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Open mike 09/02/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 9th, 2011 - 57 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

57 comments on “Open mike 09/02/2011”

  1. vto 1

    Anyone wanting more ammo to shoot down Keys asset sale would be wise to check out Chalkie’s column in the Press this morning. It is always an onto it column. Reckons about $6billion not $10billion.

  2. fatty 2

    I was quiet impressed by Goff yesterday (I do admit to not being his biggest fan)

    • Rosy 2.1

      I reckoned he was good in the house, but this was a level above. Compelling

    • Bill 2.2

      What’s with the body language/position?

      Why is it that he repeatedly turns to face his own benches when making his points? Why does he seldom ever just look the opposition unwaveringly in the eye and simply ‘give it to them’?

      Looking in the direction and finger pointing at (what I imagine is) an audience of smiling and nodding affirmation is a strange way to attack the the guys ‘over the way’, is it not?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        I suspect that’s from good speech trainers. To “include” someone in the speech you need to make eye contact with them.

    • ianmac 2.3

      Yes fatty. He was impressive. Wonder when this will show in public?

  3. Deadly_NZ 3

    Yes it did make a change to see goff all fired up for once, now all he has to do is keep it up in all forms until the election.

    • orange whip? 3.1

      It’s not unusual, he’s always been good in the house.

      Unfortunately hardly anyone sees it. He needs to take it outside.

      • Anne 3.1.1

        Orange whip is correct. Goff has made some good speeches in the House – and outside of it. The problem is, the media have by and large ignored them. I went to one of his public speeches last year and it was brilliant. The TV cameras and reporters were there. What did he get on TV that night? Ten seconds of mediocre coverage, and no accolades for the quality of his speech. I remember thinking: if it was Key who had delivered that speech, the media would have gone into raptures over it.

        • logie97 3.1.1.1

          Key learned long ago that it doesn’t really matter what happens in the house. Only the committed bother to watch the debates.

          Goff et al are going to have get noticed out in the community. They need to stick it to journalists when they ask them questions.

          Having said that, Muldoon mastered delivery by looking to see where the camera was and he spoke to the Decent Ordinary Bloke looking directly via the lens. Goff, in the house, needs to seek out the cameras and deliver it…

  4. T 4

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2011/feb/08/egypt-activist-wael-ghonim-google-video

    The emotional interview with Wael Ghonim which has inspired many in Egypt reportedly.

  5. lprent 5

    The site may be a bit more sluggish than usual today with the Assange extradition hearing on. The most read post on the site yesterday and this morning is my December post on Marianne Ny. I’ve backtracked on a few google queries that have been made and found that post is in the top 5 (usually first or second) for various countries when you query her name.

    They’re obviously reading it as well. The average read time is over 5 minutes so I’d guess that they’re reading down through the comments as well.

  6. Gotham 6

    Green co-leader Metiria Turei presented a fantastic speech in the House yesterday, in response to Key’s PM speech.

    http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/my-father-address-reply

    When I find myself dis-spirited by NACT’s dreary, soul sucking politics, speeches like this one remind me of the importance of not disengaging but reconnecting and chosing to be part of the solution, not the problem. And they also remind me how proud I am to be Green.

    Well done, Metiria.

    • Shane Gallagher 6.1

      Yes it was a brilliant speech and good on Turia for making that point of order to shut up those National and Act MPs shouting and carrying on like a pack of rude school children.

      What example is this to anyone when they act like a pack of clowns – no insult to clowns intended though…

  7. orange whip? 7

    On Radio Live just now, Mitch Harris – usually a bit of a right-winger – is asking if we are really going to sell all this good solid energy infrastructure with it’s long term returns just so we can download porn faster.

    It’s a good question.

    While we’re here, since when did National’s “ultra-fast broadband” plan hinge on selling assets?

    I must have missed that memo.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      When has National’s ultra-fast broadband plan come up with any benefit other than “video on demand”?

