Groser: an arrogant git with a tin ear

Written By: - Date published: 4:08 pm, August 15th, 2015 - 34 comments
Categories: Economy, exports - Tags: , , , ,

I’m continuously amazed about how mind-numbingly stupid and outright ignorant Tim Groser is in his pursuit of the TTP. This really comes through in Fran O’Sullivan’s article in the Herald this morning

He also made the point to NBR that a TPP deal will create new opportunities for New Zealand services exporters, including the rapidly expanding ICT sector which already generates nearly $1 billion in exports: “It will help make it easier for online entrepreneurs to do business across borders by reducing barriers that require exporters to invest offshore in order to do business, and by making it easier to transfer information around the TPP region.”

Let me try to make this clear enough for even a ICT industry outsider like Groser to understand. I’ve working in companies that have been exporting software for a few decades. This has been across a range of market segments from online training “games” to my code being in embedded navigation hardware.

No company I have been in has ever had problems border problems or transferring with data between the countries in the TPP. Never ever…. I suspect that is a delusional fantasy that this or some other MFAT bozo made up.

The reason that NZ ICT companies set up operations in other countries is usually to provide local sales and support structures. The timezone differences will always make that necessary because tech heads who can support complex software prefer to not work weird hours (unless they feel like it). Besides having people on the ground in key markets makes sense.

It also makes it easier to have people doing face to face accessing capital in markets that don’t just stuff money into property.

But borders? There are few borders in ICT.

In other forums Groser has dismissed concerns that NZ software and ICT entrepreneurs will find their ability to do business constrained by US-style IP protections.

Which again shows Tim Groser’s profound ignorance of the industry. We have watched the stupidity of software patent trolls in the US for many decades. As far as I can see, the US Patent and intellectual property laws that are currently in practice flying directly against the stated intent of why patents are awarded. They are meant to encourage innovation, but the reality is that they appear to do the opposite.

But to give a clear example of a basic issue that the local ICT industry doesn’t want brought here, this was on the blog of my favourite programming editor a few years ago.

In October of 2012, Uniloc USA, Inc. filed a lawsuit against SlickEdit, Inc., alleging patent infringement (U.S. patent 5,579,222) concerning a license management system.

Uniloc USA, Inc. is a patent-assertion entity or “patent troll,” i.e. a company whose sole business is to sue software companies including Adobe, Microsoft, Sony, and Symantec. It has sued more than a dozen companies over this patent.

In an unusual turn of events, after more than a year of litigation Uniloc USA, Inc. asked the Court to dismiss its own lawsuit against SlickEdit, Inc.  This came a week after the court held a three-hour Markman hearing on February 13, 2014 in which SlickEdit argued that Uniloc’s patent covered far less than what Uniloc was claiming.

Make no mistake, this is a BIG win for SlickEdit in what amounts to be a David vs. Goliath scenario.

Patent infringement suits are considered extremely costly to defend against. Even in cases like this where there is no infringement, small companies are often forced to settle due to the astronomical legal fees associated with patent cases.

The only thing that is atypical about this for US ICT companies, is that it didn’t go to court. But it wasted a lot of time, and the bug fixes and feature improvements in my editor were somewhat light that year.

We need this ‘protection’ in NZ ICT like we need Tim Groser’s hearing and intellect – not at all.

34 comments on “Groser: an arrogant git with a tin ear”

  1. stever 1

    Good points!

    The IITP has been moved to make some noise too…not that you’d no due to almost zero press coverage:

    http://techblog.nz/977-TransPacificPartnershipITProfessionalsreraiseconcernsaboutSoftwarePatents?utm_source=email

    Ian Taylor’s letter (link at the foot of that article) is very very good.

    The tactic was to try to call out what was seen as possible backsliding as well as (as you’ve said here) ignorance.

  2. Groser has had a lifetime with his snout in the public trough.

    And he knows damn well if he pulls this TPP off he will continue to suck on in the same trough for as long as he likes.
    Every thing provided, booze, food, travel expenses whatever he wants, he will get, most likely even a bloody knighthood.
    Can you imagine it, Sir SnoutSuck Groser. ?

    And it will be all payed for by the tax payers of NZ.
    But he will be despised by so many Kiwis until the day he dies, along with his pal Key.

  3. Skinny 3

    Groser was quoted during the week saying “This has all the smell of a negotiation that is ripe for the plucking.”

    Talk like this sounds like Tim is off on a Turkey shoot, which he will be. Just he is too blinded wanting a deal, that he doesn’t realise he is the tukey that will end up getting plucked and Kiwi’s as a result get f%#ked over by corporations.

