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Tue, 07 Jun 2005

Lack of transparency in Government opens up big problems. - 18:26
There was mention this morning on BoingBoing about judges in Florida tossing out DUI cases when defendants ask to see the source code of the breathalysers that read the amount of Alcohol present in their system. I find this fascinating.

The companies that manufacture the breathalysers do not want to release their internal implementation details to anyone, and thus because there is absolutely no proof or independent audit here of how these things really work the case has to be thrown out of court.

When I was talking to Mikal about this I suggested that due to the fact I do not drink often or much I personally would not be exploiting this specific style of loophole, however I thought it opened up a whole lot of things to wonder about the legal process, Police implementation of technology and the transparency of such. Think about speed cameras and speed radars, I imagine the Police have some testing framework for Radars and some other devices, but how extensive is it? How much can it be trusted? Mikal mentioned a case in Victoria where lots of speeding fines had to be ignored due to a problem with a speed camera.

Some googling found this The Age article about this case, they found a number of cameras were faulty and withheld infringement notices from those cameras for a while. Mikal mentioned it took an ACA story about some Datsun 180B unable to to get over 80KMh on a race track with a race driver that had been booked by the cameras at 120KMh to get some sort of response on the issue.

Now I would suggest against going out and trying to get a speeding ticket from a speed camera simply to test the "show me the source" argument in court, but it does make you wonder what processes of government really should be more open and transparent. I do not hold out much hope in the short term that the general public will understand the need for this though, the ACT Voting system, which had been released as a completely open system has since been placed under a more closed form of source distribution with the source code no longer under a fully public licence and less transparent to the public. Sure the actual release of evacs used in any given election undergoes a full audit process and that audited release is frozen for that election, however the whole process is far more hidden and there was not much public outcry in ACT or Australia about this change.

It also makes you wonder, in what ways can you possibly convince the general public to push for a more open and transparent government, one is to convince them it would be in their benefit, if under Australian law a DUI or speeding fine could be avoided without full transparency it may for example push the process toward that goal along if people exploited that.

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Moonride 12 Hour in Rotorua - 12:22
Okay so this is somewhat delayed, I posted before heading to New Zealand about competing in the Moonride 12 Hour Mountain Bike race in Rotorua and my trip to NZ. I still have not put my photos online, however I did write up some experiences from the race a few days later in Taupo and send them out in an email. So with the idea of easy cut and paste diary entries, here is most of the text from my race report on the Moonride 12 Hour race I competed in on May 14th.

Sitting in an internet cafe in Taupo right now so no photos or online report, just something quick.

As a bunch of you know I competed in the Moonride 12 hour as a solo entrant on Saturday. Heidi was there in a team of 5 too. A friend of Heidi's, Lisa Morgan, also rode solo and kicked my heiney.

The course was 9.1 KM (if you include the loop through the 12 hour camp area all 12 hour racers had to do), mostly rather sweet flowing single track, a bit of flat fire road you could really open up (35KMh or so) if you were so inclined. Around 2000 people were there for the weekend (there was a 24 hour race and a 12 hour race on at the same time), like the Mont in .au this is the oldest 24 hour and 12 hour mtb race in NZ I think.

10am start and 10pm finish. I got my entry from the organisers as the bell sounded for the start, I ran back to the tent, grabbed my camel back and waited for the entire field to go past before hopping on the back.

First time through the course was slow as was expected, but I subsequently did another 2 laps in a row after that and it opened up a lot. They had an automatic timer sensor thing and a tag we all wore on our ankles that made it register as we rode over the mats. The wife of the event organiser Murray had told me to attach it to my frame and I do not think it registered for the second two laps, and maybe not the first (was in a big crowd at the time), I eventually attached it to my ankle and kept that ankle down every time I rode over the mats and it worked from then. Teams only had one tag so they did not have individual lap times recorded.