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    Following on from my previous comment, the collpase of the environment that is now underway (and is accelerating) in combination with collapse of fiat currencies and oil depletion, will overwhelm whoever is in power shortly. It would be good to see the criminal gang that is currently in office holding the bag at the time of the meltdown.

    Of course, it is the next generation who are going to pay a very heavy price for the greed, profligacy and stupidity of present day adults. All the evidence indicates more or less complete extinction of our species within two generations.

    The inflexion point is very close.

    http://guymcpherson.com/2011/02/extinction-event/#comment-16455

    [lprent: Moved to OpenMike because it was way off-topic. ]

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      It’s going to take a hell of a lot more than climate change to cause the extinction of homo sapiens, even if you’re talking about a 6ºC rise in temperature. Hell, people will still survive even if the average temperature increased by 20ºC.

      Now, modern industrialised civilization is another thing entirely.

      • Afewknowthetruth 8.1.1

        That must be one of the stupidest statements I’ve read this year.

        The rise of 0.8C in average temperature we have experienced so far is already causing climate chaos, since it translates to 2oC in polar regions and disruption of long standing climate systems.

        There is no evidence present society we could cope with rise in the average of even 1.5oC, let alone 6oC or 20oC.

        • Lanthanide 8.1.1.1

          Notice how I said that the future of industrialised civilization was entirely different from “homo sapiens going extinct”, which is what you actually said.

          If you really meant “society as we know it”, you didn’t say that.

          Humans are the most wide-spread and most adaptable creatures on the planet, we have learnt to survive in pretty much all biospheres except for the deep ocean. To think that we’re going to go extinct within 100 years, without a massively disruptive event such as a supervolcano or asteroid impact (which climate change doesn’t change one jot) really is denying human ingenuity.

          Maybe there’ll only be a few scattered tens of thousands, or even just hundreds of humans left. But that’s not “extinct”.

        • oscar 8.1.1.2

          So this so called newfound evidence, which is older than the climatics con-job, that the magnetic fields have been confirmed to be in a state of flux in their greatest period since we started studying them some 400 years ago, which has now been proven to contribute to changing weather patterns, is for bunkum?
          Lets see… Australian rocks used to point to a pole as being in the centre of Australia. Water flows towards a magnetic pull. The floodwaters of the last 2 years are moving towards the centre of Australia, which used to be a huge inland sea some 750,000 years ago. Yup, magnetic fields don’t affect our weather patterns.
          As you were afwktt. Shall I go and cut down some trees to stop them putting out Oxygen?
          As for the temperature increase, nothing to do with sun being hotter in the last decade at all. Oh no, it can’t be. After all, ‘scientists’ have been making shit up on the atmosphere for 30 years so it all must be totally true.

          • lprent 8.1.1.2.1

            *sigh* You’re a classic example of someone who reads without understanding. In your case it is invariably because you don’t think about time scales and keep trying to look at long-term events as if they were short-term.

            The magnetic poles move, but for the last billion years haven’t moved more than a few thousand kilometers from the rotational poles. Precambrian magnetic movements before the earth’s core cooled a bit would have been exciting. There is some evidence that about 2.2 billion years and earlier there were multiple poles moving around pretty rapidly.

            Of course periodically the magnetic poles reverse typically remaining in one orientation in million year time frames but sometimes faster. But nothing like the timescales you’d need for your fantasies

            The continents drift around the globe like scum on the top of a hot liquid (which is essentially what land and seafloor are). If you wait for a million years of so you can catch them at it. So you can look at Australia being close to the southern polar region before it drifted away from Antarctica.

            You can read all of these things in rocks that have ferric content. None of them affect the climate change that has happened in the last couple over of centuries.

            The rest of your magnetic ideas are just sheer fantasy – much like your magnetic personality which I find rather repulsing.

      • lprent 8.1.2

        The problem is agriculture. Moving to 6ºC or above with the consequent massive increase in extreme weather events would probably drop us back to hunter-gatherer.

