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John Thomas
Works at DET/DEECD
Attended Marian College, Ararat
Lives in Victoria, Australia
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John Thomas

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St Kilda Gets a Makeover

IMO, Melbourne's bayside is one of the (many) great places to live in the world. Good to see some new investment to keep to so.
 
Great to see the revitalization of St Kilda being taken so seriously. 
ST KILDA is set for a makeover amid concerns that parts of the popular seaside suburb are in decline.
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John Thomas

General Discussion  - 
 
Is Data Driven Production & Marketing Hurting Music?

This fascinating piece, by +Derek Thompson from The Atlantic, explores the impact of technological change on our tastes in music and on music itself. 

Record companies can now track download and search data to predict which new songs will become popular well before they become hits. 

Successful hits are being mimicked by other performers, and it's a recipe that seems to work, whilst also reducing the variety of music we hear.

A 2012 examination of 464,411 popular recordings around the world between 1955 and 2010 concluded that pop was growing increasingly bland, loud, and predictable, recycling the same few chord progressions over and over. It seems we humans prefer the familiar to the unfamiliar.

In what is clearly a hit driven business, the top 1 percent of bands and solo artists now earn 77 percent of all revenue from recorded music.
In 2000, a Stanford Ph.D. named Avery Wang co-founded, with a couple of business-school graduates, a tech start-up called Shazam. Their idea was to develop a service that could identify any song within a few seconds, using only a cellphone, even in a crowded bar or coffee shop. At first, Wang, who had studied audio analysis and was responsible for building the software, feared it might be an impossible task. No technology existed that could disti...
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John Thomas

Australian Politics Discussion  - 
 
Doctors & Medics Protest Against Border Force Act

“If someone is not in detention and a child is being abused, you’ll go to jail if you don’t report it. But if someone is in detention and you report it, you could go to jail. It defies logic." (Dr James Genge)
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SumOfUs has a petition going, if you feel the need to do something.
http://action.sumofus.org/a/stop-child-abuse/
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Open letter on the Border Force Act: 'We challenge the department to prosecute'
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Why is the best political commentary satirical?

In Australia I suspect it's because biting irony, such as in this piece from New Matilda, is the only thing that keeps coverage of the sorry state of Australian politics and the nation's depressingly parochial and ill-informed popular sentiment bearable. In the US the likes of Jon Stewart and Jon Oliver are masters of insightful satire, and it seems that many Australians are now deciding that it's better to laugh than cry too.
Turns out that inside every storm in every teacup lies a cloud with a silver lining. I am, of course, referring to yesterday’s news that Kevin Andrews, the Minister for Obedient Hair and Defence, announced that he would be boycotting the ABC’s favourite faux left-wing program, Q&A. “I was asked to go on next Monday evening and I said that I wouldn’t. I thought I should take a stand in this instance,” Andrews told media. I think I speak on behalf ...
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John Thomas

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Unexpected view ...

... of our neighbours' courtyard from the third floor of our apartment near Montmartre - striking architecture and a quiet courtyard in a busy part of Paris.
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Today's breakfast in Johor Bahru

A well brewed cup of tea with unsweetened evaporated milk, a soft boiled egg and some kaya toast - hard to beat.
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+John Thomas This sounds very similar to a form of coffee that one of my Vietnamese co-workers makes.
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John Thomas

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Want to do good? Then go earn lots of money!

That's one of the initially paradoxical messages of the Effective Altruism movement. This interesting piece by +Joseph D'Urso looks at some of the young people in the movement and some of the interesting career choices they've made. When you think about it, if you are lucky enough to be a person capable of earning a lot of money, then it's hard to imagine a better way to do good than to go and earn the big money so that you can give lots of it away.
By Joseph D'Urso LONDON, July 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Investment banking doesn't rank highly on most people's lists of ethical career choices, but ...
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+John Thomas

Lets think about this. 

Mathematics is objective. We can derive clear black and white answers. The questions of what is "fair" and what is not are not quite so clear cut though. What's more- while the laws of mathematics exist outside of ourselves it seems to me that you are still trying to say that human beings are the arbiters of the moral laws. 

