossed his face as he realised what I was saying. He immediately grabbed the phone that connected us to the bridge. “Get us out of here! NOW!” The ship was powered up, held in position by directional thrusters, so I prayed that it wouldn’t be too long before we were underway. It was clear that whatever was lurking down in the dark canyon wanted to get a closer look at us, or worse, had already mistake us for prey. On the sounder it easily looked big enough to capsize the ship. I had barely a second to register just how fast this thing was rising. Jesus, it was already two-thirds of the way to the surface! Just then, the sound changed. Instead of a loud, repetitive coda, it became a ghastly shrieking, far louder than I could bear. I fell to the floor, hands clamped over my ears, my vision swimming and my mind fracturing. I was vaguely aware that some of the glass equipment in the shattering explosively under the onslaught. Callum, good old, quick thinking Cal, was at my side a few seconds later. He’d grabbed two of the pairs of noise cancelling headphones that were sitting on the bench top, and he shoved a pair over my ears. It wasn’t really the intended purpose, and they were by no means proper ear protection, but they did just enough to allow me to drag myself up. He was pointing to the door that lead to the staircase up to the main deck. As more glass went off and peppered my arms, I understood we needed to get somewhere less fragile than the lab. We reached the deck, the cold air hitting me like an actual impact. I was still barely dressed. Callum lead me into the relative shelter of the aft common area, where the large windows were reinforced enough to deal with ice impact and massive swells. The sound was immense; we were under physical assault. I could feel it crashing through me. Out the window, I could see the wake of the ship just starting to stretch out behind us. I registered, fleetingly, that we were at least on our way out of the area. Then the wall of sound brought me to my knees. I couldn’t see how far away it was, because I had lost all sense of these things by then, but some distance behind the ship I saw the surface of the water break. Whatever had been underneath us was now on the surface. It came up like a submarine in breach, obliterating the oceans’ surface in a vast mass of white foam. It was far too dark to make out details, but the wan moon and the light of the ship itself gleamed off too much dark, slick skin for me to process. The shrieking wall of noise ratcheted up a few more octaves. My body finally gave in at this increased assault, and my brain shut down, sweeping me into unconsciousness. I woke up to a Naval officer gently checking my vital signs. The sun was out, but I was disoriented and began to thrash around, overcome by the panic I felt before I blacked out. I only remember snatches of time for a little bit; being restrained by the officers, being stretchered on board their vessel, glimpses of faces here and there. I think I truly came to my senses a couple of days later, lying in a hospital. I had the most awful ringing in my ears and one of my eardrums had ruptured, but apart from shock and a few minor traumatic effects I was deemed ok. Callum, too, had a reasonably clean bill of health. There were twelve other survivors, including the crew members who made it. Of our colleagues, only Cassie and Clare lived through the attack, along with eight of the crew. I didn’t look into how the others died, exactly. I didn’t want to know. It turned out our captain had been quick enough on his feet to send a distress signal, as he ordered the vessel pointed towards shore at full bore. He was one of the survivors, and we owe him our lives for both of those acts. Even when he blacked out, both eardrums shattered and bleeding from the eyes, the ship chugged on, oblivious to the things that affected its fleshy cargo. The Navy found us later the next afternoon, and the survivors were airlifted back to Cape Town. They made up some ridiculous cover story, but I was too shell-shocked to even care. Cal left his work in South Africa, returning to Australia and becoming utterly obsessed with the depths. He wanted to find out what happened that night, miles off False Bay, so desperately that he has wrecked his career in his pursuit. We’ve only spoken once since the incident. About a week after it happened, he visited me in my hotel. I was about to fly home and he wanted to tell me his plans. We had a brief chat, both still suffering the psychological echoes of our experience. I told him what I saw, and he seemed torn between thinking it was an hallucination and believing me. I can’t blame him, I wonder the same thing myself all the time. He wondered why, and how, the creature had attacked us, and my incoherent thoughts from the ships common area came flooding back. “Stunning,” I said, and he frowned. “I’ve been working on the theory that sperm whales can use their sonar to stun or disorient their prey, not just to see. It fits here. Whatever that thing was, it lured us in with the imitation whale coda, and then when we were in range it blasted us with sound. It was springing a trap. Maybe it thought we were a whale…” We’ve not spoken since. As for me, it took me over a year to get back on the water. I worked as a lecturer for a bit, keeping my feet firmly planted on solid ground. But it always called to me. This kind of work is part of me, and it was inevitable that I would find my way back eventually. I have to admit, I was shitting myself on that first dive. Instinct took over quickly enough, though, and shortly I was back to full and active research. That was several years ago, and my work was as rewarding and straight-forward as it ever was before Seal Island. Until a month ago, anyway. See, last month I was running a routine dive out off Perth, mostly to calibrate some new research instruments. We were running through a canyon that lies about 20km off Rottnest Island. I was chatting with my partner on the dive, boring stuff, when I found myself trailing off, ice filling my veins. Over the small talk and the sound of the sub engines, I heard the unmistakable sound of a short coda, repeating in bursts that were far too regular for echolocation….