  4. les 4

    when will you breathless children realise the genius of Tim and STFU.

  5. Ad 5

    He’s one of a number of cabinet whose arrogance is building up for the most almighty electoral rollback we’ve seen since English got creamed.

    With only Auckland’s real estate market holding up public confidence in the economy, when that inevitably peaks, the tide will roll out faster on this government.

    So many people I talk to are just shaking their heads now.

  6. ropata 6

    SlickEdit?! What kind of programmer are you? REAL computer scientists use ed.

    From: patl@athena.mit.edu (Patrick J. LoPresti)
    Subject: The True Path (long)
    Date: 11 Jul 91 03:17:31 GMT
    Newsgroups: alt.religion.emacs,alt.slack

    When I log into my Xenix system with my 110 baud teletype, both vi and Emacs are just too damn slow. They print useless messages like, ‘C-h for help’ and ‘“foo” File is read only’. So I use the editor that doesn’t waste my VALUABLE time.

    Ed, man! !man ed

    ED(1) Unix Programmer’s Manual ED(1)

    NAME
    ed – text editor

    SYNOPSIS
    ed [ – ] [ -x ] [ name ]
    DESCRIPTION
    Ed is the standard text editor.

    Computer Scientists love ed, not just because it comes first alphabetically, but because it’s the standard. Everyone else loves ed because it’s ED!

    “Ed is the standard text editor.”

    And ed doesn’t waste space on my Timex Sinclair. Just look:

    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root 24 Oct 29 1929 /bin/ed
    -rwxr-xr-t 4 root 1310720 Jan 1 1970 /usr/ucb/vi
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root 5.89824e37 Oct 22 1990 /usr/bin/emacs

    Of course, on the system I administrate, vi is symlinked to ed. Emacs has been replaced by a shell script which 1) Generates a syslog message at level LOG_EMERG; 2) reduces the user’s disk quota by 100K; and 3) RUNS ED!!!!!!

    “Ed is the standard text editor.”

    Let’s look at a typical novice’s session with the mighty ed:

    golem$ ed

    ?
    help
    ?
    ?
    ?
    quit
    ?
    exit
    ?
    bye
    ?
    hello?
    ?
    eat flaming death
    ?
    ^C
    ?
    ^C
    ?
    ^D
    ?

    Note the consistent user interface and error reportage. Ed is generous enough to flag errors, yet prudent enough not to overwhelm the novice with verbosity.

    “Ed is the standard text editor.”

    Ed, the greatest WYGIWYG editor of all.

    ED IS THE TRUE PATH TO NIRVANA! ED HAS BEEN THE CHOICE OF EDUCATED AND IGNORANT ALIKE FOR CENTURIES! ED WILL NOT CORRUPT YOUR PRECIOUS BODILY FLUIDS!! ED IS THE STANDARD TEXT EDITOR! ED MAKES THE SUN SHINE AND THE BIRDS SING AND THE GRASS GREEN!!

    When I use an editor, I don’t want eight extra KILOBYTES of worthless help screens and cursor positioning code! I just want an EDitor!! Not a “viitor”. Not a “emacsitor”. Those aren’t even WORDS!!!! ED! ED! ED IS THE STANDARD!!!

    TEXT EDITOR.

    When IBM, in its ever-present omnipotence, needed to base their “edlin” on a Unix standard, did they mimic vi? No. Emacs? Surely you jest. They chose the most karmic editor of all. The standard.

    Ed is for those who can remember what they are working on. If you are an idiot, you should use Emacs. If you are an Emacs, you should not be vi. If you use ED, you are on THE PATH TO REDEMPTION. THE SO-CALLED “VISUAL” EDITORS HAVE BEEN PLACED HERE BY ED TO TEMPT THE FAITHLESS. DO NOT GIVE IN!!! THE MIGHTY ED HAS SPOKEN!!!

    ?

    • lprent 6.1

      My god. You weren’t using terse back then? A fullscreen brief type editor in 4096 bytes? What were you – a luddite?

      But then I was using brief

      In 1991, I also programmed almost entirely in MSDOS, some excursions into Mac, and just a little in *nix – mostly Xenix.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        Get a room you two.

      • ropata 6.1.2

        Wasn’t using ed deliberately, back in 91 I used vi editor (and sometimes ed) on VAX/VMS to write FORTRAN.
        I remember learning this new program called “microsoft word” and thinking how weird and annoying it was.
        Vim is still my all time favourite editor.

      • Murray Simmonds 6.1.3

        What was all that stuff we read last week on this blog concerning postings that are totally irrelevant to the topic under discussion??

