Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Online petition against software patents in New Zealand

A group of New Zealand software developers have launched an on-line petition against the proposed change to the patent bill that reverses the previous decision to fully ban software patents in New Zealand by inserting a qualifier of "as such".

If you agree with their stand, and you are a New Zealander (or New Zealand-based) software developer or a supporter, you can add your signature to the petition.

The petition is at No Software Patents in NZ

Monday, September 3, 2012

Not just alternate, but dangerous

The Herald reports
A naturopath who treated a woman for 18 months while an invasive cancer ate through her skull has been heavily criticised for not deferring to doctors.

Te Horo iridologist Ruth Nelson may face Human Rights Tribunal action over her treatment of Yvonne Maine, who sought treatment for what she believed was a cyst on her head in 2008.

Mrs Nelson carried out a variety of natural health treatments over the next 18 months, as the invasive carcinoma grew to 10cm by 11cm in size.

When a chemist became concerned about the amount of painkillers she was taking in August 2008 and recommended she see a doctor, she said Mrs Nelson advised against it and told her she would "probably get a bug or swine flu" if she went to hospital.

By the time Mrs Maine went to see a doctor in late 2009, the cancer had eaten into her skull and exposed her brain.
Source NZ Herald

Obviously a clear failing by a naturopath who had gone beyond the normal crackpot nature of alternate medicine to actively endangering her patients.

¿Que? would like to know
  • Is she still practising?
  • Has she expressed an understanding of what she should have done?
  • Has she undertaken not to repeat this action?
  • What has the nauropaths' guild done to prevent similar problems?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Alec Ross Twitter Diplomat

Article in the NZ Herald by Chris Barton based on a phone interview with Alec Ross who will be here for the Project Revolution Digital and Social Media Conference at AUT next week.

Interesting quotes on use of Twitter and facebook for what he sees as "good" social protest and Wikileaks for what he sees as "bad" social protest.
"It's not just about being able to establish connectivity where a government has taken down the networks, or about getting around censorship, it's also about keeping people safe, Governments have the ability to intercept personal communications and geolocate people, so what we try to do is help keep activists safe at the technical level."
Article at NZ Herald

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Police upset burglary victim used Facebook to name and shame

The victim of a housebreaking who lost "two laptops, containing vital information for work and business" and would have lost much more had she not arrived home when she did managed to find out who the culprits were and outed them on Facebook has been criticised by Inspector Ed Van Den Broek, area tactical response manager, Rotorua police:
"But don't post people's names in the social media sites, and make sure you call police if you see anything suspicious or you find out any information that may lead to criminals being apprehended by phoning the police or Crimestoppers helpline"

Of course, if the police and the courts did their jobs and got professional housebreakers off the streets we wouldn't need to take "vigilante action" which in any case (at least in my mind) is something a lot stronger than naming someone on Failbook.

More at NZ Herald

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Baby walkers fail safety test

 Almost all baby walkers tested in a survey failed at least one safety test - a result child safety advocates say shows parents do not realise the danger their children could be in.
NZ Herald News:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lawyers fight TPP right to sue Government

"Sixty-one New Zealand lawyers are among signatories to an open letter to negotiators of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade talks calling for them to drop "investor-state" provisions which allow companies to sue governments directly over alleged breaches.

"They include retired Appeal Court justice Sir Ted Thomas; present and former MPs including Winston Peters, Meteria Turei, Andrew Little, Eugenie Sage, Laila Harre and former Speaker and Attorney-General Margaret Wilson; and a long list of legal academics."

Apparently it needs to come from New Zealand as most of the other negotiating countries have already got treaties with facilities allowing private companies to sue their government in "international" forums.

Monday, April 30, 2012

How New Zealand Retailers Can Get Online in an Afternoon For Free

I stumbled on this article that was written for Australian businesses, but most of the services  they mention are just as applicable to New Zealand businesses.
"Unfortunately there is still a lot of snake oil out there as well as well meaning but misguided advice from web practitioners as to what is actually required. Many business owners have already been badly burnt with expensive or unusable website solutions.

"Fortunately these days it’s incredibly easy and cheap to set up an online business.

"Solutions such as Weebly allow anyone to setup an online store in an afternoon for free, and there are plenty of other similar free or inexpensive solutions to choose from."
I'd recommend this article to anyone even vaguely thinking of excuses for not setting up an on-line presence for their business.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tighter Code For A Greener Planet

Ever noticed how some websites take longer to display the page than others? Ever blamed it on bloat in the page? Now an interesting experiment has been reported that they not only take longer to load, they use more energy, draining your battery faster.

New Scientist reports "Wikipedia uses a custom file Javascript along with a generic library to collapse and expand the various sections on a page, but much of the library goes unused. By rewriting the site's Javascript to just perform the required function, [researchers] were able to reduce the energy used from 15 to 9.5 Joules.

Making similar changes to the CSS files and images, they were able to reduce the total energy used in loading Wikipedia from 35 to 25 Joules, a saving of 29 per cent.

Over the life of an average portable phone it must download several thousand to tens of thousands of pages. Lets' encourage tighter code for a greener planet.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Internet, Open and Uncapturable

"The Internet, Open and Uncapturable" five words that describe one of the core beliefs of Internet NZ, a society of which I am a member. I had cause to think tonight about the meaning of these words and why they are important.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Single bin recycling bad for glass recycling

Glass maker O-I sustainability manager Penny Garland said that out of 78,000 tonnes of glass used a year in Auckland, about 42,000 tonnes was returned to be smelted in the furnaces of its Penrose factory.

"That's turning an old bottle into a new bottle."

The co-mingled collections in some former council areas e.g. the old Auckland City area where I live led to contamination, and only half of the glass recovered was recycled by O-I.

"In terms of sustainability, the fully co-mingled option is the worst option.

"Thousand of tonnes of glass recovered annually from the waste stream would be unnecessarily sent to low-level secondary markets, stockpiles, managed fills or landfills." From NZ Herald (edited)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Australian Treasurer takes on billionaires - World - NZ Herald News

"ruthless individualism and unquestioning materialism" of the super-rich were undermining the traditional spirit of fair go in a nation that prided itself as being more equal than most.

"To be blunt, the rising power of vested interests is undermining our equality and threatening our democracy," Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan

More at - NZ Herald


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