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ANZ bank are bastards

it’s me waiting at ANZ, one of the times they insisted the branch could fix this, so I waited there for 6 hours. twice.

Multiple times over the last few years, someone unknown to me has applied for credit, credit cards, insurance, and other products with ANZ bank.

Because ANZ appears to have extremely poor ICT systems, this means that—while they’ve not actually issued me a credit card—they have repeatedly placed false information on my credit file, including but not limited to, such things as:

  • that I live at “Pokemon St
  • that I live at my employer’s address
  • that I was married (before I was actually married)
  • that my name or address has a bunch of absurd words (i.e. “Magikarp Drive“…Pokemon names) in it
  • that I live at ANZ corporate HQ in Melbourne
  • that I’m employed as a butcher
  • that my drivers license (I don’t drive at all) is 123456 or 90210 (the Beverley Hills zip code…)

… and many, many others.

All on top of the actual credit enquiry for the credit in question. They’ve also issued actual insurance for houses and cars that I don’t own, with verifiably false information attached.

They’ve also shown me screenshots and PDFs of their internal systems, perhaps indicating that they don’t see anything suspicious (“CLEAR”) with the fact that someone was applying for join account/supplementary credit card with their own CEO, Shayne Elliott:

What a moron

Or a nice insured car, together with their CEO:

Bloody Shayne Elliott

Naturally, this car is apparently garaged at a duplicate of my office, but in Sydney (instead of Hobart, same address otherwise), and is a Ford Fiesta with the verifiably false numberplate of TAS12356:

Look at this bullshit

They also happily insured my employer’s office, as if it was my holiday house (?):

our office was built in ~1830, by the way, and is made of sandstone

Most of the information, other than my first and last name, has been verifiably and entirely incorrect. Yet ANZ persists in placing the information on my credit files with the credit reporting bodies.

ANZs official response to this, including via several AFCA (ombudsman) complaints, is that I must place a ban on the credit files via the CRBs. I have done this, several times, but it’s not a viable solution. Here’s why:

  • placing a ban requires me to compile evidence and, often, call or email 1-3 CRBs, spending 2-6 hours of information gathering and phone time
  • a ban can only last 21 days before it must be renewed, and the renewal must be requested before 10 days of it expiring, which basically means I’d need to do it every two weeks or, so because of wait times (they don’t answer the phone) — basically I’d need to contact the CRBs weekly, with compiled evidence to their satisfaction
  • a renewal must include evidence of why I’m renewing, and won’t be accepted unless there is evidence of a good reason to have the ban
  • because whoever is applying for credit in my name is not predictable, I can’t possibly know when they’ll do it, thus ANZ implies I’d need to keep the ban up permanently (yet for aforementioned reasons, that’s a huge burden)
  • even if I could keep the ban up permanently, a ban blocks me from legitimately accessing credit that I need to run my life and business (i.e. things as simple as changing phone plans, power, internet, and so on).

Thus, I argue that ANZs suggestion that my placing bans on my files with CRBs is an untenable solution, and ANZ should instead act to fix the problem on their end and prevent it from happening. AFCA has previously upheld that ANZs suggestion of a ban on my credit files is appropriate.

I strongly disagree, both for the above, and many other reasons.

Separately, one of the times it happened, ANZ sent me PDFs from their internal system, showing the application in that case was coming from a likely Tor exit node.

This suggests that can stop this on their end by blocking credit applications from Tor, at the very least.

While I haven’t seen the internal imagery from all the applications (I only have what they’ve sent me), you can see verifiably dodgy IPs in some of them, for example this IP (which their system also marked as “CLEAR”):

Fucking idiots

Here’s a snippet where they thought I worked at something called “Beautiful People Inc”:

fuck fuck fuck

Or even that I worked at ANZ (I obviously have never worked at ANZ):

what is wrong with these people

And was signing up while at MIT (?):

ah yes, MIT

All were marked “CLEAR”, incredibly.

I also have a feeling that ANZ might be in violation of the Privacy Act, perhaps in s 21Q an s 21R, which relate to their requirements to ensure the quality of credit eligibility information before they forward it to a CRB, which they are clearly not doing. Also, perhaps, the ASIC act.

On top of this, ANZs meddling with my credit file has lowered my credit score from extremely high to… not extremely high, and this together with the polluted and fake information has meant I’ve actually been unable to renew my phone plans, and do other things, independent of the limitations placed upon me during CRB ban periods. This has been deeply impactful to my wife and I, as well as my small business.

Also, once their CEO maybe, possibly, seems to have threatened me on Twitter:

And also claimed it was all sorted out in 2018:

Suggestions welcome: first name AT first name DOT id DOT au

History of Libraries

This post is for resources from a talk I gave at Write the Docs 2021 Portland (held online). The talk description was:

Why do we care about libraries? Why are they so special? What makes them feel like secular sacred spaces? How do we capture and preserve that feeling? How do we recreate it? 

This session explores what’s so special about libraries, and unpacks the layers behind what makes a library a library. Open data wasn’t invented in the age of the computer!