Pulling an Address data set off a government website "turned" the data to a top down grouping. So each Company record has its own CompanyName, Address, City, ZIP etc. separated by a blank line. I need to basically copy the cell to the right of every iteration of "company name" "address" etc to a new sheet to make a normal address excel spreadsheet. My problem is I don't know the right verbiage for what I'm trying to do so my googling isn't helping me. 4400 records otherwise i'd just hand-key them.
CompanyName ADM Address 123 Anystreet City Brosville ZIP 10010 CompanyName ABC Address 321 Anystreet City Townsville ZIP 10019
Hi all, im new to Reddit, i have been following Vocus very closely for 15 months or so (and posting on another forum as bug1), since i have moved on here i thought it a good opportunity to review my favourite company. I am not a professional, just a normal shareholder with an eye for detail. Vocus is the only stock i own (which i know makes it a bad portfolio). VOCUS Vocus is an Australian Integrated Telco, it is the result of a series of mergers between Vocus, Amcom, M2, Nextgen networks and others. Well known consumer brands include Dodo and iPrimus, but has more significant earnings from Enterprise and Wholesale. It has had a difficult 18 months, a couple of earnings downgrades and now a class action pending against it as a result (the company is insured from any resulting loss). Initially, integration problems where blamed for the earning miss, and have more recently described as a failure of scale up skills of key personnel as the business grew. There have been dramatic changes to key personal, with an attempted coup resulting in two resignations in October 2016. Positive changes include Michael Simmons stepping down from the board to run Enterprise and Wholesale, the appointment of Mark Wratten as CFO, and Bob Mansfield joining the board. Shortly afters its low point of $2.20, a non-binding buyout proposal put to the board by private equity (indicative bid $3.50), the books where opened for six weeks, until the bid was rejected (just prior to the AGM) with rumours saying the starting point would have had to be $3.80, and suitors not willing to budge. The annual report revealed a massive writedown of goodwill, and book value now standing at $3.80 The company has been through an intense period of introspection, have opened their books, and have detailed public reporting, at its lows there was a lot of doom and gloom. I dont see any indication of bad news lurking in the shadows, but also expect the company will have to prove it with results before the market will believe it. Vocus is still in a transition period, with them chasing $90m annual cost-out by 2020, which is significant considering expected FY18 NPAT is $140 to $150m, however there is much scepticism as to if it will be achieved. I believe the market is overly caution due to previous troubles, and the SP wont see its full value until management have demonstrated it can achieve its targets. Important lessons have been learnt, and the clarity and focus resulting from this difficult period will define it for years to come. Business units;
Wholesale & Enterprise (Aus),
New Zealand NOTE: There are plans to sell NZ by end of financial year, so I wont go into details.