        • Lanthanide 8.1.2.1

          Yes, and millions, likely billions would/will die, but that’s still not “extinct”, which is what he said.

          Throwing such emotive language around, that seems completely contrary to what the average person sees happening (“sure, it’s bad, but not THAT bad”), really doesn’t help get them to buy into your cause. If anything they write you off as a crank and ignore it, which is not the outcome you want.

          • Jenny 8.1.2.1.1

            To stretch a point –

            It is said that 90% of all species that have ever existed have eventually become extinct.

            Species extinction is a fact of nature.

            However, setting that fact aside, humanity over many generations has created, language, agriculture, writing, technology, science, education, medicine, universities and other specialist institutions that study the past and forsee the future, and pass on that knowledge to the next generation.

            As has been pointed out, climate collapse will mostly likely destroy human civilisation and all that goes with it.

            For the individuals who outlive the collapse, being busted back to survival level, (and in a world with a seriously degraded environment), would make humanity no more immune to the vicissitudes of nature than any other species. Extinction therefore would only be a matter of time.

            capcha – “worthy”

            • Lanthanide 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Sure, but not “more or less complete extinction of our species within two generations.

              • Colonial Viper

                Lanth, I know having a few humans around is technically not “extinct” for ex. if every human on earth died except for two in UFO captivity you could also say that humans were not “extinct”.

                Regardless it would be pretty tough to kill every human off within 60 years. An average 20 deg C global temperature rise would just about do it though, particularly if the entire climate shift happened in only 10-15 years.

              • Bill

                It’s not the extinction of humanity per se that should be our primary focus, but rather the extinction of life forms our existence relies on. eg bees or whatever.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Why Software Patents are worse than useless

    This change has now, finally, become law. That too, is fraught: how can IPONZ, who have trouble determining prior art from real novelty, and obvious from clever, determine what’s “embedded software” vs. what’s not. Of course, the NZICT Group, with their good friends, patent lawyers AJ Park are keen to help companies push the boundaries. I believe, unless all kiwi software developers oppose them, they will succeed in making the definition of “embedded software” so loose that it will effectively allow all software to be patentable.

    Although National got one part right they then screwed up by making some software patentable which, effectively, will probably make the law ineffective.

    Personally, I’m against all patents. I believe that they stifle innovation rather than encourage it.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      “Personally, I’m against all patents. I believe that they stifle innovation rather than encourage it.”
      This has been debunked time and time again. There are many technology advances, especially in medicine, that simply never would have happened had there not been patent protection for the inventors. People won’t invest the $$$$$$ needed to come up with incremental improvements in technology if they can’t be assured of $$$$ revenue stream in return, which is what patents do.

      Software patents are a problem, as are patent trolls.

      One solution for trolls, and your innovation stifling complaint, is to require all patent holders to either be directly using the patent they hold, or be forced to open it for licensing, and if they refuse any reasonable licensing offer, then they lose the patent. Use it, license it, or lose it. Seems fair.

      The solution to software patents is simple – don’t allow them.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        This has been debunked time and time again.

        Got links? I’ve never read an actual debunking of my point but I have read, many years ago, a study that showed that patents can and do stifle innovation.

        Please note, I’m not against IP protection but think that patents go too far in that they actually prevent people using their own ideas.

        • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1

          Not “debunked” in the sense of “here’s a study that shows patents do not stifle innovation”, but debunked in the sense of “we wouldn’t have modern medicine if these companies had to spend billions on dollars researching new drugs that their competitors could copy for only millions”.

          I’m not pretending that the patent system is flawless, far from it. There are also many advantages of it, such as protection for monetary exploit in exchange for making your invention publicly known, and after 20 years anyone can use the ideas for free. The alternative is a trade secret, where the companies keep the information to their chest and never divulge it – the coca cola and KFC recipes are the best known examples of this. Now imagine if key components of integrated circuits had been kept as trade secrets, instead of being patented – the modern world may be a very different place now. Of course there’s not a strict dichotomy between ‘trade secret’ and ‘patent’ – you can release works for free into the public domain. But given how greedy people are in general, I seriously doubt that such an altruistic take on research would really have gotten the modern world as far ahead as we are in technology (some might say that was a good thing, though).

