Moving domains

I've been offered a sizable chunk of cash for my domain, so everything's going to be moving. If you go to my site now, it should be redirecting. Once the domain transfers, those redirects will stop happening. Email should forward but I don't really have any recourse if that breaks, so update your emails. You'll also need to ping me again on gtalk if you want to connect.

New address is

Labor, what's with the kid gloves?

The Australian Labor Party needs to grow a pair and get serious here. This is a political party whose internal bastardry is legendary, yet they can't seem to use the same kind of RealPolitik tactics outside.

The largest newspaper publisher in the country is openly hostile to them, yet they continue to talk to News Corp journalists expecting to get a fair run. They should simply refuse to speak to them, answer their questions, take their calls.

A group of mining billionaires spends millions on a campaign that brings down the party's leader and drags polls down to appalling levels. Does the party add them to a shitlist of people who never get a thing from the government in future? Nope, instead it changes immigration rules to suit the oligarchs. Does it think Clive, Twiggy and Gina are suddenly going to start supporting them?

I'm gobsmacked at how gutless these guys are, and how they're unwilling to use the same tactics the Tories are using against them. Tactics they're all familiar with from student politics and factional battles. It's just bizarre.

Who are Doctors for the Family? Let's crowdsource it!

Last Sunday, Mother's Day no less, an organisation calling itself Doctors for the Family had their submission to the Senate Committee on Marriage Equality published with all kinds of unsubstantiated claims about gay marriage harming children. Using their clinical qualifications to justify this kind of bigotry is pretty slimy.

I think it's pretty important that any doctors working on me or my family's health base their clinical decisions on evidence and not superstition. So I've taken the list of signatories to the submission and started digging out contact details for them. There's a fair chunk of overlap with another very similar pop-up organisation, Medicine with Morality, and their submission to a Legislative Review of Human Cloning law. That's a good starting point.

Interestingly the previous submission included addresses, but this current one hides them. I think if you're going to use your professional qualifications to justify bigotry and superstition, you need to stand behind that with your full professional identification.

What I need is your help to trawl through, then double-check, the full list. Already we've discovered that one of the doctors on the list works at my family's medical practice. Scary.

To get involved, jump on Google Docs and request edit access, then start looking up details. Try to be pretty certain you've got the right doctor. Some of the East Asian names are pretty common and so we can't be too certain, so best to leave them unless you have some corroborating evidence. To be clear, we're after the professional address of these doctors, not any private address details. The aim here is to allow people to make an informed choice of doctor.

Once complete, I'll publish the full list and knock up some visualisations to map where these doctors are and definitively answer the question: Who are Doctors for the Family?

I'm a convert to recruitment screen questions

I'm currently recruiting for a position in my team and the company uses one of those hideous Web 1.0 HR systems. One of its features is to set screening questions that you can use to rule out candidates who aren't worth wasting your time over. Because I'm distrustful of automation in such a human process, I set all my questions to optional so that none of the candidates is automatically screened out. However seeing some of the answers come in, I think next time I might raise the bar a little.

The position is for a data analyst who can primarily build automated reports and dashboards. I've had a few candidates apply with answers like this:
1. Rate your experience building automatically-updating dashboards in Excel.


X Minimal

2. Have you used any web analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Omniture or WebTrends?

X No

3. Have you used any visualisation tools like Tableau or Spotfire?

X No

4. Rate your experience with SQL


X Minimal

5. Describe your experience with an online marketing campaign and the insights that you provided?

I now see that I don't even need to open the CV attached to these applications. If you haven't got anything I've asked for, why bother applying?

Driving for data nerds

For our shiny new car, I bought a device that allows you to read data from the car's internal data bus over Bluetooth to my phone. $21 from Hong Kong. You plug the thing in and pair it with your phone, then find an app to read and display the data. I chose Torque for my Android phone.

Right away, you've got an amazing set of data about what's going on inside your car. Incredible how much data they generate, really. While I'm not a car nerd, I do appreciate an interesting data set.