Australian Consumer: Dodo (RSP, Energy), iPrimus (RSP)
ASC (under construction): 40Tbps submarine cable connecting Perth-Singapore, branching to Indonesia and Christmas Island, option to connect it to NWCS
NWCS: 20 Tbps submarine cable from Darwin to Port Hedland, Supported by low capacity demands from Oil and Gas industry
PNG+Solomon's: Currently a scoping study for Federal Government to construct cable between PNG, Solomon's and Australia. No information currently available regarding potential benefits to Vocus, but perhaps it might end up being shared capacity with Vocus branching to other places, any of Darwin, Cairns, Brisbane, would be useful, perhaps even Guam to replace TPG’s PPC1.
Assets – Australian Fibre; Australia: 12 fibre pair, construction started 2002 for Nextgen, connecting mainland capitals+Townsville (or cairns?), Darwin connection partly goes via by RBBP. Recently upgraded by 9Tbps to support ASC Capacity to all 151 NBN POI’s, I think a few are via 3rd party fibre, not 100% sure. Assets - NZ: Extensive backhaul throughout NZ Buisness - Consumer Broadband (AU) Vocus is the 4th largest consumer broadband provider, behind Telstra, TPG, and Optus, it grew by 4% last financial year (19k) by company reports. ACCC NBN Quarterly reports show Vocus to be getting around 10% of new orders, and is the only major RSP to have increased its market share every Quarter (perhaps in part due to a slow start).
30 Jun 17
NBN SIO (Company)
NBN SIO (ACCC)
NOTE: the above table excludes other ISP/RSP SIOs, which is 5.6% in NBN ACCC numbers The difference between Company reported numbers and ACCC numbers might be explained by NBN small business customers, if so it shows Vocus has a high proportion of non-consumer NBN customers. TPG telecom grew its consumer SIOs by 4% last financial, however have declined in NBN market share in all but one quarter. Modelling of ACCC-NBN quarterlies based on state and regional breakdowns suggest to me TPG will end up with 21-23% overall market share (inc other). This may not be a concern to them as their mobile ambitions make inner-city broadband customers more valuable to them than regional NBN customers. They may have geographic rather than technological growth targets. Telstra numbers are stubbornly high, but have benefited from the regional NBN rollout, where they have a bundling advantage due to perceived mobile strength. Vocus consumer strategy involves brand differentiation, with Dodo focusing on ‘price seekers’ (cheap plans), with iPrimus focused on ‘value seekers’ (extras like voice, bundles). A majority of SIOs are Dodo customers, with iPrimus recently had a backend upgrade (Genesys+Salesforce) before being relaunched. Dodo is expect to migrate to the new backend in October ‘18. Consumer broadband margins are around $25 per month for ADSL, and $20 for NBN, margins for NBN have dropped from $25, and may still have further to fall. Lower margins are bad for all Telco’s, however they are helping to define two tiers of RSP, those who own their backhaul, and those without. As usage increases, CVC and backhaul costs increase, backhaul is a sunk cost for the top tier RSPs, but an extra cost for smaller RSP. It puts pressure on some RSP’s skimping on CVC as its a controllable cost in the short term. Reduced margin could be helping us strengthen our position from any challengers that emerge from any consolidation of smaller RSP’s, Aussie Broadband perhaps being the leading contender. Having the smallest market share of the big four, and a similar cost structure gives Vocus lots of room to continue to grow market share in the long term, however current growth is not expected to to offset to lower margins from NBN. Consumer EBITDA is forecast to fall 15-20% in FY18. One easily overlooked side-benfit from our NBN presence relates to ASC, when built we will have a pipe from Singapore (which is a major global hub), to every NBN POI, not just perth, which is said to be strong selling point for capacity on ASC. One of Vocus stated goals is “to be the most loved telco”, which is a good ambition, but difficult to achieve, or even measure. One good sign about consumer sentiment came from the 2017 TIO annual report, Vocus and TPM had half the number of complaints per customer as compared to Telstra and Optus. In recent months ACCC have found Telstra, TPG, Optus mislead customers on NBN speeds, particularly 100Mbps plans. Vocus have not been named, but have since dropped 100Mbps plans. Consumer will have a new Chief Executive for FY19, Sandra de Castro (x NAB, AGL), she has a more retail and customer focused background (marketing and strategy plus digital transformation). I think it suits consumer as NBN RSPs become more about the customer experience than technical differentiators. We could potentially see new marketing campaign+direction driving growth. Consumer has a 16% margin, which is a lot lower than its peers, however that is expected close as our peers move to NBN and lose the benefits of their higher ownership of last mile assets. Consumer Mobile Vocus is a MVNO, and uses Optus infrastructure, there are 170k SIOs which isnt many, for comparison Amaysim is the largest MVNO with over 1M SIOs. Recent comments suggest Vocus is