In this session, from a computer scientist with a history degree, you will learn such things as:

  • why and how traditional Jewish law says that no writings with the name of God on them can be discarded, and how this led to treasure troves of resources on medieval Jews (as it turns out, people in that era who could write, would barely write anything without referring to God, so if you want a medieval shopping list, I’ll tell you where to go!)
  • how craftspeople in the Renaissance would use old books, and scraps of paper, to make boxes. This preserved writing never intended for posterity (posterity in the form of a box, no less!) What can we learn from this? Come and find out!
  • what’s the use, in 2021, of what is effectively a medieval sticky note saying “Could you please get me some wild roses? But make sure to include some that are not yet flowering!” Why do we have a 600 year old sticky note, much less care what it says?

Find out how we can create future libraries, and what we can do to preserve the libraries we have now. What even is a library? This will be a fast-paced history lesson, relating everything you hear to the modern day. Find out what’s next, from the past.

Sources

  • The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders by Stuart Kells (2017)
  • Encyclopedia of Library History by Wayne A. Wiegand and Donald G Davis Jnr (2015)
  • Ancient Libraries by Aikaterini Oikonomopoulou, Greg Woolf, Jason König, and Katerina Oikonomopoulou (Eds.) (2013)
  • History of Libraries: Ancient Mediaeval by D N Marshall (1983)
  • Libraries, Books, and Collectors of Texts, 1600-1900 by James Gregory (2018)
  • Lost Libraries: The Destruction of Great Book Collections Since Antiquity by J Raven (Ed.) (2004)
  • … and more which I’ll post soon once I export my bibliography.

Video link to come after event.

Practical Machine Learning for iOS

This post serves as a collection of follow-up resources for my AppBuilders 2020 talk, Practical Machine Learning for iOS. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me (via Twitter is preferred). 

If you want a full transcript, the script for this talk is available here as a PDF.

Here’s some useful links, roughly in the order they might interest you related to the talk:

  • CreateML — Apple’s easy to use tool for creating machine learning models based on tasks
  • CoreML — Apple’s framework for using machine learning models that are in the CoreML mlmodel format

Building a Sound Classifier:

Building a Caption Generator:

Some additional links that might be of interest:

And finally, we have a GitHub repository with the code that was shown in the talk, as well as the code repository for our book, Practical AI with Swift, that has a whole lot of great activities for you to use (even if you don’t have the book) across sound, vision, text, and more.

An update on 2020

Well, 2020 has gone in interesting directions so far! 🤷🏻‍♂️

I’m writing this from Hobart, where I live, and am currently self-isolating, after we returned home early from the USA a few weeks. We finished two events — including O’Reilly’s Software Architecture Conference (more on that in a second). After the second event, we found ourselves in Miami with the news that both the Game Developers Conference 2020 and O’Reilly’s Strata Data+AI conference (our next two events) were both cancelled.

With news that the COVID-19 virus was spreading, we sat in a Starbucks and worked with Virgin Australia to get us home. We landed in Melbourne early in the morning of 12 March 2020, arrived in Hobart a few hours later. We’ve been voluntarily self-isolating since then, out of an abundance of caution.

It’s already a bit stressful, but it doesn’t seem like the end is in sight.

A few days ago our publisher O’Reilly Media announced that they were shutting down their in-person events business, and wouldn’t be running conferences any more. This coincided with the positions of many of our friends at O’Reilly being made redundant. We’re pretty shocked, and sad. We’ve been to many, many O’Reilly conferences over the last 15 years, so this is very much the end of an era.

This week also coincides with the end of Jon and myself being employees of Secret Lab for 2 months! We made the change, after planning to do so for more than a year, because of all the upcoming travel we’d had planned, and the amazing opportunities we could see ahead if we worked in the business a little more and differently (more announcements soon!) Well, the travel didn’t pan out, but the employment is going well.

More, hopefully more cheerful, updates soon.

SA Conference 2020 NYC

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We’ve just finished speaking at the O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference 2020 in New York City. It was, as always, a fabulous event, and we had a great time! In a few weeks we’ll be speaking at O’Reilly’s Strata conference in San Jose, as well!

At Software Architecture in NYC we spoke about entity component systems, in a talk entitled “Entity component systems and you: they’re not just for game developers“.

Below are some of our favourite links relating to ECS. We hope you find them useful!

You can also find a slightly earlier version of the talk (from last year’s conference) on YouTube:

Software Architecture NYC was fabulous, and we can’t wait for the next one! We really enjoyed seeing our friend r0ml give an amazing talk (as usual), and signing copies of our Unity Game Development Cookbook!

Catch us next at the O’Reilly Strata Conference in San Jose!

🧶 Yarn Spinner 1.0

The popular open source narrative game development framework, Yarn Spinner, which is maintained by Secret Lab and a fabulous community, has reached version 1.0. As part of our 1.0 release, we’ve debuted 5 exciting new features:

  1. Compiled Scripts — Yarn Spinner now compiles to a binary format.
  2. Automatic Compiling — In Unity, your Yarn scripts will automatically be compiled when they change.
  3. Line Tagging — You can automatically add unique tags to lines of dialogue, and generate a .csv file to send to translators with the click of a button.
  4. Code Extension — There’s a syntax highlighting extension, available from the marketplace, for Visual Studio Code.
  5. No more .yarn.txt — The file extension is now .yarn! It was time.

We want Yarn Spinner to be the best tool that it can be. As part of that, we’ve launched a Patreon page, and we’d love for you to help support its development!

We’ve got big plans, so please check out the website, follow us on Twitter, support the Patreon if you can, and join our Narrative Game Development Slack. And we’d really appreciate it if you shared the news!