Thursday, December 30, 2004

Overworked doctors

Should a doctor working in a public hospital be liable for injury caused due to fatigue?
In Queensland, Australia, the answer is yes. The Health Practitioners Tribunal found that "the Health Practitioners (Professional Standards) Act 1999 which prevented the board from taking into account Dr Doneman’s relative inexperience, the long shift and a culture at Caloundra Hospital of not admitting children for observation."

The doctor was working in his 20th hour of a 24 hour shift.

I'll blog more about this later. Doctors who are migrating to Australia should be aware that under existing Commonwealth laws, they will not be able to work in metropolitan areas as GPs for 10 years. The only options available are to work in the hospital doing horrid hours, or to work in the bush. Those who are contemplating migrating in the near future and who need this information right away can email me on

Sunday, December 26, 2004

I'd rather flip burgers

Grandparents looking after grandchild so that parents can earn money and pay taxes can claim a grand sum of 47 cents per hour. (This is pretax earnings). The marginal tax rates for people on income support is around 20% in Australia.

I used to think the lawmakers still live in the 50s. Now I know they do.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Legal Privilege no protection for James Hardie

When laws and ethics intersect, there are some days when ethics wins.

Lawyers should give legal advise that include the possibility that the Government may make legal things illegal.

In one of the debates on ABC radio, it was suggested that the corporate veil be lifted on James Hardie, exposing the shareholders to the liability directly.

Yahoo news: James Hardie laws pass first hurdle. The parliament passed a law that laws ASIC to access legally privilieged documents relating to James Hardie.

Parliament Bills: James Hardie (Investigations and Proceedings) Bill 2004.

Thursday, December 02, 2004 Daily Dispatch (opinion) - KazaaGate Day 1

There is a trial in the Sydney Federal Court which is being intensely watched in the US by the computing community.

The issue at hand is: Sharman Networks has beeing distributing a piece of software that allows users to share their files with one another. This widely used software has been used to share, among other files, music which has been ripped from CDs. The Australian Records Industry Association (ARIA) is bringing a suit against Sharman Networks (more exact details when I find out), basically to stop this piece of software from infringing on copyrighted works.

Copyrighted works aside, there are quite a few legitimate applications that could run on a file-sharing network.

a) File backup
b) Sharing work documents (like a network drive)
c) Medium for small software companies to distribute "shareware"
d) Medium for unknown artists so that their works can be sampled. (see the Creative Commons License)
e) Political messages

It would be a blow to the smaller technical community if this type of software is ruled illegal, just because a lot people are doing illegal things with it.

Australian PC magazine maintains a daily blog about the trial progress. However, it is not legal reporting, and readers may find the tone rather flippant. Please email me if you find other sources.