          Also, saying that “patents stifle innovation rather than encourage it” seems also equally in need of proof.

      • Lightweight 9.1.2

        I’d be keen to see some references to one or more of those many debunkings… (heh, see that Draco T Bastard’s already called you on this – must’ve been simul-commenting)

        I’ve never seen any that are convincing. It doesn’t look like any such arguments were in the Commerce Commission submissions process to sway the Select Committee. They voted unanimously against software patents.

        Here’s a question: do *you* have any patents (software or otherwise, and please clarify which in your response)? Did you undertake your work specifically because it was patentable? How has that gone for you, income-wise? Do you still own the patent? If not, who does, and what have they done with it? Commercialised it?

        If you don’t have any, why not? Not motivated enough by them?

        • Lanthanide 9.1.2.1

          I am largely against software patents, simply because it’s the patenting of an idea or a process that can very easily be reproduced independently with enough thinking or when confronted with a specific problem – some problems only have a single (realistic) solution. There may be some areas where software patents could be worthwhile, but it’s difficult to judge just what criteria would need to be met, and the current software patent situation has gotten vastly out of hand.

          I don’t have any patents.

          Your questions seem to mostly be indicating that you’re thinking most patents are fairly trivial and many are simply side-effects of other research and often they are simply filed and never used or used as defence against other companies who infringe on your patents. I agree. But that doesn’t mean that the idea of a patent (a financial protection for inventors) is flawed, simply the implementation. I gave an example of a change that could drastically reduce a lot of problems that patents have – force owners of patents to license them out to anyone who makes a reasonable licensing offer, and if you don’t, you lose it.

          “If you don’t have any, why not? Not motivated enough by them?”

          I don’t see how this is any different than saying “Ferraris exist and they are great. If you don’t have one, why not? Aren’t you motivated enough to get one?”. Just because I think patents are overall a good thing for society and technological advancement, doesn’t mean I should slavishly spend my life hoarding as many patents as I possibly can.

          • Lightweight 9.1.2.1.1

            Actually, the alternative to patents for funding the development of drugs and other things that require substantial capital investment is what the US (I’m originally a yank) has done with frequent success: the gov’t puts up grant money and lets private industry compete to receive it. All the innovations of the US Geological Survey (USGS) – including many of the world’s state-of-the-art mining and mapping techniques – were created by research funded by US taxpayer dollars, and the results put into the public domain, available to anyone of any nationality. I built a mapping software application for one of our CRI in the 1990s using algorithms pulled from old USGS papers from the 1950s. The FDA and other US entities have also done immeasurably valuable health research. Similarly government funded entities in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Only in the past 15 years have NZ and AU state-owned research organisations tried to deprive their funding providers (taxpayers) of the fruits of their labours in a largely disastrous effort (to both profitability and research quality) to be profitable.

            Regarding your point about “trivial” patents, yes, I think almost all NZ-granted software patents fall into that category. I don’t know enough about non-software patents in NZ to hold an opinion.

            I believe that, particularly in a field like software development, where even full time practitioners struggle to stay up-to-date, patents are fundamentally flawed: the demand is so high for skilled developers, that its hugely unlikely that anyone sufficiently skilled to credibly assess software patent applications would ever be working for IPONZ.

            Dave

            • Lanthanide 9.1.2.1.1.1

              We had a patent lawyer come to work and talk about patents. Basically he said with the patent system the way it is (and I’ve heard this as an anecdote on the internet elsewhere also), it’s better if you don’t do research to discover if something you are doing is violating someone elses patent, because if they can prove in court that you knew you were violating their patent, they get awarded triple damages. Clearly a sign of a completely broken system.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2.1.2

            I gave an example of a change that could drastically reduce a lot of problems that patents have – force owners of patents to license them out to anyone who makes a reasonable licensing offer, and if you don’t, you lose it.