unlikely to make any significant investment in mobile in the short term, but perhaps in a few years. Amaysims currently have $10 unlimited plan calls/sms, 1GB data, similarly most RSP’s landline call packs are $10 unlimited, and it seems like that is the new price point for voice, with payment beyond that for data. 5G is a huge thing in mobile circles right now, and there is much debate about how it will unfold in Australia, including talk of ‘mobile price wars’, it will require big investments, with significant increased in numbers of towers, and significant risk for investors. Some will see the lack of mobile infrastructure as a weakness, however Vocus has significant growth paths in other areas, I am happy for them to stay out of the way until the dust settles. Enterprise & Wholesale (and International) Consumer is the public face of Vocus, but Enterprise & Wholesale is its strength, Vocus gets almost half its revenue from Corporate (Enterprise and Wholesale), almost on par with TPG. 30 Jun 17 Corporate Consumer (AU) % TLS 3,800 8,541 30.8% TPG 743 1,741 29.9% Vocus 703 795 46.9%
30 Jun 17
Optus is excluded due to lack of details, they do have significant Corporate earnings, but I believe its mainly focused on wholesale rather than enterprise, with a strong emphasis on mobile e.g MVNOs Its difficult to compare companies based on EBITDA, but Vocus reported margins for Enterprise and Wholesale is 49%, similar to its peers, much higher than its 16% margin for consumer. Vocus and TPG are competitive on price for Enterprise, and both significantly cheaper than Telstra. Telstra and Vocus are two of four companies involved in a NBN Pilot program for its business services, which is expected to help connect small to medium business, small business typically aren't target by E&W due to high cost of deploying fibre, so it should reduce risks and minimise capital expenditure for that demographic. Vocus is particularly strong in Perth as it is Amcoms origin,r ecent focus has been on growing the East coast, with the Q1 update stating sales targets have been met, and 65% of sales on east east Coast. Vocus also has significant Voice products for business, which although its declining market is neglected by Telstra. Telstra dwarfs both TPG and Vocus as far as PP&E goes, but Vocus has almost 50% more PP&E than TPG, and on a per shares basis double TPG, and 1 third more PP&E than TLS.
30 Jun 17
Vocus is yet to fully utilise its assets, and has a low ROIC, the challenge for Vocus in coming years is to increase utilisation of its assets to improve free cashflow. As a generalisation, Vocus is about Fibre, TPG is shifting its focus to mobile, Telstra does both. Upcoming Event: NZ SALE I haven't gone into much detail on Vocus NZ as they are due to be sold by end of financial year, the proceeds used to make the final US$110m payment for ASC, and reduce debt, which stands at $1.03B Financial covenants on leverage are due to drop to 3.0 at end of FY18, with it forecast to be 2.65 at that time, and there has been significant investor concern over debt. It was initially hoped ASC would be paid for by pre-commitments and free cashflow, then by the sale of other ‘non-core’ assets, i.e. Data Centres, however during the takeover proposal, the board reportedly received multiple unsolicited offers for assets. Initial reports stated 16 different parties had expressed an interest, with Vocus expecting $500m+, with its book value being written down to $550m at FY17. Analysts are expecting a lower figure, between $300 and $450m, a good number could surprise the market. Binding offers are due early CY18 Upcoming event: Data Centre sale Data Centres have been stated to be ‘non-core’, and advisers appointed for its sale, one of the reason cited for the sale is an industry expectation that Data Centres be vendor neutral. Vocus is reported as the Number 3 data centre operator in Oceania by Cloudscene, however is composed of a number of smaller centres, without much growth potential, and recent trends in DC favouring larger higher density installations. Early, rough estimates by analysts suggested they could sell for around $160m, however no official earnings have been released for some time, so a lot of guesswork. Since then Metronode DCs recently sold at 20x earnings, however Vocus’s DC are not expected to sell at anywhere near that, Equinix stated one of the reason for their high bid is the potential for expansion. No timeline has been given on the sale of DC’s, it could be that if the NZ sales goes well Vocus will take its time, give it some TLC, and achieve a more respectable result. Upcoming event: ASC ASC is a 40Tbps submarine cable to Singapore due to be completed mid year. A competing cable by Subpartners (Superloop, Telstra, Singtel and others) is due to be completed in Q1 2019, there has been some concern about competition. The current route is served by a 12Tbps SMW3 which is approaching end of service, has become less reliable with a number of recent breakages, and is heavily utilised. ASC is estimated to reduce IRU expenditure by $110m, it should also boost earning from Enterprise and Wholesale by bringing more traffic to our domestic backhaul. Questions, Queries, Concerns ?