I met up with the guy who handles the timing for this and the NZ national series and he worlds stuff next year and rode with him yesterday and today so I was able to talk to him about all the timing stuff and Russ and I will probably converse with him on some of the timing stuff a bit.

The course was fun, but I have to say it was not brilliant, it got more fun as the day wore on, my last few laps, in the dark, were the best.

One of the fun laps was about lap 12, Heidi headed out on the track at the same time, so I told my body not to cramp and upped the pace from solo pace to race pace. We did a sub 30 minute lap together, which was my fastest lap of the day by a few minutes. All in the dark. I complained Heidi was making me ride fast and that it hurt, she said I should not whine as I was the one in front of her for the entire lap setting the silly fast pace.

Anyway I completed 14 laps in the end, 135 KM or so, Lisa completed 16 laps (she did not stop all day, I (because I am soft) stopped a fair bit) (2005-06-07, interestingly, I have looked at the results since returning to Australia, the timing systems have us both on 15 and 17 laps respectively, I suspect this is because it recorded our crossing the timing mats on the first mini loop through and included this in the lap count, also this means it obviously did record all my laps even though I did not hear the buzzer on two occasions)

The winner of the 24 hour solo, Andy Rhodes (the guy who did the Naked lap at the World Solos in Whistler) did 43 laps. I forget the other details but photos (I was race number 76 AFAIR) and results will probably appear in the next few days on

We stayed in Rotorua for another day and a half, and rode more on Sunday and today. The trails we got to ride out of the race were incredible, they blew the ones in the race away. Although there were some sweet sections (long sections with lots of berms you can do in the big ring) in the race, there was nothing as cool as "Be Rude Not To" or "A Trail" in the race. Heidi mentioned a 24 hour race she did with Lisa up here last year (N-Duro or something) included those tracks and a bunch of other fun stuff. I would highly recommend competing in that 24 hour and am somewhat tempted myself.

I am now in Taupo for the night, planning to ride the Craters of the Moon pack tomorrow morning and try for Tree Trunk Gorge tomorrow arvo.

More fun to be had the rest of the week.

Update: Posting this today on 2005-06-07, of note, the results are available online now, as are some photos. Looking at the 2005 Cateye Moonride at Marathon Photos will allow you to search for them, or currently the Moonride website has a page with the Moonride Photos embedded. You can find my photos searching for "Hanley" or 76. Lisa's photos are "Morgan" or 96. Heidi's team is team 420 (Tumeke Tribe) on 24 laps.

The other cool news, in relation to the N-Duro races, I had a look at the website and discovered the 24 Hour race is actually on in February, on the 4th and 5th next year. I will be over at 2006 next year from Jan 23rd to Jan 28th, so I will hang around for a week or two in New Zealand and will be able to compete in the N-Duro 24 Hour on some of the incredibly cool tracks there. Lets just hope I can convince a few friends to do the race in a team too, should be a hoot to get an Australian team over there for it. Mikey will hopefully also be at, and may be interested in the N-Duro race the next weekend.

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Broken Seat Post Bolt - 07:52

An imaginative solution someone else thought up.
Out on the road bike this morning, I did a Black Mountain climb at 6am, caught up with Rob and Penny at the top and had a chat with them for a bit. From the bottom I headed off toward Scrivner to meet others for the Tuesday morning loop we do during winter. James caught up with me on the way, Crash and Terry were at the dam when we arrived. All morning, and yesterday, while riding the road bike I had the feeling the saddle was a little bit low.

This may have been due to having the saddle height reasonably high on the steel mtb. Anyway I thought I would try putting it up half a centimetre when I got to the dam. I did this and as I was tightening the bolt again when I herd a snap, I had snapped the seat clamp bolt. Alas I did not have my Topeak chain breaker with me so I was unable to try the rather imaginative bodge job as pictured in the photo on the left. Anyway I am at the pickle having coffee with the others who got to finish the ride now, I rode home,swapped bikes and will take the road bike into the shop later today to get a new bolt for the road bike so it will be ready to go out tomorrow morning.

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