THE crew at the electrical department of the CSIRO are finally enjoying the fruits of a light-bulb moment more than a decade ago.
This is to do with the figuring out of a wireless connection between a computer and, well, lots of other computers so they can whisper their dirty secrets through the ether and continue their dastardly takeover of the planet.
In short, a marvellous invention called wi-fi.
What's been happening all these long years since has been a legal, rather than technological, battle to capitalise on the cleverness and make a quid or two from the widespread use of it.
As I understand it, if you sit down with your laptop in McDonald's and want to cruise the net over your cheeseburger, neither ambitions which I fully understand, you simply enable your 'puter and in a few seconds the store's wi-fi system links you up, miraculously at no charge.
But somehow the technology at the CSIRO got away from our lads and they've been playing catch-up since and have only just recently nailed down some royalties.
It's a credit to them that their chief interest was invention and they weren't so red-hot at the cash-grabbing side of things, but the lesson of an event at CSIRO back in '63 must surely have been known to them.
Doug Waterhouse was head of the entomology department at the time and came up with a chemical with a long name, usually shortened to DEET. It was an insect repellent.
I've seen no references to it being tested on animals and popular knowledge has it that no lesser victim than the visiting Queen Elizabeth might make the ideal guinea pig or, put another way, be the first monarch to be afforded the honour of not being pestered by Australian flies.
Apparently the aide-de-blowfly lost his nerve and sprayed too distantly, but a bolder application the next day, no doubt under the regal instruction to "be not niggardly with the stuff, get a bit on!" resulted in an un-molested royal. Thus her only wave was the usual gentle version for which she is known rather than the Great Australian one.
And so the word got out.
A couple of days later a bloke from Mortein rang up Doug and casually brought up the subject of the miraculous substance.
"So Doug, that stuff they splashed on Her Majesty did the trick?"
"Seems so yeah."
"Right ... right ... so can I ask what it was?"
"Yeah mate, DEET."
"Well I'll be buggered. Mind if I run up a batch then?"
"Course mate, help yourself."
"You're a champ. Thanks a million."
"Not a problem. 'Ave a good weekend'."
I suspect he did.