The type of utilitarianism that you are proposing here has been accused of being the "morality of pigs" in that the ideal world as your ethical framework would envision it would be one where human beings hooked up to machines continuously experience pleasurable stimulation in their brains at a level akin to a constant heroin high or an orgasm. But surely you would agree that such a world filled with bodies writing in chairs, incapable of anything beyond the fulfilling of their most carnal pleasures is something more akin to a dystopia than a utopia. 

"Reason tells us that other creatures have mental lives just like we do and that they value pleasure over pain."

Sure.

"Reason helps us understand that, from an objective standpoint, we have no right to privilege our own mental lives over the mental lives of others."

How does reason suggest that in any way, shape, or form? Reason is a tool, but it does not intrinsically point towards the good as you are suggesting here. 

"but that doesn’t mean that these different conclusions are equally valid or equally reasonable."

I disagree. By what means does dispassionate reason point towards any moral reality being less reasonable than any other? 

"Hiding Jews in your basement is a little like visiting the dentist. It’s not pleasurable, but it’s the reasonable and, in this case, ethical thing to do."

How is it like visiting the dentist? How is it reasonable? Risking your own self-preservation seems extremely unreasonable. You need to establish some kind of long term benefit in order to say that such an act can be morally justified. I don't think that any such exists, and even if it did- the risk would still not justify it. What if none exists? You would have to conclude that hiding jews is unethical because it has more potential to risk loss of pleasure rather than creating pleasure. But here I'm tempted to say that this is where morality reveals itself to be more than simply pleasure. 

This might be interesting to you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryA8PafooQ4
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John Thomas

Samsung  - 
 
Samsung v Apple Patent Battle Update

Samsung finds powerful friends in its patent battle with Apple.
Is Samsung doing what Britishers did to their colonies when it used to be a real power ? Seems that way. In the ever-continuing lawsuit between Samsung and Apple over allegations by the latter on f...
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Glad to see support from the tech sector against this bad business practice. Many others in the CE industry have been calling for patent reform. Without naming crApple, these individuals have noted (correctly so) that patent trolling hurts innovation. Even the threat of litigation is enough to stop newcomers from creating innovative products that might cause a massive well funded lawsuit against them. Props to the good guys!
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John Thomas

Australian Politics Discussion  - 
 
Europe on Refugees

Perhaps with different political leadership Australia might have tried something similar to Europe's more humane approach. 
New data shows that Europe’s new plans to stop refugees and migrants drowning in the Mediterranean are making a huge difference. Find out what’s changed, and about the challenge that now lies ahead.
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The Old City of Dubrovnik - what a photogenic city!

Couldn't stop taking photos! Here's a small sample from our family excursion to Croatia.

Amazing to think that this historic and beautiful place came under direct bombardment from Slobodan Milošević's Yugoslav Army offensive in 1991. Public relations wasn't one of Milošević's strengths, and the bombardment of this UNESCO World Heritage Site helped solidify international support for Croatia's independence.
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Looks like a Roman Galley could nip around the corner of the harbor at any moment.
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John Thomas

Australian Politics Discussion  - 
 
Means testing public education!?