2017.06.16 16:44 bellumasterInteractive Education Part 70
FirstPreviousNext Three days had passed since the Ishae and the human had attended the Assembly that removed Paern from service. They had left the day after, Ishae eager to return to her work on the Surface. Shalak had shown them how to use the Show-stone to find other Klorn settlements, and given brief notes on the relationships between clans. Ishae looked over at the human, who was typing something on his dataslate as she drove across the alien terrain. He sent whatever file it was, then tipped over the slate and sighed. He rubbed his hands on his face, a sure sign of either tiredness or some other type of stress. Ishae set the rover to cruise. “What’s bothering you now?” The human crossed his arms and leaned against the control console, staring out into the tan, barren landscape. “I’m still not sure about having all these other teams out here.” “Connor…” she reached over and scratched his head, her fingers running through his strange hair, “It’s necessary. Time is of the essence, and you and I are incapable of visiting every single Klorn settlement within a feasible period of time.” He leaned into her hand- only her reinforced suit kept her arm from being pushed back by the small movement. “I know, it’s just… it’s not safe, you know? Endaern and Jhanae and Faer, maybe they’ll be fine, maybe. And that’s only with their own suits-” “And upgraded weapons,” she reminded him. “-and upgraded weapons, of course. But just because I mash together a few statons to give something a little kick doesn’t mean they’ll know how to use it.” He pulled away from her hand and turned to her. “I’m seriously worried about it, Ishae.” She could tell- his normally stoic expression was burdened by a few extra lines above his eyebrows. The presence of concern in his face for someone other than herself wasn’t something she was used to seeing, and gave her conflicting emotions. The fact that he was concerned, though, gave a clear indication of his stance on her race- they were a people worth caring about. “You’re right to be worried- however, this is part of our growth, and the risk is a part of it. We, as a people, need to step out into this new place, and not everyone is as lucky as I am.” She leaned over and kissed him, placing her hand on the side of his face. “Having someone like you to keep me safe.” His face softened, growing even more vulnerable. “But I can’t keep everyone safe.” Ishae straightened up and turned off the cruise, resuming control over the rover. “That’s not your responsibility, Connor. You’ve done your part, and the Assembly made their decision; don’t try and keep the Klein from reaching out to their neighbors.” He nodded, then closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair. The woreloot shambled over, climbed up his pant leg, then curled up into a purring ball on his lap. Ishae kept driving- hours passed as she piloted the metal monster across the flat desert towards the estimated coordinates. Six teams aside from Ishae and the human had been dispatched to assist in the contact protocol in the past two days. Modified versions of William, their Surface Exploration Rover, had been printed by Specialists in the Transport Technologies field. They’d marveled at the prototype Connor had cobbled together before adjusting the design for Klein sensibilities- different weight distribution to discourage rolling, a much lighter chassis, streamlined form, and a much lower speed capability. The six teams were comprised of a Surface Specialist, an Autor, and volunteer students and civilians. Again, the human’s Survey Suit design was taken and slightly reworked to cater to the more refined requirements of the Klein; Ishae still wore her original suit, but now she had an extra as well. After she had briefed the Assembly on their progress, they had quickly pieced together a new branch of Surface study- the Deep Field Division, of which Ishae, as the first and most experienced member, was the head. Teams had been chosen, information shared, and equipment crafted for the new members of the Deep Field division- each profile was approved or turned away by Ishae, with personal traits of curiosity and caution being preferred. She looked over at her human, who was absently stroking Lady Lorelai. Ishae scrunched up her face- she still couldn’t properly pronounce that name. In addition to each new member of the Division reading the entirety of their daily reports, Connor had gone out of his way to draw up a series of safety protocols- it didn’t seem like