            There’s a reason why the PC you’re using most likely has DDR RAM in it rather than Rambus RAM and that it because Rambus patented and tried to license out their RAM design. DDR RAM, on the other hand, was an open standard. Competition to use that standard encouraged innovation, (IIRC, we’re up to DDR5 now and it’s still an open standard) reduced prices etc etc People still made/make money from it. Rambus RAM went the way of the dodo and nobody made any money from it.

            The article I linked to points out that the developers see no need for software patents. What they supply is a service and that’s where they make their money. Patents, on the other hand, allow people to not produce any wealth but have an income anyway. Then there’s the fact that patents actively prevent people from using their skills, knowledge and ideas to push innovation, we know this else the patent trolls wouldn’t exist, and nobody should be prevented from doing so. I’d say that was a major breech of personal rights. Patents are just another dead weight loss as a result of the unethical ownership known as capitalism.

            Not “debunked” in the sense of “here’s a study that shows patents do not stifle innovation”,

            No, I haven’t seen any study to support the theory either. All the evidence I have seen tends to prove the opposite of the theory. More innovation comes from people sharing.

  10. Sookie 10

    The Rock, a radio station for bogans with bad taste in music reaches a new low in womenfolk-hating larks, Sue Bradford rightly disgusted: http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/147109/win-wife-competition-sparks-outrage

    If my man has this sexist claptrap on in the car ever again, there will be ructions. I might even complain to the BSA. Pathetic.

    • vto 10.1

      Interesting. Did a radio station in Hamilton a few years ago not do something similar when two people got married for a competition? It went ok, and the couple, believe it or not, hit it off and are still married (last I heard).

      I don\’t see the big problem – people, both men and women, go spouse hunting in all kinds of circumstances. They might go to the Ukraine, they might go to a bar. They might join a running club. They might even, horror gasp, put an ad in the paper. They might go on a blind date. They (women in particular) might hang out where the rich people hang out. All with the exact same thing in mind. So when Sue Bradford prattles on about commercialising and trivialising marriage she condemns a huge swathe of New Zealand, and she misses much of reality.

      However, Sue Bradford may have a point when it comes to a change in culture (Key\’s Hurley wank, alcohol, etc). There is a wee change in the air methinks. It is well reflected not just in the approach and attitude of men to much, but also in the attitude of women to, in particular, alcohol and violence. I am sure the stats don\’t need to run out in support as it is well known that both those aspects are in out of control growth mode.

      How has this come about, if so? Well good question. Imo it may well stem from men being told they are sub-standard for such a long time now. Ever since feminism peaked. They have reacted and gone \”fuck off, you are not right\” at long last. This may be compounded with one of the apparently unintended results of feminism – namely that women feel empowered to not only do what men can do but also do what they have always done but to a far greater \”take it or leave it\” degree. Hence more short pink drunken skirts and a lax attitude to society\’s previous norms.

      Recall the call \”girls can do anything\” cry? Well, fair enough, but I suspect many actually believed it and it has morphed into various surprising areas of life. The modern women is bolshy.

      Some very quick 2c. Good issue Sookie. Somewhat overlooked these days this changing and melding of women / men issues.

      • Sookie 10.1.1

        It’s not the silly stunt angle that has me disgusted about The Rock’s manly larks VTO, it’s the gender politics. Kiwi Bogan male can’t be dealing with bolshy shelias who refuse to cook his tea and clean up after him. Bogan male goes overseas to get trophy wife from dirt poor country who will be a domestic goddess and keep her trap shut forever and anon, because life at home in Ukraine is bad enough to put up with that crap. I know it goes on, but to make a radio competition out of it? I look forward to mass snarky feminist posts on this matter in the Blogosphere.