Could such damaging possibilities really be considered by Australia's Coalition Government!? 
The Federal Opposition hits out at a reported Government proposal to make some parents pay to send their children to public schools.
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Good! Choosing to become a parent is a personal lifestyle choice and the parents should pay for not only their kids education but child care and everything else they want or need! The bloody middle class are tax neutral due to all the tax breaks they receive for child care, school fee assistance etc. and single parents just suck the life out of everyone and the rich have all their personal assets & needs covered by company titles etc. the only people actually paying any tax are the single people with no avenue to right off or hide wealth.
With that this country is broke with no chance of a "come back" actually it's always been a poor nation as the only time the nation has been in the green was following the sell off of all assets, thanks Howie and co.
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Work
Employment
  • DET/DEECD
    Teacher, Consultant, Professional Developer, 2009 - present
  • DWA Australia Pty Ltd
    Founder & Sole Director, 2007 - present
  • Easy2Learn Pty Ltd
    Founder & Managing Director, 2000 - 2006
  • Dataworks International Ltd
    Founder & Managing Director, 1997 - 2001
  • Dataworks Australia Pty Ltd
    Founder & Managing Director, 1990 - 2007
  • CP Softime
    Manager, 1989 - 1990
  • Dataworks
    Partner, 1985 - 1990
  • Dept of Ed/Ministry of Ed
    Teacher, 1977 - 1989
Places
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Currently
Victoria, Australia
Story
Tagline
Australian elearning pioneer - part entrepreneur, part teacher & part geek. Google Certified Teacher.
Introduction
Australian elearning pioneer, teacher and entrepreneur. Founded Dataworks in 1985 - a company which grew to become Australia’s leading curriculum software publisher. Brought Australia’s best loved children’s characters to interactive format including The Wiggles, Bananas in Pyjamas, Hi-5, Play School and others. These award winning titles broke local sales records and were licensed for resale in more than 50 countries worldwide. Sold business in 2007 and moved to Victoria's Central Highlands. Focused on helping teachers, students and school communities make the most of the transformative potential of new technologies.
Education
  • Marian College, Ararat
    HSC
  • University of Ballarat
    Diploma of Teaching
  • Monash University, Clayton
    Bachelor of Arts - Philosophy
  • Monash University, Clayton
    Master of Educational Studies - Educational Computing
Basic Information
Gender
Male
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Married
John Thomas's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
rentalcars.com
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SchoolMate – Android Apps on Google Play
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Want to find out more about what your child is learning at school in each subject at each year level? Need practical tips about what you can

The trader who donates half his pay
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Mr Matt Wage was a brilliant, earnest student at Princeton University, a star of the classroom and a deep thinker about his own ethical obli

Oh... Jon O ~ Bronze Age Shepherd
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For John Omoluabi. This is a dissection of the article you had linked : http://www.christianitytoday.com/ how i almost lost bible perhaps it

Grasping a Hot Coal
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"Olive Branches" - in my meditation garden - The other day I listened to an NPR interview with a woman whose policeman husband was recently

Can Liberalism Be Saved From Itself? : Sam Harris
www.samharris.org

Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Lands

All Video Downloader
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Want to download any video All Video Downloader is your app.All Video Downloader is the best app to download videos online from Internet to

Frozen Song Lyrics
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Fan-made interface for viewing lyrics from every song of the hit Disney(TM) movie Frozen, grab your phone and sing along!Frozen Heart Do You

MX Player
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MX Player - The best way to enjoy your movies. a) HARDWARE ACCELERATION - Hardware acceleration can be applied to more videos with the help

Pascoe Vale Primary School
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The ability to make the header different on the first page is necessary ...
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Categories: Docs : Report an issue : Desktop (specify browser/OS) : The ability to make the header different on the first page is necessary

CamScanner -Phone PDF Creator
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Gestão Inteligente de DocumentosCamScanner é uma solução de Gestão inteligente de documentos para pessoas, pequenos empresários, organizaçõe

Google Quantum A.I. Lab Team
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News and updates from the Quantum A.I. Lab's corner of the multiverse

Putting Time In Perspective
www.waitbutwhy.com

Humans are good at a lot of things, but putting time in perspective is not one of them. It's not our fault—the spans of time in human histor

The 5 stages of climate denial are on display ahead of the IPCC report
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Dana Nuccitelli: Climate contrarians appear to be running damage control in the media before the next IPCC report is published

Camtasia Studio
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Easily superimpose yourself into your videos and make it appear as though you're inside of your presentation, floating through outer space,

Google Politics & Elections
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Google Politics & Elections. Your elections hub to study, watch, discuss, participate in and make your impact on the digital campaign trail.

Utter! gets a massive update with Moto X-like access to Google Now and more
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Utter! is one of the best voice command/voice assistants available on Android, and it was our top pick for the app that could give you the M

Great family fun, especially for those with kids aged 4 to 15.
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