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One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results

Milton Friedman

About time I hear you say!🙂

Yes I’ve just rewritten a post on functional failure taxonomies to include how to use them to gauge the completeness of your analysis. This came out of a question I was asked in a workshop that went something like, ‘Ok mr big-shot consultant tell us, exactly how do we validate that our analysis is complete?’. That’s actually a fair question, standards like EUROCONTROL’s SAM Handbook and ARP 4761 tell you you ought to, but are not that helpful in the how to do it department. Hence this post.

Using a taxonomy to determine the coverage of the analysis is one approach to determining completeness. The other is to perform at least two analyses using different techniques and then compare the overlap of hazards using a capture/recapture technique. If there’s a high degree of overlap you can be confident there’s only a small hidden population of hazards as yet unidentified. If there’s a very low overlap, you may have a problem.

Apparently 2 million Australians trying to use the one ABS website because they’re convinced the government will fine them if they don’t is the freshly minted definition of “Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS)” attack.🙂

Alternative theory, who would have thought that foreign nationals (oh all right, we all know it’s the Chinese*) might try to disrupt the census in revenge for those drug cheat comments at the Olympics?

Interesting times. I hope the AEC is taking notes for their next go at electronic voting



09/08/2016 — 3 Comments

Currently enjoying watching the ABS Census website burn to the ground. Ah schadenfreude, how sweet you are. 

Census time again, and those practical jokers at the Australian Bureau of Statistics have managed to spring a beauty on the Australian public. The  joke being that, rather than collecting the data anonymously you are now required to fill in your name and address which the ABS will retain (1). This is a bad idea, in fact it’s a very bad idea, not quite as bad as say getting stuck in a never ending land war in the Middle East, but certainly much worse than experiments in online voting. Continue Reading…

Inertia has a thousand fathers…

Matthew Squair


Vale Challenger

The anniversary of the loss of Challenger passed by on thursday. In memorium, I’ve updated my post that deals with the failure of communication that I think lies at the heart of that disaster.