something he would do, with his abject disregard for anything remotely regarding self preservation, but he seemed to have taken the creation of the new teams as a personal responsibility. Her eyes locked on to the display to her left- at least another hour of driving. After learning to use the Show-stone, Ishae had logged the general coordinates of every major settlement she could find. The resulting number was divided among the teams and set into a series of routes to be traveled and mapped in the most efficient fashion for data recollection. Ishae tapped at the slate on the ground beside her- she could call up any one of them to talk, but there would be no point in that. They knew their assignments and the dangers that lay in store on the surface. Instead, she looked out the viewport at the wild land in front of her. Different from the Dead Zone’s stony emptiness, different from the Rock-Kal’s colossal stone fortress, the piece of the planet she now traveled was completely and utterly barren. Yellow sand swept in swathes across cracked plates of salt, the horizon dividing the world between intense blue and pale orange. The sheer flatness jarred her, not a single stone or hill in sight; only distant, faded white mountains. The clouds above swept by with unimaginable speed- she could pick out a formation and watch it warp and join with another in a matter of minutes. The entire sky seemed to be a blanket that was being pulled across the dome of the world- Ishae felt an acute sense of vertigo, as if she would fall over in the current of air and be swept away. Her breath came faster; the rover seemed to be pulling to the right, but the instruments said that it was on course. Ishae blinked several times, trying to shake the feeling, but it did no good. The murky clouds started to spin, and she was pulled along with them. Ishae hit the floor with a thud, her eyes rolled back in her head, sense of balance completely shot. “Ishae! Ishae, what happened?” The human- he held her, helped her up. She tried to stand on her own, but her legs crumbled beneath her and she fell again- this time into his arms. Everything was blurry, lacking definition, intense visual confusion. She felt something bump into her hands- something round; it had a hole in the end- “-put it on! Ah, careful, careful…” Some noise from outside, from the human. Why? She felt something lock into place around her head and started to thrash, but sudden clarity took hold of her. The helmet filtered out the aggravating visual noise, giving her a clear view of what was in front of them. Ishae pawed at the helmet, re-seating it around her frills. Her eyes returned to normal, and her balance started to come back to her. “What happened? Ishae, what happened? Are you all right?” the human held her, eyes wide, voice loud. He smelled so nice. She shook her head- her sense had returned as quickly as they had been interrupted. What in Klen’s name had that been? She finally caught her breath, only for it to be pulled away again. She pointed out the viewport. “What is that?” The human turned around to look. An inconceivably large portion of the sky to their right had begun to spin. Relatively small sections of a few hundred square kilometers were affected, spinning the opposite direction. A cone of cloud, streaked with wild colors of purple and white, drew itself down towards the flat plain. Connor set her in her seat, taking the controls. “Not good. Very not good.” Ishae marveled at the sight- tendrils of cloud were flowing down to touch the flats around the giant cone, which was beginning to thin out. The empty yellow plains, the boiling sky, and the mighty fingers of intangible, swirling energy painted a visage unlike any she had seen before. “…It’s beautiful,” she breathed. The human activated six wheel drive and set the acceleration inhibitor to zero. “It’s dangerous, is what it is. Remember your weather patterns class? Tell me what that is.” The rover careened to the left, nearly pulling Ishae out of her seat- she buckled in as best she could while trying to keep an eye on the wildly swirling celestial event. Spinning air, caused by differing temperatures in the atmosphere- whirlwind? Hurricanes? She couldn’t tell exactly which type this was, but the massive cone was nearing the ground. A hum started to shake the rover, and Ishae felt the vehicle become slightly lighter, seemingly skipping across the surface of the flats. “Get back down here!” The human wrenched the steering column to the left, leaving the weather pattern behind them. Ishae gaped at