        Captcha: bite, as in Bite Me 😉

        • vto 10.1.1.1

          Fair enough, but not a little presumtious re the ‘kiwi bogan male’ are you? (one I know best has phd and leaves others of us in the dust when it comes to being a ‘modern’ man) And anyway, sounds to me like cooking tea, cleaning up and being a domestic goddess is not a bad lifestyle. I know it is rejected today as somewhat unfashionable but surely its gotta be better than having to get down and dirty with the lies and cheats in the business world or putting up with a shit boss doing some shit job with no end in sight. I mean, is that what you are getting at? That being a domestic goddess is a bad thing?

          (not trying to wind up, just tease out. because I can’t understand the reasons behind such rejections)

          • grumpy 10.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps we need a few photos of these foreign sheilas alongside ones of real kiwi women like….oh I dunno…..like, say, Sue Bradford.

            can’t blame these guys really — can we????

            • Deborah Kean 10.1.1.1.1.1

              The words sexist and git spring to mind, grumpy. Looks aren’t the issue. Sure the woman on Ukrainian buy a bride websites look good – their lives are such shite that they need to hope for some compatatively wealthy guy to rescue them, and they need to attract those guys. But offering such desperate women as a radio comp prize? Give me a break…

              • grumpy

                “The words sexist and git spring to mind, grumpy.”

                Correct!!!!

                However, how many guys would want Ukranian brides if they were ugly?????

    • Deborah Kean 10.2

      My giddy aunt! I knew there was a good reason I had stopped listening to that shite!
      “The Rock had the largest number of male listeners in the country, he said. ”
      He seems to have a low opinion of males and what they want!
      Deb
      Captcha ‘teach’, as in someone should teach him…

    • grumpy 10.3

      “If my man has this sexist claptrap on in the car ever again, there will be ructions. ……..”

      Would he then be in the market for a Ukranian…..???

  11. infused 11

    Good streaming listen:

    [audio src="http://streaming.radionz.co.nz/on-demand/sun/sun-20110130-1008-Garry_Egger_-_Planet_Obesity-048.mp3" /]

    [lprent: added the http in the front. ]

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Double dip recession may have happened – English

    Mr English told the committee that employment growth was likely to be slow as the economic rebalancing kept a lid on growth and the domestic sector, particularly retail and housing.

    So much for Key’s “aggressive recovery”. Not that I’m surprised, everything that NACT have done seems to have been designed to keep the economy in the doldrums to lower wages.

  13. Blue 13

    Quote of the Day to Trevor Mallard, addressing a question to the ‘Prime Mincer’ in the House.

    • ianmac 13.1

      Initially I thought Trevor was mocking the way Mr Key mumbles words then it dawned on me how cheeky! “Prime Mincer.” If the cap fits……

  14. prism 14

    Jim Mora interviewed an Australian journalist who lost her job just as she was doing a piece on the recent unemployed. So she was really onto it. One point she made was of a chap who had been an aluminium worker. He really missed his job and routine. However there was help, refreshing skills etc. She said for him that amounted to 100 hours mostly writing CVs. Soul destroying eh.

    • Deborah Kean 14.1

      “She said for him that amounted to 100 hours mostly writing CVs. Soul destroying eh.”
      Exactly – especially if you already have a perfectly good CV!
      Deb
      captcha – permanent, as in the type of job I want and can’t get!

  15. Pascal's bookie 16

    Check out this nut sitting next to Douglas and spinning aline about centrist she is:

    “If National candidate Jami-Lee Ross gets in he’s going to toe the party line,” the Howick resident says.

    “He’s going to have no power whatsoever. But if Botany puts an Act candidate in there who’s allowed to vote how they want to, then that candidate can vote in the interest of Botany.”

    Politically, she puts herself to the left of Mr Ross and to the right of Labour’s Michael Wood.

    “I am the person for the central voter,” she says.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/eastern-courier/4630639/Act-plans-Botany-win

  16. Hot tip: http://writingtotheright.blogspot.com/2011/02/john-banks-to-lead-new-conservative.html

    Yup! John Banks will be leading a new conservative party, AND he will contest Epsom!

    It is true… 😉

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