        • Murray Simmonds 6.1.3.1

          . . . which isn’t to say that you are totally correct in your summation of Groser and his tin ear.

          RNZ National, in its lead item on the 7.30 news bulletin this morning has Groser saying that the government will not be influenced in its support for the “Trade rort” (my words, not his) by yesterday’s turnout.

          We were told that the NZ public have been misled by misinformed activists and by people who have opposed every trade deal in the past . . .

          Not only a git with a tin ear, but an ignorant, ill-informed arrogant fool . . . . and I could go on, but I won’t.

          • Tracey 6.1.3.1.1

            “been misled by misinformed activists and by people who have opposed every trade deal in the past . . ”

            OooooOOOOOooo Wayne Mapps’ meme being used by groser et al. He will have gone all tingly.

            The fact that the same logic means we shouldnt listen to groser or Mapp cos they have never opposed any trade deal in the past…

        • lprent 6.1.3.2

          Indeed…

          However in this case I did mention my favourite editor. Thereby annoying all of the programmers and inciting a religious war.

        • ropata 6.1.3.3

          Sorry Muz. I’m a refugee from the EmacsVsVi holy wars and tend to lose sanity when someone mentions an incorrect choice of editor.

    • Paul Campbell 6.2

      I spent a bunch of years in the early 80s porting unix to new hardware for a living – no one used ed if they could possible help it

      As someone who makes a great living writing open source software and designing open source hardware – the last thing I need is the ability of US patent trolls to come knocking on my door

    • infused 6.3

      Im a newb. I use nano

      • lprent 6.3.1

        Nano (or pico on older systems) is my bash script/configuration script editor of choice for console (ie ssh/telnet access on remote or embedded systems). It beats the time and effort of firing up a X server and client.

  7. Ovid 7

    John Oliver did a great segment on patent trolls a while back. Not the kind of thing we want here.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Which again shows Tim Groser’s profound ignorance of the industry. We have watched the stupidity of software patent trolls in the US for many decades.

    Weren’t National somewhat ambivalent about dropping software patents in NZ?

    IIRC, it was all set that they would be dropped and then a few large US companies got in and almost changed it so that they would be able to keep some which would have meant all once they got active in lawyering. Only the huge outcry from the NZ tech industry prevented that change but even back then there was speculation that we’d have to conform to US IP laws for the TPPA.

    To me it almost seems like National are trying to bring software patents back but they can’t just come out and say that or do it because of the massive backlash that they would get.

    • You are remembering correctly.

      National is one of the worst parties on IT issues yet maintains a reasonable degree of support among the industry due to its tax policies.

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    The people have started marching now, and found that they like it more than waiting for these arseholes to do the right thing. This was how Muldoon was shifted; it will do for this lounge bar lizard and his creepy accomplices.

  10. AB 10

    “The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces”
    Timmy is the latter.

  11. Paul 11

    The hubris continues.

    “How do these people think NZ can earn a living?’

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/281506/'how-do-these-people-think-nz-can-earn-a-living-

    • dv 11.1

      Mr Groser dismissed the rallies as a combination of people being misled about the deal.

      Well that an easy fix – TELL US about the deal

      • mickysavage 11.1.1

        Exactly. We are apparently being misled but they refuse to tell us what is in the deal.

        • Paul 11.1.1.1

          “The reality is that if we didn’t have these trade agreements and were shut out of markets, this country would be the Greece of the South Pacific.”

          I think many Greeks wish they’d never signed up to the trade deal involving the Euro.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      “How do these people think New Zealand can earn a living in this world? Because nobody out there thinks they owe New Zealand a living.

      Well, we could use our own resources to produce what we need as we once did. At least then we wouldn’t be exporting our wealth.

      • Paul 11.2.1

        “How do these people think New Zealand can earn a living in this world? Because nobody out there thinks they owe New Zealand a living.”

        We could trade with countries like Russia rather than boycott them just because America told us to.
        We could not waste our money on foreign adventures in Iraq.
        We could nationalise our banks so $16 billion doesn’t leave our shores every year.

        Need more ideas, Mr Groser?

  12. Paul 12

    But Mr Groser said it would be impossible to reach the necessary compromises if the discussions were not held in confidence.
    “It is literally impossible to take a workmanlike approach to sorting through people’s concerns about change if every single detail is out there on the public domain – and then you get your lobbies all lined up … ‘no you can’t agree to that word’ and so on …

    But no details at all are in the public domain.
    Hardly every single detail!

  13. Smilin 13

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Pointless comment. Irrelevant to the post. Don’t do it again. ]

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