the horizon. Hundreds of tendrils snaked across the plain, weaving erratic paths about the previously empty sky. They crashed into each other in deafening silence, some dissipating, some joining. Something flashed in the sky, illuminating the ghostly outline of the monstrous column behind them; white specks appeared in the sky, flung by their founders across the empty air before falling to the barren land. One smashed into their viewport, lodging itself between the armor plates. Ishae leaned forward; it was white, the size of her fist, and leaked water down the viewport- her eyes widened with recognition. “The white stones… they were water? How could water-” William pulled to the side towards one of the twisters before being yanked back on course. The human’s eyes were wide, not with concern this time, but determination. His crudely muscled forearms strained at the steering column, pulling against the rushing winds that surrounded them. The hum grew louder. Ishae gripped tightly at her seat, double checking her harness. “Will we be all right?” “Usually I’d say yes.” A new twister slammed down in front of them- Connor turned into the winds of another to help pull them away. “But I’m not so sure.” The rover banked around the undulating columns, utilizing the wind pull of one to avoid another. They moved erratically; Connor slammed on the lateral allowance as one came directly towards them from the left. He turned sharply and the rover skidded sideways, picked up speed and tore around it. The woreloot rolled back and forth in the cab, curled up in a ball; it bounced about off the floors and walls before stopping under her seat. Ishae strained downwards, grabbed the creature and pulled it up to her lap, where she wrapped her arms around it. It was terrifying, and it was magnificent. The winds pulled at the rover, but the human wouldn’t give up, wouldn’t allow them to slow down and stop. He slalomed about the twisters, speeding for a clear area just a few kilometers away. Dust swallowed them, covering the viewports and cameras; Connor snapped on the thermal radar and kept driving, but Ishae could see that he was worried, frightened even. They made it past two twisters when the dust died down, allowing them a moment of clarity. Directly in front of them was a whirling mass of dust. It pulled on them with unimaginable power, dwarfing the efforts of the human’s indomitable little rover. He switched it to reverse and nearly broke the accelerator, but the rover slowly began to rotate around the twister, leaving a furrow of dirt. Ishae looked over at the human, and he looked back at her. For the first time since she’d met him, he was powerless. The rover was dragged halfway around the twister, and now faced a slowly approaching wall of energy. What had been the first mighty cone to descend from the atmosphere was now a rippling tube of sheer power, at least six times the diameter of the others they had been dodging. Purple and white streaked around it, tinted with yellow from the flats below. The tornado, if it could be called that, utterly eclipsed the power of the one they were held in now. Ishae held tightly to the woreloot, which mewed in protest. She didn’t know what to do; there was no possible course of action. Her human looked at her, with his deep, green eyes and funny black hair; he took his hands off the steering column and reached over to her, his hand resting on her helmet. He looked sad. “I lov-” The twister was consumed by the leviathan, the rover torn from its grasp and sent through the air. Ishae could see the ground beneath them, a blur of color in front of the viewport. How pretty. Her body jerked back and forth in the harness as the rover descended from its flight. There was no longer an up or down, only a vague memory of safety. After what seemed to be an eternity of rolling, William came to rest on its wheels, but the ground rose around them. The blood rushed to Ishae’s head again, and she blacked out. Author’s Note: I had a lovely week off- hitchhiked about 2,000 km up the coast of Australia to Townsville- good stuff. I cannot absolutely promise daily updates at this point, as I may not always have access to the internet, but I will try. Now, however, we are back to a much more action-centric part of the story, Part 3. Linking my Patreon, where you can donate to get access to chapters as soon as they're written instead of waiting, as well as get in on the art I do. I hope to do this sort of thing full time someday. FirstPreviousNext
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